The Potting Bench Diaries – 26th April 2023 (with Farmer Gracy)

This week, Farmer Gracy asked me to compile my favourite tulips of 2023 along with some of the best tulip tips I could share. So, with that in mind, I’ve been thinking about how to make more of the tulips next year (even more than this year)! I’m not sure exactly how many varieties there are in our garden this time but I’d like to go for more next time and try a few new things – but more on that later down the line.

My first tip is ‘don’t limit yourself‘ in terms of colours, styles, heights and forms. Go with your gut and lead with what takes your fancy, after that you can add in more if need be and add to your collections.

For me, in the past its been all about bold oranges and purples but this year I’ve added in splashes of other colours to compliment them and create a rich, almost Mediterranean flavour in places. Orange, Purple, Pink and Red all come together, when combined to create a tapestry that resembles a sweet shop. Something else worth mentioning here is….’cram them in’. Plant more than you need, that way you can bring some indoors without noticing a gap in your garden.

I’ve mentioned purple above, but this year I’ve gone darker than I have before by adding in varieties such as Purple Lady and Slawa. All deep and rich in their colour and they sit perfectly well between other contrasting colours.

Purple isn’t for everyone but Purple Lady is such a deep shade that it almost looks black in certain lights. When you bring these together with pastel shades then it really comes into its own. In our pot display I’ve also created height at the back with other, taller, purple tulips, this time from a mix collection of Lily Flowering tulips from Farmer Gracy.

Pink isn’t a colour I’ve been keen on in the past but I’ve warmed to it this year by creating a series of pots with different shades of the colour.

Rather than doing just one pot of one tone, using three or more pots clustered together allows you to try different things. The good thing about this is that if they don’t work, you can always move them. This year we’ve got Finola, Double Shake, Apricot Beauty and a Night & Day collection made up of Queen Of The Night and Apricot Foxx. The darker Queen Of The Night adds something different, similar to what I’ve done with Purple Lady.

My final tip is to try something you would never normally try….ever. I really mean this one. During a Farmer Gracy sale I stumbled across Go Go Red, and the style really isn’t something I’d normally try in our garden but I was tempted enough to give them a go.

All 10 bulbs went in their own individual small terracotta pots and the end result is a really interesting display of unusual tulips in a way you wouldn’t normally see them. Something I’ll no doubt try again next year with other varieties that catch my wondering eye…

And in podcast news, brace yourselves for a hilarious listen this week as I’m joined by the sensational Emma Real-Davies.

Emma is known for her Instagram page (@emjorealdavies) as well as being a radio host and presenter on QVC with her own show ‘Emma’s Cottage Garden’.

Listen now to find out more about how Emma got started with all of this and much more. You can listen to the episode here now!

See you again next week

Disclaimer: This post is part of a paid partnership with Farmer Gracy. Links are to tulips I have bought myself but the post is paid content, which still reflects my actual garden experience. Link are not affiliate links. I use Farmer Gracy both as a consumer myself.

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