In A Vase on Monday: Goodbye sweet box, farewell snowdrops… until we meet again

I have missed joining in with Cathy from Rambling in the Garden’s In A Vase on Monday meme for a couple of weeks, thanks to half term and last week a rather wonderful study day at Great Dixter which was a Christmas present from Mr Carrot.

So I am glad to be back today with a simple arrangement of late winter pickings from our garden, in the robin jug again as I feel he is the right chap for this cold snap. The snow has not arrived here yet in Sussex, but is forecast for tonight.


For foliage I have used a sprig of variegated ivy that is growing under our fig tree and a couple of cuttings from the box, or should I say ex-box. This shrub has dominated our back garden ever since we moved in nearly two years ago and I have ummed and ahed about what to do with it.I can see that it must have been planted as a visual divider to make the garden look bigger, but it had been allowed to become very overgrown and was shading the summer-fruiting raspberries growing behind it, not to mention squeezing out the Choisya ternata beside it. I have read that you can cut boxes back hard in late February, so I took out my hand saw and got going. Soon I had gone a little further than planned and taken almost the whole thing down, save the stump and a few branches. It will remain to be seen whether these will regenerate, but I am pleased as I have opened up a whole new south-east facing bed which I can tidy up and turn into a hot bed with red hot pokers and Helianthus alongside the existing purple Buddleia.

Here is the box looking pretty in the snow…
…and here is the X-box!

For blooms I have taken three flowers from our one clump of snowdrops. They are nearly on the way out now and after this cold snap I am going to lift and divide them and replant some in a new shady border I am planning under our west-facing fence. At Great Dixter last week, head gardener Fergus Garrett said that there used to be hardly any snowdrops there, but they lifted and divided those they had until now they have a generous carpet, which is growing every year.

Snowdrops almost over and ready to be lifted and divided.

There are also three crocuses from our lawn. I have tried picking one which had already opened up to the bright sunlight we have this morning, but I don’t think it is very happy about it. The crocuses are the only nice thing about our lawn at the moment. I am waiting until the temperature rises to reseed it and hopefully next year we will have a nice healthy turf for the bulbs to emerge from.

Crocuses, Pulmonaria, Arum italicum and more in our scrappy lawn.

To see what vases others have come up with visit Cathy’s Rambling in the Garden blog.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian Skeys says:

    Mr Carrot is obviously a man of good taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was acting on clear instructions😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. pbmgarden says:

    What a fabulous way to study. The little robin is adorable with your snowdrops and crocuses.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you – we have a real little robin in our garden who hops around after me, so this jug reminds me of him.


  4. Cathy says:

    Haha – the box! And now the X box!! 🙂 As you say, you have created a great visual opportunity cutting it down. Your last gasp blooms are so sweet, and your robin jug is definitely the right sort of receptacle, particularly with the forecasted snow

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The blooms are sweet, but I am loving that darling vase!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Peter Herpst says:

    Thank you for the morning giggle (X-box.) What a sweet way to bid adieu to winter’s beautiful blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. karen says:

    Lovely! Love your adorable vase too. Happy gardening 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Noelle says:

    What a wonderful present…congratulations to Mr Carrot…lucky Mrs Carrot. Nice vase and story….my vase consists of prunnings too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the boy did well and it really was worth it – I learnt so much. Came back feeling much more confident about pruning.


  9. Lovely seeing these sweet flowers as mine are not growing yet…..but they will show up in about a month!


    1. Thank you. Your flowers will arrive soon Donna, not long to wait now!


  10. AlisonC says:

    How lovely to go to study at GD. I visited for the first time last year after reading many of Christopher Lloyds books. Your jug is very pretty with those special little blooms. Destruction is good in a garden and usually opens up new opportunities. You won’t regret it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I would highly recommend the study days at GD. Can’t wait for the warmer weather now to get going on this new bed.


  11. Alison says:

    I have thought occasionally about putting Crocuses in our lawn, but we do have a lawn cutting service, and I fear they would not be kind to them. I don’t like travel, but I would give up a LOT to go have a study day at Great Dixter. Love your sweet robin jug!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lovely, the robin vase is perfect. Sometimes an ex-box is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kris P says:

    I love that robin jug and it fits the snowdrops well. I can identify with the ex-box experience too – it’s so easy to get carried away when pruning…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. tonytomeo says:

    Snowdrops are finally OVER!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are on the south coast of the UK where the climate is very mild most of the year (although we have snow today).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tonytomeo says:

        That’s mild? We have not had snow since about the last Ice Age.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Christina says:

    The designer in me is very sorry about the box; you could have cut it back to a manageable size in tow or three attempts. Box is so threatened by blight and the box moth it is sad to remove a healthy one. Love how you’ve used the last of the snowdrops and crocus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you’re saying but we inherited a lot of overgrown shrubs and I want to make the garden my own.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christina says:

        That’s a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

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