The End is Nigh….

…for the tulips, that is.

Overnight winds that have continued throughout much of the day have removed the residual petals from many of the tulips, leaving only the deep maroon ones above and these lily flowered ones with a flush of pink that have not long opened:

I had begun to think that the dark ones, which I couldn’t remember planting, must have been left in the pots from some previous year, as there seemed to be an unusually large number of them, many with relatively small flowers. That may well still be the case, but as I began to empty the pots I suddenly remembered snapping up a late bargain sometime in the autumn from J Parkers, a cheap online plant supplier that I sometimes use – a collection of perhaps 60 tulips for a ridiculously cheap sum of money. Unusually, I don’t seem to have kept a record of what they were, although there were four different varieties, separately packed, and this would explain my puzzlement over many of the tulips that appeared in bloom this year.

Some pots, probably those that had received least watering, were definitely ready to be emptied:

…and I dithered over the maroon ones but, with the bit between my teeth, in the end (vase spoiler alert!) I cut the flowers as the bulbs were removed. Most of the bellis is still going strong and some will remain in the pots whilst some will be replanted elsewhere. I had already picked out the white flowered ones and replanted them in the entrance border, adding a splash of white amongst the green foliage which will dominate the border for much of the year, here complementing the white brunnera B ‘Betty Bowring’.

With two or three nights of low temperatures forecast, albeit still above freezing, I shan’t dress the pots in their summer clothing until later in the week but will prepare the soil, re-using as much compost as I can and adding slow-release fertiliser and water retention gel. We are anticipating garden centres opening again on Wednesday of this week, so I will be able to stock up with compost again, having used almost all of four big bags since the end of March, so this gives me some flexibility. The greenhouse and I will give a joint sigh of relief once the pots are planted up!

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20 Responses to The End is Nigh….

  1. I’m always a bit sad when the tulips go over, but then perk up as the roses take the stage (and there’s always next year!)

    • Cathy says:

      I know what you mean – tulips take so long to go from planting to flowering, but I now what the pots are filled with will bring colour for months and I will forget about tulips for the time being!

  2. I love your dark maroon and white tulips. Too bad they have so little bloom. The bellis that accompany them are adorable. I’m glad that the nurseries open on Wednesday: it will be fantastic as you say so well for them and for you. You will no longer have to skimp on the compost, you will be able to buy everything you need and perhaps some discounted treasure. Keep you and the golfer safe. Cathy take care of yourself. I haven’t written because I’ve been through a hole in my depression. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      I am sorry to hear you have been in a low place again, Margarita – it is always noticeable when we do not hear from you and we miss your detailed and kind comments. Do take care

  3. Heyjude says:

    So what do you do with your tulips? I was ruthless with my free ones, they all went into the garden waste bin. Not much room here to replant in the garden.

    • Cathy says:

      Me too, mine are all composted, much as I would love to have ‘spare’ ground for them to take their chances in!

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh no! That is the second reason why I do not grow tulips yet. The primary reason is that they do not naturalize here, which is why whey so often get recycled.

  4. Anna says:

    Now I wonder what could possibly be in that vase tomorrow Cathy 😂 The lily shaped tulips are quite lovely. Rather cruel winds here today too. I’m still not sure after watching Boris’s speech whether garden centres will open this week not that I will be rushing to one in any hurry. Hope that you can get that compost soon though.

    • Cathy says:

      I still have lots of recycled compost to use so will make use of that first, anyway, as I would certainly not choose to rush to a garden centre when they do reopen…

  5. I love tulips! What a beautiful garden you have. This is the first spring I’ve spent in New York and Central Park has been full of tulips which has been lovely. It’s all run by volunteers so is really quite special. However, they too have just lost all their petals … sometimes, like today, the wind absolutely howls across from New Jersey. It was so cold yesterday that there was actually a flurry of snow! Lovely post and seeing your garden makes me long for one of my own again! Katie

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your kind comments, Katie – might you have your own garden again at some time? Isn’t it wonderful that there are volunteers to look after public places like Central Park? I am glad you were able to enjoy the tulips there

      • We’re currently on a Diplomatic (Military) posting out here in Manhattan but when we return I hope that we’ll have be offered a house somewhere with a garden … even if it’s only a short year long posting that’s fine … I can do some veg! I think I just miss getting my hands dirty! Seeing your pictures makes me very happy though! Katie

        • Cathy says:

          Must be tough having to do without a garden when you love them so much

          • Yes … funnily enough though, we have some English friends who live out here and have a wonderful house out in the Hamptons. They let me loose in their garden which is wonderful, so during the summer months when they use the house, we stay with them and whilst the others go off and surf (not my cup of tea!) I stay behind with the dog and potter in their garden. Can’t wait to get out there again and see how it’s all going.

          • Cathy says:

            Oh that’s kind of them – you will be in your element I guess!

  6. carolee says:

    I had forgotten about bellis, and how delicately pretty it is. I think I’ll have to add it to my seed list for next year. My tulips are beginning to go now as well, but they’ve been exceptional this year. I do leave mine in the ground, but very few return so I replant in the autumn. It is a lot of work for a sometimes brief glimpse of color, but I wouldn’t want to be without them. Love your photos because you show reality, not just the perfect finish.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Carolee – it’s definitely reality in my garden as there is never a perfect finish! We open the garden for charity and in the description I make sure people know it’s informally planted as it will never be completely pristine, and I wouldn’t want it to be anyway. I have some white bellis grown from seed ready to plant out, but the ones in the pots came as pencil plugs in the autumn and were so cheap it wouldn’t have been worth nurturing them from seed – they flower for ages and are now my go-to plant to include in my tulip pots, to give interest before the tulips flower

  7. It is such a shame when the tulips finish
    They didn’t last well this year thanks to the wind and unseasonably warm spell. Guessing there’ll be some in your vase today!

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm, how did you guess?! Yes, the tulips in the smaller pots certainly sufferered from the heat. A shame, but the garden goes on and, after all, snowdrops and hellebores are not at the forefront of our minds now, so we will move on from tulips very quickly, I expect 😉

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