Could there be a happier place than right now, in the British Isles, on Thursday 19th April 2018?  Never mind what else is going on in the world, it is 28˚c.  In April.

By twist of fate, I happened to have taken today off as annual leave – yippee!  So at 8am this morning, I was rooting around in the back of my wardrobe for – wait for it – shorts!  There was a tense moment when I couldn’t seem to zip them up.  Then I realised that in my anticipation-of-heatwave-hysteria I was actually trying to put on a 12 year old girl’s denim shorts.  Correct shorts on, I skipped towards the garden, musing that just 2 months ago we were sub-zero in hat and scarves.

If it is confusing for us, just think of the tulips.

Less than a week ago, this was ‘Professor Rontgen’.  Cool as a Cucumber.

Tulipa 'Professor Rontgen' (1)

Do you like his little kiss curl?  I have been visiting him after work every day this week.  This is how he has been shaping up:

Until at 2pm today it just all got too much for him, and he just decided to let it all hang out:

Tulipa 'Professor Rontgen'
Tulipa ‘Professor Rontgen’

The lily-flowered tulips are particularly prone to throwing off their corsetry in the sunshine.  This is ‘Purple Dream’ on Monday morning, all trussed up:

Tulipa 'Purple Dream'
Tulipa ‘Purple Dream’

And this is the scene this afternoon.  Ahem.

Tulipa 'Purple Dream' (2)
Tulipa ‘Purple Dream’

‘Couleur Cardinal’ is red hot:

Tulipa 'Couleur Cardinal'
Tulipa ‘Couleur Cardinal’

Perfectly poised ‘Ballerina’ merely glows in the heat:

And whilst I promised you earlier in the week that ‘Antraciet’ would relax, I did not expect her to go this far.  Here she is on Tuesday, looking good:

Tulipa 'Antraciet' (3)
Tulipa ‘Antraciet’

Wednesday, trying a new look:

Tulipa 'Antraciet' (4)
Tulipa ‘Antraciet’

Thursday, at 2pm:

Tulipa 'Antraciet' (2)
Tulipa ‘Antraciet’

Oops.  Should have worn sunscreen.

For the last few weeks our daughters have been trying to coach Stevie in correct street-talk use of the word ‘Burn’.  It is used in banter (bants) when you have produced a smoking-hot comeback.  Stevie doesn’t seem able to do this without a hint of campness, e.g. ‘call an ambulance [matron], we need the burns unit’.  They will be appalled when they discover I have used the term for the title of this post.


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. 

42 Comments Add yours

  1. annpappas says:

    We have been below 20C today and we had some RAIN yesterday afternoon. We measured 12mm in our rain gauge :)!

    1. Ali says:

      Glad you are finally getting some rain, Ann.

  2. It’s an ill divided country! hard to believe I’m in the UK as well and thankful we are getting 15 deg. 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, that is strange! Feel like we’ve been catapulted into July!

  3. What beautiful tulips! I’m looking out my window now and watching the snow continue to fall 😦 Definitely envying your weather!

    1. Ali says:

      You must have had so much snow by now! I really hope it stops soon…

  4. bcparkison says:

    I love watching everything unfurl in the Spring sun. Just beautiful

  5. Cathy says:

    Love your tulips Ali! The Cardinal one is especially lovely, and Ballerina of course. Glad you are getting some summery weather too – we have had gorgeous sunshine for days on end now, and temperatures in the upper twenties! The garden has been greening up so quickly, I can hardly turn my back on it! A few things have wilted but most things are coping so far. We need some rain again soon though. t has to be really hot to get me into shorts but I have been going barefoot! 😉 Enjoy the sunshine!

    1. Ali says:

      The speed of the greening up has astonished me this last week. I know what you mean about not wanting to turn your back!

  6. Heyjude says:

    Oh, dear, poor Antraciet. Some of mine aren’t liking this heat either and temperatures here are ‘only’ around 17 degrees. I like a warm, dry spring, but let’s save this sort of weather for summer when the summer flowers can have a ball.

    1. Ali says:

      It does feel like we’ve missed out the inbetween bit!

