Category Archives: Plants flowering in late April

Are your Bluebells delicate English or Spanish thugs?

 

 

The Spanish bluebells are often found growing in our gardens and the English  variety, the native bluebell, on common land, verges and mainly in

English bluebells

English bluebells

woodland.

There are very noticeable differences.

1. The colour and size of the bells. The English flowers are generally a darker hue, smaller and more refined, with curlier tips.

2. The stems of the English bluebell are thinner allowing the top few bells to gently arch over.

3. The strap like leaves are much narrower and less numerous on the  English variety.

4. The white fleshy bulbs of the Spanish bluebells can be perfect balls the size of a large pickled onion or oddly shaped like a spring onion or a mini  butternut squash. The Enlish bluebell bulbs are more the size of silverskin onions.

5. Finally the beautiful and distinctive scent of the English bluebell.

The Spanish ones don’t smell.

(You may well come across hybrids that are just there to confuse you!)

Of course we all know which one we like best!

Of course we all know which one we like best!

Tulips – Success

Every year in August the bulb catalogues pour through my letter box, sending my mind into a frantic lather of indecision.  So many beautiful tulips to choose from.  Do I choose tall or short, earlier or late, multi coloured, lily flowered, brash smug, over the top gaudy, statuesque, species or plain.  Could a tulip ever be plain?

I love buying tulips for my clients.  However it is now, at this time of year, the results of my many sleepless nights in Autumn, are on display for all to see.   I turn into someones driveway and I’m either genuinely bowled over and proud of the delightful scene that beholds me or I am consumed with cringing thoughts…at the clashing colours, way too big blooms, did I really choose that? Honestly,  they must have got my order mixed up with someone else’s??!

So there we are, I have owned up to sometimes getting it wrong and I’m sure I’m not the only one. However, as I now search through my photo collection, I hardly have any records of my failures?

Year 1, I think I got it right

Year 1, I think I got it right

Year 2. Planted white and yellows but hadn't removed previous reds, oops

Year 2. Planted white and yellows but hadn’t removed previous reds, oops

 

Year 3. Yellows and reds moved to back garden, New pink and last years white have come back

Year 3. Yellows and reds moved to back garden, New pink and last years white have come back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4, yes my best combination yet. Tulipa Havran and Ballade

Year 4, yes my best combination yet. Tulipa Havran and Ballade 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those red tips emerging are probably peonies

Very excited to see the early tips of Peony mlokosewitschii

Very excited to see the early tips of Peonia mlokosewitschiiIMG_1606

Which by the end of April will look like this!

Now is also the best time to start staking perennials as you see the new growth emerging and recognise the plants that require extra support. Do this while the ground is still wet and it’s easy to push sticks into the ground. We use a combination of hazel sticks, willow and string.

I will be posting photos and details of plants that need staking as we move gently towards Spring