Monday, 6 April 2020

IAVOM ~ A Work In Progress

I certainly remembered that it was Monday today as our green bin is due for emptying in the morning. A good part of this afternoon was spent with a pair of secateurs in my hand with some of my prunings going towards filling this week's 'In A Vase on Monday'. They are as follows :

  • I gave my mathiasella burpleuroides 'Green Dream' a rather brutal haircut. Some of the stems had got very woody and unattractive but were still sporting flowering stems which I thought would be a shame to waste. I should have done this job in the autumn but I had to put nearly all gardening tasks on hold then. The green flowers last for weeks fading to a pinkish hue as they age.
  • I have also been cutting back cornus sanguinea 'Anny's Orange' today so a few stems were put in my vase.
  • I deliberately put some of the lovely white narcissus that is 'Thalia' into the vase.
  • Finally a snippet or two of catkin bearing branches of salix purpurea 'Nancy Saunders' which has grown from a cutting kindly sent to me by Chloris of 'The Blooming Garden'.
The vase is was bought from one of the mainstream supermarkets a few years ago. It is sitting on a table that is an integral part of the decking that himself built some years ago. The construction has been in dire need of painting for a couple of years. Himself has been busy doing all sorts of practical tasks in the last couple of weeks this being one of them. Unfortunately the supply of paint changed colour as the work progressed before finally running out. It now has a rather chequered appearance and will remain a work in progress until as and when new paint can be located.

With a big thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over over 'Rambling In The Garden' who brings us together to share our vases each week. 

Monday, 30 March 2020

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Purple Haze'

A friend texted me this morning to say that as we should have been meeting this morning for our reading group monthly meeting and perhaps we should swap notes of what we are all reading. In fact it had not even registered with me that it was the last Monday of the month. Apart from everyday being much of a muchness I have mislaid my diary. It's funny how I'm missing it even though I've got nowhere to go. Anyway her text certainly reminded me that it's Monday so went out into the garden to cut a few snippets for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'.

In my vase are :
  • Iris reticulata 'Scent Sensational' - this was the last of my little irises to flower. It certainly lives up to its name as I can discern the scent without crinkling my nose too much.
  • A head of anemone blanda - this has been in flower for a while now with flowers still to come.
  • A sprig of pulmonaria 'Trevi Fountain'. The predominant colour of the flowers is blue.
  • A couple of sprigs of a blue flowering vinca minor which are doing their best to hide in the background.
The little bottle is one of a collection of five different colours, a present from my sister a couple of years ago or so.

I see that our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' is sharing spring flowers today along with a gem with a most topical hidden message. Do pay her a visit if you haven't already.

Monday, 23 March 2020

IAVOM ~ Daffodowndilly


She wore her yellow sun-bonnet
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
Winter is dead"

It's a quick pick and plonk for my contribution for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' - all daffies reflecting the beautiful spring sunshine and warmth we have enjoyed over the last couple of days. It has certainly proved most welcome in these troubled times. In my vase are 'Tête- à -Tête', my all time favourite 'Thalia', 'Jenny' and new to me this year the little 'Snow Baby'. 

My vase is standing on its regular outdoor perch of a perimeter wall. Some feet below the wall runs a surface water stream. Over the years I have been guerilla gardening and lobbed some ''Tête- à -Tête' bulbs over the wall. This is a glimpse of some of the resulting clumps that have sprung up. They have not been covered with compost but have gone on and done the business regardless. The white daffodils were there when we came along with clumps of snowdrops. Their colour and shape are very reminiscent of 'Thalia'.

With thanks as always to dear blogging friend Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for so kindly inviting us to share our vases each Monday. I hope that you all manage to see some sunshine this week.

Monday, 16 March 2020

In A Vase On Monday ~ Pensive

So many questions - ifs, whens, hows and whats will be running through our minds at the moment so it is most reassuring and calming to carry on with some familiar activities. My flowers in this weeks 'In A Vase On Monday' are a few little violas. I only wish that I could convey their scent.

Just before Christmas when I still had my hand in plaster after a fall we went do a little shopping at a local discount store. I was looking for a few pots to plant some bulbs in or rather for himself to plant some bulbs in. The mission was successful concluding with the purchase of a few plain terracotta pots as well as a trio of blue glazed pots. Before we entered the shop my eyes were drawn to a display of trays of bedraggled looking violas with the odd one or two bravely in flower. They were priced at 50p for a tray of six plants - a bargain I thought so a couple made their way into our trolley. Imagine my delight when were going through the checkout that the price had in fact been knocked down to 10p a tray. My bargain purchase of the year!

They stayed in their trays longer than was desirable but have since got their roots down in pots and are smiling. Thanks as always to our dear hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for providing a welcome sanctuary in troubled times. I hope that all my blogging friends are well and stay well 😘😘😘

Monday, 2 March 2020

IAVOM - A Late Winter Posy

A most chilly wind greeted me when I ventured out to pick a few blooms for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' but the sky is blue, the sun is shining and it's not raining! In my vase this week are the usual late winter suspects in the shape of :

  • Cardamine quinquefolia - an early flowering perennial which spreads out in a ground hugging pool of lilac. It will start to disappear soon and remain invisible until next winter. Some years it's foliage has been peppered with little holes but this winter it has remained unblemished. Maybe it has liked all the rain we have had throughout the autumn and winter.
  • Sprigs of a winter flowering heather. I've no idea of what variety they are. They were chosen and planted by himself and seem be pest and disease free.
  • Pulmonaria from one of the seedlings that appear by magic every year quite often in places that surprise you.
  • Narcissus - the flower at the back is 'W.P. Milner and the smaller is 'Elka'. Elka's innards fail to a pale creamy yellow as she ages.
  • A late flowering snowdrop - 'plicatus Augustus' I think. Most of my snowdrops both in the garden and in the greenhouse have gone over now but there are still a few welcome latecomers to the party.

