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‘.

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?

🙃

 

The Tuesday View: 2nd May 2017

It’s been raining all morning but it looks as if the sun might make it later after all. Nonetheless, I thought I had better take some pictures of my Tuesday view now (2.30 pm) in case it starts raining again…

The most noticeable change is the green trees in the background and how the Lysimachia and Geraniums in the foreground have grown.

Lysimachia on the left, Geranium in foreground

This lovely Geranium spreads like mad, but I pulled a lot out in early spring to give the other plants some breathing space. The Lysimachia also gets pulled up here at regular intervals to keep it in check!

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Czakor’

These buds should be open by next week. 🙂

I have already got a few of my favourite Geraniums flowering – G. phaeum. Do you have a favourite Geranium sort in your garden too?

If you would like to join me in showing one particular view of your garden on a weekly basis, to follow its progress through the gardening year, please leave a link below!

The Tuesday View: 25th April 2017

After a beautiful spring Monday with warm sunshine and blue skies, we are back to cooler temperatures and rain showers for the rest of the week. The garden is extremely happy wth this weather, despite some frost damage to a couple of tender herbs that were optimistically planted out in our warmer than average March.

So today’s view may be under cloudy skies, but it is still full of colour – green!

The Acer has leafed out and the Geraniums and Lysimachia in the foreground are getting taller. The peonies are growing rapidly too.

A highlight today is the deep purple Heucheras. They were divided a few years ago from a potted plant invested with vine weevils. It seems the weevils leave them alone if in the ground. Their foliage contrasts well with the pink and purple tulips and white Narcissi (Thalia, I think). This combination was originally pure fortune, but I have added more of these colours in the past couple of years.

Finally a glimpse of the “old”, or alternative Tuesday View.

Golden Euonymus and Aubretia are taking the stage here at the moment. I am also looking forward to seeing the Aquliegias flowering here soon.

What is grabbing your attention in your garden today? Do join me in sharing one particular view each week. It can be an eye opener, as I have discovered! 😉

In a Vase on Monday: In the Garden!

Monday is the day I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme. The title of today’s vase refers not only to where the photo was taken, but also to where I spent all day – working in the garden. It was wonderful! I saw the first bee. I saw the first crocus. I ache all over!

And I picked some snowdrops.

😀

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To fill out the vase I added a few Spring Snowflakes (Leucojum vernum), which also have a lovely name in German – March Bells (Märzglöckchen).

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In addition, I still have some Hippeastrum flowering, including this beauty which is almost the same as the red one I posted a few weeks ago.

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As it started to lean to one side I decided to cut it, and discoveed another two shoots coming.

Today was a good day.

Hope you have a good start to the week too!

Germany’s ‘Flower of the Year’ 2017: the Field Poppy

Each autumn the Loki Schmidt Foundation in Germany announces the flower they have chosen as ‘Flower of the Year’. I was pleased to hear that for 2017 it will be Papaver rhoeas, the Common Poppy, or Field Poppy as I know it.

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We are fortunate to see it growing wild in corn fields and around the edges of agricultural land near us. But in some regions it has all but died out. The intense use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, along with other modern technology in farming methods, mean the conditions no longer exist in which this wild flower can colour our fields and roadsides.

A couple of years ago this was the view just beyond our garden gate.

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Not just poppies, but sweet peas, chamomile and cornflowers were mixed in with the crop.

And this summer several farmers started sowing strips of wild flowers along the edges of their crop fields to encourage wild bees and other pollinators, insects and wildlife. This is subsidized by the EU – I only wish they would offer subsidies for NOT deep plowing, fertilising, and spraying chemicals or slurry on the land year in year out!

The idea of this Flower of the Year campaign, called ‘Blume des Jahres’ in German, is to draw attention to the plight of certain flowers which are slowly becoming endangered in our countryside. I hope it helps with awareness, as it would be tragic to lose more of our beautiful wild flowers.

Which wild flower would you miss most of all? The poppy perhaps?

In a Vase on Monday: Perfectly Pink

Walking around my garden choosing flowers for a vase was so enjoyable yesterday morning… the sun was really warm, the sky blue, the bees were humming… and there was a delicious smell of lemon cake from my kitchen, wafting across the patio! (What more could you ask for!)

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All these fabulous shades of pink, with my pink rose flowering again in the background, didn’t really need pepping up at all. But I added some bright orange Physalis alkekengi anyway. Just because.

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And with the cooler nights I wanted to at least once see how the seedheads of the Castor Bean Plant (Ricinus communis) hold up in a vase. I like the way they look with the Sedum and pink Asters (Alma Pötschke). You can just about see them here in the background…

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The pink anemone you can see in the above photo is ‘Serenade’, while in the photo below the shy white anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ is peeping out from under the Sedum. I have fallen hard for both of them, as they have been flowering for several weeks now and are still looking so fresh.

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And next to the white anemone this gorgeous pink Cosmos took me by surprise a few days ago as it had not flowered until then. It must be from a packet called ‘Double Click’, but I am not sure if that name is correct so any help would be appreciated in identifying it!

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Of course the reddish pink Persicaria ‘Firetail’ had to be included, along with a single pink rose, a lilac aster, some grasses, a few Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’, some Zebra grass, and a gorgeous peachy pink cactus zinnia…

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Cathy’s Monday meme has made me look at my garden in a new and refreshing way, inspiring me to grow different annuals such as zinnias, and making me realise how much the garden can give at any time of year. Just as autumn has officially begun, and as I try to suppress any stray thoughts of grey winter days, my order for autumn bulbs and Amaryllis for my winter windowsills has arrived. Plenty of material for future vases! Thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting, and to all the other contributors for sharing their vases every week too.

Happy autumn!

😀