greentapestry

Monday, 20 August 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Seasonal Shift
































Is it my imagination or does today's vase have a decided hint of autumn about it? The fact that the skies were rather dull when I took the photo didn't help matters much. The cooler but much kinder weather has continued and looks as if it will be about this week too. I'm feeling much more energetic and have a long list of both indoor and outdoor jobs to tackle so time for list making methinks. 

In today's 'In A Vase On Monday' are :
  • More of the rudbeckia 'Sahara' mix that I grew from seed earlier this year. The bud that was tantalisingly teasing me last week has now opened and I think that it might be the promised merlot shade. The flowers so far have all been double with the exception of one plant that has single flowers. It's in the vase but is hiding at the back along with a deep dark red dahlia bud. As I wrote last week I think that I sowed the rudbeckia in February but I've still not found the label. I am coming to the conclusion that perhaps I've stuck it in the ground at the allotment so will check in due course.
  • Another zinnia from a Sarah Raven 'Pale Zinnia Mix'. At the risk of repeating myself I'm delighted with these.
  • Some snipings from one of the elderflowers that are dotted about the garden. These were all inherited but are most welcome both for their frothy white flowers in spring and for the berries at this time of year. As you can see the berries are already on the turn. The berries are a perfect delicacy for birds especially wood pigeons who seem to have the most healthy of appetites. They are not likely to last long but hopefully will divert any passing birds from the crabapples for now. 
Our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' is celebrating Monday with some fabulous glowing dahlias.  Do visit her if you haven't already. I wonder what else is filling vases big and small this week. I'll have fun finding out later but for now list making calls.


Monday, 13 August 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Make Me Smile


Lower temperatures, leaden grey skies and some rain have been huge make me smile factors over the last few days. Hopefully the weather will continue in the same vein a while longer although today's vase is still very much on the sunny side.


In this week's 'In A Vase on Monday' are :
  • A couple of swirls of humulus lupus aureus or to give it its common name golden hop. This grows over an arch and is one of the banes of himself's life as he has to pass underneath it with the lawnmower. If you've not come close up and personal with this climber before the texture of the leaves is like velcro! The hop has taken off this year and has sprawled higgledy piggledey in all directions lapping up the sunshine. In fact it has now formed an impenetrable thicket so another route to the what passes as a lawn has had to be found. I think that this is its glory year and whilst other plants have been stuttering and gasping its has loved the long hot summer.
  • Some spikes of amaranthus cruentus 'Hot Biscuits'. I included this in a vase last month. I like the colour but am not so struck by the fairly upright tassels so it will not feature on the repeat seed order.
  • On that order though will be zinnia 'Queen Red Lime' which I have been so pleased with this year. Whether my success is down to this particular warm summer remains to be seem but it's a will sow again without any hesitation.
  • Amaranthus caudatus 'Viridis' with those caterpillar like furry green tassels is also on the list doing well in cooler summers too. I think that I sowed the seed in March but can't be sure. Next year I think that I might try direct sowing in May. The foliage is rather nondescript and tends to be nibbled but oh those tassels more than make up for it! 
  • Finally and new to me is rudbeckia hirta 'Sahara' which I grew from seed. I think that these were sown at the back end of February in a heated propagator but must find the label from the seed tray to be check. It is described as having "mostly double, velvety flowers is a blend of dusty rose, milk chocolate, copper, pale lemon and rich merlot". I have planted too few of these - only six so will not have the pleasure of the full colour range. So far I have a predominance of the above golden colour which morphs into a pinky shade with age. I'm still waiting with bated breath for one plant to open, the buds of which look as if they could be the "rich merlot" shade. The plants may overwinter but there is no guarantee. This is already near the top of my new seed list with a note to plant them in quantity! 
Thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy who resides over at 'Rambling In The Garden' and who is sharing a veritable explosion of colour in her vase this week. I'm off now into the greenhouse to see if I can find that missing label. Enjoy your Monday whatever you are up to!

Monday, 23 July 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Walking On Sunshine'


In a departure from my usual colour palette in this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' a decision was made to opt for shades shades of yellow, toast and butterscotch with a little bit of contrast thrown into the mix. In this week's vase are :

