I hadn’t been to our garden in Somerset for two weeks. I expected the grass to be as high as an elephants eye but to be fair it wasn’t that bad. Needed it’s first cut of the season but it wasn’t too daunting a task. Especially in such glorious weather. 

What I hadn’t expected were the tulips to have burst into life. I had potted up a dozen or so pots and had left them on the rear terrace. The terrace is south facing and I bring the tulips on there ready to be played at the front of the cottage where there is sun for only part of the day. So with some assistance we heaved  the pots through the house to the front. 

Two days later with this weather the majority had opened. Last year was the first time I had grown tulips at the front and it was a huge success. I like to change the front so this year the tulips weee changed too.  My mother would have said it was  showing off. To be fair I couldn’t disagree. The cottage is right on the road. You can’t help but notice the tulips. 

Ian is no gardener but he saw tulips he liked at the Malvern show last year so as he showed an interest I decided to buy them. So the pots were planted with Brown Sugar. His choice and separate pots of Purissama -mine. As usual with the generous advice of Karen from Peter Nyssen I ordered others as well. Too many as usual so I have planted a lot in a cutting patch. Which will all flower when we are not there. 

The Purissima are stunning opening into great big blousy flowers which at a quick glance look like they have a bee inside. They are stunning and close up tight again when the sun passes. 

The pots have opened well and to be fair look great at the front of the cottage against the warm Somerset stone. 

Back in London I grew tulips in one window box and two large containers – and with very different colours to the Somerset tulips. I hadn’t used them in window boxes before but good old Karen assured me they would be ok. 

These have opened beautifully in the morning sun – and have been a joy. 

The pots at the back have spring into life this weekend. Tulip Belle Époque has opened and there are a few rouge Brown sugars in there too.  I didn’t mention earlier that these also have a lovely scent. 

Tulips are a new one for me to be fair. But on the basis of how they have been over the last two years  they are here to stay! 

We also had a wander around Lytes Cary a NT property on Saturday where they also had some amazing Tulips. I have a list as long as my arm of what I’d like to grow next year thanks to the Instagram,twitter and Facebook posts of everyone’s favourites. At Lytes Cary these were added to my list. Such a beautiful colour and in the sunshine just dazzled. 

It Was also good to see that the professional gardeners get a rogue  tulip here and there too. 

This one was very obvious! Along with what was probably one of last years that missed being dig up! 

I don’t feel so bad now with the odd one here and there that I have found out of place! 

So it was back to London for a busy week ahead – I know. I’m retired. But I’m busy!  But first to water. When I left on Thursday the tree ferns were good. They had kept a lot of their fronds over winter. I hadn’t had to put straw in their crowns. But I get back and all hell has broken loose. The two days of  sun has made them spring into action and they are about to burst forth. As long as Fred stays out of the crown that is. 

I love tree ferns and we are lucky that we have a micro climate in the small ( tiny) garden we have here. But the tree ferns. The olive. The banana do well. 

So move over tulips. It’s tree fern time. 

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