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Monday, 16 April 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Petit Four'


Last night saw my first mollusc watch greenhouse session of the year hence the little snail you can see accompanying today's 'In A Vase On Monday'. I didn't find any snails but came across two slugs so was able to prematurely and gleefully end their party. The little snail came to me via my mother and I think that it had been in her possession for some time.

In this week's vase are :

  • Viola cornuta - a flower that never fails to please and which is subtly but pleasantly scented.
  • Narcissus 'Minnow' - these are noticeably scented but one of those aromas that I can't quite make my mind up about. I'm veering towards don't like.
  • Lathyrus vernus - a favourite spring flowering perennial. I've not forgotten that our hostess Cathy was interested in some seeds. I messed up last year but will do my best to strike whilst the iron is hot this time round. 
  • Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête' - I have an abundance of these little daffies this year. Some of you in the U.K. may already be aware that a certain household goods high street store by the name of W****o, usually discounts its bulbs as the festive season approaches. At first prices are halved but then further discount is applied as tinsel and glitter complete for limited space. The finishing price last year was 50p a packet. I can't remember now if there were 20 or 30 bulbs in a bag but I bought a few bags. They were planted up very late in pots - some as the year was closing and others as late as mid-January. They are just coming into flower now. They have not attained the same height as usual but there is plenty of flower. No doubt they will do better next year. 



Over at 'Rambling In The Garden' our esteemed hostess Cathy has shared some fabulous tulips for our delectation. An early lunch and then an afternoon in the garden or allotment calls but I'm looking forward to vase hopping later in the day.

Monday, 2 April 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Shall I Start With The Ears?


Every Monday is a chance to celebrate with a vase and not surprisingly this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' has an Easter theme. Photos were taken yesterday afternoon as the forecast for today was wet, wet, wet. In fact when I looked out of the window about 7.00am this morning it was snowing but that has now given way to cold rain. There was also the added risk of one of the subjects in the shape of the chocolate bunny being eaten so it was definitely a case of needs must.

In this week's vase are :
  • Narcissus 'Elka' - a little narcissus which starts off with a bright lemon yellow trumpet that fades from a bright lemon yellow to a creamy colour as the flower matures. 'Elka' was awarded an Award Of Garden Merit from the RHS in 2011.
  • Narcissus ''Téte-à-Téte' - they may be little but they certainly pack power.
  • A narcissus with a orange trumpet - the label has disappeared. I wish I knew its identity as I would likes some more bulbs. I will have to scour the bulb catalogues later in the year.
  • Viola cornuta - from a tray that's waiting to be planted up in a pot. There was no variety name but I fell for the colours.
  • Primula - a seedling that has appeared in the garden.
  • Some furry catkins. Now I have to confess that these were bought in for the occasion but I treat myself to some every Easter. 
  • Cardamine quinquefolia - an early flowering perennial - last seen in a vase on 19th February this year and just going over now.
  • White flowers of helleborus x hybridus, aka the lenten rose.

Alongside the vase (an old yoghurt jar) are a paperweight which I've had for a long, long time and a chocolate bunny. If you look closely at the bunny it gives a clue as to where I have just returned from after a very short but memorable trip. More to follow on that soon. The tablecloth is one rescued from when we cleared my mother's house last year.


N.B.With admirable restraint I've resisted nibbling my bunny so far. A survey on the matter of how people eat chocolate bunnies revealed that 59% start with the ears. Do you?

Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at  'Rambling In The Garden' for her inspired hosting. I see from her post that she's had the right idea and has headed way up north where the sun has been shining.

Monday, 26 March 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Shadow On The Wall


Just a sole occupant in today's 'In A Vase On Monday' - some branches from the forsythia that is just outside the allotment gates. I left it to late for forcing these into flower as early some of my blogging friends have done. Having said that though the shrub is still a way off being at its peak when it comes to blossom power. When I picked them after a Saturday afternoon stint at the allotment there was only a single flower open, but after almost a day in the relative warmth of our utility room there was a noticeable difference. There was also a marked difference in the weather when I took these photos late yesterday afternoon. We have sunshine, we have shadows, we have spring!


It was interesting to go back in time to March 22nd 2009 when the forsythia last featured here in this post, describing my walk back home from the allotment. The forsythia was already in full blossom that day.


Thanks as ever to our hostess Cathy over at the 'Rambling In The Garden' for her stalwart hosting. She has some exquisite spring treasures in her vase this week. I'm looking forward to checking in later to see what everyone else has in their vases this week.

Monday, 19 March 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Every Cloud .....


This week's 'In A Vase On Monday' was picked under a slight flurry of snow accompanied to the tune of a bone-chilling wind yesterday afternoon. It seemed as good as any time to get out there and snip a few hellebore flowers rather than wait until this morning and risk them being laid low by frost. It has just struck me that we will be officially into spring by next Monday so fingers crossed that the weather gods will oblige and deliver accordingly.


