Monday, 25 April 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Two's Company


The weather gods seem to have got in for Mondays at the moment - once again it dawned wet and it became increasingly windy as the morning progressed. Still despite the elements not one but two vases have been filled inspired by Cathy's 'In A Vase On Monday'.

The first vase is made up of just tulips - namely 'Couleur Cardinal',(thanks Christina for confirming their id), 'Malaika' also known as 'Bruine Wimpel' and 'Apricot Beauty'. The latter is new to me and I was pleased to read that she is scented although I've not detected any scent as yet. Mind you this could just be my nose. I like the way the way the flowers of this morph from an initial pale apricot colour to a soft pink. I'm also rather smitten by the feathering on the 'Bruine Wimpel' flowers which you can see  more closely in the photo below. I would have liked another trio of flowers in this vase to bulk the contents out but my plans didn't work out as explained below.



The second is a vaseful of yellow and green. I initially put three flowers of the tulip 'Spring Green' in the first vase but the colour jarred with the other occupants. So I sought out some different companions for them. Along with the tulips are a few sprigs of millium effusum aureum (aka Bowles Golden Grass), some narcissus 'Minnow', a flower of mathiasella bupleuroides 'Green Dream' and some flowers of lamium galeobdolon variegatum. I bought the latter many years ago enchanted by Margery Fish's description of foliage and flower but have been trying my best to eradicate it ever since. You can read why I fell for it here. I have now come to the conclusion that it has got the better of me so was quite happy to snip some stems off to go in a vase - tee hee!



The vases are my recent lurking in the study finds which are now enjoying a new lease of life after years of holding pens, pencils, brushes etc. Sadly there are no more potential vases in there. With a special thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' and wishing her all the very best with her imminent wedding posies and buttonholes. You will do a grand job lass.

Monday, 18 April 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Blowing In The Wind


Today's 'In A Vase On A Monday' started with the very first tulip that I could bring myself to cut. Others opened a few days ago but I didn't want to snip them to bring indoors. They are planted in a large container which is situated directly opposite the kitchen window and the flowers lift my spirits when I'm at the sink on domestic goddess duties. I was quite happy to behead the tulips in the vase though as they will be in for the chop soon. Of three varieties planted in a galvanised washing tub it's the only variety that's in flower this year. I'm not sure what it is but it may be 'Couleur Cardinal'. I also picked two other tulips from the same source which are just showing colour.



The tulips's companions are narcissus 'Thalia' and a couple of lunaria that I grew from seed last year. The first is the purple leaved 'Chedworth' which is a biennial. The second is the perhaps misleadingly named lunaria annua 'Corfu Blue', which is apparently a short lived perennial. You can see it in the above photo. In the flesh the flowers have an almost luminescent quality about them. I'll be more than happy if it is perennial albeit short lived.

Also in the vase are three sprigs of euphorbia. I've always shied clear of growing euphorbias because I suffer from skin allergies. However this one grew all by itself in the garden. Gloves were worn when snipping. I don't think that it was happy though as it flopped almost immediately. Maybe it will be perk up later.

Today has seen mainly cloudy skies accompanied by gusty winds so taking a photo was challenging. Too dark indoors but outside the vase toppled over on its side, so the arrangement in the photo you see was not the intended effect. I just wanted to capture the vase before it could go flying again. The vase is the second vase that I unearthed in the study a few weeks ago. It has been used for years to store pens and pencils. I think that it may have been a charity shop find but have no clues to inform me other than 85p written on it's underneath. 

With thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for the inspiration which is much appreciated.

Friday, 1 April 2016

EOMV March 2016 - Warm Fuzzies


March began with great excitement when we caught sight of a bird in our bird box, which you can see to the side of 'Is it Bill or Is It Ben?' It was only almost five years to the day since himself set up the box complete with camera. We have in theory been able to watch live streams from Bird TV in our living room since instalment but it has never been high up the ratings until now. After a couple of years of emptiness himself moved the box. The beginnings of a nest were constructed the following spring but then something must have gone amiss as it was abandoned. So when we saw the first appearance of what looked like a leaf, followed by more nesting material and then a glimpse of bird's legs you can imagine the euphoria. However it looks as if this was the first and only glimpse of Mama Bird that we will glimpse. What was a reasonably clear picture has disintegrated into a fuzzy morass. We think that the nesting material has been pushed up right against the camera thus blocking the picture. We can hear sounds including though so we know that the box is occupied. There are no babies as yet but when they hatch we will certainly hear them tweet although we will not see any open wide beaks.


March continued with some gentle gardening activities including dividing and seed sowing. The heated sand bench in the greenhouse has gone into operation. A batch of sweet peas went in on the first of the month and then a second on Easter Day. Other sowings include achillea ptarmica 'The Pearl', aquilegia 'Miss M.I. Huish', snapdragons, cornflowers, grasses, scabious, orlaya visigna, limonium suworowii, amaranthus caudatus and cobaea scandens. The only vegetable seed sown to date are 'Onward' peas sown on St. Patrick's Day but there will be a flurry of activity in this department once we are well and truly into April. Some dahlia tubers have gone into pots but there is still a pile waiting for me to plant up. I have some concerns about the quality of the dahlia tubers I received but only time will tell. I've made a mental note though to order early this year rather than leave it to last minute.

The greenhouse is still quite full with pots of special snowdrops which need shifting out into the outer world. I've put the bigger pots out and will probably move the smaller ones out next week. They are in crates so can be shifted back under cover if any really cold weather is predicted.



March ended with a sunshine, big bumblebees afloat, a delivery of two new special snowdrops, chestnut leaves unfurling and the flowers of geranium phaeum sneaking up on me. You can catch up with other versions of March over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog'. Many thanks for hosting each month Helen. Now it's back to Bird TV for me and the rustling and chirping soundtrack.