tulips

orange tulips and pots for a balcony

I love parrot tulips. The flowers are amazing. I think these are Professor Rontgen but I also planted Orange Favourite so I'm not absolutely certain. I must try to label plants (and seeds better). Every year I have seedlings that I don't know what they are.

tulip Professor Rontgen

tulip Professor Rontgen

tulip Professor Rontgen

I decided not to buy many seeds (or plants) this year both to save money and because after having too many seeds in previous years I wanted a break from feeling pressured to plant them, and inevitably ending up with too many seedlings, so for the pots for my balcony I decided to plant them up with sunflowers I grew from last year's collected seed. I have no idea how these will work in pots on a balcony - certainly not a traditional choice - but I will give them a try. I also couldn't find the coleus seeds I wanted to plant in them and couldn't decide on an alternative - and the sunflower seeds were just there. I'm also using plastic pots which are lighter than clay as I don't want too much weight on the balcony. I put some styrofoam pieces in the bottom before filling with compost to reduce the weight further. Photos with them in situ to follow.

balcony pots with sunflowers

I also have a trough to plant up. I'm going to use some miscellaneous plants I have kicking around. Again, an untraditional choice but completely free. Photos to follow.

I'd never collected much seed before until the end of last summer when I collected seed from the sunflowers, snapdragons, hollyhocks, cerinthe and alliums. I was pleased to have seedlings from the first 4, including cerinthe below and sunflowers above. The snapdragons are tiny yet (photo to follow). The alliums I don't think will bloom in 1 year so no hurry with those.

cerinthe seedlings

Tulip Little Princess and crushed shell mulch for slug protection

I bought a pack of 10 of these Little Princess Tulips and I think I got 2 flowers? One looked nice, if washed out, forced in the truffle bottle (see garden withindoors) and this one somehow survived the squirrels who ate all the other crocus and tulips I planted in the back garden. I think this is a lovely little tulip, similar to acuminta in colouring but much less expensive.

tulip little princess

tulips

My tulips are incredibly early this year with the warm weather. These look like the Professor Rontgen and Silver Parrot tulips I planted in previous years although last year I also planted Orange Favourite and Estella Rynveld which I guess the pot below must be one of them. 

The pot of tulips below is in the back garden (which doesn't get nearly as much sun as the front garden).  They are far behind the ones in the front garden that are in bloom. 

I want to avoid slug pellets this year as I now have a frog in the garden. I loved the look of the crushed shell mulch since I first saw it so I'm going to try it to protect my lupins. I planted so many late last summer and they germinated well but the slugs decimated them. I have 4 left so I hope I can nurture them with some tlc and extra vigilance with the slugs. I've also had a bit of a clear out in this flowerbed removing all the bluebells. I remove some every year but obviously not enough as they were still taking over. I do the same with the ground elder and I don't have much of that but still a few shoots every year.

lupins with crushed shell mulch

This is typical of what happens in my garden. I potted up a piece of bergenia rhizome and a poppy and foxglove have self-seeded themselves along with it.

early early tulips

I have never seen these tulips in bloom so early. This weather is crazy. The ceanothous is also about to burst into bloom.

orange tulips

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