Pot luck

Friday, April 24, 2020

I have pots for winter colour and pots for summer. Both are a bit of a gamble and some years are more successful than others. I make the contents swap in mid May and around October/November most years, but can be dependant on both climate and when I get round to it. There's something super cheerful about pots of colourful flowers on the doorstep and patio. Despite all the trials, irritation and bother of having to wrestle big heavy pots biannually I wouldn't be without them now.

The choice for this winter to spring pots was lovely little violas and tulips. In the past I tried more of a bulb lasagne but the result was a lot of cluttered foliage which detracted from the flowers. I'm terribly picky about violas and only want 'nice' coloured one and really want all the same colour in each pot. Having a 'mix' is a last resort but it's surprisingly hard to find trays of just one colour variety - and I cannot quite figure out why. Maybe nobody else cares, or it's just too expensive to faff around on the production front.
The double orange tulips look an absolute mess in the sunshine but pleasant enough at night but I won't be in a hurry to replicate this look next year...
The two varieties of viola I went for are Sorbet 'antique shades' above and Sorbet 'fire' below. I prefer violas as I think you get more flowers of daintier and prettier colours compared to pansies. The intention is flowers all winter but the reality is a minute amount of floral action until about February. However, any flowers you are graced with are highly tempting for a resident deer to munch, which is what happened to mine so I didn't get to enjoy many until the tulip foliage started to protect them.
I did think the 'fire' violas would be a red/orange with the yellow. The bold pinky purple isn't a colour I would have plumped for and in my opinion the orange viola is hard to beat - if you can buy it. Maybe I'll have to order online this autumn. 
Ah the Fosteriana Orange Emperor. These were just starting to look lovely until....MUNCH

All the ones in bloom were munched by the deer and then a couple of days later it came back to finish the pot. I was incensed!

I believe these rather eclectic tulips came as a free gift when ordering other plants... They're not something I would have bought but as a freebee they're certainly bright and cheerful.

The problem with tulips is that they're unreliable after the first year. Some people buy fresh bulbs every year and chuck out the others *winces* which seems like such a waste or at the very least an enormous expense for a couple of weeks of flowers. I do take mine out of the pots in late spring, dry them out and then in around October/November pop them in the garden or smaller pots to at least give them a chance. Some don't flower, but some do. So don't give them pride of place but they might give you a bit more joy in years to come if you let them.
Thankfully my 'prime' pots were untouched. I am extremely pleased with these flaming flag tulips. Not least because the colour is rather lovely but also they have been blooming - and retaining shape- for weeks. The first bloomed 5th April and they are all still intact and beautiful today. Good choice Sophie of 2019.

Are you potty for winter/spring pots too?

Take care,
Sophie

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2 comments

  1. Your tulips really are beautiful! What a gorgeous lot of flowers.
    I thought Pansies WERE Violas! I got that one confused then!!

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  2. I love the Sorbet antique shades - the colours! I'm with you on the viola / pansy front. I think violas are just prettier.
    Damn deer! They can be such pests.
    I have lots of pots but tend to go for small flowering shrubs in the larger pots, and then I scatter smaller pots around with little flowers, usually violas. I swap my hanging baskets spring and autumn but this year they seem to be going strong so i might leave them as they are, especially as I can't get to a garden centre (I'm REALLY missing garden centres).
    Your tulips are gorgeous.
    xx

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