greentapestry : February 2022

Monday 28 February 2022

IAVOM ~ Mainly Ephemeral


I picked my flowers for 'In A Vase On Monday' yesterday in the sunshine as the forecast was for heavy rain today which has turned out to be spot on. It was good to enjoy a weekend of calm and sunshine and to blot out the outer world albeit for a short time. My vase contains some familiar friends in the shape of :

  • The dear little narcissus 'Téte-à-Téte' which stand up well to all that the elements throw at them and just make me smile whenever they come into flower each year.
  • Some lilac sprigs of the perennial cardamine quinqufolia. This plant will forever in my mind unfortunately be associated with the compost toilet at our allotment, which was officially opened by our then local M.P. in April 2012. I bought the plant at a plant sale run by the local Cheshire and Friends group of The Hardy Plant Society. I had a rushed round the stalls and grabbed this plant and a few others, before rushing back to the allotment where I was charged with the task of meeting the M.P.  It was a small plant at the time with just a couple of fading flowers but it now has morphed into a substantial lilac carpet. It comes up early in the year and then completely vanishes underground in the summer. It has looked its very best this year. The attractive ferny foliage quite often gets nibbled by some unknown beastie but not a single bite has appeared this year. At least it's one plant that I will always remember where I got it from. 
  • A couple of iris reticulata 'Clairette' flowers.
  • Some galanthus 'Blond Inge' flowers. This is small snowdrop which sometimes misbehaves waywardly as  the yellow markings can sometimes appear as a murky shade of olive green as you can see in the photo below. It has the reputation of either being difficult to establish or clumps up well. I have found it to be the latter so it must be happy where it is planted. It is in danger though of being smothered by an arum mamoratum sub. italicum,  so I must take some remedial action before that happens

Many thanks to our hostess Cathy who blogs at 'Rambling In The Garden' and kindly invites us to share our vases each Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing what it is in other participant's vases today. I doubt if  the contents of my vase apart from the narcissus will last say length of time in the warm of the house hence the title of this post. Still I will get considerable pleasure from gazing upon them for a day or so. 

Monday 21 February 2022

IVOM ~ Bring Me Sunshine


A slightly naughty vase from me today in the shape of a recent supermarket purchase made when I was feeling very much in need of some instant sunshine. I rarely buy flowers from a supermarket or florist these days but occasionally make an exception.  

Sunshine seems to have been in very short supply this last week with three named winter storms more or less in succession. There has been much in the way of gales and heavy rain.The latest and let's hope last one 'Franklin' raged furiously for a good part of yesterday, throughout the night and well into this afternoon. I was rather deprived of sleep but am glad to say that apart from a good bit of twiggy debris and the odd snapped tree branch there was nothing serious in the way of damage. I hope that everyone who was in its wake escaped its full wrath. It looks as if these intense storms are likely to feature more regularly in the future because of global warning. A most sobering thought. Thanks as always to Cathy, over at 'Rambling In The Garden', who provides a platform for us to share our vases on Mondays come storms or sunshine.

Sunday 20 February 2022

February Musing ~ Winter Dreams

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream." 

Quote by - Barbara Winkler.

Illustration - by Mary Azarian

Monday 14 February 2022

The Best Laid Plans ...

The plan was to venture out  into the garden today and snip a few hellebore flowers, enough to float in a bowl for 'In A Vase On Monday'. That was the plan but the weather gods have not been cooperative so it's a case of make do and mend with one that was already floating. This was the accidental victim of some late in the day pruning of hellebore foliage on Saturday. I thought that I had finished this task early in the new year but there was one plant that got away. As the gardening books all suggest this a job to be completed before the arrival of flowers as there is a risk that if you leave it until later it's easy to snip a flower head off which is what happened. I'm sure that most hellebore lovers have done this at one point or another. I retrieved the head with short stalk, bringing it indoors to float in the hope that it would enjoy some company today but it was not to be. The hellebore is from a white picotee helleborus hybrid with a dark nectarine from Ashwood Nurseries

It is nestling in the pages of a book that I think that I might spend some time with later this week, namely Edith Holden's 'The Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady'. The forecast is predicting two named winter storms so I think that there will be much in the way of hunkering down and reading. Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' . No doubt she has had a most busy weekend with preparations and then opening her garden for the NGS yesterday, but she has still had time and energy to squeeze picking and posting some delightful gems to share with us today. Do visit and enjoy them.

Monday 7 February 2022

IAVOM ~ Creeping Towards Spring

After a most wet and windy weekend, when the nearest I got to gardening was looking at seed packets and indulging in a smidgeon of retail horticultural therapy, it was a relief to greet a much calmer and so far drier day.  A few outdoor jobs were done and as it's Monday a few blooms were snipped for a vase, which this week includes :
  • A hellebore flower - variety unknown.
  • A trio of iris reticulata flowers - the variety is 'Pauline', chosen as I have a friend who is a Pauline. I've not grown it before, like it but I'm coming to the conclusion that I prefer lighter and bluer iris flowers. Iris reticulata does well in pots for me rather in the garden but even then they tend to be short lived. A friend suggested a possible reason for this last year and it wasn't our lack of dry warm summers but I can't remember what it was.
  • Finally a couple of snowdrop flowers. These flowers are of galanthus 'Lapwing' which is easily identified at a glance and clumps up steadily. 
Thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for encouraging us out to pick flowers and foliage etc. to share in all seasons. Although it's still definitely winter here, the appearance of these early blooms and the sighting last week of the first bee of the year, has me feel that spring is only a few footfalls away. The thought of that is oh so exciting indeed. 

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Slightly Wordy Wednesday ~ 'Imbolc'

Today not only marks Candlemas Day, the Christian festival of light but also concludes the pagan festival of Imbolc. Imbolc marks the half way point between the winter and spring equinoxes which is indeed good news for people in the northern hemisphere. Both of these festivals have connections with purity, cleansing and hope and snowdrops are often associated with these festivals. Snowdrops were once known as 'Candlemas Bells', usually being in flower at this time of year. The above photo is of galanthus 'Imbolc'. Despite the fact that is has been the sunniest January on record in England as well as being warmer than average  the flowers on my clump of 'Imbolc' in the garden are still shut tight. The flower is from a bulb that is growing in a pot in a sheltered spot near the house. This is one of my favourite snowdrops and one of the last to open for me.