The Cutting Garden is suddenly coming alive following the long dull winter. After what feels like many months of empty beds I can now see the colourful ranks of tulips long before I walk through the gate to the Cutting Garden.
I am so glad that I decided to plant tulips in the Cutting Garden this year. I have always just grown them in my garden beds and tried to cut a few discretely if I wanted some for the house. This year I have more than enough to fill every room with fresh tulips – my only worry is that the warm weather is wreaking havoc with my successional planting plan – even the late flowering Lily tulips are starting to flower now.
Above you can see Blue Diamond, a violet coloured double early tulip that is new to me this year.
This is Rococo, an early flowering frilly parrot tulip. Usually it flowers on a short stem, but this year both here and in the garden it has a very long stem. It is planted here with the later flowering Carnaval de Nice, which I would expect to flower in early May. This year I already have it in flower in the main garden and the buds you can see will be opening very soon.
This week I have planted out the sweet pea seedlings. I already have a small batch planted in the greenhouse bed and there are quite a few spares still to be planted out, so these will go on obelisks in the main garden beds. The batch in the Cutting Garden will be allowed to stay for as long as they are productive, but as soon as they start to run to seed I will take them out and use this support for late climbing beans. At either end of this bed I have planted batches of borage and dill started in the greenhouse in February.
The Cutting Garden beds were originally planned for vegetables, so within the Cutting Garden there are four permanent plantings: two beds of asparagus, one bed of autumn raspberries and one bed with a succession of strawberries. Above you can see the first spears of asparagus – this will be the fourth season for the asparagus beds so we can pick freely until mid June. The season does not officially begin until 1st May, so this is an early bonus for us.
Above is the strawberry bed in the Cutting Garden. I have a second bed where I grow the fruit bushes. The bed above has three varieties (I need to check the names) that should fruit in succession. I have weeded and feed it with fish, blood & bone this week. As the flowers are appearing on the early variety it is time to put a net over the hoops to protect the crop from bird damage.
The raspberries above are an autumn fruiting variety (Autumn Bliss I believe) and are planted in two rows. One row has been cut to the ground and is just starting to resprout. The row that you can see has been left standing and should produce an early crop in July. The canes that were cut to the ground will crop in September, hopefully giving me a summer of raspberries to look forward to (thank you Cathy!). It has just occurred to me that I should probably net this row of raspberries. The birds never seem to be attracted to the raspberries that ripen in September and October, but July is probably a different story. As I do not have a permanent cover for this bed a few net curtains thrown over the fruit should do the job.
This beautiful tulip is Jan Reus, the first of the dark crimson tulips to flower. I also grow this in the main garden where it repeats well.
These lovely ladies are Apricot Beauty, a single early variety. I have not grown this in my main beds but the single earlies tend to repeat well and it is such a beautiful colour that I think I will add it in the autumn.
Finally for today another view of tulip Apricot Impression cut at the weekend. These are photos that I took today of the stunning flowers that were arranged on Sunday. They are still looking beautiful, despite being on a hot sunny window ledge. I could not resist taking a few close ups!
With the tulips in full flow I now need to make sure that the follow-on flowers are ready in the wings. The sweet peas are already in place and the hardy annuals have been sown and I am now starting to plant them out. I will be sowing half hardy annuals in the greenhouse this month and I am laying out the dahlia tubers in trays on the greenhouse staging to chit. I am also planning to start direct sowing seeds of all the hardy annuals for a later crop.
On Sunday I will be posting photos of an arrangement from the Cutting Garden in ‘Flowers On Sunday’ and I will continue to post photos of the progress in the Cutting Garden as the season progresses.
For now I hope you are enjoying all images photos of tulips!