In a Vase on Monday: A Fairytale

Monday has come round again and I am happy to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme.

Many of the ingredients for a fairytale found their way into my forsythia vase today. After all, the hot weather has made the forsythia look past its best, and the vase deserves to be used more than just once a year!

The inspiration was the wand-shaped stems and fairy-like white petals of my sweet-smelling shrub which I assumed was an Exochorda, but since it looks so different to all those I have seen elsewhere I have decided it must be a Spiraea. The flowers are so tiny and the scent quite sweet, but the growth is somewhat wild!

At the centre a prince and a princess – I will let you decide which tulip is which, or is the red one perhaps the wicked stepmother and the pale one Cinderella?

The perfect white Anemone captured me in its spell – it shines out from beneath the yew tree in my spring corner amid wilting naricissi and tulip foliage. Can you hear it whispering its magic spell over you?

Then the Epimediums, called ‘elf flowers’ in German, always entrance me with their nodding little heads and pretty frills. The orange one is the fairytale queen ‘OrangekΓΆnigin’ and the yellow one is E. versicolor ‘Sulphureum’, which I think sounds rather sinister but she is wearing a pretty disguise.

The hint of blue is Omphalodes verna and in royal purple a Geranium Phaeum (the first to open!). White Brunnera also makes a fleeting appearance as well as an unfurling fern, looking rather like an evil uncle, but which I seem to have missed in my photos.

And finally, a second vase with three tulips… the magical fairytale ‘three’ being the link here. You know, three little pigs, the three bears, three wishes, etc.

The one in the centre is possibly one of Cinderella’s ugly sisters! LOL!

We have had fairytale weather over the past two weeks now (but would love some rain if anyone has any to spare?).

Have a great week!


62 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: A Fairytale

  1. Love all your analogies today, Cathy – that red one is definitely a wicked stepmother! That second vase is an intriguing article – have we seen it before? And what sort of anemone is that frilly white thing? It’s exceedingly pretty

    • I think the Anemone is called A. nemorosa ‘Verna’, but am not sure as it has been there for years! It took a couple of years to flower at all, but always produces copious leaves. The vase is in fact ‘new’, and will be given a proper introduction soon, now that I have taller stems to pick. πŸ™‚

  2. Very nice sampling of spring from your garden, Cathy. Our weather has finally turned warmer and more springlike. I expect now things will start leaping forward out of the ground and our world will turn green!

  3. Love those fairy flowers and fairy tales. Glad you have some nice weather. We have nice weather too. May you have some rain soon.

  4. Your vase is so bright and fresh. The colours shine against the white spirea. Tulips are amazing, I’m glad you’ve had the good weather too. At last!

  5. A charming nod to fairy tales, Cathy! You definitely captured the beauty of the flowers themselves with the drama of putting them together in one vase, each vying for the spotlight. You have an amazing variety of stunningly bright colors. I am in awe of the vibrancy! I need to defend the center tulip you suggested might be the ugly sister. LOL! I am immediately drawn to it. πŸ™‚

    • I don’t remember planting that stripy tulip, as it is really not my taste, but perhaps it is one of those that changes due to viruses in the bulbs. I shall have to read up on that though! Still, glad you like it! πŸ™‚

  6. I enjoyed your cleverly woven story Cathy. The middle tulip might not be an ugly sister, but she’s certainly a show-off!

  7. The pale, pink-blushed tulip wins my vote as Cinderella. What a beauty! I love your shrub that might be Spiraea and the Epimediums too. I do wish I could trick Epimedium into growing in my climate.

    • I suppose Epimediums wouldn’t like heat and drought. I do think you have worked wonders in getting hellebores to flower for you in your climate though! That pale tulip has grown pinker over the last couple of days, just like your delphinium is changing colour. I wonder how they do it! πŸ˜‰

  8. The pale pink is so delicate and beautiful Cathy! You have featured a great collection of springtime joy. Love that vase with the 3 tulips. Looks like it would be versatile.

