In a Vase on Monday: An Artist’s Palette

I am back in Germany now, and after a short break from blogging I am pleased to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase (well, actually two) filled with delights from my garden.


On the left: A small pink Lilac Wonder, Jan Steen, Lucky Parrot, and Lilac Wonder again.

Centre top is unknown, and at the front is Aga Khan, a lovely bright double orange flower with a short stem, going well with the orange Princess Irene at the back. I think the pink parrot tulip on the right is Libretto, and the double white is called Gerard Dou.

The second vase below  contains Purple Dream, the yellow Flashback, Green Star, White Triumphator, Spring Green and a clashing red Eyecatcher. A few remain nameless, but nonetheless gorgeous.


When I was asked to draw a flower as a child, I inevitably drew a tulip. Later, when asked what my favourite flower was, I would usually say tulips. No roses for me! Today I am still drawn to these beautiful and varied blooms. Aren’t they just fascinating?



On my return from the UK at the weekend I was amazed to find how far ahead Germany is already. With some very warm and sunny days recently the trees are more green than brown, the blackthorn blossom has been and gone and the tulips are in full force – many flowering earlier than usual so the combinations are a little over-the-top, but I love them!

However, it has turned very cold here again this week, and April is behaving badly as usual with wintry snow showers spoiling the intermittent sunshine. I did manage to catch the sun shining through a skylight in our hall though, creating the dramatic effect in the photos. Sometimes I wish I could paint…

I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the tulips outside, enjoying a drop of sunshine again after yet another snow flurry!

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Have a lovely week everyone!

In a Vase on Monday: Short and Sweet

A very short post this Monday, as I share a vase with flowers from my garden for the weekly meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


Short and sweet, refers not only to my post (time has got the better of me today), but also to the flowers – the Narcissi smell gorgeous and the stems of all the other flowers I picked (except the Snowflakes) are rather short!

Cowslips, Narcissus Thalia, Summer Snowflake, Pulsatilla, Anemone Coronaria, Corydalis cheilanthifolia (the yellow flower at the back), blue and white ‘Forget-me-nots’ (actually Brunnera), and blue and white Muscari.


Actually picked on Saturday, as a table decoration, but photographed today.


Have a lovely week everyone!

In a Vase on Monday: Golden Winners

Before I show you my Monday vase this week, a brief update on the vote for the Amaryllis in my post An Amaryllis Winter just before Easter. Thank you for joining in the fun vote and leaving comments too!

And the winner is…



Closely followed by Lemon Star

Actually the poll showed Lemon Star ahead, but according to the comments I think Chico won by a slim margin of two points.:) They were my favourites too and I hope to grow these two again next year.

So, now to my vase, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden – along with many other vase creators around the world – in collecting materials from my garden to bring into the house every Monday.


As you can see, I couldn’t NOT use my forsythia vase again. But this week I added some other golds to go with the Forsythia itself, which finally opened outdoors last Thursday after our first really warm day of the year.

(Since then we have had several hot days, over 20°C!)


I’m afraid I have forgotten the names of the daffodils, but I think they don’t mind just being called “Daff”…


I think this is Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Heart’s Delight’.

I love the slight pink tinge around the tips of the petals, which is more prominent on those growing in partial shade.


I also included some Euphorbia myrsinites, some of my yellow Hellebore flowers (‘Frühlingssonne’) which are now going over, and a couple of daffodils.

You can click on any image to enlarge them.

So April has got off to a good start with warmth and sunshine. I do hope it continues, but with some gentle rain overnight of course!😉

Have a good week!


In a Vase on Monday: Sunshine and Blue Skies?

It has been a lovely relaxing long weekend, with a bit of sunshine, partially blue skies, and of course some delicious food!

I managed to squeeze in enough time for a vase too, so the house has been full of flowers all week – a beautiful spring bouquet from my sister, a bunch of cheerful tulips from a neighbour, and then this gorgeous vase full of Forsythia.



As you can see I have made good use of the Forsythia vase – I love the bee printed on the back! I picked this Forsythia last Monday to bring indoors, and it was open by Thursday. The Forsythia in the garden didn’t quite make it for Easter, but is showing a little colour, and with our temperatures set to rise it should be open in a few days too.

I also decided to pick one of the beautiful Anemone coronaria. And that gave me the idea for the title of my Monday vase this week.


I used a Violet, some Scillas and Glory-of-the-snow, and pale blue Puschkinia (another type of Scilla I think). The background is a glass plate, painted to depict bluebell woods, which catches the light so well on my windowsill.

Finally, another splash of yellow to celebrate my first Cowslips opening. The cowslip is Wildflower of the Year in Germany. (See my post here)


To complement it I added various small Daffodils, a sprig of Buxus, and a single golden Crocus.


