Welcome to In A Vase On Monday when I am once again linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to join in with her challenge to find something from the garden to bring into the house every week of the year. With first easter and then last weeks very sad funeral I have missed a couple of weeks, so I am very pleased to be back with a vase from garden today!
April is the month when my house once again starts to resemble a flower shop! The tulips are blooming thick and fast with new ones opening every day. Whilst they look absolutely stunning in the borders I do like to make sure that I get my money’s worth out of the ones that I grow as crops in the Cutting Garden and that means filling vases on a regular basis.
This weeks vase is made up of the single Triumph tulip Negrita which is a stunning velvety purple, together with a few branches of cherry blossom.
I have just one pink cherry tree in the garden, which always fills me with joy when it is flowering in April. I never get any of the fruit – the birds take all the cherries, but I am happy to let them as long as they leave me the blossom!
I picked these tulips on Saturday when they were barely showing any colour. I find that this is the best time to cut them – the stems will lengthen in the vase and the flowers will open gradually over a few days – picked like this I should easily get a week out of them in the house and possibly longer. If I wait until the flowers are fully open before cutting they fade very quickly once brought into the warmer temperatures indoors.
As these tulips were grown specifically for cutting I lift the tulip with the bulb attached and simply dispose of the bulb once I have cut it from the tulip stem. I grow a selection of bulbs every year to keep me in tulips for the house throughout April and early May. I like the flowers of these tulips grown for cutting to be of the best quality and the only way to guarantee this is to plant new bulbs every year. The other advantage of removing bulbs in a Cutting Garden is that it quickly clears the space to plant more flowers – otherwise I have to wait for the foliage to die back completely before I can replant the area. This year I used some empty raised beds for my cutting tulips and that has been very successful – the tulips were not water logged over the winter and it is very easy to pull the bulbs out of the soft soil.
Of course not all my tulips are replanted every year – most of my tulips are planted in the garden borders and I choose varieties that I know will flower well in future years. When I notice a border is starting to look lacking in tulips I make a note to replant the area in the autumn.
This spring is proving to be very busy – after missing all of my annual autumn garden clear up because of my injured knee I now have all the borders to work through, clearing perennial weeds that have taken hold through this warm winter, pulling out grass that has crept in from the uncut edges, cutting back and generally tidying. Now that April is here there is also an explosion of annual weeds going on making the whole exercise feel much harder. Still there is a great sense of achievement every time a little bit more of the wilderness is cleared and seeing all my lovely plant friends starting to reach out to greet the spring makes it all worthwhile.
I will not be here next Monday as I am spending a few days in, hopefully, sunny Barcelona. I will try to pop back before then to share some more photos of the many tulips I am enjoying both inside and out. Also I have a few lovely books that I would like to tell you about and I need to share some photos of the beautiful narcissi flowering in the garden before they all go over. The other big news of the day is that I found the first sweet pea flower in the greenhouse today! With sweet peas in flower inside and sweet pea seedlings ready to plant outside it must be time to write the next instalment of my sweet pea series.
Finally for today I must thank Cathy for hosting – I hope you will pop over to her blog to see what she and the others have found today. If you are a blogger and feel inspired to join in simply include a link to Cathy’s blog in your post and leave a comment on her blog with a link back to your post – it is certainly a case of the more the merrier for these Monday vases.
Do you have favourite tulips that you like to grow – I would love to hear about them!