19 Apr 2017

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Perennial tulips

There's a corner of the veg patch garden where, in late 2013, I planted tulips that I'd bought during a visit to Sarah Raven's Perch Hill Farm.  Her shop is unbelievably tempting so I was very restrained in coming away with just two bags of bulbs.  One set didn't do at all well but these, her 'Apricot Beauty' set have come back and flowered every year since - now in their fourth year of flowering.  That's very good value.

The Exotic Emperor's are aptly named - they open in the form that we'd expect from a tulip but, as the flowers age the petals widen fully to resemble Chinese water lilies. It's quite spectacular and they seem to last for a good month.  The other two varieties in the set let the Emperor have his day then Apricot Beauty opens to support the now open-petalled show before Spring Green thrusts up to counterpoint the final lily-like days of the Emperor.  It's a great display, subtle but showstopping. The Emperor still rules but there are a few less of the other two.  Reinforcements will be acquired this autumn. I'll put it in my garden diary now in case that thought slips away over the summer.




Top to bottom:  Spring Green, Apricot Beauty, Exotic Emperor

16 comments:

  1. They're lovely. I had a bag of her perennial tulips once but never got round to planting them. Now I wish I had! CJ xx

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    1. It's so annoying when that happens! I have to admit to having several bags of bulbs that didn't get planted last winter, just cheap ones but it still grates!

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  2. I would like more tulips next year maybe started in pots until I can see where the gaps are.

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    1. That's an excellent idea, Sue. The primary reason that I don't get round to planting all my bulbs is that I can't see where to put them, especially if I want to leave them in the ground so have to allow for the untidy leaves dying back!

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  3. All the Sarah Raven tulips I've planted here have come back each year (three times now). These are lovely but I think I like Spring Green best :-) The best of my SR bulbs are Ballerina and Brown Sugar – they both smell delicious. You can never have too many tulips...

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    1. I'll have to look out for those - I recognise the name Ballerina, pink I think? I'm rethinking my tulips for next year as I'm not totally in love with the yellow ones so they have to go!

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  4. I just love Exotic Emperor! Stunning, I shall add it to my list too!xxx

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    1. You won't be disappointed, Dina - it's a corker! xx

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  5. Awesome! I like the first flower

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    1. Spring Green is a really fresh colour and very welcome after the bright pinks and reds of other tulips.

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  6. Whoa!They're all beautiful!
    The Exotic Emperor is stunning indeed.

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    1. Being among the first colour in the garden, tulips are so eye catching but I love the Emperor for it's staying power and graceful decline.

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  7. The Apricot Beauty is incredible - marvelous color. Down here in the tropics we must content ourselves with hibiscus. They have their own wonder, but I do occasionally miss the eruption of tulips in spring.

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    1. I remember hibiscus well from my childhood in the Florida Keys - it grew as a hedge around our home. There are times when I'd swap the tulips for hibiscus ... and the banana tree that grew in our backyard! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, David - welcome!

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  8. I bought her Perennial Tulip collection this year which include Spring Green and the bulbs are just starting to flower in my cutting garden. I always think Sarah Raven's recommendations are very good and definitely worth trying. Sarah x

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    1. Absolutely, Sarah - I agree, and her catalogues are so tempting. Do you actually cut tulips from your cutting garden? I grew some cheap bulbs at the allotment for cutting but they make such a stunning show that I haven't cut even one! The plus to this is that they've lasted a good month on tall straight stems whereas, in a vase, I'd be lucky to have them for a week. xx

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