I have a strange feeling, from time to time, judging from the comments pages, that some readers might have decided to lie in bed for a whole weekend, turn off the phone, and read all 429 posts that I’ve apparently written (this one will be number 430, and for number crunchers there are apparently 4,478 comments which I think is rather wonderful in its way).
If you are one of those readers you will no doubt know that I’ve got a bit of a thing for tulips. “Tulips or Dahlias” I said to Charlie early this morning as we walked down Great Ormond Street. I suppose it’s just one of those questions isn’t it, in a list to which one must add sweet peas, lupins, bearded iris, hollyhocks and foxgloves. “Dahlias”, he replied, which I think if I was very honest I must agree with. But there’s something nice about the two isn’t there? Tulips are coming up about the time that the dahlia tubers must be planted, and vice versa. So the finest hour of both is well separated by six months and we have completely forgotten how much we love the other when it is time for their moment in the sun.
So anyway, if you’ve navigated your way through the blog archive, you won’t need pointing in the direction of Tulip Time, Tulip Time 2, Easter Garden, Any colour so long as it’s black, Normal Service Resuming, or On the Cusp to know that it’s the time of the year when, if I have nothing else to say or to write about… It’s going to be blog about tulips.
I’m very glad not to disappoint. “Oh God”, I said to Charlie this morning, “we’re doing a photoshoot in the office all day and I don’t have a blog”. Luckily Charlie has filled the house with tulips from Dorset this week, all of which have been getting more and more blowsy by the day, and there is absolutely nothing in the world right now as inspirational as that. Even my instagram account has gone tulip-central all week. Sorry to get repetitive but I wonder if you will see what I mean?
Anyway, five minutes later I had enough photos to bring a smile to everyone’s face on a Monday morning.
These are the crazy flamed tulips in the sitting room, which have gone completely mad in the last two days. Not quite like a Dutch still life painting, which is normally what people say when you post a photograph of a tulip.
This is a bunch of old classics, Queen of the Night and Black Parrot, that later in the afternoon were to feature in the office shoot:
This bunch, I think, is my favourite of all, the yellow, pink and caramel tones the perfect contrast to the Zoffany grey wallpaper in the bathroom:
Charlie had placed this bunch of brown-pink tulips next to his china statue and the colours speak to each other beautifully. It’s an amazing tulip, La Belle Epoque from the unequalled Sarah Raven:
Estella Rynveld Parrot tulips are marginally less subtle:
Not very many of ours have come up this year. I wonder if you’ve had the same problem?
Meanwhile we were taking photographs all day in the office, which are eventually planned to belong to the new architecture and decoration website which is very very very slowly being put together this year. We were working with Jason Ingram, who I first met when he took beautiful photographs of the Parsonage garden for Gardens Illustrated last spring (and which are published this month, and look wonderful). Jason’s done a few photoshoots for us since and he is always such a pleasure to work with.
We ended the day in our chocolate brown board room. In a certain light, the walls are almost the colour of a Queen of the Night tulip.
As the day wore on the tulips drooped in the way that I adore with tulips that are about to pass over. But the nicest tulip of all? Was on the amazing chocolate cake that Charlie baked for Zoe’s birthday. He dropped it off today at lunch and Jason immediately whipped it away to produce what will be a beautiful shot for Charlie’s new website…. coming soon, to advertise his amazing cakes, the new supper clubs that he’s planning, pop-up shop…and next year… flower deliveries fresh from Dorset. Watch this space!
(…well, the tripod leg won’t be there).
Happy Tulip time!