to hellebore and back (in a vase)

DSC_0014

I’ve never been big on Hellebores but I do understand the mania. It’s the only thing going on out there for the longest time.

DSC_0013

If I had a wall where I could walk by and look up at them, they would no doubt be faves of mine too. Their nodding habit makes them disappointing in a garden where I look down on them (in more ways than one). Lots of people float the flowers in a bowl, where their beauty can be appreciated.

DSC_0012

I haven’t enough of them for that approach, so I picked a couple of the first stems and one leaf (it is the foliage that wormed its way into my garden). The cute little bottle was once filled with balsamic vinegar, now repurposed as a kind of bud vase. There is a pony wall around the stairs in our dining room so I could place the little arrangement where, when seated, we could look up into the heart of the flower. Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) has used Hellebores in a much more flamboyant way you won’t want to miss.

a witchy vase

DSC_0025

Another Goodwill vase serves as the base for some branches of Hamamelis ‘Diane’. Almost as an afterthought, I snipped a branch of catkins from a volunteer hazel.

DSC_0024

One branch of Rainbow Leucanthoe picks up the red of ‘Diane’ and some Euonymous ‘Emerald and Gold’, sporting its winter blush, fills out the base.

DSC_0020 (1)

I was complaining about ‘Diane’ being not very showy but I was being impatient. The strappy petals have elongated over the last week. If I stick my nose right in there, I can even detect a slight citrusy scent.

DSC_0028

So ‘Diane’ is back in my good graces (even rates a close-up) and I still have ‘Early Bright’ to look forward to, even if the “early’ bit is misleading.

DSC_0030

I couldn’t get back far enough to get a good shot of the whole shebang, so here’s a look at the catkin branches.

DSC_0029

Now scoot on over to (Rambling in the Garden) if you’d like to see what Cathy and her guests are finding to put In a Vase on Monday.

you wanna talk grey?

DSC_0001

The title of Anna’s (Flutter and Hum) Wednesday Vignette this week is In Pursuit of Grey. We were wandering around downtown the other day, when I was moved to take some shots that celebrate grey. The above gnarly tree roots bordered by cement on all sides is in NW Portland near Fish Sauce restaurant (which, unfortunately, was closed between lunch and happy hour but it’s a favorite of my son).

DSC_0002 (1)

We parked across the street (anticipating a yummy late lunch that was fated not to be) where I spied this pebbly wall criss-crossed by climbing Hydrangea vines.

DSC_0004 (2)

There was evidence of leafy goodness to come, but in the meantime I was charmed by the symphony in grey.

snowdrops in a vase

DSC_0001 (3)

With apologies to all those for whom “snow” is a four-letter-word of a different magnitude about now. This little copper frog is pretty excited, it seems.

DSC_0011

I’m not sure that our snowdrops will ever amount to anything that might be called a drift. Not only are their numbers insignificant, but they stay closed up outdoors in the cold.

DSC_0005

Bring them into the warmth of the house, though, and they immediately reward us by opening to reveal their lovely markings.

DSC_0012

I needed some filler to hold them in place and it needed to be delicate. My only successful Hebe, ‘Quicksilver’ is gradually getting a haircut as I trim pieces to use in vases. It is beginning to engulf the sculpture made by a friend using rusty pieces from salvage yards.

DSC_0006

It still needed a little something, so a few stems of bamboo leaves were just the ticket. Visit Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) to get in on the fun of In a Vase On Monday.

garden bloggers’ foliage day

DSC_0003 (3)

Is it cheating to feature a deciduous tree during its bare season? Maybe, but I do love this little weeping birch tree.

DSC_0001

I’m not crazy about its placement right outside my studio window. Once it leafs out, it obscures much of my view of the rest of the garden. That might not be such a bad thing, as it cuts down on distractions.

DSC_0002 (1)

Its most charming attribute just now is the way raindrops gather at the tips of the many branches, creating a sparkling umbrella. Is a second foliage meme overkill? Not in my foliage-frenzied opinion. If you are with me on this, be sure to click through to (My Garden of the Hesperides) to see what Christina and her gang have in store.

wednesday vignette

Phlomus russeliana

Phlomus russeliana

At every stage of life (and death). Phlomus russeliana entertains. This may be my favorite phase…at least until the new flowering stalks show up with their amusing pom poms crowned by a pair of leafy ears. Anna (Flutter and Hum) is winging her way to Sweden, camera in hand. Her first vignette of the trip is a stunner.

in a vase

DSC_0007 (1)

Some of the rose hips from last week have been carried forward (just one stem of the plummiest ones to echo the color of the glass pitcher).

DSC_0009

There are lots of buds on the Viburnums out in the hedgerow. I actually prefer them to the flowers, especially when they catch the light like this.

DSC_0008 (1)

One lonely Abutilon blossom braved the ice and snow to be included here. A sprig of Rosemary threatening to bloom soon completes the picture. Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) is undaunted by snow or any number of misfortunes. She finds something to put in a vase every Monday of the year, and you can too.

foliage follow-up

DSC_0002 (1)

I stayed indoors for my foliage shots this time, wimp that I am. The wonderful marbled leaves on red stems with red veining on the undersides came from Evan at the last plant swap. Maybe he can enlighten us as to its name.

Kalanchloe orgyalis

Kalanchloe orgyalis

Kalanchloe orgyalis is also known as copper spoons. It would take on a more coppery tone if it were to get direct sunlight.

DSC_0008 (1)

Shoddy record keeping strikes agin. I do love this little guy, whatever his name.

Sedum morganianum

Sedum morganianum

It has taken years for this lovely lady to grow her trailing locks of Burro’s Tail Sedum. Be sure to visit Pam (Digging) to see what foliage fanciers have in store for this month’s Foliage Follow-Up.

gbbd, such as it is

Kalanchloe fedtschenkoi

Kalanchloe fedtschenkoi

I see others coming up with blooms in their gardens, look around mine and sigh…maybe next month. The above kalanchloe fedtschenkoi is the closest thing to a bloom I could find and it is indoors…and not quite blooming yet.

hothouse Cyclamen

hothouse Cyclamen

Since I’ve moved indoors, I’m sure you will forgive me for including this Cyclamen left over from Christmas. The little stoneware bird watching over it sits atop a stoneware book whose spine reads “Silent Spring” and its color matches that of the cachepot holding the cyclamen (once in a while everything comes together this way). For the real deal Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, go to (May Dreams Gardens)