This week my Monday vase sees a return to flowers from the garden. After the slow start last week I can now see clear signs of the first flowers of the year appearing around the garden. I have been flowerless for about a month now, with my greenhouse chrysanthemums giving up in mid December and it is such a joy to know that even in the depths of winter nature is doing her thing and new season flowers are not far away.
After last weeks milk jug of lichen covered twigs and dried heads of hydrangea Annabelle, this week I have finally been able to cut some narcissi Paperwhite from my greenhouse. These beauties were still in bud yesterday when I cut them, but opened out overnight in the aga filled warmth of my kitchen.
To add some evergreen structure to the narcissi I have cut a few stems of Sweet Box (sarcococca hookeriana humilis). The flowers on this box are just beginning to show but I have not yet had the whiff of delicious scent that gives this shrub its name – I am sure I will very soon though. I planted a few plants of Sweet Box about 4 years ago and they have been very slow to get going – they are flourishing now though and I have no qualms about cutting from them this year.
The supporting twigs are cut from from Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’, another shrub that I have been anxiously waiting to reach maturity. The scented pink flowers that this shrub is renowned for are still tightly closed, but I hope that by forcing the flowers in the warm kitchen they will soon pop and release their scent and hopefully provide the backdrop for another vase on a future Monday.
In this photo I focused in on the vase in the background to show you that last weeks vase is still looking good. The lichen has dried up and lost its lovely green shade, but otherwise this vase can continue to decorate the kitchen until I get bored or want my milk jug for another arrangement. Cathy asked me last week whether I had noticed a sticky residue coming off the Annabelle heads and I said I would keep a close eye on mine. I can report that they have remained very dry, so perhaps her Annabelle had some residue from another plant on it that then came off inside.
I am so happy to welcome back my Paperwhites. It is actually 2 years since I have had any of these lovely white multi headed narcissi growing in my greenhouse as last years batch was a huge disappointment – my supplier sent the wrong type of narcissi labelled as Paperwhites, so I did not realise the mistake until the bulbs flowered. Financial restitution was made but nothing could be done to change the bulbs, so I am extra happy this year to be able to enjoy both the fresh dainty appearance and the lovely scent of these narcissi Paperwhite – although I do know that not everyone enjoys the scent as much as I do..
Thank you to Cathy for organising our weekly habit and I do hope you will pop over to Rambling In The Garden to see what she and the many others have found in their gardens today. I will be back later this week with a list of my Jobs To Do In January and a post about my love for my hellebores (which should be starting to flower very soon now). Just in case you missed it, can I also point you to my last post which has details of an exciting new collaboration between myself and a very talented garden florist. We are going to offer a series of courses here in my garden called Gather & Grow, covering growing your own flowers and turning them into beautiful floral arrangements. The first course is on 4th May and you can find the full details here.
Whether you are basking in sunshine and praying for rain, or hunkering down to sit out a snowstorm (even I am expecting some snow later this week) I wish you a lovely week and look forward to being back here very soon.