Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Almost Wordless Wednesday ~ Fernery

Our visit to RHS Garden Harlow Carr last month coincided with an exhibition entitled 'Seventy Days Of Sculpture', to celebrate the garden's 70th birthday. Sculptors from throughout Yorkshire exhibited their work. Sadly the weather and my camera played up on our visit. We only managed to see a handful of the sculptures on display. I used my phone camera to take one or two snaps before the blue skies turned to a leaden grey peppered with drizzle and that together with a biting wind saw us retreating inside. This sculpture is one that I would have dearly liked to take home with me and is the work of  James Wilkinson an artist blacksmith based in North Yorkshire.

Monday, 2 December 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Message In A Bottle'

I've moved the goalposts for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' and have come inside. When all is said and done there is very little in flower out in the garden now. The hard frosts of the last few nights have done their damage to whatever colour was lingering.

We celebrated a wedding anniversary this weekend and to mark the occasion himself bought me a gift. Last year he kindly treated me to a beautiful orchid with small white flowers. I've amazed myself by managing to keep it alive to this very day. It was in full flower when he bought it and has a second flowering period since although the spikes have gone over in the last couple of weeks or so. When he asked me what I might like this year I suggested an orchid to see if I can keep another one going. I've never had much joy with orchids but always envied my mother's collection which grew and flourished over many years. Anyway himself presented me with a most pretty orchid, which has taken me by surprise as it is growing in a bottle. I'm really not quite sure how I'm going to keep this one ticking over. The only care instructions are to place a couple of ice cubes on the growing medium each week. Any advice would be very welcome. I will report back this time next year!

Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her weekly invitation to share our flowers on a Monday.

Monday, 25 November 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ A Backwards Glance

It's a backward glance for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' with some sweet peas picked back in the already distant days of summer. The photo was taken at the end of July, just after we had got back from our holiday in Wales. I'm not sure why I didn't post it at the time but maybe I was just busy catching up with various odds and ends.

It was very much a case of a tale of two wigwams when it came to the sweet peas this year which were all grown as usual at the allotment. The wigwams were constructed in raised beds on opposite sides of the path that runs down the allotment. The first lot were sown at the beginning of March, whilst the second batch were sown in the middle of the same month. They were all sown in the same compost under cover in deep root trainers.

On planting at the allotment the earlier sown plants never really flourished. They grew and produced flowers but the plants were straggly and the stems were short. Wigwam Two on the other hand generously produced flowers with the bonus of long stems. However even wigwam 2 didn't produce the sheer volume of flowers that I had picked the the previous year despite the drought conditions. On reflection I think that it may have been down to the extra special attention that I paid to my sweet peas during that long hot summer.

As usual I sowed a small number of several varieties of sweet peas. I forgot to note the contents of this year's mix at the time but they definitely included some constants including 'Gwendoline', 'Erewhon', 'Eclipse', 'Mollie Rilestone' and 'Matucana' which is possibly my favourite. I'm already looking forward to choosing next year's assortment.

The vase is one that has been used before and is a small Emma Bridgewater pink hearts milk bottle acquired via eBay.

A peek over at 'Rambling In The Garden' reveals that our hostess Cathy has concocted a vase containing visions of summer and all in real time rather than a retrospective. A real treat for the eyes lightening up a dreary November afternoon. I'm looking forward to seeing what magic there is in other vases this week.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

In A Vase On Monday - Teeny Tiny

A late in the day post from me to celebrate the sixth anniversary of 'In A Vase On Monday'. I was ahead of the game with my photo taken on early Sunday afternoon but sadly then was suddenly hit by a horrible tummy bug. I was out for the count yesterday and unable to put any words to my photo. Cathy came up with the challenge of filling a little vase this week and I used a glass bottle that usually resides on my dressing table. It's a little short of three inches high. I did pause to take the stopper out of it to insert :

  • An ivy flower head.
  • A few flowers from the long flowering erigeron karvinskianus.
  • A rose from 'Luisa's Daughter', a gift from my sister.
  • Some snippets of a persicaria which is still looking vibrant despite all the recent heavy rain. I used it in a vase about a month ago unsure whether it was 'Firetail' or 'Blackfield'. Our hostess Cathy suggested that it is probably 'Firetail'.
Many thanks and much love to our excellent hostess Cathy for all the encouragement, sense of fun, inspiration and dedication she has demonstrated over the last six years. 

