In a vase on Monday – First tulips!!

Monday is when I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for the now compulsive IAVOM meme, where we try to find material from our own gardens to enjoy indoors.

I mentioned last week when I wrote about the greenhouse that the Tulip ‘Brown Sugar’ that I had chilled at about 6°C from 21st September 2016 until planting into a pot on the 16th November was showing some colour; I picked two stems and brought them into the warmth of the house on Saturday.  A further bud was open enough to pick this morning; so my simple vase today has the first tulips of the year.

In a Vase on Monday 30th January 2017

In a Vase on Monday 30th January 2017

Tulip Brown Sugar

Tulip Brown Sugar

The first shoots appeared about the 21st December (this is a guess as I wasn’t here, but from the growth I saw when I returned on the 27th I think this is accurate.

Tulip Brown Sugar

Tulip Brown Sugar

Blue Larkspur

Blue Larkspur

The larkspur self seeded in the garden during September and as I was doubtful they would survive the winter (it looks like I was wrong about that), I potted up about 20 seedlings which were then placed in the greenhouse.  Most aren’t growing very straight but most now have buds meaning I may have a very early crop indeed!  These two make unusual companions to the tulips.

Tulip Brown Sugar with Blue Larkspur

Tulip Brown Sugar with Blue Larkspur

Although the pots of tulips are in the greenhouse it is only heated to be frost free, and temperatures have often only hovered above zero.   I had been hoping that I might have some Tulips by Christmas but I don’t now think that is possible without using a lot of extra heat (which I don’t want to do) or we have a much warmer December than in 2016.

I have this vase in the kitchen where it is already giving me enormous pleasure.

What can you find in your garden today?  Do join Cathy if you can, she has a real taste of spring too today.


56 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – First tulips!!

  1. You would have missed them if they had been in flower at Christmas! What a delight to see them now – and how quickly they can get to flowering stage once the flower stems appear. Seeing larkspur in January is amazing – how tall are the plants? I hope you continue to get pleasure from this lovely vase for many days – thanks so much for sharing Christina

  2. What a treat to see your tulips….here we have a dusting of snow but we are now plunging into the coldest time of winter and it looks like it will indeed be a cold Feb. But your tulips warmed me right up! Thanks….

  3. Your lovely Brown Sugar tulips again, I remember loving them last year. I love the second shot with the light shining through it. Well done on having them in bloom at such a gloomy time of the year and the larkspur too. So pretty.

    • There is no sign at all of mine in the garden, not even those that had been pre-chilled so you may have some flowering in your garden before mine. But there are lots more to come in the pots in the greenhouse.

  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: January Sparkle | Words and Herbs

  5. I have been looking through this post at intervals today, to sigh and smile at your beautiful tulips and that first photo with the sunlight shining on them. The larkspur is such a pretty companion for them too. Thanks for being an inspiration – I nearly didn’t make a vase today but you and Cathy reminded how it can lift the spirits to create a vase of any description! 🙂

    • Thank you Cathy; every time I glance at the vase I smile so I’m pleased it has given you pleasure too. Hopefully I’ll have lots more tulips to share before too long. I’m glad you have made a vase too.

    • By chilling the bulbs, its not difficult to have them flower early. It is the period of cold that triggers them into growth, which is why those I have in the ground don’t flower much earlier than in the UK.

  6. Christina how beautiful are the “Brown Sugar” tulips: I like them very much. They look very nice with the blue Larkspur: the two colors contrast very well. Congratulations on this beautiful and spring vase. Greetings from Margarita.

  7. Such a beautiful colour combination Christina. I have read that larkspur can be direct sown in autumn; last year I direct sowed some and sowed others in pots in an unheated greenhouse, I’ll be interested to see which do better. I take it your self-sown ones in the ground are still going?

    • Yes, amazingly (to me) the larkspur in the ground are still growing. In fact they need some further thinning but I’m leaving that job for a while as they must be protecting each other to some extent. We’ve had temperatures of minus 7 or 8 some nights and most nights for the last 3 or 4 weeks have been lower than zero. They are much tougher than I imagined.

      • That’s colder than here in the UK! They are tough aren’t they? I’m hoping that growing outside is going to make them strong and well-established before the slugs, which are a real pest here, come out of hibernation.

        • It isn’t usually as cold as this we’re having a particularly cold winter; the coldest in the 13 years we’ve lived here. Slugs aren’t too much of a problem here, there seem to be nematodes naturally in the soil. My soil is also very free draining which helps things survive low temperatures. My theory is that books shouldn’t quote minimum temperatures for plants but how well they survive in different soils.

  8. I did a double take, thinking that can’t be larkspur!. I sowed some seed in Autumn but sadly it didn’t come up so I’ll be starting again soon. So good to see the gorgeous colours and I’m interested in how you chilled the tulips

  9. Lovely, when I lived further north I would have tulips and Larkspur together (and Opium Poppies) – everything was annuals, though. The Brown Sugar Tulips and photography are wonderful and I thank you for sharing.

    • ‘Brown Sugar’ is one of my favourite tulips; I should have a long season of them with these in a pot, plus a later planting and the existing ones in the garden which aren’t even showing a shoot yet. We had rain earlier but it is clearing up.

  10. What a nice sight on a dismal day. I nearly put a bag of bulbs into the fridge this fall to give this type of forcing a try. Then as usual I got lazy and it was just easier to pot them up. Maybe next year. Seems this would be a great way to fill a few porch planters!

    • You must have seen ‘Brown Sugar’ here before, it is one of my favourite tulips. Apart from changing through some beautiful colours as it dies it is also perfumed with honey.

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