Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Many years ago I used to have a collection of tender scented pelargoniums which delighted me.  I loved their tiny flowers and their hairy or variegated leaves whose oil left a lovely fragrance on the fingers.  Unfortunately I was unable to care for them consistently, and in the end the last ones died one exceedingly cold night.
I have not indulged myself since in keeping exotic pet plants - until now.  Last year the garden was finally made deer-proof (a shame in many ways, but that's a long story), and so it is now possible to have tulips.  Deer love tulips and bite off the buds just as they are about to burst into full flower.  All that is left is a stem with an annoying neat cut.
Iznik plate in the Ashmolean collection (image from here)
My maternal forebears came from Byzantine Turkey, and although anything Ottoman should be repellent, I have long been great fan of Iznik design, especially the tulips and carnations.  I have for some time dreamed of planting species tulips.  And so, ...
I have made a start with Tulipa Pulchella Violacea, bought in bud, and now in full flower.  They close as the sun goes, and open again with the next day's warmth.  This autumn I shall add some bulbs to begin a collection proper.


  1. How lovely, and exciting! I love tulips. Were it not for our lifestyle, I too, would love to grow tulips. I am envious.

  2. Eirene I have chosen tulips partly because they will need so little care. I am going to plant them all in pots so that I can control the medium into which the bulbs will go. Also unlike the tall developed tulips the species ones are expected to come up year after year. The other ones do not always last very long. My queen of the night only flowered one year.
    But I agree: the garden is like having pets!