Welcome to ‘In A Vase On Monday’ when I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to join her challenge to fill a vase for the house from the garden every week.
Before I start I must tell you about the lovely afternoon I had last Wednesday meeting up with Chloris from The Blooming Garden and Christina from Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides. Chloris really does have the most beautiful garden. I did feel that I already knew the garden from reading her blog, but seeing it as a whole was a totally different experience – helped by the lovely weather. We sat outside drinking tea in china cups and eating home made scones with rhubarb and ginger jam – it felt more like June than the last day of April. It was also lovely to meet Christina and her husband and to learn more about their life in Italy. Both ladies were as lovely as their blogs suggest and I am looking forward to meeting them again in the future.
My other news is that Erin from Floret Flowers (a favourite flower farming blog) has started a weekly Seasonal Flower Alliance which she is hosting on a Thursday., so I will be creating another arrangement or linking this post to her blog on a Thursday. I am sure she would be delighted to see your contributions to the ‘Vase On Monday’, so if anyone else is interested in joining in with this American meme leave a comment and a link on her blog on a Thursday. Her criteria are that the flowers used are home grown or locally grown, so all our Monday vases will fit very well. Even more exciting is that I have been given two copies of a book Erin has recently published in collaboration with Lynn Byczynski. Fresh From The Field Wedding Flowers is all about using local seasonal flowers for events, in particular weddings. It is right up my street, so I am reading my copy avidly at the moment. I will be writing a review later in the week and giving details of a little competition to win the other copy.
After all this talk it is at last time to have a look at this week’s vase. Walking around my garden the mood is certainly changing. The tulips are gradually fading away, but in their place is a greater variety of late spring blooms. For the first time I had a choice not only of colours, but of shapes and forms. I decided to make the most of it with a full scale vase arrangement! For this arrangement I have used a silver rose bowl given to me by a very kind friend who was having a clear out. Rose bowls conveniently have grids to support the flower stems and I have once again used my fake moss ring for extra support.This weeks vase is made up of elderflowers, viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’, allium Purple Sensation, aquilegia, dicentra spectabilis and honeysuckle – it feels like quite a cast after the lean winter months!
The pink dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart) gives a beautiful airy feeling to any arrangement. I have some large beds in the front garden that kick off the season with cherry blossom and pink hyacinths. These give way to a mass planting of the peony flowered pale pink tulip Angelique. As the tulips fade the alliums and pink dicentra spectabilis take over, followed by bearded iris and peonies. The beds then erupt into a mass of nepeta, sedums and perovski with Gertrude Jeykll roses bobbing above the nepeta foliage. I have tried plenty of other planting combinations in these beds, but lost everything to the rabbits or deer that can access our front garden. This more limited successional planting palette seems to succeed despite the wild life (although the roses do sometimes get munched by the deer). Within these beds are four mature dicentra spectabilis, so I feel comfortable cutting a few sprays for the house.
As I think about saying goodbye to my beautiful lilac, the elderflower trees are starting to take over the blossoming reins. I love these frothy white flowers and am looking forward to making some elderflower cordial in a week or so when more blooms are in flower. As well as in a drink, elderflower cordial is lovely with gooseberry fool, used to flavour pannacotta or made into a light summery jelly to serve with fruit.
Although I love all my viburnums, Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ is my number one favourite. These white pom pom flowers are exquisite. I have two small shrubs planted in the winter border and I hope that in years to come they will form large specimens dripping with flowers. For now I am happy that they have at least flowered this year – this will be my one picking – I really need to let them put on some growth before I can start hacking off the branches!
Allium Purple Sensation is probably my favourite of the many alliums available. I find that the height and size of the globe shaped flowers of Purple Sensation work perfectly in almost any border and they are an ideal follow on from the fading tulips. Every year I plant more of these and have decided to add a bag to the Cutting Garden in the autumn so that I can use them more freely next year.
I am gradually building up the numbers of aquilegas in my garden. In my old garden they seeded everywhere and were almost a weed. I am not so lucky here, but finally this year a few new ones have popped up. I am not sure what variety this one is (or whether it is a self seeded concoction), but it is certainly beautiful and harmonises well with the alliums.
In the spirit of the afternoon teas that I am anticipating now that the warmer weather is here, I have styled this vase with my favourite cake stand, cake plate and fairy lights.
I hope you have enjoyed this weeks vase and that you will pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what she and the others have made this week.