In a Vase on Monday: Testing, Testing

I was tempted by all sorts of delicacies for today’s vase – tiny emergent scillas, the first Anemone blanda, various primula/polyanthus, and even some tulips which were eagerly reaching out for Sunday’s warmth and sunshine – but either there were not enough blooms (tulips, scillas and anemones) or the stems were too short (primula).

However, completing my morning ramble took me past Daphne mezerium ‘Rubra’ with its breaking buds and flashes of purple and in seconds the purple was picked up in a stem of Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’, a dark leaf from Lunaria ‘Chedglow’ and a few pieces of ‘Mondo grass’ Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’. Completing the set was a twig of a cultivated pink hawthorn, its buds swollen and ready to pop. Having enjoyed watching the wild plum flowers open from a bare twig placed in a vase, I decided to experiment further and bring a full stem of this hawthorn inside as well as the smaller snippet, to see if it can be encouraged into bloom earlier. I have also tested ornamental quince, chaenomeles, but without success, an interesting result bearing in mind how long it takes for their buds to open on the bush (in my garden, at least).

Not testing my creativity skills very much, the petite stems were simply placed in one of the batch of redundant test tubes I bought from eBay a couple of years back, and accompanied by two more in different sizes.

This week’s indecisiveness is subtly indicative of the reawakening of the garden, but currently the number of gardening tasks seem to be increasing at the same rate as the amount of time available to do them is decreasing. Hopefully this week will be rather less busy and enable inroads to be made but, even so, having A List has suddenly become a necessity rather than a useful tool.

What have you been encouraged by in your garden, or tempted to pick to bring inside and admire at close quarters? As always, it does not have to be flowers, and it certainly doesn’t have to be popped into a vase, as many of you have shown us over the years. Please share your finds with us if you like by leaving the usual links to and from this post.

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73 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Testing, Testing

  1. Pingback: Primroses in a Vase on Monday | Wild Daffodil

  2. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Spring! | Duver Diary

  3. When I first saw your photos I thought you still had snow. I have been enjoying the emerging Spring flowers and the clocks going forward is always a moment to celebrate – here’s my way of celebrating – Happy Springtime blessings to you and all your wonderful followers!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh gosh no, no snow, but I realised belatedly that the white background wasn’t the best choice! And yes, it certainly feels like spring here, with two gloriously sunny days which of course our solar panels have loved! Thanks for your kind words, Sandra, and all the very best to you too

  4. jenhumm116 says:

    What a fabulous blue! I bought Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ a few years back, but it disappeared without trace. And I love your little test tubes – takes me right back to A level Chemistry!
    Here’s mine – as you say, all of a sudden not only are their much richer pickings but there is suddenly LOTS TO DO.
    Thanks, as ever, for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      The test tubes were a real bargain Jen, and there are so many creatve things that I could do with them but of course other things get in the way 😉 Interesting to hear about your Blue Ensign as my pulmonaria haven’t really been thriving recently – I wonder if it has been too dry, although in the woodland edge border they do get a lot of competition ps our new bee cocoons came today. Have you had yours yet?

  5. Anna says:

    Oh it seems that everything has gone woooosh overnight Cathy and having a list is absolutely essential. Having said that the list seems to grow not diminish. I love the colour contrast between the pulmonaria and the daphne. I have ‘Victorian Brooch’ too – I wonder how the name came about. A simple pick and plonk from me this week here :

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed, and prioritising will be important – difficult when there is an exciting Project underway! This is the first year that the daphne has had more than just a few flowers, so I was happy to cut a sprig

  6. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: A floral bird bath – Carrots and Calendula

  7. The pinks and purples work really well together in this vase Cathy. And I completely agree with you about multiplying garden jobs and decreasing time in which to do them! Here is my vase/ bird bath for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ciar – The Project is currently talikng priority but there is some serious pruning to be done before our green bin is emptied on Wednesday!

  8. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Feels like spring – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  9. Christina says:

    I’m glad spring is arriving for you as it is suddenly today here too! It is lovely to have a choice of things to pick rather than just being lucky to have something to pick! Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh indeed, and I was SO tempted by the tulips but there were only 2 in bud so far – these ones were planted in pots years ago and keep returning although sadly I don’t know what they are. Perhaps next week?

