In a Vase on Monday: Tulip Love

I love tulips!

๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒท

And you?

Here are some gorgeous samples to make you smile. They areย in a vase because it is Monday and I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme again.

  • Yellow lily-flowered: West Point
  • Orange lily-flowered: Ballerina
  • Purple: Purple Dream
  • Purple with green: Purple Dance
  • Pink with green and gold tinge: Amazing Parrot
  • Orange and yellow: The packet simply said ‘Parrot’
  • Orange with gold and green tinge: Dynasty Orange (Could be a new favourite!)
  • 2 x yellow and cream with orangey tips: Akebono (last yearโ€˜s favourite and still very much loved)

Click on any image to create a slideshow.

My props this week are my collection of hearts. I never intended to collect them, but they just seem to have multiplied over the years and several have a special meaning, reminding me of loved ones past and present. ๐Ÿ˜Š

What is your favourite tulip? Any recommendations most welcome as I will be looking at Peter Nyssenโ€˜s webiste soon and choosing my tulips for autumn planting. Best to preorder as the best and most popular sell out really quickly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will definitely be ordering more of these…

Tulipa humilis Helene

I have been so busy in the garden recently and hope to reveal my new project soon. I also have another store cupboard recipe or two to share later this week for all of you avoiding supermarkets like the…. no, I wonโ€˜t say it!

My thoughts are with everyone in lockdown, be it partial or total. Our restrictions are slowly being lifted at last here in Bavaria, and the garden centres are reopening this week, albeit with very strict hygiene regulations. Yay!

Have a good week!

๐Ÿ˜ƒ

 

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Peachy

This Easter Monday I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme, and must thank her again for the focus it gives me.

It has been gorgeous weather here recently and the garden is really coming to life, so I had fewer qualms than of late about picking a handful of flowers to bring indoors.

The later narcissi and early tulips all started opening on Thursday which meant I could enjoy them while working outside on Friday and Saturday. The sweet fragrance of the narcissi every time I passed was a joy, but indoors they are making us sneeze!

The deep orange tulip on the left is Ballerina. Only about half of the original bulbs have flowered so I must replenish them. The larger peachy tulip on the right is Apricot Emperor. I love it in combination with Narcissus Actaea and planted a huge clump of them together in the herb bed. Actaea is the white one with a striking orange ‘eye’.

The dear little Narcissus at the front of the vase is Hawera. It is spreading! I donโ€˜t think that has ever happened with any other Narcissus I have grown, so ย it gets 10 out of ten for its delicate appearance and yet durability. The petals curve backwards as it ages and there are usually at least two flower heads to each stem. The graceful yellow botanical tulip is Sylvestris. I do like the botanical ones for their natural and yet elegant looks…. sort of Audrey Hepburn style! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Other Narcissi I used are Cheerfulness, Thalia and a yellow one I have forgotten the name of. Possibly Tamara. I had to include one of my parrot tulips too. They are just so cheeky! And I added a sprig of fresh birch growth. (The trees are all turning green as you watch here!)

Well, as we all enter another week of lockdown I wish you all the best. Stay calm. Keep smiling. Enjoy your gardens. Focus on something you can look forward to. I will be sowing seeds again today.

๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฑ

Store cupboard recipe 2: Garlic spaghetti

I am sharing another of our favourite vegan store cupboard recipes. This is great with a fresh salad, but failing that we have also eaten it with frozen peas or broccoli. As you may have noticed, we love garlic. And in times like these we do not have think about whether we can eat it without offending anyone the next day! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Garlic spaghetti


It is so quick and simple to make.

For two people you will need:

  • 300g spaghetti
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6+ cloves of garlic, depending on their size (or add an extra two or three!)
  • 1 packet smoked tofu or vegan bacon, chopped into cubes (normal tofu is also good as long as you season it really well)
  • approx 200ml good olive oil
  • herbs, dried or fresh, for sprinkling
  • vegan parmesan or nutritious yeast for sprinkling
  • lots of salt and black pepper

While your spaghetti is cooking, sautรฉe the onion in olive oil until soft, then add the garlic and switch off the heat. In a separate pan fry the tofu in a little olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Mix the onion, garlic and tofu together and serve over the spaghetti. Sprinkle with herbs etc.

