Welcome to the last Monday vase of January! Increasingly we have been seeing a hint of spring creeping into our vases, and as I prepared last week’s tiny offering the first flower on this narcissus was opening – would they hang on for another week, I wondered?
In retrospect I could have temporarily moved the pot they were growing in back to the greenhouse, where they were planted on October 11th and where last week’s temperatures would have kept them in check. These ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’, like all my bulbs, came from Peter Nyssen and as ‘prepared’ stock theoretically should have flowered 8 weeks after planting. As Christmas approached the shoots were still only a few inches high and I moved them into the cool ‘back sitting room’ of the house where they quickly responded to the indoor environment. With their sunny disposition and a less powerful fragrance than Paperwhite narcissi these are a jolly alternative.
The pottery vase they have taken lodgings in is probably the oldest vase I have, given as a present over 30 years ago. The deeply incised body of the cylindrical blue vase has a tactile and classic appeal and I have always been very fond of it, even though blue was not a colour I favoured in those early days. At first it was rarely used, but when daffodils first started appearing in supermarkets for £1 or less a bunch I began treating myself throughout their season, transferring my allegiance to tulips once I had my tulip epiphany perhaps 10 or so years ago.
Joining the five stems of narcissus is a shapely twig of ornamental quince (chaenomeles), variety unknown, a pruning from earlier in the week; it was the elegance of the pruned stem with its hint of unfurling green that tempted me to bring it inside where not only have the leaves unfurled but the flower buds have appeared from nowhere and swelled towards opening. You can see a promising cluster of buds lower down the stem if you look carefully…
It was beginning to rain as assembled the components and instead of draping a selected piece of felt over a (wet) bench as I generally do prior to photographing I looked instead for an unfussy background tall enough to accommodate the vase and its contents. Heading for one of the walls further down the garden I was sidetracked instead by the shelter of the sitooterie and photographed it on the narrow windowsill with a view of the woodland beyond. Despite the shower outside, sunglasses were required for protection from the great golden sun.
As always, this Monday vase has brought me an instant boost of joy and pleasure which will continue during the week. Why not find something from your own garden or foraged nearby to pop into your own vase or jamjar to give yourself a similar boost? Don’t forget, it doesn’t have to be flowers – but whatever it is, why not share it with us by leaving the usual links to and from this post?