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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English Roses and gladiolus cut flowers

In a Vase on Monday – Coral

I read somewhere after I bought it that the Rose ‘Benjamin Britten’ is an odd Coral red, and it is really. The petals are a lipstick orange shading to red when the blooms are opening, changing to pinky red lipstick and yellow when open. I thought it was going to be a pure light red, but I don’t regret it. I love the scent, and it has done well on a clay bank where others have struggled.

Benjamin Britten Rose

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Roses in a jug inside

In a Vase on Monday, Strawberry Hill and Comtesse de Cayla

It’s terrible when the iPad tries to help with spelling plant names. Something which normally seems so clever just falls apart when it hits a name like ‘Cayla’. Zoe Victoire Talon, the Comptesse, lived 100 years before the rose was bred in 1902 by Guillot (I have to fight to keep this from becoming ‘guillotine’). Her picture shows her looking elegant and refined like this rose.

Roses Strawberry Hill and Comtesse du Cayla

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tulips angelique asahi camargue

In a Vase on Monday – Tulips!

I was excited to arrive back at the garden and see all of the new tulips out and drifts of Thalia narcissi under the citrus trees. Friends were having a memorial so I made one vase with mostly pale colours: Tulips White Liberstar and Camargue, Freesia Symphony, Iris Apollo, Narcissus Thalia and Early Cheer, Lupins, Scilla, Iceberg Rose, and Hellebore x sternii.

cut flowers memorial

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acidanthera dahlia coreopsis tropical milk weed cut flowers

In a Vase on Monday – all sorts

I actually planned my vase this week, but I didn’t follow the plan, and then my next plan didn’t work out. I was going to make a vase with Magnolia grandiflora. The big white blossoms have been catching my attention with their lemony exotic scent as I’ve walked past. And then I discovered that the first of the Acidantheras were flowering. I’ve been waiting for these for ages. AKA Gladiolus callianthus or Gladiolus murialae these are related to Gladiolus but scented and triangular with a dark purple throat. Continue reading “In a Vase on Monday – all sorts”