In a vase on Monday – First bulbs

How times passes, it is already the 11th January almost half way through the month and still the weather isn’t cold; although we are threatened with snow and ice from Siberia at the end of this week or the beginning of next.  Monday is when Cathy at Rambling in the garden challenges us to pick material from our own gardens to put in a vase to enjoy indoors.  As always Cathy has come up with a charming vase and an intriguing title.

I have pots of bulbs growing in the greenhouse to have some colour a little earlier than is possible in the garden.  I had been hoping that all the bulbs in each pot would flower together creating a blaze of colour that I could bring inside and display in some artful way; but no, just a few of the lovely blue Iris Lady Beatrix Stanley are flowering so I have cheated and little and transferred those in flower of likely to flower in a few days into a small container.

Iris Lady Beatrix Stanley

Iris Lady Beatrix Stanley


Iris Lady Beatrix Stanley

The container is porous so I have placed it on a blue plate so we have blue on blue on blue!

Iris Lady Beatrix Stanley

Iris Lady Beatrix Stanley

The arrangement that I made for New Year’s Eve was still looking pretty good; even the Rudbeckia didn’t look too bad from a distance but close up they needed to be replaced.  There are still new Rudbeckia flowers in the cutting bed but I preferred to change the feel of the arrangement and not use more of them this week.

Renewed arrangement from New Year's Eve

Renewed arrangement from New Year’s Eve

One stem of Crab Apple and fallen apples laid on the top of the foliage

One stem of Crab Apple and fallen apples laid on the top of the foliage

The original Arbutus with unopened buds of Viburnus tinus and Crab apples

The original Arbutus with unopened buds of Viburnus tinus and Crab apples

The light is better in the kitchen so it was photographed there before being returned to the sideboard in the dining room.

I should be able to light the candles again now

I should be able to light the candles again now

As I hadn’t made a classic evergreen and red berry arrangement for Christmas I thought I would use a low stem of my crab apple (that needed to be pruned as it is dragging on the ground) plus I collected some of the fallen apples and just spread them around the other foliage.  I needed to reduce the height of the arrangement as the candles were half burnt down.  I reduced the width in an attempt to keep the proportion and added some tightly closed buds of Viburnum tinus which will hopefully open white in the warmth of the room.

Do visit Cathy to see what treasures have been found today or why not join in this fun meme yourself.

57 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – First bulbs

  1. One of my favourite plants. Lovely to see them this early. I have some new Pauline bulbs quite well on in my rockery, so I am excited to see how they flower.
    Your New Year arrangement is lovely too – you can’t beat evergreen and red berries with a few candles.

  2. What a fantastic blue combination and that is a lovely evergreen arrangement too. V. tinus flowers are at their best as tightly closed pink sprays of buds IMO. I like that your candles are getting shorter!

  3. Your dish of bulbs is my inspiring idea of the month so far. I have no greenhouse, but it has given me an idea to plant small bulbs and enjoy them early…for at the moment with all the wet soil, I wouldn’t want to go down on my hands and knees to peer into any new bloom in the garden. Thank you so much Christina.

    • Small bulbs in pots needed take up much space and would do well on a spare bedroom windowsill. My greenhouse is frost free but not heated to any significant degree and small bulbs grow very quickly.

  4. Hi Christina! Clever of you to grow these beautiful little iris to enjoy up close. Oh they are so lovely in your blue on blue presentation. I like how you refashioned your centerpiece. It takes on a completely different mood with the replacement of rudbeckia by the crabapple. Have a good week!

  5. It was great to see that centerpiece again and how you renewed it…clever! But oh to see iris reticulata blooming. Love the colors of blue with the iris….and this weekend was warm so all the bulbs are breaking through now including the early iris. Unfortunately we are slated for lots of snow midweek and it is frigid again so mine will wait until we get a warm streak. Thanks for the sneak peek at spring for me!

  6. I wish I had brought on some early Iris in pots Christina, its wet and murky here, so enjoying any in the garden is fleeting, whereas you can enjoy yours all day long. I really like you New Years arrangement too.

