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Scented Tulips

November 13, 2015

A gorgeous present of Sarah Raven’s scented tulips came my way this week beautifully wrapped in a hessian sack tied with a pink ribbon.


The weather is due to change so I got ahead and planted Tulip ‘Orange Favourite’ with Tulip ‘Brown Sugar’ in one huge terracotta pot and Tulip ‘Ballerina’ in another.

It meant lifting the Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ which, after five months of non-stop blooms and regular visits from bees, had recently stopped flowering.


The clump was easy to pull apart and ten small plants are now potted up in 9 cm pots to be over-wintered in the pop-up greenhouse.


In the border three plants of Helleborus augustifolia are flowering early.


As is a stately evergreen Fatsia japonica adding height and drama to a shady corner of the garden.

The cream flowers are challenging to use in a vase so I picked a bunch and sprayed them with silver thinking ahead to Christmas decorations. They’ll be checked over in the next few weeks and if they survive then the rest of the flowers can be sprayed silver and gold.


I forgot to post a scented plant for October but conveniently Rosa ‘Iceberg’ is having a second flush with its beautiful flowers and delicate sent.  It’s a pure white rose but looks palest pink in the fading light which triggered the street light at four in the afternoon.


The cut flowers this week are the leaves of the fern Polystichum setiferum, Sedum ‘Autumn Glory’ and the last of an un-named cream hydrangea flower.DSCN5670

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2015 10:47 am

    The Fatsia is gorgeous, isn’t it? Strangely here it is considered and indoor plant here even though in shade it will survive the summer drought with only minimum watering when it looks stressed. I have two, one either side of the front door in pots, mine are just beginning to flower too.

  2. November 13, 2015 10:49 am

    They are such useful plants for adding a bit of evergreen drama even though they tend to drop their leaves in a drought.

  3. November 14, 2015 11:46 am

    Oh I envy you your lovely present and look forward to seeing a picture of the tulips in flower. Fatsia flowers are so sculptural aren’t they? They should make lovely decorations (I’ve been thinking in that direction too). Your photo could be a curtain design.

  4. November 14, 2015 12:13 pm

    Yes it was such a lovely gift and the tulips will be photographed next spring. The fatsia flowers seemed to have survived a spray of silver paint and I’m planning to try gold next !!!

  5. November 19, 2015 10:39 pm

    The fatsia flowers are amazing this year. I was wondering if they would dry for use in arrangements throughout the winter but it’s been far too wet to experiment. And yes my group of Hellebore Augustifolia are flowering too. I’ve never known them to flower in November. What a lovely present of tulip bulbs, the colours of orange and burnt sugar sound very intriguing.

  6. November 20, 2015 9:13 am

    Sorry to say my experiment with the fatsia flowers hasn’t worked very well. They looked great for three days but now are limp and rather un-festive. Isn’t it fabulous to have hellebores in flower especially since last year they bloomed for about twelve weeks.

  7. November 21, 2015 6:21 am

    Your post sent me over to the SR website for a good look. I usually plant a huge bag of supermarket tulips but the idea of having a few specifically chosen scented tulips is very appealing. (Especially as there’s a sale now on!) I didn’t get ahead of the icy blasts so will be alternating bulb planting with drinking cups of hand warming tea today. I’m sorry to read that your fatsia experiment didn’t work out. If you can cut more fatsia flowers, you could try drying them first – either by hanging upside down in an airy place or by soaking the stems in a glycerine mix for a week. I haven’t tried it myself but it might be worth exploring this option. Caro x (ps. loads on google about preserving with glycerine)

  8. November 21, 2015 10:07 am

    Yes it’s bitterly cold here in Bristol this morning but with sun and blue sky to encourage me to do a final sweeping up of leaves. And I’ll hang the fatsia flowers and agapanthus flowers upside down for a week or two and spay again. Thanks for the glycerine tip too. Sue xx

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