In a Vase on Monday – Roses in Winter

Wow, last year at this time I had tulips and hyacinths, no roses in sight. The tulips are still only small, and daily being eaten by a stoat, I think. So there may be none at all at this rate.

While much of the country has had record snow falls last week and some are still without power, we didn’t even have a frost, which was nice for the new twin lambs frisking around the next door paddock. There must have been strong winds though, and the olive branches in my vase are from the olive tree which was on the ground when we arrived.

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cut flowers iris unguicularis

In a Vase on Monday – a mixed batch

My Iris unguicularis is doing so brilliantly! I’m very excited about it – the nurseryman who sold me the baby plant said he grows his under a big Totara tree facing the sun. Mine is at the base of a tree at the edge of a path and it has spread to about 18″ wide after 3 years, and has been flowering since late Autumn. I’ve combined them in the vase with some native cultivars : leaves of the Cordyline ‘Magenta Rays’, and a pink flowered Tea Tree (Leptospermum).

cut flowers with cordyline Magenta Rays

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cut flowers in rain

In a Vase on Monday in the Rain

After two perfect days which were more like Autumn than the first days of Winter, today’s Queen’s Birthday holiday started out with rain. It was a nice day to stay a little longer in bed, but eventually I ventured out to take photos from under the awning on the porch.

iris unguicularis and daisy

Iris unguicularis is flowering, which always reminds me of Beverly Nichols who called her a ‘prima donna’. Luckily, (and touch wood) she seems to like me, although I have only one, rather than 20 as he did. From ‘Down the Garden Path’ :

The best of all is the Iris stylosa, (or the Iris unguicularis, if you are feeling high hat). It is a real sky blue . . . not the deep blue of summer, but the brilliant paler blue of a frosty January day. The lower petals have gold patches in their centres, spotted with purple. If you want a finer flower than this in winter, you had better go and lock yourself up in your greenhouse and sing hymns.

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cut flowers with bees and hebes

In a Vase on Monday – Roses with Hebes and Dichroa

I picked some Hebes to remind me to plant more of them. At this time where the days are short and flowers are disappearing they are welcome food for bees and other pollinators, which made a *beeline* for the Hebes and Chrysanthemums in the bouquet.

roses hebes dichroa and chrysanthemum cut flowers

Hebes are a native NZ plant, so they are tough in our environment, growing well in windy sunny places. They do well on a bank, but don’t cope with wet soggy soils or too much shade. There are hundreds of different cultivars –  from the little green balls of the tiny Tom Thumb to large shrubs with exuberantly waving branches and long white flowers such as I have picked.

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