Thursday 7 December 2023

A Week OF Flowers ~ Day 7

The last of my posts for Cathy's cheering meme 'A Week Of Flowers'. How the week has flown and here it has been a most cold one with heavy frosts and some snow at the weekend, so I'm finishing with some late bright August sunshine. The flowers are those of the hardy perennial helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer', which is in flower from July and lasts for a good while before coming to a standstill sometime in October. It's easy going, usually untroubled by pests and it is a magnet for pollinators. My plant grows in one of the sunnier spots in the garden where the soil is very heavy.  The plant usually gets the 'Chelsea Chop' treatment in May. I have grown it since 2009 when I first came across it in a holiday cottage where we were spending a week. The flowers were in a vase on the windowsill which you can see below.

I didn't know what the flower was so when I had the chance to ask the cottage owner I did and she told me more about the plant and showed it to me growing in the garden. When we left to return home she very kindly presented me with a small clump as a gift so it's a lovely memento of that week.

The construction is himself's creation. He had always been fascinated by the shape of pig arks and wanted to build something in that style! It's a bit of a man shed and gym but there is room for a few gardening odds and ends. It's where the last of my bulbs are waiting for me to plant them so hopefully warmer days will come soon. 

A big thanks to Cathy over at 'Words and Herbs' who came up with the inspiring idea of sharing photos of the flowers that have bought us happiness, at a time of year where there is not much in flower. Yesterday  I noticed that the very first of my beloved snowdrops are in flower so the year has certainly come round full circle. 

Wednesday 6 December 2023

A Week OF Flowers ~ Day 6

 Today I'm going back to my favourite month of May for Cathy's 'A Week Of Flowers' with two trees, the flowers of which take my breath away every spring. Above are flowers from Malus 'Red Sentinel' whilst below are flowers from my Conference pear tree.

The two grow side by side in my garden and both were covered in a profusion of blossom. Sadly the pear produced very little in the way of fruit this year in complete contrast to last year. However the weather in spring and summer of the respective years was so different. I have a feeling that we had more than our share of rain this spring followed by some late frost so not an ideal scenario for fruit to set. I wonder what next year will bring? The crab apple on the other hand was smothered with its bright red berries up to recently. I must look later to see if there are any still hanging on to the tree. Thanks to Cathy for hosting    'A Week Of Flowers' over at her lovely blog 'Words and Herbs'.

Sunday 3 December 2023

A Week Of Flowers 2023 ~ Day 3


We woke up to a light covering of snow this morning and it's slightly warmer but not warm enough to be out in the garden. What better then but to be browsing through images of summer days  to select one for Cathy's 'A Week Of Flowers' 2023, over at Words and Herbs. Here is the hardy perennial geranium 'Rozanne', a really long and prolific flowering plant. Later in the year she enjoyed the company of dahlias and her flowers have only just come to an end with the first hard frosts. I like her so much I now have a trio of plants. 

Saturday 2 December 2023

A Week Of Flowers 2023 - Day 2

It's yet another bitterly cold day here with the threat of snow in the weather forecast so what better than 
a flashback to summer as my contribution to Cathy's 'A Week Of Flowers' for today. The photo was taken in my garden on 18th June and features the climbing rose 'Blush Noisette' with clematis 'Bletkiny Aniol' also know as 'Blue Angel'. The rose was bought as a bare root plant in the winter of 2009. I remember reading that it was a small climber growing to about 10 feet but she has achieved double that height. It repeat flowers - usually in September and in this mild autumn buds have opened throughout October and November. There were still a few flowers clinging on last week. For some reason the flowers always appear paler in photos. It is gently but noticeably scented. The clematis arrived later that year and scrabbles through the rose - sadly it doesn't really reach it's peak until just after the main show of the rose's first flowers. However for a week or so they are the most perfect companions.

Thanks to Cathy over at 'Words and Herbs' for providing some welcome flowery downtime to lighten this leaner time of year.

Friday 1 December 2023

A Week Of Flowers 2023 - Day 1

This week sees me joining in 'A Week Of Flowers' - an annual celebration hosted by Cathy over at 'Words and Herbs' , where we can share the flowers in our garden every day for a week. On a cold and frosty December day when flowers are at a premium I'm starting with a glimpse of summer with papaver orientale 'Patty's Plum'. This hardy perennial gives me grief every year as I debate whether to dig it up and find a new home for it if possible or if not to lob it into the green waste bin. The flowers are stunning but only shine for just over a week and then vanish into a dishevelled crumple. It's not as if the remaining foliage is attractive to look at.  So far though it has won the day and remained in the garden. This photo was taken on the 9th June.

The plant has an interesting history. It was initially discovered as a chance seedling on the compost heap of Patricia Marrow's nursery in Somerset and then saved for posterity. Imagine if nobody had attended that compost heap for a while!

Thanks Cathy for brightening up these cold days with floral delights.

Monday 27 November 2023

IAVOM ~ Return Of The Spider

It's Monday again and time to share a vase. After much rain and now our first hard frosts of the autumn there is isn't much colour in the garden and what there is looks most forlorn and bedraggled. Under the cover of the greenhouse though there is a small corner of glowing colour which forms the content of today's vase. It's chrysanthemum 'Spider Bronze', which is bringing some welcome sparkle to the kitchen windowsill on a wet morning. I took my photo late on Saturday morning when we did have some welcome sunshine.

