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 – 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.

In a vase on Monday – first tulips 2019

Yesterday, Monday, when this post should have been posted was just one of those BAD days; involving a visit to the dentist with an abscess and a broken tooth.  no need for sympathy I now have pain-killers that work, antibiotics to fight the infection and an appointment for next Monday for the removal of the tooth.  But I didn’t feel up to doing anything, not even posting about my vase this week.  So I am joining with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden a day late. Continue reading

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