On a whim last October, I ordered seeds of Tulipa sprengeri; seduced by images of this scarlet species tulip, which is said to naturalise and self-seed well, although bulbs are not commonly available.
I sowed the seed into two pots and placed them outside. One pot I left to overwinter beside the greenhouse, while the other I brought indoors onto a warm windowsill in the depths of winter, then recently moved back outside again, exploring the premise that alternating periods of heat and cold would help their germination.
While the indoors-outdoors pot is still barren, a couple of weeks ago I spotted that the pot by the greenhouse showed several small green shoots pushing their seed case up towards the sky.
I’m excited at watching these tulips germinate. How interesting it is that those left to their own devices have won the race against those subjected to false conditions. It will be a few more years before these tulips are flowering – this is certainly slow gardening – but no less thrilling for that.