In a Vase on Monday: Pot of Promises

Travelling to our NGS lunch yesterday, barely 20 miles from home, to pick up posters and publicity material for this summer’s garden openings (as well as eating our lovely lunch!), we drove down lanes with snow banked several feet high on either side which had obviously been cleared a by a snow plough; here, however, although we added another inch or so to the snow I showed in my EOMV views we have got off very lightly compared to the vast majority of the UK. Now, changes are afoot: after a foggy morning yesterday the day finished with rain and temperatures up to 5°C and by the time this post is published on Monday morning the snow will be all but washed away.

You may have seen from yesterday’s post that I planned to unearth some Tête à Tête narcissi for today’s vase; this little clump is in a bed outside the front door which faces east and gets the sun, when we have it, for most of the morning – but it also meant they got the brunt of the wind and snow, blowing in as it did from the east. Some buds were on the point of breaking before they were buried and there they still were, tucked up safe and cosy under their white blanket.

As the first of this year’s narcissi, they undoubtedly bring with them the promise of spring; witch hazels, however, carry that promise with them for several months

throughout winter and a sprig of Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’ went head-to head with the narcissi to emphasise that point. Ivy, however, is with us throughout the year, ever faithful, never letting us down, loyal to the core, and a scarf of a variegated form was tied around the neck of the old ink pot that contains the blooms, attached with a bow of yellow string (several balls of coloured string having been purchased from eBay to co-ordinate with any hand tied posies that might be made).

Although our snow was minimal, the wind whipped it up and left it in interesting drifts and swirls and eddies around the garden, and the Pot of Promises was photographed wedged into a drift of snow that piled up along the raised bed outside the kitchen windows. The initial show of colour from two of the buds when the narcissi were first picked had become three fully open flowers by Sunday night, so they all may be wearing their frilly yellow party dresses by the time you begin adding your vases to the meme on Monday. Will there be promises in yours this week? Please share them, as usual , by leaving links to and from this post.

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76 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Pot of Promises

  1. Ali says:

    Beautiful. I love all the yellows together.

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  3. Christina says:

    Glad you escaped the worst of the snow. Here the extremely cold wind definitely did more damage than the snow, in fact without the snow many more plants would have suffered. Your vase looks very pretty against the snow. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I agree. I have checked on my rambles today and things like the tracheliospermum are OK (a bitterly cold winter some years ago saw off my previous ones); just frazzled foliage on Salvia ‘Neon’ so we will see how that does in the next few weeks

  4. Alison C says:

    I love to see your promises and your lovely pictures. The ivy is so cheery and, of course, so are the narcissus. Perhaps we will now get some good weather so you can get on with your planning and preps for the open day. It feels mild but all things are relative. How much planning do you do to ensure you always have something flowering?

    • Cathy says:

      It’s about 9 degrees here at the moment, Alison – whoohoo! To be honest, there is no overall ‘plan’ to ensure there is always something flowering, just an optimism that if I grow enough from seed there should be a variety of things in bloom at any one time. This year though, I do want to make sure I have a supply of annuals on standby in pots to add to a border nearer the time if things haven’t filled out – and I am certainly not yet at the stage where I have dense borders throughout the main season although I would love to reach that stage in due course.

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  7. I have narcissus too, but from the grocery store. This weekend we celebrated temps well above freezing after a couple of weeks of those well below and snow that stayed and stayed (but it was pretty). Spring is just about here!

  8. Cath says:

    Brave and pretty in the snow. I hope your weather improves soon. Here is my vase

  9. Noelle says:

    I love the way you posed your vase in the snow…the daffodils are such a lovely touch and with the yellow of the Witch Hazel and variegated ivy..will bring sunshine into the house to dispel the chill outside. I have a little vase despite the weather:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – it is very definitely shouting “Spring is on its way” when I look at it across the kitchen 🙂

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  11. The dimensions of your vase work very well this week, with the witch-hazel pointing upwards, the ivy trailing downwards and your defrosted Tête-à-tête balancing them both out. I have gone a bit March hare mad this week and produced a “strange fairytale”.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ciar – I was going to put the ivy in the pots but it never seems to be growing the right way to pop into a vase so the ‘scarf’ worked really well! I am most intigued by the idea of your strange fairytale….

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Especially creative twist on staging this week Cathy. That looks like a lot of snow to me, do hope it disappears quickly as expected. The narcissus are so sweet, even surrounded by snow their personality shines. Thanks for hosting another Monday vase!

    • Cathy says:

      Honestly, we only had a couple of inches but the wind whipped it up leaving some areas cleared and others banked up like this – and it has almost all gone today, assisted by the rain and the big jump in temperature

  13. Lovely to see those daffs made it into your vase….and to hear the snow will be gone. I really liked how you displayed the vase. A promise of spring against the snowy backdrop. Wonderful!

    Here more snow is on the way with another big storm at the end of the week, but I think at least half of our snow will be gone by then. So winter is not going anywhere just yet, as we will remain buried by lots of snow it seems. I am glad for my indoor blooms this year.

    • Cathy says:

      I remember you telling us about your snow in previous years so was thnking you had got off lightly, until now, that is! I am pleased you have those indoor blooms to keep you going in the meantime

  14. Wonderful contrasting elements – spring/winter and yellow/green. March is coming in like a lion in your garden. I am chilled just looking at it. Things are much tamer here

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  16. Those buttery yellows are lovely! I’ll have to embrace the wild winter myself next time round – hope to do it with as much gardening style and success as you have! For now, though, I have a thoroughly summer/fall coming kind of Southern Hemisphere offering for you.

