In a Vase: Stars of Spring

in a vase on Monday, iris Pixie Power, narcissus jonquilla Silver Smiles

Like any other season, spring has its stars and its supporting cast in the garden.  There are the little bulbs that can be slipped into the soil by the handful in autumn to supply all the charming miniature blossoms that carpet the borders in spring.  Then there are the big, bold sorts that catch the eye with a single stem.


Today's vase contains two of these latter.  The first is Narcissus "Silver Smiles".  It is not actually so very large, being a jonquilla type, but it is quite eye-catching. (And, indeed, my little strip of border between the walkway and the housefront is too small to house anything very large.) 


First, as they open, the twin-flowered heads hang sharply downward with an elegant poise.  Second, it is a delightfully sophisticated color--silvery petals with pale yellow cups that fade to champagne, according to the catalog.  The very first flower is just now fading as advertised and still has a thin rim of yellow on the cup and a splash of yellow at its base.

narcissus jonquilla Silver Smiles
Narcissus jonquilla "Silver Smiles"

The effect can be seen more clearly in this photo, where three blooms show the succession.

in a vase on Monday, iris Pixie Power, narcissus jonquilla Silver Smiles

The second star is the spectacular arilbred Iris "Pixie Power".  As bearded irises go, it is not so very big either.  But its intricate detail and beautiful color do stop me in my tracks as I am walking past.

iris Pixie Power
Iris "Pixie Power"

I told the story of "Pixie Power" in my last post.  It has continued to flower robustly, and I didn't intend to pick any blooms from it because it is just so happy-making in the garden.  But I decided it would look very nice in with "Silver Smiles", and it is (I think) finally nearing the end of its blooms, though I have thought that before and been quite wrong!  In any case, there will be more irises soon as the first of my heritage irises now has buds.  This will be the old "Indian Chief" from 1929.


So I talked myself into cutting a stem from "Pixie Power" to bring indoors.  Certainly it is well worth admiring up close!


Last week's Heuchera leaves went into another vase so that I could reuse my small "ink pot" bottle again today.  


I hope all of you are staying well and enjoying the season's bounty!  Many thanks to Cathy for encouraging us to bring some of that bounty indoors each Monday!

in a vase on Monday, iris Pixie Power, narcissus jonquilla Silver Smiles

Previous Post: Pixie Power Arrives

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Comments: 8
  • #1

    Cathy (Tuesday, 21 April 2020 01:59)

    The photo of the three narcissi together show the progression really well, Amy - thanks for capturing it, and for being brave enough to cut your iris to join them. They make a delightful combination so thanks for sharing them in your vase

  • #2

    Cathy (Tuesday, 21 April 2020 13:32)

    That Narcissus certainly brings smiles to my face too Amy! I find it fascinating to examine up close flowers I have cut, especially under the camera lens. I think I missed so much before I started participating in Cathy‘s meme!

  • #3

    Kris P (Tuesday, 21 April 2020 15:19)

    I love 'Silver Smiles", Amy! And of course that color combination is magic.

  • #4

    Cathy Thompson (Wednesday, 22 April 2020 01:21)

    Narcissus 'Summer Smiles' is a real sweetie! And the two look perfect together in your ink pot. When I followed your link to the iris story I finally realised how much has been going on in your life recently. Hoping you are more settled and recovering your gardening balance now!

  • #5

    Amy@small sunny garden (Sunday, 26 April 2020 21:39)

    Cathy@Rambling in the Garden - The rest of the "Silver Smiles" are nearly white-white now, with a pale glow at the base of the trumpets. Quite an elegant variety! I was glad I had cut the iris to enjoy indoors, though of course it didn't last long. Outside on the plant there was one more flower before it quit!

  • #6

    Amy@small sunny garden (Sunday, 26 April 2020 21:44)

    Cathy@Words and Herbs - I quite agree. What between bringing flowers inside and taking pictures indoors and out, I'm certain I see their beauty a good deal better. The "Silver Smiles" are still doing quite well and have faded to a very elegant near-white.

  • #7

    Amy@small sunny garden (Sunday, 26 April 2020 21:46)

    Kris - Thank you so much - it's certainly a classic combination, and one which you do so well. I've never been very confident with yellows, but these narcissus would make just about anything lovely!

  • #8

    Amy@small sunny garden (Sunday, 26 April 2020 21:49)

    Cathy Thompson - I am really admiring those narcissus, and they are lasting well in the garden. Quite a good choice despite blooming much earlier than stated in the catalogue... ;-)
    Thank you so much for the kind wishes! We have our ups and downs, but are getting along in our new lives, and it does make a difference to have the garden growing!