  10. pbmgarden says:

    How lovely Cathy! I have no luck with Pulmonaria but admire it. Having some choice in the garden again of blooms to pick is exciting. Thanks so much for hosting us each week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I always forget how early pulmonaria flowers, but it usually forms such nice clumps of foliage later that we can enjoy it for much of the year

  11. A sweet posy and a great idea for displaying those tiny flowers with little stems which will be showing up here soon. Still snow covered in most of the garden, as snow melts away from beds a little at a time, we are seeing growth. And cold here so the thaw is painfully slow…the forecast is for a continuation of unseasonable cold through the first part of April. But I will take this slow walk with spring.

    I have a bit of green in my vase to get me going and it’s seed time indoors:

  12. Very purple and I am surprised to say I love the Mondo in there. I could never come to terms with where to use that in the garden. Surprising to me, many things are also emerging here. Here is my vase.

  13. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: spring promise | acoastalplot

  14. Sam says:

    Lovely purples, Cathy. I hope your hawthorn blooms beautifully indoors for you. I have several pruned stems from our pear trees that have blossomed indoors! Amazing, isn’t it? Here’s my vase for this week:
    Thank you. Sam x

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sam, I do too – although the hawthorn is covered in buds and will be a wonderful sight in due course, as it is only in the last couple of years that it has flowered properly

  15. I love the depth of color you used today. It reminds me that spring is not just about yellow and pink and pastels. Alas, still not much happening here so I am focusing on inspiration for the coming season:

  16. Noelle says:

    Pulmonaria is a great plant to have in the garden. I love the way you have brought them together with other material. Its a A+ again Cathy. Here is my contributions this week:

  17. Peter Herpst says:

    Delicious deep colors today. I hope you’ll share the results of your hawthorn test. Many thanks for continuing to host IaVoM! My contribution is here:

  18. Alison says:

    Glad your snow is gone. You chose an interesting selection of deep colors that I don’t usually associate with spring. My IaVoM is here:

  19. Kris P says:

    Your garden is on its way it seems, Cathy! In nothing flat you’ll have more choices than you need to fill many vases. Bolstered by last week’s rain (the last for our short rainy season showing in our long-term forecast), my garden is already there. Here’s my post:

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Wisteria and Irises – T's Southern Garden Blog

  21. Cathy, all your testing had a beautiful result. I hope your hawthorn buds open up soon. Today, my options were wisteria and irises. I planned this arrangement last night, and we’re having a cold spell today so I didn’t stick around outside to look for more options!

  22. Cathy, I’m glad that I finally have good weather and that the garden is full of new life and has plants to choose from for your vase. Your choice today is wonderful. The Daphne mezenium “Rubra” with its purple color I love it. The Pulmonaria “Victorian Brooch” violet is beautiful. The grass Mondo lovely. The branch of white hawthorn together with the leaf of Lunaria Chedglow are the beautiful complements. It is a magnificent vase. And the two smaller empty vases that accompany it in the photo are great. I hope your secret project goes very well. Greetings from Margarita.

  23. Elizabeth W says:

    Love your test tube arrangement, Cathy. Lovely rich colours in the pulmonaria and the daphne. Monty Don was waxing lyrical about daphne this week – methinks I need to look into putting a small one in my garden too. My polmonaria is not in flower yet but there’s lots of shoots promising a good show soon. Hope the experimental hawthorn buds open for you and you can cross it off your testing list. My offering for this week can be found here:

    • Cathy says:

      Ooh, that reminds me that I haven’t watched GW yet as I was out on Friday – something to look forward to. This one is still quite small and presumably is slow growing

  24. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: From Elba with love – Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  25. Annette says:

    This whole spring thing seems a test this year, one for the nerves! 😉 Your arrangement is so pretty and so ‘you’ as always 🙂 This weather and time of year always make me think of Felix Dennis’ poem ‘Blackthorn winter’, it’s delightful. I’m tempted to plant a Daphne but haven’t yet made up my mind which one. Here’s my vase, timid little go at spring: Happy Easter to you and the Golfer xx

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t know that poem, Annette, but feel as if I ought to and will definitely look it up. And yes, it’s an odd start to spring so far but in a few weeks we will have forgotten all about it in our excitement about the delights of our gardens 😉

  26. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Sunshine and Smiles | Words and Herbs

