Both Gardener’s World and Springwatch were praising the beauty of daffodils on the television last night – and we’ve got some lovely swathes appearing in the local countryside. They really capture the vitality and optimism of spring. So, with the clocks going forward tonight, what other colour could we possibly have chosen for this week’s Home Tones than daffodil yellow?
It’s a fabulous highlight colour – feature walls & doors, chairs, lampshades, cushions and bed covers can all provide that flash of zingy, life-affirming colour without overdoing it. It lifts cream based neutrals & blond wood – and contrasts wonderfully against the much in vogue grey palette. In the case of daffodil yellow, it certainly is possible to have too much of a good thing. But, when used skilfully, it’s hard to beat for impact.
Did you watch any of the Chelsea Flower Show last month? Were you lucky enough to visit in person? We were glued to the screen on every day. We were in agreement that Dan Pearson’s garden should win best in show.
However, it was the flower marquee that effected the most ‘oohs’ & ‘ahhs’ from us. The colourful, perfectly poker straight lupins; the bright, almost radioactive daffodils; the delicate lilies and all the exotic & alien-looking blooms shipped in from around the world.
The sights made us feel slightly inferior about our own outside area. Our flowering dolly tubs that began flowering way back in January have now just about gone over. We’re now thinking about what perennials we can add to extend the colour and structure beyond June.
As we’ve said in the past, we love planting bulbs and seeds that can just be left to flower, die back and reappear again even bigger & stronger the following year. Here are some perennials to plant in the summer that we have our eye on.
- Chinese lantern ‘alkekengi‘ – 200 seeds: 99p, eBay
- Himalayan blue poppy ‘meconopsis baileyi’ Hensol Violet – 40 seeds: £2.99, Thompson Morgan
- Foxglove ‘digitalis’ Woodlanders Mix – 500 seeds: £1.99, Marshalls Seeds
- Teasel ‘dispacus fullonum’ – 160 seeds: £2.49, Suttons
- Noble lupin collection: £14.99, Crocus
Last autumn, we did some forward planning.
It was November to be precise – and we went to our local garden centre and chose a selection of spring bulbs.
We had two of these lovely old galvanised dolly tubs originally used for washing clothes. They make such great planters in terms of looks and the fact that they don’t shatter after a frost.
Their large size & depth also provides the necessary space to have layers of bulbs which allows a succession of flowering and gives continued interest over many months.
The first green shoots appeared in January when the snowdrops popped their noses above soil level.
Snow drops in the snow – an exquisite sight!
They were followed in late February by the crocuses – a wonderful shot of colour after a long, drab winter.
April saw the daffodils in their prime…
…and the tulips arrived in May.
It’s been a real success – starting with the simple beauty of snowdrops and ending with a gorgeous mix of colour, scent and forms. Here’s a list of the bulbs we planted if you’d like to try it yourself. After each layer, add a little extra compost to cover the bulbs before adding the next layer:
Bottom layer (planted first) – Tulips Triumph Mistress of Darkness
Layer 2 – Narcissus Spring Fragrance Mixed
Layer 3 – Crocus Vernus Mixed Colours
Top layer (planted last): Snowdrops Single
Who doesn’t love florals? Whether they’re big & blousey, delicate or sophisticated, there’s a pattern to suit everyone’s taste.
Flowers are famous in art & design; just think of Georgia O’Keeffe’s lilies, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s rose, Claud Monet’s water lillies, Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflowers.
Flowers punctuate life; each year begins with milky white snowdrops before traversing into drifts of crocuses, daffodils, dandelions, bluebells, foxgloves, poppies and buddleia… before it starts all over again. Blooming marvellous!
Curated by H is for Home
Hasn’t this past week been lovely? After a long, grey, damp squib of a winter we’ve been enjoying the ever-lengthening, brighter, warmer days.
We’ve just spent quite a lot of time in the garden, sweeping away the rotting leaves and moss. We plan on making a trip to Gordon Rigg’s just down the road and investing in a few different types of spring bulbs.
Our garden is fairly small, mainly set with cobblestones that we’ve filled with plants in a mix of terracotta pots and galvanised metal containers. We have a few raised beds that we’d like to plant up with bulbs, with the promise of orange and white late-summer/autumn flowers appearing year after year.
Our soil is acidic and the beds are short on sunlight so we’ve had to research our floral options very carefully. Here’s what’s made our short-list…
- Eucomis autumnalis: £6.99 for 2 bulbs, Suttons Seeds and Plants
- Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’: £3.99 for 10 corms, Crocus
- Large-flowered Gladiolus ‘Peter Pears’: £5.75 for pack of 25, Spalding Bulbs
- Spider lily ‘Zwanenburg’: £12.99 for 10 bulbs, Thompson & Morgan
- Japanese Anemone ‘Blanda’ white: £9.99 for a 1 litre pot, Jersey Plants Direct
image credit: JARL Ohashi
Spring is finally springing so we’re looking forward to the ornamental cherry tree in our garden to begin flowering in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, have a look at the fantastic colour range of the peach blossom on the trees in this orchard in Japan.
Share your colour combos for this week below.
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