At White Flower Farm, we welcome a whole lot of holiday makers every year throughout the rising season, and we invite them to take leisurely strolls round our show gardens. However as a result of not all of our prospects and fellow gardeners are in vary of the farm, and since even those that go to may like an occasional behind-the-scenes peek at what’s taking place right here, we’re introducing What’s Going On within the Backyard?, a sequence of occasional emails dedicated to offering glimpses of what’s blooming in our borders, together with notes concerning the actions in our gardens and greenhouses. We hope you’ll get pleasure from this opportunity to backyard alongside us.
To start out the sequence, we needed to start with this 12 months’s Tulips, which had been spectacular. Within the midst of a chilly and infrequently gusty spring, these jewels of the early season taught us all one thing about magnificence, resilience, and style.
The farm’s head gardener, Cheryl Whalen, and her employees at all times incorporate loads of Tulips into show beds, however new this season, we had the pleasure of watching the Tulip trial backyard we planted final fall come to life. Final October, our horticulture crew and gardening employees labored collectively to plan and plant the backyard, and the bulbs had been specified by neat, tidy rows, every fastidiously labeled. The aim of the trial was to develop every selection we provide – roughly 130 in whole – and watch the person varieties develop, examine their traits together with shade, peak, and blossom time, and make sure their performances had been in keeping with what we promote. The trial additionally allowed our employees to conceive of recent Tulip combos. The earliest Tulips started blossoming in early to mid April. Mid-season varieties got here on sturdy shortly after, and the Tulip season ended with a grand finale in mid-Might. Because the trial backyard demonstrated, planting an array of Tulips with numerous bloom occasions permits gardeners to orchestrate waves of shade, a rolling sequence of bloom at a time when the backyard – and gardeners – are starved for shade.
This 12 months’s unusually cool spring meant the Tulips had been pressured to endure a tough frost, and all of us saved our fingers crossed that evening. Within the morning, the vegetation had been bowed down and seeming to shiver, their stems and foliage exhibiting the alarming watery look that signifies potential tissue injury. When this occurs, the secret’s to depart the Tulips undisturbed. Touching them might trigger tissue injury that might considerably worsen the consequences of the chilly. On this case, the solar’s warmth quickly warmed the ambiance, and by that afternoon, the Tulips had been standing themselves again up by levels. Crops subjected to a freeze might not at all times rebound, but when the period of the freeze is brief, they’re typically capable of shake it off. The Tulip present went on, the flowers bringing brilliant pops of beautiful shade to the panorama. The spectrum of Tulip colours, sizes, and kinds – from traditional goblets and Parrots to fringed and Peony kinds, made the trial beds pure pleasure to behold, they usually had been a magnet for guests to the White Flower Farm Retailer and show gardens.
Elsewhere across the farm, Tulips had been showcased in a wide range of ways in which provide loads of inspiration for residence gardeners. Cheryl and her employees at all times plant bulbs in strategic locations all through beds and borders, and this 12 months was no exception. Within the beds nearest the shop, Tulips had been densely planted amid Daffodil bulbs. When the flowers emerged collectively this spring, the impact was a confetti of spring shade.
Alongside the Lloyd Border and in different show beds, clusters of colourful Tulips had been planted out amid present shrubs and rising perennials, making a river of brilliant, daring shade to attract the attention alongside. In some circumstances, Cheryl and her employees planted Tulip bulbs amid perennial ground-covers akin to Myosotis sylvatica (Overlook-Me-Not), Ajuga (Bugleweed), or Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ (Creeping Jenny).
Tulips had been additionally positioned in entrance of rising shrubs akin to Viburnum carlesii Spice Child™ and Cotinus coggygria Winecraft Black® (Smokebush), so the rising foliage or flowers may function a pretty backdrop. The colours offered by floor covers and shrubs heighten the impact of any Tulip show, making a layered look and vigorous shade contrasts.
Tulips, usually talking, must be handled as annuals. Whereas some varieties, together with Species Tulips and Perennial Tulips akin to Darwin Hybrids and Impression Tulips, might flower for as much as three years, the bulk shouldn’t be relied upon for repeat bloom in subsequent springs. On the farm, we’re within the means of digging up and composting all of this spring’s Tulips and ordering the varieties we might be planting this fall. The enjoyable of this course of is that every autumn brings the chance to attempt new varieties and shade combos. Eradicating spent Tulips from the spring backyard additionally opens up naked spots that may be full of annuals or perennials that add a special sort of magnificence to the backyard because the season progresses.
What are we planting within the trial backyard instead of the Tulips? Masses and a great deal of Dahlia tubers. And we’ll have loads to let you know about that because the flowers start to emerge in late summer time.