This is a tender perennial. I treated myself to one plant last year but it didn't come through the winter. I imagine that the long bitterly cold spell we had last December may have been responsible. As I liked it that much I treated myself in the spring to a trio of plug plants, which are now flowering away happily. I will be interested to see how long they last once picked as they are supposed to have a long vase life. 

The vase was a purchase earlier this year from the florist's shop near my hairdresser's salon. The shop contains a myriad of glass vases and bottles in all sorts of shapes and sizes. 

No gardening from me today apart from perusing the potted snowdrops in the greenhouse one or two showing some white and much promise of things to come. It is just too cold and damp out there for me and I've sustained an injury. I managed to cut through the nail of my index finger whilst slicing carrots so I am slightly sore and well plastered. Thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her most gently encouraging hosting. I'm really looking forward to vase hopping later today with notebook and pen by my side. 

Monday 13 November 2023

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Ten Years Gone'

Today we're celebrating the tenth anniversary in 'In A Vase On Monday' which has given me and many other bloggers much pleasure over the years! As well as picking for a vase most weeks it has has been so interesting to see what everyone else is growing. My wish list has certainly grown as a result and over the years new plants have been introduced into the garden. Not only that but Cathy and fellow participants are such an encouraging, supportive and welcoming bunch so there is always a warm glow to Mondays whatever else is going on in the world.

It's a most modest vase from me this week in the shape of a teeny tiny expresso cup, which is one of a motley crew of cups and mugs displayed on the Welsh dresser in our kitchen. If my memory serves me correctly it was a charity shop find many moons ago. It's French in origin, manufactured by a china producer by the name of Sarreguemines. Hopefully with some research I might be able to put an age to it.

Just a duo in my 'vase' :

  • A spray of chrysanthemum 'Bigoudi Red' - this was bought as a cutting last year and came inside the greenhouse last winter. It has since been back out but it is now back in. The plan is to take cuttings next year and to experiment with leaving the odd one outside to see if they will overwinter. It is a  darker shade of red than it appears in my photo.
  • Some snippets of an unknown physocarpus although probably 'Diablo'

Sending Cathy over at 'Rambling In the Garden' a ginormous virtual bouquet of flowers and many, many thanks for all the love and hard work you put into keeping ' In A Vase On Monday' flourishing. You're an absolute star! 💐 👏🏻❤️

Monday 6 November 2023

IAVOM ~ Edited


 A slightly brighter and drier day of late enabled me to get out to take a photograph this morning. Last week's vase hadn't made in to the house but had dwelled in the greenhouse for a week. With it being cooler out there than in the house the contents apart from the dahlia were still fresh so I just introduced one new flower and swapped vases.

In my vase are :
  • Some leafiness provided by pittisporum 'Silver Ball'.
  • The antirhinnum 'Madam Butterfly Watermelon' - the flowers now more open than they were a week ago when they were just really showing hints of pink.
  • A spring of rosa' The Fairy'- this is a low growing polyantha rose which bears clusters of small light pink flowers from late June right through to the first frosts. The foliage always seems to be glossy and untouched by any signs of black spot. It has very delicate small hips. Perhaps it's only fault is that it does not appear to have any scent.
As always thanks must go to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' . The seemingly incessant wet weather of the last week has ruled out much in the way of gardening, although some work under cover in the greenhouse has been done. Looking forward to vase hopping with pen and paper in hand. 

Monday 30 October 2023

In A Vase On Monday ~ Drip

It's soggy and grey out there this morning and either rain and/or leaves have been showering down with some gusto. The willow in the background is slowly shedding it's leaves but there is a silver lining in that some of them fall on the other side of the wall so we do not have to clear them up. The next few days promise to continue in the same vein weather wise with another named storm forecast for the middle of the week. Still a few tenacious flowers are clinging on and one or two are positively thriving including dahlias and the stalwart hardy geranium that is 'Rozanne', who so well deserves her award of winner of the RHS Plant of the Centenary at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show.

In my vase this week are :

  • A single stem of dahlia 'Molly Raven' whose praises I've sung  loudly before now.
  • A stem of antirrhinum 'Madame Butterfly Watermelon'. This was grown from seed back in March and has not really thrived. It seems to be producing more flowering stems now that we're reaching the end of the season than it did in the summer. However it might be more floriferous next year if it comes through the winter.
  • A couple of sprigs of pittosporum 'Silver Ball'. This was new to me earlier this year and the plan is to keep it in a pot and to try to keep it in trim. Apparently it's a plant that lives up to it's name forming a ball like shape.
Thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her gentle encouragement to pick a few flowers and share them whatever the weather is up to.

Here there might be a long enough break in the clouds for me to get outside to top up that green waste bin - tomorrow sees the penultimate collection of the year and there is still a little space inviting me to fill it to the brim. In the greenhouse there are some hardy annuals that are ready to be potted on so that will be the next job. A garden visit with a friend is on the cards tomorrow weather permitting. I hope that you all enjoy your garden activities this week.