Monday, 19 August 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ The One That Nearly Got Away

My vase this week is one that missed being posted at the end of July. I'm not quite sure what happened at the time but thought it a shame to let it vanish into obscurity. All the flowers in it are still flowering today.

The contents are as follows :
  • Erigeron annuus - I first saw tall billowing clouds of this white daisy at Great Dixter a few years ago. I thought that it would be easy to raise from seed but my attempt last year didn't produce as much as a single daisy. Earlier in the spring I had an email from Special Plants Nursery  to say they had some small plants for sale including erigeron annus so I placed an order. My plants have been much more floppy and not as impressively statuesque as the ones I saw at Great Dixter but I'm quite taken with them. Whether they become nightmare self seeders remains to be seen.
  • The yellow daisy is anthemis tinctoria 'E.C. Buxton' taken from a cutting I took at a propagation workshop held in 2010 at local to me Bluebell Cottage Gardens And Nursery. This anthemis has attractive ferny green leaves and the long lasting flowers are a soft pale creamy-yellow.
  • An annual that I have not grown for a long time and I'm not sure why in the shape of nicotiana 'Lime Green'. Definitely on next year's to be sown list.
  • A new to me annual and also to be repeated next year is phlox drummondii grandiflora 'Isabellina'. The seeds were from Chiltern Seeds and were sown in the greenhouse in March.
  • The delicate white flowers of thalictrum delvayi 'Splendide White'. I bought this dappled shade loving perennial a couple of years ago or so and it's rapidly becoming a favourite.  It is sterile so has a long flowering period. I've still to work out how to support it properly and it will be moved further back in the snowdrop border next year.

As always a special thank you to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting. I'm off to find pen and paper and go vase visiting. 

Monday, 5 August 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ Allotment Pickings

The contents of this week vase had to suffer the indignity of suffering a bus journey back from the allotment to reach their destination. They did well to arrive substantially less crumpled, sticky and weary than I was. It was one of those unpleasantly muggy days that we seem to have had too many of this summer. They were just as appreciative of a long cool drink on arrival home as I was but I spared them the ice and a slice.

In my vase are :
  • The first flower of rudbeckia 'Sahara', which were sown back in February in a heated propagator. Plans to end up with more plants than I did last year sadly didn't materialise. Note and reprimand to self - must do better next year!
  • Cornflower 'Blue Ball' which was directly sown last September. The cornflowers have done well this year. I think that the blue and mauve remain my favourites. They are beginning to look a bit straggly now. I've not been able to keep up with deadheading them this summer which doesn't help their general appearance.
  • A bronze fennel flowerhead. This is an old favourite despite its self seeding tendencies. It's one of those plants which is pure joy to feel and to smell. My original plant came from a fellow local gardening club member.
  • Some sweet pea flowers. I think that this might be lathyrus 'Noel Sutton'. All my sweet peas were sown in March and the plants are now planted up a couple of bamboo wigwam structures at the allotment. I can sense a sweet pea vase coming soon.
  • Tropaeolum majus 'Milkmaid'. Nasturtiums are always a must at the allotment. They self seed and are descendants of 'Empress of India' or 'Blue Pepe'. This year I also sowed some seeds from one of those 'freebie' packets of seeds that come with gardening magazine. 'Milkmaid' has flourished and will be sown again in the spring as an insurance policy just in case. She spreads well, is most floriferous and is an an appealing soft creamy yellow.
A special thanks must go as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for providing perennial inspiration to snip flowers and greenery to fill a vase on a Monday.

Monday, 22 July 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ Singing The Blues

It's mainly about the blues but some pink and purple has crept in too with not just one but two Monday vases. We have just spent a most relaxing week away in Ceredigion, Wales in a cottage overlooking Cardigan Bay. There was much time spent gazing out to sea trying to spot bottlenose dolphins but they kept a low profile. However the view was still fabulous at all times of day and the antics of the rabbits on the lawn in front of the cottage kept us amused. There was a welcome pack on the kitchen table when we arrived - I assure you that the tea bags were opened first well before the wine. I especially appreciated the vase of flowers on the kitchen table and was kept spellbound watching the central florets of the hydrangea open out as the week progressed.

Now for a random collection of mainly blues from the garden ~

  • Some flowers of clematis 'Blekitny Aniol' also known as clematis' Blue Angel'. I bought a small plant at least ten years ago from the Country Market stall at Tavistock Pannier Market in Devon. I was bewitched by the colour. She has spread over the years and is entwined in the embrace of rosa 'Blush Noisette' which peaks before the clematis. The angel seems to have gone slightly astray this year and will need some prompting next spring to climb up rather than lurch perilously close to the ground which she is doing this summer.
  • A couple of sprigs of salvia 'Nachtvlinder' which has proved hardy so far and has the most delightful scented foliage. I was surprised last year by the appearance of a couple of seedlings which I suppose I should extract and replant now that they have put on some growth.
  • Some flowers from the annual phlox drummondii grown from seed sown in the greenhouse in March. The photo does not really do it justice. I think it will be on the repeat list next year.
  • A helping of what I think is possibly campanula trachelium, which invited itself into the garden some time ago and which also has a white counterpart. It seeds itself about a bit but never enough to become a nuisance.
  • Finally some foliage in the shape of physocarpus leaves. I am unable to remember the variety but it's probably 'Diabolo'.
As always a special thanks to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' whose vase this week aptly reflects the hot temperatures that are forecast for the week ahead. Time to sit in the shade with a long cool drink and a good book methinks.

