Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday ~ A Worisit

A gift this morning from one of my fellow allotment plot holders. All I know is that it's tender. I have an inkling that it might be a plectranthus but am not sure which one it is. Confirmation of its identity would be most welcome. I also came home with some delicious looking sweetcorn from another plot neighbour.  For some unfathomable reason I didn't grow sweetcorn on my own plot this year so I am relishing the thought of eating these fresh cobs.

Thank you all so much for your kind and thoughtful comments on my last post. I'm pleased to say that after a month in hospital that the patient is recuperating. Sadly still very frail and not back at home yet but able to sit outside in her wheelchair this week and enjoy some summer warmth.

Monday, 29 August 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Hiatus

Blogging is proving impossible at the moment. I've been away from home most of this month as my almost ninety two year old mother is rather poorly in hospital. Hence my silence here and also commenting on the blogs I regularly visit. I am unable to envisage when I might start posting regularly again but today I am making the most of a brief visit home. So here is my vase on a Monday where most of today's pickings have come from the allotment. In my vase is :

  • A well blended into the background dahlia probably 'Arabian Night'.
  • Tagetes patula 'Cinnabar'.
  • The remains of the only glad that is still in flower. The others have come and gone in my absence.
  • An unknown grass that would have set seed if I had not been ruthless. 
  • A couple of danglies in the shape of amaranthus caudatus 'Viridis'.
  • Scabious stellata 'Sternkugel' which I've not grown before. The flowers are a pretty enough though slightly wishy-washy shade of pale blue but then they morph into rather gorgeous papery seedheads. 

The vase is my latest find sometime in July from the charity shop that we regularly haunt when we visit our caravan. It has produced riches in the shape of new vases this year. We also have acquired a couple of new outdoor chairs and a little table but more on them another time. I hope to be back here again before too long. In the meantime will try to keep up with the blogs that I regularly visit, although I might be a silent visitor at times.

I am trying to be optimistic about my absence from home and have already made some plans and additions to the 2017 wish list, after reading this article on growing cut flowers by Louise Curley (aka Wellywoman) in August's copy of the 'The Garden' magazine.

Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for the inspiration and for hosting so graciously each week. I can smell her latest vase from here!

Monday, 1 August 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Whirligig & Company

Nestling in today's 'In A Vase On Monday' are a trio of dahlias. From left to right are 'Orange Baby', a 'Bishop's Children' seedling and 'Cornel Brons'. To give you some idea of comparative size the circumference of 'Orange Baby' is about an inch. She is the brightest orange you can possibly imagine. The 'Bishop's Children' dahlia is from a batch sown in March. They were grown specifically for a plant sale at the beginning of July. Unfortunately the seedlings were the subject of a veritable slugfest and there were only a few that were presentable enough for the sale. Those in flower went on the day but the others came home with me. I've had one or two nice surprises since as the flowers have opened. I took this photo on Sunday evening knowing that I may not be able to find an opportunity today. It was quite breezy and all three dahlias were revolving in their vases. That and the shape of the' Bishop's Children' bought whirligigs to mind. The third of the trio 'Cornel Bronz' is new to me this year.

My vases are in the shape of school milk bottles bought on a recent holiday. I think that may be replicas rather than originals. They certainly seemed bigger when I drank from them as a child but then I was so much smaller.

A quick peek over at 'Rambling In The Garden' reveals that Cathy is very much in the pink this week. I'm sure that there will be all the colours of the rainbow in other vases this week. I'm looking forward to visiting them.

Monday, 25 July 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Essence Of Summer

Summer would simply not be summer without sweet peas. Mine have been struggling this year truth be told, so I am delighted that I am now able to pick in sufficient quantities to hopefully fill vases for some time to come. I sowed one batch of different named seeds at the start of March and the other at the end of that month. Both started life sown in root trainers in the greenhouse before being hardened off and then transplanted at the allotment, where they grow up bamboo cane wigwams. The second batch are definitely looking happier than the first.

In amongst their numbers is 'Matucana' which I've grown for years especially for its scent. There is also long stemmed pink 'Gwendoline', the cream with a delicate pink flushed edge 'Mollie Rilstone', sober 'Almost Black' and two toned lavender and pink 'Erewhon' which is fast becoming a new favourite. There is also a mysterious striped impostor which I certainly didn't select as being part of the mix. All in all I think that I sowed some nine or so different varieties so I will try at some point to compose an end of term report on their progress. The vase was probably a milk jug in a former life and is one of a small collection of rosy china that I've accumulated over the years.

A quick peek over at 'Rambling In The Garden' reveals that this week our lovely hostess Cathy's 'In A Vase On Monday' includes warm and sunny shades. I wonder what will be in other summer vases. Do have a peek if you haven't already!

P.S. Apologies to anybody who has struggled to post a comment here recently especially to those patient souls who have commented twice in order for their comment to be published. I'm having problems myself and have even found myself unable to reply to comments which is so frustrating. I have for the time being turned off the facility for anonymous comments which I'm hoping may make life easier. I'm reluctant to move to another blogging platform but may well do so when I have some time on my hands.

Monday, 18 July 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ "I'm A Little Teapot"

"I'm a little teapot
Short and stout, 
Here is my handle
Here is my spout
When I get all steamed up,
Hear me shout
Tip me over and pour me out"

Sadly this particular little teapot has come adrift at some stage from its lid. It's tea pouring days are no more so it's just as well somebody spotted its vase potential. It is now very much re-loved and is filled with flowers today.

