In a Vase on Monday: May Bouquet

Mondays (today a rather damp one) are cheered every week with this lovely meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

With glorious sunshine and temperatures climbing above the 20 degree mark I spent a lot of the weekend outdoors, also taking the opportunity to pick some wild flowers growing in various parts of the garden. I was especially pleased to see some Harebells as well as all the gorgeous Ragged Robin (which has an equally pretty name in German: Kuckucks-Lichtnelke, literally ‘cuckoo light carnation’).

I added some Euphorbia cyparissias, (spurge, or in German ‘wolf’s milk’ – Wolfsmilch), Leucanthemum vulgare (Moon Daisies), pink clover, cow parsley (just starting to open here) and buttercups as well as a few grasses.

Harebells always make me smile, as we have a lot of hares in this area and I like to imagine the hares playing with these flowers! 😉

From above you can see the variety of wild flowers and grasses a little better.

Click on the images below for a slideshow.

Thanks to Cathy and all the other vase makers brightening up the start to the 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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.

A 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…. 😉

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), 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. 🙂 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?

I 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!

In a Vase on Monday: A Spring Rainbow

I hope you have had the same beautiful weather we have had the past few days; it has been lovely seeing the trees slowly turning green and watching the fruit tree blossom opening. The first house martins returned last week and I am hoping the others will follow soon – I just love listening to them chattering in their nests under the eaves of the house and trying in vain to count them all as they fly and swoop across the yard. We had four nests last year and each pair must have had at least two broods. I wonder if they will all come back our way…

After a week in the UK and a bit of time off I am happy to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden again today for her Monday meme… with these beautiful tulips and some other spring flowers.

It was almost impossible to find somewhere for photos today as the wind has been extreme and relentless. Yet the tulips are still standing, some a little battered but I do admire their resilience!

The purple one on the left is Purple Dream – an old favourite which I intend to combine with lime green Euphorbia and red Heuchera next year after having seen a similar combination at Coton Manor Gardens in the UK last week. The orange one in the middle is Ballerina, which is a very popular one here, and the yellow one is one I have grown in my previous garden and love, both for its brilliant colour and its delicate shape – West Point. The pinched in ‘waist’ is more pronounced than Ballerina.

The smaller vase contains a small Purple Dream tulip, tulip Lilac Wonder, one pink and one red Bellis, some Muscari, Veronica Big Blue, white and blue anemones and somewhere hiding is a wild  chamomile flower already in bloom.

I am writing myself notes already for autumn bulbs for next year! My favourite tulip so far has been ‘Akebono’, which I unfortunately failed to photograph – a pale creamy yellow with frilly petals which develop a slight peachy pink hue at the base. What is your favourite tulip? And if you are a fan of tulips you must take a look at Ali’s latest post at The Mindful Gardener. Her photos are just gorgeous.

Thanks for visiting!

xxx

New Beginnings

Planting a garden from scratch is a very pleasurable thing to do, but it does require patience. 😉 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. 🙂

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. 🙂 (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!

🙂

In a vase on Monday: Honesty

Ha! Did I fool you? Yes, let me be honest and remind you that it IS the first of April and I am pulling your leg! 😜

But I do have two real vases to share today, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her addictive Monday meme.

Last week I did some tidying up in my old and sorely neglected garden and apart from an abundance of welcome seedlings (neglect/i.e. not weeding can be good!) I also discovered some Honesty still looking good after the winter. I placed it in a new bargain vase that unfortunately seems to have a non-waterproof base. Adding dried grasses saved from last year – which I won’t even attempt to identify – created a simple and pleasing arrangement.

The weekend was full of sunshine and my butterfly bed is definitely springing into action. Perhaps there will be enough flowers to cut next week, but in the meantime I can enjoy this lovely bunch of daffs and hellebores that dear friends brought over yesterday from their somewhat more sheltered and established garden.

Have a good week, and I do hope you are also enjoying signs of Spring in your gardens!