Vintage Glassware

Snowdrops

Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring! 

Snowdrops

`LONE Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years! ‘

William Wordsworth 1819 

Today I had a pleasurable outing to Welford Park to see the drifts of snowdrops amongst the woodland. I haven’t got many snowdrops in the garden as the squirrels seem to think the bulbs are nuts and dig them up! However the few I have mark the beginning of a new gardening year. I love the phrase in Wordsworth’s poem `Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring, and pensive monitor of fleeting years.’ The dainty white snowdrop foreshadows Spring and the heralding daffodils and marks the end of one gardening year and the start of another.

Welford Park Small-1

Welford Snowdrops

The common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis runs riot in the woods at Welford.

Welford SnowdropsWelford Snowdrops

 

Welford SnowdropsWelford Snowdrops

Welford SnowdropsFebruary Small-3

February Small-4

Double snowdrop
Double snowdrop
Double snowdrop

Inspired by my visit I bought some snowdrop plants and enjoyed photographing them in a vintage scent bottle which seemed to capture the purity of the white snowdrops. Silver and clear glass work well with white flowers. I chose a Wintery blue/grey background to create an image reminiscent of a cold February day.

February Small-2

Snowdrops

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January Posy

January Posy

A couple of years ago I set myself the challenge of taking a photo of a floral arrangement I had made each month using my garden flowers. I’ve missed the challenge so I’m going to challenge myself to make a `Posy a month’ again.

Last time I used snowdrops for my January Posy. However this year there aren’t enough in bloom to sacrifice cutting for a posy. I’ve opted for primulas and violas. I had a lovely time in Country Market Antiques and Collectables at Chilton Garden Centre last week.  I was able to source vintage scent bottles and buy some plants for the garden at the same time. It’s my challenge so my rules are that I can buy new garden plants to use just as long as they end up planted in the garden after I’ve made my Posy!

Pretty pink posy It’s always pot luck what you find at vintage stalls. I was delighted with the two scent bottles I found together with a pretty ladies handbag mirror. The pink bottle was a bit of a challenge for flowers as it has such a small opening. However I think the few select pink primroses look very pretty with the addition of dainty maidenhair fern.  I chose the Adiantum spp. fern as it is a well known vintage house plant and was often used in bouquets in the Edwardian Era. It also brings out the green at the centre of the primula.

 

Maidenhair Fern by Ippy Patterson

illustration by Ippy Patterson

DUNDEE EVENING TELEGRAPH – TUESDAY 04 JUNE 1912

1912 smilax asparagus fern shower bouquet

 

Primula, primrose or polyanthus? 

Primrose

The botanical name primula covers many different species including auriculas, primroses and polyanthus.  Primroses are derived from the native common yellow primrose (Primula vulgaris) and have lots of flowers on individual stems growing from the centre of the plant. Polyanthus (meaning ‘many flowers’) have a thick stalk with a bunch of flowers on it. My January Posy therefore includes flowers which can be called either primroses or primula but not polyanthus.

Primrose PosyVintage Handbag mirror

My other find was a crystal scent bottle. I was quite pleased with this as the opening was a bit larger for flowers.

January Viola Posy

I do like dainty violas in a pot outside the front door. They really are pretty, frilly and feminine flowers. For some reason I don’t like a pansy! Pansies seem to me to be the bigger, brasher elder brothers of the viola. I came to appreciate the markings and intricate details of violas when I painted this detailed watercolour using one of Anna Mason’s watercolours with wow tutorials.  If you fancy having a go at painting flowers in watercolour I highly recommend Anna’s course.

Anna Mason Viola Tutorial

Having finished the tutorial I went on to paint my own garden Viola purple picotee.

Viola Purple Picotee

Vintage Violas

January Posy

 

 

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