In a Vase on Monday: Catkins

Catkin: a slim, cylindrical flower cluster, with inconspicuous or no petals, usually wind-pollinated…

Vase16th1

The contents of my vase for this week’s meme “In a Vase on Monday” – where Cathy challenges us to bring garden materials indoors each week – are completely recycled;  February is still cold and snowy and everything in the garden seems to be hanging in icy equilibrium.

But the Forsythia and catkins brought in from the cold last week are opening and remind me that spring will soon be here.

Vase16th3

The green shoots are on a twig of spindle tree, which was in last week’s vase for the seedheads. And a piece of Miscanthus from last week also fitted into my tiny green vase.

Vase16th4

 The Flower Fairy poetry book in the background is open on the Hazel Catkin page:

Vase16th2

I love that last verse!

While yet the woods lie grey and still
   I give my tidings: “Spring is near!”
One day the land shall leap to life
   With fairies calling: “Spring is HERE!”

~

Can’t wait to hear those fairy voices!

😉

Vase16th5

Do visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, to see her vase and all the others linked in from around the world.

Maybe you can join in too?

 

February – at last!

There is nothing happening in my garden right now… A few Hellebore buds under the snow, and some snowdrops struggling to open. January is definitely not a favourite month of mine, so I am pleased to welcome February and am hopeful that I will see a flower or two before this month is out.

Still, the view from the house was lovely very early yesterday morning as the sun made one of its rare winter appearances…

JanuaryFebruaryView

Photo taken from indoors at around 8.30am

~~~

I thought the world was cold in death;
      The flowers, the birds, all life was gone,
      For January’s bitter breath
      Had slain the bloom and hushed the song.
And still the earth is cold and white,
      And mead and forest yet are bare;
      But there’s a something in the light
      That says the germ of life is there.


from “February” by Mrs. Jane G. Austin

~~~

Have a good February!

🙂

In a Vase on Monday: Earthly Joys

I look forward to Mondays these days… Searching my garden for something attractive to put in a vase for Cathy’s meme has become quite a ritual, although I must admit to sometimes doing this a day early.

Today I carried my little vase through the house to the lightest room, my fingers still numb from the cold, and as I opened the door there lay the book I have been intending to read for some time now: “Earthly Joys” – the perfect title for my post!

Vase19th3

This is the same Hellebore from my patio pot that I used two weeks ago, and I found the label. It seems I mixed up the names of this and my Amaryllis/Hippeastrum – the Amaryllis is not Christmas Star as I had thought, but “Bolero”. The Hellebore is “Christmas Star”.

Vase19th4

I added a few sprigs of box, some laurel, Euonymous, Vinca and Carex, and a few red Heuchera leaves.

Vase19th2

Despite our lack of sunshine in January, I did manage to find a light spot for the photo. Have you noticed how the days are getting longer ?

Vase19th5

Sun of joy, and pleasure’s light,
All were lost in gloom of night.
Night so long, with tears and sorrow–
Hearts might break ere broke the morrow.
Day so short and night so long–
Fled the bird and hushed the song.
But, my heart, look up, be stronger,
For the days are growing longer. “

from “Now the Days are Growing Longer” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Take a look at Cathy’s site “Rambling in the Garden” where she has presented her beautiful white Amaryllis today.

And many others have linked in with their own creations too. Why not join in?!

😀

 

In a Vase on Monday: In the Bleak Mid-winter

In the bleak mid-winter, Frosty wind made moan

Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen snow on snow, Snow on snow

In the bleak mid-winter, Long ago

(English Christmas carol based on the poem by Christina Rossetti)

MondayVase29th1

Shall we have tea on the patio?

😉

I hope you will forgive me cheating slightly this week, but at still 4 degrees below zero by lunchtime I didn’t think I would stand a chance of finding anything but evergreen cuttings for a Monday vase. The ground is frozen solid and it is snowing again. I will not be beaten though!

MondayVase29th5

Look at the Forsythia I brought in on December 4th… finally flowering properly!

MondayVase29th4

But with the fire glowing and the heating on full blast its days are now numbered…

~~~

A Christmas gift on the 23rd included two freshly cut Hippeastrum/Amaryllis flowers. One went into my Advent vase, which has been refreshed with more berries from our hegderow and is going in to its third week now…

MondayVase29th2

And one went into a smaller vase with more greenery. I followed the advice Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) gave after she read an RHS article and I tied the base of the Amaryllis stem with a rubber band – it has definitely helped keep it from splitting.

MondayVase29th3

As winter progresses Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday meme really does become a challenge… I am already thinking ahead to the first vase of 2015!

Take a look at Cathy’s lovely Paperwhites today, and the other vases linked in from around the world.

Have a good week!

In a Vase on Monday: Autumn Loveliness

With it being Michaelmas today, I really ought to have used some of my Michaelmas daisies for my Monday vase.

Michaelmas

But they have featured in two vases recently, so time for something different: Euonymus europaeus, otherwise known as Spindle trees (and as “Bishop’s hats” in German!). They seem to have sprouted up everywhere in our little piece of woodland this year, and the berries are currently at their best.

VaseSep29th2

While looking for some nice Euonymus branches, I also noticed that some of the lovely creeping vine people often plant here (Parthenocissus) has found its way into the wild and has started growing up one of the bushes. (Is it called Virginia Creeper in the UK?) As I snipped a bit off I saw the seedheads of some tangled Old man’s beard – Clematis vitalba – too. I don’t cherish this plant if it invades my garden – which it frequently does – but I do love those fluffy seedheads!

VaseSep29th6

All this colour and loveliness went to my head, and I created a Haiku for today too!

Bishop hats hanging

on spindles, spinning silken

old man’s beard; autumn.

VaseSep29th4

This arrangement will not come indoors, but will brighten our patio now that there is more and more shade during the day.

VaseSep29th1

 The cyclamen was a bargain from my local supermarket and I was tempted by its deep red colour. I am pretty good at killing off cyclamens – my record being within 48 hours – so I wonder how long this one will last on the patio!

VaseSep29th3

We had another misty morning, but by midday the sun broke through and warmed me as I started emptying summer containers and washing pots. And every time I returned to the patio my vase made me smile…

VaseSep29th5

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme “In a Vase on Monday“. The challenge to find materials from the garden for a vase each week has made me look at the flowers and plants around me with new eyes!

Hope you have some sunshine this week too!