In a Vase on Monday: Sumer is Icumen in

Lhude sing, cuccu… although this little chap is clearly not a cuckoo but (I thought) a sparrow, bought recently as a pair from a charity shop and now sitting in the garden. The Golfer, however, thinks it is more likely to be a bluetit and as he has a greater knowledge on the subject I will bow to his opinion. So, it is a bluetit standing in for the cuckoo who sings loudly to welcome summer, as sung in a traditional medieval English round. My first dahlia flowers are also singing loudly to welcome the approach of summer and therefore form the basis of today’s vase.

I am thrilled to find lots of buds on all of my dahlias, promising much earlier flowers than last year when they were only just getting into their stride when struck down by frost. These sunny blooms, however, are from dahlias seed sown in February – Dandy, Figaro and Reggae Orange – accompanied by a large flowered bidens from the multiplugs bought for some of my hanging baskets. The green heads are some of the numerous side shoots of Inula magnifica, currently preparing itself to look every bit as magnificent as it did last year when it was one of the most talked about plants in the garden on my informal opening. A single spike of a now unnamed kniphofia, its label probably disposed of because the plant rarely ever appears and had thus been given up as lost, further emphasises the yellow and green theme; having found it again, however, I am tempted to give it the boot… Fresh green seedpods of a white flowered honesty provide the finishing touch and join the blooms in this tiny green and yellow glazed pot.

I am sure most northern hemisphere gardeners are also welcoming their own summer flowers; here I am also regularly picking sweet peas, some from a Mammoth Mix sown in October and the others, growing equally well, from February sown Heirloom Mix. What blooms are singing loudly in your garden, welcoming in summer (or late autumn on the other side of the world)? Do think about picking some of them and sharing them with us In a Vase on Monday.


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73 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Sumer is Icumen in

  1. Pingback: Love-in-the-Mist of time | Wild Daffodil

  2. Whatever he is he is a very perky bird. I haven’t heard a cuckoo yet – oh dear, they do say that they are on the decline.
    Here is my entry this week:

  3. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: 1888 – enclos*ure

  4. Really cheerful and summery! Here in Stuttgart, summer comes and goes; one weekend it is 85F and the next it is barely pushing 60F. I am pretty much stuck inside recovering from foot surgery this month, so I don’t have an arrangement today, but I thought I would share this wonderful vintage photo of an entire room beautifully decked out in ferns and grasses.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, had to know what to expect with temperature variations like that. Sorry to hear about your foot – hope it is improving

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Sunset on a Short Day – Absent Gardener

  6. Cath says:

    Oh I am looking forward to Sweet Peas. Those are nice intense pinks in the Mammoth Mix. My early Autumn sown ones are branching nicely and starting to climb, and I sowed some more last weekend in flats. Here’s my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      The darker ones are in the Heirloom Mix, I think, Cath – the others were seeds from last year (old seed, not saved) but there are other much more attractive mixes. I was surprised hoq quickly the later sown ones caught up this year

  7. Noelle says:

    Lovely to see your Dahlias…such a summery colour too. At last I am on the right track….getting into gardening, and finding new plants. At last:

  8. Pingback: In a vase on Monday | Garden Dreaming at Châtillon

  9. pbmgarden says:

    The little bird is adorable, whatever he his, and your dahlias are cheerful and sunny. Thanks for hosting. I’m off to class. My vase is

  10. Cathy says:

    Hello Cathy! What a pretty vase – and congrats on your dahlia success. We’ll look forward to more of them in the summer. Also hoping to see pictures of your Inula later on – the buds in themselves are delightful. Could the Kniphofia be ‘Little Maid’? Funnily enough we seem to start hearing cuckoos here around February. I have absolutely no idea why, but we do. There are a lot in the woods opposite the house. Here is my vase for today:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – I did start my previous years’ dahlias earlier than I have in the past, so that will help, but my new ones from Peter Nyssen are also in bud. Cuckoos seem to be more of a rarity in the UK now

  11. I can never get enough of sweet peas. I have a very similar sparrow in my garden. Not sure which species. 😉 Happy IAVOM.