  • With thanks as always to Cathy over 'At Rambling In The Garden' who stalwartly and generously hosts this meme whatever ever the weather. I've just had a peek at her post which is full of instant sunshine. Do take a peek there if you haven't already visited.

    Saturday, 29 February 2020

    February Musing ~ Looking Forwards

    Two short snippets to mark the month of February :

    "The shingle heavy with dew sparkled in the dawn. A pale blue mist washes over the willows, the larks are up. Such a show of golden crocuses, a ladybird bathes in the pale blue borage - the pussy willow opens - later, in the cold of the dayI walk back home across the shingle - a shimmering opalescent light. Vermeer dipped his brush in such iridescent solitude".

    - words from 'Modern Nature' by Derek Jarman.

    and ~

    "As we sit indoors, looking at the cold rain, nothing seems to move in the garden. But let us go out and look intimately at it, and we see that in spite of this checking weather, growth does not stop.  The perennial bed thickens. Scabious and phlox, delphiniums and veronicas sprout above the earth with their new crowns of leaves. Japonica bursts into flower. The stinging scent of the American currant already comes from shaped buds. Spring is upon us, and will not be hindered by winds or rain, or scurries of snow".

    - words from 'Four Hedges A Gardener's Chronicle' by Claire Leighton.

    I am wondering what the 'American currant' she mentions is - a form of ribes maybe?

    I usually find a seasonal illustration for these monthly musing posts but today I've fast forwarded to early autumn in the shape of a photo I took on a visit in October 2017 to the garden of the late Derek Jarman at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent.

    February here has been an utterly miserable month and to add insult to injury it's a whole extra day longer. Relentless rain and strong wind throughout. The first bee or ladybird of the year remain on the still to be sighted list but surely spring can't be far away. In good faith seed sowing has duly commenced.

    Monday, 24 February 2020

    IAVOM - 'Get Off Of My Cloud'

    It's that time of the year to get my cloud out and float some hellebores for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. Hellebore floating seems to have come early this year - late February instead of early March. I can only name two of the occupants of my vase namely 'Helleborus Madame Lemonnier' which is the biggest flower you can see and a  recent purchase of a white picotee ( bottom left) from Ashwood Nurseries. I hope that the edge is more distinct next year. The others are just what they are. The cloud was made some thirty years ago or more by a dear friend in her early days of dabbling with clay. She now lectures in ceramics.

    In other news a nasty cold wind was blowing most of the weekend and is forecast to get stronger today. There has been the odd spell of dry though which has been most welcome. The first seeds of the year have been sown under cover in the greenhouse and will be getting some additional warmth from the heated sand bench. I have reluctantly decided that I need to pare down on my seed sowing activities and carefully plan sowing this year until I know what my right hand can cope with. I have narrowed the flower seeds list down and will shortly tackle the veg list.

    The snowdrops have peaked both in the greenhouse and garden but other colour is emerging quickly - not only the hellebores but also irises, crocuses, little daffies, pulmonarias and primroses. There is also foliage stirring. Taking me by surprise yesterday was the green of the artist formerly known as dicentra specatablis spearing through the earth. My brief sortie outside yesterday afternoon was most satisfactorily concluded by stuffing the green waste bin to the gunnels in readiness for its first collection of the year tomorrow.

    With thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who is celebrating sunshine this week in the shape of some cheerful little daffodils. We are certainly in need of the odd ray or two at the moment.

    Wednesday, 12 February 2020

    Portrait Of A Snowdrop - 'Amy Doncaster'

    Every now and again I attempt to compose a definitive list of my favourite top ten special snowdrops. This is an almost impossible challenge and the list changes slightly each year. Growing in my affections over the last couple of years or so is galanthus plicatus 'Amy Doncaster'. Amy came into my care as a dormant bulb in 2017 if my memory and erratic record keeping serves me right. She was found as a seedling in 1988 in the garden of the plantswoman Amy Doncaster who gardened in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire. She gave it to her friend and fellow galanthophile John Morley of 'North Green Snowdrops' who named it after her. There is also another snowdrop with the name of 'Doncaster's Double Charmer'. If the name sounds familiar there is also a hardy geranium and a ribes speciosum named after Amy.

    I'm still struggling to do her justice with a photo. This one was taken on my phone. If you pop over here to the excellent and informative 'Judy's Snowdrops' you can see her both in the shape of a single flower as well as in a sizeable clump. Hopefully mine will reach sizeable clumps size sooner or later.

    Amy although not the most vigorous has made reasonable growth since arriving. She was planted out in the garden last winter and looks well. I also have a pot in the greenhouse hopefully containing a spare bulb to share with a friend later this year. This beauty is gently jostling her way into that top ten list.