Monday, 3 October 2022

IAVOM - Glow

Perhaps this week's vase photo should have been taken elsewhere other than its usual perch as it seems in danger of being lost in a sea of green but at least it was lighter out there than inside. In my vase this week are :

  • Dahlia 'Molly Raven' - I have grown one or two new to me dahlias this year and this is my favourite. In fact I'm slightly bewitched by her and think that she might be one of the most attractive dahlias I've come across. She has the most delicious inner eye of deep colour and subtle apricot lines on the petals which slowly fade to a more overall pink. She is quite prolific as far as flowers go. The foliage is relatively dark and so are the stems. The former is a plus in my books as I think that the darker leaved dahlias don't usually hold the same appeal for molluscs. The flowers hold their heads up nicely to attention and they once cut last well in a vase. 
  • Panicum capillare 'Sparkling Fountain' - a half- hardy annual, all grown from my own saved seed.
  • Orlaya visnaga - another half-hardy annual which was given to me by a friend in a seedling swap earlier this summer. It's still in full flush and will keep going until the first frosts. 

Thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy who blogs over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting.  Here it is a pleasant calm and mild October afternoon. I'm off outside to make the most of the calm before the predicted storm by topping up my green garden waste bin before collection tomorrow morning. I will be vase hopping later.

Monday, 5 September 2022

IAVOM ~ Damson Days

This week's vase is definitely a pick and plonk effort as I'm somewhat lacking in energy. I suppose it was inevitable sooner or later that the dreaded virus would catch up with us and it well and truly did. Most fortunately neither of us has had to take to our beds or seek medical help but it has certainly stopped us in our tracks for a good few days. The most noticeable symptom is that we have both lost our sense of smell for now which is most disconcerting. I believe that it can take a good while to return.

Anyway despite this one seasonal activity just had to place yesterday and that was the damson jam making. We're not big jam eaters but enjoy the occasional slice of granary toast adorned with a spread of damson jam. We now have four jars of deliciousness to last us through the next year plus one jar still unopened from last year's batch. All stones were surgically removed from the fruit by himself before stewing as if you have never had the experience of biting into a damson stone it's not to be recommended.

In my vase this week are :

  • Dahlia 'La Recoleta' - she is the same delicious colour as the damson jam and is apparently very good for cutting. I've not grown her before and as these are the first flowers I've cut I will have to wait to see how they fare in a vase.
  • Dahlia 'Copperboy', also known as Sturm 807 which again I've not grown before. I made the mistake of faffing about with the flowers once they were in the vase. I should know better than this  as one of these dahlias was waning rather than waxing so some of the petals fell off in the process as you can see.
  • Rudbeckia hirta 'Sahara' - this half hardy perennial has now become a must have on my seed sowing list each year. It is sometimes erratic in germination but worth the cosseting it receives. I never seem to have enough of the merlot shades that the packet of this mix promises. I might sow from more than one packet and different seed company next year or perhaps also sow some rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy' for some deep red colour.
  • Astrantia 'Gill Richardson' - from a most welcome second flush. I'm hoping to save some seeds from this plant. They don't produce come but I think that some attractive seedlings might arise. Apparently seedlings with green leaves should be removed to maximise the chance of new plants emerging true to form.
  • Some dangling greenery of in the shape humulus lupus aureus or to give it its common name golden hop. This grows over an arch and I've mentioned before is one of the banes of himself's life as he had 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! Himself now takes the longer route to our excuse for a lawn. 
Thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for enabling us to enjoy each other's vases each Monday. Off now to top up that green bin of garden waste before it gets emptied tomorrow.

Saturday, 27 August 2022

Musing ~ An August Midnight

 Spotted out in the streets of Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria.

Please click on the photo if it is a struggle to see the text.

Monday, 22 August 2022

IAVOM - 'Turning Japanese'


This week's vase chose itself before the flowers were even picked. It was bought just over five years ago when I met up with one of many nieces. She had just obtained her degree result and I treated her to lunch in Liverpool to celebrate her success. Afterwards we pottered about calling into various shops including a small arts and crafts centre where she persuaded me to buy this vase. A few days ago my niece and her partner finally set off on a grand adventure that was originally planned to commence in the spring of 2020 when the pandemic abruptly halted many people's plans and dreams. They have finally set off to spend a year working in Japan and no doubt fitting in some travel too. I shall miss her occasional visits, the odd day out together and her lively company. Over the last year she ventured into allotment gardening and would regularly ask for advice and reassurance. More recently she was sending me impressive photos of her crops and has come to the conclusion that when she returns that buying a house with a garden will be a priority. I'm really looking forward to keeping up with her travels and experiences and she has promised photos of horticultural interest especially at cherry blossom time.

In this Monday's vase are :

  • A head of the lovely 'Lady Emma Hamilton' rose which has the most delicious scent, attractive flowers and rather lovely newly emerging leaves.
  • Larkspur 'Misty Lavender' grown from seed. I finally hit the jackpot this year when it came to germination having a surplus to my requirements seedlings. They have been neighbours to cosmos which most conveniently props them up. I shall have to remember this next year. 
  • Some achillea 'Summer Berries' - this perennial was again grown from seed sown in September 2020. 
  • Didiscus caeruleus - also known as the 'Blue Lace' flower. This is half hardy annual and was grown from seed by a friend and given to me when we swapped some seedlings. I like the flowers but am not really sure about the foliage.
  • Phlox which I thought was 'Cherry Caramel' although I have serious doubts as to their identity the cherry eyes are conspicous by their absence. This is another half hardy annual which I sowed in the greenhouse in March. It was a second sowing as the first didn't germinate and I think that I might have at that point accidentally selected a packet of phlox paniculata 'Isabellina', which was lurking in close proximity in my seed box. Never matter as I still like them just as much.
  • Some grassy foliage interest from panicum capillare 'Sparkling Fountain' which was sown in spring from seeds collected from last year's plants. I've planted them in pots with companions.