  12. I have a similar pair of birds sitting amidst my pots of plants that still need to get put in the ground. I hope it makes them look like an intentional grouping instead of the lost souls they currently are! Can’t believe you have Dahlias already. It was so cold and gray here for so long that mine went into the garden later than I hoped. We are definitely having summer weather here, more like July or August which is a bit frustrating. My offering for this week is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Well yes, you just tell people it IS intentional! I have kept most of my seed sown dahlias from last year too – they are such good value and so quick from seed

  13. Thanks to IAVOM I have learned to love Dahlias, where I am from Dinnerplate Dahlias were all the rage and they are a bit much for me. I like yours and the rest of the arrangement, I had a Primrose Beauty Kniphofia at one point, that may be what yours is. I am listening to Cicadas heralding the arrival of summer here. Here is my vase:

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Simplicity | acoastalplot

  15. Sam says:

    Hurrah for the dahlia buds. We have managed to raise two plants from tubers this year and get them to the stage when they can cope with slug and snail onslaughts (I hope!)… If these do well, we’ll try more next year. I’m not a big kniphofia fan but yours is quite pretty 🙂 Here’s my offering for this week:
    Thank you, as always, for hosting. Sam x

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – faint praise for the kniphofia!! I feel the same, whoch is another reason why I am thinking of removing it… Hope your dahlias get to budding stage and beyond, Sam!!

  16. Chloris says:

    Let’s call him a cuckoo as cuckoos are getting so rare. I have heard only two this year as I have been out and about on my bike. They used to be everywhere. ‘Bring back the cuckoo’, I say.
    Your dahlias are nice and sunny.
    I have joined in this week with a stunningly unoriginal title.…-pink-and-orange/

    • Cathy says:

      OK, he is a cuckoo 🙂 In dahlia mixes it always seems to be the yellow ones that flower first, or so I have found

  17. Eliza Waters says:

    It’s nice seeing all your summer flowers coming in, Cathy. I’m still in spring, as expected. Your little bird reminds me of a similar antique one I have that is a pigeon made of lead, very heavy. I never thought of bringing it outside, but I may put it out with the pots of geraniums on the porch. Summer camp!
    My vase this week:

    • Cathy says:

      It is indeed Eliza. My charity shop birds are cetainly not antique and are similar to ones I have seen in a catalogue with outdoor decor bits, so I guess they will be fine

  18. Leanne says:

    Beautiful design in yellow! I don’t have any yellows blooming right now, so I am rather envious. It’s such a wonderful color that goes with everything in the garden. Here is my IAVOM:

    • Cathy says:

      And I am a little ambivalent about yellow which is mostly confined to the cutting beds – but I love it in a vase!!

  19. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Ah summer, the season of which gardeners dream. Your sunny arrangement and happy “cuckoo” are a perfect celebration of the joy of the season. It’s nice that you can still muster cheer after the travail of visiting the garden show last week! My vase consists of blooms that were part of pruning back a couple of shrubs. Happy summer!

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: Peonies – 2BlueEyes

  21. Hi Cathy, I’m so surprised to see your dahlias blooming already. Mine, having been chewed by slugs, are still struggling to do much of anything. I live in hope. I like the yellow and green arrangement – perfect for that vase. I’ve not heard cuckoos around where I live but we do have blue tits visiting us daily. And there is one just like yours – it has a home in one of our auricula display boxes. Sorry I haven’t been able to participate for a few weeks, not even this week even though the garden is blooming lovely – see here:

    • Cathy says:

      Good to hear from you – hope all is well. These are just ‘annual’ dahlias, and it may be a few weeks before the buds on the main dahlias open – but it should still be June. Will pop over and see your garden now

  22. Anca Tîrcă says:

    I do not have dahlias in my garden, so it is nice looking at them in your vase. My vase:

  23. Kris P says:

    I love the first sunny bouquet with the bird standing by. I wouldn’t know a bluetit from a cuckoo as neither roams my area of the world so I’ll also take the Golfer’s ID on the species. Our sweet peas do bloom on very different schedules. While mine are long gone, pulled out to make room for zinnias and sunflowers after our Santa Ana winds beat them up, my neighbor has some left in a protected area along the back slope we share but I do miss seeing them in my own garden.

    Thanks for hosting, Cathy, and here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – my Winter Sunshine sweet peas in the greenhouse suffered with the heat we had in May and looked unlikely to recover so I turfed them out. Makes me appreciate how those gardeners with regularly hot summers will always struggle to keep sweet peas going

  24. Alison C says:

    How lovely to have dahlias again. Mine are just starting too, I think the warm spring has helped but now I see some nibbling of buds. Earwigs? Grrr. Your vase is sunny and pretty and your little cuckoo/bluetit/sparrow looks right at home. Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm, no nibbled buds here yet – in fact I havene’t seen earwigs for a few years but I am sure they will be around somewhere!

