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.