In a Vase on Monday: Fizzy lemonade

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling in the Garden leads this meme where we are asked to share a vase using materials from our gardens.

It is a damp grey Monday here, so a vase is just what we need to brighten up the kitchen. It has been very hot, so the rain and cooler temperatures today are so welcome! The Alchemilla has flopped in the rain, so that was a clear choice for the framework of my vase this week.

My Herb Bed contains some Hypericum perforatum which flowered bang on time for midsummer‘s day again as well as this dark-leafed one which isn‘t quite flowering yet. In fact I thought it was a goner when it got frozen back by freezing East winds in the early spring. But it has bounced back.

It is planted near the pale green Hypericum, these red Geums (G. chiloense ‘Blazing Sunset’) and the yellow Anthemis tinctoria, which is a pleasing combination.

And since I was in the Herb Bed I decided to cut some of the Lemon Balm which is getting rather vigorous. I must admit I never use it, preferring my Lemon Verbena for tea. But when I was putting a few sprigs in the vase with all that frothy Alchemilla I couldn‘t help but think of lemonade!

Some Stipa tenuissima (also in the Herb Bed), a broken stem of Calamagrostis (the sparrows?) and a Nigella seedhead saved from a previous vase were added as extras.

And my first Scabiosa ochroleuca to flower went in too. Love that plant… a seedling I brought over from my old garden has grown into a substantial plant, so I hope it will reseed as freely here too.

 

Do visit Cathy to see her vase – and all the other vases being shared today. 😃

 

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Friends

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to share a vase every Monday. Via her meme I have met some wonderful people and made friends with many fellow bloggers over the past few years. Once again I am joining Cathy with a vase, today dedicating it to all my friends.

☀️👩🏼‍🌾☀️

A friend came to visit today and it felt like years since we had been able to sit and chat and drink tea together. It was wonderful. 😃

 

A friend gave me some Lemon Balm several years ago. It did well in my old garden and I brought some with me to put in the Herb Bed, which is the backdrop for my photos today. (See a garden ornament in the background? – A gift from a friend!)

A blogging friend sent me some seeds of purple Linaria many years ago and it spread, with some reverting to the pale pink seen here. Now I have both pink and purple in my Butterfly Bed. 😃

I have been a friend of Alchemilla and Heuchera for many years. Then blogging friends taught me about Knautia, Calamagrostis and Artemisia.

All in a vase given to me by a very dear friend. 😃

Thank you all and have a wonderful week!

🤗

 

A Year‘s Growth

While sifting through old photos on the computer last night I realised I had just photographed my flower beds at the same angles as precisely one year ago. What a shock! The Sunshine Bed was newly planted in Spring 2019. This photo was June 13th 2019…

And this is a year and a few days later!

 

The same goes for the Butterfly Bed, here in June 2019…

And today, with giant Geraniums, awesome Artemisia, big Buddleia, amazing Alchemilla and ‘we-want-to-rule-the-world’ Euphorbia….

And then there is the Herb Bed, here in June 2019…

And in June 2020, despite suffering from mice and vole attacks!

(The Stipa tenuissima were the perfect choice for this windy spot and have grown really well.)

So beware when planting a new bed that you don‘t overcrowd it. I am already seeing my latest flower bed fill out and am avoiding the temptation to fill any gaps, as I know what could happen in a year!

Oval Bed June 2020

(The wood chippings as mulch are fantastic and have allowed the plants to get a good start despite the hot weather we had shortly after planting.)

Have you seen a lot of new growth this growing season? What has really taken off in your garden this summer?

 

Scentsations

It starts in March, February if you are lucky. You are walking along the edge of woods in a bare and frosty landscape and suddenly… WHAM. A sweet floral perfume awakens your olfactory senses for the first time this year and the only flower in sight is a clump of Hepaticas. Hepaticas don’t smell of anything though, do they? You stick your nose in one and inhale. Nothing. But moments later another waft. It is magical and transitory.

Next the violets. I love them and hate them because I may smell the first one for a brief moment and then cannot detect a hint of the sweet violet perfume again. Apparently a trick our noses play on some of us. I envy people who swoon at the perfume they emit on a warm spring day.

Later, a bluebell wood in England. Then the lilacs in a friend‘s garden. The plum blossom on a neighbourhood tree.

And then the highlight of my spring, telling me summer has arrived and reminding me of the cordial, sorbet and pancakes I will be making – the elderflowers. The first hint of them in May crescendoes into a heady and intoxicating scent. I have never had elderflower champagne, but can imagine the taste. There are a lot of elder trees near us and their fragrance dominates for several weeks as plants in shadier spots open their flowers more slowly and later, lasting long into June. It sweetens on a warm day and in a very hot spell in early June it becomes almost overpowering. Mix that with the peonies and you are in heaven!

Oh yes, the peonies are nice too…

Another June delight: walking in the countryside on a warm day there is an occasional waft of a sweet scent similar to wild strawberries. It makes me look up and around and look again, really hard, at the wild flowers at the side of the footpath… Bedstraw? (Galium alba). Such an insignificant plant until it flowers. Like the Hepatica, if you go up to it and sniff, you probably won‘t smell a thing. Maybe you have to sneak up to it from behind to catch it!

I can enjoy the scent of roses, and like sweet peas too. But my favourite scent in spring or early summer has to be the elderflower.

What is your favourite scent on a spring or early summer day? Could you choose just one? 😉