Friday, April 30, 2010

A Riot in the Potager

That's right, there is a riot going on in my potager because I've had it up to here *points to a place 10 feet above her head or would do if her arm was that long* with colour coordinated borders. Because frankly why bother? Why should you have colour coordinated borders? Who says so and who are they when they are in the garden dancing the polka? Exactly, there is no such thing as the Garden Police so stuff the whole colour coordinated thingy as it's overrated anyway.
Had a good chinwag with Mother Nature about it all and after she had finished laughing her cute and shapely behind off she told me there is no such thing as colours that do not coordinate. You want proof of that? Well gentle gardener, have a good look round and you will find that Mother Nature combines all colours with the most wonderful, not to mention uplifting, effect.

So last year I decided to run riot in my potager and as I had just created a new bed there and was wondering what to do with it so I thought I'd go utterly bonkers (technical term) with plants and bulbs. And here's the result:
That's right, a riot of colour that hits you soundly in the solar plexus and frankly, isn't that just what you need after a long dull, grey and dismal winter?
Another pet peeve of mine is that most of the time when gardeners actually bother to bung in some tulips they (the tulips, not the gardeners) are always huddled together in groups like startled Sunday schoolmarms who find themselves inadvertently in a redlight district. What's up with that grouping thingy, the having a clump of red tulips here and a gaggle of yellow ones over there? Snorefests, the lot of them! But if you are very lucky, you could come across a more adventurous type of gardener who has planted her/his tulips in rivers. Ooh ar, get her/him!
So if you want to be a bit rebellious yourself why not try out this recipe next autumn for a riot in your garden? It's very easy and great fun, just what gardening is all about.
Riot recipe:
- buy tulips in many different colours and in vast quantities
- make sure quite a few of them flower at the same time but also see to it that you have enough early, middle and late flowering tulips to continue rioting in your garden for at least 2 months
- put all the bulbs in a big bag or pot and give it a good shake, mix them well
- go out into your garden and start throwing the bulbs about with gay abandon in the area where you want them to flower next spring
- plant them where they fall, no smuggling!
- after planting your tulips, bung in loads of Forget-me-nots in white, blue and pink, Aubrietas in many colours and some Phloxes subulata too
- stand well back and wait a few months
- come Spring put on helmet and safety goggles and watch your Spring garden explode!

 Colour Is Its Own Reward from Fingers of Love by Neil Finn (Crowded House)

Apart from running amok in the potager I've been writing about gardening on other websites as well. On ThinkinGardens you will find my article : The Gardening Animal, the biology of its behaviour here and today on The Guardian website you will find Tulips, Are They Really That Difficult to Grow? here. On the Guardian site you can leave comments so please do if you feel so inclined.



Copyright 2010 Y.E.W. Heuzen

29 comments:

laetitia said...

That is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! - I'm so inspired...thank you

Arabella Sock said...

Definitely inspiring - I just wish I had space to have them run riot. Tulips have such beautiful and varied 'head' shapes and silhouettes that it seems a shame to just have them as a mass of colour rather than be able to see the individual outlines.

fairegarden said...

Ah, a post that perfectly reflects my own take on color, YE, good to know the company is the very best, cute behind and all. Rivers of tulips, what a lovely idea. Your potager looks like a dream. Can't wait for next week. Panic and nutsiness setting in.
xo
Frances

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I so agree about the mixing of colors. Nature doesn't make any colors that don't go together. I like this naturalistic way of planting your spring garden.

MWebster said...

I totally agree. I'm a color riot person myself, and every year I look forward eagerly to the time when my flower garden goes crazy. Got some photos up on the blog from last year, but this year I'm going to try and document everything. So excited!

Your garden is just so gorgeous.

Green thumb said...

Beautiful! I am there with you on that one. I have not been able to implement my garden planning the way I would have liked to but when the flowers bloom, howsoever haphazardly, it looks gorgeous.

healingmagichands said...

I completely agree and all you have to do is look at The Havens to know that that is true. Color coordinated? It always makes me cringe when I read in other blogs how the "orange" clashes with the "Pink" and then they post a fabulous combination in their very own garden to prove it. I look at the picture and think, "Clash? Where is the clash?"

