Something magical happened on Saturday: the sun came out! And stayed out!
You could hear gardeners around the country stampeding to their back doors to get their wellies on!
But once I’d had a little potter around, a bit of weeding here and there, I decided I just had to sit in the sun. Here, in my favourite spot:
Ziggy came to join me:
It’s my favourite spot because I am nestled within my rose garden, surrounded by treasures.
I could hear the birds singing, the bees buzzing, the occasional light aircraft (a sure sign of summer) and the odd alpaca fart. It was heavenly.
And as I sat bare-armed and turned my face to the sun, so did the tulips. It was incredible how quickly they opened.
Here is ‘Temple of Beauty’, first before the sun reached her, touched with dew. As soon as she felt the touch of sun on her petals she flicked them open. As the morning progressed, they relaxed, opening wider and wider.
In my last post I promised more to come from the little species tulip, Tulipa hageri ‘Little Beauty’. This prolific tulip was planted a year ago and has already doubled in number. In the second picture, I love the minaret shape of the closed petals:
And then the petals relaxed further to show the startling centre. It reminds me of a mandala, with its points of symmetry and light radiating outwards. I just love the colour combination: dramatic black anthers, an ultraviolet star with a white halo, and glowing raspberry pink petals.
This next series is the lily-flowered ‘Marilyn’. She starts off creamy, then gets the faintest pink brushstroke down each petal. Once opened, she will pale to ivory then white, and the pink smear will deepen.
The creamy ‘Verona’ is coming into its own, with luscious layers of soft petals:
In my recent post, where I tried to select my Top Ten Tulips, ‘Brown Sugar’ pipped ‘Ballerina’ to the post for my favourite orange. Here they are together:
What do you think? ‘Ballerina’ will develop very shapely curves, being lily-flowered, but ‘Brown Sugar’ has wider colour variation, with burnt orange and caramel in addition to warm peach, tangerine and a flush of magenta. Oh, I just love them both.
‘Showcase’ is still stealing the show for the purples.
Here is ‘Chato’ looking plush.
And ‘Couleur Cardinal’, looking dignified (I love the way the sun is streaming through, showing up the overlapping petals):
‘Antraciet’ is looking unsure, but she will warm up. Her petals will open out a little, giving a cherry translucence. I will keep you posted.
Did you get your first spring sunshine yet? Do you have a favourite place to sit and soak it up?
This post has been shared with May Dreams Gardens Bloom Day. Visit to see gardens around the world on the 15th of the month!