Wednesday 15 April 2015

Some flowers for a change

How about seeing some flowers instead of vegetables, just for a change?

I am very happy with these bright red Tulips in a wide shallow blue pot:

My only complaint is that they are supposed to grow to only 6" tall, and these are at least twice that!

They are "Dwarf Praestans". There are 10 bulbs in the pot, but this is a multi-headed variety, so it looks as if there are more.  In full sun the flowers open very wide.

But when the sun goes in they close up tight like this:

The Daffodils are just about finished now. My favourites are the strongly-scented "Soleils d'Or" - the ones I bought in the Isles of Scilly. Nice while they lasted, but past their best now:

In order to prolong their life and prevent them going "blind", I will be doing all the right things with those bulbs - feeding them with fertiliser; removing the flowers to stop seeds forming; leaving the foliage to die down naturally, etc. If you want to see some more advice on this, follow this link to the relevant bit of the RHS website - Daffodil blindness.

This is Euphorbia "Clarice Howard", which seems to have recovered a bit this year, after a very poor showing last time.

It is normally very vigorous, and spreads enthusiastically via underground roots. I am forever pulling up bits of it that appear in the shingle.

Along the edge of the border, just by the Euphorbia, I have established a clump of Primroses.

Many of them are brightly-coloured ones bought as a mixed pack from the local Garden Centre, but some of them are the old-fashioned yellow / cream type, which I like better. They seem more natural.

The Snakeshead Fritillaries (Fritillaria Meleagris) are coming along nicely.

I always find it hard to photograph them well, because the flower patterns are naturally blurred and it looks as if the photos are out of focus. A lot of the stems have two flowers.

Not all the Fritillaries are speckly purple. Some of them are white:

This is that beautiful dark-coloured Hellebore given to me by my Facebook friend Alice.


  1. I'd never heard that term before - daffodil blindness. Though I've always been aware of the issue and what to do about it. I had a lot of issues with this at my last garden, but I think they hated the heavy clay that didn't drain well. Here they seem much happier.

  2. I like those tulips very much and you've chosen a lovely container for them. I grow bright red geraniums in tall glazed blue pots, I think the red goes really well with the blue. I'm with you on the primroses, I don't think you can beat the native variety. I seem to remember you spreading the seeds of the snakeshead fritillaries around the ground, did they germinate? My plants have never bulked up at all since I've grown them but at least they come back each year and don't disappear completely.

    1. Yes, Jo, many of the seeds did germinate. See my post from a few days ago:

    2. Ah, I see now. I didn't realise they were growing from the seeds you'd spread around. I think I may have to do the same thing and give them a helping hand.

  3. Love it all. People usually cannot wait to tidy up the bulb foliage after flowering which causes lack of flowering the next year. We are all tempted to do that. And, the bulbs need to gather strength for the next season. We also forget to fertilize them. My daffodil clumps were too crowdy which was the reason for poor flowering last year. I dug them up when the foliage turned yellow and replanted them in Autumn.

  4. Those tulips are just lovely - I usually prefer short varieties to tall ones - with our winds, its hard to enjoy the taller ones as they tend to flop over much too quickly unless they are supported by surrounding plants or actual supports.

    I planted dozens of tulips a couple of years ago along our front walkway - one of the few additions I've made to the ornamental beds so far - but only some of them flowered last year. Hopefully some compost or fish emulsion this year will get them to flower again.

  5. I think your dwarf tulips were endowed with the Marks Veg Plot standard of growth

  6. Beautiful tulips, Mark. Glad you are adding some flowers to your garden..nice!

  7. I really enjoy seeing the variety of flowers in your garden. I live in Georgia in the U.S. and have not seen any of the types you have shown, except daffodils, which do not grow well here due to the heat. Very lovely!

  8. It's so interesting seeing your flowers ahead of mine. It just shows what a few hundred miles can do to delay their arrival. I'm eagerly awaiting my tulips to open but I'll admire yours whilst I wait ;D

  9. I had just the same problem photographing the fritillaries,The bud really does look like a snake's head.

  10. Great to see your flowers - those tulips are a lovely shade.

    All the best Jan

  11. Lovely flowers, this time of year is such a joy with everything bursting into life and flower, and so fresh :)


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