In a Vase on Monday: Mostly Herbs

I have been harvesting some herbs recently. Last week it was parsley, sage and chives; the parsley and sage are cut into small pieces and dried in our food dehydrator until dry enough to crumble, and the chives are snipped and simply frozen in tiny containers, ready to sprinkle over/in hot food. I also made some parsley and garlic paste (that was strong!) and some parsley ice cubes.

But today the mint was due to be picked and, as always, I got distracted and started picking things for a Monday vase!

The photos are taken on the steps next to my Herb Bed, which is also ‘mostly herbs’. There is a Viburnum in the middle, a few antirrhinums, a Geum, a Euphorbia and some spring bulbs. But I think everything else could be classified as a herb or medicinal plant (German has one word for this: Heilkräuter).

The first Hypericum flower of the season on my dark-leafed Hypericum shrub was the prompt for my vase, as this shrub looks so pretty growing near the Antirrhinums and I had already decided I wanted to use a couple of those today.  Some blue borage set them off nicely.

The pink sage flowers also look nice with the dark foliage. I have several sages, including some ornamental ones. To my surprise, a couple overwintered from last year, including this purple one: Nachtvlinder.

Other green foliage is mint(!), lemon balm and more Hypericum. Somewhere at the back there is even a sprig of parsley! 😉

I am now going to chop up all this mint for the dehydrator and will remember this warm sunny June day while sipping some mint tea on a winter’s day. 😃

Thanks to Cathy from Rambling in the Garden for keeping this idea alive every week, where we share things plucked from our gardens or neighbourhoods and show them off in a vase of some sort.

Have a lovely Monday and a great week.

Happy gardening!

In a Vase on Monday: Spring or Summer?

Despite a couple of nerve-wracking nights with temperatures dipping to just 3° above freezing (yikes!), the garden is looking like it is summer already. Poppies are about to burst their buds, annuals and the last veg are in the process of being planted out, and the Scabiosa and Knautia are in full bloom. So I picked some for my Monday vase, joining the other Cathy at Rambling in the Garden once again.

I love the Knautia and Scabiosa, as they are not only pretty but attract loads of bees and other pollinators.

We have so many buzzing around today. 🐝🐝🐝

The Veronica is opening too, so I added a couple of sprigs…

… and the red Heuchera (that should have been white and still hasn’t been moved out of the blue and white Moon Bed) was destined for a vase as soon as it showed its colour.

The best thing about this vase is the perfume coming from the pale pink Dianthus. Lovely! These pinks were a gift from my friend Simone’s garden a couple of years ago and seem very happy here. 😃

A few Nigella are hiding in there, along with a sage flower, a Persicaria, some grasses from last week’s vase, fennel foliage and some fading chive flowers. Oh, and some Pulsatilla seedheads again. I just can’t resist their fluffiness in a vase! 😉

Is your garden moving towards summer already? I wonder what defines that moment for you. In this garden I am still uncertain as the cold spell we get in early June is actually not all that unusual. In fact it has a name: Schafskälte. (Literally ‘sheep’s chill’) Early to mid June we often have a few colder days and nights that mean the poor sheep that have already been shorn feel the chill!

Hopefully this is an early ‘Schafskälte’ we are experiencing and tonight will be the last chilly night – the forecast says we are getting some real summer days at the end of the week. ☀️

Wishing you some good weather too.

And happy gardening!
🐝🌷🐝

 

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 Might of May

Isn’t it amazing how much energy is lying beneath our feet as we walk around our gardens? Think of all that power, as the shoots and buds burst up and out with such vigour and strength. Alone the rate of growth of the grass is alarming. Fortunately my Man of Many Talents takes care of most of the mowing. 😉

May is the not the month for dallying, but I have been stopped in my tracks more than once this past week by a new flower opening, or new leaves appearing. The oaks are now fully clothed, the May is starting to open, the broom along the roadsides are all in flower, and the lilacs have bloomed and started to fade almost before I could inhale their gorgeous fragrance.

That is why I chose to use a sprig of lilac as the centre piece for a vase today. I am joining in the In a Vase on Monday meme with our host Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden.

