Although currently still in the midst of winter, now is the time to contemplate and plan your summer garden. There are many alternatives to the traditional summer tub and container planting schemes that we seem to repeat year on year.
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Bulbs for the Alpine Border and Rock Garden
The Alpine Border and Rock Garden provide many of the smaller spring bulbs with the extra attention they truly deserve but do not always receive. Miniature bulbs tend to need far less care than many other alpine plants, and if left undisturbed will naturalise freely.
The Phrase ‘cottage Tulip’ inspires a charming typically English picture, old world thatched cottage, with groups of gay tulips beside the flagged path. It is therefore surprising to that the tulip now so popular and widely grown in this country and with one type baring such a homely name, should not have made it appearance here until the alter part of Elizabeth I reign in 1577.
Before that time it history and travels to Europe are rather discounted and contradictory, although many references appear in Eastern literature and paintings throughout the ages.
By 1629 when the popularity of the tulip was fairly we established, John Parkinson listed one hundred and forty varieties, while later their popularity was increased even more by the gardener to Charles I grew many in the royal gardens, thus bringing them to the notice many fashionable people.
It was Parkinson also who stated that tulips should be planted with-‘one colour answering and setting of another’ that the place where they stand may resemble a peace of curious needle work.’
How true this can still be observed today by comparing the patchwork of planned groups where one variety enhances and shows off the magnificent habit and bold colouring of the next, while indiscriminate planting may bring together two or more varieties which unfortunately all too often cancel out each other beauty.
At no time since they first arrived in Europe have tulips been allowed to grow and break naturally; as far back as the late sixteenth century when people eminent botanists down to the possessor of the most humble back-yard tried to achieve something outstandingly new, and so where caught up I the fabulous “Tulipomania” which took over Europe by storm. Whole estates where lost and won sometimes for no more than the rumour of a freak or a successful cross.
It is stated as recently as 1836 the sum of 650£, was paid for a single new bulb, although by this date the original blind speculation sometimes with goods as well as money had become more rational.
“The Parrots” with their curious elements make their debut in 1690, but only in recent years has their full worth in floristry been fully appreciated. It is in connection with this art, that those recent quaint introductions the “green” varieties have their chief value.
The stately “Darwin” named after that eminent botanist, and much prized for its excellent quality and noble habit, was only placed on the general market in the last few years of Queen Victoria’s Reign. Since that time many varieties have appeared and disappeared, some lasting only a few seasons, while others like in “Baronne de la Tonnaye” have stayed with us for many years retaining their magnificent strength and substance throughout.
During the past years a gradual but definite change has been brought about by the addition of new varieties and new hybrids each season, and the discarding of any with poor stamina and of those surpassed by a new introduction.
Nowadays we can have a flowering season from March until the end of May using all the species and varieties at our disposal from the sturdy but dainty “Kaufmanniana” to the dignified ‘breeders’.
In the following pages you will find our selection from 1960, containing over 350 varieties under the many classifications known today.
WALTER BLOM AND SON, LTD.
July 1st, 1959
The Chelsea Flower Show is always a highlight of the horticultural calendar. We are delighted to announce that, once again, we were awarded a Gold Medal,
Burnby Gardens Tulip Festival
After a long Winter, we look forward to our Spring bulbs emerging from the cold ground. Whether they are the lovely nodding Daffodils, the cheery little Crocus or the majestic Tulips, they always seem to put a smile on our face.
Agapanthus are native to South Africa and were first introduced into Europe during the late seventeenth century. In those early days they were mainly grown in containers in the large conservatories of stately homes and their value as a garden plant was not generally recognised.
If you are planning to add a splash of colour to your garden this year by using some well chosen Lilies, now is the time to decide.
At present, we are still in the grips of Winter but the days are starting to get longer and Summer will be upon us before we know it. Although it can be a challenge to find something different to plant in our Summer Patio Containers each year, the sweetly scented Phlox paniculata are ideal for this purpose.
Begonias are amongst the most rewarding plants for pots and containers.They provide a prolonged and colourful display throughout the Summer, right up to the first frost in the Autumn.
There is probably no other plant that gives the gardener more spectacular rewards than the Dahlia
Ronald Blom was a member of the R.H.S. Tulip and Daffodil Committee for nearly 30 years and a regular judge of the Spring daffodil shows. Included below are his pointers for success at the shows
This year we will be featuring some of the broken or reflected tulips, much prized from the 15th through the 19th centuries. These are not to be confused with the cheap imitation Rembrandts that you see today.
Having grown up with tulips all my life they are for me and I suspect most gardeners, the favourite spring flowering bulb.
After a long Winter, we look forward to our Spring bulbs emerging from the cold ground.
Plant of the week for 12 March 2009
Plant of the Week - Canna Crete
Cannas create a spectacular show in the Summer garden. The bold plants with their vibrant coloured flowers are ideal for planting in large containers or dotted about in mixed borders. Crete is one of a new breed of Cannas which is more floriferous and has a more compact habit of growth than the traditional varieties. Its fiery blood red flowers and shiny deep green leaves will delight you for many months.
Cyclamen Coum Silverleaf
Plant of the week for 12 February 2009 - Cyclamen Coum are amongst the most delightful and rewarding plants to flower in our garden during the Winter and early Spring.
Agapanthus Black Buddhist
Plant of the week for 26 January 2009 - Agapanthus are amongst our most popular plants because they create large umbels of showy colourful flowers which will create a focal point anywhere in the garden.