May I heartily recommend these flowers as something to grow in your garden if you have room. They are sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis), self-sown from a couple of plants I bought from the market about 5 years ago for 75p each - they've been spreading around gradually and this year I had a bed half-full of them, all for free! I'm sure you must be able to grow them from seed though, well worth it as they should just keep on self-sowing. They are in mixed purple, white and paler purple and are gently scented. But what I hadn't realised was what fantastic cut flowers they make.
These ones have been in the vase two weeks already with petals gently dropping occasionally but still going strong - often flowers taken from the garden can last a disappointingly short time but these have been brilliant. The ferny thing with them we inherited with the garden, I think it's a kind of Thalictrum but whatever it is it's lasted just as well as the rocket.
Other cheery flowers at the moment are these beautiful roses (and Fairtrade, didn't know you could get Fairtade ones) given to me by a friend for my birthday:
I've never had enough to properly fill my grandmother's rose bowl before and it was really nice to put them in it. Monty draped himself around the arrangement for added decoration.
Leo is obsessed with chewing plants, so nibbled on all the ends of any green parts of the roses. He's had to be banned from the front porch, where I have an artificial flower arrangement, because he was chewing the plastic grass and then being sick. Plastic grass. Thought cats had more sense. It's in the bin now. (And yes I had provided a bit of real grass to chew as well, because I'm never quite sure if they need something in grass, although that made him sick too!)
They are settling in well, we have covered our sofas with a ridiculous array of mis-matched throws to protect it, and they seem to be learning to use the scratching post, which shakes when Monty sharpens his claws because he is SO big and strong.
Leo is very helpful and tends to stay with me in the day - here he is helping with filing papers.
He tried to help with cake-making too but I got him a bit floury by cuddling him half way though.
So they are both slowly becoming part of the family and Leo particularly is very affectionate now, which is lovely although of course I miss Archie's cuddles because he was such an unusually snuggly cat, but I think Leo may well be similar one day.
Finally, some words of advice from one of my birthday cards, surely we should all follow this as a matter of principle in any circumstances we may find ourselves in:
3 hours ago