Lilac ‘Andenken an Ludwig Späth’ is accompanied by some Geranium phaeum. The tiny dark flowers are the centre of attention as far as the bees are concerned at the moment. (And they have attracted some attention from me too!)

I also used some pale Pulsatilla seedheads along with a couple of pinkish ones too. These are so pretty in vases and go on looking good for ages.

Tucked away on one side are some Pulmonaria ‘Opal’ …

and at the back some white hellebores that have faded to a lovely shade of green…

I added some hellebore and fennel foliage, a few grasses, some Heuchera stems with tight buds on, and some spikes of white broom.

The ‘ice saints’ came and went with no sign of frost, so the vegetable garden will be the focus in the next week or two, and then the annuals will be planted out. I wish May was twice as long! 😉

Hope you are all enjoying this mighty month as much as we are. 😃

Happy gardening!

In a Vase on Monday: Totally Tangerine!

I am totally in love with Totally Tangerine!

I had been looking for this Geum for years, seeing it regularly (with growing envy! 😉) on other blogs. It seemed unknown in Germany. But the choice of plants here slowly improves each year, and more and more nurseries in the north of Germany have websites and online shops. A couple of weeks ago I finally tracked one down… well, actually I ordered three!

I was so surprised that they arrived in flower too. 😃

Naturally, one had to appear in my vase this week, as I join our host Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, for this weekly meme.

The tulip is Ballerina, which can hardly be beaten for a splash of red/orange in May. The seedheads are Pulsatilla, and the foliage is Heuchera and Alchemilla.

I had to rinse the pollen off the Heuchera leaves, as everything is coated in a thick layer thick of it. Can you see it on the Pulsatilla?

It is not so much the oilseed rape at the moment, but the evergreens… in this photo below the oilseed rape is a pretty picture, but can you see the clouds of pollen in front of the dark evergreens? (Click on the photo to enlarge)

(Anouk has yellow legs most of the time! 😉)

I love the fiery colours of Geums and they have done well for me in the past, so I have sown seed of Fireball and Red Dragon this spring. They are coming along well. I also have a few other Geums in the garden; Blazing Sunset (grown from seed several years ago), Gold Ball, Mai Tai, Scarlet Tempest and Red Wings. Do you grow any?

May is such a busy month, but I will try and take time to enjoy the garden today instead of just rushing around weeding, sowing, shuffling seedlings around, etc.

Hope you have time to enjoy your gardens this week too. Happy Gardening!

 

 

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: Cheery Tulips and House Martins

This morning, as I was emptying the dishwasher first thing, I noticed the sparrows in the yard (they nest in the garage roof each year) were making even more of a din than usual. When I looked out I immediately knew why…. the house martins are back!

I can’t describe how happy that makes me, except to say that I opened the window with tears in my eyes and a broad grin on my face and called ‘Welcome Back!’ to them as they swooped up and down and around. 😃

Two flew up to the eaves a few times and another two followed. These are the first arrivals and they will wait for the others before moving back in and repairing or rebuilding their nests. I find it a small wonder that these tiny creatures manage to fly the thousands of kilometres from North Africa and then find their way back to where they nested last year, to us. 😊 Here is a link to a short video I made of them all a couple of summers ago:

Wordless Wednesday: House Martins

 

Now to my vase… some lovely spring colours, with tulips, cowslips, narcissi and fennel.

As usual I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme, where she invites us to share a vase of materials from our gardens. It’s a great way of keeping records of what was flowering when, as well as making the most of my flowers when it is too chilly to be outdoors.

The Actaea narcissi are so distinctive and that ‘eye’ goes perfectly with the Apricot Emperor tulips. They grow next to each other in the Herb Bed, by pure chance! 😉 A yellow one planted out from old pots was thrown in, along with the Narcissi ‘Cheerfulness’ and ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’, also growing in the Herb Bed. The feathery fennel foliage is more or less the only foliage I have in abundance as yet, and I love the airy result.

I used my Forsythia vase, which hadn’t been aired for a long time.

Many thanks to Cathy for hosting. And thank you for reading.

Have a great week, and happy gardening!

🌷🌷🌷