As Gloria Swanson says to Cecil B. de Mille at the end of ‘Sunset Boulevard’,
‘I am ready for my close-up now, Mr de Mille’
which is exactly what the bulbs were saying today in the bright Spring sunshine. This year, having for some strange reason, drawn a blank with mis-firing bulbs of all kinds last year, I didn’t buy very many, and what I did buy were right at the end of the planting season, so I didn’t have very high hopes really. I had also attempted to keep some dry over the summer and had re-planted them, but again, with not a lot of hope. But, as opposed to last year and maybe a drier Spring helped, I am enjoying some good things in the pots by the back door.
Narcissus ‘Sinopel’ is one of them. When it is caught in the light, it is really special, with lovely lemon tints at the ends of the petals, and a curious greeny-yellow trumpet which is prettily frilled, but not blousy. It also has a delicate perfume, but you do need to get your nose right in- and have a good nose in the first place. But I really like it. And I have even written the name down, which augurs well for later in the year when I will have forgotten completely what I bought.
I love the lily shaped tulips and am a sucker for Tulipa ‘Ballerina’. This Ballerina is doing a serious plié in the sun, and sometimes the lily shape is better seen on cloudier days when the tulip stays shut. But I have had some luck with ‘Ballerina’ returning for a second year- not many, but some re-appear after I have planted them out just in case.
And I adore the raspberry-mivvi-ness of this one, ‘Arabian Mystery’. This is the first time I have tried it, and it was a complete surprise when it popped open today, as, of course, I had no idea what it would look like. The photos on most sites showed it as a purple with a white edge- well, mine is much more raspberries and custard- which is nicer in my book. Bit on the small side, but that helps in the wind.
But maybe the stand-out tulip, and I only have a small patch of them that have come back for about five years, so that is not a bad R-O-I at all, is Tulipa ‘Carnaval de Nice’ which has placed itself ideally for the end of the afternoon sunshine. Brilliant.