An Open and Closed Case

open&closed.1I am not referring to the recent suspicious cases of fritillary chomping, tulip beheading or even the newest crime of polyanthus pecking, but to the daily opening and closing of many IMG_1798of the current blooms according to the sun. The flowers can take on a completely different appearance when this happens – personally I prefer Lady Jane (above) when she is closed, her petals modestly and tightly tucked around her, but the jury is out on Tulipa praestans whose blooms take on a fiery appearance when the sun is out, blazing a glorious path to some unknown destination while they have a chance before subsiding to a bright but sedate pillar box red as the evening draws on. It doesn’t look like the same tulip, does it?

open&closed.2The wood anemones, now thickly carpeting most of the right hand side of the woodland, are a pleasure to behold, open or closed – I am just so thrilled that they have established so well. On the other side of the bark path through the trees are many clumps of bluebells, mostly budding up nicely, but I intend to inspect them and possibly replant those without buds a little deeper, in case this is what is holding them back – has anyone else had a problem with non-flowering bluebells? The wild garlic, still in manageable numbers, is not surprisingly carrying on regardless.


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18 Responses to An Open and Closed Case

  1. AnnetteM says:

    You have some great blog titles, Cathy! Tulips are great and I agree that some look better open and others look better closed. Your wood anemones look amazing – I have a few that are gradually naturalising, but nothing like yours. I have rather too many (inherited) bluebells that are gradually taking over the borders; no problem with them not flowering, but I probably wouldn’t notice a few duds as we have so many.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, thanks Annette – I do enjoy a satisfactory title! Like almost everything else in the garden I planted the wood anemones and the bluebells. The trees were planted in the woodland early in 2000 so they must have been added in the autumn of that year.

  2. tulipa clusiana ‘lady jane’ is the best!

    • Cathy says:

      Even though she may not be the prettiest she was the first species tulip I had and will always have a soft spot in my heart 🙂

  3. rusty duck says:

    Are you sure you don’t have a pheasant? The three crimes listed all come as standard. Except that if you did you wouldn’t have any wood anemones either and they are just glorious! Lady Jane is also beautiful, open and closed.

    • Cathy says:

      Definitely no pheasant, Jessica. The polyanthus pecking will have been by collared doves or wood pigeons – the reason why I stopped planting them with my Peach Blossom tulips 😦

  4. Julie says:

    On the whole I prefer tulips in their closed state – much more elegant! This year mine have been wide open almost as soon as they flower – I just hope they don’t go over too quickly because of it! I have just started planting wood anemones and bluebells this year so I have a long way to go to match your lovely clumps. It is nice to see what I have to look forward to.

  5. Annette says:

    Your tulips are wonderful and I think they look good both ways, just having a different aura about them then. But your anemone woodland is pure heaven…will I ever live to see that here?!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Annette – what can I say? I sincerely hope you will – and every year till then you will have the joy of watching their progress and enjoying every single flower. I can’t remember how many I started with – may have only been 100…

  6. Cathy says:

    It really is worth the wait – the wood anemones seemed to get to a point where they started spreading quite rapidly and they are clearly really happy now 🙂

  7. Amazing the difference! I, too, have a happy clump of wood anemones in my “woodland” area. I planted a few corms many years ago, and for the first few years, I waited, nervously, for them to reappear. Now, they seem perfectly happy and are spreading into a nice clump. I also think I’ve seen the start of a new colony!

  8. Actually, I may have made a faux pas! Shouldn’t that be rhizomes, not corms?

  9. Christina says:

    I like most tulips best closed, there are some I like open and closed and only a very few I prefer open. Nice that some look so different. My favourite at the moment because it looks perfect open and closed and has lasted for ages is T. Ballerina.

    • Cathy says:

      I know I generally prefer them closed, but it seems churlish to choose! I have googled Ballerina and she seems a very useful tulip, with a fragrance too!

  10. Firstly, you must get ‘Ballerina’, she is wonderfully fragrant and as Christina says, perfectly beautiful open or closed. Secondly, wow, those anenomes! One day… And thank you again, the ones you sent me are still making me smile, though I need to prune the acer, her frilly skirts are currently hiding them from view, most rude!

    PS I still remember being really surprised at the way tulips open in the sun, and shocked at how different they looked. You generally only see photos of them modestly closed, like a well brought up lady sat with her knees demurely together.

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