For three weeks now the bright orange Ballerina tulips have been the most eye catching feature of the garden. They opened while the dark purple Queen of the Night were still tight buds.
Now bright and dark are in full flower together. Each Ballerina bulb has produced a single, large flower on a long, straight stem. The Queen of the Night are more varied in height and size. It looks as though some of the bulbs have sent up two or three stems. How many bulbs did I plant? I wish I’d remembered to make a note of that.
The flowers of the low-growing geum echo the colour of the orange tulips while the dark leaves of the bugle match the flower colour of the purple tulips. Both the geum and the bugle divide readily so I’m gradually multiplying them up to edge the contrasting planting areas.
There are some more subtle flowers in the garden too. Last year I bought one plant each of three varieties from the ‘Cocktail’ range of Geums. ‘Alabama Slammer’ has yellow flowers which look as if they’ve been touched up with red paint. ‘Banana Daiquiri’ is a pretty pale lemon. ‘Mai Tai’ (above) is the most elegant of the three, with dark maroon buds and nodding, peach ruffled flowers. One to divide when it’s ready and to keep away from the orange geums!
Although the garden is colourful at the moment, it’s not photogenic overall. The beech hedge that will eventually enclose this part of the wider garden still looks like a row of sticks, decorated with last season’s brown leaves. The area round the byre is a building site (currently on hold) and the plinth (where we hope to have a greenhouse one day) is decorated with bulk bags of sand. This garden will be work in progress for a few years yet!