In a Vase: Winter Meadow

monday vase, close up

Here in the desert, 2018 has arrived with a rather drastic swing between daytime and nighttime temperatures.  Most days reach shirt sleeve warmth with nights a good deal colder, a few (to the hearty disgust of my tropicals) near freezing: a differential of thirty degrees (Fahrenheit) and more.  


So it is the hardy, winter sun-lovers that are in bloom right now: Senna nemophila and lavenders, Tagetes and desert milkweed.  And a handful of narcissus.  Combined, they make up the first vase of the new year.

monday vase

Senna nemophila has been flowering for weeks, its bright yellow blooms releasing their nearly chocolate smell as I walk by.

senna nemophila

Even more fragrant is Narcissus "Autumn Colors".

narcissus autumn colors

Then, with a much spicier scent, there is Tagetes x "Gold Medal"...

tagetes x gold medal

Also Lavandula x intermedia - that most fragrant French lavender - and Asclepias subulata with its strange cream-colored blooms on long, naked gray stems.

asclepias subulata with lavandula x intermedia

At the last minute I added some tufts of Artemisia x "Powis Castle". 

artemisia x powis castle

The vase was handthrown in a teardrop shape with a narrow mouth.  


The finished vase has a meadowy look, all the more so with the green pods and wispy leaves on the Senna. 

monday vase

Now pictures from the garden.  When I first cut the flowers, I left them outside in some water for a few minutes before bringing them indoors.  The bees, nothing daunted, continued to work on the cut lavender.

But I brought it all indoors, where I can enjoy the whiffs of fragrance floating around the room.  After all, there is still plenty of lavender outside for the bees!


Thanks to Cathy for hosting In a Vase on Monday at Rambling in the Garden - especially on this very first Monday of the year!

monday vase

Weather Diary: Sunny; High: 72 F (22 C)/Low: 38 F (3 C); Humidity: 12%-55%

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Comments: 8
  • #1

    Cathy (Tuesday, 02 January 2018 05:36)

    Definitely a meadow look, Amy - and how bright and cheery for the first day of the year. I have not come across that narcissus before and don't know if it is available in the UK, but it certainly works well with the tagetes and senna and lavender. Best wishes to you and your family for 2018

  • #2

    Kris P (Tuesday, 02 January 2018)

    It's a charming arrangement, Amy! Meadow-like compositions are something I adore but I've never had the material to achieve, although maybe I'm not thinking creatively there. I love the Senna and think I need one like yours.

  • #3

    Cathy (Wednesday, 03 January 2018 08:00)

    Lovely to see such fresh spring-like flowers Amy! Happy 2018!

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 05 January 2018 11:07)

    Cathy@Rambling in the Garden - Yes, I was happy with all those cheerful yellows to begin the year. ;-) The narcissus is one which I purchased from a grower in California who supplies low-winter-chill bulbs. He has an assortment of hybrids of Mediterranean species narcissus. I would imagine they could take a few degrees of frost, though! Thanks and happy new year! :)

  • #5

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 05 January 2018 11:11)

    Kris - I have some rather wild and wispy growers, which tend to make a meadow or cottage look whether I intend to or not... ;-) That Senna has been extremely care-free here, though it took over a year to establish. I always love your Senna as well - what a wonderful set of arid-climate plants!

  • #6

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 05 January 2018 11:12)

    Cathy@Words and Herbs - Thank you so much! Wishing you a fabulous 2018! :)

  • #7

    Brian Skeys (Friday, 05 January 2018 14:08)

    The yellow of the narcissus and the blue of the lavender are a winning combination that would not be flowering together here in the UK.

  • #8

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 05 January 2018 18:05)

    Brian - I'm still mildly astonished to see them together here. But it seems that a fair number of lavender species are more or less (and rather more than less!) everblooming if winters are sufficiently mild.