The Table of Delights

I have what I like to call ‘A Table of Delights’ on my patio.  It is just outside my living room doors and is part of an outdoor table and chair set but being a keen gardener I rarely sit down at it.  However the table is where I put my favourite small plants and I thought I might do a series of posts through the year showing you what is on it.

Over the winter it has been home to a stubby terracota pot of Viola and Cineraria.  I don’t think I wanted any bulbs in it but my memory really isn’t that good.  It’s funny as this simple pot is the best winter display I have and it was created from leftovers of other pots I planted up!.

I prefer Violas to Pansies as they are dainter and I think flower better.  These little Violas have been flowering on and off all winter despite frequently disappearing under snow and being frosted.

Next to the pot is a small wooden tray which appears to be just full of gravel but I can see, if I squint hard enough, that there are Iris Reticulata beginning to emerge.  I am hoping that they will flower as they are bulbs I saved from last Spring and I don’t always have success with getting them to flower a second year.  Time will tell.

The other pot on the table contains my Eranthis Schwefelganz which I bought in the Autumn from Avon Bulbs. As I have been moving a lot of stuff around where my spring bulbs normally are I decided to plant it up in a small  pot and then I could plant it out in the Spring when I had a better idea of where it was going to live.  Then I couldn’t find it.  I had cleared out the old cold frame and been ruthless throwing out pots of plants that had died and I was worried that I had accidentally thrown this out but no there is was the other morning winking at me from the bottom of the new cold frame.  I have put it on the table so I can enjoy its flowers from inside as well as outside.  My only comment is that  they aren’t as pale as I was expecting which is a disappointment.

When these pots have finished I will move them and replace them with something else small and pretty to cheer me up when I am stuck indoors

Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

19 thoughts on “The Table of Delights”

  1. A very nice idea – having the table outside the window where you can easily see the pots. Especially appropriate at this time of year when we gardeners are going stir crazy. I have lost count of the numbers of Iris Reticulata I have lost over the years. Occasionally one stays alive and two leaves come up year after year but never a flower. A complete mystery.

  2. I must say I love your weblog and it´s wonderful to see that you are close to spring over there. Here in Sweden we still have at least two months until we can se any snowdrops or Eranthis.

  3. Lovely container. My goal is to try again to design a couple of lovely containers for the spring and summer. I agree, the Violas are so pretty and do grow so well.

  4. Love the Eranthis Schwefelganz, how pretty it looks nestled in the green leaves. Sometimes the best displays of flowers come about by accident, the violias are sweet.

  5. Robert – I hadnt thought of it like an informal auicula theatre before
    Easygardener – it is really uplifting when it is raining and grey to see the little bright faces of the Voilas just outside the window

  6. Really pretty container, just relying on winter heather for colour at the moment although hoping the crocus bulbs will be in bloom tomorrow.

  7. Violas have always had a place close to my heart. How great that you have featured them on your table where they are easily visible. I like the idea of the changing tablescape through the seasons. The eranthis is gorgeous!

  8. I do something similar on the table outside the sitting room – currently pots of rare snowdrops and a few iris reticula ‘Pauline’ in a pan. It varies though, and I can’t wait for it to be the turn of the Auriculas ( another obcession of mine).

    I am with you on the pansy vs viola thing too, feel the same about crocuses, prefer the small species to the massive dutch types. Although saying that, by the front door I have a manger attached to the wall full of dark red pansies, and deep purple dutch crocuses, and bright golden ivy. It’s so jewel-like even if a little gaudy!

    There is a pretty Viola called Zoë, I used to have it, then the deer ate it – must make an effort to find it again, its not dissimilar to yours in the photo.

  9. Very pretty Helen. I also like violas so much better than pansies. They flower profusely here, and are so pretty. Sturdy in our hard winters too. The one group of pansies I do like is Imperial Antique Shades. I don’t know if they sell them across the pond.

    I’ve never grown Eranthia. Maybe one day.~~Dee

  10. I agree, Helen, violas over pansies every time. I used to have a table at my very shady back door and kept a small fern in a pot there. Now, there is life of a different kind there with a guinea pig hutch. Fun to look out on too 🙂

    From one gardener to another, please do take a seat at your table late in the evening (with a beverage of some sort). The still coming over the garden at that time is a wonderful place to consider your garden ideas and thoughts. I’d highly recommend it, I have seating places all around my garden. I’m planning one for my new pond too 🙂

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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