I can only come up with one definite name for the hellebores in my vase and that's Helleborus 'Penny's Pink', who is floating in the top bottom hand corner. I love them all unconditionally but my favourites are the dark burgundy double and the single white. 


My vase is resting on a copy of 'The Cloud Spotter's Guide' by Gavin Pretor - Pinney, which makes for a fascinating read on the subject of clouds. My cloud vase is a much cherished gift, made some thirty years ago or so by a talented artist friend. 

Many thanks as always to our lovely and gracious hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who is celebrating a special blogging milestone today. Many congratulations Cathy!

P.S. The predicted frost for this morning didn't materialise but it's still very much on the cold side out there.

Monday, 5 March 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Forward Planning


Although the last vestiges of snow have melted most flowers still look rather bedraggled and squashed. I was going to include some hellebores in my vase this week but they are definitely not at their best. Instead it's the teeny blooms that have recovered more quickly so in my vase this week are :

  • Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête'. Although most of the narcissus I grow are either cream or white I am completely unable to resist these cheerful little bright yellow characters. 
  • A pulmonaria that has taken me by surprise. It's in danger of becoming smothered by ivy so that's another job for the list. I'm not sure which variety it is its origins being long lost in the mists of time. It has most plain foliage  so could possibly be angustifolia. 
  • The snowdrop is 'Blonde Inge', which usually flowers in February here and has multiplied well. 
With vases to come in mind, I've sown the first lot of seeds today including limonium suworowii , which seems to have acquired the unfortunate alternative name of rat tail statice. Having seen this plant in flower I couldn't imagine anything that looks less like a rat's tail! I stumbled across it on the last day of our holiday in 2014, took photos and eventually discovered its identity in a gardening magazine that autumn. My attempt to grow them the following year met in abject failure when the seedlings were fatally frazzled so I'm having another try. I've noticed that a few other bloggers have mentioned that they are growing these seeds this year, so below is a photo of the treat that we should be in store for if all goes well and we get some warmth and sun to spur them on their way :


In the meantime today I feel that we are definitely now a step nearer to spring. Thanks to our excellent hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden', who encouraged me to wrap up well and step out both yesterday in the extreme cold and again this afternoon to see what there might be to pick for a vase. 

Thursday, 1 March 2018

March Musing ~ Promise


"On colder days as a boy I would spend hours in the nursery daydreaming among the seed packets piled on top of each other, like an old-fashioned hanging at the Academy. Here the artists has painted the promise of a flaming June with a palette of scarlet and blues. I would pick up the packets and shake them : the seeds of the poppy produced barely a whisper, while the broad bean rattled like a maraca."


~ Illustration by Annie Soudain.

Monday, 19 February 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Sweet Harmony


The search was on for another vase to put this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' in. It's a small white milk jug sprigged with a pattern of green flowers but it decided to hide itself so well that I couldn't find it. I think that it might have displayed this week's contents better than the dark blue little jug does but it was not to be.

There was a definite hint of spring in the air this weekend especially on Saturday when the sun made an appearance and it was a joy to be outside. It might have been a brief taste of what is still to come as we are heading for another cold spell but it was most welcome.

In my heading towards spring but not quite there yet vase this week are :
  • Iris reticulata 'Harmony' - early flowering and exquisitely marked.
  • Some snowdrops - not any of my specials this week but still every bit as special.
  • Cardamine quinquefolia - this is an early flowering woodland spring perennial which is easy, hardy and soon clumps up. It is an excellent companion for hellebores, especially the darker flowered ones, as well as for snowdrops and pulmonarias. The plant does a complete disappearing act in the summer.
  • A couple of 'Tête-à-tête' daffodils. Those in the ground have still to flower. These heads came from one of those cheap supermarket pots of little daffies. I probably bought it either last year or the year before. Whatever its vintage it has overwintered in a little pot tucked close up to the house walls. These pots always amaze me as the bulbs just sit on top of the compost and have no warm blanket of compost covering them. Obviously they don't read the books as they still go ahead and flower.
I see that our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' has also included irises in her tea party vase this week. If you've not already had a peek please do so.

Monday, 12 February 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ If Today Had Been Yesterday


If today had been yesterday there would not have been an 'In A Vase On Monday' offering here. Fortunately Sundays's frequent showers of blustery sleet, snow and nasty hard pellety white polystyrene balls have given way to a much brighter, calmer day although it's definitely still on the cool side out there.


I resisted the urge to snip any snowdrops today although I have to confess to being sorely tempted. In my vase (a milk jug in a former life) are some hellebore flowers, winter flowering heather, viburnum tinus 'Lisa Rose' and foliage in the shape of lonicera nitida. The hellebore is one of those happy accidents that happen when a seedling appears in a most unlikely spot. I debated whether to remove it when it first made its presence known but it was left in place where it continues to grow against the odds. I have just noticed when bringing my nose near to the vase that the viburnum is most gently but pleasantly scented.

Many thanks to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who hosts a quite fabulous gathering of vases from far and wide each Monday.