Saturday, 17 April 2021

Six on Saturday - 17 April 2021

Here is a link to the Prop's blog. He hasn't posted yet today, so it may be that he is somewhere on a long run.  Should he put something up later, then I'll link in to it at a later date. He has now, so I am linking here to his, and guess what it is the start of the Tulip season there too.

 1. There is nothing quite like observing new plants growing in one's garden and checking them out.  Different growing conditions, which can range from soil, climate and weather and each year seems to vary  allows us to see what plants are really like, as apposed to recollections of clever photography and over the top descriptions.  Even small areas within the garden seem to have a micro-climate and now I am getting to know the new garden, find moving plants around can be of great benefit.

I have already posted about T. Turkestanica and how I was a little underwhelmed by them, but found I had not put up a picture.  So here it is, mostly so that I can refer back to what they looked like and their position and by which I can compare them next year.

T. Turkestanica

Last week I wrote about T. Clusiana Lady Jane, which is continuing to look lovely.  In the morning they are closed with the slightest pale cream edge to their pink outer petals and then they becomes fully open in the bright sunshine.  By coincidence I received some Tulip photographs from The Somerset Alpine Garden Society and consequently on requesting names was sent an article by Christine Skelmersdale of Broadleigh Gardens.  I found I still had the full article in April 2020 of The Garden. These few words, regarding Tulipa clusiana, which had simply accompanied the original un labelled pictures piqued my interest: "This tulip spreads strongly by stolons". What an interesting feature in tulips, which explains how these types of tulips will increase and little colonies expand. Watching the tulips over a number of years is going to be interesting.

2. I was particularly pleased to read that spreading by stolens is also a feature of what must be my favourite tulip so far: Tulipa Whittalii Major. Maybe it is the self confidence it  exudes as well as its overall proportions that I find most pleasing. As for colour, burnt orange is amongst my favourite.

3. Perhaps the most disappointing of the tulips so far is Tulipa tarda.  I so hope that it improves in future years.  It is very close to the ground but this may be that we have had a very dry spell this Spring.  Hopefully next year I shall be able to change my views, as I had high expectations when I viewed all the pictures before I bought it.

4. One little plant that has grown on me is this diminutive Iris pumila Knick-Knack.  This was a plant which in its first year in the garden four years ago, was underwhelming: time and growth has changed this.

5. Astrantia major 'Sunningdale Variegated' is adding a bright splash and seems to have benefitted from its mulch.  There are several patches of this lovely foliage and flower plant.

Astrantia major Sunningdale Variegated

6. Ghostly apparitions with a cemetery just over the wall?  No it is the small Plum Mirabelle de Nancy shrouded in its frost protective fleece, with early morning mist on the air.  AS I look out, this morning, there is ice on the bird bath. We have had strong sun by day, cold nights with frost, and still no rain. This has meant watering of pots, and areas where there have been recently planted or moved shrubs and plants.  The weather forecast is fair and dry for at least a week ahead.  There are no 'April Showers' forecast. 

Just as a small extra, which at this time of the year, is so hard not to include, mea culpa it is not but it is the problem with neighbouring cats:  apparently they love Valeriana  officinalis.

Valeriana officnalis flattened by rolling cats


  1. Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder' is the one which travels by stolons here - very strongly and it is a very pretty thing. The clusiana tulips are absolute delights!

  2. Tulipa tarda can be very disappointing. I have a large healthy patch that spreads but never flowers. I keep meaning to dig them up and relocate them...seems like a large effort for low return so I never get around to it.

  3. Oh my goodness, that iris is a great beauty! One to remember. The stolon thing is very interesting and good to know. I do like these species tulips and I am enjoying yours very much, even the tardy tarda.

  4. The ghostly apparition made me chuckle. The Astrantia major 'Sunningdale Variegated' foliage is very pretty indeed.

  5. Pretty tulips but I must say that the Knick-Knack is charming too Regarding the plum tree, I didn't have the courage to put a fleece on iot but it seems that the flowers have withstood the -2° or -3° that we had. You'll see in my Six but it looks like our two plum trees are about the same size.

  6. Great selection of Tulips. I can see why whittalii major is your favourite - very nice!

    The weather is certainly putting the garden through it's paces at the moment.

  7. What a pretty little iris Noelle. Shame about the feline problems. It's very dry in Cheshire too - we could certainly do with some April showers! The watering can will be coming out again tomorrow.

  8. I will have to look into tulips that spread by stolons. I like the look of small colonies of bulb flowers rather than isolated individuals, so that would be an advantage. The colors and markings of knick knack are very delicate and enticing.

  9. You've got some lovely tulips there, especially the bright orange Whitalli Major. And the Iris 'Knick Knack'is divine and has the best name I've heard in a long while!

  10. I've not seen Whitalli Major before, but it is a gorgeous colour. Love the ghost!

  11. How intriguing to read about stolons on these tulips - I have several species tulips and feel it is something I should have known! What a nuisance about the cat-sitting - we have a couple of regular cat visitors, now suddenly joined by another despite it not going its own home for a few days, which is a bit of a concern (for our garden, that is!). My initial thought when I saw the astrantia that it was variegated ground elder...whew!

    1. You can rest at ease it is definitely astrantia. It tends to loose its variegation later in the season. I think the bright sunshine and the good mulch have helped the clumps to be the best they have been. Of course there will be flowers later on.