Monday, 15 October 2018

GBBD/IAVOM ~ Foxy Lady

It's a case of two for the price of one today celebrating both Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and In A Vase On Monday.

One of my plant purchases at the Southport Flower Show in August this year was tiarella 'Emerald Ellie' bred by Vicky and Richard Fox of 'Plantagogo'. This Cheshire based nursery is fairly local to me and holds the only National Collections of heuchera, heucherella and tiarella. The nursery exhibits at all the major flower shows, has earned a host of well deserved gold medals and sells very happy and healthy plants.

I was initially drawn to the plant by its striking foliage but when I found out that it bears white flowers I was even more excited. I was anticipating that it wouldn't flower until spring but then in September noticed what looked like emerging flower bearing stalks. Closer examination of the plant label told me that the plant flowers both in spring and autumn! As it is still a new plant to me I'm not sure whether it will still be in flower quite so late every year but I'm really appreciating these frothy white little spires right now. I picked a trio of flowering stems to put in a vase so that I can gaze upon them at close quarters.

With many thanks to both hostesses Carol over at May Dreams Gardens and Cathy from 'Rambling In The Garden' , for enabling us to share our blooms.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Ticket To Rye

Travelling back on Saturday from a most relaxing week's holiday in Rye on the south-east coast, we caught sight of glorious blue skies and sunshine through our train window. It was a most beautiful autumn day but any thoughts of spending Sunday pottering about outside were soon dispelled on waking. It was a decidedly cool and blustery day peppered with rain although there was an opportunity to run round and pick some flowers for today's 'In A Vase On Monday'. It was touch and go whether to risk taking a photo outside in case the vase toppled over but my mission was accomplished safely. Nothing like living dangerously.

In today's vase are :

  • Rose 'Blush Noisette' - now enjoying a second flush of colour.
  • Sprigs of purple and pink linaria. The pink variety 'Canon Went' is so much more considerate than its purple sibling when it comes to seeding itself about.
  • Persicaria 'Blackfield'.
  • A scabious - variety unknown.
  • Pennisetum 'Karley Rose' which has produced all of two inflorescences so far this year with signs of a least a couple more to come. The plant has spread in girth since planting but it is not happy. Time for a move come spring.
  • Finally aster 'Little Carlow' which is one of my favourites for its colour, late flowers and as a star attraction for pollinators. I know that it has been renamed by the horticultural powers that be but the new name totally eludes me. 

I see that our hostess the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' is also featuring some late flowering daisies in her vase today.

Conditions out there are more inviting today so after some necessary shopping it's time to pick any lingering tomatoes and to dispose of the plants. The crop of 2018 was a vintage one. Enjoy your Monday whatever you are doing.

Monday, 17 September 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Last Of The Summer Wine'

It's a speedy pick and plonk vase for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. I spent a pleasant few hours at the allotment on Saturday, (more chatting than working) coming home with some sweet peas amongst other pickings. I realised that I had not used them in any of my vases this year so thought it was only fair to let them have their moment in the spotlight. It's been a funny old year for my sweet peas which I grow every year and plant on cane wigwams at the allotment. I sowed two batches in deep root trainers - in early March and a mid March. Germination was abysmal with a less than fifty per cent success rate. However I think that other people had similar experiences this spring so that made me feel better. I only had enough plants to grow up one wigwam and some varieties such as the usually stalwart 'Gwendoline', who is the pinkest of pinks didn't turn up for the party at all.

Those that made it though have done well despite the drought. They did receive copious liquid refreshment every time I visited the allotment. The bunches are now getting smaller and smaller and the stalks shorter and shorter but they are still hanging on so it only seems fair to let them shine in a vase. It had been raining just before I put the vase out but then it cleared allowing the sun to come through to lift the temperature. If you look carefully at the first photo you can see a couple of small visitors enjoying a late afternoon flight and a perfumed floral encounter of a close kind.

I'm pleased to see that our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' seems to be very much in the pink this week with some late flowering lovelies from her garden.

I'm now debating whether to make an autumn sowing of sweet peas in October, so will be rummaging through my seed box tonight to see what's left and deciding whether any seed orders need to be made. Previous sowings have often produced lanky and weak specimens but one can but live in hope.

Did you grow sweet peas this year. If so what were your experiences?

