In a Vase on Monday: Not Early But Still Cheery

The advantage of growing bulbs in the Coop, the lean-to greenhouse attached to the house and kept frost free over winter is that flowers last for weeks, much longer than they would do if they were kept in a warm house; the downside is that they take forever and a day to get to the flowering stage. These Narcissus ‘Erlicheer’ were planted on 25th October and although they have been in flower at least a couple of weeks it would have been good to have had some flowering earlier than this. My annual Peter Nyssen bulb order usually arrives in September so in future I must ensure I plant some batches on arrival.

The above photo looks quite washed out and I apologise for the apparent quality; it may well be having white flowers as the main subject that is the issue although the close up below shows the almost miniature rose looking blooms much more clearly. They are a highly fragrant variety but with a far more pleasant smell than the ubiquitous ‘Paperwhites’. Joining them are three wayward stems of Daphne mezereum and one of twisted hazel Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’. The prop, for better timekeeping in future, is my ‘spare’ watch, discarded in favour of a new one after ceasing to function reliably ever since I accidentally got into the swimming pool without removing it but which has kept perfect time now it is no longer on my wrist!

The availability of material to pop into vases is widening but whilst there are still blooms like these in the Coop it makes sense to use them. Although some North American gardens may well still be in the throes of winter, here in the UK ours are burgeoning and some of us may dare to think we have seen the back of frosts for this year. Whether it be twigs, seedheads or blooms that your garden is offering in mid March, do consider cutting some to pop in a vase and share it with us on IAVOM, leaving the usual links to and from this post.

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50 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Not Early But Still Cheery

  1. Pingback: In a Nest on Monday | Wild Daffodil

  2. I like the sound of highly fragrant white narcissi. I bought some late white fragrant ones from Walkers 3 years ago and they have never flowered – very disappointing – I keep hoping.
    Here’s another one of my ‘not-in-a-vase’ contributions:

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: In Love with Life / Montagsvase: Verliebt in das Leben – Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  4. Annette says:

    Hi Cathy, your arrangement is beautiful, such a pity we can’t smell it! I grew Paperwhites but even I had to put them outside as I found the scent too strong. I should really give Daphne a go, it’d have to be in a pot though to make sure they get adequate moisture. Are you growing any in pots? Shooting white is always a challenge and it’s crucial to get the lighting and white balance right. Your close ups are very successful though and the background is evenly black. Here’s my contribution, a bit of a round up really πŸ˜‰ : Wishing you both a happy week full of sunshine!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – these are a lot nicer than Paperwhites, I assure you! My camera is a semi automatic compact and with so many interests already learning photographic techniques is never going to be a priority πŸ˜‰ Most of the time I am reasonably happy with the results, especially once cropped – so thanks for the positive commentas as well as the advice! I have only had this daphne about 3 years so am no expert although it is doing well so must be happy where it is in the shrub border. I have recently bought a small D Jacqueline Postill which is still in a pot, waiting for another plant to be ousted!

      • Annette says:

        I’ll give them a try and shall grab the next Daphne I see at a plant fair- it’s not easy to come across special things around here but I think if I lived in the UK I’d probabyl be bancrupt by now! πŸ˜€ You’re doing well with the photographs and you’re right-so many interest and not enough time to pursue them all! And you know there are really people out there who are bored!!!

        • Cathy says:

          Yes, and I find it sad that there are some people who don’t look forward to retirement because they don’t know how they will fill their days

  5. Amanda says:

    Your lovely arrangement smells delicious Cathy – I know it does. I can just imagine it! Lovely. My offering this week can’t boast anything floral I’m afraid. Still, I hope that everyone enjoys it, and hopefully next week I will something blossoming to show! Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      Thanka Amanda – I love the pure white frothiness of these blooms, and the fragrance is bearable πŸ˜‰ I am curious about your vase…

  6. Wow so beautiful 🌸😊

  7. Noelle says:

    Your arrangement with carefully grown narcissi is delightful. The cultivation in your Coop is a real coup as they have been protected from gales and heavy rain! Here is my little contribution:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – and the protection from wind and rain is a big boost, allowing pristine blooms. In a year or two there may be some semblance of order in there but at the moment I am just feeling my way and adding things that appeal and seeing how they do. Blooms in winter and early spring are a must, though

  8. Those narcissus are so pretty and I always wanted a Contorted Filbert, always too far south. I hope to try chilling some tulips this year and need to be timely in ordering! Here is my vase, my gardening is roaring along here.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amelia – in some ways we are spoilt having a temperate climate, even though we know there is no chance of groing tropicals other than under cover. Good luck with your tulips – I will try some earlier ones in the Coop for next year

