The Tuesday View: 18th April 2017

Heavy snow showers this morning made my ‘Tuesday View’ almost disappear from view. But I took a photo of it from the living room window anyway, worried it might be under a layer of snow later…

However, by the afternoon we had bright sunshine!

Thank goodness the snow didn’t stick around. It is nonetheless very cold still and there may be more wintry showers to come this week, along with frosty nights. (Tender plants on the patio have been covered with cloches, and the Cordyline is under cover again too.)

The Viburnum ‘Aurora’, which was in bud last week, is now open fully and smells heavenly!

The yellow tulips beneath the Viburnum are really pretty too…

I think they were in a mixed bag, and I can’t recall the name. Any ideas? They are quite tall. Here is one up close…

And the pink frilly tulips to the left (‘Weber’s Parrot’) are perhaps my favourites today!

Along with ‘Purple Dream’ …

I wonder what is flowering in your gardens today. If you would like to join me in choosing a view of your garden to share each week throughout the year, please do!

😀

In a Vase on Monday: Swan Wings

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. In Germany Good Friday is also a holiday, so we were able to do some garden tidying before the cold rainy weather set in on Easter Sunday!

This Monday I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme with a rather special tulip. I have also made use of a new ‘frog’ for the first time!

Tulipa ‘Swan Wings’

I did try photographing it outside, but the wind kept blowing it over!

The Spiraea inspired this vase (along with wanting to try out the frog). The white tulip, barely open, seemed a lovely accompaniment…

I nearly titled this post ‘Snow white’, as snow showers have been forecast for this week. But the only predictable thing about the weather  in April is that it is unpredictable!

At the base of my arrangement I used fresh Alchemilla leaves, one of the first wild strawberry flowers, some Omphalodes verna ‘Alba’ and a white Muscari…

The bowl I used is my favourite blue rice bowl, bought in the Japanese shop I briefly worked in many years ago, and used almost daily for one thing or another. 🙂

(I just realised – those are huge Alchemilla leaves! Where did they appear from so suddenly! )

I shall be keeping my eyes open this week as spring rushes on and surprises me daily.

Hope you have a sunny week!

😃

P.S. The above photos were taken on Sunday afternoon, and after the tulip had been indoors for a while it began opening… now it is clearer why it is called Swan Wings, with those feathery edges.

 😀

The Tuesday View: 11th April 2017

This Tuesday I am quite excited about this view as it is blossoming and turning greener by the minute!

The highlight for me is definitely this Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’, in front of the Acer. I’ll zoom in a little…

Tricky to see in the midday sun, so here is a close-up…

The first petal of a flower is just about to unfurl! I planted this two years ago and it didn’t flower last year. In fact I thought it had died. So it got extra special attention (extra water and some homemade compost) last year and now it is rewarding me. I just hope it smells as good as everyone says. 🙂

Other highlights are the next lot of tulips…

The purple ones (‘Purple Dream’) have been in for years and still do well, and the pink one is, I think, a new parrot tulip. I will have to look up what I planted last autumn. The Heuchera leaves on the left also look pretty with the sun shining through them.

Now is an exciting time in the garden, so if you would like to join me in showing the same one view of your garden every week, to watch the changes that occur in that spot as the seasons progress, then please do! And leave a link in the comments below so we can find you.

Happy gardening!

In a Vase on Monday: The Sun and the Moon

With abundant spring sunshine and a full moon tonight, yellow and white are the colours I chose to put in a vase today, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme.

When I look at the night sky I love to think that some of you – hundreds of miles away – may be looking at that same sky or moon. And a connection is there…

I also chose a round vase to echo my thoughts… the sun, moon and the globe itself.

My yellow Hellebore ‘Frühlingssonne’ (Spring Sunshine) really took off this year, after just two winters in the garden. It is fading now, but I like it at this stage best as the heads turn slightly upwards and can be seen better.

The vase contains a mix of various Narcissi, including the lovely creamy multiple flower ‘Cheerfulness’, and below you can also see a little white Pulmonaria in the foreground; the label is long gone, but it could be either ‘Sissinghurst White’  or – perhaps more appropriately – ‘Mrs Moon’.

