Monday, 24 October 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Nearly But Not Quite.

Today's 'In A Vase On Monday' was nearly a solitary stem of roses but I could bit bring myself to snip it as it could well be the last of the year. There are buds still to open on 'Blush Noisette' but they will probably be zapped by the first frost of autumn whenever that arrives. Today's vase was nearly a cloud of the white cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity' but I have not made it to the allotment. There is a distinct chill in the air and no sun about. Wimp that I am plans to work on the plot were shelved.

So instead in today's vase are a couple of now going over heads of ivy flowers, the dangling flowers of leycesteria formosa, the intense purple of salvia 'Amistad', aster' Little Carlow' (yes I know that asters are now called something else), the purple foliage and tiny fuzzy flowers of perilla frutescens, some asparagus foliage and the crimson tapers of persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail'. The latter was the only plant that I bought at the Malvern Flower Show last month. For some reason I didn't have my plant buying head on, as not only did I come home with one solitary plant it's one that is already growing in the garden! Having said that it's a really good do'er which flowers for months, so I'm more than happy to have a spare. More about the perilla in another post.

The garden is slowly coming to a standstill flowering wise but there are signs of exciting times ahead. The first snowdrop of the new season is already through and showing white! Thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday ~ A Worisit?

This shrub stopped me in my tracks on Saturday morning when strolling along admiring the fabulous plantings on the promenade at Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. It was singing out on a most dull and wet morning. My photograph taken from underneath a ginormous black umbrella doesn't do it justice. Would love to know what it is.

Monday, 17 October 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Foraged Flora

Today's vase was foraged yesterday during the course of a late afternoon constitutional. We have spent a long weekend at our caravan in Cumbria. The heavy rain of yesterday morning cleared enough for us to stroll the mile or so to the local pub for Sunday lunch and then back again. We were briefly able to kid ourselves that it was still summer on our return so sat out with afternoon coffee and a read. The sun however loses its strength all too quickly at this time of year, so we retreated back in for a while, before deciding to stretch our legs again whilst it was still light. We have what has become a regular 40 minute or so circuit, which takes in a country lane, a small village, then a dirt track before we enter an underpass where we invariably pause to sing and shout and enjoy the echoes. Fortunately we have not as yet encountered any other pedestrians in the underpass. Then on to the main but still quiet road that leads to the caravan park.

My eyes were peeled as we ambled so I was able to fill my impromptu vase of a beer glass on our return. In the vase are achillea, a stem of the pretty but extremely invasive impatiens glandulifera, some seed heads (probably cow parsley) and some what I think is is eupatorium cannabinum. The rains descended with a vengeance before we returned, so my pickings were rather unceremoniously jammed into the glass before I retreated inside. Here they are this morning perched rather precariously on the storage locker at the side of the caravan.

As always I'm intrigued to see what other participants have in their 'In A Vase On Monday' posts today. Thanks to Cathy over 'At Rambling In The Garden' who is not only a dedicated but also a charming hostess.

Monday, 10 October 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ Better Late Than Never

The contents of this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' were picked and photographed last week but for some reason I didn't to get time to compose a post featuring them. I forget what prevented me. Some seven days later the same flowers were still going strong at the allotment so perhaps using last week's photo is not really cheating. What do you think?

In my vase are :
  • Sweet peas from seed that was sown in the middle of March. The wigwam made up of these did much better than the sweet peas sown at the beginning of March, both in terms of general vigour and quantity of flowers.
  • Cornflower 'Blue Ball' which have been more impressive than their darker 'Black Ball' siblings. I've not grown cornflowers for years but sowed these back on 17th March. The plants became rather straggly and soon needed propping up. They have been in non-stop flower since at least 20th June, so nearly four months later I think they deserve the accolade of being 'good doers'. Plant numbers will be reduced though next year. Four plants of each was more than enough.
  • Cosmos 'Double Click Cranberries'. These grew into rather substantial and sturdy plants which have flowered for most of the summer. Sadly they flopped when I picked them for the vase so their heads are looking down in the above photo. However they had perked up noticeably by the next morning. Cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity' has been a disappointment this year making tall and lanky plants which have only just come into flower in the last couple of weeks or so. I grow this most years and have not encountered the same issue before. I clocked cosmos bipinnatus 'Pysche White' in a display at the Malvern Autumn Show last month. It has most attractive small semi double white flowers and it's made its way onto next year's seed list.
  • The last of the quartet is symphyotrichum 'Little Carlow'. This is a really fabulous and easy going autumn flowering plant. I have sung its praises here more than once in the past when it still went by the much more user friendly name of aster 'Little Carlow'. As well as being pleasing to the eye it's also beloved by pollinators. The plant at the allotment was visited by both bumble bees and honey bees in this morning's pleasant sunshine. 
Thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' as always for her hospitality and encouragement to share our flowers at the start of each week.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Musing In October

"Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; 
Lengthen night and shorten day; 
Every leaf speaks bliss to me 
Fluttering from the autumn tree. 
I shall smile when wreaths of snow 
Blossom where the rose should grow; 
I shall sing when night’s decay 
Ushers in a drearier day."

~ Poem 'Fall, Leaves, Fall' by Emily Bronte, 1818 -1848.
Illustration by Lena Anderson, 1939 -
Today is National Poetry Day. This year's theme is messages.

Monday, 26 September 2016

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Great Expectations'

We've returned this afternoon to a soaked and still rain falling down on it garden, after a weekend away. It's too damp to stick my head out again so I thought that maybe Cathy would permit me some artistic liberty when it comes to this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. We spent a day at the Malvern Autumn Show on Saturday which is always a great day out. This dainty tableaux entitled 'Miss Haversham's Wedding Breakfast' was an entry in one the floral art classes ~

This was obviously when the wedding breakfast was still fresh - not a single sign of cobweb. Looking forward to seeing the contents of other vases this week and with thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden'.

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.