In Vase on Monday: Dazzlers

The sunlight has been quite dazzling recently, as have the white flowers in and around my garden. I decided to combine them in a vase, joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

I had forgotten how prickly Cleome can be, and the strong smell of the Feverfew Fleabane surprised me too… maybe because it was cut early in the day?

The Gaura were smothered in bees and other small pollinators when I cut them, which was pleasing to see.

Cosmos Purity needs a bit longer to get going as usual, producing loads of (pretty) foliage but few flowers. Still, I cut a couple.

The Echinacea is Baby Swan White, which is possibly actually E. White Swan as it has turned out to be much taller and larger than it should be!

A Scabiosa ochroleuca was permitted to join the rest, despite not being really white but more cream. A sprig of Queen Ann’s Lace was added and finally a couple of sprigs of Artemisia Silver Queen, which I should use more often as a filler as it is such a thug it needs cutting back constantly!

We had another fantastic blue sky to the north this morning, but it is getting very warm again. This vase is nice and refreshing to look at indoors. 😃

Wishing you all blue skies and sunshine (and some kind of refreshment too 😉) this last week of July!

 

Scentsations

It starts in March, February if you are lucky. You are walking along the edge of woods in a bare and frosty landscape and suddenly… WHAM. A sweet floral perfume awakens your olfactory senses for the first time this year and the only flower in sight is a clump of Hepaticas. Hepaticas don’t smell of anything though, do they? You stick your nose in one and inhale. Nothing. But moments later another waft. It is magical and transitory.

Next the violets. I love them and hate them because I may smell the first one for a brief moment and then cannot detect a hint of the sweet violet perfume again. Apparently a trick our noses play on some of us. I envy people who swoon at the perfume they emit on a warm spring day.

Later, a bluebell wood in England. Then the lilacs in a friend‘s garden. The plum blossom on a neighbourhood tree.

And then the highlight of my spring, telling me summer has arrived and reminding me of the cordial, sorbet and pancakes I will be making – the elderflowers. The first hint of them in May crescendoes into a heady and intoxicating scent. I have never had elderflower champagne, but can imagine the taste. There are a lot of elder trees near us and their fragrance dominates for several weeks as plants in shadier spots open their flowers more slowly and later, lasting long into June. It sweetens on a warm day and in a very hot spell in early June it becomes almost overpowering. Mix that with the peonies and you are in heaven!

Oh yes, the peonies are nice too…

Another June delight: walking in the countryside on a warm day there is an occasional waft of a sweet scent similar to wild strawberries. It makes me look up and around and look again, really hard, at the wild flowers at the side of the footpath… Bedstraw? (Galium alba). Such an insignificant plant until it flowers. Like the Hepatica, if you go up to it and sniff, you probably won‘t smell a thing. Maybe you have to sneak up to it from behind to catch it!

I can enjoy the scent of roses, and like sweet peas too. But my favourite scent in spring or early summer has to be the elderflower.

What is your favourite scent on a spring or early summer day? Could you choose just one? 😉

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!

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: Meadow flowers

On the edge of the woods and the perimeters of the garden there are lots of pretty meadow flowers and grasses opening. Some of the grasses are as pretty as the flowers with a reddish tinge to them, so I picked a mixture for my vase this week.

 

On the left are some of the remaining Moon Daisies from last week‘s vase, in my cornflower teapot. On the right, two Purple Rain Alliums that had disappeared beneath an ambitious Euphorbia and a single Scabiosa that got cut off by mistake. And in the middle the meadow flowers.

Harebells…

Cow parsley and bedstraw, ragged robin, buttercups and daisies and a few grasses…

The elderflowers and dog roses are also in flower already. I shall be making elderflower pancakes again soon. Doesn‘t time fly!😃

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this special Monday meme. 😃