I have recently agreed to give a talk to a garden group next year, something I have never done before and which I am quite looking forward to in a strange sort of way. The group is one that visited our garden earlier and when the visit was booked the secretary asked then if I would be willing to give a talk or if I knew someone who might be; I said I would think about it, but to my relief at the time nothing more was said. A recent phonecall saw the request reiterated and I decided to take the plunge and agree: my talk, I decided, will have the title ‘How to enjoy your garden’ and today’s vase is the perfect example of how to do so in early December.
Combining colour, fragrance, foliage and pure joy at their existence, this glowing vase exemplifies not only the benefits of gardening for all seasons but also of picking material from our gardens to fill vases to enhance the inside of our homes both guaranteed, we have learned, to enhance enjoyment of our gardens. Today’s vase includes yet more roses, fat buds of Lady Emma Hamilton, for which I am indebted to the enthusiasm of Ali the Mindful Gardener who inspired me to add her to my own garden; she has only been here for a few months (Lady Em, not Ali) but already my own enthusiasm for the lady is growing, in part due to her glowing buds, apricot flushed with rosy red, not unlike the crab apples of ‘Evereste’. Joining these jewels is the bronzed foliage of milady (another of her assets), the preciously fragrant blobs of Viburnum bodantense ‘Dawn’ and distinctively patterned leaves of Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’.
Popping these joys into a blue sundae glass, with a little battery operated tea light with a flickering effect as a prop, the vase appears to glow even more than I anticipated when I first chose the constituent parts – December in the garden, and winter generally, may not have the abundance of summer, but it has its own special attractions as well as unexpected joys such as these lingering roses. The notion of creating a garden for all seasons (weather permitting) is just one of the ways I hope to inspire the garden group when I talk to them at the end of February, and the list of ideas is growing.
Creating our vases every Monday has required us to get to know our gardens intimately (‘Get to know your garden’), seeking material every month of the year and looking for inspiration when pickings at first glance appear lean, to enable us to find material to pop into a vase or jamjar (‘Bring the outside in and create a vase’). What have you find to bring you pleasure this Monday? Please share it with us by leaving links to and from this post (‘Dip into a blog’).