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Love and Frustration

After months of grey skies, the taupe tones of bare branches above and mud everywhere, the technicolor satin of tulips simply dazzle.

But tulips do not just look like the silk turbans of Turks, the romantic image that came with the original bulbs to Europe. Today  they are also bred in flamboyant styles, including the rippled petaled Parrots and fine elegant Lily varieties. Some resemble peonies and come splashed and striped in colour, with blooms toned from cafĂ© au lait, as in 'Cairo', to black and blue "Black Hero" and every colour in-between

But they are the most frustrating bulb to time their flowering correctly. Some years, they are still flowering in June, but this year, with record hot days in March the early tulips are already in flower,  forced by the reflected heat generated by the old walls where their pots range along side the topiaries and look wonderful.

What Goes Where?!

My other frustration with tulips is with the growers. It is impossible to receive all the tulips correctly labelled. Each Autumn I take hours selecting tulips, arranging them in groups with complementary style, but as they come into flower  I realise that again the labelling has fooled me.The combinations are at times "original", but more often than not we are excited by the colour combination that unexpectedly appear. 

But no matter what the weather does to our planning, and the Dutchman who does not remember what pile is which bulb, I love them and cherish them and look forward to trying as many new varieties each year among the regular " must haves"

This glorious sunshine is persuading the tulips to their full beauty over the next couple of weeks. Don't leave it too late to enjoy them!

An Inspirational Lunch

I am delighted that Tim Richardson has accepted my invitation to speak at our annual Literary Lunch. He is without doubt one of the most inspiring garden experts currently working - author, editor of the acclained Landscape magazine, prolific writer and speaker. But his talents extend far beyond the written word - as founder of the unique Chelsea Fringe he has brought a love of the planted world to one of the most heavily populated areas of central London, encouraging those who never believed they could love gardening to have a go, from the smallest window box to the most lavish shop installation.

Hear Tim speak, enjoy and tour of the garden and then a delicious lunch prepared in our lovely Tea Room on Tuesday April 25th. Just call us on 01252 844611.......... 


or book online https://festivalticketkiosk.cloudvenue.co.uk/thegardensliterarylunch

The Glorious Greenhouse

If you have a moment do look into the Greenhouse where the Amaryllis are in bloom. I grew up knowing them as Hippeastrum, a hard name, but Amaryllis, sounds as fabulous as the flowers are.

So often we think of Amaryllis as a forced giant trumpet flower for Christmas, but they are a spring bulb, not truly hardy in this climate but under glass they do wonderfully.

Striped in red with a green tinge is the multiflowering "Papilo", a new edition for us and it is quite mysterious. A perennial favourite "Lime and Lemons", whose colour reflects its name, is huge this year, I truly believe alongside the white, red threaded edged "Picote" it is my favourite.

These bulbs are truly worth while plants to have for a good bulb will give three years of flower.

Easter? Definitely Easter!

This glorious sunny weather is putting us all in mind of the Easter Weekend which is fast approaching. We will be celebrating throughout the Easter weekend, opening on both Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday as well as Saturday and Sunday as usual from 11am to 4.30pm On Easter Sunday, we'll stage our popular Owl Hunt for little ones, with an Easter Egg prize for every child that takes part. The Easter Bunny has been generous with his chocolate this year but don't leave it too late - the chocolate is offered on a first come first served basis and is always really popular! We look forward to seeing you very soon at West Green.