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˜‰

 

In a Vase on Monday: (A) Spring in My Step

I am happy to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely Monday meme today. My hellebores are looking so pretty and there were enough to pick for a vase, albeit with quite short stems. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

My title describes how I have been walking around the garden the last few days… I have even been able to clear a lot of winter debris so the spring bulbs can shine. Lots of green shoots showing! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The pink vase seemed appropriate, as all but one of my hellebore flowers so far are a shade of pink. I really love the double one… ‘Double Ellen Pink’.

The mottled one is ‘Diva’, as is the white one… The white flowers fade to a lovely pinky mauve.

I added a couple of sprigs of Pussy Willow – last weekโ€˜s storm took down a whole tree full of buds along the route we walk our dog, and I took the opportunity to break off a few large twigs for a vase. I do hope the storm in the UK has not affected any of you too badly.

Wishing you all calm and mild weather this coming week!

 

Visiting the ‘Old Garden’

Since moving further into the Bavarian countryside last year I have managed to keep up the ‘old garden’ and rockery at our village house and have been constantly surprised at how self-sufficient it is – a recent visit confirmed this yet again. Come and take a look with me.

The Acer and early peonies in the south-west rockery

The grasses, Lysimachia, perennial Geraniums and Golden Rod have already filled out this part of the rockery, suppressing the dreaded ground elder. An early peony is just showing a little colour. ๐Ÿ™‚

THE rose that has probably been there since the house was built in the 70s has plenty of promising new growth and buds and some lovely Camassia are flowering in front of it. But the nicest thing in this picture below is the peony in the front, planted about five years ago. Paeonia itoh ‘Shining Light’ looks like it might finally flower this year at last – I can see two buds! It may be brought over to the new garden in autumn as it would love the Sunshine Bed I am creating, although I realise it might not flower again for a year or so after being moved.

Finally, out the front in my spring corner the perennial Honesty (Lunaria redivida) is flowering. The eliptical seedheads were featured in this Monday vase a few weeks ago, producing a lot of interest. I think most people only grow the annual which has round seedheads and flowers a little earlier.

Thanks for visiting. ๐Ÿ™‚

In a Vase on Monday: Pink and Perky

Every Monday Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to join her in picking flowers etc from our gardens to plonk/artistically arrange in a vase. Well, after missing last week I was convinced I had nothing for a vase again this week… small plants don’t like being chopped about and the few flowers I have are for the bees. But then I looked again…

The last tulips are still hanging on – flowering since Easter they have withstood heat, cold, frost and WIND! The one on the left is Menton, which is much pinker than I had expected but fits well in the butterfly bed. (You can just about see the others in the background)

The other tulip is Amazing Parrot, which hasn’t opened out as much as many parrot tulips, but that seems to have helped keep it intact for so long. I love those peachy pink hues. ๐Ÿ™‚

The incredible Ice N Roses hellebore still stands tall and I love the faded flowers.

And at the centre is a pretty aquilegia with a rather complicated name: ‘Winky Double Rose and White’. I am adding aquilegias to the new garden with care as I don’t want to be inundated with purple ones again!

I also found one last Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ and some silvery foliage from a patio pot.

And I think I may have found a good spot to take photos at last! At least this afternoon, with the sun going behind clouds all the time, I found my potting table was in the ideal spot. I tried putting a table cloth on it to hide the dirt, but I think it looks better without!

With tablecloth:

So once again, many thanks to Cathy for hosting this meme and encouraging me to go out and hunt for some treasures to brighten up a chilly Monday! Do go and visit her and see what everyone else is finding in their gardens for a vase this week.

 

 

The Sunshine Bed: Phase 1

The first delivery of plants for my Sunshine Bed arrived at the end of last week, just as it started to rain…. ideal actually, as the ground was dry and this would mean good conditions for planting.

Well we didn’t get much rain in the end so I was able to hoe and rake the soil on Monday morning and get everything in. Just as I was finishing up it started to rain again and as the plants had all had a good soak beforehand I didn’t need to water them in. What luck!

Here is the sunshine bed seen from the house..

Let’s walk along the grassy path and take a closer look…

A bit closer… and you can perhaps recognize what the trees are now. From left to right, a silver birch, a willow and a wild cherry.

