In a Vase on Monday

If you look carefully, you’ll see little ice cubes floating in the vases in my potting shed today. The jam jars and jugs froze solid. And I was away in London, so couldn’t rescue them. Luckily the flowers didn’t seem to mind. They perked up as soon as the temperature started to rise. These are the very last of my Paperwhite narcissi. They’ve been fantastic value, giving flowers for cutting for three months.

For my IAVOM I have recycled my spring flowers. I’ve cut off the bottom 2cm of each stem, given them all fresh water and added lots of grey willow catkins and hazel “lambs tails.” It looks like it’s a yellow and white theme this week. I haven’t planned it, but doesn’t it look cheerful. We’ve had temperatures go from -10 to 10c in just 24 hours.

Double snowdrops, Galanthus flore pleno, from my “Hodsock” corner are still flowering well. The freezing temperatures have prolonged the display. Every year Mum and I visit Hodsock Priory in Nottinghamshire. We always stay overnight so we can walk in the woodlands just before dusk and again at sunrise -before the crowds arrive. It’s a special treat to have the gardens virtually to ourselves. Each year we buy a few pots of snowdrops for a couple of pounds. And over the years they have spread to make a corner of my garden that reminds me of our special holidays together.

Noticing that I haven’t got many vases, a relative has taken pity on me and donated these little containers. The snowdrop vase has a lovely green glaze. The brown container looks like it is made of wood, but it is actually ceramic. I’ve never seen these type of vases before. I think they date back to the 1920s and were family wedding presents. So happy they have made their way to my potting shed to be treasured for years to come.

I put some moss in the container and added some hazel twigs. It is just perfect for holding a few tiny snowdrops.

The potting shed window has miniature green hellebores this week. The leaf and flower shape looks like Hellebore Corsicus, but I’ve never seen one as petite as this. I love the lime green flowers.

Here’s a quick peek at what it’s been like outdoors here. The farm pond was frozen solid for a week. We spotted a kingfisher on an overhanging branch staring intently at the water. Many of the garden birds came closer to the house during the freeze. A little gold crest has been roosting in the potted acer by the back door all week. I’ve fed it mealworms and crushed sunflower seeds saved from the veg plot.

And the gap in the hedge view. I didn’t linger long. There were hares racing across the field and pheasants in the ditch.

Today, there is no evidence of wintry weather. I feel like I’ve stepped from one country to another – a much warmer one at that. 7c feels positively balmy after what we’ve been though. And the willow catkins give us hope.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting the IAVOM meme. Why not go over and see what Cathy and all the others are growing in their gardens and cutting for their flower arrangements this week.

How has your garden fared in the bad weather? As you can see, I’ve written it on a Monday, but not managed to post it until today. Our internet is on the blink again. BT no doubt will blame the snow. Have a good week all of you.

43 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday

    • Thank you Cathy. I’d never seen one before. Smaller than a wren. Such a pretty bird. In desperate state as so small and no reserves. Seemed to know I wanted to help and let me feed it. It stayed near the house until today. Cleared up all the scale insects on my standard holly bush as a thank you. Made me smile. x

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  1. I’ve just found your blog. It’s lovely seeing the garden slowly coming to life. I like your view through the hedge- ‘hares racing across the field and pheasants in the ditch’ – beautiful. Very different from here.

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  2. Oh what glorious vases full of flowers. You have inspired me to get Paper Whites that I just LOVE! I did have a post up that showed my first Crocuses that opened but unfortunately we got slammed with snow and so my poor babies are buried under it still. Just LOVED to see the willow bud … I have a tree too. Yes, Spring is springing here with just a wee setback. Soon the warmth will be back. Thank you, Karen! 💞🌼💞

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  3. Your potting shed is like ‘The Tardis’ Karen – what a glorious space with so much going on inside its walls. The little pottery log complete with snowdrops and catkins is exquisite. What a lot of lying water on the fields. I hope that the sun gets to work to dry them out.

