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Bloomin' Tulips, April 13th

Jo Perry

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Weeks ago the first of the specie tulips popped their pretty heads through the soil and I thought spring was here. Tulipa Sylvestris has such a lovely golden flower, with elegant arching stems. It naturalises well in the garden. Tulipa humilis ’Violacea Black Base’ violet pink and ‘Little Beauty’, violet with a blue base edged with white, all so beautiful; and then it snowed. Any vestige of spring well and truly quashed. It is a bit warmer and even a bit drier, but the late spring is taking its toll. Cattle can’t be put out to grass, leaving farmers desperate for fodder, the ground is so wet that crops can’t be set and lawns are left unmown. However, the tulips in pots have started to flower.

Candy Prince was the first. It looks so delicate with its faded mauve petals looking every bit like Shot Silk. Then Vendee Globe. Why it’s called Globe is a mystery to me, as it is what is known as a Lily flowered variety, with elongated golden pointed petals, flamed with red. Mount Tacoma is a double flowered tulip, white like a peony, exquisite. I won’t go on, lists are boring and I don’t want to diminish the sheer beauty of tulips by just reeling off their names, but even in this disappointing spring, the extraordinary depth and variety of colour really brightens the day and the heart.

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The renovation of the Herb Garden is well on its way, the structural work is done, and we have replanted the majority of the herbs. The rest of the garden will be planted up as and when the plants become available. Already it looks so much better. I am happy to say that the Olive Tree blown down during Storm Ophelia, appears to have recovered. Tad, Rachel and Sean manhandled it into an upright position and put a wooden framework around to hold it in place. The little bit of root still secured in the soil seems to be providing enough nourishment to keep it alive, so I will watch it carefully through the summer. It may need watering if we have any prolonged dry spells. We can live in hope.