In a Vase on Monday: Great Golden Sun

img_8785Welcome 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 ยฃ1 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.

img_8784Joining the five stems of narcissus is a shapely twig ofย  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?


This entry was posted in bulbs, corms and tubers, Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Great Golden Sun

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – First tulips!! – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    We both have some forced bulbs today Cathy. I like your Grand Soleil dโ€™Or very much and will try them for next year. The chaenomeles really does add an elegant touch to your vase. As usual thank you for hosting as inspiring us all to pick from our gardens or (as in my case) especially grow to pick. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Surprisingly, last year’s GSd’O which have been sitting outside in the same pot since they were evicted from the greenhouse in spring last year has also got flower buds – how bizarre! I don’t think the photograph of today’s vase really does it justice and it would have been better with a plain background – but there’s rainy afternoons for you!

  3. Chloris says:

    Oh what a lovely bit of sunshine. I wish I had it on my windowsill. I agree they smell delicious, unlike Paperwhites which smell disgusting.

  4. I’m inspired! I found you through The Patient Gardener. Here is my first try at this:

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: January treasure | acoastalplot

  6. Sam says:

    How lovely to see beautiful daffodils in your Monday vase. We have a few shoots here, but no daff flowers yet. I’m so chuffed to be joining in today โ€“
    Thanks as always, Cathy. This is such a lovely thing to do on a Monday. Hope you have a very good week. Sam x

  7. Beautiful and so cheerful even from this distance. I will have to make a note of the variety as it would be wonderful to have a vase of Golden Sun in my house. Especially if they don’t smell like Paperwhites! Here is my vase:

  8. What a ray of sunshine for you! Alas, still cold and snowy here. But I stumbled upon a great vase to write about.

  9. Peter/Outlaw says:

    A delightful lift, a breath of spring in the midst of winter. My vase is here:

  10. What a lovely image in a cold winter day, thanks, Cathy! My vase is here:

  11. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: January Sparkle | Words and Herbs

  12. Cathy says:

    Just what the doctor ordered Cathy! I am quite happy to decline the use of the sunglasses and be blinded by that gorgeous golden colour. ๐Ÿ˜€ It is still freezing here, so I nearly didn’t attempt a vase, but you and Christina are such inspiration, so here it is:
    Thanks Cathy!

  13. johnvic8 says:

    As always, you are just a bit ahead of us. A lovely arrangement and your choice of location for the photo is perfect.

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: Suspended smiles | Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  15. Annette says:

    Sunshine and smiles โ€“ two things that are so important for our wellbeing. Luckily we can find this every Monday in your blog, Cathy. Thanks for that ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      You are welcome Annette, at all times

      • Annette says:

        It’s funny that we’ve both chosen our sitooterie to display the vase. I’m curious how the rest of yours looks like. Maybe you’d like to show us more some time. Is it heated?

        • Cathy says:

          We put in underfloor heating but to be honest it is underused – not surprisingly because I can’t get the hang of the sitting down in the garden business! I will show the inside in due course, perhaps when it’s not quite so full of chairs and overwintering fuchsias, nerines and pelargoniums… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Seeing your vase this morning has given me that shot of sun that I needed to get on with the day. We woke to a skiff of snow on the ground. Brrrrrrrr Happy Monday.

    • Cathy says:

      ‘Skiff of snow’ – what an intriguing term. I guessed what it meant but googled it just to make sure. Has it all gone now? Glad you enjoyed the injection of sun!

  17. croftgarden says:

    Lovely, composition with the view of the garden.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christine – I am aware I have not revealed the interior of the sitooterie at all before, so perhaps this is just a taster although it is currently full of chairs and overwintering plants

  18. A joy to behold Cathy, love those golden sun. A single stem from me today

    • Cathy says:

      Hopefully the blooms should last a few days more – I would rather have picked them before they were properly open. I am certainly enjoying them myself

  19. sultanabun says:

    That’s a tonic on a grey day! Thanks.