In this week's vase are the first of the 2016 dahlias in flower, the small white pompon 'Snowflake'. They are the first white dahlias that I've ever grown and I'm delighted with them. I've also grown the bigger white 'Onesta' which is just as pleasing but is too big for this vase. I've added some 'Blueball' cornflowers which are still going strong at the allotment, along with one head of anemone coronaria 'Mr Fokker'. The amounts of rain we've been having have made all the anemones look really bedraggled especially the white flowering 'The Bride'. However I've chopped off all the old flowers this morning and hopefully fresh ones will take their place. Also from the allotment a flower head from one of the fennel plants. The garden has contributed the dainty white buttons of achillea ptarmica 'The Pearl, the lilac daisy- like flowers of kalimeris incisa 'Charlotte' and last but by no means least a spray of that old stalwart alchemilla mollis.

Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy from 'Rambling In The Garden' for the encouragement to pick some flowers for 'In A Vase On Monday'. It's such a gentle start to the week.

Monday, 27 June 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Feeling Blue

The intended main stars for this week's vase played up. Firstly the dahlias wouldn't oblige, with just one open flower of 'Snowflake' and one almost open flower but name forgotten dahlia at the allotment. It was interesting to watch the race with the newly planted in a pot 'Snowflake' getting there first. The allotment dahlia has come through the winter in the ground and is going to be a sizeable plant this year. Still one dahlia does not a vase make so I was most pleased to see three flowers of anemone coronaria 'Mr Fokker'. However in my haste I cut one stem too short and beheaded the other two flowers. The air was blue never mind my vase. 

So in this week's vase are cornflowers 'Blue Ball' and 'Black Ball" and sweet peas from the allotment.  In need of a high vis vest a couple of sprigs of vetch, which I picked from a patch growing just outside the allotment on my way out this afternoon. If you screw your eyes hard enough you can just about see them. Finally from the garden some foliage in the shape of lonicera 'Baggesen's Gold' and a trio of the tantalising geum 'Totally Tangerine'.

The vase is yet another new acquisition from a trip into Chester last week for a hair cut. I have to pass a charity shop from the front window of which two vases waved at me. I think that this one is possibly a milk jug. 

With a special thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting 'In A Vase On Monday'.

Monday, 20 June 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Sumer Is Icummen In'

Leaping into this week's summer solstice vase is a mish-mash of pickings from both allotment and garden. Firstly from the allotment there are a few sweet peas which were sown in two batches in the spring. These pickings are from the 1st March sowings. The dull wet weather of the last week or so hasn't prompted many more flowers so I've not been able to pick enough to fill a vase yet. Still a few with their scent are more than welcome. Cornflower 'Blue Ball' has now joined its flowering black flowered sibling. What you can't see in the photo is that many of the stems are wavy. I've not grown cornflowers for years and can't remember if this is the norm. Finally from the allotment the first flowers of anemone coronaria 'The Bride' which is every bit as charming to me as 'Sylphide' though obviously more subtle in colouring.

Cathy from 'Words and Herbs' commented on my post last week wondering when anemones coronaria normally flower in the UK. As they are new to my planting experiences I've done some research. In her most comprehensive tome 'Bulb' Anna Pavord writes that "They flower about three months after sowing so if you start them in March you will have flowers in June and July; a June planting provides a September show. Plant in September or October for a traditional display in early spring". Now there's food for thought. I'm sure I had some left overs and although June is well advanced it's worth a go.

Joining the allotment brigade are some astrantia the identity of which has long since vanished in the mists of time. This is an astrantia that seeds about a fair bit and that makes me sneeze. It has the aroma of a left too long to linger damp face cloth. Other than that it's most attractive. The vase is residing in the hall so it's anti-social effects will be minimised.

Rosa 'The Fairy' seems to be flowering very early this year so I've tucked a little spray in. Lagurus ovatus also known as 'Bunny's Tail Grass' were sown in March and are now a picture of fluffiness. The name says it all. Finally some linaria purpurea otherwise known as purple toadflax. Yes this seeds everywhere but is still a delight. 

As it is a celebratory vase out came one of the new ones. We saw this in a shop window in Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria earlier this month. My eyes were drawn to it immediately and an instant decision was made to make a purchase. I hurtled to the shop door only to find that it was shut! It turned out to be a shop that's only opens for a couple of days a week and later in the week at that. A note in the window suggested that if you wanted to purchase an item that you could knock on the front door round the corner but my knock wasn't answered. At this point I was thinking that it was not meant to be as I was returning home the next day. Fortunately himself was staying in the area for another couple of days and was able to return to the shop on the morning it was officially open. The vase was still there and came home with him. There are no clues to its origin on the base.

It's a BIG thank you as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting and nurturing the 'In A Vase On Monday' meme so admirably. A quick peek reveals that her vase this week is a lovely tribute to her blogging friends. I wonder what other participants will include in their vases this week. As always I will have pen and paper to hand when I visit later. Meanwhile I'm off to have a rootle for those leftover anemone corms. Surely the unseasonal rain must stop some time today so that outdoors play can be resumed. Sumer is Iccumen In!