I admit that when I write ‘cutting garden’, it sounds much grander than the reality: a single raised bed of about 150 x 150cm constructed of wooden boards that the builders brought down from our rotting roof last year. I didn’t know what (if anything) these ancient roof boards had been treated with, so the bed was destined to be a cutting patch and not for edibles. I filled it with a chaos of bulbs that had been exhumed during reconstruction of the front garden, as well as from last year’s pots, and was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic return of many of my tulips. It is a wonderful luxury to be able to cut tulips for a vase without the guilt of stealing from the herbaceous borders. One of the returning cultivars is Tulipa ‘Purissima’, which has come back in a much creamier shade white than last year. In-filled with stems of the abundant forget-me-nots that I have allowed to pepper the garden from head to foot, it is as though the spirit of the garden has followed me indoors.
I bought this jar with the sole intention of filling it with armfuls of T. ‘Apricot Beauty’, one of my favourite tulips of last year. Disappointingly, however, none of those returned. When it is not full of flowers, the jar has the more mundane task of holding spoons and spatulas in the kitchen, which have been evicted in the name of aesthetic priorities. (Credit to my husband, who has not complained once about the jumble of upended implements lying on the windowseat.)
I am writing a review of some of my favourite tulips and shall share it with you imminently. Which are your favourite tulip cultivars, and which do you find come back reliably year after year?
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and I recommend following the link to her page to see what spirits of the spring (or indeed, autumn) garden have found their way into vases of garden bloggers across the world.