Yesterday I went to see my sister, who has the gardening bug just like me, and she also loves tulips, again, just like me. I suppose the biggest difference is that her garden is somewhat smaller than mine, and yet she has more places to sit and just enjoy the view. Aside from the regular table and chairs on her patio, she has a small bistro table and two chairs sitting on a gravel area, enclosed by a large tree and lots of beautiful climbers - clematis and honeysuckle - so it ends up being secluded even though it's very much a suburban garden. In another corner she has a wonderful arbour that she has painted a deep blue, and either side of that she has planted climbers - a climbing rose on one side and to the other side is a beautiful ceanothus - the blue matches the colour of the wood brilliantly. But that planting is for later in the summer. (Unlike in the lower photograph from Alnwick Garden, she does not have the luxury of a warm south facing wall to bring them on, though that is where she originally saw the combination and liked it so much, decided to replicate it.)
For earlier in the season she has loads of pots which are planted up with many different types of tulips.
Now, just to be clear - these tulips in the photo aren't hers; I foolishly forgot to take my camera - these ones are in the walled garden at Alnwick, but she does have a great display of tulips at the very back of her garden, along with somewhere to enjoy them, and keep her sheltered at the same time. And of course, now I want an arbour too. There's no way I'm going to have mine where the majority of my tulips are though - that's at the front of the house and I'm a little too shy to sit out there in full view, but perhaps in the new Spring area I've been creating these past few weeks? I'm imagining sitting there, with a cup of tea, piece of cake and a rug to keep me warm in the early sun of Spring. Maybe some soft cushions too? I also want to get some climbers, preferably with smell, to grow either side of it. I've been looking at a clematis that is evergreen and has wonderful almond-smelling flowers early in the Spring.
Having found the seat I want, best beloved then suggested it wasn't a good idea, mainly because he didn't want to lay (more) paving slabs. Not sure why he has a problem with that - he's done it so often for me in the past...But there you have it. If he won't, he won't. Unless - we go for something totally different? How about decking - we don't have any of that in our garden, and it would look ideal in the new Spring area, because behind it would be the soft planting of the little shady area I'm planting up with all those shade loving plants. I have a plan and now I'm on a mission to persuade him to go with it. Wish me luck!