In a Vase on Monday: Daisies

With so many Moon Daisies (Ox-Eye Daisies) in flower in the meadows I simply had to fill a big vase with them and bring some indoors to share for Cathy’s Monday meme at Rambling in the Garden.

I don’t remember ever picking so many before – a luxury! Enough to fill one of my largest vases – my Portmeirion Enchanted Tree vase given to me by my sister a few years ago.

There is something about them that makes me smile. Along with our current heatwave they signify the onset of summer for me. I hope they bring a smile to your face too this Monday. 🙂

Thanks to Cathy for hosting once again. 🙂

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!

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!

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Bright and Beautiful

Some glorious sunshine and mild temperatures have given way to a cold icy wind again today. Nonetheless my outdoor spring pots planted up a few weeks ago have yielded enough for two little vases to bring indoors, so I can join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

The only flowers here that are actually growing in the garden are the Hellebore (Double Ellen Purple) and an Iris reticulata (Harmony).

The violas were all planted last autumn, and every year I fear they will not withstand being frozen solid for weeks on end, but they do! They look terrible in February, blackened by frost and soggy from the damp, but then suddenly they start turning green and producing buds.

I have also included some forget-me-nots, a yellow Primula, Bellis, miniature Narcissi, Veronica ‘Big Blue’, and an Iberis flower. The Iberis and Narcissi will be planted out in the garden eventually.

My craving for some winter colour is not limited to the garden however, and – as you can see – the bright pink/orange cushion cover I have been crocheting has crept into the photos! I hope you have some colour to enjoy this week, and if your Spring still hasn’t arrived, do go and visit Cathy and all the other vases that are linked in for a big dose of spring cheer!

 

A Taste of Spring and a ‘Vase’ on Monday

Since the end of last November we have had hard frosts almost every night, and every morning I look out at my poor hellebores lying prostrate and forlorn…

… then a couple of hours later (if temperatures have risen above freezing point) they will be standing upright once again… a daily miracle that I have wondered at time and again!

A couple of hours later

I am very impressed with the pink Ice ‘n’ Roses ‘rose’ hellebore I planted last autumn. It has flowered non-stop despite the frosts. My white one – ‘Christmas Carol’ – has also done well and both have large enough flowers to be visible from some distance.

I recently visited a nearby garden centre to look for another one to join them. There was little choice (garden centres here are half empty at this time of year, since the ground is usually frozen) but I did find a small ‘Double Ellen Purple’ which had been on my wish list. With some sunny days and milder nights forecast I will plant it out later.

Double Ellen Purple

How wonderful it is to be out gardening once again!

Other news in my garden:

  • The rosemary seems to have survived the winter…so far! (A late March freeze last year got my last one, so I mustn’t speak too soon)
  • The greenhouse is in the process of being planned – it will have a solid foundation with a base wall, so planning permission and building work will mean it might be up by the autumn. I’m a gardener, so I have patience!
  • My Man of Many Talents has kindly dug over a new patch of grass for my next project: the Sunshine Bed. I am so excited about it! (More on that when planting starts in April)
  • We have dozens of mistle thrushes feeding on worms on the ground all around the house at various times of the day – even when there is still frost. They hop a few steps and cock their heads to one side as if listening and then…. ‘peck’ and the worm is gone! They are such pretty birds, but very shy, so this is the best shot I have got so far.

Mistle thrush

Mistle thrushes feeding

I am pleased we have enough worms for them!

Finally, a little taste of spring in my teacup…

One of each of my hellebores: Ice ‘n’ Roses ‘rose’, Double Ellen Purple, and Christmas Carol.

Thanks go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting the In a Vase on Monday meme. Go and visit her to see what she and other bloggers around the globe are finding in their gardens for a vase (or two) this week.