  17. Peter says:

    Your vase of promise is a most welcome reminder that, even in the midst of your snow and cold, spring is on it’s way. I hope this is the last of winter for you! Beautiful arrangement as always and it looks very nice in front of all that snow. My offering is here:

    • Cathy says:

      I think it may well be the last for this year, Peter, although we are still due some nights only just above freezing in the next couple of weeks, despite higher daytime temperatures

  18. No snow here but a storm is coming tonight. Nothing yet to use from the garden. I’ve never cut branches from my witch hazel as I heard they don’t grow back. Have you noticed that? Your bouquet looks so hopeful in the snow.

    • Cathy says:

      Hope the storm passes you by, or at least doesn’t wreak any havoc. I do only take ‘out of the way’ stems off my witch hazels, perhaps growing very near to the ground or criss-crossing another

  19. johnvic8 says:

    I’m sorry you have had such wretched weather, but you have persisted. Well done.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks John – honestly though, it hasn’t been too bad in our part of the UK but there were some bitterly cold and very days last week

  20. Kris P says:

    That looks like a LOT of snow to me! You pulled together a very pretty vase despite the weather challenge. I hope you get a nice gentle melt soon. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      I was determined to include T a T today, Kris – and the snow in the picture had just been blown there, as we only had a couple of inches altogether

  21. Anna says:

    Oh what a sweet little pot of spring promise Cathy. It surely can’t be that far away now 🙂 Glad to read that snow didn’t stop play and you were able to make it to the NGS lunch. Do you know if this year’s ‘Yellow Book’ is out yet? I always like to buy a copy even though the information is all online. Another little vase from me this week :

    • Cathy says:

      W haven’t got our (complementary) copy yet, so I guess not, although the individual county booklets are. I always liked a print copy too, as you can idle away pleasant hours browsing and planning. It all suddenly seems a lot closer now we have our publicity materials, although our lunch must have been about a month later last year

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Cathy 🙂 It seems to published later and later each year – at one point it used to appear during February half term which in those days was ideal for leisurely browsing. I will still have a look in Waterstones in Liverpool later this week just on the off chance.

        • Cathy says:

          Just looked on Amazon and it seems to have been published on March 1st so presumably it should be available in the shops now too

  22. Cathy is very happy to know that the weather is improving and that the snow is disappearing. Your vase is beautiful against the snow. The Daffodils of Tête à Tête I love that on Sunday night they were open. Variegated ivy is the perfect scarf for flowers. The Hamamelis “Arnold’s Promise” endured like a champion. In an original and beautiful bouquet and the color of the daffodils announces the expected spring. Greetings from Margarita.

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  24. Sam says:

    I love your little pot of promise – spring will soon be here! All the snow has disappeared here, has it where you are? I’m quite glad… Here’s my vase for this week:
    Thank you, Cathy. Sam x

  25. Alison says:

    We’ve been hearing about the Beast from the East wreaking havoc all over the U.K. and Europe this past week. I sure don’t envy this last blast of winter for you, I dislike snow so much. Glad it is now fast disappearing and you’re warming up. Love your little arrangement, I wouldn’t want to cut a single branch from my small Hamamelis, it has grown so slowly since I planted it several years ago. My Narcissus are only just nosing their way above the soil. My contribution to the meme is here:

    • Cathy says:

      I am very economical with my witch hazel trimmings, Alison! Here, there is usually a gap between the crocus and these Tete a Tete but this year they are going to overlap

  26. Chloris says:

    Dear little Tete a tete, such a cutey and she can cope with snow, unlike taller daffs. I like your pot, is it an old inkpot?
    I have apple blossom this week.…e-blossom-time-2/

    • Cathy says:

      And they show no sign of getting tired of coming up each year, either. Yes, it is indeed an inkpot, one of (very/too?) many. Apple blossom?!!

  27. Those poor tête-à-tête how amazing and resilient they are. My garden is under water and I am trying not to worry about what I might lose. My flowers are joining you

  28. ‘Tête à Tête’ is a remarkable variety. It looks great, lasts for aeons, cheap and comes up year after year. It also flowers at different times depending when I plant. No problem with the weather. It will pass the test. (I think.) I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses it.

  29. Cathy says:

    I am glad you managed to find some flowers in the snow this week Cathy! Ours is also melting, revealing some snowdrops and two crocuses… couldn’t bear to pick them as they don’t last longer than a few hours, so maybe next week… 🙂

  30. LisaDay says:

    I feel if I look closely I may see some plants pushing through the dirt, although it might be a tad early.

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  32. karen says:

    Don’t the flowers stand out well against the snow. I’m glad to see the back of all that bad weather though. It’s been a nightmare for the girls trying to get back and forth along the roads. I felt so happy to see the hellebores lifting their heads from the frozen ground. Aren’t flowers and plants just amazing. The yellow hamamelis came through unscathed, but the orange ones shrivelled and I think that’s their display over for this year. Here’s my IAVOM, a day late due to the internet.

    • Cathy says:

      The hellebores here were absolutely delighted to be free of that cold and like yours are working towards being at their best – and the garden feels so vibrant and refreshed

      • karen says:

        Looking around the garden, you would never know we have just come out of such freeze. All the flowers have picked themselves up from the ground and are flowering away, unconcerned. The snowdrops are lasting for much longer than usual.

        • Cathy says:

          I agree, Karen. My named snowdrops were beginning in January and most are still blooming now, whikst the natives are only just at their peak now

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  34. This is my first time joining this discussion, but here it goes! I added a note and link at the bottom of my post, but I left the title alone, as I published it earlier today.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for joining Terri and sorry to be ‘late’ in replying – Monday is such a busy day with IAVOM and I tend to have a break from my laptop for a day or two after that!

  35. Also, I apologize, I had it in my head that it’s Monday, when it is already Tuesday!

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