I had to mow around the bed as it is that time of year where you can almost watch things growing, and I am amazed how lush the vegetation looked after just a few litres of rain.

Aย side view shows how meagre my plants look at the moment. But I know they will fill out and there are two more plant deliveries to come…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the right, Cytisus x praecox ‘Allgold’ (Broom) which shouldn’t really be in flower yet but as is often the case with nursery plants it is a bit early. Yellow broom grows at the roadsides near us, which is what prompted me to choose it. I noticed some died in the drought last year, but most of it survived as it is pretty tough and likes the sandy soil we have here.

A couple of aquilegias, some Alchemilla mollis ‘Thriller’, Euphorbia, a Papaver naudicale (Iceland Poppy),ย several grasses and some Helianthus microcephalus ‘Lemon Queen’ complete the picture… for now.

I have already sown seed for annuals to go in this bed: Tithonia, sunflowers and yellow Cosmos. And some Crocosmia bulbs are going in today too. ๐Ÿ™‚ As you may have guessed, this bed will be yellow and orange. It is the first time I have chosen a colour theme for a single area and I am not entirely sure I will stick to it long-term, but we will see…

Have you ever planted up a flower bed with a limited colour theme? And did it work?

Iย would love to hear your ideas or suggestions regarding plants too. That is what is so good about blogging – learning from all you talented gardeners and garden designers out there!

Thanks for visiting!

New Beginnings

Planting a garden from scratch is a very pleasurable thing to do, but it does require patience. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Until the beginning of March there was nothing to see out there apart from my Hellebores, and the two flower beds – just large patches of brown soil – did not look promising!

Last autumn I posted here about my new Herb Bed and Butterfly Bed. I planted both mainly with small plants, delivered from my favourite nursery in 9cm pots. Bulbs were then also planted and since February a few additions have been made. So now I invite you to come along with me and see how the garden is looking a few months later.

Here is the Butterfly Bed in spring…

Yes, it still looks rather bare! But I am very optimistic as I believe almost every single plant has come through. (One aster is still not showing any signs of life, and I am not sure the Verbena bonariensis will have survived.) The Hellebores are still going strong – here is the star of the show, Ice ‘N’ Roses “Rose”…

It has just flowered non-stop since October, and the flowers seem a much deeper pink than when I first planted it.

And here is another I planted earlier this year: ‘Double Ellen Pink’…

I love those frilly petals!

And ‘Double Prince White’…

This one can hardly be called white, rather a lovely cream with beautiful green centres as the flowers fade.

The bulbs were very slow to come up and flower, but that may be due to the fact that there is so far no shelter in this very exposed site. That should change next year, as ground cover and grasses fill out. The last week or so has been warm and sunny though, and the grass is growing and the first tulips have opened.

Tulip turkestanica…

… and my old favourites ‘Heart’s Delight’. The stems grow a little each day, and the colour deepens within days from almost white to a deep coral pink with a gorgeous canary yellow centre.

The Anemone blanda opened at the weekend too. You can also just see a Geranium phaeum seedling on the right here – brought over from the old garden. I am hoping it will spread itself around here too.

I also brought back some Primula seedlings and this Pulmonaria, which was right next to one labelled ‘Wuppertal’, so I am callling it that since I know no better!

I haven’t managed to get any photos yet, but the butterfly bed has had some butterflies visit already – Peacocks, Tortoiseshells and Brimstones. Plenty of bees too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now let’s take a very brief look at the Herb Bed as it is still looking rather empty…

Although predominantly herbs, there are a few other plants as fillers, and naturally plenty of spring bulbs. I am pleased to see that all the Stipa tenuissima seem to be alive as I was warned young plants may not be entirely hardy. And the Rosemary didn’t bat an eyelid at being buried under a mountain of snow that fell on it from the roof! Talking of snow, a splash of blue Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa) is nice against the brown soil. ๐Ÿ™‚ (That is lemon Thyme in the background).

One lesson learned this winter was that wooden lollipop sticks for labels using normal pens is not a good idea. After rain, snow and wind they are practically indecipherable! I am writing down every single plant added to the garden, but I wonder how long I will keep that up. I do have a few black plastic labels and find that silver or white markers work very well and last for several years. But perhaps you have another labelling system that is more environmentally friendly?

Do share!

Thanks for joining me.

Happy gardening!

๐Ÿ™‚