When the tulips finally popped, it turned out to be a very good year for them. I planted plenty of tubs and containers back in November, and I put some into the little cutting patch that I have been cultivating at my parents’ cottage. The result has been a riot of colour, admittedly not always the colours that I thought I had planted. I think someone had fun mixing up the bulbs at some retailers this year!
Generally, I favour bright, flamboyant tulips. My soul craves shots of bright colour after the rigours of winter. But I did grow some very pretty paler pinks too. Double Early ‘Foxtrot’ was a particular favourite.
I thought they looked good in front of our new Amelanchier tree. This tree is not the only new addition to the garden this month. I have received an early birthday present, a long-awaited mini greenhouse.
I ordered this from Forest Garden, and I did receive a PR discount. This is a really sturdy little greenhouse, measuring just over a metre wide and 2m tall (essential as I am a very tall person!). It came flat-packed and took us a day to put it together. It has two strong shelves and room at the bottom for a grow bag of tomatoes. There is an auto-vent which pops open and closed when the temperature rises and falls. If I had a slightly larger garden I would have loved a greenhouse which I could actually enter and sit inside, but with only 12m by 5m of space to play with, I had to keep it small.
I think these greenhouses are expensive for what they are (full price is about £550), but they are well made in the UK, and I was impressed with the customer service. For example, my greenhouse door arrived with scratched perspex, and a replacement door has been promised immediately.
I have many, many seedlings to store in this greenhouse, they are crowding out just about every window ledge in the house, so the space is much needed. I am growing cup and saucer vine, cosmos, zinnias, French beans, chard, tomatoes and morning glory from seed, so this greenhouse will be working very hard.
I have already moved in my Lidl pelargoniums and lots of my gardening accessories. I added a row of hooks which I bought from Flying Tiger, and lots of wooden seed trays and old terracotta flower pots which I have been gathering over the last couple of years from boot sales and flea markets.
When it is sunny, I am hardening off some of my young plants, and giving my lemon tree some fresh air. It is very exciting to see our previously bare and concrete back yard (see previous post) turning into a proper little garden at last.