Garden Review 2017 – the Flowers

As February rolls on, and flashes of greenery and flowers begin to appear, let’s take a look back to the summer of 2017 with my top 5 flowers in my garden.

Following on from my recent review of the top 5 vegetables in my garden in 2017, it’s time to share the most successful flowers that grew in my garden last season.

I can’t wait for Spring to really kick off, and for the flowers and lush foliage to return. For now though, here’s a quick fix:

Rose ‘Ernest H. Morse’

Rose 'Ernest H Morse' on flower
The Rose ‘Ernest H. Morse’ is very fragrant, and flowers heavily.

I’m a sucker for Roses, and this Hybrid Tea bush Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’ was one that I picked up from a market stall in Ely, where they were doing a 3 for £15 deal.

Ernest H Morse rose on flower
The Ernest H Morse rose flowers heavily.

This heavily fragrant rose has grown about 3 feet since I planted it into the soil concrete-like clay when I broke my lawn in April 2017. In fact, the day I picked up my keys to my new house, this rose was in my car and amongst the first things I dropped off.

Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’

purple Sweet Sultan 'Mixed' flower
Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ flowers came in a range of colours.

A family friend gave me a load of seeds that she’d saved from the front of her gardening magazines, and amongst these packets were Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’. I’d never heard of them before, so thought I’d give them a try.

A white Sweet Sultan 'Mixed' flower.
A white Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ flower.

I’ll definitely be growing these again in 2018, as they work well with the Cosmos.

Gladioli

A lone Gladiolus stem
Up goes the Gladiolus stem…

I found just one Gladiolus bulb whilst picking the plants to move from my old house to my new one, and in its new home in the fresh border, it performed the best it ever has done.

Pink and white Gladiolus flower
The Gladiolus flower was well worth the wait.

However, this Gladiolus was clearly not the same one that flowered in the old garden in 2013-2016. I hope that that one brought a dash of surprise deep pink colour back there to the new resident.

I have purchased some more Gladioli bulbs, and will be adding more to the border for this year.

Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’

Cosmos flowers in garden
Some of the Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ reached about 4 feet tall.

I’d never grown Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ before, nor any Cosmos from seed, but I had previously purchased a couple of these plants from a garden centre and enjoyed their cheery daisy-like flowers.

This time, I grew them, although I admittedly sowed them so early that I worried that they would be too straggly to come to anything much. They spent too long in their secondary seed modules before planting out.

Pink Cosmos 'Seashells Mixed' flower in sunshine
Cosmos came in many colours.

However, after a few weeks, they had recovered and within a few months had become huge plants that filled my garden with cheery pinks, purples, and white flowers, set upon sturdy green stems and delicate leaves.

Cosmos flower with bee
White Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ with a happy bee

I’ll definitely be growing these again in 2018.

Tulip ‘Mixed Garden’

tulips on flower
My Tulips in pots at my old house in April 2017, just days before I moved.

I bought a pack of Tulip ‘Mixed Garden’ back in 2016, and planted them into a few wooden troughs that I rescued from my late-uncle’s garden when we were clearing his house.

At that point, I was living at my previous house, so I made sure that I didn’t plant them in anything I couldn’t pick up and move with – and I remember driving to my new house with a car boot full of beautiful tulips gently swaying in the rear-view mirror.

They put on a beautiful show in my old shady garden, and they continued that in my new sunny one.

They’re emerging again right now – with their waxy green leaves curling out of the compost. I’m hoping for a similarly beautiful display in the next couple of months.

That’s it!

So, if this hasn’t cheered your February winter blues up, then I don’t know what will.

With bulbs poking through the soil, green buds appearing on shrubs, and even the first blue tit inspecting my as-yet un-used birdbox, it feels like winter’s grip is loosening a little.

There’s seeds sown in my propagator, the shed is tidied, and I’m getting ready for what 2018 can bring.

Will you be growing any new flowers this year? What worked well for you last year? Let me know in the comments below.

As ever, thank you for reading, and happy gardening!

Andrew

Tiptoe through the Tulips

The tulips give a dash of colour to a shady and grey corner of the garden.

