In a Vase on Monday: Highlights of May

One of the highlights of May is definitely the Aquilegias, reaching for the sky in shades of purple, blue and pink…

For my Monday vase this week I chose to cut some of these tall stalks to contrast with an iris that has just opened and the lovely pale and mid-blue Camassias.

I added Geranium phaeum (again!)…

And on the outer edges I also added a white Geranium sylvaticum ‘Album’, which is not quite as prolific as the chocolatey purple G. phaeum but just as tall (about 60-70cms), and grows well in complete shade, adding lovely highlights to my North border.

What are the highlights in your garden right now? Do you have particularly tall plants in May?

Thanks go to Cathy, who hosts this wonderful meme at ‘Rambling in the Garden‘.

In a Vase on Monday: Thunder

A few days of warm and thundery weather with rainshowers every few minutes has meant the tulips are practically over and everything is about ten foot tall… ok, I am exaggerating, but you know what I mean!

The last of the tulips to open was this elegant peachy one that has turned a deeper shade over the past day or so. It is ‘Menton’ from the Peter Nyssen Harlequin Collection (which I would certainly recommend).

I was actually hoping the Geranium phaeum would make the vase look a bit more dramatic, to justify the title, but they just look soft and pretty instead!

The flashes of white are the Moon Daisies, which are beginning to open now (and we have so many again). There were in fact a few flashes of lightning as I cut them.

A single Geranium macrorrhizum ‘czakor’ …

… a Hellebore, the last white Narcissi actaea and one Spanish bluebell were added, as well as some red/purple Heuchera leaves as a collar.

The vase was chosen intentionally to highlight the deep purple flowers of the Geranium. There is one with plain leaves in here too,  but most have lovely chocolatey markings on the foliage.

You can see the stormy sky in the background here. Have you had thunder this May?

 Thanks to our lovely host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  She has a gorgeous pink Aquilegia in her vase today. 🙂

In a Vase on Monday: Pop!

The tulip season will be drawing to an end soon, so I just had to make the most of them again for a vase this week, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

The white one at the back is ‘Green Star’ which stands out well in the rockery near the fringed white one I featured a couple of weeks ago (‘Swan Wings’). On the left is the raspberry ripple style parrot tulip ‘Estella rijnveld’ and in front of that a yellow lily shaped one which I have now correctly identified as ‘Flashback’ after looking through orders and receipts. The peachy double one at the front is ‘Charming Lady’ and the parrot tulips in the middle are the orange ‘Irene Parrot’ and the red ‘Rococo’, both from Peter Nyssen – Irene was in their Harlequin collection.  On the right, probably my favourite of all, is ‘Eye Catcher’, which I have had for years now. On the right of that is the lovely pink ‘Attila’ (also from the Harlequin collection). The single lemon yellow tulip on the right remains unidentified for now,  and finally front centre is an unnamed fringed red tulip, which I am going to call ‘Frank’… 😉 If I could send bulbs to the US I would dig them up and send them to Frank at Sorta Like Suburbia to try and convince him how lovely the fringed ones are and how any discerning tulip collector simply has to have at least one!

The fillers are Kerria japonica, Aruncus foliage and Brunnera.

Did you spot the little snail I found on the Kerria? Here he is again below… Cute!

Have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday: Happy May Day!

Before I share my vase with you for Cathy’s Monday meme (Rambling in the Garden), a few thoughts on May Day…

  • I have no idea where I heard it, but apparently you should clean your front door step on May 1st to stop the ants coming in… I did mine a couple of days early. 😉
  • Do children still dance around May poles in the UK? And do they still have May Queens? Or is that all no longer politically correct?
  • In Germany, May Day should either be spent hiking or taking part in a Labour Day demonstration… (Personally, I might just go for a gentle stroll later.)
  • Another tradition in Germany is to put up the new ‘Maibaum’ (May tree/pole) in the village or local community. This is usually guarded well the night before as some villages ‘steal’ each other’s May poles and demand a ransom for them. A nice example a few years ago was that the staff of an old people’s home nearby stole a May pole, transporting it through the town in the middle of the night on mobility aids(!), and demanded a crate of beer as ransom, which they got!

So , now back to my vase…

I intended to use just a few tulips again, but got carried away, as you do in May…

(Click on any picture for the slideshow)

Do you have any May Day traditions? 🙂

Happy May Day, whatever you are up to!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Tulips from Amsterdam

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, the host of this lovely meme, has shared some beautiful tulips in her vase today. By coincidence I am joining her with some of my own tulips that have been such a show this spring.

🌷🌷🌷

All of the tulips here originate from Holland (maybe not quite Amsterdam), but I must confess my little windmill on the photo below is from Norfolk!

The moment I thought of today’s title, that song came to mind… famously sung in the UK by Max Bygraves, but well-known in Germany too (as it was actually originally written in German!). Here is a fabulous German version of it from youtube (from 1961!) by the Dutch singer Mieke Telkamp…

She can roll her ‘r’s so well! 😉

I am not entirely sure of all the names, but the purple one is ‘Purple Dream’, the white one ‘Swan Wings’, the pink parrot tulip ‘Weber’s Parrot’, the three orange ones are ‘Princess Irene’, the creamy one with a yellow-green stripe is ‘Green Star’ and the yellow lily one is ‘West Point’, kindly identified by Christina last week. The rest are probably from the Harlequin mix from Peter Nyssen.

Have you got any tulips in your garden? Or do you find them a little brash?

😉

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.

 😀

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…

🌝