During the 2nd World War, a baby was born. This was in the days pre central heating and pre plastic, when babies were bathed in a tin bath in front of the fire. Looking at it now, I can’t believe that I used to fit in there! What does one do with an obsolete tin bath that has been hanging around various garages for all that time – fill it with tulips of course!! First of all though, drainage holes are needed.
Drainage is essential for the bulbs, they don’t like my heavy clay and every year I have lost goodness knows how many tulips. I asked the undergardener to drill them on the side of the bath to stop the worms from coming up into the compost, which they would do if the holes were in the base.
After a search we found these pieces of polystyrene which we decided would be enough for the bottom layer of drainage.
When broken up they make a good layer, covering the drainage holes.
A layer of gravel for added drainage and to fill in any gaps.
These are my bulbs, they are either plain purple, or purple with a white fringed edge or purple with white stripes or white with purple edges, what’s the betting at least one turns out to be another colour?!
In they all go, only just had room for them all on a layer of organic, peat free compost.
The bath was then filled up to the top with the compost mixed with perlite to aid drainage so that the rainwater would just run through over the course of this winter.
It has been finished off with some winter pansies for something to look at over the dark winters days as well as trying to disguise the bulbs from the squirrels, voles and mice which like to eat them. The pansies will be moved as soon as the tulips start to show through, so that they have plenty of room. I think the old war time tin bath looks a lot better now and hopefully will be even better at tulip time. Lilies will be grown in pots to replace the tulips when the time comes, or that is the idea at the moment. The old tin bath has been recycled at last, just took me rather a long time to get round to it!!