In Bloom

The garden is erupting into flower.

Open bloom of Tulipa sylvestris

Open bloom of Tulipa sylvestris

The beautiful painted buds of the Tulipa sylvestris promptly opened into these sunny stars, soon joined by the first flush of hybrid tulips around the garden.

Tulips Ile de France and Ivory Floradale

Primrose yellow inner petals of Tulip Ivory Floradale

In pots that stand at the front of the house, I planted three new varieties in the autumn; two of which are beginning to bloom – the beautiful vibrant red of Ile de France and the pale buttermilk Ivory Floradale, the outside of whose petals are lightly streaked with pale pink and green, while the insides are a stronger yellow. I believe these flowers will fade to cream as they open further.

Erysimum cheiri 'Blood Red'In one of the narrow borders that outlines the front lawn, the Erysimum cheiri ‘Blood Red’ wallflowers that I raised from seed two years ago are in their element – I almost ripped these out in the autumn to replace them with fresh young plants, but fortunately was a little slow in sowing their replacements. This year they are flowering even stronger than last: a riot of deep luscious velvety redness. The first tulips planted out along this bed from last year’s pots are now joining in the show too.

Tulips and wallflowers beginning to bloom in the front garden

Tulipa Jan Reus scarlet blooms

The flowers of Tulip Jan Reus are a beautiful crimson, that flares in the sun. Inter-planted with these, in complementary tones of yellow and red, are the vivid streaked cups of Tulip Helmar.

Tulip Jan Reus flower crimson

Tulip Helmar flower in red and yellow

They stand out beautifully against those dark wallflowers.

Tulip Barcelona, Euphorbia martinii and Omphalodes 'Cherry Ingram' in bloom

Bee in flower of Tulip Barcelona

The palette is a little more muted in the back garden, where I am pleased that all our fuchsia-pink Tulip Barcelona are returning for their third year, despite our heavy clay.  This clump is the most advanced, receiving the most sunshine, with Euphorbia martinii frothing around their feet.

Euphorbia martinii in spring

This is another stand of the same Euphorbia in another border, beneath the young Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Garnet’. The distinctive red eyes of this euphorbia have yet to develop, but those lovely russet stems are the perfect complement to the emerging leaves of the Acer behind.

New foliage of Acer palmatum dissectum Garnet


The Lamprocapnos (formerly Dicentra) spectabilis has unfurled strings of pink hearts at the foot of the birch tree; elsewhere in the garden, the white form, and red-flowered ‘Valentine’ are both in leaf, to hopefully flower later.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis

Lamprocapnos spectabilis flowersEvery day there is something new to exclaim over in the fast-changing spring garden; with longer lighter evenings to explore the changes. Spring is such an amazing time of year…




17 thoughts on “In Bloom

  1. Good to know that your Barcelona are repeating well, I’m very happy that I ordered them after seeing them in your garden 2 years ago. I love the Erysimum cheiri ‘Blood Red’ wallflowers, I must look for some seed when I’m in the UK, they will be perfect in the cuttings bed.

    • Barcelona are a beautiful tulip, lovely shape and colour. The wallflower seed originally came from Sarah Raven, hope you track some down!

  2. beautiful blooms Sara, it’s nice to see your bee, bees are getting very sparse here I think it’s the amount of wet weather we have had the last 3 years, the longer days are nice, I remember I disliked going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, I hope the evening weather has been good to you, Frances

    • Thanks, Frances. We have a lot of bees this spring, especially super-sized ones. The pulmonaria are permanently buzzing! Hope your bees come back to you soon, along with some sunshine. It’s so nice to have longer lighter evenings, though I must confess I’ve not had much opportunity for gardening in them yet … but soon!

  3. To my shame I have some erysimum seed which I still haven’t sown despite having had it for a year or two. It is a dark red too and I thought it would look stunning en masse – as yours does. D

    • Easy to forget, with so much else to do. A mass of dark red wallflowers does look good though 🙂 especially with contrasting tulips – my Jan Reus blend in a little too well!

  4. Nothing nicer than a big bold bed of wallflowers – heaven scent. Have a few in pots which flowered all winter too and still going, though leggy! Such a gorgeous painted tulip.

  5. The bee looks as if it is appreciating the tulips too Sara. I bet those wallflowers smell fabulous. Have not had any for a year or two and do miss them.

  6. Now your wallflowers are the colour I would have liked my ‘red’ ones to be….. Yours look stunning, mine don’t….. 😦

  7. Love your wallflowers, like Dave I failed sow any last year, am determined not to fail this year! Love Barcelona, glad she is coming back for you. I have the same euphorbia, and it has just started obligingly self seeding nearer the Acer!

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