In a Vase on Monday: Iris reticulata

I am pleased to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, along with her many fellow meme fanatics, in producing a vase of materials from my garden this Monday.

There wasn’t much to choose from! But one Iris reticulata flowered a couple of days ago and I immediately had my eye on it for my vase. Since only one has appeared so far this year I needed some filling material, so I cut some of the deep red Euphorbia that will need cutting back in spring anyway, a few remaining strands of grasses, and two large, deep red hellebores.


The blue really stands out against the darker colours…


And I love the effect of the grasses, lightening up the whole arrangement…


The dark hellebores are one of the first plants I bought for this garden, and I do look forward to them every spring. This is also the healthiest of them all, with no black leaves.


I can almost believe the sun is shining when I look at these pictures, but unfortunately it isn’t! Another wet and grey day, but we have had some sunny weather in between, and surely some more spring sunshine will come our way again soon.


Hope you have some sunshine this week!


In a Vase on Monday: Bling!

Yes, like jewels these hellebores provide some bling, floated in my glass bowl, and with the sunshine they are quite dazzling!


This is my contribution for Cathy’s lovely meme this week. Go and visit her at Rambling in the Garden to see what she and many others have found in their gardens to put in a vase this Monday.

I also picked lots of snowdrops (they smell wonderful!) and then refreshed my test tube vase with a pansy and some Snowflakes that grow on a piece of land opposite my kitchen window. They have spread over the past few years, so I dared pick a few today.


We are being treated to some lovely warm sunshine, and the crocus finally opened completely outside. There are bees out for the first time in my garden too…

Here are a few more images of my ‘vases’, including a picture of the latest Amaryllis/Hippeastrum to flower – “Lemon Star”. I hope you are also seeing some spring sunshine!

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In a Vase on Monday: Rolling On

Another Monday rolls round and I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden in her wonderful meme once again. My vase this week was inspired by a comment I wrote on Christina’s vase this morning, which ended with the words “Roll on spring!” (And my prop is a large marble which kept rolling around too!)


The test tube vase is ideal for small flowers that need elevating a bit – particularly Hellebores. There are a mix of white, cream and pink ones, and a yellow one that refuses to open is in there somewhere too.


The gorgeous crocuses have been shut tight the past few days, teasing me with their hint of colour. But within five minutes of being indoors they opened so wide – I could almost watch them. The snowdrops needed a bit longer but are now open completely too. I also put in a couple of purple primulas from my “Carnival” primula that has creamy white, yellow and purple flowers all on one plant. Strangely enough the yellow ones have all been nibbled by something, but the purple ones are intact… food for thought!


I shall be glad when the light levels improve, as using the flash on my camera produces unreal images:

The crocus is so beautiful. I wonder how long it will last in a vase. I know the Hellebores usually flop within a couple of days too, but for the moment I shall enjoy them to the full. 🙂


A note about my lovely green marble: chosen with great difficulty from an array of marbles in the little gift shop at a marble mill down in the mountains not far from Salzburg. There is a little information about it here in English if you are interested, or here (with a rather wobbly video!). Somewhere I would love to visit again one day, and walk the rocky path along the narrow gorge right up to the top… in warmer weather of course! 🙂

Roll on Spring!


In a Vase on Monday: Sugar and Lemons

Tomorrow is Pancake Day in the UK, and although the tradition of eating thin crepe-style pancakes on Shrove Tuesday does not seem to exist anywhere else in the world I have always made them wherever I have been – even when I lived in Japan I had a pancake party!

The traditional topping for these pancakes is lemon juice and sugar. Yes, there are plenty of other things you can put on your pancake, but not on Pancake Day. You can have maple syrup, nutella, bananas, etc any time of year. But tomorrow it’s simply lemon juice and sugar; the inspiration for the title for my vase this week…


Every Monday I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with her lovely meme where we are asked to find something from our garden and bring it indoors. Two days ago my first golden (lemony) crocus opened (Yippee!), so I knew I would have to bring some indoors.


The tiniest ‘vase’ I could find was a miniature salt sellar, and since I had two I decided to pick a few (sugary) snowdrops too, which also immediately opened once brought into the warm house. There are only a few – most are still too small to pick.


But these are not the only flowers I have this week. About three weeks ago I cut some Ribes sanguineum, remembering that when it is forced the normally deep pinky red flowers are white. In the course of the last week they have opened…

And another Amaryllis opened two days ago too – Amaryllis ‘Blossom Peacock’. A real beauty with a lovely straight stem.


I shall do a round-up of all my Amaryllis/Hippeastrums once they have all flowered. So far I have had one or two flowering constantly since November. 🙂

Until Friday it had rained practically all week, so having flowers indoors is very cheering. I am looking forward to seeing a few more of my spring bulbs emerge this week, but first I am looking forward to my pancakes tomorrow. What will you have on yours? Sugar and lemon juice?


In a Vase on Monday: Pansy Love

Monday, and despite more wind and rain today I gathered a few flowers for a vase to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with her Monday meme.


Pickings are few – only from the patio containers near the house. But the pansies/violas never fail to please for so many of the winter days. The German name for these, translated, is “little step mothers”! (Stiefmütterchen) The official explanation for this name is actually disappointing – no wonderful legend attached, simply botanical logic: the wide petal at the base is the “mother”, and partly covers the “daughters” at the side, which also in turn partly cover the upper two “step-daughters”.

Vase1st2I added a silver leaf (the name of which I always forget) and a purply red Heuchera leaf too.

February is the month when the light noticeably returns, but until then candles are a comforting addition to a windowsill or the table at teatime. However, I have a few candles, like this one, that serve a purely decorative purpose and have never been lit. The wall decoration is actually a tea towel – a gift from my neighbour – I love it so much though that it has been hung above my ironing board.



I wonder what everyone else has found for their Monday vase this week. Do go and visit Cathy and take a look too.