In a vase on Monday: red tulips, blue pot

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have a new old salt-glazed pottery crock from the Stuttgart Saturday flea market — just the right size for a supermarket bouquet of tulips.

The market always has a lot of these pretty blue and grey pots, which were made in the Westerwald* region of Germany and range in size from egg cup to several liters.  They are very affordable: normally about €5 to €12 for those big enough to hold kitchen utensils. I haven’t found anything particularly useful online about how to assess their age. The woman who sold me this one pointed out the circular ridges on its bottom as an indication that it was “very old.”  But I’ve seen other pots labeled “antique” (late 19th century) on websites that have smooth bottoms. I think you just have to look for a pleasing pattern and patina combination.

To see what other garden bloggers have put in vases today, please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. She hosts this Monday meme.

*between Bonn and Frankfurt.

The winter garden: Iceland

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The living room of Sigurjóns, carpenter, and his wife, Elin, at Vonarstræti 8, Iceland (possibly Reykjavik), between 1910 and 1930, by Magnús Ólafssonvia The Reykjavik Museum of Photography Commons on flickr (both photos).

I believe you can just see Sigurjóns beyond the doorway in one of the images. Elin must be the woman in traditional dress, and the other woman may be their daughter.

I don’t know if this photo was really taken in winter or not, although the tulips on the table could have come from a greenhouse in February.

In a vase on Monday: Ulm Münsterplatz

We were in the really pretty city center of Ulm on Saturday morning, walking around the farmers’ market* in the light snow. Many of the stands were completely covered in clear plastic against the cold. This one was full of tulips and forced cherry blossoms, and I would have loved to buy several bouquets, but they wouldn’t have been practical in our Ibis hotel room, which was comfortable but teeny.

So I wasn’t able to make a flower arrangement this week for the Monday meme “In a vase on Monday,”‘ but to see what other garden bloggers have created today, please visit host Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

*On the plaza in front of the Ulm Münster (church), which has the tallest church steeple in the world.

Vintage landscape: portraits

McCall flower portrait 13, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta“Early Double Tulip: Van de Hoeff,” Alberta, Canada, ca. 1930, hand-colored glass lantern slide by William Copeland McCalla, via Provincial Archives of Alberta Commons on flickr (all images here).

McCall flower portrait 17, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of AlbertaFritillaria Pudica Spreng – Yellow or Mission Bell.”

The photographer, William McCalla, was interested in botany and photography from an early age. He studied at Cornell University in the early 1890s and later worked in western Canada as a farmer, librarian, and Natural History teacher.  While teaching from 1925 to 1938, he made over 1,000 lantern slides of plants and animals as visual aids.

The slides were donated to the Archives by his son and granddaughter in 1982 and 2007.

McCall flower portrait 2, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta“Cross-section of poppy capsule.”

McCall flower portrait 9, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta“How Violets scatter their seeds: capsule open: [capsule] empty.”

McCall flower portrait 16, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta“Trillium sessile: Californicum wats.”

McCall flower portrait 12, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta“Gladiolus Star of Bethlehem.”

McCall flower portrait 14, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta“Mountain Ash.”

McCall flower portrait 15, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta“Phlox Drummondii.”

You can see more of McCalla’s beautiful flower portraits here.

In a vase on Monday: tulips and sweet woodruff

In a vase…, May 23, 2016, enclos*ureThis morning, I combined the tulips that I bought last week at the supermarket with some white sweet woodruff, or Galium oderatum, just picked from a shady spot in our backyard.

The flowers in my arrangements smell lightly of honey, but sources say that as the plant wilts and dries, its leaves will smell like fresh-cut hay and vanilla.

G. oderatum is native to Europe. In Germany, it is known as Waldmeister or ‘master of the forest.’ Traditionally in spring, before it blooms, its leaves have been added to wine to create May wine or Mai Bowle.

For a good discussion of the culinary uses of the herb in Germany — where it flavors jell-O and hard candy — see this article, “May’s sweetest herb,” in the blog Spoonfuls of Germany.

To see what other gardeners have put in a vase today, please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. She hosts this Monday meme.