The Potting Bench Diaries – 19th April 2023

This week in the garden we’ve been doing a spot of planting out (but more on that soon!) and also, to be totally open with you – we’ve been admiring the garden. I think we often worry about saying things like that as it can come off as us bragging, but its so important for us to celebrate the wins we have in the garden as well as showing the downfalls too (which I do plenty of as well!). Also this week, I reveal what I think is possibly the best tulip of 2023 in our garden…

Now, another slice of honesty – simply, I don’t share enough photos of my whole garden. I share an abundance of closeups and selected parts but never the whole thing, but today I’m sharing it all (there are more on my Instagram feed today, 19/04/23). The reason I don’t usually do this, is that generally – I don’t think it looks good enough and I’m not happy with it.

But I looked out the window today an thought to myself ‘sod it’ this actually looks good for once – all the bulbs are coming out in their droves, the grass is mown, the sun is out and the washing is on the line – bliss!

More on what’s flowering, later on – but a quick sidestep first into something that will flower later down the line.

I’ve been put off growing crocosmia before as it has a bit of a reputation for growing into huge clumps that are then tough to manage. However, a friend on Instagram (@gardeneriddler) kindly sent me a few bits of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and I couldn’t say no to giving it a go. This sits amongst the gladioli that I’ve planted recently which should make for quite the interesting display come mid-summer.

Looking back at what’s in flower now and my absolute favourite daffodils of this year just have to be Narcissus ‘Fragrant Cheer’. As you’d imagine from the name, they’re highly scented and rather cheerful to boot.

Far from the standard roadside daffodils we’ve become accustomed to, these are that much more frilly and with smaller heads. But, they are multiheaded so each stem usually holds 2-4 flowers, each a slightly different shade of yellow. I’ve cut the last of these ones to bring indoors but they’re now firmly on the list again for next year.

And the moment perhaps all of you have been waiting for – my top tulip for 2023 is….Tulipa ‘Finola’.

Now if you’ve followed me for some time, you’ll know – I’ve never been one to fawn over the colour pink but I could to shifting my mindset slightly (it happened with dahlias so it could happen again…). Finola is a gorgeous double tulip with peony like flowers that gradually increase in intensity of pink as they reach the centre, starting off with creamy outer petals. Only a few have opened so far with a whole pot full still to come!

In podcast news, the latest episode is now and available for you to listen to and this time I’m joined by houseplant royalty, the marvellously knowledgeable – Jane Perrone.

Jane, for those who aren’t familiar, is a writer, fellow podcaster & author and in this episode we discuss it all – as well as her brand new book.

Listen now to hear if Jane thinks the houseplant bubble has burst and much more…You can listen to the episode here now!

See you again next week

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