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.
First of all I must make an apology for missing ‘Flowers On Sunday’ yesterday. I think a combination of the weather and a number of inside jobs that needed attending to meant the day just slipped away from me. Lunch with friends and a little shopping nearly resulted in today going the same way, but despite the heavy rain this afternoon the dogs and I braved the garden to find a few blooms to show you. After the wind and rain of the last few days the tulips are now just dying stalks and my beautiful tree peony has lost most of her petals for another year. As I wait for the next big flush of flowers (roses, peonies, lupins and delphiniums are all looking very promising), there are still a lot of blooms to choose from. Everything was a bit damp and droopy this afternoon, however, so I have returned to a few small posies in my rusty French jam jar holder and a photo shoot in the greenhouse to maximise the very poor light.
The arrangement from the other side:
My floral excitement of the week is that I have finally got ranunculus in flower in the greenhouse! I know that I have been mentioning my ranunculus on and off for many months, mostly with a very despondent tone. I really did not think I was going to have any success. I planted quite a few in pots in the autumn and these overwintered in the greenhouse, but the leaves started to look sickly and overgrown in the early spring. The pots were thrown out into the garden a while ago and instead in February I planted a box of pink ranunculus that I bought from M&S into my greenhouse bed. This week they have finally burst into flower! I am delighted – they are not the biggest ranunculus I have ever seen, but the colour is lovely and they are mine, so I am very proud of them.
A friend referred to these as Persian buttercups last week – a name I have never heard before. Next season I am going to overwinter a batch in the Cutting Garden under a fleece tunnel to see how they get on. I will also plant another batch in the greenhouse bed after I take the Paperwhites out in February. Hopefully my ranunculus will keep flowering until the first of the sweet peas that I planted in the greenhouse take over. They are already well up their netting, so should not be long now.
Another jam jar is filled with the flowers of a mature philadelphus that grows very close to my kitchen window. This shrub is enormous and flowers profusely every year. I am not sure of the variety as it was already a mature shrub when we arrived here. It seems to be flowering very early this year – I would normally expect philadelphus in June or even early July. Like the viburnum carlesii, this is a plant that fills the warm summer evenings with a delicious scent, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that we have some warm evenings before the flowers fade.
My viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ is looking very sad after all the rain, so I could not resist picking a few of the now very droopy snowballs before the rain destroys them altogether. You can also see some blooms of the perennial cornflower Centaurea montana, which is flowering around the garden.
My very first hardy annuals are flowering this week. These are self seeded plants that have been growing in my borders all winter – a contrast to the hardy annuals I have started from seed in the greenhouse in February, which will be a while yet before they flower. This year I am going to start off a batch of hardy annuals in the autumn and protect them with fleece through the winter as it really is the only way to get very early flowers. This week I have this beautiful blue cornflower, english marigolds and cerinthe major in flower. I have used mint leaves to support these cornflowers.
I have also realised that I made a big omission in the Cutting Garden last year. As the tulips go over and before the sweet peas start to flower I should be picking from biennials sown last June. As I forgot to sow any biennials in the Cutting Garden, things are a bit quiet there for now. I am buying seeds of Brompton stocks, Sweet Williams, Sweet Rocket, wallflowers and foxgloves at the moment ready to start sowing in a seed bed in June. The growing plants will then be moved into position in the autumn when I plant the tulip bulbs.
Whilst writing I am delighted to share the news that Art For Cure has raised just over £101,000 to date for Breakthrough for Breast Cancer. That is a fantastic result – I am pleased that Peonies & Posies was able to contribute a little to the sale proceeds as my lilac wreaths went home with someone! So great was the success of the weekend that there is now talk of an on line Art For Cure gallery – please do pop over to their website to read about their plans.
I will be back tomorrow with my promised review of Fresh From The Field Wedding Flowers. In the meantime I hope you will visit Cathy’s blog and see what she and the others have made from their gardens this week!