Bath time, but not for pheasants.

You may remember a previous post that I did about planting up an old tin bath with tulips and pansies. The idea was to provide the tulips with nice well drained soil, which I just don’t have in the garden here and to cover them with the pansies so that the squirrels, voles, mice etc wouldn’t be able to smell the tulips and then dig them up to eat them. It worked, hooray!! we have a bath full of lovely colourful  flowers!

Tulip bath

Bath with tulips

I thought that I had chosen all the tulips to flower together, but the white ones were out a while before the rest, also they are quite a bit taller, so I think they will be planted elsewhere next time. By the time the others caught up in height, the white ones were almost finished.

Lily flowered tulip

We have purple and white lily flowered tulips,

double purple tulip

we have double purple tulips,

Single purple tulip

and single purple tulips,

Rem's favourite

also single white tulips with purple feathering, this one is called Rem’s favourite, I think it might be Pauline’s favourite too!

Purple with white fringe

The single purple with a white fringe is rather pretty.

Single purple with white edge

Single purple with a white edge finishes off the all  the different varieties in the bath. As an experiment I think it has been a success and I will certainly repeat it next year. I think a plain white variety is needed to brighten it all up, but I will find a later flowering tulip.

Pink fringed.

I put these pink fringed ones into another pot, but I’m thinking maybe these could also go in the bath in future, what do you think?

White pheasant

While writing the previous post I saw something white moving across the garden out of the corner of my eye, it was our white pheasant going for her morning stroll. Apologies for the reflections on some of these photos, but I had to be quick!

White pheasant with Geranium

Does she think I can’t see her admiring Narcissus Geranium, or is she saying,  mmmm, they would make a nice snack now that the fritillaries are finished!

Pheasan and leaf mould

Just checking out the state of the pile of leaf mould before hopping over the fence to check on next door, hope their dog wasn’t in the garden! I’m getting quite used to crouching down and moving slowly round the garden, also hiding behind bushes, just as well that no-one can see into our garden! She is very careful walking between the plants in the borders and the woodland, quite often there is a hop, skip and a jump when a plant is in the way, nothing seems to be getting trodden on. Lately she seems to be on her own whenever I see her, which is a shame. As long as she isn’t eating any more of my plants she is very welcome, the undergardener always says that I turn round with a soppy grin on my face when ever I have managed to photograph her!

PS. I have just found out from a few of the neighbours that they have called her Portia, they thought she deserved a special name as she is a special bird.  Apparently she is nesting next door but two in their woodland strip, but quite often her nest with 5 eggs is left unattended as we are still seeing her in the garden here, so I don’t hold out much hope for her eggs hatching. I think its rather lovely that this part of the village have adopted her, but we get rather worried if we don’t see her for a while as a fox has been around rather a lot lately………..we will all have to wait for the next instalment!


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36 Responses to Bath time, but not for pheasants.

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Your container of tulips and pansies are delightful Pauline. I think your Rem’s favourite is perfect.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Susie, I’m so glad they were a success. This is the first time I haven’t had them all eaten by mice/voles/squirrels etc, they have even been eaten previously when in pots on the balcony!

  2. Christina says:

    I love the mixture of tulips in the bath, did you buy a mixed pack, if so, it was very well put together. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      No Christina, I bought lots of packets of several varieties, even so I wouldn’t have been surprised to see one orange one in amongst them all!

  3. I am anxious to see the next installment on Portia…I do love your tulips, great job.

    • Pauline says:

      We get quite anxious too Charlie, especially when we find the fox has left yet another message on the lawn! The fox is around far too much these days for our liking, hopefully Portia will keep avoiding him/her.

  4. debsgarden says:

    I love your tub of tulips! it is a great idea I may borrow! Portia is a delight. I wish her and any offspring well. I would go nuts if I had a bird like that in my garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Certainly borrow the idea Deb, I’m just so glad to have found another use for it after 70 yrs!! Portia keeps us all entertained, no work gets done when she is wandering around, we just hope she stays safely out of the fox’s way.

  5. Cathy says:

    A lovely hand-blended selection of tulips, Pauline – I do love the double and fringe ones although I am sure there are purists who wouldn’t! Now that Portia is not foraging amongst your fritillaries it is easy to see how you can have a more relaxed relationship with her – she looks quite ethereal in the photos. I wonder what colour her offspring will be if they do hatch?

