It has been a lovely relaxing long weekend, with a bit of sunshine, partially blue skies, and of course some delicious food!
I managed to squeeze in enough time for a vase too, so the house has been full of flowers all week – a beautiful spring bouquet from my sister, a bunch of cheerful tulips from a neighbour, and then this gorgeous vase full of Forsythia.
The Forsythia Vase
A bee on the back of the vase
As you can see I have made good use of the Forsythia vase – I love the bee printed on the back! I picked this Forsythia last Monday to bring indoors, and it was open by Thursday. The Forsythia in the garden didn’t quite make it for Easter, but is showing a little colour, and with our temperatures set to rise it should be open in a few days too.
I also decided to pick one of the beautiful Anemone coronaria. And that gave me the idea for the title of my Monday vase this week.
I used a Violet, some Scillas and Glory-of-the-snow, and pale blue Puschkinia (another type of Scilla I think). The background is a glass plate, painted to depict bluebell woods, which catches the light so well on my windowsill.
Finally, another splash of yellow to celebrate my first Cowslips opening. The cowslip is Wildflower of the Year in Germany. (See my post here)
To complement it I added various small Daffodils, a sprig of Buxus, and a single golden Crocus.
The sun was actually shining when I picked the flowers, but has been hiding behind clouds on and off ever since.
I hope you also had a good weekend. Special thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting even on Easter Monday – go and visit her and see what she and everyone else has brought in from their gardens this week.
Last winter and spring, after seeing some gorgeous blooms on various blogs, I made a note to myself to order plenty of Amaryllis/Hippeastrum to see me through the following winter. I ended up with eight different bulbs, only one of which failed to flower (called ‘White Christmas’, of which we all dream of in vain 😉 ).
They were all planted in light compost with a little grit, in fairly small pots, and with a third to a half of the bulb showing above the soil. From December to March I had at least one in flower constantly. Some of them needed minimal support as they started to go over, but most were sturdy enough to stay standing on their own. Here is a summary of which ones I grew and how they flowered.
First of all, the record-breaking ‘Tres Chic‘: planted on 4th November and flowering by 15th December…
(It must have taken me by surprise, as I failed to take a decent photo of it!)
It was a lovely bright, festive red with a white centre, and it flowered for about two and a half weeks.
The next one to flower was ‘Chico‘. Planted on 9th October, Chico flowered on 27th December, and then again on 19th January. This was quite possibly my favourite. Click on any image to enlarge…
I just loved the way the petals curled upwards, and the shades of pink and green were very delicate. I will definitely try and grow this one again.
In early January Chico was accompanied by ‘Apple Blossom‘…
This was a much more traditional-style Amaryllis: frilly pink and white flowers, with pretty markings on the petals. It was planted on 25th November and flowered on 7th January. There must have been about seven flowers on this one stalk – stunning.
In January another more unusual one flowered: ‘Evergreen‘…
This was such a lovely pale creamy green, and lasted extremely well too. It was planted on 9th October and flowered on 16th January. There was something very classical about this one, and it reminded me very much of oriental lilies.
My windowsills were now getting a little overcrowded, as two days later, on 18th January, ‘Rosy Star‘ joined the party.
This was a simple flower – not as fussy as Apple Blossom – and rather pinker than the photos show. It was pretty, but not mind-blowing. Still, very welcome in the darkest month of the year!
In February ‘Lemon Star‘ finally opened and put on a beautiful display for several weeks – it flowered on two stalks simulataneously and was the firm favourite of my Man of Many Talents. I planted this one on 25th November and its flowers opened on the 10th and 18th of February.
It looked very lemony. In fact I kept thinking if I sniff it, it might even smell of lemons! (It didn’t though.) This was a nice light colour to welcome spring and the longer hours of daylight. This one will also go on my list for next year too.
Around the same time ‘Blossom Peacock‘ opened too. This was planted on 22nd December and flowered on 6th February and again on 6th March. It was the last one, cut down only last week.
As you can see from the planting and flowering dates there is no way of telling when they will flower – some needed three months, while others needed only four to six weeks. I kept all of the bulbs almost dry and rather cool until they started shooting. Then they need only a little water and a warmer spot to flower.
Do you grow Amaryllis? Do you have any particular favourites? Or do you hate them?! I thought it would be interesting and fun to ask you to vote for your favourite from those that I grew. I will then tell you the results next week. Thanks, and a have a great Easter weekend! 🙂
Yes, the German name for daffodils is Easter Bells (Osterglocken) and they are perfectly timed for Easter this year too. I know many people have been enjoying daffs for some months now, but mine are just getting going with such a cool spring. So here is my vase for Cathy’s meme this week.
The porcelain bells are meant for hanging on an Easter branch – many Germans hang painted eggs or other decorations on hazel branches or twigs as an indoor decoration. And the well on the town square is also decorated with greenery, but sadly they use gaudy plastic eggs so I will spare you a photo of it!
The sun came out for my photos, but it is still far too cold…
The tulip ‘Early Harvest’ is at its best now. The stalks have grown a bit longer and the flowers will keep going for ages unless we have a heatwave… at least that is one advantage of a cool spring!
I added a few sprigs of golden Euonymus and Vinca, and a couple of white hellbores.
I wonder what colours are dominant in your garden right now – do you have spring yellows and oranges too?
When I walked down the garden this morning one daffodil had opened. And by the time I had walked back another one had opened! Both are now in my Monday vase, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden in gathering material from my garden to bring indoors.
The gorgeous deep red Hellbores I have shown before are a feature today too, along with a single yellow Hellebore. I added the lovely Forsythia that I cut last Monday which opened indoors within just a few days, and the Pussy Willow from last week was also recycled.
The blue sky is wonderful, but deceptive – there is a biting wind today and it still feels rather cold even though the thermometer showed 10°C at lunch time.
Spring is taking its time this year, and despite a mild winter the temperatures have barely risen above about 6 or 7°C in the past weeks, often colder with wintry showers. So there is still not much flowering in my garden apart from Hellebores, Crocuses and Snowdrops. But I enjoy participating in Cathy’s meme every week, where I am challenged to find something for a vase… go and visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for a touch of magic today.
Hellebores last Wednesday…
Yesterday a friend gave me a bunch of Pussy Willow catkins, which I decided to team up with some Hazel catkins, a few twigs of Forsythia (which should eventually open indoors), and a couple of red Cornus twigs.
One reason for my title today is to lament the rate at which Spring is so s l o w l y arriving, but another reason is the other gifts my friend gave me yesterday…
Two beautifully hand-painted snail shells that she found at a craft fair…
Aren’t they lovely?!
(Thank you again Elisabeth!)
The Hazel catkins are actually going over now, although they are still dropping some pollen.
Of course, I had to bring in more Hellebores while I was outside this morning, and here are just a few I floated as an “extra” today…
The actual vase itself was a Christmas present from my dear Man of Many Talents, and it is still patiently waiting for some Forsythia flowers to go in it!
I wonder if you have brought any flowers indoors this week…