In a vase on Monday – Parrots

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden inspires us each Monday to find flowers from our gardens or collected locally to cut and enjoy in our homes.  She has encouraged many of us to look forward to Monday as a day to share our vases with many other enthusiastic participants.

We have had a week of two very different weather conditions.  For most of the week it was deliciously warm (ideal gardening weather), then at the weekend a ‘Beast from the East’ arrived bringing with it gale force winds and temperatures dipping below freezing.  This had its effect on the development of the tulips.  The pioneer stems of two varieties began to open and so were picked with the expectation of adding the rest within a few days; the cold temperatures have delayed the rest so today’s vases are not as abundant as I had envisaged.

A collection of vases and pots in the kitchen yesterday

Tulip Negrita has always been one of my favourite tulips, all the more as it has returned in the garden for many years.  Last year I added some Double Negrita and for this year I saw that a Negrita has been added to the list available and decided to try them.  The first bloom appeared almost a week ago, way ahead of the others in the pot; when I added the others to the vase and changed the water it keeled over as you can see in the image above.  I then cut it shorter to give it more stability in the vase.

Today the Irises are finished so just a slim vase of Tulip Negrita Parrot and the fish bowl remain

Last weeks fish bowl arrangement has been adapted by removing the pot of Iris reticulata and adding a single stem of Tulip Blumex Favourite, another parrot tulip.

Last weeks fish bowl with the addition of Tulip Blumex Favourite

Tulip Blumex Favourite

What will you find to share with us today, I wonder.  For more vases visit Cathy.

Hope this is a good gardening week for you all.

 

 

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In a vase on Monday – In a goldfish bowl

The last week has been spring-like, even on the days that had a cold wind from the north, the sun shone and out of the wind it was warm.  Sunday the wind dropped and it was truly the best day of the year so far.

I have been able to work in the garden; clearing, planting and pruning the wisteria (nearly done).

I had thought that with the warm days there would be more tulips to share with you today, but they are stubbornly refusing to open their buds although I’m sure in a couple of days there will be several different varieties flowering.

I had planted some Iris reticulata in pots to have in the Orangery and these began to flower last week – today I noticed those in the garden are also flowering (later than some of those I have seen on English blogs, which is interesting in itself).  My first idea was to have the irises in their pots and some beautiful stems from a friend’s tulip tree.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ and tulip tree woody flowers

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

The remains of the flowers from a tulip tree

I really wish I had planted a tulip tree (Liriodendron) in my garden – the flowers are beautiful in spring but what remains on the tree during the winter is the woody outer sepals which looked like small wooden flowers silhouetted against the sky.

I wasn’t quite satisfied with how the irises looked so I was inspired to try something else.

In a vase on Monday

In a fish-bowl vase I placed a leaf of Fatsia japonica and some of the seed-heads; I added a stem of a Hellebore I had been given as a Christmas present which is white in flower but then fades to green.

Fatsia japonica seed-heads and Hellebore

I then just dropped the potted Irises into the top of the vase.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

I took it all outside to photograph.

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

I loved this last image so much I have made it my desktop screensaver.

With my thanks, as always, to Cathy at Rambling in the garden which inspires us to be inventive with our home grown flowers.

 

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

As promised a photo profile of all the stages of Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’.  Sunsets are always beautiful and this one is no exception.

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

When I first saw the flower I was a little disappointed, but as the colours developed I fell in love!

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

The crystalline edges of the petals and the fast developing colour (just like a real sunset) quickly became my favourite tulip.

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

I read earlier this week that the rate of growth of a tulip after it has been cut is the length of the flower every twenty four hours.

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

who wouldn’t fall under its spell!

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

….and finally – this!

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

Is there a flower you love that changes so much during it’s life.

I wonder which of my tulips will flower next?  Will there be a new one before next Monday?

I hope you’re enjoying some wonderful sunsets, they always seem more colourful in the winter than at any other time of year.

In a vase on Monday- changing tulips

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to join her with a vase on Monday, to begin our week with the pleasure of flowers cut from our gardens or nearby.

I think I may have said last week that I was a little under whelmed with the Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’ – well I should have waited before passing judgement.  It is a tulip that ages beautifully; growing taller, the bloom becoming larger and the colours, deepening, changing, becoming like shot silk.

Here’s the vase as you saw it last week

In a vase on Monday 4th February

Here on the 6th February

In just two days the tulips have grown to be taller than the Teucrium that was almost hiding them.

Yellow at the throat, orange , magenta – the colours of the sunset I posted yesterday, Sunday

I actually took so many photographs as the tulips developed I think they will deserve a post of their own.

Here on the 10th February

By Sunday, they are shrinking again, drying a little, but still worth their space on the sideboard.

Just look at the petals – aren’t they gorgeous?  Like a watercolour

But there were of course more blooms to pick (I usually plant 25 bulbs to a pot but I have decided this is too many, even allowing for the fact that they don’t all mature at once I think 15 would be enough and it would spread the time I have them to enjoy.

