Welcome lovely readers to my weekly ‘In A Vase On Monday’ post when I link up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to join in with her challenge to find something from the garden to put in a vase in the house every week of the year.
Despite the warm winter weather this year my garden is waking up very slowly – I think the high water table here combined with very cold recent overnight temperatures has held back what was looking like a very early start to the gardening year. I am not complaining – I would far rather everything bloomed at its appointed time than that all the flowers appear in a rush together far to early in the season. I am, however, missing my usual winter greenhouse full of bulbs – the pleasure that I get from stepping into the greenhouse when it is heavily scented with Paperwhites and hyacinths is so very welcome on dull grey winter days and I am quite sad to think that I will have to wait another year to experience that intensity of warm scent again.
I have found the first of the garden hyacinths just coming into flower in the last few days, so they were my inspiration for todays collection. There are only a few in flower this week – not enough to fill a vase – so I had to collect a handful of other ingredients to pad things out a bit. Although it is far too cold pick up any hint of hyacinth perfume outside it is surprising what a few hours in a warm kitchen can do. Just these two flower stems were enough to scent the whole room and have the scent wafting into the adjoining dining room as well.
There have been plenty of leaves showing on the muscari bulbs for many weeks now and I can see that in a week or two’s time there will be swathes of muscari to pick – just in time for easter I hope! For now the flowers are limited so I took a small handful from the few that have braved the cold temperatures. I have mainly planted muscari armeniacum, which is a lovely deep blue. What I did not realise when I planted the bulbs though was their propensity to spread – I now have far bigger clumps than I would like so there will be plenty of lifting and moving once the flower show is over. I have since read that other varieties of grape hyacinth are much better behaved so I will pick more carefully if I decide to extend my collection.
These small branches of pussy willow are very exciting – the first I have picked from my own garden!! The small tree I planted two years ago is developing very well and looks set to provide me with plenty of home grown pussy willow in future years.
My beautiful hellebores are still gracing the borders. It is hard to believe that such a delicate looking flower can withstand rain, hail and wind, not to mention freezing temperatures and also flower for so long. But then what we often mistake for petals are actually very tough sepals (modified leaves) and the downward facing habit of these flowers allows the rain to run right off.
I have also included another couple of branches of my early flowering cherry – I saw the first flowers in January and included it back then in an In A Vase On Monday post. That tree is still in blossom – it is as though the flowers have been frozen to the branches. Usually I would expect to see the blossom on this tree in early March and it would be fleeting, with the tree quickly coming into leaf – probably the first tree in leaf in the garden. This year I have been enjoying the ethereal pale pink blossom for weeks now and that too has survived gale force winds and endless wet days and nights.
Hellebores are one of my favourite flowers to photograph – their delicate colours can be captured so well by the camera.
And those beautiful stamens are so architectural.
Once again I have chosen a collection of little bottles to display my flowers in – this time a set from the company LSA (who make beautiful vases) that my son gave me for my birthday last year. I love the way that they are each a different shape but still the same in height and style.
I have a busy week planned ahead that finishes on Friday with a meeting with the team of floral helpers who are going to support me with the summer wedding I am preparing for. I am concentrating on sowing seeds in my warm greenhouse right now whilst the temperatures are so low outside – I can see a rise in temperature is predicted later this week though and I hope that this will mark the beginning of a spell of reliably more spring like weather. I am planning to write about the flowers I will be growing for the wedding in a post later this week and I also have a recipe for a delicious chocolate easter cake to share with you.
Thank you as ever to Cathy for hosting this lovely meme and I hope you will pop over to her blog to she what she and the others have found in their gardens today.
I wish you all a very good week ahead and I look forward to being back here with you on Wednesday with that chocolate cake.