Terrific Tulips

I have always liked tulips, but never imagined I would grow many in my garden. Yet somehow I now have quite a few. The different ones I have planted over the years – and add to each autumn – have slowly transformed my spring garden into a burst of colour, from March through to May. Replanting is essential though, as I always lose some to mice, drought or some other factor.

This is the bed at the top of my rockery, which seems to have developed an orange theme… I replanted an orange rose and an orange Echinacea there last autumn, which clearly flower much later but seem to have inspired the new additions…


On the right is Tulipa ‘Prinses Irene’: a single, elegant and fairly tall tulip with light purplish streaks…


And the frilly partner is called Orange Princess… a bit over the top, and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it for being so cheery and a bit of fun! The colours are almost identical to Prinses Irene, so they go very nicely together, especially with the purply Heucheras in between.


Another new one for me this year is Tulipa Greenstar, a lily-flowering tulip that is mostly white with green stripes. I think I like this shape of tulip best and am very pleased I lightened up the colour mix.


At the same time I planted one called Spring Green, but I think I was sent the yellow version Yellow Spring Green instead. It is certainly not ivory, as described, but also not a strong yellow. Still, rather nice.


Here are a few of the others still flowering at the moment, or just going over…

Finally, some old favourites: Purple Dream


… and Eye Catcher…


There are many without names, but that doesn’t distract from their beauty!

Do you grow tulips? What’s your favourite this year?


In a Vase on Monday: Watering Cans

Sunday afternoon was sunny and warm, and I had plenty of time to pick and photograph some flowers for a vase so that I can join Cathy once again for her meme “In a Vase on Monday”.


It is still very dry here, despite showers on Saturday evening, so the big watering cans have already been put to use at times. These two little watering cans found their way into my home years ago – I think the larger one was a gift from my Mum – and have never been put to use, until today, but not for watering!

For the larger can I cut some white Spiraea, which smells lovely. I also cut two pieces of fresh lime green Euphorbia myrsinites and cut off the long twisted stalks. Then I added a single yellow iris, a yellow tulip, and some Lamium…


The iris is Iris reichenbachii, a dwarf bearded variety that often gets overlooked among the other plants, so I will divide it this autumn and put some in a more prominent position. It comes from the mountains of the Balkan region and loves sun and well-drained soil – especially important if it is to survive a cold winter…


The wild tulip, Tulipa sylvestris, is gorgeous and  is supposed to spread, but I will definitely plant a few more of them this autumn…


The smaller can contains some wildflowers found dotted around the garden: cowslips (Primula veris), yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon), a dandelion…


… and on the other side you can see a wild mustard flower (Sinapis arvensis) and nestled at the bottom two golden strawberry flowers (Waldsteinia fragarioides) …


When I brought the vases indoors the tulip closed up immediately and the Spiraea scent became a little fusty, so I will put it out on the patio again.

Take a look at Cathy’s blog Rambling in the Garden to see what she and other “Monday Vasers” have found in their gardens today. (And congratulate Cathy on her 1,000th post!)

Hope your week is full of sunshine and flowers!

What are “Stinzenpflanzen”?


Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Stinzenpflanzen one of those nice long German words – is a new word for me. I came across it in my gardening magazine this month and thought it worthy of a mention here. I have been unable to translate it, as it seems to be a local term only, but I’ll do my best to explain…

“Pflanzen” is German for plants. And in northern Germany and the Netherlands “Stinzen” is an old Frisian word for houses made of stone… from the 16th century on this meant grand houses, for the wealthy only – manors and castles, houses on large estates, monasteries or vicarages, etc. These houses frequently had gardens and parkland attached, and as a sign of wealth and standing the grounds were planted extravagantly with bulbs, tubers and plants grown from rhizomes which had been introduced from other more exotic parts of the world by the plant hunters of the age, or simply from different regions of Europe.


Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum)

Typical for this particular style of planting was spring flowering plants that naturalize, so in some areas of northern Germany the stone houses – “Stinzen” – have long gone, but areas of “Stinzenpflanzen” remain to remind us of the past.


Corydalis cava

The term Stinzenpflanzen includes flowers such as:

Snowdrops, Winter Aconites, Glory of the Snow…


Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa)

… Spring and Summer Snowflakes, Scillas, Crocuses …


Crocus tommasinianus

… Corydalis, Bluebells, Narcissi, the Snake’s Head Fritillary, Star-of-Bethlehem…

Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem (Gagea lutea)

… Lily of the Valley, Arum Lilies and Wood Anemones…


Yellow Wood Anemone (Anemone ranunculoides)

Do you grow any Stinzenpflanzen?


In a Vase on Monday: Spontaneity

There are simply so many pretty little flowers in the garden right now; Primulas, Hyancinths, tulips, Pulmonaria, Epimediums….. and the Mahonia and Blackthorn are flowering beautifully too. But on a whim I chose this simple bunch for my Monday vase…


I had done a few jobs outdoors yesterday afternoon, and before coming in I noticed the evening sun  shining through the Heuchera leaves.


It had been warm and sunny and the Thalia daffodils looked in need of a refreshing drink.


Then I saw that some of the hellebores have already produced wonderful seedheads, which last better in a vase than the flowers, so I decided to add a few. A single Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’) stuck in the middle was perhaps not the ideal choice, but it was done!


Perhaps it was a little hurried this week, but I think it looks fresh and spring-like nonetheless. The blue and white vase was chosen for its very narrow opening which holds the stems in place nicely. The other spring flowers may make it into a mid-week vase. In the meantime they must wait their turn… ;-)


Monday Morning Sunshine

Putting a Monday vase together for Cathy’s meme is always so enjoyable! I can highly recommend it – why not join in! Have a look at Rambling in the Garden to see Cathy’s vase and all the others who have linked in today.