The dead and the living

December vaseIt has been a bit too cold to go out into the garden much this week, but I have been inspired to pop out to see what is growing – and what is not – by the lure of joining in with Cathy from Rambling in the Garden’s In A Vase on Monday meme. Even so, I have to admit that everything in this little robin jug is from our south-facing front garden which is a more appealing prospect at this time of year than our north-facing back garden.

To reflect the season, I have included some of my favourite seedheads – dill which has self-seeded in our front garden, and the brown bobbles that were once the bright yellow flowers on our Phlomis russeliana or Turkish sage (I cut off most of these earlier in the autumn, but am glad now that I couldn’t reach the ones at the back).

The large black berries are from our myrtle (Myrtus communis) which produces the most wonderful starry white flowers in early summer, while the smaller black berries are from the Viburnum which is sadly not much longer for this world as I am removing it this winter to make way for vegetable beds out front.

While I still have it, I am making the most of the Viburnum, using the pretty pink and white flower heads. Their juxtaposition with the remnants of the dying year are a reminder that we will soon reach the shortest day, then the days start getting longer again and soon the garden will start coming back to life.

Over at Rambling in the Garden, Cathy has made a lovely Christmas wreath this week, which might even inspire me to make my own – I have always meant to, but then end up buying one when we get our Christmas tree from the magical Wilderness Wood. Maybe this year I will save the pennies and follow Cathy’s lead.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    What a lovely combination this is, Ciar, and clearly shows what opportunities can be found in our winter gardens – the berries are gorgeous and the phlomis seed heeds are such a great shape. I have bought a Phlomis tuberosa which I am hoping will give me these pretty seedheads next year – it has pink flowers as I have never been especially keen on the yellow variety. That’s a pretty jug you have too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kris P says:

    I adore that little robin jug! You’ve done a nice job accenting it too. I love all the dark blue-black berries. I planted a dwarf myrtle 2 years ago which is growing VERY slowly but I look forward to the day it produces those pretty berries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you I love the jug too and can’t remember where I got it! I love our myrtle – hope yours gets going soon!


  3. AlisonC says:

    That is a very pretty jug and just right for the time of year. Your still have plenty of green to show off the seed heads and berries.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    The black berries are wonderful against the evergreen foliage; such a shame that the viburnum is getting the ax. I like the mix of different stages in this arrangement especially in that adorable jug!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – it is a shame about the viburnum but it has got overgrown and is in the best place to grow veg!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bec says:

    Lovely vase – and I love the vibernum in particular. I’ve got a north facing back garden too (in soggy Manchester). I’ve only have a single fuchsia in my vase this week, which grows right at the bottom of my garden, well protected. I was still surprised to find it though. love bec xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dramatic title! A pretty winter posy, though. I am going to look up Phlomis now, those Myrtle berries are a real prize.The robin on the jug probably agrees.

    Liked by 1 person

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