…viburnum, the sarcococca and the lonicera!
Suddenly the fragrances of these winter flowers are becoming evident, even though they have all been flowering for a few weeks. Many stems of Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ are all but over, but the generous shrub keeps producing more and as well as snipping them for vases or posies a judicious pruning (aka chopping back) will be required once spring arrives. Next to it in the shrub border Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is now showing off some blooms undamaged by the weather, unlike the previous brown and soggy lumps – and how sweet they smell! Just outside the back door Sarcococca is back to its old tricks, confusing the passer by about the origins of the fragrance that hangs in the air. I have realised I don’t know which variety of sarcococca this is, something I will need to look into to.
Using just two stems of each of the above three seasonally scented shrubs, I chanced upon this set of 3 matching vases on a high shelf in the back sitting room, probably bought at IKEA some years ago, and popped the two stems of each variety into a different vase. I had cut some cornus stems as well but the vases looked better without them and in hindsight the vase with the sarcococca would have been better positioned at the back as the leaves are so very green and dark and seem to dominate the other stems. The little coffee pot is a fridge magnet and would you believe that the background fabric is maroon and not the bright red or dark that the photos suggest!
You may be interested to hear how last week’s hippeastrum is bearing up to having been cut as a bud and placed in a vase. Another thing I learned from Sarah Raven’s book ‘The Cutting Garden’, apart from using a cane to internally support the stem, is how easily damaged the stem is – and this seems to have happened with Dancing Queen, probably from the pressure of the witch hazel stem as it was pushed between DQ and the narrowest part of the vase. Within only a few days the lower few inches of the stem had decayed completely so were cut off, and the clean cut edge of the stem rested instead on glass pebbles added to the base of the vase, along with fresh water. Today, all but one of the 4 buds on the stem were nearly open.
At this time of year I never know from week to week what I may find to put in my Monday vase, and I know it will be the same for many of you: this uncertainty is just one of the many enjoyable facets of IAVOM. If you are able to find something in your garden today (and it does not have to be floral) to pop into a vase or other container then please share it with us too by leaving the usual links.