Home Tones: Daffodil yellow

daffodils on a tray on a tablecredit

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.

daffodil yellow painted open doorcredit

Yellow painted kids' bathroom with yellow tile strip in the shower enclosurecredit

Yellow kitchen cabinetcredit

Pair of yellow chairs in front of a firecredit

Twin beds with yellow pillows in an all-white bedroomcredit

Yellow painted pantry and kitchen unitcredit

Gimme Five! Perennials to plant in the summer

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five perennials to plant in the summer

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.

  1. Chinese lantern ‘alkekengi‘ – 200 seeds: 99p, eBay
  2. Himalayan blue poppy ‘meconopsis baileyi’ Hensol Violet – 40 seeds: £2.99, Thompson Morgan
  3. Foxglove ‘digitalis’ Woodlanders Mix – 500 seeds: £1.99, Marshalls Seeds
  4. Teasel ‘dispacus fullonum’ – 160 seeds: £2.49, Suttons
  5. Noble lupin collection: £14.99, Crocus

Spring bulbs

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Last autumn, we did some forward planning.

packs of spring bulbs

It was November to be precise – and we went to our local garden centre and chose a selection of spring bulbs.

dolly tub to be planted with 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.

spring bulbs being planted into a dolly tub at the beginning of November

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.

shoots from snowdrops coming through the soil in early January

The first green shoots appeared in January when the snowdrops popped their noses above soil level.

snowdrops in the snow in late January

Snow drops in the snow – an exquisite sight!

Multi-coloured crocuses flowering at the beginning of March

They were followed in late February by the crocuses – a wonderful shot of colour after a long, drab winter.

Daffodils flowering in mid-April

April saw the daffodils in their prime…

Spring bulbs flowering continuously from January to May and beyond

…and the tulips arrived in May.

Tulips with daffodils flowering at the beginning of 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

Etsy List: Blooming Marvellous!

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'Blooming Marvellous!' Etsy List curated by H is for Home

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!

Blooming Marvellous!
Curated by H is for Home

Gimme Five: Spring bulbs

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selection of 5 spring bulbs

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…

  1. Eucomis autumnalis: £6.99 for 2 bulbs, Suttons Seeds and Plants
  2. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’: £3.99 for 10 corms, Crocus
  3. Large-flowered Gladiolus ‘Peter Pears’: £5.75 for pack of 25, Spalding Bulbs
  4. Spider lily ‘Zwanenburg’: £12.99 for 10 bulbs, Thompson & Morgan
  5. Japanese Anemone ‘Blanda’ white: £9.99 for a 1 litre pot, Jersey Plants Direct

Tuesday Huesday: Japanese peach blossom

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orchard of peach trees in blossom in Japan
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.

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