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’.

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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…

🌝

In a Vase on Monday: Happy Spring!

Before I present my vase for the weekly Rambling in the Garden meme, I would like to congratulate our host Cathy on her five year blogging anniversary! With “In a Vase on Monday” Cathy has inspired so many to go out into their gardens each week to find materials for a vase to share. Not only that, her regular and cheerful posts about her garden, along with her poems, are such a pleasure to read. So thanks Cathy, and here’s to the next five years!

To mark the first day of astronomical Spring my vase this week was photographed at the exact time of the March equinox – 11.28 a.m. I didn’t actually notice the sun crossing the celestial equator, as it had gone behind a cloud (and seems to have stayed there 😉 ) but I did then inspect the garden to find the first Narcissi opening, along with the first tulips “Early Harvest”. Bang on time! Here is one of those precious tulips, together with some Forsythia that came out today after being indoors for a few days.

I brought out my Forsythia vase, which sadly doesn’t get used very often, although it is always on display on my sideboard.

This is the cusp of Early Spring – in phenology Early Spring starts when the Forsythia opens and the Narcissi are in full bloom. Full Spring will be when the fruit trees start to blossom and the lilac is in flower. So we have plenty more of the season to come.

Happy Spring to all in the northern hemisphere, and to those in the south a very Happy Autumnal Equinox!

😀

In a vase on Monday: March Marvels

Another week has flown by, and some very mixed weather with it. Wind and sleet mid-week made me wonder if winter was back with a vengeance, but then an extremely mild 15°C on Saturday brought on a few early spring flowers. 🙂

As I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with my weekly vase, Snowdrops are of course in the forefront…

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And Amaryllis/Hippeastrum are flowering beautifully on my windowsill too…

But a few other spring flowers are making their debut appearance today: a white Hellebore, a single yellow crocus and one purple one, and three stems of this dear little pale blue Puschkinia that the bees were humming around on Saturday afternoon. Marvellous!

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I wonder how your March began. Was it in like a lion, as the saying goes… out like a lamb. We can hope!

Have a great week!

Freeze-Froze-Frozen

One of the major inland waterways for freight carried across Germany, the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, is currently closed to traffic…

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It has been below freezing point for several weeks now (apart from a couple of days around Christmas), at times reaching -17°C and frequently staying at around -9°C during the day. I have seen the canal freeze over once before, but it never freezes completely, being built into the bed of a slow-flowing river. Last Monday it was officially closed to traffic, as the locks froze up and no ice breakers could get through.

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The canal links up the North Sea (Rotterdam in the Netherlands) with the Black Sea, and millions of tonnes of heavy building materials, grain and coal are transported via this route on long deep barges each year. Passenger cruises also regularly use this route, the most popular trips being from Rotterdam or Nurenberg, down past us to the Danube, and then on to Vienna and even Budapest. This part of the canal near to us was the last section to be built, involving high costs to reduce the environmental impact and secure habitats for wildlife. The completed canal is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

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Today it is a balmy +1°C, with +3°C  forecast by the weekend. Still cold at night though, so it will take a while before we see boats coming this way again. In the meantime it is pleasantly quiet…

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Have you seen local waterways freeze this winter?

Stay safe and warm everyone!

In a Vase on Monday: A Small Collection

I suppose many of you have heard of the icy weather that has much of northern and eastern Europe in its grip. First of all a cold front from Russia stretched across to Germany, then a hurricane brought snow and icy rain (and took down our old pussy willow too), and now another cold front from Norway is rushing down our way.

This Monday, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme, I briefly considered filling a vase with snow, but that’s a bit boring and I couldn’t bring it indoors. So once again my vase this week contains materials from my garden that were collected and saved in the summer months…

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Cones from our fir trees: pine, larch and spruce.

Also on my windowsill a beautiful red amaryllis is teasing me, opening so very very slowly. I am hoping it will be fully open for next Monday. I wonder if you have any flowers on your windowsills?

Have a good week, and stay warm and dry!

A Very Happy Christmas!

The beautiful countryside around us has been shrouded in thick fog and covered in layer upon layer of frost for most of December. When I heard the lovely carol “In the bleak mid-winter” the other day I found it quite apt to describe our surroundings here – the earth is hard as iron (although it has thawed a little in places in the last 24 hours) and the water in the bird bath is hard as stone again. But no snow still. (Sigh)

So I’m afraid I cannot post any pretty photos of frost covered pine trees, glittering in the sun with a blue sky beyond…. but I can offer a glimpse of our black and white world instead.

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And I can wish you all a very Happy Christmas too!

I hope you have the opportunity to relax over the holidays, spend time with loved ones, read a good book or just chill out in front of a warm fireplace with a hot mug of tea…

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Many warm wishes to you all!

😀