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A first 2019 vase on Monday

Joy of joys, my witch hazel is out.  I love its rich golden shred petals, its particular sweet fragrance, and the promise it always brings at the start of every new year.  For me, it is the perfect vase for the first Monday of 2019.
I've decided to add another little vase to my post today!  I was clearing and cutting back last year's plants in the garden yesterday afternoon and there were a few brave little blooms left on the French lavender.  I thought they deserved a bit of limelight before their day is done.


  1. My Lavender has been flowering most of autumn and early winter too, it was one of the plants I missed this morning when searching for material for my vase, so thank you for reminding me to check. Your Witch hazel deserves the vase on its own, it's lovely.

  2. Ooh, your witch hazel must be a good size to spare all those stems, Amanda - and we are all grateful that you have, as they look even better than just just a single one or two. The shadows and background make for some really intriguing photos ps your little lavender vase is sweet too!

  3. The witch hazel is lovely with the little yellow sparklers. I'm so pleased you put some lavender in the vase...I saw some plants in flower on a walk recently and really thought I must have dreamed this!

  4. I LOVE witch-hazel but it isn't something I can grow in my climate. Yours is a sunny specimen and a beautiful feature to welcome the new year.


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A vase on Monday

We are well into the new year now and there are stirrings in the garden.  There are also hangers on from last summer's flowerpots!  I don't care where the colour comes from, as long as it shows and brightens up some rather grey days of early January!

For my vase this Monday, I found a feathery new fennel frond, some marigolds in my raised bed, a few snowdrops, a brave, bright pink geranium, and every garden's stalwart, Erysimum linifolium 'Bowles' Mauve'!
If you have time look back to a Monday vase in December, and then see below!  In the warmth of the kitchen, the horse chestnut sticky buds have come out now, and the bright green spikes of red currant have morphed into delicate white blossoms!

Beloved Bo

I received the saddest of news this evening.  A very beloved dog and sidekick of Tilly's for six years, black Labrador Bo, died on Monday.  She had been suffering from undetected cancer of the liver for a year.    Bo had not been in the care of my daughter for the last three years so I cannot vouch for her life over this period, but what I do know, beyond a shadow of doubt, is that she was the most lovable and devoted of creatures, always happy during the time that I knew her, with a constantly wagging tail.  She and Tilly would race up and down the garden after tennis balls that I hit for them.  Bo was like grease lightening!  And she was mum to a litter of five beautiful puppies.  

After a gap of about two years, I saw her very briefly early last year.  She hadn't forgotten me and attempted to climb on to my lap as I sat in the driving seat of our car.  She then tried to run after the car as we drove off down the drive, very sadly leaving her behind.  That broke my heart.