I'm afraid I don't plant tulips here because I am not that interested in feeding the moles, squirrels, deer, gophers and "cute bunnies" such pricey delicacies such as tulips. I did fling a mixture of tulips about one year, it was a bag of 50 bulbs, all different, and the effect was stunning. I was particularly stunned by the way the flowers disappeared overnight as the local fauna discovered the wonderful buffet I had so thoughtfully set out for them.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I love the riotous color, it's beautiful! We're actually planning to do something similar with some wildflowers in our orchard. Thought about planting in drifts of color, but nature just doesn't do it that way. You've convinced me to mix up all the seed, and it can sprout wherever it lands on the soil.

easygardener said...

I am with you on the riot of colour front. It is much more interesting and leads to some unexpected colour combinations

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda I love the idea of throwing the bulbs into a bag and planting where ever!In Spring we are so starved for color that what does it matter...a flower blooming regardless of color brings us such joy! I shall this autumn step outside the box of orderly colors! As I focus on your Spring riot of color it is a feast for my eyes! Enjoy your garden this weekend!

rishijai said...

I just love that "field of flowers' or meadow look.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Love your color combos! In the container gardening class I teach, I go over all the color schemes first (I can help it, it's my graphic design background, I love the damn color wheel!) and then I tell them, do whatever you want--all colors go together, just ask Mother Nature. So we are, like totally, on the same page!

Jenny Schouten Short said...

I just stumbled across your blog and really like it. I have lived in The Netherlands for four years now and an trying my hand at gardening with my husband who has a beautiful garden. There are so many plants here I've never heard of coming from Texas. I will enjoy following your blog.

Glo said...

You're the one who is a riot, Yolanda! ;) Lovely to see your garden full of spring colour ~ just exactly what you were looking forward to all during that cold winter! Bliss, indeed!

Ewa said...

Very inspirational spring flowers recipe and result is simply stunning! Now there comes question in my mind - what comes after them? Any tips?
...
and see you this week in Malvern :) - it will bu such fun! I take my plane tomorrow.

flightplot said...

Wonderful! I really must get some tulips for the plot! Flighty xx

Matron said...

Love it! Love it! Love it! let nature take its course!

Chookie said...

Edna Walling, a famous Australian garden designer, was famous for throwing a sack of potatoes across the ground and planting bulbs or even shrubs or trees where they landed!
Your garden looks beautiful and very springlike. But I'll skip the tulips as here, we have to refrigerate them for 6 weeks before planting and then treat them like annuals.

Gail said...

Riots of color are my favorite garden sites! We sometimes refer to C&L as Clown Pants! gail

Helen at summerhouse said...

Oh I'm so glad to find someone else who mixes it up. Of course you did it deliberately, mine just kind of ends up that way, but I like it. The more color, the better for me. And I happen to like orange and pink together too.

Quran Learning Classes said...

That is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

tom | tall clover farm said...

About as lovely an array of tulips as I've seen all spring. Thanks for sharing the photos and how to reproduce this beautiful garden scene.

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda! I am back to invite you back to my blog to check our my
"glamour girls!!"

*Ulrike* said...

Ah! I got a good laugh out of this one! I am guilty of a whole row of red tulips only because I wanted to see them out of the kitchen window! Tulips do not last here in the south that's for sure!

Wild Somerset Child said...

I found your blog !!

Irene said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for the fun text and the links. Your garden looks beautiful.

maggie said...

hurray! more kindred spirits :o) the more colours the merrier. its really, really, boring when style police try and interfere with peoples love of gardening! i feel much the same way about christmas decorations! its meant to be fun!!! all flowers and plants are amazing. mother nature knows what she's doing ! beautiful pics by the way x

mary said...

love this...I feel the same way,I detest neat little color coordinated gardens. I am a huge believer is self seeders also...those forget-me-nots will turn up in the oddest places, i leave them alone, the Violas pop up between rocks and in sidewalk cracks-they have to stay! Mother nature knows what she is doing.

elizabethm said...

Love these. I get the riot of colour not really intentionally but more as a result of forgetting where I put things!