In a Vase on Monday: The Moon and the Stars

My friend Simone (🤗) visited a couple of days ago, and as she was leaving she looked up and remarked at how many stars she could see. I think I rather take that for granted, living out in the countryside away from strong street lamps, motorways or industrial estates.

So I am using my ‘Moon’ vase today, with one of my first peonies and some star-like flowers. And with clear skies forecast for the next few days, I shall make sure I look out at the moon and the stars with more attention this week.


Peony officinalis ‘Alba plena’ opened in the Moon Bed last week.

The delicate white stars on the right are Deutzia gracilis. I think that is a lovely name for them.

The star-shaped bud is Scabiosa ochroleuca, the seedhead on the left is Pulsatilla vulgaris, and the small white flower at the back is Dianthus arenarius.

The reddish pink flower is a Knautia macedonica. It would have been fitting to use the ‘Mars Midget’ variety, which I had in my last garden. But this one, from my ‘Melton pastels’ clump, still looks a bit like a tiny planet, especially when you see it waving in the breeze on its tall and (against the rest of the greenery) almost invisible stalks. 😃

Can you see the night sky where you live? And do you know the names of all the stars? I am hopeless at recognizing the different formations, but I think I have spotted our brightest stars Venus, Mars and the North Star recently.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who I am joining with my Monday vase again. Do pop over to visit her, and see all the lovely things people have found to share from their gardens.

And have a lovely week!

In a Vase on Monday: Geum Delight

I love Geums and decided to use them with some shades of blue in my vase today. What a summery combination it makes too, especially with the bright sunlight. 😃

The darker orange one on the right is Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’. The colour is vibrant and stands out well in a flower bed.

The paler orange one is Totally Tangerine – one that I had difficulty in finding here until last year. It is doing exceptionally well considering it is still relatively new to the garden.

This lovely pinky orange one is called ‘Bohemia Pink’. It can’t decide if it wants to be pink or orange, but since both colours mingle so nicely it doesn’t matter!

The blue Aquilegia are actually even bluer than they appear on the photos, for which I am grateful… my last garden became inundated with purple ones, which are also nice, but within limits!

And finally, the Camassias. I could only bear to cut two, one of the paler ones from my Moon Bed, and a deeper blue one. I am afraid I have forgotten their names.

Tucked into one side are a few sprigs of the orange foliage of Spirea ‘Magic Carpet’, and the whole vase is filled out with some Alchemilla mollis, just about to burst into flower, but lovely for its soft foliage too.

I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme, where we are invited to share a vase of goodies from our gardens. And what better time of year to do just that!

Wishing you all a wonderful gardening week.


In a Vase on Monday: Aqualegia

Yes, before anyone smirks, I know you don’t spell Aquilegia like that! 😛 But I want to draw your attention to how pretty they look when floated in aqua – water. 🤗

I am sure some of you have seen hellebore flowers floated; their faces so often point downwards when in a vase, but in this way we can see the intricate petals and stamens. The same goes for Aquilegias, and all the details of their pretty faces are revealed.

I started off in this garden with a couple of special Aquilegias… names long forgotten, and a packet of seeds, and this is the pretty mix I now have. 😃

I added some Pulsatilla seedheads and think they rather look like sea creatures, floating alongside the flowers.

You can find other Monday vases at Rambling in the Garden, where Cathy, our host, invites us to share a vase of flowers from our gardens. Thank you Cathy! 🤗

Wishing you all a week of happy moments in your gardens.


In a Vase on Monday: Snip Snip!

Monday again, and time to make up a vase to share. 😃

I didn’t have a plan this week, but started off in the Herb Bed (in the background here), as there is so much lovely growth there and it is doing so well now. It has reached the stage where I have seedlings every year and can divide or move things.

The Fennel is such a great plant: it loves heat and drought, and remained standing until we had snow. The birds loved sitting in it in winter before it collapsed. And in spring and summer the foliage is wonderful in vases. I added a white and a blue borage and some chives, just about to flower. Then I snipped a sprig of tarragon (apparently an ingredient in the ‘Coronation Quiche’😉) and some wild strawberry flowers.