Monday, 28 October 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ First Frost

One solitary bloom in this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. The final flower of the year from rosa 'Crown Princess Margareta', which was cut last night to save it from the jaws of the first predicted frost this autumn. She is a new to me rose arriving as a bare root plant last November so still settling in. The skeletonised leaf which was already on the wall seemed to pick up on her colours. Crown Princess Margareta was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and was an accomplished landscape gardener and artist.

I also rescued a few unopened buds from the rose 'Luisa's Daughter', a gift from my sister and a rose which my sister had named in memory of our mum. This rose opened its first flowers in early May and was still hanging on in there last week. That first frost did indeed materialise this morning and another is forecast for tomorrow so I'm glad that I gathered these flowers and bought them into the sanctuary of the house when I did.

With thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden'.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

October Musing ~ "Delicious Autumn"

"Is this not a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

Words by George Eliot, in a letter to Maria Lewis, October 1st, 1841.

Illustration by Clara Atwood.

Monday, 14 October 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ Still Shining

A few snippets in today's 'In A Vase On Monday' gathered before the next lot of rain arrived on the horizon. An almost dry day was most most welcome though. Dry days have been in scant supply so far this autumn. In my vase some still shining late colour in the way of :

  • Aster cordifolius 'Little Carlow' which is not only a beautiful colour, dainty, late to flower and also attractive to pollinators. I am aware that it has been renamed but as I am unable to pronounce or spell the new name I'm sticking with the old.
  • Persicaria amplexicaulis-  I think that this one is 'Blackfield' but it could be 'Firetail'. I must confess to not really liking the leaves but the flowers last for such a long time.
  • A sprig of salvia 'Nachtvlinder' - not only does this flower over a considerable time but the foliage is deliciously scented. I started off with two sprigs but one came to grief as I was putting it in the vase.
  • Finally some leafiness in the form of panicum elegans 'Frosted Explosion'. These were grown from seed sown in the greenhouse back in either March or April. 
Thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her kind invitation to share our vases on a Monday.

Monday, 7 October 2019

In A Vase On Monday ~ Not Quite What The Packet Said

Another simple pick and plonk for today's 'In A Vase On Monday'. A BIG thanks for the lovely supportive comments on last post which were much appreciated 😘 I was released from the plaster cast on my right arm on Wednesday. It felt like the limb belonged to somebody else for the first day or so but I can now feel some improvement. My right hand is becoming more supple although it still definitely has some way to go before it is back to full strength. I was also slightly alarmed as I was experiencing incidents of sharp shooting pain higher up the arm before the plaster came off - the sort of pain that made me gasp aloud. I was advised at the hospital that this sort of pain can occur when you have had a limb in plaster for some time. It could last for anytime for a couple of weeks or so up to a year and a half! Anyway whatever happens I will not be in a hurry to pick up a spade in the near future. I can see a long list of jobs to do in the spring. I am pleased to say that all my left handed seed sowing of hardy annuals have germinated but I will need to do some thinning out sooner than later as I simply tipped too many seeds in. In other news himself is giving the greenhouse a spruce up and has taken the heated sand bench out for some repairs in readiness for spring. It is we think ten years old and has given good service but was in need of some minor surgery.

Just one flower in my vase this week in the shape of cosmos which were sown in April. They were according to the packet cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity' which is an old favourite of mine grown most years. Instead of those anticipated all white flowers some pink came out in the mix too. As well as the pink in the above photo there is also a deeper shade of pink at the allotment. Not quite what the customer ordered but still they are all most pretty flowers which will go on until the frosts arrive. A note has been made to order a new packet of seed for next year.

Thanks to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for being such an excellent hostess and inviting us so nicely to share our vases of flowers each week.

P.S. My joy in discovering the microphone facility on my iPad to send emails etc. whilst incapacitated was short lived - too much gobbledygook emerged. However the predictive text came in useful.