  • A huge zinnia grown from seed. I can't describe how excited I was when I snipped this for my vase. Finally I have zinnias to snip after several attempts have gone by the wayside. This might be a one off event thanks to this summer's heatwave but I shall celebrate whilst I can. This is a flower from Sarah Raven's 'Pale Zinnia Mix'. A definite will try again next year.
  • Kalimeris incisa 'Charlotte'- a hardy perennial bearing small pale mauve aster like flowers which the bees and hoverflies like. The plants are looking rather world weary at the moment but they are in a dry spot. 
  • A couple of coppery spikes of amaranthus cruentus 'Hot Biscuits'. I grew this from seed and wonder now if I had my specs on at the time when I was catalogue browsing. I was expecting the flowers to dangle but instead they appear in upright clusters which don't appeal even though I like the colour. It's a definite not to be repeated experience.
  • Calendula 'Snow Princess' - another hardy annual grown from seed.
  • A couple of flowers heads of an old favourite in the shape of Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum' or bronze fennel. 
  • Anthemis tinctoria 'E.C. Buxton' - this hardy perennial came from a cutting I took at an excellent propagation workshop at Bluebell Cottage Gardens Nursery, a good few years ago now. This anthemis has attractive ferny green leaves and bears soft pale creamy-yellow daisies atop stiff stems. If flowers throughout the summer.
  • Achillea ptarmica' The Pearl' - another hardy perennial. It has small dainty button-like white flowers but its innocent appearance belies the fact that it has the potential to become invasive. 
  • Inula - I'm not sure which variety it is but I think it's hookeri . The plant came home with me after a visit to a beautiful fellside NGS open garden in Cumbria last summer.
  • Some frothiness in the shape of alchemilla mollis also known as lady's mantle.
  •  Finally a couple of spikes of buddleia - variety unknown. It's a seedling from a buddleia that came from my parent's garden. Its scent is delicious on these warm sunny days.






















On reflection I think that I've probably plonked too much in this week's vase and I might deconstruct it later and spread the contents across two vases. I was going to leave it with the yellows and rusts but himself decided that I needed contrast. In fact himself was wandering round looking for flowers to add to the vase! Maybe the heat has got to him. Should I be seriously worried?

Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting.

Monday, 9 July 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Firstlings


Again another late in the day vase for me - it wasn't until mid afternoon that I got to the allotment to water and pick a couple of stems for today's 'In A Vase On Monday'. Taking centre stage in today's vase is the very first flower of a new to me dahlia by the name of 'Henriette'. She was twirling around in the breeze in need of companions but she was ahead of them in opening. Also here is my very first ever zinnia flower! It's zinnia elegans 'Queen Red Lime'. I think that our hostess Cathy featured her very first zinnia last week. Up to now getting these to grow let alone flower has always eluded me. Normally my seedlings have shrivelled up or have been decimated by the molluscs. This year's batch were all sown under cover in coir pellets in May. I'm not sure whether that technique helped or whether they've just thrived with the heat but they are happy zinnias this year. The inside of the flower is an exquisite colour. I need to to take more photos to do this particular majesty justice.


The 'Romanesco' courgette is also the first of the year, again from seed sown in May. Unfortunately some of the other courgettes on the same plant are turning yellow. The allotment is flagging like me. Watering can duties seemed onerous on a humid afternoon. I think that I was feeling sorry for myself as I was bitten by some nasty creature during the night and woke up sporting an eye that looks as if it has been in a boxing match. Off for now to apply a cold compress or maybe a slice of cucumber to the offending area. Thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who I hope is managing to keep cool.

P.S. I've had a couple of lovely comments recently from Penny Post. Unfortunately I can't deduce from the comments whether Penny has a blog as if so I would like to visit. If you read this Penny please let me know or maybe some of my other visitors can point me in the right direction.

Monday, 2 July 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Not Quite What the Seed Packet Said


Finally at long last in today's 'In A Vase On Monday' there are ..... wait for it ..... some sweet peas! A trip to water at the allotment this morning revealed just enough sweet peas to pick. Not a plethora to fill a whole vase on their own but a few to act as a filler. My sweet peas have been a source of disappointment this year as far as gemination went so I only have the one wigwam. Now just why some red flowers have materialised I just don't know. I sowed named sweet peas rather than a mix and there were certainly not any red flowered varieties amongst them. Having said that I was delighted to welcome them.


        The sweet pea companions are :
  • Rosa 'The Fairy' - this is a polyantha rose which bears clusters of small light pink flowers from late June right through to the first frosts. The foliage always seems to be glossy and untouched by any signs of black spot etc.
  • A couple of stems of clematis 'Blekitny Aniol' (Blue Angel) which was bought many moons ago from the Country Market in Tavistock, Devon. It runs through rose 'Blush Noisette' and is normally a most attractive combination. The clusters of rose flowers have been crisped by days of intense sunshine so sadly this has spoilt the effect somewhat. There is much deadheading to be done.
  • Allium sphaerocephalon this is a most reliable easy going bulb which flowers after the larger alliums are done and dusted. Its only drawback is that any seedlings can be mistaken for grass when they first come through the soil. I must make a note to buy more bulbs this year. They don't take up much room and the flowers sway gently on wiry stalks.
  • Hordeum jubatum also known as squirrel tail grass and as foxtail barley. The green plumes slowly morph into a silvery - pink as the season progresses. I grew mine from seed sown in March.
Our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' has put together a vase this week that really encapsulates the weather we are having at the moment. The heat is most definitely on. Have some sunglasses to hand if you haven't already had a peek!

