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.

 

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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.

In a Vase on Monday – Happy New Year

The last day of the year, a time to think back over the passing year and look forward to 2019.  But this post is not going to be about nostalgia, but rather hope that this year will be better than the last not so much for me but for the world – I hope for peace and some common sense from all the world’s politicians (non of whom seem to have shown much sense in 2018). Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – rescue operation

On Mondays Cathy at Rambling in the Garden asks us to share a vase of flowers picked from our own gardens.  This week I picked my flowers on Saturday as we had been forecast severe wind and rain for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  The winds have gusted at up to 70 km per hour and the rain has been torrential, so it is a good thing I picked the flowers when I did.

Dahlias and Zinnias are still prolific with Chrysanthemums joining in the display.

In a vase on Monday

White Dahlias and Chrysanthemums with asparagus fern and mentuccia providing the foliage element. Crimson Gomphrena adds a tiny splash of colour

As Chrysanthemums are the flower almost everyone takes to the cemetery for All Souls Day it is fitting they are in my vase today.  Actually most Italians wouldn’t dream of having Chrysanthemums in their homes or even in their gardens so I must check to see if their are any bargains to be found in the supermarkets this week.

Mentuccia is one of the few forms of mint that will grow in poor soil with little or no irrigation and also one of the few forms of mint used in cooking here.

The orange Dahlias are producing a flush of flowers, I love their shaggy form and their cheerful colour

I again put some flowers into the vase with their blooms pushing against the glass

Orange Dahlia

I also added a few dark and crimson dahlias to the mix, plus Zinnias

With the clocks changing on Sunday and the bad weather it suddenly feels that summer is truly over.  But we have had some lovely weather in the last few weeks so I mustn’t complain, the rain is always needed and so far it isn’t cold.

I hope you have a lovely week.