Then I moved over to the other beds and just continued snipping! A bit of this and a bit of that.

With a purple Pulsatilla at the centre of it all. 😃

This is what I wait for all year – enough flowers to snip for little vases throughout the week, and not just Mondays! 😃

The Spirea arguta is a cloud of white in the Moon Bed, and the white broom is also just opening. A pulsatilla seedhead, some of the golden Spirea, some Pulmonaria, and a pink Scabiosa got picked and I realised this tiny row of joined vases would be ideal. Other snippets were some Geranium phaeum, Euphorbia polychroma, Heuchera leaves and flower spike, and some Nepeta.

Why don’t you also join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and have some fun picking (or snippety snipping) something from your garden for a vase to share this Monday!

In any case, happy gardening and have a great week!




In a Vase on Monday: Not Bluebells

I have wonderful childhood memories of walking through bluebell woods in England at this time of year. I can remember being overwhelmed by the perfume of those gorgeous flowers, and amazed at the depth and variety of the colour blue, contrasting with the tall fresh green stems as we waded through them. In those days the flowers were free to be picked. And we did pick them, by the armful! I doubt we have a single photo of those times, but they are imprinted on my mind’s eye so vividly with all the sharp focus and colour a camera can produce. 😃

Sadly we do not have bluebell woods here in southern Germany, and I doubt if we would be allowed to pick them these days even if there were any. So today I am sharing a humble but rather pretty blue flower instead: Muscari armeniacum

Although known commonly as Grape Hyacinths, they are not actually in the Hyacinth family. I have a few different ones in blue, white and a special one that has both dark and pale blue petals.

I have coupled the Muscari with another lovely spring flower, the Cowslip, Primula veris. This wild flower seems to have fared better here in Bavaria than the UK, and we still see it in abundance by roadsides and in meadows. But I picked these from my garden.

The small pewter/metal fairy box has this inscription on it, taken from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

‘I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.’


The cowslips smell lovely. 😃

The fused glass bluebell woods scene in the background reminds me of the bluebell wood at Coton Manor Garden, not far from where I grew up in the UK, which will no doubt be in full bloom soon.

Which spring flower carries special memories for you?

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, as I join her with a Monday vase.

Finally, here is the complete passage with the quote on my fairy box, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Act 2, Scene 1)

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.

Have a wonderful May!

P.S. The company that sent me the wrong tulips (see last week’s post) has promised to refund me for them. 👍

In a Vase on Monday: Softening the Blow

It is Monday again, and time to join Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) for her Monday meme, where she invites us to pop something in a vase from our gardens to share.

Well, after three warm sunny days in a row everything is suddenly green! The housemartins are back (hoorah!), the grass is growing (along with the weeds) and the tulips are opening. 😃

The Alchemilla mollis leaves around the edges of my vase today are to soften the blow of the shock when these yellow and orange tulips opened.

Had I planted them somewhere else, I would probably have thought them quite pretty. As it was, I have to say I was appalled… they were supposed to look like this:


I planted them in the Oval Bed, which does have yellow Narcissi in it in spring, but is primarily pastelly pinks and blues. The red, orange, yellow tulips clash horribly with some neighbouring pink ones, so I decided to pick the worst offenders and plonk them in a vase – with the help of a florist’s frog in the base of the vase to get them to sit upright. They actually do look quite nice on my table, with a pretty doily underneath kindly sent to me by Annette. 💕

Has this ever happened to you, that you order a plant or bulbs and they turn out to be completely the wrong ones?

I have notified the company I bought them from and am hoping for a refund. Am I too pernickety perhaps? Or would you have done the same?

Anyway, this was certainly a good reason to cut tulips to bring indoors, as I rarely sacrifice them for a vase. So something good came of it after all!


Have a great gardening week!

P.S. I think I will pick the remaining 4 and put them in another vase in a day or two. And then dig the bulbs out and move them promptly!

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!