In a Vase on Monday: Windfallen

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Here I am, rushing in at the last minute and skidding to a halt with my simple offering for Cathy’s weekly gathering of vases. I wasn’t sure I’d have anything to show you but I quite like these spare, pared-back tulips and hope you do too. They’re not looking as they should. Sadly, they were victims of the storm last week – snapped off before they’d reached their glorious flowering prime. I couldn’t bear to compost them, so I popped them in some water to see if they’d recover and colour-up. Their colour isn’t developing – these are Princess Irene and should look like this – but they’re interesting nonetheless. I’m fascinated by the way the stems have gone all curly. Happily there are other tulips left standing in the garden and they should be looking gorgeous in a couple of weeks.

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The tomato seeds I planted on 13th March are growing merrily on the kitchen windowsill and the greenhouse is full of mini summer-blooms-in-the-wings. It fills my heart with gladness to witness their perky growth and I’ll fill any spare moments potting on over the next few weeks.

We visited Great Dixter last week. It’s one of those magical places, with an organic design feel, and all rustic with beautiful old buildings (part of the house dates from Tudor times) and glorious gardens. I’ve been once before for a one-day course – Succession Planting in the Mixed Border – which was a Christmas present from David several years ago. I remember it as a brilliantly inspirational day with a talk by head gardener Fergus Garrett in the great hall of the house followed by a tour around the gardens with him and the other gardeners and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. It was wonderful to wander around the gardens and see it all again. Even though it’s early in the year, there was plenty to see and gardeners to chat to. One guy was up to his knees in mud tidying up the prehistoric-looking gunneras just starting to emerge from their winter sleep; others were planting out in the cutting garden and potting on seedlings. It’s a generous place where everyone is keen to share in their joy and knowledge of plants and gardening. It’s the kind of place that fires you up and fills your head with ideas.

 

 

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28 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Windfallen

  1. Tomato seedlings and flower seedlings in the mini greenhouse here. Great Dixter looks absolutely gorgeous, it’s somewhere I’d love to visit one day. In the meantime I’m enjoying your photos, they’re brilliant. CJ xx

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  2. I wonder if your Princess will eventually put her proper clothes on? As you say, she looks stylish regardless of whether she does or not. Those curly stems, however, are the star of the show – how on earth do they do that? Thanks for sharing them and your visit to Great Dixter

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  3. The stems are interesting Sam. I picked a bunch of my allotment tulips and I’m enjoying them on the kitchen table but the stems also curled when I put them in water. A sign of stress do you think? The T. purissima in the garden are looking very promising and they have been in the ground and flowering every year for about 10 years. Lovely to see the bones of Great Dixter. I hope I haven’t been over-ambitious with my flower seeds. I’ve decided not to grow parsnips, carrots, celeriac or tomatoes at the allotment this year in order to make room for more flowers.

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    1. That’s interesting, Sarah. I’d assumed it was because these tulip stems hadn’t developed properly yet but if yours do it too then it could be stress. I’ve sown loads of flower seeds too. You can never have too many 🙂 – I figured I can give them to friends if I run out of room.

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  4. Aren’t those curly stems amazing? I always scroll through the photos of a post first before reading and I was thinking to myself that I want learn how to make curly stems. If you find out, please do share. I have finally planted some seeds last weekend and placed them on the sill of our French doors. That was silly, the dog dug them up and now I no longer know what is what. It is all cutting flowers so I guess it doesn’t matter and maybe I’ll be able to identify the plantings (I am quite hopeless in the garden department). I hope you don’t mind me asking but what material is your kitchen work top? I love the smooth shininess of it, just what I want for my new kitchen. x

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    1. I’m not sure what causes the curly stems but Sarah has suggested it could be stress, which it could be. Maybe some tulips do it and others don’t. I laughed at the thought of your dog digging up your seeds (sorry). You may end up with some lovely combinations. Of course I don’t mind you asking about the worktop. I’ll email you the details.

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  5. Oh you are so lucky have Great Dixter so close, we have visited there a few times and loved it. We also so Fergus talk about Great Dixter at a local gardening club which was very enjoyable. It’ such a shame after waiting all winter to have some tulips damaged, hopefully the others will reach their full potential! Sarah x

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  6. Princess Irene is such a gorgeous tulip, it’s great you could salvage even a portion of that beauty, Sam. The curly stems are fascinating! I overcome the lack of gardening in winter by starting seedlings under lights, then am doomed to be constantly transplanting as they grow. It will be great to start putting them out soon. The Great Dixter photos are so charming, I wish I could visit. Flower succession has been one of my goals in planting, it’s great to have something always blooming.

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  7. Your photos of the GD gardens show what a mild winter we’ve had, Sam. I went in March a few years ago; the snow cleared the day before the visit (it was a blogger meet up just before the gardens opened for the season). We were able to wander around but there was nothing growing in the long border, just a few hellebores sprinkled around the house. I really want to see the garden in the spring when all the tulips are out so I’d better put a visit back on the agenda! (Autumn is great too – so much growing you practically have to fight your way through some of the gardens!)

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    1. The tulips will be out very soon – there were big fat buds when we were there! It’s a wonderful place. We should meet up there some time 🙂

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  8. I’ve never seen any flower stem curl up like that, how interesting. I have had two tulips bloom so far in my garden, with four buds almost ready to open. I hope it happens soon. I loved seeing that garden you shared; it looks very springlike, almost summery to me already. I hope you’re having a good week so far, Sam.

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  9. I always grow tulip Princess Irene (see my team), that must have been some storm you had. Great Dixter is one of the great gardens in this country and Fergus has managed to maintain or even improve its reputation since Christopher’s death.

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  10. We visited Great Dixter on Sunday without realising they were holding a Plant fair. Fergus was directing the cars into distant fields. I was fearful for crowds in the gardens but they were deserted. I’ve never seen the spring meadow plantings as fine as this before. It was nice to be able to walk on clear paths before everything fills out and spills over. My newly planted daffodils were trashed by that storm too.

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  11. A simple vase of tulips is probably my favourite of all. I’m not mad about them in the flower beds…they never do well for me so they are the one flower I happily spend money on.
    I can almost smell your little tomato plant. They smell so green, don’t they?

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  12. Tulip ‘ Prinses Irene’ is one of my favourites, such a lovely colour and I love the way the top of the stem is purple.
    I would love to go to Great Dixter at this time of the year, what a treat.

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    1. The P Irene tulips still standing are flowering now but there’s one that looks very odd – green stripes. I wonder if it was because the flower buds came up super-early or whether it’s a virus. I must take a pic of it.

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  13. What a shame about the storms blowing down the flowers. Your rescued tulips look nice, at least they will have a moment of glory. We have been so fortunate in central Scotland, no storms since the daffodils flowered, so many springs I have seen the poor things battered to the ground in high winds and pelting rain. I am greatly enjoying their perky jolliness this year X

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