In a Vase on Monday: Favourites

Choosing flowers for a vase each Monday is part of the pleasure of joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme. And today I just picked what I like best at this time of year.

First of all, a few of my favourite Narcissi – Thalia, Cheerfulness, Tête à Tête and Narcissus cordubensis…

… and some Pulmonaria. The white one is Opal and the Blue is ‘Benediction’, which is the bluest I have found so far, albeit with a purple tinge as it fades.

I used my current favourite vase, which my Mum sent me last year, and the Easter card from my sister.

The book shown is a favourite too, and is the one I chose to share at our virtual meeting yesterday. Yes, some of the contributors to this Monday vase meme met virtually last night, and it was so lovely to see and hear them all. If we didn’t all live so far apart I would invite them round for a cuppa and a proper chat!

And in the photo below you can see my favourite print on the wall, sent to me a few years ago by artist and blogger Eunice one of my longest blogging friends! (Thanks again Eunice! 🤗)

The tulips I grow in pots each year get planted out into the garden afterwards. Some survive the mice, others don’t. But this orange one comes up each year without fail. Within about an hour indoors it had opened its petals up – it is still rather chilly outside so it is probably glad of the warmth!

Yes, April is doing its thing. You know, bright warm sunshine one minute then dark clouds, showers and gusts of cold wind the next.

The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. When the sun is out and the wind is still, You’re one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, a cloud comes over the sunlit arch, And wind comes off a frozen peak, And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

(from Two Tramps in Mud Time by Robert Frost)

But the garden couldn’t care less and is also doing its thing, i.e. growing at an alarming pace. If I blink I’ll miss it! Several tours a day are a necessity to check on the buds and blooms and to see what has or has not made it through the rather damp winter (and after the extremely hot and dry summer last year). So far the casualties seem to be minimal and my worst enemy is the mice rather than the weather.


How is your April weather? And what are your favourites at this time of year?

Happy Gardening!

47 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Favourites

  1. I love the vase/pitcher! I planted a few Thalia last fall..they seem to be a late daffodil, right? The flower stalks are barely out of the ground, similar to N. actea and N. quail.

    • Hi. hris. Yes, Thalia are the latest, just opening here, along with Cheerfulness. Thalia smell wonderful outdoors, but I must admit they’re a bit overpowering for me indoors.

  2. Lovely spring time bouquet, Cathy. Your favorite narcissi echo my own, I love the smaller, more delicate cultivars, too. Things are definitely popping in the yard here. Yes, hard to keep up!

    • It’s hard to keep track of which Narcissi are which as I plant a few more each year! But these N cordubensis are new and immediately became a favourite. They are so dainty and fairy-like!

  3. A beautiful vase of spring treasures Cathy. I have pulmonaria ‘Opal’ but not ‘Benediction’ which looks most eye-catching. I bought a new one for my garden at the weekend called ‘Moonshine’. I think that your book is a republication of one that I have by the same authors called ‘Dream Plants For The Natural Garden’ which is a most inspiring and informative tome. It was good to see you and everyone else yesterday and it would be most lovely to have a cuppa with you 😀

    • Drop in any time Anna! 😉 Yes, the original title of my book was Dream Plants but I have an updated version with notes by Noel Kingsbury… another favourite gardener and photographer.

  4. That’s a wonderful color mix, Cathy. The orange tulip adds just the right touch of spice. Thanks for including the poem as well. Our April days aren’t usually so variable but that seems to be changing of late.

    • I suppose a warm April is untypical for us, but since it does happen occasionally we are constantly living in hope! LOL! It is very chilly and raining again as I write, but maybe the sun will be out in a few minutes! 😉

  5. Ohh, I love that pulmonaria. Wonderful blue and a tasty spring mix with a touch of deep apricot, mmm. April is windy here to the point the wind gets on my nerves. Wonderful hares. We have a huge rabbit that is driving the dog crazy.

    • The hares (and a visiting fox) are driving our dog mad too… until she gets distracted by a mousehole! At least I think the moles have moved on now that I have removed all the piles of dirt they left behind. 🤪

  6. And who could resist your favorites? They’re perfect. I grow the same narcissus except that cute Narcissus cordubensis. Glad you displayed your gardening book since I missed that portion of the meeting. I had wondered what ones were recommended.

