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It's not over til the tulips go in...

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Adamn Greathead
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 44
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:37 pm    Post subject: It's not over til the tulips go in... Reply with quote

The garlic is planted. Now this may not evoke excitement in your household but it does in this one. Forgive me for displaying child-like amazement but the Japanese onions are sprouting too, in fact they are more than sprouting; they are growing. I don't know whether this is good or not because we have had an extremely mild autumn and everything has been tossed out of balance. But, we are gardeners and, as i keep telling myself, gardeners are open to change whether it be for the better or the worst. Both garlic and onions are alliums so require good drainage and reasonable potash levels to achieve a decent yield. I grow only a small amount of garlic (allium sativum) however we make up for it but planting lots of overwintering onions (allium cepa). 'Thermidrome' and 'Senshyu' are the most familiar varieties i grow of onions and garlic.
All week i have been focused on clearing the garden returning it to a dignified state. An eclectic array of gaudy dahlias has been dug up, cleaned, dusted and stored ready to be awaken from their slumber in a matter of three months. Despite them showing a visual surge of growth outdoors, all cannas, brugmansias and hedychiums have conducted their annual retreat to the greenhouse. One plant which i wouldn't be without is the Brugmansia (formerly known by Datura).
As suggested by its familiar classification- Angel's Trumpet-it has the most elegant porcelain-white trumpet-like flowers which herald the arrival of summer with great euphoria. They originally originated from South America, places such as Brazil providing the ideal growing conditions hence their need for winter protection in this dank climate. Brugmansias divide a nation of gardeners with one half snubbing them as being too exotic and vulgar and the other half classing them as adding a subtle essence to a summer evening. I belong to the latter.
Everyone knows that if you visit a public garden in the middle of May it will be a wash with the vuluptuos silk of the tulip (Tulipa). That is what i intend to imitate here but in more of a confined space of course. For this reason i have planted bulb after bulb all 9" deep with added grit- with our clay soil percolation is at its highest in winter so the grit is what keeps them a solid mass. There is an awesome array of varieties available on the other hand i have stuck with 'Blue Parrot', 'Orange Monarch', 'Gavota', 'Tres Chic' and a Chelsea-bred winner 'China Town'. The latter is an erotic smudgery consisting of teal, rose and emarald all shimmering blisfully together. By no means does the garden set out to replicate the arid slopes of Turkey, Iran or Iraq nor does it aim to achieve the grandeur of parkland gardens. It is manaufactured to keep me busy which, in return, keeps me happy. In all honesty i relish tulip planting time. It is an obvious yet often neglected fact that you will never have two planting seasons the same. Maybe 'Blue Parrot' will be readily available this year but next year it may prove an arduous mission to get it. So it pays to enjoy each bulb you plant and wallow in it. Revel in the reluctance to go back indoors and the temptation to pick up the trwoel once again. Let the tools do the work for you and you just be there. Smile. Shine with gayity at the fact you are conducting an imposing influence upon nature because that is one of the exclusive priveleges of being a gardener...
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Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree

Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 185
Location: Kenmare, Co. Kerry

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Angel's Trumpet Reply with quote

More on this species of exotic. I agree that gardeners do have favourite plants and even though some rage about their beloved beauties, others just gag at the thought of having the dreaded item in their gardens. I'm not a lover of jade plant, poinsetta, most common suburban landscaping compositions which have cliched from overuse. Hence, the leap into the startling florals like hibiscus, rose of sharon, datura and brugmansia. I did have a patch of white datura by the roadside which was fine one year, when nothing but weeds would grow. Next year, it self seeded and grew like stink. The flowers smell, the leaves look an insipid weak green/grey as if fed on sewer soil, the pods are prickly and the tap root ugly like parsnip. The brugmansia is similar, but has pendulous flowers and comes in gracious shades with double varieties too. I was foolish enough to think it a superior plant and bought seeds on ebay based on the attractive growing habitat. Now I'm of two minds of where to put it given that all daturas and brugmansias have hallucinogenic properties. Do I really want to put a dangerous plant in full view and pose danger to anyone foolish enough to eat or smoke or whatever you do with it? For a full view of the varieties, search this catalogue under the name

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