  27. Cathy says:

    Ooh, Pulmonarias! Love them – and the Daphne too. 🙂 Test tubes with flat bases are a good idea. I hope the hawthorn opens indoors for you Cathy. We are tiptoeing into spring, slowly but surely at last, so I have a vase this week too: As always, many thanks!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy, and using the test tubes this time reminds me of all the creative ideas I had when I first got them but haven’t got round to yet 😉

  28. Alison C says:

    How lovely to have a choice of things to pick and it’s not all covered in snow. Daphne is an absolute favourite, I’m hoping for flowers on mine. I love the test tubes, perfect for little things and I look forward to seeing how the hawthorn comes out. I have some so I should try too. x

    • Cathy says:

      It wasn’t a huge choice, and they were mostly teeny tiny, but a choice was definitely needed so that is progress as far as spring goes 😉

  29. magpiesue says:

    Thank you so much for starting/hosting this meme! What a beautiful way to start a Monday. I try to keep a vase of flowers in my personal space but they most often have to come from the store. I have a tiny flower bed just outside the back door but can’t get out to add to it or maintain it the way I’d like. It’s a kindness to be able to see what others have done with their gardens.

    • Cathy says:

      Having a vase with treasures in brings so much pleasure, as we have increasingly discovered on IAVOM. And for those of us who can find material from our own gardens it has made us look at them in a different way. I hope you will continue to enjoy popping in, even if you can’t share a vase from your own garden

  30. Ali says:

    Ah, I love these colours! I missed IAVOM today as I had to work, but lovely to come home to them all!

  31. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday -Snow, and then spring! | Bramble Garden

  32. karen says:

    So cheerful and pretty. Thank goodness there’s some spring colour at last. Here’s my IAVOM. Defeated by the snow last week. But managed to get some flower photos today. Enjoy the sunshine Cathy. Love karen x

    • Cathy says:

      It is so very nearly spring, Karen!! Hope you had the same sunny couple of days that we had on Sun/Mon 🙂

      • karen says:

        Yes, wonderful sunshine Sunday and Monday. Mum and I went to the Botanic gardens in leicester, which are lovely for a Sunday afternoon walk. Dire sideways rain and very cold today.

        • Cathy says:

          I have not been to these Botanic Gardens yet but am sure I will manage it one day! Misty rain here off and on today, which was not helpful for The Project!

  33. smallsunnygarden says:

    It’s lovely how the flowers sometimes seem to gather themselves together for vases… 😉 Mine today did the same, though I knew from the start that I wanted to pick some of my bulbine flowers as they are almost invisible in the border just now, which is another reason to enjoy cutting for indoors! I hope your hawthorn opens well; do keep us posted!
    Here is my vase:

  34. petal & pins says:

    I love little arrangements like this and lovely seeing what the beginning of Spring brings to your garden Cathy.
    Here is my vase

  35. Pingback: Almost in a vase on a Monday……… – Croft Garden

  36. Patsi says:

    Can I put in in a vase? After this past snow storm with many split arborvitaes and broken branches on our one of our Leyland cypress trees … it’s kinda hard to see joy. I know it will get better . Just a matter of time. Thanks for giving me faith.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s one thing about the seasons – we know they all come round again so as gardeners we have every reason to be hopeful. And yes, you could pop a sprig of a damaged branch in a vase…

  37. tonytomeo says:

    Humidity in the home affects forcing. Arid air can dry out buds and flowers that need more humidity. However, I never know which ones will be sensitive to the lack of humidity until I try. Plum works fine here too, but lilac and star magnolia do not.

  38. Bec says:

    This is a lovely vase (and I’m back in O level chemistry too), I love purples and pinks, my vase is all red and yellow (it’s from last week) as life got in the way again. Lots to do in the garden but the tete a tetes are cheering me up. Here’s mine – more time for gardening over Easter if it isn’t too horrible weather.
    Love Bec xx

  39. Chloris says:

    I love posies of spring flowers, this is so pretty.
    A List. Now that would be a good idea. There is one somewhere in my head but it never gets any shorter however much I do.

  40. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Bee Kind this Spring | Views from my garden bench

  41. Pingback: Product Trial : Hopes Grove Nurseries- Hedge-in-a-Box Kit | Bramble Garden

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