  7. Your little irises look lovely in the blue dish – is it a bonsai dish? And what lovely crab apples you have added to your New Year’s arrangement. I forgot to say that my pre-Christmas vase with the 2 green chyrsanths and the holly still looks fresh too

  8. The Iris are lovely, Christina, and your update of the table arrangement looks great. I’ll have to remember your use of the Arbutus foliage and try that myself some time. It’s too bad I didn’t save some of the foliage when I had the trees trimmed in mid-December.

  9. The Arbutus is a lovely evergreen base. I don’t think I have seen any of that, ever. I like the candle arrangement both ways, Kind of a Spring and Holiday version. Are the Iris a reticulata? I love anything with blue flowers and the intense blues especially.

  10. I’m always disappointed in my potted up bulbs because they come along one or two at a time. What a good idea to “cheat” as you have. The blue on blue on blue is absolutely stunning.

  11. All that blue is just lovely Christina – I love these little irises and must try growing some in a pot to bring in for a cool windowsill one year. The new year arrangement is gorgeous. Love the crab apples and viburnum you have added.

  12. The little curly purple irises are so cute, and give a spring-like feeling. I like the addition of the crabapples to your New Year’s display, it really looks colorful, Christina.

  13. It’s intriguing how we can plant bulbs at the same time in the same conditions but still not achieve simultaneous flowering. They obviously have their own plans. The blue dish and container are the perfect companions for the irises Christina. It’s also great to be able to observe the exquisite markings at close quarters. This year I had irises in flower in the garden before the end of December which was a surprise. We’re also heading for a cold snap this week which will be most welcome.

    • My Iris unguicularis was flowering at the end of November and has had flowers almost every day since, but they don’t last long in a vase so I don’t pick them. But it is annoying that the reticulata haven’t all flowered together.

  14. The little Iris are gorgeous and perfect in the little bonsai dish. What a good idea to plan ahead some lovely little surprises for winter. I do tulips in pots every year mainly because they have to be dug up and chilled anyway, but having something small to bring inside would be lovely. I think I have an old bonsai dish somewhere, I will have to look it out. (and order some new bulbs 🙂 )

    • Your winter must’s be milder than ours then, as I don’t have to lift my tulips for them to receive enough cold, my problem is that the cold weather is always late and so my tulips don’t flower very early. This year I treated most of my new tulips in the fridge for about 10 weeks so I’m hopeful they will flower earlier this year – but we will see.

        • Summer wet is the problem for tulips, mine can stay in the ground because they don’t receive any water in summer and it usually doesn’t rain for at least three months. But they do need winter cold to flower well.

            • That’s about like what we have, a few heavy frosts, maybe -1 C . Last year we had about 4 of them, and I had one tulip that accidentally ended up in the border and did brilliantly, but other years they have just shrunk away.

            • The temperature doesn’t have to be below zero; I think 10 – 12 °C is enough, but it needs 10 weeks at least, that’s why my tulips are often no earlier than in the UK, because it often doesn’t get that cold until late December or early January.

  15. Lady Beatrix Stanley is such a gorgeous shade of blue. It is a lovely idea to grow them like this. Outside in the garden we only visit them fleetingly at this time of the year when the weather doesn’ t encourage us to linger.
    Your New Year arrangement is still looking wonderful.

    • Iris reticulata can be so small that you don’t see them from a distance and therefore might miss them altogether, which would be a dreadful shame as they are so beautiful.

  16. Love the blue iris with blue. Your arrangement for new year is super, a real eye catching piece thanks to the crab apples. I helped to decorate the church for Christmas and also used a crab apple branch to drape on the deep window cills, they looked beautiful. I wonder how those viburnum flowers are doing?

    • I’m sure the crab apples looked beautiful in the church, a lovely idea. The Viburnum are still tightly closed buds, but I rather like them as buds, I’ll let you know how long it takes for them to open.

  17. I love the irises-sharp and full of life. Our bumper crop of crab apples was devoured in a couple of days when the blackbirds judged they were ready, in the autumn. Yours look lovely here, I like the idea of the opening viburnum buds. Still very wet and very cold in my garden, but you encourage me to go out and look for Spring.

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