In a Vase on Monday: Ticket to the Moon


The flowers in my Monday vase this week look as though they are reaching up for the sky, or with those moon daisies should I say the moon, which is why this song came to mind…


(If you are as old as I am you will no doubt remember it, even if like me you weren’t keen on it!)


Of course, I had to cut a few Aquilegias (Aquilegia vulgaris) while they are looking fresh, and the tall moon daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) and grasses growing around the edge of the lawn seemed to be suitable companions. I also have a Sanguisorba minor (salad burnet) that needed taming, and cut a large sprig. The flowers are so pretty just as they start to open…


Growing near a pale pink Aquilegia is my white Dicentra (Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’) and I took a deep breath and cut one piece. It still takes some courage sometimes to cut things for a vase, but I am so glad I took the plunge this time…


Some lovely white Allium cowanii (also called Allium neapolitanum) have opened the Allium season. I planted these throughout the bed at the top of the rockery last autumn and am very pleased with them. They are not too tall, so have stood up to some breezes and rain showers very well. And what’s more, despite strong sunshine on a couple of days last week they have opened slowly, with no sign of heatstroke! (The weather has been quite a mixture recently!)


Thanks go to Cathy once more for hosting this meme. Go and visit her today at Rambling in the Garden to see what she has put in her vase, and see all the other vases from around the globe that have linked in. :)


Aquliegia Alert

The Aquilegias (Aquilegia vulgaris) have just started opening in my rockery…


They really add height and colour after the tulips have faded…


I shall be looking out for a couple of new ones I planted late last summer, but in the meantime most of them seem to be pale pink or purple…


I can’t imagine my rockery without them, so I was very worried when I recently became aware of a terrible disease threatening Aquilegias in the UK. If you grow them or intend to buy one, please read one of the following links – early identification is essential.

Gardening For health

The Telegraph

Apparently it is limited to certain areas and is particularly widespread in the south-west of England. However, my Mum is farther north (Northamptonshire) and has been saddened to find that all of her Aquilegias have disappeared. It only takes one plant to spread this mildew, which then stays in your soil and will prevent you from being able to grow them in the future too.

Carrie Thomas, who owned the National Collection, lost almost all her plants last year. She has compiled some useful information on her website, including a list of reported cases and where they are:

Touchwood Plants


I hope your Aquilegias are safe!


In a Vase on Monday: Marvellous May

My first (early) peony has opened!


And with a mini heatwave forecast for tomorrow I decided to cut it for my Monday vase, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden again for her marvellous meme where she challenges us to put together a vase with materials from our gardens every week.


The irises have started opening too. I divided them last autumn and now have smaller dots of blue all through the rockery. They look lovely next to my orange tulips, but as these are now going over I opted for the pink and blue combination alone.


The variegated Vinca is also in flower now, but I think the leaves are just as lovely as the flowers, and added a few sprigs for some contrast.


The various Euphorbias in the garden – all without names – lighten everything up with their fresh greens and yellows. This is my favourite…


But I like this one too… ;-)


As a kind of collar around the base of the arrangement I used Hosta leaves – still untouched by the slugs and snails and growing by the minute it seems!


This last photo is a bit of a strange angle, but you can see in the background two mats on the ground beneath the Field Maple I am following this year: we often sit here for a while when we take our old dog down into the garden for some gentle exercise and fresh air… And just behind the vase is Woody, the woodpecker decoration. ;-)


Do you have any cute or kitschy (or perhaps even tasteful) decorations in your garden?


Tree Following: May 2015

This year I am following a tree along with Lucy at Loose and Leafy and a whole bunch of other bloggers. The tree I chose is a Field Maple, Acer campestre. We had a very dry month of April, and I took some photos on April 27th (all the left-hand photos) – a very hot and muggy day – just before the rain arrived. Then I took some more photos on May 6th (all the right-hand photos) after a week of showers. See the difference!

The leaves unfurled slowly, revealing the flower…

Their shape has become more defined as they grow larger, although they are still quite pale…

The canopy I will enjoy when lying in my hammock in summer is also quite well developed now…

And all that happened within the space of 9 days!

We have blackbirds nesting near the house, and the male likes to sit in this tree and sing, even while we are sitting on the grass beneath it with our old doggie for a bit of shade… it’s her favourite spot in the garden. :)


In a Vase on Monday: Attention Seekers

Even when Cathy at Rambling in the Garden is rambling away from home, her meme continues and  Cathy herself has posted a Vase on Monday… So no excuses, go and pick some flowers and join in!

Today I started with my Rhododendron, which always looks as if it will be pink when in bud, but then pales to ivory with a beige centre. The Pulsatilla seedheads also have a hint of beige and pink, so by adding the red and white tulips I wanted to highlight these delicate shades.


After placing everything in the vase I noticed each flower seemed to be vying for attention, leaning towards the front!

My parrot/fringed tulips are one of my weaknesses; I just love their shameless flamboyance…


Destiny (formerly Estella Rijnveld)

… their downright cheekiness…


Red Parrot or Fringed Tulip?

… and their feathery loveliness.

Don’t you love them too? ;-)


Although we have had showers the past week, the tree pollen is covering everything at the moment – I can even see it clinging to the Pulsatilla below…


A bonus vase this week: some wild mustard appeared in my garden this spring, and although I love the flowers I do not want it to go to seed. So I cut most of it down and added a little Kerria japonica to jazz it up…


And while taking some photos I discovered this little fella…

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Maybe not an attention seeker, but cute nonetheless!

What is seeking your attention in your garden right now?

Terrific Tulips

I have always liked tulips, but never imagined I would grow many in my garden. Yet somehow I now have quite a few. The different ones I have planted over the years – and add to each autumn – have slowly transformed my spring garden into a burst of colour, from March through to May. Replanting is essential though, as I always lose some to mice, drought or some other factor.

This is the bed at the top of my rockery, which seems to have developed an orange theme… I replanted an orange rose and an orange Echinacea there last autumn, which clearly flower much later but seem to have inspired the new additions…


On the right is Tulipa ‘Prinses Irene’: a single, elegant and fairly tall tulip with light purplish streaks…


And the frilly partner is called Orange Princess… a bit over the top, and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it for being so cheery and a bit of fun! The colours are almost identical to Prinses Irene, so they go very nicely together, especially with the purply Heucheras in between.


Another new one for me this year is Tulipa Greenstar, a lily-flowering tulip that is mostly white with green stripes. I think I like this shape of tulip best and am very pleased I lightened up the colour mix.


At the same time I planted one called Spring Green, but I think I was sent the yellow version Yellow Spring Green instead. It is certainly not ivory, as described, but also not a strong yellow. Still, rather nice.


Here are a few of the others still flowering at the moment, or just going over…

Finally, some old favourites: Purple Dream


… and Eye Catcher…


There are many without names, but that doesn’t distract from their beauty!

Do you grow tulips? What’s your favourite this year?