    • Pauline says:

      I’m pleased with all the tulips, the fringed ones are ever so pretty, I think. I have a horrible feeling that Portia’s eggs won’t come to anything as she is spending far too much time in our garden, leaving them exposed. Mr. Pheasant can’t be feeding her as she is looking for food herself, but we will just have to wait and see what happens, it would be lovely if one day she was followed by a string of fluffy chicks!

  6. Wendy says:

    The tulips are beautiful. I love Rem’s favourite, and the fringed tulips, too. I hope your white pheasant keeps safe and raises young successfully. It will be fascinating to see whether her young have her colouring.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m very pleased Wendy, with how the bath of tulips has turned out, non eaten by mice, voles or squirrels. I had thought that maybe there would be a rogue coloured one in there somewhere, but they are all as I had hoped. We’re all hoping that Portia stays safe for a long time to come. Whether or not her eggs will hatch, we will have to wait and see and see what colour the offspring might be, I will keep everyone up to date, don’t worry.

  7. Angie says:

    I like that there are plenty of tulips crammed into your bath Pauline. It makes quite a dramatic statement. I have to grow tulips in containers and have been quite disappointed with them this year.
    Portia is actually quite ‘ghost like’ in your pictures. I hope her eggs hatch.

    • Pauline says:

      There are quite a lot Angie, I think I went a bit overboard! Sorry to hear that you’ve been disappointed with yours this year, this is the first time mine haven’t been eaten by something! We all hope that Portia’s eggs hatch in spite of her wandering around the garden at times, I will keep everyone up to date with any news.

  8. My first tulips have bloomed. I bought these as purisima – a pure white tulip. But they turned out to be yellow and were promptly relocated out of the white garden!

    • Pauline says:

      Nice to hear from you Gabriela,I was expecting one or two of mine to be the wrong colour, guess I was lucky. It’s so frustrating when the colours don’t turn out right , by then it’s too late to do anything about it! Such a shame your white garden was spoiled for this year.

  9. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely Tulips (and Pheasant!), I’m pleased to see some of mine have survived last year – even some in the ground! Although my show is definitely nothing to shout home about and it’s doubtful I’ll even show them on the blog 🙂
    I love your colour combos though and last year had similar with some pack called ‘raspberry ripple’ which had light plummy purples, one frilly the other plain and then I had some whites and blacks.

    Rem’s favourite is also definitely my favourite! 😉

    • Pauline says:

      So glad your tulips have survived Liz, its always a gamble isn’t it! When it came to choosing the colours, I just chose them from the garden centre as I was far too late to order them, and chose any with purple in them, I’m rather pleased with how they turned out. Not sure who Rem was, but his tulip seems popular!

  10. Anna says:

    Now that bath is so jam packed with tulips and other colour that there’s no room for Portia to dip her toes in the water Pauline. You must be pleased with that display of colour. Hope that Portia remembers her maternal duties soon but it must be more enjoyable walking round your garden than sitting on a nest.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, I am pleased Anna, with how the tulips turned out, a much better display than I have ever had before! I’ll have to find out from my neighbour if Portia is doing her duty or going garden visiting again!

  11. Alberto says:

    Hi Pauline, that metal bucket looks beautiful, I love all the shades and shapes of tulips you’ve planted on it. Maybe you could plant some white pansies instead of blue ones next year and you’ll have the white you need. I like the white tulips even though they are fading already.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Alberto, that’s a good idea about the white pansies, I must remember that in the autumn when I am planting the tulips again! On the whole, I am pleased with the way they turned out, so will repeat it with more containers next time. Planting over the tulips with the pansies certainly kept the hungry creatures away and for the first time I actually had tulips to enjoy.
      By the way, I couldn’t access your last post about Laura Poli, every time I tried, I got told that the page couldn’t be found, I’m not sure if the problem is at this end or yours.

  12. Your pansy camouflage seems to have worked well. What a good idea. The rodents will have to dine elsewhere. I like that you planted the tulips so thickly, because it makes for a really lush display, with lots of colourful petals. Those purples and whites make a pretty combination.

    The pheasant seems to like your natural landscaping, even if she is an absent minded mother.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes NS, I was pleased with the pansies and how they worked, I will certainly try that again next winter. We haven’t seen the pheasant for a few days now, we just hope she and her eggs are ok.

  13. Those tulips are just beautiful, Pauline, especially the fringed ones. I think I might have a go at growing them in containers instead of the garden as I’ve lost count of the amount those squirrels have feasted on here. I’ll try your tip with the pansies too. Fingers crossed for Portia’s eggs hatching.