  9. Loved everything about these two vases! All the flowers and the ways you put them together are perfect. But I must say, my favorite single bloom is the peachy-pink-yellow tulip. That flower, alone, makes me swoon!

    • A lovely comment Beth – thank you! Yes, that tulip is lovely, slowly turning pinker in the vase. It was a solitary one left over from years ago, so I don’t remember the name at the moment.

  10. Spirea! I wish it were more popular here. It looks so distinguished. (We lack forsythia too.) I know it is just there for fluff, but I think it is my favorite in that first vase. The three wishes (or bears or pigs or . . . ) are yet another reminder that I am missing out by not growing tulips.

    • I am hopeful the mice will move out of the rockery this summer or all my tulips will be gone! I recently caught a little brown mouse in the act of nibbling on an exposed bulb! The Spiraea is pretty, but has very uncontrolled growth – I should learn how to prune it properly I suppose. Thanks for your visit Tony!

      • I think it gets pruned by alternating canes, like forsythia. I do not know because it is so uncommon here. The pruning might be part of the problem. Gardeners here just shear everything.

  11. A lovely little fairy tale to lull me on a damp Tuesday morning! Hope you got your rain, Cathy, it’s certainly ‘doing it’ here! That last vase is fascinating – so unusual. Lovely that the little ‘elf flowers’ (nice!) manage to steal the show, although so small.

  12. Sending rain your way Cathy to refresh all your fairytale flowers – we have plenty to spare today. The German name for epimediums is most apt. Geranium phaeum is still to open here – it seems rather late arriving this spring so thanks for sharing yours πŸ™‚

    • The bright red parrot tulip is Roccoco, and the two orange ones are possibly Princess Irene, although they look different this year. I have just looked back at the last few years and am shocked how many I have lost to the mice! About 2 thirds of them simply haven’t come up. The ‘ugly sister’ was in a mix, but may also have originally looked different as there is some virus at work I think!

  13. What beautiful fairytales! I love the dainty Epimediums, and I didn’t know the name of ‘elf flowers’ – so perfect! The white wands could definitely be some type of Spirea, though I’m no good at knowing which. I grew S. Γ— vanhouttei when we lived in Missouri, where it is very popular as it grows so well in the hot/cold, wet/dry continental climate! Like Forsythia, it always tumbled all over itself, but I rather liked its ebulliance. πŸ˜‰ And your tulips are so lovely – all of them!

  14. There is so much going on in your fairytale vase Cathy! I am trying to work out a story for the tulips and wonder if they are perhaps two sister princesses – a fiery little one and a serene pale tall sister? I think you are right about Spirea – it looks just like mine – and I love those epimediums and the German name for them, Elf-flower, thoroughly fitting with your theme.

    • πŸ™‚ Sometimes the German names are more fitting I think, although there are exceptions of course. The Spiraea is one of those shrubs I can never remember the name of, probably because it only makes itself noticeable for a couple of weeks a year!

  15. Oh yes, it’s Spiraea ‘Bridal Wreath’, such a pure white. And just right for your fairy tale theme because of course the princess always marries her prince. I love the German name for epimediums. All these spring flowers are such a delight.

    • Oh yes, now I know why I was getting it confused with Exochorda ‘The Bride’! Thanks Chloris. It is always nice to put a name to a plant. πŸ™‚

  16. Cathy has incredible imagination and narrative strength. Why do not you just write stories? You would do it great, really. I had a great time with the first vase associating each plant with a fairytale character. I say that the red tulip is Cinderella because in the end it ends up marrying the Prince. And that the pale Tulip is the evil Stepmother of the tantrum that gives her that her daughters are single and without the Prince jajajajaj !!!! I love the vase of the three tulips and say that the first tulip is the ugly stepsister of Cinderella !!!! Now seriously, your two vases are magnificent, I love them. I am already in the country house, if you want to see the garden as I found it Have a good weekend. Take care. Greetings from Margarita.

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