I often get a bit carried away when the cut-price sales for autumn bulbs begin in November. This year, in addition to various orange tulips, I ordered several packets of ‘Valerie Finnis’ grape hyacinths. I really love their croque-en-bouche flower spikes.
A few years back, I saw a very pretty display of them at a roadside cafe on a freezing winter day. Each of the outside tables was decorated with a small clump of the powder-blue muscari erupting from a puff of green moss, set inside a small galvanised steel pot. They were so alluring, it was almost worth sitting outside with our hot drinks to admire them and ever since then I buy a packet or two each year to do the same thing.
Amazingly, even though I only received the bulbs at the end of November, they are already in bloom and so the posy I picked today started with a few of those spikes of Valerie Finnis. How could I resist?
I found a few other pastel coloured flowers in the garden to extend the range: pulmonaria, silene dioica, anemone blanda and erysimum. Then I added some geranium macrorrhizum, rose hips and oak leaves to warm up the tones.
To cover the tin up a bit, I used some variegated leaves: arum italicum, pulmonaria and celandine.
Then I found some green helleborus foetidus bells that picked up the colour in the variegation and that filled the pot right up.
Happily, in between today’s heavy rain showers there was a moment of weak sunlight, so I managed to take some pictures outside, even though I was paddling through puddles on the lawn.
I see now that although I started with a pallid blue, I have ended up with a rainbow posy. That will hopefully cheer the kitchen up for the rest of the week as the cold sets in.
I am linking up with Cathy’s ‘In-a-vase-on-Monday’ meme, where I note that the colour blue is a popular choice this week.
Go see for yourself.