Thursday, 14 November 2013


Tulips 'Couleur Cardinal, 'Havran' and 'Prinses Irene'

I imagine all you fellow gardeners out there have, like me, been busy planting spring flowering bulbs recently?  Back breaking work and a true labour of love!  My love of tulips in particular spurs me on each Autumn to get planting, with my husband and I invariably braving the wind and the rain to get large quantities of bulbs in to the garden we have had to create from scratch.  Each year, as the garden develops in structure and matures in growth, the quantities of bulbs decreases thank goodness.  Our lawned areas were the most labour intensive, with hundreds of Daffodil bulbs being dug in to heavy Kent clay, but this project is now complete and nature has now taken over with the Daffodils naturalising and spreading themselves.
Each year as new areas of the garden have been created, with new beds dug, I have added to the tulip planting.  Last year I particularly concentrated on underplanting in the white rose garden off the kitchen, creating a cool calm spring display of white 'Purissima' and dark 'Queen of the Night' tulips.  This year in contrast is all about creating a riot of colour on the other side of the house, in the long beds leading to the entrance to the kitchen garden.....

Unpacking the two huge boxes of bulbs that arrived from 'Sarah Raven' and 'Parkers' last weekend and the thought of all that planting, was a rather daunting task.  However, fuelled with cups of coffee in the crisp Autumn sunshine and encouraged by a vision of the colour extravaganza ahead of us next Spring, we got the job complete in no time at all!  

Tulip 'Minuet'

Tulip 'Ballerina'

Tulip 'Black Hero'

A bold and brilliantly clashing choice ....and a far cry from my usual choice of cool 'White' in the garden.  Added to this, I shall be filling numerous large pots with the gorgeous slightly muted jewel colours of 'Couleur Cardinal', 'Havran' and 'Prinses Irene' which make up the beautiful 'Venetian Tulip Collection' from 'Sarah Raven' (pictured top) and of course not forgetting my love of white flowers.....Paperwhite Narcissi and White Hyacinths, to force indoors to flower in time for Christmas hopefully!

Do you have a favourite tulip variety you would recommend?  I would love to hear!

Happy bulb planting!

Sophia xx


  1. What a show you will have next spring! Sadly, I didn't get around to planting tulips this year. Will just have to enjoy yours :)

  2. The black hero tulip is stunning. Think its time I started planting. Have a fun weekend