In a Vase on Monday: There’s No Smoke Without Fire

I was busy today, and left it rather late in the day to find something for my Monday vase so that I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. But I was determined to cut some flowers! even though it is hot. And windy. And dry. There have been warnings for forest fires in our region for a couple of weeks now so as I rounded the corner of the house and saw smoke I was somehow not surprised, but also rather afraid. It was only about a kilometre away from us, with a lot of dry woodland between us…

No sooner had I called my Man of Many Talents than we heard sirens in all directions. Nonetheless he got his emergency watering vehicle ready just in case; a trailer with 600 liters of water, a pump and a fireman’s hose, hooked up to his ATV. Thankfully the excitement was soon over, and the smoke subsided. Phew! I don’t need that sort of excitement too often! Only ten days ago a freshly harvested wheat field went up in smoke, a little farther away from us. Local farmers assisted with putting the fire out… they all have their tanks filled with water at the ready.

I still wanted to cut some flowers, but my thoughts had turned from sunshine and shade to fire and smoke! I cut lots of Heliopsis ‘Sommersonne’ as originally intended, but it is accompanied by the remains of the single flower on my young Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) and some Euphorbias, which are the only plants that seem entirely happy in the extremely dry Sunshine Bed right now.

The sunflower vase is a summer favourite. 😃

 The wind has died down for now, but it has scorched and frazzled a lot of plants. Still, we had cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and garlic from our own garden yesterday, so I mustn’t grumble! 😉

Have a great week and stay cool!

😎🍉🍹

In a Vase on Monday: Snowballs

The Viburnum opulus in our hedgerows is flowering beautifully this year, prompting me to pick some for a vase this week. In German this shrub is called ‘Schneeball’, as the white flowers shine out from the hedgerows like balls of white snow. 😃

And here is the vase.

 

On a whim the cow parsley just the other side of the fence was picked too. And a few grasses from the hedge and the garden were also added. 😃

 

 

 

Close up you can see the ring of outer petals on the Viburnum, attracting the insects to the tiny inner fertile flowers. The berries in autumn are beautiful too – a bright shiny red.

 

I have never looked at cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) so closely before – they remind me of lots of tiny stars.

Some parts of Germany have had terrible storms over the past few days, but we have been lucky so far…. fingers crossed. Tonight another round of thunderstorms is forecast, but let’s hope for the best!

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. And thanks to you for visiting. 😃

 

In a Vase on Monday: The Dauntless Dandelion

After some showers over the last day or two my garden is suddenly green. And yellow!

The fields around us are planted with oilseed rape this year, and the first flowers are opening there too, so soon we will be enveloped in sunny yellow… unfortunately the windowsills and any other surface outside will also be coated in yellow, but never mind!

I was walking around the garden with Anouk this grey and chilly afternoon, wondering what to pick for a vase so I can contribute to this Monday meme. Why not bring all this bright yellow indoors? 💕

So that is what I have done.

I paused on the doorstep as I came in, picking a red Bellis flower from a little pot outside. And the feathery fennel foliage from last week’s vase is being recycled.

The song of the Dandelion Fairy in Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies book calls them ‘dauntless’ flowers. They certainly are. But terribly cheerful, don’t you think? Give them their botanical name and you could kid yourself they are wild flowers, and not weeds. 😉🤪

Taraxacum officinale

And even robbed of their colour they are quite exquisite flowers…

Thanks go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme. Do visit her to see what she is sharing today. And have a great week!

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Spring Zing 😃

Spring has sprung and every day a few more flowers appear as if from nowhere. If I went out at night with a lamp I would probably be able to watch them growing! 😉

So a few cornus cuttings and some other lovely spring colour went into my current favourite vase trio.

Coltsfoot, Iris, Hellebores and my first tiny narcissus.

When the Coltsfoot flowers I know that spring is round the corner. It always turns up mid March here, and the first glimpse of it at the side of our lane makes me almost skip for joy! It is holding up well in the vase too, as I picked it on Sunday afternoon.

The hellebore is a ‘Prince Double White’ – one of my largest and healthiest in fact, but I have had to remove a lot of blackened leaves from all my hellebores this winter.

I haven’t been blogging much recently…. because I have been in the garden. 😁 Oh, it is so good to be working outdoors again, feeling the warmth of the sun on my back.

Tomorrow rain is forecast, so I will be catching up on the other vases linking in to Cathy’s meme at Rambling in the Garden. Thanks to Cathy, as always, for hosting! And Happy Gardening! 🌷

 

 

Into the New Year

As I write it is still the last day of the year and we had some lovely warm sunshine today: 13°C!

So to ring out the old year here are a few pictures of my leisurely wander around the garden with Anouk this morning.

The blue sky and sunshine was a real treat…

This is the corner Anouk likes to inspect first every morning, as the hares come through the fence there…

Still a few rose hips left in the hedge…

And some morning mist across the meadow beyond our fence…

Anouk, checking for mice…

The buzzards often sit on the perches first thing to warm their wings in the sun… we put up several of these to encourage the birds of prey to help keep the mice population down.

The hellebores are in bud!

 

Can she smell Spring? (No, probably deer or hares!)

Wishing you all the very best for the new gardening year. Health, happiness and lots of flowers!

Happy New Year!

 

In a Vase on Monday: In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak mid winter, frosty wind made moan

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone

Another earworm for you this week, as I work my way through favourite Christmas carols! Although today is anything but bleak, with the sun finally appearing to reassure me that it hasn’t abandoned us after all. 😃 And with this clearer weather our temperatures are set to drop well below zero for several days, so the earth certainly will be hard as iron.

 

After a brief walk out into the woods this morning, I came back with a bucketful of greenery to distribute around the house.

It was lovely in the woods.

I wished I could reach that big ball of mistletoe at the top of this fir tree… can you see it? 😉

So this is my ‘vase’ for today, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

I was so pleased I could find a few berries to decorate it with: Pyracantha from the garden and Euonymus from the hedges.

And the silvery seedhead is perhaps the last of the Queen Ann’s Lace.

Have a lovely week and stay nice and warm if you are in a cold climate like me! ❄️☀️