Friday 17 April 2020

Tulips and other spring flowers - jewels of the garden

 It's a visual feast in the garden at the moment: spring flowers dancing in the breeze and adding delicate pastel shades to borders, verges and containers.

Crocuses in a makeshift container.

Left: Prunus Kojo-no-Mai brightens up the patio with early spring blossom; Right: Leucojum aestivum, the summer snowflake, arches gracefully over the border.

Ipheion uniflorum.

Fritillaria meleagris 'Alba', the white-flowered version of the snakeshead fritillary - the checkerboard pattern appears as though embossed on the petals.

Tulips are the jewels of the spring garden. Available in so many colours from pure white to deepest midnight purple, with reds, yellows and pinks in-betweem. Tall stems can lift the flowers up to a metre high, while dwarf varieties will sit snugly in a pot.
Vase-shaped, frilled, open or closed, tulip blooms have been cultivated into different shapes since the 17th century when they became wildly fashionable with bulbs commending ridiculously high prices (The resulting tulip market crash in 1637 wiped out fortunes overnight).
These days, they make a colourful, low-maintenance addition to the garden. Plant bulbs in the open ground, or in pots, in the autumn, keep the squirrels off them (I use netting, or upturned hanging basket holders), and you will be rewarded in April with a colourful display -

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