At last, homegrown tulips

Last autumn I made bulb lasagne (as the Dutch would say). In a couple of large pots I planted layers of tulip bulbs that had arrived from courtesy of my sister. Now spring has finally arrived here are the results.

Tulips on the front doorstep. (Photo from about three weeks ago.)

The tulips in the pot that have been on the front doorstep are about three weeks ahead of those potted up in the backyard.

Two parrots and a double.

Of course, it’s all very well having a welcoming show of flowers as you arrive at the front door, but you’ve soon found your key, opened the door and stepped inside and that’s it. During one fleeting glance I noticed three dark red tulips, I think they’re a double version of Queen of the Night, had shorter stems and were a bit swamped and so I cut them for indoors. Now I see a lot more of them on my kitchen table.

Cut from front door display, on the kitchen table and lasting well.

This year it has been a noticeably cool spring, but now at last the backyard tulips are also out. It has been a lesson for me that before mid-May my backyard probably doesn’t get anything like the necessary six hours of direct sunlight for good flowering. The pear tree blossom has been and gone and currently there’s only the tulips, a small clump of forget-me-nots and some sparse cherry blossom. However, there are also nine pots that look empty, but actually, hopefully, contain dahlia tubers that might just have survived last year’s freezing winter weather. Fingers crossed that there will be more flowers . . . eventually.

Tulips in the backyard. (Photo yesterday afternoon.)

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

24 thoughts on “At last, homegrown tulips”

    1. Thank you. It’s called making a tiny space go a long way, but living quite close to the town centre I am lucky to have any reasonable outdoor space.

      1. I had a friend with a “back yard” about 6 feet by 15, maybe (15 was the width of his house more or less) and I have never forgotten what he did in that small space (he lived in a rowhome in Philadelphia). I love the look and feel of a small enclosed place like yours.

      2. Yes, I know what you mean. It is an on/off affair with my backyard. It is improving as our weather has eventually warmed up.

  1. Hello. A few days ago, while walking around my neighborhood, I passed a house that has a magnificent array/display of tulips. When done right, tulips are hard to beat. Neil S., in the Philadelphia burbs.

    1. Oh I absolutely agree and the more space you can fill the more colourful impact you’re rewarded with. I used to live in Holland and was lucky enough to visit the Keukenhof tulip gardens when they were doing their full tulip thing. Amazing. Agnes, in dull old Ipswich!

  2. Hi Agnes,
    you’ve got really special tulips. Unfortunately, we have the ‘normal’ yellow and red ones only. We lived for a while just a few minutes by car near the ‘tulip paradise’ at Keukenhof. These masses of different tulips attracted people from all over the world.
    We like the atmosphere of your backyard.
    Thanks for sharing
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Klaus, thanks for the comment. Yes, Keukenhof is an amazing place. Hope all is well up on the north Norfolk coast. I must say that the single tulips probably cope better with wind off the sea in your part of the world. All the best, Agnes. πŸ˜„πŸŒ·πŸŒ·πŸŒ·

      1. Thanks a lot, dear Agnes.
        Our tulips are doing quite well in our garden. But they are faded now. The problem are the deers in our garden. They love the tulip flowers. Our back garden provides a lee therefore the tulips don’t mind growing next to the sea, we suppose.
        Thanks for answering.
        Wishing you a wonderful week
        The Fab Four of Cley
        πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  3. Dull old Ipswich? I’ll have to inform the civic authorities you said that πŸ™‚ I envy you the joy of summer around the corner. Actually our autumn was unseasonably warm and also wet. We have escaped our freezing temps (18-20’c LOL) for the warmer days of tropical Cairns. If I get the energy, I’ll write some blog posts on our doings up here.

    1. Oh yes you’re in Cairns – hope the weather is truly hot still. I expect it seems odd to be travelling again. Actually the civic authorities aka IBC, Ipswich Borough Council, would probably be okay with dull. I think Ipswich is called a lot worse especially by Norwich City football fans! πŸ˜‰

  4. Beautiful flowers as usual! I was really pleased with my bulb ‘lasagne’ last year (also bulbs from Sarah Raven catalogue). Being a very new gardener I followed the advice and left them for a second year. Big mistake. Very disappointing selection of blooms but I had planted some new ones in other pots which made up for that disappointment. Due to the dreaded lurgy I was unable to plant my bulbs this year in October so last Monday (08/11) I managed to just pop them into the raised beds. Yesterday I found shattered bulbs on the stone flags and some creature or other had dug up the bulbs and actually eaten them!!
    One thing about being in Covid recovery – I am finally reading my way down blog posts in my Inbox!!

    1. Aha, my sister did the bulb ‘lasagne’ last year too and she was very disappointed and this year they’ve decided not to bother. A good show with second year tulips is very difficult to achieve. It’s all about the feeding in the first year after that year’s flowers have finished. I have found it hit and miss, with some varieties better than others at coping with us amateurs. Also, don’t worry about planting your bulbs later than you normally do as traditionally you didn’t plant tulip bulbs until November for the fear of tulip fire. It is a fungal disease in the soil which is less of a problem when the temperature of the ground is nearer freezing. I am guessing it might be squirrels that have pulled out bulbs they particularly love anemones! Gardening is often a series of mini battles with the elements and the pests, and, is a fine example of our endless hope over experience. πŸ˜‰

      1. Thanks, Agnes, I think S Raven actually suggested November for bulb planting but most sources these days seem to say October. I’m not going to replant any more bulbs. I just don’t have the energy. I think you’re right. We have squirrels in our garden and trees. Love your final comment! I’m sure you are right.

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