In a Vase on Monday: Monster Catkins

Monday, and despite yet another storm and snow and hail showers I do actually have a vase to share today, joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme.

These innocent little catkins found their way into a vase the other day. They had been rescued from a fallen grey poplar tree – one of the casualties of our February snow.

Only a few hours later, after a good drink, they looked like this!

They smell slightly smoky… I wonder if that is normal or because the tree they were growing on was uprooted.

IΒ brought some sprigs of Forsythia back from our old garden last week, which started opening within two days of warmth. Everything was put into a fresh vase.

The other catkins are common Hazel. I love hazel catkins, but next to these poplar ones they are somewhat plain, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰

(Oh, and the roses that crept into the last photo are from the supermarket!) Thanks to Cathy – do go and visit her for some spring colour – I think spring is springing in the UK!


48 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Monster Catkins

  1. Plain? I don’t think of them as cut flowers anyway. Our native hazels are not good for much, but they do bloom nicely with similar catkins. Most are not as profuse, but some of the more distressed ones are. Poplar catkins do not hang so vertically. They look sort of old fashioned, like something from the 1970s.

    • The grey poplar (P. x canescens) is a little different to the white or silver one, with a lovely rounded shape. They are often used in avenues in Germany. I have only seen (recognised) the tall slim ones in the UK which may be the same one you have.

      • The tall slim poplars are Lombardy poplars, and happen to be my favorite. They are from Italy, so are not native here. I planted nine along my driveway years ago, and grew six in another formal row where I lived in town in high school. Our primary native poplar is the black cottonwood, which we know simply as cottonwood. They bloom like this:
        The Fremont cottonwood, which is known as the Alamo in other regions, is also native, but it is not nearly as common. I see it only in remote areas of the Coastal Ranges.

        • Thanks for the link Tony. There are so many different sorts but I suspected the ‘cottonwood’ would be yours. I just looked up Lombardy and read that the ones I see in the UK were introduced in the 18th century from Italy, so now I know! Thanks!

          • The were popularized for erosion control on canals in France because they did not extend their branches as far into the roads on the canals as other trees would have, but they extended their roots under the roads and onto the embankments toward the water.

  2. I have to admit I do like catkins, fancy or not πŸ˜‰
    I love a few forsythia branches in the house. Mine still needs another year before it will be worth trimming a few branches but it will be nice to be able to try and copy your vase πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ I am not actually very keen on the Forsythia as a plant, but that yellow in early spring all over the front gardens here is just so cheering! Perfect for vases. πŸ™‚

  3. The fluffed-out poplar catkins are interesting, Cathy. I’m sorry to learn you lost a tree to a snowstorm, though. All catkins are interesting in my book.

    • We lost quite a lot of trees Kris, but fortunately onlyin our little patch of woodland and not in the garden. Most were pines, which broke under the weight of the snow or were even uprooted by it. They were weak after our drought last year and there are nasty beatles at work too.

  4. The catkins fascinate me, Cathy. I don’t have any experience with them, and they are so attractive. We’re waiting for spring to arrive, too. It’s a little late this year and we are typically really early. Soon, I’m sure. I love your arrangement this week. Very untypical and that’s what appeals to me. πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ The hazel catkins grow longer on the tree before opening to release their pollen, but this poplar was obviously stopped in its tracks when it tumbled and its fluffy catkins are only now shedding pollen like mad so they may have to go out soon as my eyes are reacting to it! LOL!

  5. That’s such a sumptuous bouquet, Cathy – just lovely! It seems our seasons are quite close just now as the snow has finally melted over the last few days. Is the forsythia actually flowering yet, or is it just the forced stems? I must plant some…
    P.S. I just discovered your comment on my last week’s blog post – somehow had missed it till now!

    • Hi Amy. No, the Forsythia is patiently waiting for some warmth but this sprig only took a couple of days to open once brought indoors! Hope your spring comes along soon Amy. It is taking its time here!

  6. Do you knw, I don’t think I ever appreciated that these little furry buds developed into dangly catkins?! I think I just thought they were as catkin-y as they were going to get…how did I not know that? I suppose I had just never seen the transformation. Catkins certainly look so elegant in a vase and the forsythia just adds to their elegantness

    • I really love pussy willow catkins best. They get longer and very very fluffy too! We used to have a tree right next to our house but it came down in a storm a few years ago. Loved hearing the bees buzzing on it before anything else was flowering!

    • Thank you Sam. The Forsythia is fully out in the vase now and I do feel like spring is coming at last… our forecast looks good for next week! πŸ™‚

    • I rarely buy roses – no idea where they were grown, but delivered by a dutch company (I saw the van)! – The supermarket had no tulips and I was desperate for colour! πŸ˜‰ The Forsythia in my vase has opened up even more now, so is really cheerful. πŸ™‚

  7. Cathy is a magnificent vase. The catkins of hazelnut and gray poplar with the Forsythia in flower I love, they are wonderful. I am sorry that you are with snowstorms and I am with 18ΒΊC which is totally abnormal. I prefer your snow. Have a very good week. Keep the heat. Greetings from Margarita. πŸ™‚

    • It looks as if your weather is coming our way next week. Keeping my fingers crossed as some warmth would be so welcome! πŸ™‚ Thanks Margarita. Take care and have a great week!

  8. Good job reviving those catkins! And thanks for the reminder that it’s time to go cut some forsythia branches to bring into bloom indoors! I generally like to have them for Easter, but with the holiday so late this year, it’s possible the forsythia will already be blooming outdoors by then!

    • Our cold March weather has kept everything in hiding so far, but a few warm days are all it takes for the Forsythia. I think you should make the most of it and bring some indoors now. πŸ˜‰ But I wonder if it is possible to keep a Forsythia sprig in the fridge for later ‘forcing’…

  9. Glad you don’t suffer from allergic reactions, Cathy πŸ˜‰ They’re huge indeed. Aren’t they a touching sight and full of busy bees. How is your greenhouse project coming along? Thinking of you as ours is slowly progressing. As for ours I chose pvc for the roof and enforced glass for the walls in the end and it’s going to be in a special colour. Hope the sun is shining for you and that you have plenty of time to enjoy your new garden. Thanks for the good wishes on my health and book success – it’s very rewarding after all the hard work. Take care xx

    • Thanks Annette – yes we have got sunshine today and it is much milder at last! The greenhouse project is perceived with dread at having the builders in… they made such a mess when the barn was built two years ago (before we actually moved in). Still no news on bulding permission so we can’t even order it yet. 😦

  10. It’s a sad thing to have trees damaged by weather…but that is the course of nature. Maybe in the clearings you will find pretty wild spring flowers popping up in future years.

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