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. 👍

(Almost) Silent Sunday: The Spring Garden 2023

Spring flowers, Easter 2023.

Ice 'n' Roses Hellebore Early Red

Ice ‘n’ Roses Hellebore Early Red

It’s still chilly, but the garden is coming to life at last.

The bees are busy, despite the cold and frequent rainshowers.

And the first larch flowers are opening. I think they are quite magical, don’t you?

Larix decidua

Happy Gardening!


In a Vase on Monday: Spring Flurries

Despite flurries of snow, an icy north wind and temperatures just above freezing, there have been bursts of spring sunshine today and the flowers are reaching up to the ever-changing sky. You can see it was actually snowing and sunny at the same time in this photo! (And can you see the Forsythia flowering in the distance? More on that later this week…)

I chose a sunny interval to go out and pick some spring flowers for a vase so that I can join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme. The primulas and hellebores are in full flower in the Butterfly Bed…

And there is another ‘flurry’ of spring flowers and a lovely pale Cowslip in the Moon Bed…

I have a few Narcissi and Pulmonarias open now too. And some blue Chionodoxa, Scilla, Puschkinia and Grape Hyacinths. So I ended up picking a bit of everything.

Some warm days last week brought on many plants and bulbs, including the new Foxtail Lilies I planted last autumn. (How exciting to see their shoots breaking through the damp soil!) And the garden is beginning to look green again at last. 😃

Is your garden coming to life yet? And have you also spotted a favourite plant peeking out the ground that made you smile (or even squeal or skip and jump!) ? 😉 Do share!

Have a great week. And Happy Gardening!

In a Vase on Monday: Floating (Away)

After all the rain (and sleet and snow) we have had this winter our garden is saturated and parts of the garden are very squelchy. The trees will hopefully appreciate it although there is standing water all over the place, and we even have a little stream in one spot!

It therefore seems appropriate to show some flowers floating today. Thankfully the flower beds are on high ground and are not in danger of floating away, with well-drained soil helping considerably. 😉


But the Hellebores do float so nicely and I managed to find quite a few different ones to display.

Labels have been lost on many, and several apparently different varieties look identical to me, but I am happy to have these unnamed specimens on my table nonetheless. I do know that the yellow one is ‘Yellow Lady’, the others probably include Ice ‘n’ Roses Early Red and Early Rose, Penny’s Pink, Double Ellen, Carlotta and Noa.

This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to see the detail of each individual bloom, and my large footed Ikea trifle dish that I have had for years is ideal for it. (It has never had a trifle in it which I suppose should be remedied one day!)

My current favourite is the lovely double in the centre…

Which type of hellebore do you like best? Single or double? Pink, red or white? Or even yellow?

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme. Do visit her to admire her beautiful hellebores today too!

And have a wonderful flowery week!


In a Vase on Monday: Beautiful Blue

It is always a pleasure to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme. Sometimes it is tricky to find anything suitable for a vase in winter, but when I ventured out today it was clear that some Iris reticulata had to come indoors.

They stand out so well in my winter garden and I am slowly planting more of them in various spots. They seem to be untouched by the mice too, which is an added bonus. I have several different shades of deep blue, simply because they show up best against the woodchip mulch. A few brave violas are also flowering, but they – along with the hellebores – are looking a little tatty after some hard frosts.

The little blue vase seemed just right. But there is another vase in the background… can you see the lovely hare peeping around the iris?

This gorgeous jug was a surprise sent over from my Mum last week. 😃 So naturally I had to find something large enough to go in it immediately – some bright and cheerful yellow tulips from my local supermarket!

I adore it! And it will be used more frequently once I have some tall flowers in the garden. (Perhaps my own tulips? Roll on Spring!)

Wishing you all a great week, hopefully with a better weather  forecast than ours! 😉




In a Vase on Monday: Ice Blue

Last year I planted a few grape hyacinths in pots to bring indoors for forcing. On the one hand the experiment was not terribly successful, as the leaves and flower stems got leggy very quickly. But on the other hand I do now have nice long stems for a vase!

As you can see, I have bought myself ‘The Almanac’ for 2023 by Lia Leendertz and am enjoying dipping into it. Annette sent me a link a few weeks ago to the monthly podcast Lia does in cooperation with a perfume company: ‘As the Season Turns‘. It is a lovely way to spend half an hour with a cuppa and I definitely recommend it. The new episode for March should be available on March 1st. 😃

My hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) smell wonderful and although we have another dusting of snow at the moment (and an icy cold wind!), spring doesn’t seem quite so far away now.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme every week, rain or shine. I look forward to seeing what she and the other contributors have found to share today. 😃

Hope you all have some warm sunshine this week!




In a Vase on Monday: Mini Spring Mix

It was gardening weather today: 11°C and hazy sunshine. At last! I could not only inspect the garden but also finally get some tidying up done. I cut back the last of the perennials still standing, and all the grasses. I usually feel sad to see them go, but this year they had been squashed and broken by the heavy snowfall we had a couple of weeks ago. Looks much better now!

The first crocuses opened while I was working. 😁

And I even saw a bee on one.

The early Hellebores have perked up while the later ones are just about to start flowering. So I picked one of the paler pink ones (incorrectly labelled so I don’t know what it is), for my vase today.

The tiny Narcissus is from a pot of spring flowers I received on Valentine’s Day, but the other items are from the garden.

The darker pink Hellebores are from last week’s vase – didn’t they last well! There is a sprig of Wintersweet in the tiny blue ceramic vase too. (The shrub is still looking lovely but is slowly going over now.)

So nice to have some sunshine – it makes taking vase photos much easier. 😉

I hope to have another day outside this week, before temperatures dip again. I can at least do a bit of weeding and tidy my pots and raised beds. I wonder if you have been able to do any gardening jobs this week?

Thanks to our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who encourages us every week to go out into our gardens (whatever the weather!) and find something to share in a vase.

Have a great week! 🌷