    • I will have to start writing more about gardening books I like, although I realised a lot of mine are in German. Isn’t that funny… I hadn’t noticed that before! But then I have been here almost 30 years now! LOL!

  7. Oh I love that vase of flowers and the bunnies. My favorite! Lovely to hear your garden is going along nicely too!

  8. This was the most wintry winter that I can remember, with a combination of historic frost and rain, and the only snow since 1976. I did not worry about irrigation when I left for two weeks. However, the rain suddenly stopped. I returned to a rather dry situation. I suppose that means that the weather in April is better than it had been. It just improved at the wrong time.
    Your tulip resembles one that has bloomed reliably here for two years after getting dug and relocated, . . . which is strange within a climate that does not sustain tulips. I have no idea what it is, but suspect that it is not one of the overly bred fancy sorts.

    • I find that my tulips often do not resemble the catalogue photos, and often only come up in dribs and drabs the second year (the mice! 😬). These particular ones are so reliable they have become a favourite simply for that reason.

  9. Thank you for posting this. I had never read the Frost quote before. I learned today that my partner has a critical liver condition and I read you post and viewed you pictures while waiting for his test results. I took heart from your arrangement and the Frost quote. Thank you for helping to make the day better.

    • That is bad news Thomas and I am sorry to hear that. Poetry and flowers do help in difficult times and I hope they will continue to give you and your partner comfort. All the best to you both.

  10. A lovely vase Cathy and the essence of early spring.
    I am surprised to hear you have problems with mice. Of all the animals that frequent my yard, and there are many, mice have not given me any trouble. Not to say that I don’t have mice, because they’ve been here since I moved in 34 years ago, but they don’t bother my gardens. Something I guess I should be thankful for. I tend to have more trouble with the squirrels digging things up, and now my new garden buddy, my dachshund puppy, who likes to dig in the loose dirt too.

  11. Pingback: In A (Tiny) Vase on Monday:Where Fairies Alight – Gardening Nirvana

  12. So much to cherish in this post, Cathy, don’t know where to start! The bouquet is so sweet, I love the jug, the card (yes,you guess it I love hares :D) and the painting on the wall too. Looks like watercolour with wax – do you know how she did it? You’re right, things are growing so fast that I’m glad about the cooler temperatures. Maybe this year the roses will keep going into June 😉 . Enjoy your sanctuary and your flowers.

    • Hi Annette. I think Eunice’s print is just watercolours, but she does kind of layer things. I have no idea about painting at all, just appreciate the finished product! LOL!
      Do you have hares in your garden? We usually have lots of babies atvthis time of year, but there is a fox visiting so hopefully the hares have moved elsewhere and the fox is going hungry. It’s a cruel world isn’t it!

      • Some years ago we saw hares chasing each other in our drive, it was great! In Ireland they used to box in the field in front of the house…until the cats came. Not many hares around here. They’re making silage already in early April here so ground nesting animals have hardly any hope to survive.

  13. Yes, April will do what April does! Everything about that arrangement is as sweet as can be, Cathy! It reminds me that I want to plant some pulmonaria somewhere in my gardens! I have ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’ narcissi in my garden, and they smell divine! It’ll be a few weeks yet before they bloom here. Lastly, I must gush about that card and the vase! How delightful! And what a good idea to have a virtual meeting of gardeners!

    • The zoom meeting was the second one we have had and it is so nice to meet the people I consider friends without ever having met them in real life! Cheerfulness is lovely – tall and slender with loads of flowers on each stem. There are both white and yellow varieties too. If you like scented Narcissi, do try growing Thalia one day. Wonderful outside, but a little overpowering for bringing indoors. 😉

  14. Pulmonaria is so underrated, isn’t it? It makes such an impact in the early spring garden and it was lovely to see it in your vase today, along with your favourite narcissi and the stray tulip. You know how much I love your hare mug, but I am very taken with that lovely print too! ps plenty of tea and cake available here too…

  15. How wonderful to experience such a robust early spring growing season! Your bouquet is beautiful, and I can see why you favor the adorable vase. 😀

    • Thanks Debra! Yes, our plants have to be robust here… still rather chilly with an icy wind, but tomorrow should get as high as 19°C. I might even discard a layer of clothing or two! LOL!

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