  20. Pingback: Mid Winter Moments – Peonies & Posies

  21. I can’t decide what I love more – the unfurling leaves of the quince stem or those beautiful daffodils. It’s sunny – and warm – here again but there’s still not a daffodil to be seen. However, I found other flowers to cut:

    Thanks, as always, for hosting, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris, I think I am with you on that dilemma, as I can’t get over how the quince buds are swelling almost in front of my eyes

  22. Your vase is so very spring like Cathy – at first I thought you had picked those narcissi from the garden so I was relieved to read that they are prepared bulbs brought on in the house. Your garden is ahead of mine though – signs of spring are few and far between in my garden so far – I also have an unnamed ornamental quince which you have reminded me I must prune, but there is no sign of any young leaves on mine yet. xx

    My vase this week is at:

  23. I’m reminded of a line from a silly song I used to love “my future’s so bright I gotta wear shades”…may our springs be that bright!

    I found time to put together a vase this week:

  24. Now that’s a ray of sunshine! Glad to say I have an offering this week too, though it’s still all about winter here:

  25. These are lovely Cathy, a real ray of sunshine. I’m glad they held on to be at their best today. You have also introduced me to a new word today in ‘sitooterie’- I like it, very onomatopoeic.
    I’m back on the In a Vase on Monday train after a week off (I was flying to the USA last Monday). I – like you and others- have gone for forced bulbs for this week’s offering:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Eleanor. The sitooterie was going to be called an ‘orangerie’ but I neglected the orange trees I bought and they died, hence the name change. It definitely was never going to be a ‘summer house’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Alison C says:

    So wonderful to see some colour. Chaenomeles is on my list of shrubs I’d like, they give such a lot of interest and twisted shapes. So far I only have bulb shoots but I have a few in pots so I could move some inside and see how much faster they come on.
    My vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      The warmth makes such a difference, and of course there is more light now too – I think the last couple of weeks of low temperatures really slowed some things down, And yes, this bit of chaenomeles was defintely too twisted and intersting to be consigned to the green bin – even without the flower buds

  27. Elizabeth says:

    Your vase is such a cheerful sight, Cathy. Sunshine in a very nicely shaped vase. That’s a lovely aspect from your sitooterie too. I think I have a Chaenomeles growing down in the shrubbery but it’s been stunted by another bigger shrub which has just been cut down. Maybe it will do better now. My vase couldn’t be more of a contrast to yours this week – here’s the link:

    • Cathy says:

      Mine started out in a pot because I had nowhere else to put it at the time, but it soon found a home in the shrub border when that was created

      • Elizabeth says:

        Our shrubbery is probably 15-20 years old – certainly planted before our time – we are still discovering all sorts down there, some of it anything but green! Many thanks for your kind offer to send a baby asplenium fern. It’s so kind of you to offer and it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  28. Eliza Waters says:

    Winter joy! Just what I needed to see as relief from our frozen tundra!

  29. Anna says:

    Oh what a fabulous shot of instant sunshine Cathy. I can’t grow ‘Paperwhite’ because of its overpowering scent but will definitely look out for these at bulb ordering time. Here ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ is showing colour out in pots in the garden and will I imagine be fully out as the week progresses:) I was all prepared to snip more snowdrops today but was sidetracked so I’m vaseless.

    • Cathy says:

      This one’s fragrance is pleasant and distinctive but certainly not overpowering. It seems early for outdoor daffs but I guess this may be the time that RES usually flowers. Sorry you are vaseless – you can always snip some just for yourself, withut the ‘bother’ of writing a post…

  30. smallsunnygarden says:

    Some precious sunshine from flower and foliage both – I do love your chaenomeles branch, as well (of course!) as the Grand Soleil… and the glimpse through the sitooterie window ๐Ÿ˜‰ My garden is not very flush with flowers at present; I think it is sulking after our bout of coldish nights, and to be honest, I am hoarding my narcissi for garden colour. But there was still plenty to pick – though I wouldn’t have known it prior to taking part in the meme! Here it is…:

  31. Hoe hoe grow says:

    Spring seems as if it is just around the corner after seeing your vase full of sunshine! I have never joined in with the meme, but I love seeing everyone else’s offerings (my problem is that I can’t bring myself to cut any flowers from the garden!!).

  32. rickii says:

    Must remember to get some bulbs going next year to fill in these dark days. Your have cheered me no end.

    • Cathy says:

      Not much of a golden sun outside here either though – but the narcissi were grown inside and provided a temporary substitute ๐Ÿ˜‰

Comments are closed.