Quote of the day:
“O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood’s hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers”
– Anne Brontë
Forage in May for:
Hawthorn, Lime leaves, Red Clover, Ox-eye Daisy, Garlic Mustard, Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum), Dandelions
Daffodils, with their large, sunny trumpets, are beaming happy vibes in every direction of our garden right now, making it a perfect pick-me-up place to be. And today, I’ve brought a jug of those bright blooms indoors to share for Cathy’s weekly In-a-vase-on-Monday meme.
Sadly, they are not as pristine as they might be, because they were picked to rescue the large numbers of heads that were beaten to ground in last week’s torrential downpour. Nowadays I tend to go for smaller/shorter/later varieties that avoid this problem, but these Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ were planted ages ago, in front of a new hedge soon after we moved in. They do well here. They come up in gradually increasing quantities every year, but some are invariably flatten by wind or rain at some stage of their display. So I use their downfall as an opportunity … and cut them for a vase. Then I get a chance to admire them close up … and sample their sweet fragrance (its quite strong).
The tolerance of the title comes in, because I am not a huge fan of yellow flowers. Daffodils are an exception, but even so I tend to stick to creamy whites (except for Tête-à-têtes which I adore). Daffodils are just too hard to resist when planning a cheerful spring display.
Also, I would never willing choose two-toned, double daffodils! However, a while back I bought one of those massive bargain sacks of mixed daffodils and I’ve been living with a few clumps of them ever since. Being rather top heavy, the doubles fared particularly badly last week, so I’ve gather a bunch of them too and mixed them with the ‘Ice Follies’.
So now I have a vase that brings to mind oranges and lemons or maybe lemon meringue pie (it’s the creamy ruffles I think) … and you know what? I quite like it.
In fact, those double daffs are actually rather beautiful. Look at those sunset colours.
And they certainly look stunning against a blue sky:
So, with the Ice Follies to tone them down a bit, maybe I could even get to love them?
What do you think? Are you a fan? Or maybe, could you be?
Thanks to Cathy for hosting as usual 🙂 . Pop across to her blog (Cathy@ramblinginthegarden) to catch up with tons more Spring (and Autumn) vases. Have fun!
As I walked round the pond I spotted a couple of birds busily helping to strip the downy seeds (apologies for picture quality – it was the best my phone could do). I looked them up later and I think I’ve identified them as Reed Buntings, Emberiza schoeniclus
It’s been a bit of a mixed week weather-wise, but Spring is surely advancing. Daffodil displays are in now full swing. In fact, there’s a local daffodil festival in Thriplow next weekend that I will try to get to. I imagine that the festival will be packed, given that they’ve not been able to run it for the last two years. We will see.
Anyhow, it’s time to join Mr Propagator’s popular meme, Six-on-Saturday: Six gardening-related things, shared on a Saturday.
This week crocuses have been the best-in-show in our garden. Even the patches of ‘Cream Beauty’ that had been wrecked by pigeons have sent up more flowers and are now looking very pretty in the sunshine. That succession of flowers is one of the brilliant things about crocuses … and still they are coming.
I am still ‘wasting’ a lot of time staring at their open faces, transfixed by the bees hurtling from one cup to the next.
2) Harvington ‘Pink Speckled’ Hellebore
A few weeks back I thought that I had lost this beauty. Well, it turns out that it really had disappeared from the front garden, but it is now growing in the fern bit of the back garden. (In my defense, unless you lift their nodding heads you don’t get to see those speckles and this plant looked identical to several others I’d moved to this section last year.) Once I found it, of course I remembered that when the gas supply was installed last summer I relocated a number of plants along the proposed route of the pipe, for safe keeping. 🤦
3) Early flowering Geum
I’ve been amazed that my ‘Totally Tangerine’ Geum has withstood winter completely intact and is already offering up its lovely, crinkled orange flowers again. It’s obviously a doer!
I’ve not really got the hang of violet growing … That is, I don’t seem to have any control over where they appear from one year to the next. They creep around the borders as they please, which I don’t mind at all, but they never make much of a show. That seems a shame, especially as I really want to find enough to make Sugared Violets and that is seems unlikely to be the case again this year. If anyone knows the trick to making them settle and bulk up, I’d be grateful to hear it!
