In a Vase on Monday: Catkins

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

😉

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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?

 

In a Vase on Monday: Snow White

Monday: the day when I usually step out into my garden to snip a few bits and pieces to fill a vase for Cathy’s meme “In a Vase on Monday”

Ahem. Could be tricky this week. We had more snow overnight and this morning…

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…so I considered filling a vase with snow. 😉

Then I considered showing you some dried flowers.

But then, after shovelling some snow and establishing that there really was nothing at all visible to cut out there, I snipped another snow white flower off my patio Hellebore – “Christmas Star” – which stands close to the house and has survived another frosty night.

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I put it in my snowdrop vase (which I have never actually used for snowdrops as mine always seem to have such short stems!), and this finally got the thumbs up from my Man of Many Talents. 😀

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The props this week: some garden fleece, at the ready for covering my small Cypress tree; a book of poetry, “Flora Poetica: The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse”, which I can thoroughly recommend and will review soon…

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…and my snowball candle as a symbol of today being Candlemas, otherwise known as Groundhog Day in the US! The customs aren’t the same here, but there is a saying that goes something like this:

If Candlemas is bright and clear, Spring will not be very near

But if it’s stormy and there’s snow, Winter will soon pack up and go

(my own translation!)

I’m hopeful!

So, what was the weather like where you are today… any hope of spring arriving soon?

Do go and visit Cathy at “Rambling in the Garden” where she has produced an incy wincy arrangement this week, and many more have linked 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…

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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!

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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”.

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

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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 ?

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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?!

😀

 

The Weary Garden(er)

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Live each day as if it were your last, and garden as though you will live forever.

(Author Unknown)

~~~

After two years of posting a Tuesday view it was very strange not to do so this week… but the view is getting ugly and I am tired of it. On Monday I had cut back most of the shrinking plants and finished mulching with shredded leaves – not a pretty sight! Perhaps I will come up with a new view in spring, but for now it’s time for hibernation reflection and dreaming of warm spring sunshine and colour!

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Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

(Henry David Thoreau)

~~~

Whilst tidying up I noticed that the Centranthus, which still had a couple of flowers on it, was already sprouting new leaves from the base. I am always amazed at how few Centranthus plants there are that fill the whole rockery in summer. One small plant that got pulled up by mistake has been replanted and I hope I will now have those red flowers all summer on the west side of the rockery too. I also noticed some Hellebore flowers and a few grape hyacinth leaves, although most of the garden is now looking brown and bare. But wasn’t it glorious in the summer!

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What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.

(Author Unknown)

~~~

In December I shall be quietly reflecting on the year in my garden and will share a few of my favourite moments. It would be lovely if any of you would like to join me and also share some of your best memories of your gardens in 2014.

What do you say?

🙂