Monday, 8 July 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ Shades Of Pale

This week's 'In A Vase On Monday' was photographed in a new spot, still on top of a wall overlooking the stream but a wider wall decorated with a soft cushion of green. Unlike last week's readymade gifted vase the contents all were picked from the garden. In my vase this week are :

  • A stem of a rose 'Luisa's Daughter' which is now in it's third flowering season and has certainly leapt this year. The rose was a present from my sister and was specifically named in memory of my mother. It was a most thoughtful gift but one that I have fretted about in case the rose didn't flourish. Anyway it seems to be happy where it's planted and has been in flower since the beginning of May. It has a light but discernible lemony scent.
  • A couple of stems of anemone coronaria 'The Bride', the tubers of which were planted in a tray in the greenhouse back in March. 
  • A couple of calendula 'Snow Princess', which were sown on 11th March. 
  • A stem of the annual phlox drummondii 'Crème Brûlée'', grown from seed again sown on 11th March. I've yet to make my mind up about this one. It seems to have a rather spindly habit and so far I have been unable to detect the scent promised on the seed packet blurb. I went slightly over the top this year on annual phloxes and sowed four varieties. The others will hopefully feature in later vases.
Our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' is doing her very best this week to make sure that we will all be singing and disco dancing until the sun goes down.

Monday, 1 July 2019

IAVOM ~ Game, Set and Match

The creation of today's 'In A Vase On Monday' came about by pure chance. My weedathon at the allotment continues and I spent a good part of the day there. Plans for picking flowers to bring home with me and perhaps combine with flowers from the garden floated round in my head whilst I tussled with comfrey roots, brambles and other delights. Before my snippers were primed for action one of my lovely plot neighbours kindly offered me an instant vase, when he asked whether I would like three calla lily stems in exchange for some stems of cornflower 'Black Ball'. Never look a gift horse in the mouth!

My post would have appeared sooner but I was distracted when I sat down to watch Serena Williams play the talented young Cori Gauff at Wimbledon. I'm looking forward to the next fortnight and all the excitement and wonder of watching some more thrilling tennis matches.

Thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for encouraging us to fill a vase on a Monday. It has become a most comforting and pleasing activity to begin the week with.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Musing In June ~ Weeding For Gardeners

"Weeds have a particular fascination for us. They are endlessly interesting, like an enemy who occupies our thoughts and schemes so much more than any friend and who (although we would never admit to it) we would miss if he suddenly moved away. I know the weeds in my garden better than most of my flowers and, without them, my victories would be insipid affairs. They may sometimes appear to us as ineradicable as Original Sin, but we would be sorry to to admit that, like sin, we were not conscious of a strong urge to overcome them ...... They come in unalterable , even decorous, procession, like a formal dance measure of long ago. First the speedwell in its long trails, the goosegrass, whorled and easy to remove while it is not too sticky ; the ground elder with its fresh - green palmate leaves ; the hairy bittercress and the nettles. There is the constant background theme of shepherd's purse and groundsel which, in mild winters, never seem to cease growing. Later, in late April, the first leaves of bindweed will make their entrance, usually after the first mulch is applied so that it can grown unseen and unchecked for some time. As speedwell is the spring's weed , so sowthistle belongs to the early summer, even half an hour's pleasant labour in June will yield a barrow-load of weeds".

~ an extract by Ursula Buchan from 'The Virago Book of Women Gardeners'.

I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time this last week or so weeding especially at the allotment, where there has been a proliferation of weeds, encouraged by excessive rainfall. In addition to the above I'm also well acquainted with rosebay willowherb, dandelion, herb robert, wood avens, couch grass, creeping buttercup and nightmare of nightmares - horsetail. I was slightly puzzled by the reference to sowthistle in the above extract and was congratulating myself on not being plagued by that. My joy was short-lived as I made the mistake of looking for further information and once I saw a photo I realised that I've got that in the collection too! Which weeds are you engaged in mortal combat with?

Monday, 24 June 2019

IAVOM- Thereby Hangs A Tale

Never mind the 'Chelsea Chop' - it was more like the 'Malvern Chop' when my centaurea cyanus 'Polka Dot Mixed' and nigella 'Persian Jewels' provided hearty fare for grazing rabbits in early May. I knew from previous experience that the cornflowers would survive but I wasn't sure about the nigella, which was reduced overnight from a frothy green haze to pathetic tattered stumps.

So this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' shows that happily both have survived to tell the tale. They were sown directly at the allotment sometime in mid September where they have both been left to get on with things. I did a little bit of thinning out but other than providing support for the cornflowers have not paid either any special attention. The cornflowers have been blooming since the start of June but these are the first nigellas to open. Both are from packets of mixed colour seeds but I've noticed that blue seems to the dominant colour in the resulting flowers of both varieties.  Maybe next year I will stick to packets of single colours and create my own mix. I couldn't resist adding some lagurus ovatus also known as bunny's tail grass to complete the vase which must have been a milk jug in a former life.

As always a special thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her weekly invitation to share our vases. A little peek over there has revealed that some beautiful sweet peas and tempting cake are on the menu this week. A most irresistible combination!