😀

My cowslips have lovely tall stems this year, so are ideal for picking, and I also cut just one of these lovely yellow double tulips.

Other flowers and foliage included are Mahonia, some early summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’ – see below), Golden Euonymus, and some starry white Omphalodes verna ‘Alba’.

 I look forward to finding out what is in other Monday vases around the world later today.

And if it is a clear sky for you tonight, do take a glance up at the full moon and perhaps you will understand what I mean…

🌝

Blueberry Pull-Apart Bread (Vegan)

After a few months with no food appearing on this blog I think it is time I share this amazing recipe with you. And just in time for Easter!

Sweet breads are popular here at any time of year, but especially around Eastertime, and this one beats cake as far as I am concerned. (Yes, it’s that good! 😉 )

You will need a 30 cm/12 inch loaf pan and, for the dough:

  • 500 g (4 cups) strong (bread) flour
  • 1 packet (1 tbsp) of instant yeast
  • 45 g (4 tbsps) sugar
  • 125 g (1 stick) margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 250 ml (1 cup) soya milk, warmed
  • pinch of salt

… and for the filling:

  • 75 g margarine (2/3 stick), melted (and a little extra for greasing your pan)
  • 125 g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 200 g (2 cups) blueberries (I used frozen)

 Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and all the warmed soya milk and mix a little of the flour into the well. Leave to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Now go back to your dough and add the rest of the sugar, the pinch of salt and the margarine. Now comes the fun part – mix with your hands until it all comes together into a nice soft dough. On a floured surface knead it for about 5 minutes. Then place in a clean bowl, cover, and leave it to rise in a warm spot for an hour or so.

In the meantime, scrape the seeds out of your vanilla bean and mix them with the 125 g sugar, grease your pan well, melt your margarine, and pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F.

When your dough has risen, punch it to release some of the air and then roll it out to about 40 x 35 cm (16 x 14 inches). Brush with almost all of the melted margarine. Sprinkle all but 2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar evenly on top. Now cut into 8 x 10 cm (3 x 4 inch) squares and stack 4 or 5 of them at a time to make it easier to put them into your pan. Press a few blueberries in between each layer as you go, and then squash the layers up nicely in the pan. Finally, brush with the remaining margarine and sprinkle over the last of the vanilla sugar.

Bake for about 45 minutes. If it starts turning too brown during the end of the cooking time, cover with a bit of foil.

Leave to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before easing out and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

My tip: this tastes wonderful served still slightly warm. 😉 Oh yummy!

I hope this has inspired you! Go on, try it!

Will you be baking anything for Easter?

The Tuesday View: April 4th

April showers have refreshed the garden after a very warm end to March. On April 1st the temperatures were well into the twenties (Celsius) and the suncream and sun hat were unearthed! Time to revive my Tuesday View and to thank the other loyal bloggers who have kept this ‘meme’ going over the past few months while my garden has been dormant. Each Tuesday I will show one or two shots of my chosen view as I watch the changes through the seasons, and would love you to join me if you can.

So the old Tuesday View is looking greener, although the early Narcissi and Crocuses have now faded. But the ground cover Sedums are enjoying the freedom to run riot before the other plants put them in shade, and there are lots of tulips and more Narcissi to come. The Aubretia is just starting to flower, and the Lavenders are just showing new growth.

I thought I would show you another view for the next few weeks though (and perhaps occasionally the old one too, depending on any changes worth noting)…

This view is photographed from the opposite side of the L-shaped rockery, looking south-west and downhill. This part of the rockery actually has only a few rocks, but is very steep in places. This means much of it is left to its own devices as it is a little tricky to get up and down there.

In the foreground, under the acer,  you can still see my Buddha, who completely vanishes beneath the surrounding plants in summer. A Clematis tangutica climbs this obelisk, but is only just showing signs of life again. The two plant supports are for the yellow Achillea and my pink Alma Poetschke Aster, both of which get very tall and straggly even with the Chelsea chop.

 Here we are standing half way down the pathway…

This is the spot where Golden Rod and Fennel take over in summer.

And now a look from below, back up the slope…

The pretty pink tulip in the foreground here is T. humilis Violacea Black Base…

Hope you enjoyed the view, and have a good week!