  25. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Simply Yellow | Words and Herbs

  26. Cathy says:

    I heard quite a few cuckoos this spring, but I have never seen one! I am not particularly good at identifying birds anyway. It is the crickets that are making the noise now! Your yellows are delightful – especially the sunshiny Dahlias. I also chose yellow this week. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I think they can be hard to spot – the only time we saw one was because he was sitting at the very top of the tallest tree in the woodland ( not here, but near my Mum’s)

  27. Cathy I love the dahlias of her vase, they are beautiful, along with the kniphoria. The bird is very pretty. I am very happy because your Dahlias are all sprouting and soon in bloom. I can not show you my garden now because I’m not in the country house. I am living in the apartment in Madrid because my father was operated on and resorted to. When the doctors are discharged, we’re not going to live in the country house. If you want to see my garden full of weeds a few days I went to put the drip irrigation before they operated my Father, is is called “In a Wild Garden “. To see it you have to give the last line to the button “View” that has an eye to the side. Have a good week Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you. I do hope your father is improving after his operation. Will you return to your country house some time in the future?

      • Cathy returned to the country house as soon as the doctors said that my Father is well enough. Thank you very much for your interest. Greetings from Margarita.

  28. I have not heard a cuckoo yet this year either. Your recent charity shop find is sweet and how lovely to have dahlias already. Mine are months away! My roses took a bashing so thats what i have for you today Cathy

  29. Anna says:

    Oh those dahlias look most summery and sunshiny Cathy and isn’t it always more exciting when you’ve grown your flowers from seed 🙂 I’m glad that your little bird has a mate to keep him company in the garden. Lovely sweet peas too – my February sown ones have produced a few flowers but not enough for a vase yet. I’m showing off my new vase today featuring allotment bits and bobs :

    • Cathy says:

      They are the first yellow flowers this year , Anna (apart from pesky poppies which get plucked off as soon as I see them), and were definitely shuting “summer!”

  30. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday 6.12.17 | Hilltop Flower Power

  31. Lindy Le Coq says:

    For whatever reason I am unable to copy and paste my contribution to this (or any other) site! If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

  32. Love to see what is blooming. Just starting with the dahlias here in Georgia!

  33. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Peachy pair | Duver Diary

  34. jenhumm116 says:

    Oooh exciting to see your dahlias already. I have a couple flowering, but only because I left in the greenhouse too long! And my outdoor sweet peas are a long way off flowering, lucky I’ve still got plenty in the greenhouse.
    A rather minimalistic vase from me this week.

    • Cathy says:

      Sadly I have had to chuck my WS sweet peas out as the heat was too much for them – do you shade your greenhouse?

  35. We are most lucky up here to actually still get the occasional ‘cuckoo’ echoing across the fields, if you go into the countryside. I won’t add my ignorance to the debate about what type of bird your little model is. Clearly not just an LBJ! But goodness, how lucky to have dahlias already. And sweetpeas! My sweetpeas are still only a third of the way up their supports, though making gains every day, and dahlias are yet but a distant dream. I love the various shades of yellow you have there, especially your poor endangered little knip. Here’s mine this week –

    • Cathy says:

      ‘poor endangered little knip’ – I like it (the description, not the knip)! 🙂 I do know cuckoos are much bigger, more pigeon size. I am really pleased with the progress of the dahlias as they were SO late flowering last year (not the seed sown ones, which are about the same) – oh, and after much thought I did decide to get Cafe au Lait…

  36. I am definitely looking forward to my dahlias especially because I added three new ones. I love this bouquet. It screams sunshine and summer joy! I am so glad I found your blog! I love learning from other people especially gardening! I have arm loads of peonies in my vases. I hope you like!

  37. smallsunnygarden says:

    It’s lovely to see your Dahlias coming in 🙂 I love seeing your sweet peas too; mine were a total loss this year as far as vases were concerned. They just never did grow or flower much… As they are legumes, do you turn them under or add them to compost, or what?
    Here are my loudly singing flowers – which is a very apt description!

  38. The little bird is adorable, whatever he his, and your dahlias are cheerful and sunny. Thanks for hosting. I’m off to class.

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