The mixed Tulip bulbs that I bought from my local Wyevale back in October, and planted in November, have really turned out nice.

Red and lilac tulips on flower.
The mixed Tulips give a nice bright dash of red, white and lilac in an otherwise part-shaded concrete side of my house.

They’re all in the pots that I rescued from my uncle’s house, and despite their relatively recent planting, they’ve beaten the Tulip ‘Negrita’ bulbs that have successfully grown and bloomed in my garden since I planted them back in 2012.

I’ll be excavating the Negrita bulbs from my garden when I move in a few weeks, along with a couple of other plants, but all will find themselves in a new garden soon. They’re so richly, deep and luxurious looking, that I really want to take them with me. Maybe the move will do them good – perhaps Tulips appreciate a bit of fresh soil?

Tulip 'Negrita' in bloom.
A previous bloom from Tulip ‘Negrita’.

For now though, this mixed display of tulips brings a dash of bright colour in a semi-shady concreted area near my side door – I see them as I leave and return to my house, and they remind me that Spring is well in business, and Summer is heading straight for us.

Happy gardening,

Andrew

The garden Springs to life

The garden springs to life indoors and out.

I came home today to be met by a very cheery Spring time ‘hello’ from some of the bulk purchase bulbs that I’d planted up in pots on 30th November. I think there’s little more cheery than the bright yellow of Daffodils when it’s so cold and not quite warm enough to put the scarf and gloves away for another year.

These were joined by the first of the Tulips that I’d planted the same day. These are mixed, but look to be predominantly red. I expect the, to open in a few more days. All these rain showers and the interspersed boughts of mild weather are ideal for them.

Red Tulips on bud
Red Tulips preparing to bloom in my wooden troughs.

Not to be out-done, the Courgette Black Beauty seeds have germinated, amongst many others, with one racing up a few inches ahead of the rest. It was old seed, but there’s signs of at least one more pushing composted up.

Courgette seedling in pot
Courgette Crisis averted – the first seedling races ahead.

I’ve taken it out of the propogator in a bid to slow it down a bit. Courgette plants get quite large, and seeing as I’m moving house soon, I want this to be easy to move with minimum damage.

Lots more seedlings growing, but I’ll come back to those real soon.

As ever, happy gardening,

Andrew

Buying up bulbs in bulk for a colourful new garden

A trip to the garden centre sees me return home with rather a lot of bulbs…

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post here. Basically, I’ve been busy doing other things – writing in other places about other things – but after a week where I had an offer accepted on a new house (although I’m now waiting on a chain…), I thought that I would take the opportunity with a ton of optimism to go and buy a load of bulbs.

Fingers crossed that the house becomes my new home at some point in the next couple of months, and that the chain completes swiftly, and that my surveyor doesn’t discover that it’s built on a sink hole, between a nuclear reactor and a volcano.

Theres a lot of hoops there, but I thought that I would plan ahead a little. The new house’s garden is blank. There’s no planting areas front or back – it’s all entirely sad lawn, scattered with child play apparatus (slide, swings, see-saw) and well trodden paths that have worn the grass through. There’s also a curiously fenced in patio – which made me wonder if that was for people who wanted to sit outside without feeling like they’re outside, or for people who like to stare over their neighbour’s fence?

I have plans. That fence is coming out for starters.. but with a house completion that will hopefully make that my home by Christmas, it means that buying bulbs now, and storing them in a cool dry place, is probably worthwhile.

Packs of crocus, tulip, and allium bulbs
Today’s purchase of bulbs

Today I picked up a big pot of Daffodil bulbs (one of those fill-a-pot jobs, where they then donate a % to Marie Curie), a bag of 10 mixed Tulip bulbs, a pack of 12 Crocus Vanguard bulbs and a pack of 12 Allium Caeruleum bulbs.

Jumping the gun perhaps, but if everything falls through, or it gets well into December and the chain still hasn’t moved, then I’ll just pot them up and allow them to grow into nice cheerful pots of colour until the chain completes.