At Hermannshof, the flood of tulips which gushes through the garden on april and may, is one of the most spectacular sights the garden has. It’s also beautiful for those who love a more restraint garden style.
When you enter the garden through the main gate, most of the people turn right in the direction of the huge open space. While entering you already see the colourful tulips gleaming through the trees. In autumn, those patches are full with Rudbeckia and Heliantus in flaming yellow. Now they shine in ervery possible colour of tulip. It seems they are thrown ramdomly into the patches. Throw is the right word, as they are distributed like this by the gardeners. But the design follwos a clear plan. What you see as colourful variety is carefully planned.
Interesting combinations of colours are sometimes audacious, for example red, pink and yellow. Bands in only one colour bring order into the planned chaos. Next to the Cercis (see the blogpost on woods) there ist mostly red and white. The tulips are mixed from early, middle and late blooms, so a long blooming time of the whole patch ist guaranteed. And often there are not the spectacular double tulips but the simple ones. They have a great effect when used in large quantities.
In the border in front of the gardeners house are the violet, white and pink tones. They blend perfectly with the dark fresh leaves of Ageratina atlissima „Chocolate“. The border behind belongs to the powerful orange tones of Tulipa fosteriana „Orange Emperor“. Here too the dark leaves of the Penstemon „Huskers Red“ are a perfect fit. The bright orange is follwed by the dark red of the Tulipa „Red Georgette“ which has several flowers on one stem. For „Red Georgette“ look at the picture series at the end of the post.
From there, you look again at white and violett colours which match to the syringa, the wisteria and a small Malus hupensis with a flood of forget-me-nots at his feet. This picture is always a beautiful one and I’m in love with it every year. The fine structure in this patch is made by Lunaria rediviva.
The patch in front of the dry hill is in summer the place of the giants such as Miscanthus and Helianthus. But now it’s the space für the lily tulips in clear colours as white, red and yellow. The petals of the lily tulips are pointed and they are very hardy.
Tulips on the dry hill
Tulips for dry and meager soils? Well, that’s not easy. Prof. Cassian Schmidt admits this. There are not many species for such places. Even the Tulipa clusiana which loves dry soil need some nutrients to bloom. So this patches are not so colourful but the small tulips who love dry soils have their own lighthearted charme.
A very stable and reliable tulip is Tulipa whittallii which grows in the wild too. I have it in my garden and it’s just adorable. It blooms orange with green hues and the color gets more powerful every day.
Tulipa „Honky Tonk“ is more resistant to dryness as all tulips I know. It blooms in a light yellow and the longer the flower is open the more you can see pink tones on the outer side. At Hermannshof you can find it at many places.
Lilac and yellow in the paeonia garden
When you turn left at the entrance, you will walk by the Rosa “Canary Bird” into the tree paeonia garden. Here are planted tulips in wonderful yellow and lilac colours and in different characteristica – lily flowered, viridiflora or double. Only the matching colour is important and the perfect combination with the brownish leaves of the sprouting paeonia.
Besides the tulips, there is much to see at Hermannshof in April. Still blooming are the Narcissus, the Camassia leichtlinii are about to start, the may apples with their huge leaves are a real show and in the shadowed parts are enchanting small scenerys with Fritillaria and other beauties.