      1. Heyjude says:

        Some of my older tulips are looking decidedly ill. Brown splotches on the leaf and flower which I think is Botrytis tulipae (Tulip Fire). Fortunately they are in pots so I shall just throw these bulbs away and reuse the compost for something else.

      2. Ali says:

        I meant to say in my Dixter post that there were signs of either tulip fire or just stress on some of the tulips. I have noticed the same on my older tulips. I overheard a gardener at Sissinghurst saying that they have noticed the same this year. They are not going to remove the bulbs because those particular tulips had been in the cottage garden since Vita’s time (!) but will ‘watch and wait’ to see what they are like next year – it could have just been stress from the weird weather.

      3. Heyjude says:

        Thanks for that. Maybe I’ll just move the pots out of the way and see what happens next year. I was going to plant all the bulbs into the raised beds, but perhaps that’s not a good idea.

      4. Ali says:

        I think it’s anyone’s guess this year!

  7. I’m not laughing at you, I’m green with envy. Our weather in Quebec has gone from bad to worse to worst. It is a spring that hasn’t sprung. I’m yearning for some sunshine and blue skies, with temperatures in double digits.

    1. Ali says:

      Oh no, that is miserable. I really hope it warms up for you very soon. X

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Only envy here as we try to push past 40F/5C. ‘Ballerina’ is lovely and may be on my list for fall planting.

    1. Ali says:

      ‘Ballerina’ is edging to my top spot. It’s also a reliable repeater, and goes with practically everything.

  9. pommepal says:

    Oh dear poor purple dream it was all just a bit too much, too soon. I hope she isn’t offended as I had to lol when I saw her dejected look. 28 to 30deg is what we have had all this month, above average for us, norm is about 25 in April. Hope it wasn’t just a flash in the pan

    1. Ali says:

      It’s going to stay warm this weekend and sunny next, so I’m a happy bunny.

      1. pommepal says:

        So, hopefully, winter has at long last packed it’s bags and gone…

      2. Ali says:

        And someone forgot to tell spring it was her turn! We’re straight into summer – like Australian seasons!

      3. pommepal says:

        Climate change is happening all round the world

  10. Rupali says:

    Amazing flowers and you have captured them beautifully.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Rupali!

  11. Thankfully not quite so hot here in Donegal Ali. My tulips are surviving.

    1. Ali says:

      Glad to hear it. Some of ours have gone over in record time in Kent.

  12. Rinu Bejoy says:

    What a beautiful post. Flowers are really colorful. I think these kind of posts are really necessary these days, where humans have no time to spend on gardening. Especially the pic of the blooming flower. Gorgeous!!

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you. The colour variations in tulips are incredible.

  13. Your tulips are incredible!! It’s been really warm here too. I just noticed that a number of my irises are about to bloom. That’s really early for here.
    Despite the confused plants, I do love warm weather this time of year!

    1. Ali says:

      It brings about such a sense of happiness and wellbeing, and excitement for summer, doesn’t it. I look forward to your irises. I lust over irises, but haven’t taken the plunge so far. Just a couple that we inherited.

      1. Yes! Summery weather and watching spring unfurl are a perfect reminder of the days ahead. I’ve been checking the irises every day and will take photos once the real action starts.

  14. Hasn’t it been nice, your tulips look lovely, we have some still opening. They look strange don’t they, as they are uncurling.

    1. Ali says:

      They are fascinating. I love watching them in all their stages.

  15. Clare Pooley says:

    I’m a bit late commenting again – building works have meant I’ve had to dig up my lovely spring border next to the house 😦
    The hot weather has meant all our daffs and narcissi shrivelled and the primroses are looking sad. Our plants weren’t as far ahead as yours in the warm south but we still managed to get to 25C which was hot enough for April. Wet and cool again now and the tulips (at least the ones the deer haven’t eaten) are just coming out. You have such lovely tulips; I’m sorry they got over-heated.

    1. Ali says:

      I do hope your building works haven’t been too disruptive. Feel for you with a border being dug up. Enjoy your tulips – I think the weather now will suit them and they will last a bit longer.

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