Enjoy!

xxx

 

Store cupboard recipe 1: Vegan (garlic) mayonnaise

One of the first things we did when we became vegan a few years ago was to invest in a powerful mixer. We chose a German one – ‘bianco di puro’ – developed with a vegan lifestyle in mind. In fact the company promotes veganism with their product at fairs and exhibitions nationwide.

It was a fabulous investment, and we use it several times a week. I make my cashew sauce with it, but the best thing I use it for is our mayonnaise. Finding a tasty egg-free mayo is not easy in Germany, so a few years ago I started experimenting. It took several attempts to get it right and it has been fine-tuned over time as well. I would like to share this ‘recipe’ with you today as all the ingredients are probably in your pantry. But do bear in mind that differing ingredients and mixers may produce different results and patience is required until it turns out perfectly!

You will need:

  • 100ml soya milk
  • 1 1/2 tsps white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional)
  • 150 ml vegetable oil (I use about 100 ml rapeseed oil and 50 ml sunflower oil, but you can experiment to find what you like best)

Mix all of the ingredients except the oil in your mixer at high speed for about 20 seconds.

Set the speed to low and now gradually add the oil with the motor running. When all the oil is added, switch to high speed for about ten seconds. Your mixture should now be creamy and have a thick mayonnaise consistency. Refrigerate until using and eat within 24 hours. (It may start to separate if kept longer.)

I do hope you will try this if you have a high-speed mixer. It does work in a normal mixer too, but my experience was that it did not thicken up as much.ย It tastes fantastic just with bread and salad, and is ideal (without the garlic) for homemade coleslaw too. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Seasonal Tip: adding a leaf or two of wild garlic instead of using normal garlic gives it a delicate garlic flavour and a beautiful green tinge. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Thanks for reading!

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Shooting Star

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme is so much fun. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

A strong ice cold north-easterly wind over the past few days has provided material too, with several Narcissi being bent flat and the hellebores looking decidedly fed up with the constant battering!

First I cut some of my Hellebore ericsmithii ‘Shooting Star’. I decided it looked best alone in my mini vase bought in Norfolk a few years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the way Shooting Star changes from pale creamy white/yellow to pale pink.

The background plant is my dear Maidenhead fern, which has forgiven me twice in the last year or so for not watering it and has bounced back each time!

Then I used the second matching vase for the other oddments rescued, including the battered Narcissi. I will make a mental note not to plant any more tall ones on windy corners. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since moving out further into the countryside away from street lights and motorways we have been able to see more stars than ever on clear nights, and more shooting stars in the past two years than in my entire life up to then! My first memory of a shooting star was in Blakeney, Norfolk, where my vases come from. I was only about 8 years old and I spied the star through a pebbled stone archway looking out to sea. Magical!

So, not only do I have some pretty flowers to look at, but pleasant thoughts to go with them. I do hope you are all able to have some pleasant thoughts today despite these difficult times.

Keep smiling and take care.

xx

In a Vase on Monday: Home Comforts

I am pleased to be able to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme again after a couple of weeks off. And I am looking forward to spending more time gardening and blogging in the next few weeks as Spring finally arrives! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

My favourite Hellebore – ‘Ice ‘n’ Roses Rose’ -features this week, accompanied by a few primulas that came with me from the old garden and are already starting to spread. With my beloved gardening angel in the background these tiny offerings bring me comfort as the world beyond my home and garden reels.

I also picked a single daffodil which had been snapped off by something/someone… I donโ€˜t have many in flower yet so this was a matter of rescuing a casualty! A sprig of Buddleia is in the vase too – all my buddleia remained green this winter as we didnโ€™t have a big freeze or any permafrost.


I am not sure what it is that sometimes snaps off flowers… birds? I have had hellebore flower heads, Iris reticulata and in past years even tulips snapped off just below the flower. I wonder if you have ever seen this happen in your gardens and can offer an explanation?

My thoughts are with all my blogging friends across the world – stay calm and carry on gardening! ๐Ÿ˜‰