The sun was actually shining when I picked the flowers, but has been hiding behind clouds on and off ever since.

I hope you also had a good weekend. Special thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting even on Easter Monday – go and visit her and see what she and everyone else has brought in from their gardens this week.

Thanks for visiting!

An Amaryllis Winter

Last winter and spring, after seeing some gorgeous blooms on various blogs, I made a note to myself to order plenty of Amaryllis/Hippeastrum to see me through the following winter. I ended up with eight different bulbs, only one of which failed to flower (called ‘White Christmas’, of which we all dream of in vain😉 ).

They were all planted in light compost with a little grit, in fairly small pots, and with a third to a half of the bulb showing above the soil. From December to March I had at least one in flower constantly. Some of them needed minimal support as they started to go over, but most were sturdy enough to stay standing on their own. Here is a summary of which ones I grew and how they flowered.

First of all, the record-breaking ‘Tres Chic‘: planted on 4th November and flowering by 15th December…

AmaryllisTresChic(It must have taken me by surprise, as I failed to take a decent photo of it!)

It was a lovely bright, festive red with a white centre, and it flowered for about two and a half weeks.


The next one to flower was ‘Chico‘. Planted on 9th October, Chico flowered on 27th December, and then again on 19th January. This was quite possibly my favourite. Click on any image to enlarge…

I just loved the way the petals curled upwards, and the shades of pink and green were very delicate. I will definitely try and grow this one again.


In early January Chico was accompanied by ‘Apple Blossom‘…

This was a much more traditional-style Amaryllis: frilly pink and white flowers, with pretty markings on the petals. It was planted on 25th November and flowered on 7th January. There must have been about seven flowers on this one stalk – stunning.


In January another more unusual one flowered: ‘Evergreen‘…

This was such a lovely pale creamy green, and lasted extremely well too. It was planted on 9th October and flowered on 16th January. There was something very classical about this one, and it reminded me very much of oriental lilies.


My windowsills were now getting a little overcrowded, as two days later, on 18th January, ‘Rosy Star‘ joined the party.

This was a simple flower – not as fussy as Apple Blossom – and rather pinker than the photos show. It was pretty, but not mind-blowing. Still, very welcome in the darkest month of the year!


In February ‘Lemon Star‘ finally opened and put on a beautiful display for several weeks – it flowered on two stalks simulataneously and was the firm favourite of my Man of Many Talents. I planted this one on 25th November and its flowers opened on the 10th and 18th of February.

It looked very lemony. In fact I kept thinking if I sniff it, it might even smell of lemons! (It didn’t though.) This was a nice light colour to welcome spring and the longer hours of daylight. This one will also go on my list for next year too.


Around the same time ‘Blossom Peacock‘ opened too. This was planted on 22nd December and flowered on 6th February and again on 6th March. It was the last one, cut down only last week.

As you can see from the planting and flowering dates there is no way of telling when they will flower – some needed three months, while others needed only four to six weeks. I kept all of the bulbs almost dry and rather cool until they started shooting. Then they need only a little water and a warmer spot to flower.

Do you grow Amaryllis? Do you have any particular favourites? Or do you hate them?! I thought it would be interesting and fun to ask you to vote for your favourite from those that I grew. I will then tell you the results next week. Thanks, and a have a great Easter weekend!:)

In a Vase on Monday: Ding Dong!

The Easter Bells are ringing!

Yes, the German name for daffodils is Easter Bells (Osterglocken) and they are perfectly timed for Easter this year too. I know many people have been enjoying daffs for some months now, but mine are just getting going with such a cool spring. So here is my vase for Cathy’s meme this week.


The porcelain bells are meant for hanging on an Easter branch – many Germans hang painted eggs or other decorations on hazel branches or twigs as an indoor decoration. And the well on the town square is also decorated with greenery, but sadly they use gaudy plastic eggs so I will spare you a photo of it!

The sun came out for my photos, but it is still far too cold…


The tulip ‘Early Harvest’ is at its best now. The stalks have grown a bit longer and the flowers will keep going for ages unless we have a heatwave… at least that is one advantage of a cool spring!


I added a few sprigs of golden Euonymus and Vinca, and a couple of white hellbores.


 I wonder what colours are dominant in your garden right now – do you have spring yellows and oranges too?

Go and visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and see what she and everyone else has put in a vase this Monday.



Hey, I thought spring was here!

On Monday I continued my spring tidy-up, accompanied by bees and birdsong…

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But then look at what came on Tuesday morning… several inches of snow!

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Fortunately it started melting rapidly by late afternoon, and we should be getting more sunshine by the end of the week!:)

Is your spring weather teasing you too?