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Welcome The New, Molly Bloom Tulip

When I go all the way back to my youth, way back, the first bulb I ever bought and planted was a hyacinth. In context, my pocket money was 10 pence, the bulb cost 17 pence and on that day I had already spent 3 pence on sweets. That’s just the way we rock and rolled it back in the eighties. The flower shop owner lady in question let me off the 10p shortfall.

I remember my Dad teaching me how to force the hyacinth and in a pot with the tip peeping just out of the soil. We wrapped it in a plastic bag, elastic band to hold it in place and put it in to the darkness and the heat under the stairs.

That bit, the waiting for its hardened green point to peep out was, for me, like waiting for Santa to arrive. Sometimes I checked it more than twice a day, just to see if it had grown even a little. The funny thing is that naive-esque anticipational [now] trait has never left me. It still makes me smile see the results. I’m simply a little older.

After it had flowered, I remember planting it outside in the front garden and my brother telling me that ‘manure’ was good for fertiliser. Being that we lived in cow-less suburbia, this at the time 6 year old went around collecting dog poo to place on top of it. Yup, I know…. now.

To more recent times, when the call came in to go to the Dublin’s Botanic Gardens to meet the ex Head Designer of The Keukenhof, The Ambassador to The Netherlands and Dr Matthew Jebb ~ pause ~ the who’s who of the horticultural world and the kind of folk you could only wish to have on your pub quiz team. Round 6. Category: Horticulture ~ I of course was there in a jiffy.

I have to admit, it excited me. New plants don’t happen every day. More than that, the last bulb to be named after someone Irish was former President of Ireland Mary McAleese. That’s the level we’re pitching at here. Also it’s not boil in the bag bing popcorn. If you get me, you can’t just make nature make another one. I of course accepted the invite.

The Sodshow, the garden radio show I do will explain the story in full with all of the gardeners Top of The Pops voices on record

My advice, go to The Botanic Gardens this month and see the blank soil bed Jan Guldenmond speaks of and photograph it. Then go see it the following month on the same date and so on until it comes into flower. I promise you, if you can picture my opening paragraphs, you will not be disappointed.

If you can’t make it don’t worry, I’ll be keeping a close eye on it for you.

More – Bulbs: Plant now for Spring colour

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May In The Garden


I’m slightly delayed on getting this one out…. but, I’m sure you possibly lazed up the sunshine last weekend and now you want to get the garden grooving.

Since my April In The Garden Post, plant life has gone mental. Thank God. Temperatures are well up… in fact I think I got sunburnt yesterday. The grass was cut twice in the last two weeks and thats only the fourth cut this year. Makes a change considering the amount of gardens I’m working in where plants have literally got blasted by the frost and low temperatures and are now being repalced….

So what will I be doing in my garden this month….

My lettuce is being used and thrown in with some sorrell… My spinach [image 1] is just about ready for cropping. I won’t be cutting an entire head of it… more just selecting a few leaves as required. The turnips on the other hand is a totally different story but you can see from the image above [image 2] that the first seed leaves [now purple] are ready to drop off and the plant is going to get ready to produce me something nice to cook. I grew mine in the old wheelbarrow.

In the garden everything is bumper. The daffodils have gone out of flower and are heading towards die back… I’ll give it another week or two before I run the lawnmower over them. I’m also on the last dregs of the tulips in my garden [image 2] but they were amazing while they lasted. In their place I have the Prunus amanagowa  cherry tree [image 3]  and also my edible cherries [image 1] and they are blooming. Not much to do there except wait for the fruit.But with them come the apple trees and that’s definitely one fruit I am looking forward to.

In other herb news the bay [image 1] is in flower, the fennell despite all the frosts are back with new shoots and the rosemary is also producing some nice blooms. You couldn’t really ask for more. Assuming you followed my bits of advice over the last few months you should be good. But do make sure and give them a cut back if required… grabbing a clump for the cooking usually helps this along.

My chives are something I may divide up, but for the moment they are getting a regular haircut. I’ve not had much luck growing them from seed… but I’m going to put that down to the slugs 🙄 The starwberrries on the other hand are growing well but are a while off producing fruit. That said it may be a bumper crop for my rhubarb this month. Pie anyone ?


The biggest problem with this rain and warm temperatures though is the weeds. They are still plants, they just don’t know that we don’t like them 😉 In controlling them, I like to strike a balance between the back break and so I weed by hand in between my food crops and tend to spray in between my shrubs and trees. I think thats fair.

I’m going to continue sowing random bits of veg and herbs as the mood takes me – but I need to be careful I don’t end up farming with the amounts that I am growing. That said my neighbours seem to like me that little bit more and I have literally tons of window boxes and planters to get ready this weekend. I am going to be so busy.

Outside I just need to keep things watered… every evening this week I’ve been soaking my seed trays but then it has been raining while I’ve been sleeping [?] and I have an endless supply with my two water butts by my side.

Did I miss out on anything…. ? Leave a comment and let me know. Other than that happy gardening. 😀

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garden bulbs tulips
simply stunning

or ‘Tulipa’ – at this moment you can really only consider them now for next year or if they are in pots and you wish them to be put outside wait until they have died back and plant them then.

The Tulipa of the Liliaceae family has about 100 species in it genus [family]. I’ll vere away from the horticultural technical knowledge and to the general… they are one of my all time favourites.

Brillant for flowers around the house, extremely attractive and if you were looking to give a gift on a budget [time it for the bithdays next year…] 5 bulbs in a pot and a little compost and Grandad will absolutely love you for it.

If you don’t have any in your garden – put a note on your calender to consider these for the end of this season… and enjoy 🙂