In a Vase on Monday: Rhubarb and Custard?

There are so many pinky rhubarb reds and creamy custard yellows in the garden right now, I decided to put them together for Cathy’s weekly meme “In a vase on Monday” …



Have you had any rhubarb this spring yet?

The large white tulip is the early Tulipa kaufmanniana “Ice Stick”. Initially I wasn’t sure if I liked it, as the buds are very pale at first, but then I saw the egg yolk coloured centre and it has grown on me since.


The large reddish tulip has been in my rockery for some years now and I don’t remember the name, but the small pinky one is “Heart’s Delight” and it is a rather pretty one with stripy leaves, sturdy but dainty at the same time. Here it is in my spring corner under the yew tree with the Corydalis (GP Baker or Beth Evans?).


Other ingredients for today’s vase were the Corydalis, a Rip van Winkle daffodil and another small Narcissus which I think is “Elka”. The foliage is two young rhubarb leaves. 😉


I actually put together another two vases, also in red and yellow, as I wanted to make the most of the Forsythia before it gets spoiled in the wind and the Ribes sanguineum that has just started flowering…

If you go and visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden you will find her lovely vase for this week, as well as many more that have linked in. Thanks for hosting, Cathy!


Tree Following: April 2015

This year I am joining Lucy at Loose and Leafy in following a tree, and I am posting monthly about my Field Maple (Acer campestre) which stands at the bottom of our garden.



Look up, look up, at any tree!

There is so much for eyes to see:

Twigs, catkins, blossoms; and the blue

Of sky, most lovely, peeping through…

(from “Look Up!” by Cicely Mary Barker)


Despite some really warm days the leaf buds are only just showing signs of development. I can’t wait to see the leaves unfurl.


The other members of the Acer family in my garden are just as far on or even a little further ahead; the Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore)…


the Acer tataricum (Amur Maple)…


and the Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)…


 Between the 7th and 14th of each month you can link in with your tree at Loose and Leafy. Dozens of people from all over are taking part, so why not join in!

Are you seeing any leaf growth yet?

In a Vase on Monday: Blue Gold

These blue spring flowers are so precious, and in many parts of Germany quite rare too. So imagine my delight at finding hundreds of them in our little patch of woods this spring. I couldn’t contain myself and just had to pick some yesterday for an Easter Monday vase for Cathy‘s In a Vase on Monday meme.

Hepatica noblis


I love finding these flowers out in the countryside, especially when I get a hint of their elusive fragrance.  And I have tried with little success to grow them in my garden… they don’t like to be disturbed during the rest of the year though, so best to leave them up in the woods!


Since it was Easter we had the Royal Worcester egg coddlers out for our Easter brunch, so I used one as a vase afterwards… if you don’t know what egg coddlers are, they are porcelain cups with a metal screw-top lid. The inside is buttered, and an egg is broken into it. Then the lid is closed tight and the whole thing is submerged in boiling water for exactly 8 minutes – and you get a perfect boiled egg, kept warm in its pot and no messy shell to dispense with! 😉

I think the blue of the Hepatica (Liverwort) matches this Easter card my Mum sent me so well!


This year the violets are flowering at the same time, and the colours clash terribly. Hepaticas really are much nearer to a true blue. I had a pink one once, but it has not reappeared this year, and a white one barely flowered for me. The native ones are definitely the best.


I have mentioned before how ugly I find the name… such beautiful delicate flowers are called “Liverwort” because the blotchy three-lobed leaves resemble the human liver. I would call them something more dignified, such as Blue Gold


Other common names used in various parts of Germany are (roughly translated): Gold Clover, Hazel Flower, Heart’s Joy (I like that one!), or Heaven’s Flowers.

Now pay Cathy a visit at “Rambling in the Garden” to see what she and her followers have put in their vases this week. (Cathy’s “vase” looks delicious!)