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    • Thank you Anna. My potting shed is crammed full of stuff. I’m endeavouring to tidy it up a bit. I’ve just tripped over the grass collector from the lawn mower. It’s a shame I have to share with machinery in there. I wish it could just be filled with flower pots :)) x

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    • Thank you Mike. We were really thrilled to see it. Never seen one before. Such a tiny bird, even smaller than a wren. Such a bright yellow stripe down its head. So glad we managed to keep it alive. Sadly just found a dead wren and a poor frozen robin in the garden. It’s been bad for birds here. Have a good day Mike x

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  4. Lovely post, Karen, really enjoyed it. We were only saying the other day that we needed more small vases at the French house. They are all here in Sussex at the moment where we have few surfaces on which to put vases. There’s something special about one or two stems in a small vase. May spring continue its onward march for you!

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    • Thank you. It’s such a quick and easy way to make a few arrangements, isn’t it. It’s been the most glorious day today and although I’m piled up with work, I took most of the day off just to mooch in the sunshine and examine emerging buds and just enjoy the first signs of spring. Hope spring continues its march for you too 🙂

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  5. Karen the photos are magnificent. I am very glad that the cold wave has passed and temperatures have risen and you feel that everything has returned to normal. Although the pond remains frozen. To go to your Shed is to enter a world full of wonderful flowers and lovely books. It is curious that the vases with ice cubes and flowers inside, the flowers are not spoiled when the temperature rises. The Paperwhite Narcissus I love and how hard its flowering lasts. The catkins of gray willows and hazel “lamb’s tail” are precious. The full flower Galanthus are beautiful and even more if they are bought on trips with your Mother to Hodsock Priory: you will have beautiful memories. Your Hodsock corner is a meadow full of really beautiful Galanthus. The container that looks like wood with the small winter bells and the hazel branches is wonderful. The rest of the flowers that you have on the table, yellow tulips and if I’m not mistaken, yellow daffodils opening are beautiful as the basket. The Hellebore Corsicus is very beautiful. You fed the little bird that was protected in one of your bushes: you have a heart of gold. The snow on the outside is a memory. The birds have had a very bad time and I am sorry that you find your lifeless robin friend. But Spring is near and is a symbol of new life. Greetings with love for your Mother. Karen a lot of love and take care of yourself. Greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you Margarita. A wonderful summary of my blog. It’s always appreciated. Thankfully we had a nice sunny day today. All the birds were singing. I was working right next to a hedge alive with little sparrows. I’ve never heard such singing. It was a celebration of survival. Greetings to you and your family. Hope you have weathered the storms too. Love from karen xx

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  6. What a lovely routine your Hodsock visits are – and what a nice idea it is to bring a little bit of the place back with you each time. I can offer you some native snowdrops from my garden but would it upset the energies of your Hodsock corner? Your vases look as if they might be Sylvac and are brilliant for your spring blooms. What are the tulips? Clearly a species variety. Lovely to see the wider views from your garden again, albeit wintry!

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    • Hi Cathy, I would LOVE some native snowdrops as a reminder of our visit to your garden. I’ve just realised, I’ve got an Easton Walled Garden corner, an NGS open gardens patch, a friend called Jane patch. My whole garden reminds me of my Grandfather Ted Foulds who brought little pieces of his garden each week. And my cut flower patch is shared with my Mum. So my garden really is more about people than plants. I’m looking up Sylvac now. And the funny little log has the name Hillstone UK stamped faintly in the base. It’s a bit milder here today. We haven’t had the threatened return of the snow – yet.

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  7. Lovely pictures, so cheering to see the spring flowers on a cold day. The log vase reminded me that my mother had two of these but they were white. I loved them as a child – ideal for small flowers. Unfortunately when I cleared the house after she died they had gone. Probably to a charity shop! I think they may be from a later period than you suggest unless, of course, you have an earlier example.

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    • Thank you Christine for your kind comments. Spring flowers are a blessing with all this foul weather. The neighbours have some little grandchildren that sometimes come here and gather flowers from the garden to make mini arrangements. I think these vases will be perfect for them to use. What a shame about your mother’s vases. I’m looking on the internet for details of these vases now. I’d love to know their history. All the best. Karen

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  8. Your potting shed is a magically beautiful space. I love your arrangements and your new vases. So glad to hear that your weather has warmed up. Come on spring, we’re all ready!

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    • Thank you Peter. The weather has warmed up- but now we have floods! I agree- come on spring, we are more than ready! All the best with your gardening. Karen

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