greentapestry : April 2018

Monday 30 April 2018

Brownie Points

No chocolate goodies on offer this week but a 'Brownie' in the shape of a single tulip. It's the only stem that I could bring myself to snip for today's 'In A Vase On Monday'. My love-hate relationship with tulips is long standing as I have mentioned in previous posts. I love the flowers but not the foliage and also I've never been able to grow them well. Maybe the bulbs sense my apprehension at planting time and behave accordingly. Tulip bulbs also feature on the menu for the local squirrel army so it's a battle of wits from day one of planting onwards. Despite this I'm still always tempted by the catalogues and try a handful of new varieties each year. This spring I have one or two modest successes including 'Exotic Emperor' and the still to fully open 'Mistress Mystic', also known as 'Mistress Grey'.

 I also have three pots of the peony flowered 'Brownie' which I'm quite chuffed about. From what I can gather 'Brownie' is a relatively new tulip. The colour is a coppery-brown flecked with golden-yellow and red.  It appears more orange in the photo than it does to the eye. The vase is last week's school milk bottle and the only prop was accidental. As I was taking the photo I noticed a skeletonised leaf on the wall, it's colour echoing the tulip flower.

Meanwhile the greenhouse is slowly filling with little trays and pots of seedlings, which will hopefully feature in vases to come over the next few months. The only bit of bad news apart from the dismal sweet pea germination rate, is that the world's biggest spider has taken up residence. It is lurking around and about the heated sand bench. Himself insists that the spider is more frightened of me than vice-versa but I remain to be convinced. I'm hoping that when I finally turn the heat off it might scuttle out in search of another snug hidey-hole.

Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for being such an excellent hostess. She is also showcasing tulips this week and also treating us to an early taste of summer. Do visit if you haven't already.

Monday 23 April 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Friends Not Anemones

A visit to the allotment at the weekend was a chance to rescue a few anemones,  suffering like me and no doubt others from the sudden and unaccustomed heat. They then had to endure the indignity of a bus journey and a supermarket foray, all in the confines of my allotment bag, so were perhaps a bit worse for wear by the time they got home. The pink 'Sylyphide and the blue 'Dr Fokker' were grown from corms planted in pots on a heated sand bench in March 2016 and then transferred to the allotment sometime in the second half of May. Their first flowers appeared the following month. I was delighted with them that summer, can't remember much about their performance last year but they seem to have come back with a flourish this spring. I also have the white flowered 'The Bride' but no show of flowers there as yet from her.

That glorious  taste of summer that we enjoyed for a few days has disappeared now to be replaced by more staple April fare. The garden lapped up yesterday's downpour. New flowers are arriving on the scene regularly and it's most exciting to go out on that first daily reccie to see what's arrived on the scene. Next week it might be the turn of tulips to feature in a vase. A quick peek over at 'Rambling In The Garden' reveals some absolute beauties.  Do visit if you haven't already. Thanks as always Cathy for hosting.

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.