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China Girl blog 17th November

How easily the year slips on, winter is only a heartbeat away, yet the ebb and flow of autumn is barely noticeable. The leaves still hang like lanterns, waiting for a gale to blow them from the trees.

 This week Team Cothay planted over fifteen hundred tulip bulbs in the meadows in one day, to flower next spring. This autumn we chose the beautiful lily-flowered tulips in a mix of many colours, to which we added the lovely almost black Queen of the Night.  They will flower in late April and May. Using a bulb-planter, holes were dug seven inches deep, into each one was popped a bulb; it is important they are dropped in the right way up or they tend to come up blind. Tulips should ideally be planted deeply and in November, to avoid the dreaded tulip blight. The bulbs we buy are grown in Holland in the vast bulb fields and auctioned in Amsterdam, where millions are sold. The name Tulipa comes from the Turkish tülbend, the Turkish name for a turban, which the flower is said to resemble.

Dearest Mother says you should think of life as a school room and learn something new each day; although I was of little help in bulb planting and , Mother said I am notoriously wilful as I will not learn to do what I am bidden. I now know not to eat tulips!