  9. Peter Herpst says:

    Narcissus β€˜Erlicheer’ is so sweet that I can see why you’d want to enjoy its blooms over a longer period of time. The tall vase with straight sides is perfect to hold those stems upright. Wonderful as always. My vase is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Peter – this vase was yet another car boot purchase and perfect for blooms like narcissus (and tulips when they arrive) although I still had to cut the stems a bit shorter

  10. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – suddenly there’s more choice! – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  11. Christina says:

    I have found the difference in temperature between the greenhouse (which receives sun for most of the day) and the Orangerie (which purposely receives very little sun so that it is cooler in summer) is useful to push some plants into flower and delay others. Love your vase today and thank you for high lighting the Narcissus which is better perfumed that PaperWhite. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      And the Coop will always be in shade for part of the day and therefore cooler than outside. It’s going to be a learning curve working out timings – I could of course have started the narcissi in the house, as I did the hyacinths, so it may be worth doing both. The Grand Soleil d’Or that I have used for a previous !AVOM is an acceptable fragrance too

  12. bcparkison says:

    Pretty. I don’t mind the smell of paper whites and love the combo of green and white.

  13. Kris P says:

    These Narcissi were worth waiting for, Cathy. They’re lovely. Unlike much of the US, my area of the country moved from unusually cold to almost summer-like since last week. Flowers are everywhere. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed they were, Kris. Would you expect such dramatic changes so quickly, Kris, or has it just been more cold than usual? I always enjoy your blue vases so am off to see what you have this week…

      • Kris P says:

        Our Santa Ana winds (also called devil winds) are responsible for the sudden weather shift. Hopefully, as they die down, we’ll see a return to cooler, moister conditions, at least for a time. However, the climate is changing and, if the pundits are to be believed, weather extremes will be more likely in the coming years.

  14. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: Purple rain – Doing The Plan

  15. jenmac13 says:

    Hi Cathy, and hello everyone, I hope you’re having a happy Monday.
    I’m enjoying the wave of new blooms from British gardens, this spring is certainly springing and its great to see such variety in vases this week.
    Today I have a collection of purples and blues in a prinknash pot, along with some news from Frome.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen – it is always such an exciting time in the garden, watching and waiting for all those new shoots and enjoying any early blooms

  16. Oh that’s indeed a most enchanting narcissus Cathy and as you suggest the flowers are most rose like in their form. Interesting and food for thought to hear that their scent is more palatable than that of ‘Paperwhites’ which I find overwhelming. I’m not sure whether we’ve seen the back of Jack Frost yet, especially when we have seen so little of him recently. On the plus side though I think that those wretched gales have finally blown themselves out and it is going to be drier this week πŸ˜„ A little bit of twiggery from me today :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna. The BBC weather app shows only one night of 1 degree in the next fortnight, and this weekend the forecasted 1 degree was a few degrees warmer in practice – I am not moving the greenhouse heaters yet though, or taking the bubble warap off the working greenhouse!

  17. Cathy your vase is very beautiful and magnificent today, I love it. The “Erlicheer” Narcissus are perfumed white jewels. The stems of Daphne are beautiful with their small buds open in pink. The braided stem of corylus avellana “Contorta” is wonderful. I love your vase. Your perfume should be lovely. I’m glad that your garden starts to bloom, walking through it should be lovely. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Maragarita and yes, there are so many new things to discover in the garden each time. Hope you will be enjoying yours again soon

  18. I love paperwhites Cathy and those heavily scented narcissi. My pickings are here

  19. Chloris says:

    I agree they have a much sweeter scent. Paperwhites are pretty but they smell horrible. At last the wind has stopped blowing, bliss!

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  21. rickii says:

    The twisted hazel is a brilliant touch…sets off the sweetness of the main bouquet perfectly.

  22. AlisonC says:

    Erlicheer is not one I have grown but I am tempted having seen these. I understand, from my children, that what happened in your photo is that your camera is exposing for the dark parts and therefore overexposing the flowers. I learnt this while trying to take pictures of my black cat! I don’t know if that helps (or if you care!). Your close ups are lovely.

  23. Cathy says:

    The rose-like blooms are very pretty and it seems a sort with nice strong tall stems too. I will have to write this on my list of possibilities for autumn planting. I might even have a greenhouse by then! I drove 100km west on Monday and the narcissi there are in flower… we are on a very exposed hill here though and mine are still tightly shut. Still, there are buds! πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      The stems are tall, and in a pot they do easily get floppy – they would probably be better in a deeper pot where they could be planted more deeply as the roots tend to push the bulbs nearer the surface

  24. tonytomeo says:

    Actually, most of our narcissus and daffodils are finished. There are only a few left. But of course, our spring is typically earlier than it is elsewhere.

  25. Pingback: The Devil Is In The Detail | Petal & Pins

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