  • So nearly not appearing in any vase this year is a stem of the half hardy annual molluccella laevis commonly known as 'Bells of Ireland'. I have grown these before but not for many years. They were still in a seed tray when I tucked them at the back of the cold frame some time ago and then forgot about them! Two plants managed to flower despite my neglect - the actual flowers are the tiny pinky white whorls you can see in the close up photo above. I intend to do better next year as they are an excellent foliage plant and also dry well.
One of those promised photos from Japan arrived early this morning - a great start to the day. Thanks always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her stalwart hosting. Looking forward as the day unfolds to seeing what is in other vases on this so far sunny although rain in the forecast Monday.

Monday, 8 August 2022

IAVOM - 'Some Like It Hot'

The thought of another spell of hot weather stretching ahead isn't doing much for me. Despite having some Mediterranean genes heat and I are not compatible companions. Gardening tasks will be accomplished early in the morning or in the evening, a supply of cool drinks has been stockpiled and there is some much anticipated reading to keep me occupied as well as several less anticipated neglected housework tasks. Although I don't enjoy the heat I am drawn to some of the hot colours that are coming into prominence now so in my vase this week are :

  • Rudbeckia 'Sahara' - which is now a regular stalwart and in my must haves to sow back in the spring. They come in most attractive shades although there are never quite enough of my favourite shade which is a soft rosy red colour. 
  • Helenium 'Sahin's Early Riser' - a division of this perennial was kindly given to me by the owner of a holiday cottage that we stayed in for a holiday in 2009. I had admired it in the garden and had asked her the name. To be given a plant to be taken home was a welcome surprise as we handed the keys in on departure and a permanent reminder of that holiday. It's an easy going perennial and this year has really benefited from me remembering to give it the 'Chelsea Chop'. Along with the astrantias it was the plant that flagged the most in last month's heatwave. I was all set to revive it with the watering can when even better we had a decent amount of rain which revived it almost overnight. We've been fortunate enough to have more rain than some part of the country this summer and it has had a good drenching within the last few days. Still I will keep a close eye on it this week to watch out for any signs of distress.
  • Dahlias - I included a couple of stems of dahlias namely 'Waltzing Matilda' and ' Copperboy'. I've not grown either before and have enjoyed seeing them come into flower. 'Waltzing Matilda' more than lives up to her name with twirling petals and has a fascinating habit of closing up for the night.
  • Some cooling down from the pale creamy yellow flowers of the perennial anthemis 'E.C. Buxton', which started life as a small cutting coming home with me from a propagation course at a local nursery.
Thank you to Cathy who blogs at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting come heatwaves or hail. I've just remembered that I must water a new plant that I risked getting in the ground last week so will make tracks. What are your hints and tips for keeping cool?

Monday, 25 July 2022

IAVOM ~ Hotchpotch

This week's Monday vase is a bit of a hotchpotch to say the least and is certainly not a combination that I will be repeating again. It's more of one or two pickings which I like and one or two that hopefully will goad me into some sort of action in the future. The contents are as follows :

  • Cosmos 'Apricotta' - I thought that I might like this when I saw it in the seed catalogues and on line photos but I don't. The pink eye seems most garish when compared to the soft apricot petals. If it was minus the pink I would love it. It's a reminder to me to return either to all pink or white cosmos varieties and not to flirt with novelty in the future.
  • Rosa glauca - not in flower at the moment but I like the foliage more than the flower. Again a reminder to introduce more grey into the garden - maybe a eucalyptus.
  • Persicaria - a most useful late flowering perennial. I wish I knew which one this was. There are two stemas in the vase but one has gone into hiding.
  • A couple of heads of allium sphaerocephalon which is a most subtle and pleasing plant. These seem to be dwindling and as I'm about to put my autumn bulb order in I'm going to add a good number of these bulbs. They occupy so little space and are such easy maintenance and unlike their bigger cousins don't leave a legacy of unattractive foliage to clear up. Annoyingly I cut these two stems shorter than intended.
  • Finally a flower from a plant which I've hankered after for years but have only recently purchased namely helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'. It's been on the wish list forever and I'm not sure why I've never got hold of a plant before. Maybe it will encourage me to buying one or two other plants that have lingered on the wish list for way too long.

All in all it's not the most aesthetically pleasing of vases but more of a memory jogging post for me. I could have shared yet another big vase of sweet peas but that would be at the risk of becoming boring. Sadly the sweet pea foliage has now developed mildew so I don't know how much longer the wigwam will be there for. In other news last week's exceptional and indeed record breaking temperatures for the U.K. seem most distant. It's back to wet and windy here and in fact there has been a lot of rain since Thursday but the garden is not complaining in the least. Sending a big thank you to Cathy who blogs over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting and looking forward to seeing what's in other cases this week.