Today we have had sun and what a difference it makes. It’s been a joy to work outside, buds are budding, birds are singing and snowdrops are carpeting. Tomorrow it is all going to turn to worms with ice and snow so I’ve been putting hairnets on my vulnerable plants and getting on with my winter tidying. And it was heaven out there. I wanted to pick some flowers for a Monday vase but after grubbing for hours I can’t walk another step so here are some I prepared earlier.
In the spring I am not too keen on forsythia. If I’d never seen it before I would probably think it was amazing but the stuff is ubiquitous, you find it in every suburban garden and it is such an unforgiving acid yellow. I have dug loads up here but I have left a huge bush by the big pond, a part of the garden you never see because I haven’t done anything to it, apart from planting a variety of bamboos. I keep this one forsythia because in winter it is fun to pick armfuls of it and watch the flowers opening indoors, it is such a welcome sight in January.
With it I have some pink flowering currant, another plant you see everywhere in spring. Some people can’t stand the smell but I quite like it, like Proust’s hawthorn which he spent so many paragraphs describing, it reminds me of childhood. You probably know the magic trick of picking pink Ribes sanguineum and getting the surprise of pure white flowers opening up in the warmth of the house.
I do have a lovely white flowered one called ‘White Icicle’ but this is a dark pink one.
I also picked some twigs of the Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’ which has claw- like buds opening into black catkins with red anthers. As the catkins mature they are dotted with yellow pollen.
I finished off with some sprays of orange Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’.
I picked all this last week and it has been lovely watching the buds unfurling. The white jug is Portuguese and I bought it a few weeks ago. I can never resist a jug or ewer as the Americans call them. Who knew? The things you learn when you blog. Looking at the photograph it occurs to me that the white jug would look lovely with masses of white flowered Ribes sanguineum, so I shall pick some for next week.
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who has gone for fragrance in her vase this week. If you pop over there you can find out what all the Monday Vase fillers have been up to.