Opening to the Sun!

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:

Rose Garden mid-April 2018

Ziggy came to join me:

The Ziggles

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 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.

Tulipa hageri 'Little Beauty' (3)
Tulipa hageri ‘Little Beauty’

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:

Tulipa 'Verona'

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.

Tulipa 'Chato'

And ‘Couleur Cardinal’, looking dignified (I love the way the sun is streaming through, showing up the overlapping petals):

Tulipa 'Couleur Cardinal'

‘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.

Tulipa 'Antraciet'

Did you get your first spring sunshine yet? Do you have a favourite place to sit and soak it up?

My aim on this site is to share the sense of wonder I get from gardening and being outdoors. 

If you would like to join the joy, click on the ‘Follow’ button at the end of this post. You will receive an email each time I post a little pop of wonder. 


46 Comments Add yours

  1. Jodi says:

    So much beauty it takes my breath away!!

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you, Jodi! I love your enthusiastic comments! They do make my day. 😘

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I like the brown sugar tulip very much. I admired them in an earlier post of yours after which I set about trying to get some, but they don’t seem to be available here. We have a little spot to sit at the top of our garden, but mostly we sit there on winter mornings! It’s usually to hot at other times!

    1. Ali says:

      I wonder if you can get ‘Cairo’? That is very similar.

      1. janesmudgeegarden says:

        I’ll have a search on line. Thanks, Ali.

  3. If I could join you in your favorite spot in the sun, I’d be there. 🙂 Beautiful blooms. Yes, we have a couple of sitting area with a choice of sun or shade. Right now, I’m looking at a sea of white and icy roads. 😦

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, I’d love to make you a cappuccino and sit down for a chat! I really hope the thaw comes soon.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Those first days of sitting in sunshine in the garden are healing. Your tulips are so distinctive. Each one is a treasure.

    1. Ali says:

      Ah, thank you! And you are right. I feel like I am plugged into a power source by just being outdoors.

  5. What a stunning collection of tulips you have and you have photographed and described them beautifully. So nice to be able to sit outside at long last!

    1. Ali says:

      It really is. I am soaking up every drop of sunshine I can get!

  6. Emma Cownie says:

    Fabulous photos – the tulips in my parents’ garden in Stroud are a long way off flowering – they still have a host of daffodils.

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, everything is so late this year – 3 or 4 weeks, I would guess.

  7. Heyjude says:

    I can see why Little Beauty gets her name as she sure is. I have Ballerinas almost ready to dance and some Brown Sugar and Avignon Parrots waiting in the wings. Luscious photos Ali and I would be very happy to join you in that sunny spot – it’s rather too windy to sit outside here today!

    1. Ali says:

      I’m looking forward to ‘Avignon Parrot’ – I’m growing it for the first time!

      1. Heyjude says:

        Ooh! I wonder which of us will see it open first 😀

  8. Rupali says:

    These flowers are simply divine.
    On Saturday I was surrounded by tulips 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      That sounds amazing. I look forward to your photos!

      1. Rupali says:

        Thanks Alison for your support.

  9. Little Beauty really is gorgeous. I was looking forward to seeing this and it was worth the wait.😍

    1. Ali says:

      Bloomin’ gorgeous, isn’t it?

  10. pattyanneart says:

    Oh so beautiful!! 🌷💕😊

  11. bcparkison says:

    I would love to have been there too. Beautiful.

  12. Gorgeous tulips photos as usual. I don’t have anything ready to post this week because all my time has been used in the garden. Might have to write about all the work done in the sun. Are you expecting a ‘heatwave’ this week like us? (24 degrees on Thursday)

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, we are! It’s lovely to actually garden, isn’t it?

      1. I like gardening in all weather but you feel so much more accomplished in warmer weather. Plants practically grow before your eyes

      2. Ali says:

        Yes, I love coming back to them at the end of the day and seeing the change!

  13. Eliza Waters says:

    I can just imagine the stampede. 😉 We had two nice days this week and it was the same, ‘Quick, get outside!’ Your tulips are SO beautiful, I esp. love the the T. hageri ‘Little Beauty’ …must order some!

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, I’m making a list too. I wish you could order at this time of year because I generally lose my list by September!

  14. Beautiful post, Ali. Love the tulips and doggy is so cute

    1. Ali says:

      He is a fantastic little dog. Very funny.

      1. Ali says:

        Ziggy, Zig, Ziggles, The Ziggles, Ziggle Piggle… you get the picture!

      2. Ahaha, so cute. Ours is Zuzu or Zuzik (Zoe)

  15. betty - NZ says:

    I love all your flowers, but that Beauty is sure a beauty!

  16. Claudette says:

    Really beautiful tulips

  17. Cathy says:

    Little Beauty is definitely my favourite of them all Ali, but they are alll really pretty! I am one of those restless gardeners, unable to sit still for longer than a few minutes, but the sun has been warming here too. 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, I often prefer to be pootling around, but I managed to just sit and soak it up because it had been so long since I’d sat in the sun! I’m glad you are a fan of ‘Little Beauty’.

  18. pommepal says:

    What a lovely place to sit and stare. Your tulips are putting on a spectacular show

  19. Nothing quite like lots of beautiful flowers!


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