Monday, 10 September 2018

In A Vase On Monday - "Here's One I Made Earlier"

Echoing that classic Blue Peter phrase  "Here's One I Made Earlier" -  I put this vase together ready to post last week and then for various reasons it just didn't happen. It's a shame for it to go to waste so here it is as it was then for this week's "In A Vase On Monday".

It contains the following :

  • Dahlia 'Henriette' - this another new to me dahlia this year. It is a most appealing colour although unfortunately the stems are on the short side for cutting. It's difficult not to snip the yet to emerge buds off as well. Oh and the plant is also somewhat floppy in its deportment but then can be forgiven that. I must remember to provide it with some support next year if the tuber comes through the winter at the allotment.
  • More of the 'Sahara' rudbeckias grown from seed earlier this year. After spending ages looking for the label where the name and sowing date was recorded I surprised myself with my own record keeping. I had made of the sowing date on the back of the seed packet! I sowed them on the 5th March and as far as I remember they were gently kick-started in a heated propagator.
  • Yet another zinnia. I've made a note to myself to provide the rudbeckias and zinnias with more room next year when I plant them out or at least to make sure that they are not near a sweet pea wigwam. The sweet peas seem to have gone walkabout and have been smothering their companions.
  • Mint - not sure which variety as I inherited it at the allotment. I could have perhaps done with a bit more for the purposes of filling the vase.
  • A couple of scabiosa 'Fata Morgana' flowers. I'm not sure about them as the stems seemed really floppy but will give them another go next year.
  • Finally some heads from the stipa gigantea which grows at the allotment. It has been absolutely glorious this year, shimmering in the sunshine and really relishing the warm hot summer. I must purchase another to grow in the garden so that I can appreciate it more regularly.

Thanks as always to our our wonderful hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden'. I'm off in a jiffy to do something creative with the remains of our Sunday roast dinner. This was the first roast we have had for months and its return on the menu marked the definite seasonal shift in the air. Once fortified I'm looking forward to a bit of browsing later this evening to discover what other folk have tucked into their vases this week.

Monday, 27 August 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ "It's A New Day"

"It's a new day
It's a new dawn
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good" 

~ lyrics from the fabulous song 'Feeling Good' by Nina Simone.

In this case the new dawn is supposedly dahlia 'American Dawn' which is a new to me dahlia this year. I say supposedly because I'm not convinced that it is the same dahlia that features when I search for images of dahlia 'American Dawn' on the web. It caused me some concern as soon as I saw the first flower appear which was entirely different in colour and patterning to what I had been expecting. I was a yucky orange and yellow combo but then flowers that followed were so very different. Whatever it's identity it has been a most welcome addition. I am though tempted to order 'American Dawn' from a different source in the future so that a comparison can be made next summer.

I was ahead of the game and the rain mentioned by our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden', as I had noted Sunday's forecast and in fact picked my blooms late on Saturday afternoon. It had rained for a good part of the morning but the sun made an appearance later so the flowers had dried out by the time I picked them. Yesterday was decidedly wet and chilly here for most of the day but on the plus side the reservoirs may be filling up again. The vase accommodating the dahlias is an old stoneware jug which I think was bought in a local charity shop many moons ago.

My prop this week is a recent purchase in the shape of a 'Fitbit' which is currently on my wrist. This hot summer made me come to the decision that I must make a serious effort to lose weight as I felt so uncomfortable and lacking in energy. One or two readers who have met me in the flesh are aware that I am lady of ample proportions and sadly have been for most of my adult life. After some gentle encouragement from one of my nieces and a lunch time chat with a trio of lovely nurses at the Southport Flower Show I have bought a basic Fitbit. Nothing too fancy but it set to record a daily target of 10,000 steps which I've managed to achieve every day so far for the last week. It certainly has kept me on my toes and I apologise for not commenting on all the blog posts that I have read due to less sitting down time :) I know that I must also revise my diet but this is is a first step I hope to a healthier life.

Thanks as always to our inspirational and gracious hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for the motivation to put together a vase most Mondays. I wonder how many steps that process could involve. The vase is now sitting on the kitchen windowsill, where the flowers have lost their different shades in the reduced light and appear a most pleasing gentle dusky pink to the eye.

P. S. - Thanks to Cathy's comment I now know that my dahlia isn't 'American Dawn' but 'Jowey Winnie'. Although the colours seemed to match I couldn't reconcile the shape of my dahlia with images of 'American Dawn'. I put it down to my labelling going astray somewhere along the line as I had also planted what I thought was 'Jowey Winnie,' for her to be all foliage only or so I thought.

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!