First the Crocus ‘Cream Beauty’ looked great underneath some of the now straw-coloured leaves of the grass Stipa tenuissima.
By 29th March the velvety dark-red Cowichan polyanthus were flowering as well – the only downside to them is the edge of the petals mark slightly as they age, but they are still very beautiful.
They were in full flower by the time the hyacinths and tulips appeared (6th of April).
The hyacinths nearly didn’t appear; I’d noticed the compost at the back of the pot rising steadily a few weeks before and dug down a bit to see what was happening. I think I’d planted some of the grasses above my hyacinth bulbs and the growing shoots couldn’t push through the root ball to get to the surface. I found two hyacinth shoots at the back of the pot and shuffled a polyanthus over to make a gap so they could get through….the other three hyacinths didn’t appear. Next time I’ll plant a little higher in the pot and make sure there is nothing above them; lesson learned when cramming bulbs in a tiny pot.
They were stunning when they flowered (16 April) and the scent particularly noticeable on an evening.
By the time the tulips had coloured up the hyacinths had flopped a bit – you can decide for yourself whether it was a case of I should have staked them, or I was letting them gently soften the edge of the pot (23rd April). Also, why is it that doorsteps with paint flaking off them look fabulously chic in rural France, but a complete mess in suburban UK?
You can just about see the Fritillaria uva-vulpis in that picture above. They weren’t the disaster I feared, in fact worked rather well as small accents – somehow making the reds appear redder in the other flowers.
The tulip ‘Gavota’ are the stars of the show now – with a yellower edge than I was expecting, but a stunning colour combination. I went astray here in my planting again though. I put ten tulips in the pot and only five made it to the top. I planted the bulbs in two layers at the bottom of the pot and it’s likely the lowest layer was just too low.
Pretty chuffed with it on the whole then – the colour combination has worked, I’ve really enjoyed the movement and wispiness of the grasses, there’ve been flowers for nearly two months now including scent, and those Cowichian polyanthus have been proper good doers.