Sunday, 1 July 2018

End Of Month View ~ June 2018


My words for the month of the June that has just flown have to be watering can and wilt! They sum up what I seem to have spent much time doing as no doubt have many of you. With no end in sight this summer will be one of those that goes down in the record books for its exceptional weather. Our local television news weather forecaster, who has been doing the job for some twenty two years, said this week that she has never known such a period of sustained hot and dry weather at this time of year. It seems that the country has tipped on its axis this summer and we're getting the summer weather that the south east usually enjoys or should I say endures.

Well there has not been much going on in the garden with all this heat and jobs are building up. Some plants are looking decidedly stressed and for the first time I have bought the hosepipe out to certain areas of the garden. Giving me most pleasure this month have been hardy geraniums, astrantias, roses especially my new rose' Boscabel' and an old stalwart 'Blush Noisette'. I've also enjoyed the best display ever from a cutting of a scented pink dianthus from my mum's garden.

Keeping the allotment ticking over without casualties has been a bit of a struggle. The raspberries have certainly suffered and sadly there were will not be the surplus that we had last year to make raspberry gin. The foliage on my 'Charlotte' potatoes are now looking most tatty but we enjoyed the first crop of the year served cold yesterday. Most delicious was the verdict. These were planted on 26th April.

I hope to be picking courgettes in the next few days with climbing French beans 'Cobra' to follow close behind. My lovely niece helped me to plant a wigwam of runner beans the day before storm 'Hector'. We anticipated the worst but our wigwam survived intact and the beans are now climbing. The other curcubit crops seem to thriving as well along with what promises to be some rather yummy beetroot.

My cut flower beds are doing reasonably well. One is mainly dahlias which are now coming into flower and the white flowering cosmos bipannatus 'Purity'. In the other are more dahlias, nasturtiums, cornflowers, scabious, rudbeckia, zinnia, geum 'Mrs J. Bradshaw' as well as the lovely calendula that was in last week's vase. Sadly the latter seem to have been really zapped in the last few days and are looking rather sickly at the moment. I've sown another batch so should have more to look forward to later in the season. There is also a wigwam of sweet peas. Just the one wigwam this year because of disastrous germination rates. I have yet to pick my first bunch of sweet peas which is unheard of but hope to cut a few this coming week.

Out and about this month I had a most enjoyable day at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show with a good friend. The weather was so much better than last year and there were none of the traffic jams and long queues to get in which visitors endured last year. The floral marquee was a delight as was the fabulous display of moth orchids. The show gardens were disappointing in their number which was down on last year. However there was a new feature in the shape of a long border competition which was a useful source of inspiration for planting combinations in relatively small spaces. Perhaps though the most spectacular sight of the day though were the swarms of mayfly on the wing by the river. Quite beautiful creatures.



I also had the pleasure of spending a day at Cathy's open garden (photos above) where I helped out at the plant stall. A most gentle and pleasant occupation. The weather was fine, the plants sold themselves and there was most delicious cake and good company.


Bucket of cut flowers

More recently himself and I have visited Graythwaite Hall Gardens and Holker Hall Gardens in Cumbria. I gathered afterwards that the former is best visited in spring when the rhododendrons and azaleas are in flower but we still managed to enjoy a relatively cool stroll on a sultry day. There was a most impressive yew hedge studded with tropaeolum speciosum but the combination of bright red and bright sunshine didn't make for a decent photo. We have been to Holker Hall several times over the years now and always enjoy our visits. This time we took particular delight in standing in the shade cast by the Holker Great Lime I was nearly tempted to buy a seasonal flower bunch from the bucket but persuaded myself that they wouldn't last long in a hot caravan.


Plant purchases this month include astrantia 'Star Of Passion, 'hosta 'Cracker Crumbs' and something else (the heat is getting to me). Coming home with me from Cathy's plant stall a peony 'Duchesse de Nemours' and a couple of ferns. The ferns have since decamped to the supposedly cooler climes of the Lake District to adorn the little garden outside our caravan.

The watering cans all standing in a line and ready for action are not mine but were photographed by me a few years ago on a visit to Le Jardin De Marie - Ange in France.

A big vote of thanks  as always to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' for hosting. I've dipped in and out of this meme over the years now and have often found oh so invaluable for jogging my memory.