The sun is shining, the garden has had lots of rain, and its that wonderful tulip time of year again at last!
Last autumn, you may remember, I completely re-vamped my south-facing bed. And then planted a back-breakingly huge lot of tulips – all it seems ‘Queen of Night’, although I could have sworn there were some others too! Its a real old dependable and a lovely sumptuous colour, so I am not complaining, but I am making a mental note to plant some other associated magentas and wine coloured tulips this autumn to keep these company.
I have also re-planted a lovely tulip that had sort of disappeared in my front garden – it is called ‘Moonlit girl’ and is a lovely gentle yellow.
Sadly only one flower has decided to arrive thus far, but never mind.
I also have the species tulipa sylvestris for the first time as well.
There are, of course, lots of other non-tulip highlights for this wonderful time of year.
All the greens are so fabulously intensely green right now, and all the fresh new colours of spring ‘zing’ even more intensely in contrast to that emerald back-drop – it really is a time of year when something new is popping up virtually everyday and plants are growing before your eyes within hours.
I particularly adore my box at this time of year – the lovely new growth seems to give the lovely round shapes a look of glowing ‘as if lit from within’, as Dan Pearson once memorably put it.
Ferns are unfurling at this time of year by the minute, and their abundance and lushness is also joy to behold – ancient yet so contemporary at the same time..
My Acer is a yellow-green all of its own at this time of year strangely mixed with pink stems, which works well even though it sounds like it shouldn’t. (I inherited this wonderful tree so I don’t sadly know its variety name.)
Dependable grape hyacinths are powering back – they thrive on complete neglect in my herb bed and come back every year.
My dicentra spectabilis is always a big star of the shade border – a really tough and reliable plant. It appears as my theme title of this blog, but that was in 2012 – here it is again today…
My pots are also coming out of hibernation.
My clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ has been very happy this spring, and has flowered abundantly…
and my Chinese virginia creeper (parthenocissus henryana) is coming back into leaf (seen here along with my clematis armandii).
And here is a close up of its amazing ‘feet’ that mean it can self-cling to the wall…
Quite a few plants are completely new to my garden this spring – things I have long coveted, but have only just got around to growing.
The first is the wonderfully named, and equally spectacularly performing, Euphorbia characias wulfenii – its particular shade of acid lime green is the true herald of spring…
I am very pleased with how it has worked in my new front garden bed design.
I have never grown camassia leichtlinii before – but one of the blue form is flowering today – the first of many I hope, as I planted a good quantity of the white and blue forms.
Two other new things. Firstly a new houseplant. I have only grown moth orchids to date – but I have now branched out with a ‘ZZ’ plant as its commonly called – allegedly it cannot be killed and survives on utter neglect, but we shall see.
And I have this week planted up a ‘stumprockery’ at my parents’ garden. It started life as a stumpery, but as its not actually in the usual gloomy shaded spot that stumperies favour, it has become combined with a rockery – lots of lovely alpines and the fern dryopteris affinis which can tolerate sun. I look forward to observing its progress…
So, this is my favourite spring view of my garden from my kitchen at the moment, as I await the on-coming excitement of Chelsea Flower Show, from which I will be reporting next month, thereby also marking the two-year anniversary of this blog!
Watch this space and happy gardening!!