Tulip-mania in Dad's garden

We've been in Norfolk for some of the Easter weekend visiting family and clocking up a second visit of the year to one of our favourite counties. I was expecting bulbs to have sprung up in dad's garden but I didn't expect there to be quite so many tulips. The garden was full of red and yellow tulips, everywhere. Even among the chard.

A cheeky tulip in the chard

They certainly knew how to find the sun in the garden too. Their petals were glistening in the sunlight, even this one that looks as if it should be in the shade.

Shade or sun, this tulip can't quite decide

Masquerading amongst other flowers - or vegetables - or even jumping over the flower bed edges seems to be a speciality of dad's tulips.

borrowing the foliage from other spring bulbs

I was keen to see how the "top down" photography angle would work for tulips, and both red and yellow varieties obliged, boldly showing off their dark centres

Peering into the dark centre of the tulip
And a group of top down yellow tulips

In one part of the garden, it looks as if some cross-fertilisation has gone on. The red tulips have yellow edges and the yellow one red tinges, and I quite like the look of these. I'm assuming they've done this themselves as these were the only ones that weren't true colours, but who knows for sure.

Red plus yellow equals orange, or pretty tulips

And a trip around dad's garden is never complete without seeing any pink flowers, and this time is no different. Dad's columnar apple tree is laden with blossom, very pink blossom. There's so much the lower branches are almost touching the ground. And look at the colour of the soil, it's such a different colour to mine, and way less stony.

apple blossom on a heavily laden branch

Out the front the clematis that I spot all over Norfolk is already in flower, and I think it'll be in flower for a long time yet looking at the amount of buds looking as if they're about to burst.

The Norfolk clematis is already in flower
And there's plenty more flowers to come judging by these buds

Like many gardens, mine included, the foliage is growing strongly even though there's been less rain than usual. The leaves below are from a poppy, which looks as if it's going to be huge!

foliage of what looks like it'll be a giant poppy

The lupin leaves with their distinctive shape are also springing up around the garden. I'd love to be able to grow lupins in my own garden, but my snail population are rather keen on them too. I've tried growing them in pots, but then invariably there'll be a hot spell and I'll lose them through lack of watering.  The toads in our garden do help to keep the snail population down, or at least I hope they do - I have a mental image of being knee-deep in snails without the toads which isn't a great image, but maybe there's just too many snails for my toads. 

And luscious lupin leaves too

This weekend I saw a couple of flowers I'd not seen before, one in dad's garden and another in his neighbours. And just so you know I spotted the neighbours flower when I went to my car and not because I was loitering with my camera ready - just saying.  So here's the pretty star shaped flower in dad's garden, I'm not sure I've seen it before, and I'm not sure what it is either, so if you know please leave me a comment and let me know what mystery flower number 1 is.



The neighbour's flower is mystery flower number 2 and it's a lilac and egg yolk yellow combination, which is unusual enough anyway, and a combination you might question if you didn't see the picture. But it seems to work, but again I'm not sure what it is. So if you know what mystery flower number 2 is then please let me know.



And if you know what both of them are, I'll be super impressed.  


Whoops, tulips!

Relatively recently I remembered I'd bought some tulips. And quite quickly after that I remembered I hadn't planted them yet, and I was kind of late doing that. But in that moment, the thing I couldn't remember is where they were. 


This in itself was more troubling than not remembering to have planted the bulbs in the first place. I was pretty sure they would be ok, maybe sprouting a bit, not too much if I was lucky. I hoped that they were the same as seeds, in that they're programmed to grow, so will try their best for you, well, as long as you eventually give them some help. Help like soil, and water, that kind of thing.

My brain is one of those brains that usually knows where things are, even down to the exact location. For example I'll send MOH to get something from the spare freezer, he'll be rummaging (as usual) and I'll helpfully suggest, top shelf on the right, or wherever it is he's looking for, to much amazement from him (and sometimes me too). 

So it's a bit disconcerting when my brain can't retrieve that kind of information. Usually it'll pop back in at some point, so I leave it a while before starting The Search. 

And sure enough, after a little while of mulling, a day or so later, it came to me. There were in the conservatory, with my seeds. And when I checked, so they were. Thankfully they weren't sprouted so much that they'd grown through the bag either. Phew. 

Found - and starting to grow

I resolved to plant them as soon as I could, but that was easier said than done with a weekend in Norfolk planned and then another busy weekend with a long to do list, and one where the tulips didn't make it to the top of the list. But finally this weekend I planted them, and it was lovely to be out in the garden again. 

There was some maths involved too, I had ten of each of the following tulips:

And I had either three or five pots to plant them in. Neither was easy for the maths. As I'd also found 55 alliums, I split the 40 tulips between three pots, and the alliums between the remaining two.

Planting sprouting tulip bulbs
my lost tulips in soil, finally, let's hope they carry on growing

And I'm hoping they'll grow. I figured the fact that some of them are sprouting already is a good sign, they're obviously going to be late flowering, I won't be having tulips in April I'm sure. But I hope they'll manage something at some point this year, if not there's always next year.

tulips potted up, watered, covered with vermiculite and guarded by a snowdrop

Normally I'd plant some pansies or something that was already flowering to make the pots look a bit prettier, but not this time. It all feels very disorganised, most likely because it is, but I thought it waa about time these tulips were planted. They're a good four months later than they should be.

As I said before, whoops, tulips!