In a Vase on Monday: Sweet April

April is the month for tulips, but since I had a whole vase full of them last week I thought I would choose just one in its prime for today. Once again I am happy to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme. 😃

This is Tulip Menton. I loved it so much last year that I planted some more along with some Tulip Menton Exotic, which were a little disappointing as they are almost the same colour as Menton but more fussy and without that striking shape. Let‘s see how they develop as they both only opened a few days ago.

My star Hellebore is still going strong, and doesn‘t seem to be bothered by the wind or the dry ground. So it made it into this vase too, along with some Bellis, Buddleia foliage, the first Geranium phaeum to open (brought with me from the old garden), and a Camassia (I am afraid I failed to photograph it close up). The Camassia are small, and I seem to remember rather expensive, so if they don‘t come up reliably next year I think they will not be replaced. They really need to be planted alone, perhaps in a big pot as I did one year, or en masse, which I believe I saw first in a TV report about the nursery ( that provided Camassias for Chris Beardshaw‘s garden at the Chelsea  flower show a few years ago.

On the left of the above photo is a peachy pink broom – Cytisus praecox ‘Hollandia’ –  that opened a few days ago too. It looks gorgeous in the Butterfly Bed, and smells nice too.

Below you can see the pretty little flowers of G. phaeum. They are a deep maroon that always reminds me of my school uniform! (Maroon blazers and ties!)

I have been weeding all day, but the usual therapeutic effect of spending time in the garden seemed elusive today. I am sure that looking at all the other vases linking up to Cathy‘s blog will help restore my equilibrium over the next day or so. And I have tomato seedlings to plant up too!

Hope you are all finding something in your gardens to soothe the mind and keep you busy. 💕



40 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Sweet April

  1. Hi Cathy, I’m sorry to hear that your garden didn’t sooth you today. I have to agree that it can be hit or miss. My energy level, too, goes up and down. Thinking of you and of your lovely gardens, past and present. Thanks for sharing your lovelies. Hang in there. xo

    • Hi Alys. I have days of worrying so much about what the world is coming to and how my parents are, being isolated from their friends and family when they should be enjoying the few years left to them. So hard to accept it all. Hope you and your family are doing okay. xx

      • It’s hard worry about those we love. Our parents have all passed so in a strange way it’s a relief not to have that worry. That said, I have many friends in their 70s and up and I worry about them all the time. My sister has MS, and would be wiped out if she contracted COVID. I’m glad she can currently work from home, but it’s isolating, too. There are no good answers, just okay answers as we move forward. xo

  2. One tulip is all that was needed, Cathy, as it provides the focal point for the others around it, with the bellis and broom picking out the pink and the sultry hellebore and geranium complementing it perfectly. The camassia then links to the blue in that pretty vase. A tribute to April indeed. Sorry you didn’t feel the therapeutic effect with your weeding, but perhaps a change of gardening activity will make a difference. We have a touch of rain here this morning and I am looking forward to its benefits!

    • You are right Cathy. Potting on my tomato seedlings this morning lifted my spirits. I have 28 plants as every single seed germinated! What on earth will I do with them all?! Waiting for rain here too. Hope yours was enough to give the plants a nice drink. 😃

      • I think the whole sowing process is therapeutic and I am glad you got that’lift’ this morning, but 28 plants?! Crikey! I only have 2 varieties this year and will perhaps end up just potting on about 15 of them – in fact they are probably ready for bigger pots now

  3. It’s raining here too and I am fairly happy that our clay will be diggable again soon. Your vase is wonderful. Menton looks like a solid performer with a generous goblet. How big is it would you say? I love your broom. Funny how I never think to look for it as a garden shrub, but I will now!

    • Menton is just below knee height and the flowers are about 8 cm tall and 5 or 6 cm wide. It is one of the latest and really stands out against all the foliage emerging. 😃 And I am really happy with the broom as it is so easy to grow and withstands any amount of wind, hot sun and drought!

  4. Very pretty vase Cathy. I usually stick to plain vases because I never know how or what to put in a vase with so much interest already going on, but you have done it perfectly. A lovely combination of colors and textures.
    It sounds like you must be warmer than us if you are ready to plant out your tomatoes. For safety, ours won’t go in for a week or two yet. It is always fun to watch everyone’s flowers emerge and be photographed, and then watch them again flower here. Have a lovely week! I’m sure you’ll be cooking or baking something good.

    • Thank you Cindy. I love this vase for its very narrow neck which helps things stand up well. 😃
      I potted my tomato seedlings up into larger pots and they are tucked up in my ‘mini greenhouse’ against the wall on the warmest side of the house. It will be their first night outdoors and I am hoping it will be as mild tonight as forecast! I feel quite maternal about them…. haven‘t grown any from seed for several years! 😉🌱

  5. So pretty Cathy and again I love the vase you added them all into. Are you a member of a garden club or do you enter flower shows if not you should do both ❤

  6. I love the color combination, Cathy. The tulip is a heavenly shade of peachy-pink. I adore Camassia but it’s another flower that simply refuses to grow in my climate. That gorgeous vase is wonderful too! Best wishes.

    • Thanks Kris. 😃 It‘s a lovely tulip. I must plant some more as they don‘t always come up again the following year. A shame Camassias won‘t grow for you. They like warmth, but I suppose they need a cold winter. Hope all is well with you. 🌷

  7. Oh what treasures in that vase Cathy. You know that I am a geranium phaeum fan and I’m just getting into camassias having bought one from Hare Spring Cottage last year. I was delighted to see that it has produced seedlings already although I might come to regret it in the future. I didn’t know that there was such a plant as a pink broom. A friend has a white one which she is going to try to propagate for me. I must look up your variety which looks most appealing. My school blazer was blue, black and white stripes – I don’t think that I will be able to find a flower that reminds me of it 😄

    • Oh, good to hear your Camassias are setting seeds as they are rather expensive bulbs. There are some lovely red brooms too and I would like to add one in the future when the next bed is planted. 😃

  8. Someone else shared some broom last week. It gets my attention because it is related to the seriously invasive brooms here. Docile garden varieties are sometimes available, but remain unpopular among those who recognize that they are related to the others. The invasive ones are pretty to, or at least the bloom is, but they are not planted.

    • I believe broom can get invasive in Europe too, given the right conditions. It grows at the roadsides near us, but has suffered in places recently after several drought years. Perhaps an extremely cold winter every few years also keeps it in check! The garden varieties available to us are all very tough but have not become fashionable.

      • Those that are so invasive here are European. I really do not know what controls them. They are so invasive here, but are not at all invasive in climates that are just a bit cooler in winter. I do not get the impression that they are sensitive to frost, but I really do not know what keeps them from getting around more than they do.

        • Here they like a sandy slightly acidic soil… near our old garden they never grew as it was quite chalky soil. Within just a few miles the soil can change here quite drastically which is noticeable by what grows at the roadsides and in the woods. 😃

  9. I like the full shape of ‘Menton’. At first the broom looked like Baptisia to me. Is it in the pea family?

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