greentapestry : December 2018

Monday 17 December 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Towards The Solstice

Although the winter solstice is still a few days away it certainly felt like winter good and proper on Saturday, with storm Deirdre knocking loudly on the door for a few hours. Sunday was much calmer and drier at least during daylight hours and the bitter wind had worn itself out. Time for a walk round the garden and to snip the heads off a few real hardy perennials for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. Into my vase went:
  • A stem of helleborus niger also known as the Christmas rose. I purchased a tray of six plug plants back in November for a most reasonable price from the German supermarket name beginning with an L. I bought them on a whim, only spotting them as we had exited the shop with some food shopping. Himself was duly patient waiting in the car whilst I dived back in the store to get in the queue again. Fortunately it was a short queue.
  • A snippet or two of jasmine nudiflorum also known as winter flowering jasmine. It provides a most welcome ray of sunshine in the darkest of days. 
  • A couple of leaves of arum italicum which seem to last forever in a vase. I have resolved to buy another plant to plug one of the gaps in the snowdrop border.

          The vase itself  is a newcomer to the growing collection that has been slowly multiplying since I've been participating in 'A Vase On Monday'. For some time I've hankered after some smaller vases and this is one of a recent arrival of a set of four different coloured glass vases, making use of a gift voucher my dear sister sent to me some time ago. I'm delighted with them especially this green one. No doubt the others will make a debut on the blog sometime in the future. Thanks as always to our lovely hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for brightening up Mondays.

Monday 10 December 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Innocent Until Proved Guilty

It is decidedly soggy in the garden at the moment and the main colours are greens, shades of brown and shades of something less appealing than brown.There are signs of the winter and spring treasures that will follow - primroses, hellebores and snowdrops but as yet these are too precious and few to pick. However the garden yielded this seemingly innocent trio for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. I say seemingly innocent because all of them are thugs of the highest order, the first two of which I would not plant again if I could turn back time. They are :
  • A symphoricarpos or snowberry bush which bears the little pink pink tinged berries that you can see in the above photo. This shrub is a creeper that is in the pursuit of world domination. Avoid it like the plague! Mine came to me via my parents which is why it is still in the garden, that and also because I think it would be almost impossible to remove every trace of it. It probably didn't thrive as well in the dry soil of East Anglia as much as it does in a significantly wetter part of the country. I didn't inherit my father's hack it to within an inch of its life genes. If I had I would have probably not had the same problems with the snowberry. I wouldn't mind as much if berry production was bounteous but the berries are usually bitty and sparse. Still I suppose it's a bit of colour in these cooler months which is not to be sniffed at.
  • An in your face shocking pink flowered hardy geranium which I can't remember ever hankering for or even introducing to the garden. This again should carry a government health warning! It seeds absolutely everywhere and is one of those that even when you think that you have got rid of it, manages to leave enough below the ground to return as an unwelcome visitor given enough time. I think it might be geranium x oxanianum but am not sure. Whatever its identity it's only plus is that is flowers for a long, long time probably from May right through to the back end of the year.
  • The third occupant of my vase is erigeron mucronatus which is rather an ugly name for a most attractive low growing plant. It was previously known as erigeron karvinskianus, which although a mouthful seemed a more attractive name. It hails from Mexico. This plant flowers for months starting here sometimes as early as March, and continues until the first protracted spells of hard frost.  It flowers for even longer than the geranium and the flowers turn from pink to white as they age. It came about as a result of a Margery Fish moment many years ago. She beguilingly described the plant in terms that I could not resist. However she did write of it in her book 'Cottage Garden Flowers that 'nobody minds how many seedlings appear each year'. I have to disagree with that particular conclusion as it self seeds prolifically and that's stating it mildly. I have to chuckle when I see it for sale at exorbitant prices. Over the years it has survived various serious eradication attempts by himself which I'm secretly rather pleased about.

Our hostess Cathy is featuring a most attractive rose in her vase today - if you haven't already called in do pay a visit to 'Rambling In The Garden' to see her post along with links to other vases. Make sure you have pen and paper to hand!

Saturday 1 December 2018

Reading Matters - 'I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree'

"I am the seed 
 that grew the tree
 that gave the wood
 to make the page
 to fill the book
 with poetry"

~ 'Windsong' by Judith Nicholls.

This poem gives its name to a new book of poetry 'I Am the Seed That Grew The Tree' that recently made its way to my bookshelves. Although I am an avid reader I'm buying fewer and fewer books each year so much so that new books have become a mere trickle. This is one though that I couldn't resist after reading a review in a Saturday newspaper. Although I will not settle down to a thorough browse until much later this month my initial impressions are that this volume is an absolute gem.

The book contains a nature poem for every day of the year. It has been published by Nosy Crow in conjunction with The National Trust. Within its pages are poems about snowflakes, stars, moonlight, seasons, storms, rain, rainbows, fog, wind, flowers, fruit, vegetables, leaves, trees, sea and seashells to name but a few themes, as well as all manner of wonderful creatures. Every page is illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon with big bold colourful images which are every bit as beguiling as the poems themselves.

There is list at the start of each month with detailing the poem and its author  for each day together with a comprehensive indexes of poems and first lines at the back of the book. Some of the poems are well known old favourites but the majority are ones that I've not come across before so the book will be a voyage of discovery. It is a primarily children's book but it would appeal to all generations.  I should point out that the book is hardback and weighty. I find it an effort to pick it up so for children I think it would be a sitting at the table reading activity after adult hands have placed it there. Definitely not one to drop on your toes. You find out more about the story of how the book came to be here.

I purchased my book from Hive but is also available through other online sources as well as from national and local high street bookshops.

As the cooler months unfold I hope to share more of my reading matter and would really love to hear what you are reading.