The Tuesday View: 23rd May 2017

I actually took my photos for today’s Tuesday view on Monday (cheating a little due to time available!) but when I woke up this morning and raised the blinds, I was greeted by the first of my Oriental poppies. I know it’s just a small orange blob here, but soon the whole rockery will be lit up by them!

They were sown in containers many years ago, and then planted out late summer. Since then they have multiplied and come back reliably every May.

Now back to this year’s Tuesday view…

The Siberian irises are now opening alongside the early peony. I like these much better than the straggly bearded iris…

The Aquilegias are in full bloom now too, here with both bearded and Siberian Iris in the background…

And beyond the rockery across the ‘lawn’ the day lily foliage and Aruncus are getting taller and taller…

If you would like to join me in showcasing one particular view of your garden each week, to follow it through the seasons, please do! Just leave a comment below so we can find you. Thanks also to all those who have started to join in.

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Happy gardening!

Finding a Niche

There are several plants in and around my garden that pop up in different places each year. Our top compost heap is home to nettles and Jack-in-the-Hedge (Alliaria) this year. While the beech hedge on the north side of the house has offered cover for Greater Celandine. The ants, birds and puffs of wind help them find a new niche to thrive. Sometimes in the most inconvenient of places, but we are flexible here!

The Cymbalaria muralis, for example, has moved up a few steps this spring…

Along with the Aubretia…

Corydalis lutea started out as a single plant in my front bed and now appears in both familiar and new spots, making use of nooks and crannies…

Another pleasing sight is the little violas that have seeded themselves from a single (purple) plant all the way down our garden path…

They are accompanied by violets and a few other weeds…

… as well as wild strawberries…

Then there are those unwanted ones too, of course… but beggars can’t be choosers…

And finally, the Nigella have returned. I wonder what colours will appear this year… 🙂

Do you have any colonizers in your garden?

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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…

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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!

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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!

The Tuesday View in January

As promised, here is a picture of the Tuesday View under the snow!

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It is very frosty, so I didn’t stay out for long with my camera. But here are a couple of other images from today too.

Clematis tangutica – a tangle of stems with straggly seed heads, but the snow makes them seem quite comical!

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My beautiful Miscanthus ‘Adagio’ still looks pretty with some sun catching the top…

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There is no warmth in the sun outdoors today, but it does add some welcome sparkle…

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Hope you have blue skies this week, wherever you are!