In a Vase on Monday -Snow, and then spring!

What a week! Temperatures over the past seven days have gone from -12c to 14c. Luckily nothing seems to have been lost. The snow creates an insulating blanket. Plants can still photosynthesize through the snow. I just gently tap some of the snow-laden branches of conifers and acers. The weight can cause splaying and damage. Here’s a slide show of photos showing my garden from last Monday to today. Flowers are in plant pots and jam jars in the greenhouse and potting shed this week.

My 20-year-old Parwins electric heater has been working full time keeping the greenhouse cosy. A second-hand Alton Cedar greenhouse copes really well with the weather. The wood seems to expand in the winter, excluding any draughts. At night, I didn’t disturb the wrens nestling in a row on the door slider. There were eight snuggled together, keeping warm.

Scented pelargoniums have never been more welcome than on a freezing cold day. I picked some to put in tiny vases for my bedside table.

Iris reticulata bulbs are still in flower. They last longer in cold weather. Such a delicate scent. Much appreciated when there’s a foot of snow outside.

As there’s so few flowers this week, I’m showing some photos of my greenhouse, Polytunnel, potting shed set up. All within a few paces of each other. The polytunnel was second hand from a nursery closing down sale. You can see my Dalefoot Compost piled up in front of the potting shed, all ready for sowing seeds and growing fruit, veg and flowers. I started off some tomato seeds mid week. It’s the first time ever I’ve had to put hot water bottles on the compost bags before sowing seeds.

I’m keen to try this sheeps wool and bracken compost. I’ve been peat free for a while now, but composts have been variable to say the least. Dalefoot promises to be water retentive and cheaper to use, as no added fertilisers are needed. Apparently the bracken is naturally high in potash- needed for fruit and flower production. And the sheeps wool continues to act as a kind of slow release fertiliser during the whole growing season. Dalefoot have given me the compost to try out. As usual, opinions are my own and I’ll give an honest appraisal of the product in due course.

A quick peek in my potting shed and there’s still some white hyacinths, yellow tete-a-tete daffodils, with green hellebores and fluffy willow catkins. This time the vases didn’t freeze solid, thankfully. The view from the potting shed is white over. As is the view from the back door, below.

I didn’t go far to be honest. The roads around here were pretty dire.

But then – thankfully, the temperatures started to rise. And today has been the warmest day of the year.

Hope it’s sunny where you are at the moment.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this IAVOM meme. Why not go over and see what Cathy is growing and putting in her vases this week.

33 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday -Snow, and then spring!

  1. Oh, how nice to see someone appreciating a pelargonium! They sort of get ignored here, and are not very popular anymore. I miss them because one of my old college roommates planted cuttings of various cultivars all over the place, and they grew like weeds!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We had a similar spread of temperatures; from a week ago when we had winds of more than 50 km per hour to yesterday when the mid-day temperature must have been up in the twenties!!!!!!! Lovely to see your set up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Chloris. I like to think it’s helped to keep them alive, poor things. They are so tiny and have no reserves. I put out a month’s worth of bird food in just a few days. Thanks again – karen


  3. It was good to see your greenhouse, polytunnel and potting shed in situ, Karen – you have a lot of growing space there! Were there really icicles on the greenhouse?! 🙂 Your row of wrens sound adorable (we never see more than one at a time here) and it was good to see you have some spring flowers to make you smile even on the snowy days. I will be interested to hear how you get on with the compost

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. I have learned to tap on the door if I need to go in the greenhouse at dusk. Usually there’s a fluttering of up to 10 wrens whizzing past my head. It was so cold, I didn’t dare disturb them. But on a normal night, if I need herbs or flowers, I just let them know. They settle back in there after I’ve gone indoors. Compost is doing well for seedlings so far. I’ll be interested to see if we really don’t need to feed those tomatoes. Will be wonderful if it works. Thanks for reading. Karen x


  4. Karen I am glad that at last the snow has disappeared and the sun and temperature of 14 º C. Your photos are magnificent. Poor Wrens huddled together to keep warm at night by the door of your Greenhouse full of ice cubes. The Pelargonium perfumed with the pink flower is beautiful: no wonder you want to have it with you. The Iris reticulata are wonderful, I love them. Your Polytunnel is great next to your Greenhouse and your Shed, all covered in snow: they look like a Christmas print instead of being in Spring. You have a good reserve of Compost Dalefoot! I do not doubt at all that your opinion on this product will be neutral and honest. What beauty of pots inside the Shed. Divine white hyacinths, beautiful yellow tête à tête daffodils, precious green hellebores and fluffy willow catkins lovely: I like everything a lot. The whole snowy garden is beautiful, but that’s for winter. But there is no snow anymore, it is sunny, the flowers come back and the bees eat of the flowers beginning the rhythm of Spring. Karen I wish you with all my heart that you have these temperatures and this weather for the whole Spring and that the cold freezing and the snow do not return. Here in Spain tomorrow it rains again and from Sunday on another wave of cold and snow comes in. I am still in Madrid wishing to go to the country house in two or three weeks at the most. Karen give your Mother many memories and love from me; and for you a lot of love. Have a good week. Take care. Affectionate greetings from Margarita.

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    • Hello Margarita, thank you for your lovely kind words. I hope that you can go to the country house soon. It will be so exciting to start with the gardening again. I’m trying not to be daunted by everything that needs doing. On the first sunny day, I buzzed around as busy as the bees and fell into bed exhausted. So now, I’ve written a sensible plan of action. Reminding myself of my own words, to concentrate on selected areas and let others go wild. Good luck with your move back to the country. Fingers crossed for better weather for both of us. Much love and many greetings from karen xx.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karen of nothing. They are not kind words is the truth. You are kind and charming. Thank you for telling me that the first day the sun came out you worked too hard until you fell exhausted in bed. I would do the same and then I would be in bed for two days. And I do not want that. I’ll do like you: a list of things to do each day and limiting work hours. You gave me a great idea! Thank you very much Karen. If I do not do that with how bad my lower back and legs are now, I see myself in bed all spring. You know that for me you are my friend 🙂 and I appreciate you very much. Do not work so much in a single day and fulfill your list as I am going to fulfill mine. Love Karen. Greetings from Margarita.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You have some lovely photographs here though it’s all very frustrating. The icicles on the potting shed make a brilliant picture. You still have blooms and scent though. We want to get going but know we shouldn’t. All my seedlings are inside protected from cold and mice.

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  6. Your greenhouse, potting shed, and poly tunnel are a delightful trio, even in the snow! Hopefully that’ll be the last you see of winter this year! In like a lion, out like a lamb, right?

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  7. I enjoyed seeing your photos with a beautiful collection of blooms in the potting shed. The photo with the white hyacinths sitting costly inside and the snow outside, I particularly like. I hope you get some sunshine soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Donna. I do hope we all get some warm weather soon. I’ve struggled to keep warm this winter. It’s been two pairs of socks the whole time! Thanks for reading. Karen


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