Monday Vase: Feeling Spring Close At Hand

February 9, 2015 Rhodie 015


With spring like temperatures today, we were finally able to work a little in the garden. 

We worked outside comfortably all morning, beginning late winter’s  clean-up work.  What a delight to find several patches of Hellebores in bud.  We finally began the cutting away of last season’s leaves, and were happy to find lots of new flowers underneath, beginning to emerge from the Earth.  Is it safe to start cutting back the protection of the large old leaves, now, and let the new growth fend for itself?


February 9, 2015 Rhodie 016


You can see a little scorch already on the leaves on this new stem.  I certainly hope this pruning wasn’t premature.  We only took about half of the old leaves from the largest bed to hedge our bets, and will return for more on the next warm day.

This whole vase has the scorched, wind burned look of our late winter garden.  Even though the branch of bamboo was found well sheltered out of the wind, there are still brown tips visible on some of the leaves.  Such is February.

The bright yellow Forsythia make their third vase appearance in a row, now almost fully open.  Outside, our Forsythia shrubs remain tightly closed; weeks away from bloom.  But these have relaxed and opened in the warmth indoors.

The ivy came from a sheltered pot on the deck, where it has continued growing through the winter months.  You can see from the red veins and dark green leaves that it has frozen many times now, but it continues to soldier on.  I like this cultivar and hope these sprigs will root in the vase.


February 9, 2015 Rhodie 018~

You might recognize this cobalt vase as the one we purchased in December from glass artist John Shelton.  It normally sits in a window where it catches the light, but seemed a good vase to hold this Hellebore cutting today.

If the vase today looks like it got “short-shrift,” you may be right.  We were so busy working on other projects that the wind had already shifted to the north, and the rain begun to fall, before I began clipping for today’s arrangement.  Prior planning may prevent poor performance, but not when procrastination precludes pursuing the plan….

With appreciation to Cathy over at Rambling In the Garden for hosting this In A Vase On Monday Challenge.  Please do visit her site where you’ll see a beautiful arrangement with the first Iris of the season.  Following the many links in her comments will take you on something of a international tour of beautiful flowers, all clipped from gardens today

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015


February 9, 2015 Rhodie 019

Vase by John Shelton of Shelton’s Glass Works in Williamsburg, Virginia.


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

17 responses to “Monday Vase: Feeling Spring Close At Hand

  1. Lovely to see the hellebores with fat buds on them… mine are also budding, but still covered in snow so I shall have to be patient a bit longer!

  2. Blue glass is always so appealing, isn’t it? I love the early spring contents of this – and the ivy is perfect the way it trails and your jasmine has been a real star. Hope spring continues to visit you occasionally!

  3. You have a knack for coming up with some treasures from your garden for this weekly challenge – Impressive! That blue vase is beautiful – cobalt is such a lovely color.

    • Thank you, Eliza. The glass maker is based here in town, and has his work on display at all of the CW shops. A very nice person, too. Not too much longer until the early daffodils will be up 😉

      • Nothing says spring to me like daffs! (Forget tulips, though I like them, the critters love them too much and they peter out after the first year.) My favorites are the tazettas and small cupped, what about you?

        • My Hoods and Thalias. And we are on the same page with Tulips! Such expensive squirrel food! I used to drool over the Tulip pages in the bulb catalogs, but we just don’t have the climate to make them worthwhile. We love that everything about the daffodil is poisonous, which means we get to enjoy them. Our next door neighbor loves daffs even more than we do and has thousands of them on his property. What a sight in spring 😉

          • Wow, how great to be able to enjoy your neighbors daffs without having had to plant them! Maybe post a pic of them when they bloom? I’ve seen photos of landscaped daffs and they are always so beautiful.

            • Our neighbors allowed me to come and take photos last spring. Here is a taste of their beauty

              They’ve planted more since, and I’m looking forward to their unfolding, camera in hand 😉 Best wishes, WG

              • Loved the link. I hope you include a wide shot this year of the whole shebang at once! I love the idea of ‘borrowed landscape.’ 😉

                • Thank you, Eliza. Our neighbors are English, and they love flowers. They had almost given up hope of growing much beyond their poisonous daffodils due to the increasing deer population in our community. Watching us garden gave them new hope, and they have recently planted lots of Lantana and Rhododendron shrubs. They have planted a great deal on their side of the strip between our driveways, and we thoroughly enjoy the show! Their lot is more heavily wooded than ours, as well. But I will keep your request for the larger view in mind as I head out, camera in hand, this spring 😉 Digging out today? We’ve been watching the weather channel clips of those trying to clear snow off of business roofs in MA. It brings to mind the tale of Sisyphus…. I hope they are able to clear the roofs safely. Giant hugs! WG

                  • Sisyphus indeed! Luckily, it is still light and fluffy – if we get heavier snow or rain… yuck! Shoveling roofs is never a fun chore. So many folk have developed leaks from ice dams. Every winter more of our old farm barns are lost to cave-ins – so many are abandoned to nature. I love their weathered boards and it is sad we’ve lost so many working farms.

  4. Many of us are feeling the beginning stirrings of spring – or perhaps just wishing it into effect? I love the hellebores – despite my mild climate, or perhaps because of it, my own hellebores are slow to make an appearance (if they do so at all).

    • I think you’re onto something with “wishing it into effect” But isn’t that the case every year 😉 What season is more longed for than spring? It is always interesting to see in what order flowers appear around here each spring. It varies year to year and from one part of the yard to another. But we do have a few more snowdrops coming on, and we spotted the first Crocus blooming today 😉 Thank you for visiting Forest Garden. Best wishes, WG

  5. I love the feeling of spring in your vase…wish we had spring coming soon but just more snow!

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