It may seem that summer will continue for many weeks to come, which it may well do, but we all need to start to plan our gardens for the autumn, winter and spring seasons. We need to get our orders in with the nurseries to ensure that we secure ourselves the best stock and the ideal varieties for our gardens, and not wait until only the leftovers are available. Although the flowering of our Tulips and Wallflowers seems an age away, they need to be ordered soon and planted in the coming months.
The sumptuous colour of wallflowers in our spring bedding displays has long been indispensable in our gardens. To underplant these with Tulips brings opportunities to create stunning early displays when many of our garden plants are only beginning to awake from their winter hibernation. Mixed coloured wallflowers can bring a splash of colour, but problems can arise with clashing colours and uneven heights. Here we recommend the single colours of Wallflower Sunset Series which has proved to be so marvellous in trials with its rich colours and delightful fragrance. With the combinations we recommend here the hard work has been done for you. A happy marriage of both heights of Tulips and Wallflowers and harmonious colour combinations has been designed for you by the wonderful and experienced writer and presenter Sarah Raven. Her nursery supplies plants that have been trialled in her own garden at Perch Hill in East Sussex in previous years and have proved to be capable of making the most pleasing of displays and to be suitable for the British climate.
The wallflower jumbo seedlings can be planted soon after receipt in October at a spacing of around 25-30cm (10-12in). The Tulips however prefer to be planted later when the soil has cooled down, perhaps in late October or November. This lessens the likelihood of fungal and viral disease in the bulbs such as Tulip Fire. Old fashioned gardeners would always tell you that the Tulips must be planted by Guy Fawkes night but, in my opinion, a little later won’t hurt, but flowering may be late if left too much longer. The Tulip bulbs should be studded amongst the wallflowers using a bulb planter at a depth of around 15-20cm (6-8in), and spaced around 8cm (3in) apart. It is nice to grow these combinations close to the house so you can not only see them but smell them too. The heights will be from 25-50cm (10-20in) and would suit a fairly large container or the front or middle of a border.
The first combination I recommend is Tulip Antraciet and Wallflower Sunset Purple. Sarah Raven describes this as “harmony not contrast”. The Tulips match beautifully the highly scented Wallflowers. This is the combination pictured at the top of the article. To view click here
Secondly you may want to try Tulip Brownie and Wallflower Sunset Apricot. Here the apricot-copper Tulip Brownie is set amongst the soft smoky apricot wallflowers To view click here
Tulip Brownie and Wallflower Sunset Apricot
Another choice is Tulip Spring Green and Wallflower Sunset Primrose. This is described as a “fresh clean” combination for pots or borders. To view click here
Tulip Spring Green and Wallflower Sunset Primrose
Tulip Abu Hassand and Wallflower Sunset Red provide a “rich, sultry and sophisticated mix”. To view click here
Tulip Abu Hassand and Wallflower Sunset Red
Tulip Elegant Lady and Wallflower Sunset Apricot provide a soft mix and “rich contrast from the emerging buds of the apricot Wallflowers”. To view click here
Tulip Elegant Lady and Wallflower Sunset Apricot
Tulip Queen of Night and Wallflower Sunset Bronze Shades give lovely contrast and a “brilliant tapestry effect”. To view click here
Tulip Queen of Night and Wallflower Sunset Bronze Shades
Tulip Rococo and Wallflower Sunset Bronze Shades create a wonderful hot splash of colour in spring. To view click here
Tulip Rococo and Wallflower Sunset Bronze Shades
Tulip Veronique Sanson and Wallflower Sunset Bronze Shades add a “super-scented marmalade-coloured mix”. To view click here
Tulip Veronique Sanson and Wallflower Sunset Bronze Shades
Tulip Yellow Crown and Wallflower Sunset Primrose provide a display that Sarah describes as “soft soft primrose wallflowers, studded with the matching seven pointed crowns of brand new Tulip Yellow Crown”. To view click here
Tulip Yellow Crown and Wallflower Sunset Primrose
Tulip Sarah Raven, Tulip Menton and Wallflower Sunset Purple are a “most chic combination”. To view click here
The joy that the investment and work of planting these combinations in the coming months will provide in spring is immeasurable.
All images copyright Jonathan Buckley.