Freshly picked in the middle of last week, more T. ‘Miami Sunset’ with Tulip ‘Daydream’

Tulip ‘Daydream’

Tulip ‘Daydream’ begins a soft yellow and then becomes suffused with peachy apricot.

T. ‘Miami Sunset’ with Tulip ‘Daydream’

The second picking of T. ‘Miami Sunset’ seem to have a slightly different colour which must be impossible as they were all planted together in the same pot!  But the petals appear to be slightly flamed reminiscent of T. ‘Princess Irene’ but much taller.

A couple of days later the stems have grown considerably

Two vases in the kitchen, yeah!  The vase of T. ‘Exotic Emperor’ hasn’t quite finished yet.

On Saturday I was invited to meet a friend’s new granddaughter, a very special occasion so I found a few fresh blooms and improvised with a cut down plastic bottle (I don’t have many of those now as we buy our water in glass and take them back to be re-filled).

A vase for a friend

There were a few more stems f T. ‘Daydream’, ‘Exotic Emperor’ and ‘Miami Sunset’, I added a stem with the seed head of Fatsia japonica and Iris unguicularis, plus a stem of Lonicera fragrantissima for perfume.

The kitchen worktop with one vase behind the other

Sorry about the mess on the worktop, I was in a rush by the time I photographed the vase.

T. ‘Daydream’ with the seed head of Fatsia japonica

Lonicera fragrantissima

Iris unguicularis

What have you found to put in a vase today to share with us?

I hope you have some good gardening weather this week.

A few signs of Spring

At last!  Friday and Saturday were gorgeous days; sunny but not cold, not cold at all.  A day to open the windows to let the heat in.  Spring?  Well all gardeners only need a little sunshine to believe the end of winter is in sight.  Today, of course, is grey with a cold wind and so it’s back to wanting to be in fount of the fire.  But at least those two days remind me about spring.

The garden has its own rhythms, more dependent on day length than the temperature.

Snowdrops

If I see any snowdrops for sale in pots, I’ll buy some more and I might try to spot when the seedpods are ready to open and sow them into pots to increase stock

Violas

The jolly little faces of Violas are in pots on the terrace, tulip shoots are pushing though.

Iris unguicularis

Iris unguicularis

There are now three clumps of Iris unguicularis in the garden.  They flower for so long and seem so delicate, but flower on the coldest of days.

Iris unguicularis

Primrose

Primroses bought last year display inside the orangery were planted out in spring

Pale fleeting Crocus tommasinianus

Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker”

Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’

Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’

Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’

Anemone coronaria a chance seedling with much paler inner petals

The Anemones produce copious amounts of seed and a few do eventually grow but again I think I could increase stocks more consistently if I sow some of my saved seed.  Does anyone know if they need heat to germinate or a would they be better left in the coldframe to experience some cold?

Anemone coronaria it seems almost lilac

Something to enjoy even on very cold days is the wonderful sunsets.  So difficult to capture but a pleasure just to sit gasping at the colours nature can produce.

Wonderful sunsets

Wonderful sunsets

Have a good week.

In a vase on Monday – Sunset Colours

Another Monday, another vase – Mondays were never this much fun, were they?  Cathy has changed our view of the beginning of the week, thank you Cathy.

As was to be expected more of the Exotic Emperor tulips became ready to pick during the week so I found a larger vase and just kept adding them to the vase.  The tulips open beautifully, the flower becoming larger as well as the stems growing so they are a vase that one goes back to enjoy all the time rather than being arranged and forgotten.

Tulip Exotic Emperor

Delicate green markings on Tulip Exotic Emperor

During the week the first blooms of Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’ were ready to pick; as there were only 3 I used blue-flowered Teucrium to make a slightly larger display.

1st Arrangement with Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

But the rest of the flowers soon caught up so again I found another larger vase and picked more Teucrium, in this case more to help with keeping the tulips in position in the vase; I think the delicate slightly silvery leaves of the Teucrium as a lightness to the solid form of the tulip flowers.

In a vase on Monday

I know many of you are interested in how I manage to have tulips so early in the year.  This involves making sure I order my tulips early so that mine are dispatched first.  They arrived during the first week of September and were immediately placed in the vegetable drawer of the fridge in the Orangery.

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’ with Teucrium

The  Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’ bulbs went into the fridge on 4th September and were planted into large pots on the 4th December so 91 days of chilling at about 5°C.  They were picked 57 days later.  I think that if they were placed in a warmer environment they would flower more quickly.  The weather has been very cold since December and the greenhouse is only heated to keep it frost free.  Other years there would have been many more days when the daytime temperature at least would have been in the high teens or even low twenties; that didn’t happen this year.

Tulip ‘Miami Sunset’

Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’ also went into the fridge on 4th September; these were planted into pots on 15th November so had less chilling time, 72 days, but then took longer to flower 64 days.

I had thought that because T. Exotic Emperor should flower earlier than T. Miami Sunset that the slightly shorter chilling time would be sufficient, but it obviously wasn’t long enough.  I will try to correlate chilling times to length of time to flowering, and check against past years timings where I have them.

Do check to see what Cathy and all the other Monday vase addicts have found today.