In a Vase, on Monday – moving into late spring

The early spring blooms have long gone and even the foliage of some has already disappeared. Late spring here means warm temperatures (relatively – it hit 15 or 16 today with patchy sunshine), flowering shrubs (fruit trees, serviceberry and some spirea have just started) and late spring bulbs. While some varieties of tulip and daffodil have come and gone, the fragrant Narcissus Quail and this unknown sunsetty-coloured tulip hybrid are still going strong. Just starting this week is Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’ – also called, for some reason, Summer Snowflake. Personally, I think it looks more like a giant snowdrop. Or Lily of the Valley.

One thing I love about this tulip is the creamy yellow margin of its leaves. You can see that here, a bit, in this shot of the ‘back’ of the vase:

My Ikebana vase today features another tulip – this one has a smallish lily-flowered deep red bloom, possibly ‘Aladdin.’ There’s only a half dozen or so in the garden and they don’t last long, but looking at the colour, especially in the sunlight, is like looking into a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Or possibly Merlot… I’ve paired them with Narcissus Hawera – perhaps too large a difference in blossom size, but I love the colour combo.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting IAVOM and giving gardeners around the world an opportunity to share their flower designs. It’s a holiday in Canada today, as we celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday – she would be 201 years old on Sunday, if my math is correct. My mother, on the other hand, is a sprightly 84 today. Happy Birthday mom!


  1. Do you have coral snakes? They’re characterized by their bright red and yellow bands, and there’s a little cautionary verse for snakes with the red and yellow touching one another: “Red and yellow, kill a fellow.” In this case, your combination of red and yellow is killer — but in quite a different sense. All the combinations are beautiful.

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  2. That sounds like our current weather -15 or 16 with patchy sunshine. What a warm vase you have given us today – it really glows. Thank you for sharing it, especially as I have practically no tulips left

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  3. Very lovely vases Chris. Your photos and tulips are rather moody and hauntingly beautiful, catching the afternoon light and casting shadows. You’ve captured the brilliance of spring in those red tulips and bright daffodils.

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  4. Very pretty! I also think Leucojum aestivum looks like a giant snowdrop. Here in southern California they bloom in early spring, if at all. I planted dozens of them a few years ago but only got a few, short-lived blooms here this year.

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    1. That’s sad….but you don’t need to lift and store tropical bulbs like I do! This week I’ll be planting canna and calla lilies – hopefully the cannas survived the winter in my damp cool basement!


  5. We have coral snakes in Florida..and I never quite remember the verse and leave the snakes be. Not sure they go as far north as Georgia. Love that green vase and the contents. Storing Cannas blows my mind.

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