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 – thank goodness for evergreens!

I had a few things that needed to be done first thing this morning and I wasn’t convinced there would be anything to pick for a vase to today so I wasn’t sure I would join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden‘s Monday challenge to find something in our own gardens to cut and put in a vase to enjoy in our homes. Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May

Welcome to GBFD, we I ask you to think about the foliage in your garden rather than the flowers; when I walked out into the garden late yesterday evening to take some images of foliage that was making an impact in the garden I thought that it would be impossible to take any wide angle shots because May is when everything flowers in my garden.

However I was wrong!  The very hot beginning to May has meant that many plants have flowered and have now decided a rest is in order and have finished. Continue reading

GBFD A little magic with light

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, where we celebrate all kinds of foliage, green, evergreen, silver, gold or red.

As the forecast for today wasn’t great I decided to photograph the garden on Wednesday.  The first images were taken in the morning when there was a weak wintery sun.  I selected some parts of the garden that for some reason are rarely featured or are the background to some feature I wish to talk about.

Just as I was beginning to write I glanced out of the kitchen window and saw that the late afternoon sun was illuminating the garden.  I grabbed the camera, and managed to capture a few magic moments. Continue reading