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Jane’s Journal

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Garden Transformation - May

garden tulips

Here we are, right at the beginning of the garden transformation with some really rubbish discoveries on the plot. I will start with the good bits though (as befits a terminal optimist).

This week in my garden has all been about tulips.

In the border by the front door - along with the herb bed the only part that I personally gardened last year - all the orange and pink tulips have come out, sparking off the purple self sown honesty

garden tulips

Every day the zingingly bright yet subtle colours lift my heart. I am so pleased with how it is looking - the delphinium and paeony foliage working really well with the slight bronze back tones of the flowers.

garden tulips

It is just as well that I am happy with the front garden - for my other job this week has been digging up and burning the tulips in the back garden as they have succumbed to the nasty fungal disease tulip fire Botrytis tulipae.

garden tulips

This isn't the quirky virus that causes pretty stripes in your blooms - it is a nasty, nasty fungus that twists and discolours the leaves and makes the petals look as though they have the pox.

I feel terrible - if feels as though I have neglected all those poor plants - for now I know that we cavalierly planted new bulbs into ground that must have already been infected. I noticed that the leaves turned to straw as the flowers went over but dismissed it as a consequence of a hot summer.

It must have been the early signs and I should have burned all the infected bulbs at that point - instead all the fungal spores spread on the wind - they love it hot and humid - and once in the new beds they set up home in the brand new bulbs.

Now I must eradicate all tulips from the back garden for the next 5 years - and pray that the wind doesn't blow the spores round the house and into the front.

For the next 5 years I shall have to satisfy my tulip fever with masses of pots.

On the upside - did you know that orange tulips smell like freesias? Theses are scenting my bathroom at the moment - the tall elegant one is Ballerina, the shorter parrot Orange favourite.

tulip ballerina

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Comments: 3 (Add)

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Kate MacDonald

I used not to like tulips but now I love them, so can only imagine how frustrating this must be for you.
Perfect orange to go against that aqua/sea green, lovely 'art' photo.

Lisa Koperek

Ahh, Jane. Such a sorrow. Knowing you, you will plant many other spring upstarts and beauties. I planted 200 tulip bulbs last autumn and the deer ate 199 of them. Yup - I have 1 lone tulip this spring. I only hope there are dancing fawns somewhere out back in the woods, and a bloomin' loverly day coming your way. xo


I've also just dug up £300 pounds worth of tulips that had the fire. :-(