In a Vase on Monday: Predominantly Purple

Gentle showers over the past few days have brought on lots of fresh growth and flowers, so it was lovely to walk around the garden this afternoon and choose a few to cut for a vase. The first candidate that caught my eye was my culinary sage. Although smothered in busy bees, I have plenty of flowers for us all to share and cut just one stem. Then my theme became clear as I spotted another purple sage, Salvia pratensis.

Then I started seeing purple everywhere!

Alchemilla mollis was the obvious choice as a filler, as it is in full bloom and was covered in raindrops. 😃 I also picked some Salvia nemorosa and Nepeta ‘Walker‘s Low’, and some deep blue/purple Nigella from a seed mix called Persian Jewels.

The pale pink flower is Knautia, and substitutes well for a pink Scabiosa. The Knautia I have is called Melton Pastels and also has some deeper pinky purple flowers on the same plant.

Another purply blue flower I found is the Geranium seen behind this Nigella (the label is hidden under all its flowers!), and my Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ suddenly appeared to have a slight purply pink tinge to it too.

I hadn’t realised I have so many shades of blueish, pinkish purples in my garden! I am grateful to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme, which has had an impact on many of my planting choices over the past few years!

Have a great gardening week!

😃

In a Vase on Monday: Herbal Tea?

Monday has come round again and I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase. I must confess this was actually put together on Saturday, as I discovered the cornflowers on the edge of a corn field while walking our dog. I couldn‘t pass up the opportunity of having enough cornflowers for use in my cornflower teapot!

There is nothing quite like these beautiful blue flowers. And they really are blue. (Centaurea cyanus)

 

I realise I recently posted a similar vase of wildflowers, but I love them so much and this time there are a few new additions. Pink Campions (Silene dioca) for example…

Then the Scabiosa are flowering. They are usually pink in the wild – I‘d love a pink one in the garden but only seem able to find blue ones. Another one to put on my ‘Grow from seed’ list!

I also found some delicate pink Dianthus (Dianthus deltoides) but only picked one on our own land as they are rare. Then there are Harebells (Campanula patula), a Moon Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), some white Achillea, the fragrant Bedstraw (Galium mollugo, I think) and a slightly pink flower which I mistook for cow parsley (on the left in the next picture, slightly blurred!) There are so many similar flowers it is hard to identify it, but I will take a better look at it next time I see some.

I wonder what is growing wild near your gardens this June.

Have a good week everyone!

Elderflower Pancakes (vegan)

If Elder (Sambucus nigra) grows in your part of the world you may be seeing the frothy white flowers this week or even enjoying a whiff of the heady fragrance. For us the elderflowers are a little earlier than usual. Time to make cordial, perhaps some sorbet, and definitely pancakes. ‘Hollerkiachl’ as they are called in Bavaria. 😃

We are lucky and have several trees/shrubs directly on our doorstep and in our lane, away from traffic and foraging passers-by!

First I made the pancake batter. Here is my recipe for about 8 small pancakes:

  • 200g (1 3/5 cups) flour
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 2tsps sugar
  • 425 ml (1 4/5 cups) almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 ‘veg eggs’ or 1 large tbsp soya flour mixed with a little water

Whisk all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter. Leave to stand while you cut your elderflowers.

The best time here to cut elderflowers is late morning on a still and sunny day. The aroma seems to be at its peak then. You will need about 8 -10 flowerheads, one for each pancake. (It depends on their size so cut a few extra if you aren‘t sure.) Shake off any flies and beetles. Bring them indoors and shake again over the sink, then place on a yellow surface. This attracts any remaining tiny flies to crawl out.

Heat a little sunflower oil in a pancake pan. Dip an elderflower head in the batter, holding it by the stalk, and drop it in the pan with an extra tablespoon or two of batter.

You can now cut off as much of the stalk as possible so you can turn the pancake once you see little bubbles forming. Fry until golden brown on both sides, and sprinkle with a little sugar. Continue until you have used up all the batter.

Enjoy!

 

In a Vase on Monday: A Warm Glow

Californian Poppies have finally got established in my garden this year. Yippee! After scattering some seed last year I only got a few flowers. The plants remained green almost all winter, which amazed me, and now they have multiplied! 😃 I am now sure previous attempts to grow them in my old garden were thwarted by snails. Thankfully there are hardly any around in the new garden.

So, as I wanted to join in with Cathy’s Monday meme again at Rambling in the Garden, I decided to cut some on Sunday morning and see how they do in a vase.

I also took the opportunity to test the Geum flowers for vase use. I grew these – Geum chiloense ‘Blazing Sunset’ – from seed two springs ago and last year only a couple of flowers appeared. But this year the plants are much stronger and are flowering profusely, brightening up the Sunshine Bed as well as a very windswept corner of the Herb Bed.

They are a very strong orangey red (some of the photos are a little deceptive showing a pink tinge) and the frilly flowers are strikingly visible from a distance.

Alchemilla mollis is a perfect filler for some contrasting green, and for a splash of light two pretty Aquilegias. I am afraid I can‘t tell the difference, but the labels say one is Kristall and the other is Yellow Queen. The orange flower is Hawkweed, Hieracium x rubrum.

I love the wild yellow Hawkweed we see around here, so added this orange one to the herb bed in the hope it will spread. After all, it IS a weed! 😜

The colours of these flowers are a lovely contrast to the pinks and blues in the Butterfly Bed right now and are creating a warm glow on my dining table. And now, over 24 hours after being cut, the poppies and geums are still glowing and are apparently happy in the vase.

 😃

What is glowing in your garden today?

Have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday: Fresh as a Daisy

I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase for Monday on this beautiful May morning.

My vase contents were decided for me this week… the farmer who mows our larger grass areas announced yesterday he was on the way. So I nipped out quick and picked an armful of the freshly opened Moon Daisies and plonked them in the pretty jug my sister gave me a few years ago. 😃

Leucanthemum vulgare

I always call them Moon Daisies, although I know they are more commonly known as ox-eye daisies. But how unromantic is ox-eye!

I found a lovely quote from a British naturalist, Marcus Woodward:

… ‘the flower, with its white rays and golden disc, has small resemblance to an ox‘s eye, but at dusk it shines out from the mowing-grass like a fallen moon.’

I couldn‘t have said it better myself!

I found some other names for it used in various parts of the world, including moon penny, moon flower, midsummer daisy, golden marguerites and butter daisy.

😃☀️😃

We still have a few in between where was mown, and harebells and cow parsley are also starting to flower. This is such a lovely time of year.

Here is a shot of the mowing in action. In the foreground you can just see the tip of the Butterfly Bed where the Alliums are the stars right now.

And a bonus photo from early this morning snapped from the window!

Have a great week, with plenty of May sunshine and hopefully no more frost! 😉