Welcome to ‘In A Vase On Monday’ where I am once again linking in to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden and the growing number of other bloggers joining in with her meme. This last week has been quite a hectic one and I woke this morning still with no ideas for todays vase.
My first walk of the day was in a frost tinged garden early this morning. Winter undoubtedly still has the upper hand in the garden and after so many weeks of rain it was lovely to see the strong dark lines of box balls and yew hedges and the skeletal shapes of trees and shrubs highlighted with a dusting of frost.
Later in the morning I grabbed my secateurs and headed out looking for inspiration for today’s vase. The frost had gone and with a touch of sun I could feel the garden retreating from its winter sleep. The days are now noticeably longer – I can stay outside until 5pm. The afternoon sun has a hint of warmth and in the beds I can see the first signs of the dark pink peony shoots poking through the soil. Looking at these pink buds I felt a desire for a vase of pink flowers. Everything has been white for so long and I was in the mood for a change. I now had a mission and set off to try and find some supplies.
Today’s vase is made up primarily of the sugared almond pink flowers of bergenia. I made the arrangement in a glass vase and added a wide burlap ribbon to compliment the natural feel of this bouquet. Also in the arrangement are early shoots of pink rhubarb, pink hellebore flowers, a dark pink camellia and viburnums tinus and bodnantense. As the afternoon felt so nice I decided to hold the photo shoot outside.
I love these delicate pink shades – in just a few weeks the garden will be full of boldly coloured bulbs, so I am pleased to have found a softer palette today. This year I have learnt a new trick with bergenias – I now treat them like hellebores and remove most of the old leaves revealing the flowers. Before this winter I have despaired of my bergenia – the leaves always look so tatty and I rarely noticed the flowers as they are hidden by the leaves. Now my plant looks fresh and young and the flowers are a winter delight. I will be splitting my clump to make new plants in the spring, now that I know how lovely they can look.
From the greenhouse I stole a solitary dark pink camellia flower. I grow a number of camellias in pots at the front of the house as my soil is too alkaline to grow them in the ground. I keep them in pots of ericaceous compost against a sheltered wall. The buds are swelling and I hope to have many more camellia flowers soon. For now I have two new plants in the greenhouse, which will flower before their outdoor relatives.
To soften the arrangement I added these very pale pink hellebore flowers – Helleborus hybridus Picotee. This plant has been in the garden since our first winter here four years ago and is now a large clump from which I can pick freely. Every year I add a few more hellebores to my beds – they make good evergreen mounds in the summer and beautiful delicate flowering plants in the winter, demanding very little in the way of attention. I have found that the cut flowers last much longer if you sear the ends in boiling water for a few minutes before adding them to the arrangement.
My viburnum tinus are still flowering and the pink buds of Viburnum tinus Gwenillian worked perfectly with my pink floral collection.
With my bouquet in her final position in the kitchen window you can see the stems of Viburnum bodnantense Dawn more clearly. I am hoping that the buds will open in the warmth of the kitchen and add a delicious scent to the bouquet! This shrub is still a very immature specimen in my garden, but I am hoping it will settle in and mature quickly.
Thank you for visiting ‘In A Vase On Monday’. I will be back next week with another contribution. In the meantime I will be here on Wednesday with the garden jobs I am planning to do over the next week. I hope you have time to pop over to Cathy’s blog now and have a look at what she has made this week.