    • Pauline says:

      This was the last time for me Paula, I have wasted so much money in the past. Even in pots, up on the balcony, they were all eaten!! I think I have outwitted them at last thank goodness.
      We are all hoping Portia’s eggs hatch but it has been very cold and wet for the last few days, so if she keeps wandering off all the time I don’t think it will be a happy outcome. It would be interesting though to see what colour the chicks would be.

  14. kininvie says:

    Pheasants are among the least intelligent of birds. Several years ago, an extremely scruffy example called Rasputin turned up and gorged all the bird food. It eventually got itself trapped in the bantam run, and I was all for putting it into the pot as a pay-back for the expensive bird food. Tearful daughters begged for it to be spared, and what could I do but relent? Reluctantly, I let the brute go, whereupon it flew straight into a window and broke its neck. So Rasputin went into the pot after all, but honour was saved.

  15. wellywoman says:

    I’ve got tulips in my zinc baths this year too, although mine don’t look as good as yours. I’m always a bit cautious about putting too many bulbs in but invariably don’t put enough. They have flowered well though, better than any in the ground. I’m sure it’s because they didn’t have to sit in all that sodden soil this winter. I’m definitely going to plant them again. I’ve just discovered the peony tulips this year and I think they’re my faves.

    • Pauline says:

      Glad yours were a success too WW, this was my last time of trying if it didn’t work. I think planting the pansies on top kept the squirrels away and the mice and voles wouldn’t be able to climb the slippery side, would they?! With all the rain over the winter, I agree, they wouldn’t have survived. So, the decision has been taken, more pots for tulips but overplanted with violas and pansies. Are the peony tulips the double ones? Soon the tulips will be over, will have to get thinking what to plant for the summer now!

  16. stone says:

    Wild about your white pheasant!
    If she’s laying eggs, n then not setting, what are the chances of someone hatching them in an incubator?
    Aren’t pheasants raised by farmers? (just googled it, they are.)
    Lucky that you were able to get pics… my ground dwelling birds are eluding my efforts… (but I’m not shooting from inside)

    Nice looking tulips… we can’t grow hybrid tulips here…
    We can grow the species ones, though…

    I wonder if we can figure out how to get your peony poppies to grow for you… everything else does so well, hard to believe that an easy garden annual is going to be a problem… weren’t you growing that impossible Himalayan blue?
    (Did a search… that WAS you …)

    • Pauline says:

      I think Stone, that the damage will have been done already if the eggs have been cold, I think she must be a first time Mum! Pheasants are raised by farmers for the shooting season in late summer, she survived last year, let’s just hope she survives this year, that is if the fox doesn’t get her first.
      I think where I’ve been going wrong with my poppies is that I have sprinkled seed in late summer, as nature would, but we have such wet winters that the seed has probably rotted away. Maybe in future I must sprinkle the seed in spring and hope that works. Yes, I do grow the Himalayan blue poppy,lots of seedlings coming on for next year and buds almost ready to open in a couple of weeks time, on plants that were seedlings last year. The difference is that I grow these in my greenhouse, pot them on into plug trays, then plant them in a nursery bed and finally into their final place at the back of the bog garden, I wish I could just sprinkle the seeds like the others, it would be far less work!

  17. stone says:

    Actually… the eggs being cold shouldn’t be a problem… until after the hen starts setting.

    Re the poppies…
    I’m thinking that you’re planting them where it’s too wet.
    I’d stick with an october sowing, but find some high ground for the bed.

    Papaver somniferum does not transplant…

    • Pauline says:

      What a coincidence, our TV gardener was telling us last night that now is the time to sow poppy seeds if you have wet heavy soil like his! Off I went this morning and bought 4 packets, this afternoon I will follow instructions and sow them, then stand back and wait – if they succeed I will do a post about them, so watch this space! Thanks for getting back to me.

  18. Your tin bath looks terrific. I think the pink fringed tulips would be a nice addition if you can fit them in. I like the idea of planting tulips in pots for a moveable display that can perk up any spot in the garden. I hope the fox doesn’t get Portia or her eggs!

    • Pauline says:

      More tulips are still coming out each day Jennifer, getting better and better, or I think so anyway! I’m glad you agree that the pink ones would be a good addition, I think they would look nice with the darker purple, we’ll have to see if there is any room for them.
      I haven’t seen Portia for a few days now, but the fox ran through the garden yesterday, not carrying anything thank goodness!

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