5) First tulips
I may have given up on buying new tulips for our garden, because of the >95% attrition rate before they get to flowering (squirrels, mice, voles), but we have a few that are well-established (presumably they are deep, deep down in the soil) and these come back for us every year. The earliest repeaters are the species tulips like Tulipa turkestanica and Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha. I may not be the biggest fan of yellow flowers, but these put a smile on my face every time I see them splayed wide open, advertising their wares.
6) Euphorbia wulfenii
This was the view that greeted me when I entered the walled garden at work on Thursday. Great isn’t it?
I have this euphorbia in my own garden too, but it doesn’t catch the light in the same way, let alone have the lovely wall and espalier backdrop.
Well, that is me done! There are heaps more Sixes to see if you click through to Jonathon’s blog.
I just read that the Queen posed with Justin Trudeau in front of a massive vase of blue and yellow flowers as a gesture of support for Ukraine. Well, my blue and yellow vase for today’s In a Vase on Monday meme, regularly hosted by Cathy@ramblinginthegarden, is tiny in comparison, but is honestly meant nevertheless.
The flowers are a simple mixture of :
Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’
Pulmonaria officinalis (common lungwort)
and an Eryngium spike, which was preserved for its dusty blue colour, from a lovely flower arrangement sent by my sister when we lost our dog, Sadie, before Christmas.
To see more bouquets, do take the opportunity to hop over to Cathy’s blog and check the links in the comment section.
In spite of being on the edge of the second red alert zone for debris flying winds yesterday, we luckily escaped any real damage from Storm Eunice. Probably the losses of old fruit trees, dodgy branches and fences over the last three years had actually put us in a good position to ride out that rather nasty storm. Not so lucky were Cambridge Botanics, who lost their Newton Apple tree at the Brooklands Avenue garden entrance and Wimpole Estate, who lost their ~300yr Horse chestnut at the Pleasure Garden entrance in the double whammy of recent storms.
My own garden inspection this morning revealed a few things at dramatic angles, like the cloud-pruned rosemary on the patio, but mostly I ended up being distracted by the generosity of flowers on the beautiful hellebores, primulas and spring bulbs.
Here are my six for Mr Propagator’s gardening #SixonSaturday.
Our hellebores are looking good this year. I seem to have lost my pink speckled Harvington in the front garden, but the yellow seedling a friend gave me last year has improved the colour range overall and is making me very happy.
2) Lace Primulas
This little patch of lace primulas grows in a narrow border that runs along the leeward side of the house. It always flowers a good month earlier than the clumps growing down the driveway border and, even better, it provides annual offsets to move on elsewhere. Wins all round!
I add a range of bulbs to the wild meadow area each year to try to bulk up the spring display. Some times I lose the lot to squirrels, but if I can get them passed their first year, they mostly seem to be ignored. This year the crocus tommasinianus I planted in the rough grass were overlooked in favour of new ones added to the island bed around the old damson tree stump. I probably prefer seeing them grow through grass to be fair!
4) Daffodils are starting to flower …
Right in time to be knocked over by the storms, of course. In fact I tend to grow shorter varieties for this very reason. It is so sad to see their cheerful yellow faces rubbed in mud. As expected, this morning I found that the tête-à-têtes were looking fine, but others had not fared as well.
5) Iris reticulata
I am slowly increasing the range of irises I grow. Below are Iris reticulata ‘Painted Lady’, which were bought in early January in an end of season sale. My ‘end of season’ bulb purchases necessarily get planted in pots, until I can see where there is space in the garden, because you can bet that if I can put my trowel through an existing bulb, then I will!
6) Wendy’s Gold
Will I ever get more than one flower? For the last four years I have had only one flower on my Wendy’s Gold pot grown snowdrop. It was fed last year, after flowering. This year I will re-pot it and see if that helps. Any ideas? Please free to reveal how I can get this cutie to multiply.
Well, that’s it for this week. It’s just stopped raining, so I am off outside to start some sweet peas.
Have fun gardening … and don’t forget to follow the link to Jonathon’s blog and the cache ‘Six on Saturday’ posts.