greentapestry : July 2020

Monday 27 July 2020

IAVOM ~ Abundance

Sweet peas were not going to feature in this weeks 'In A Vase On Monday' but with the rain lashing down out there and a blustery wind I'm sharing a vase of sweet peas that were picked and photographed a couple of days when it was slightly more summery. My tardy sweet peas have morphed from a famine to a feast state at long last. I think that they are the one annual flower that I would miss the most. I've added one or two newcomers to the mix this year including 'April In Paris' (white with purple edge) and 'Earl Grey' (two tones and stippled). The latter is not in the vase as it had only just started to open. I am missing a couple of shades - a deep burgundy possibly 'Beaujolais' and a blue so must remember to order those for next year. The scent as always is intoxicating. 

I doubt if there will be much done in the way of gardening today other than in the greenhouse where I have some biennials to prick out - hesperis, lunaria and what the molluscs have left of the wallflowers. I'm looking forward to listening to another of the excellent Zoom lectures delivered by Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at Great Dixter on Wednesday evening this week. This one is on the subject of integrating annuals and biennials into your borders. Bookings are still being taken today here.

Thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who gives us the opportunity to share our vases every Monday come rain or shine. I hope that fellow bloggers are enjoying better picking weather and weather that is more akin to summer.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Monday 20 July 2020

IAVOM ~ Light My Fire

The contents in today's 'In A Vase On Monday' was picked on another breezy but dry Monday morning. Not a single drop of rain has fallen from the sky so far so that in itself is reason to celebrate with some sizzle. I must admit that I have a preference for pastel shades when it comes to flowers  but I do appreciate a bit of brightness now and again too. In my vase this week  are :
  • Dahlias - varieties unknown though one might possibly be 'Art Deco'. The labelling system went to pot when the dahlias were planted up in containers that had previously housed tulip bulbs. One of the dahlias still bears a label with the words 'Spring Green' written on it. I blame my assistant. The in your face bright red one at the front should be the peachy coloured 'Wine Eyed Jill' and in this case I think that it might be a case of right label, wrong plant. 
  • The pale yellow flowers of anthemis 'E.C. Buxton' which I bought home as a cutting taking during a propagation workshop at our local nursery 'Bluebell Cottage Gardens'. This is a hardy perennial and is a most easy going plant which flowers over a long spell. 
  • Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer' - I first came across this plant in the vase that you can in the photo below.

We were staying in a holiday cottage in the village of Hanley Swan which is home to fellow blogger Brian who blogs at '' .We have stayed in Hanley Swan there several times over the years to visit the Malvern Show. Usually our accommodation is our camper van but that year we treated ourselves to a week in luxury. I asked the owner of the cottage what it was and came home at the end of the week with a division of the plant which is rather lovely. The flowers are all sightly different in markings and colourings. I don't think that mine have ever been in flower alongside Michaelmas daisies but wonder if they had been given the Chelsea chop, so flowered later in the year than mine do. 
  • Some persicaria 'Blackfield' pickings - another obliging perennial although I do wish that the foliage was more attractive.
  • Finally some leafiness from what I think is the deliciously dark leaved deciduous shrub physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo'.

Is see that our hostess the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' has also been living dangerously and is playing with fire this week. Do visit. 

Monday 13 July 2020

IAVOM ~ Summer Soft

Yesterday saw a more than welcome return to summer. After a really miserable couple of weeks with the needle getting stuck on wind, rain and unseasonably cool there was finally movement in the direction of blue skies and warmth. I picked my flowers for 'In A Vase On Monday' late in the day, took a close up photo before it got too gloomy and then saved a longer distance snap for this morning. Guess what it has rained again overnight and one of my clematis flowers had wilted in the night probably because the stem wasn't properly immersed in water. So a clematis flower replaced and a photo taken before the rain kicks in again. In my vase this week are :
  • A couple of sprigs of label went a long time ago astrantia. The flowers are past peak perfection now but still have a certain faded elegance about them.
  • A little snip of the delicate but dainty pink rose 'The Fairy'. She is a shrub rose which comes into flower late in the season producing an abundance of little pom-pom clusters of clear pink flowers. Sadly she has little in the way of scent but that is her only shortcoming.
  • Sprinklings of a couple of annual grasses grown from seed sown in March, namely lagurus ovatus and hordeum jubatum. The former also goes by the most appropriate name of bunny's tail grass whilst the latter is also called squirrel tail grass which is harder for me to fathom. If squirrels had tails like that I might be more well disposed towards them. I'm still seething at the damage one of their number did more than likely did, which I described in a recent 'Wordless Wednesday' post. 
  • A couple of just opening buddleia snippets which are flushing with colour from the base upwards. The shrub came came as a cutting from my parent's garden.
  • Some white button flowers of achillea ptarmica 'The Pearl' an easy going if a rather floppy perennial. 
  • Last but but not least a couple of flowers of clematis viticella 'Blekitny Aniol', also known as 'Blue Angel'. This was purchased on holiday several years ago now from the Country Market Stall at Tavistock Pannier Market in Devon. If you live in the U.K. Country Markets are an excellent source of very reasonably priced plants and free advice from the sellers. They also sell home produced bread, cakes and pastries, jams and chutneys, eggs and a wide range of handicrafts. Hopefully they will survive and flourish again.  My clematis grows in the company of rosa 'Blush Noisette' which is usually between flushes when the clematis comes out but there are usually some rose stragglers so the two can flatter each other.

This week our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' is singing the praises of some summer beauties which I think that I might just have to try in future. Do go and have a peek. I am off to see if I can do one or two jobs between the intermittent rain that is forecast but look forward to sitting down with a cuppa later and seeing what is shining in other folk's vases this Monday.

Saturday 11 July 2020

Retail Therapy

Plant buying like haircuts has been rather sparse on the ground so far this year. I realised recently that is has been five months since I have had my hair cut. My tresses are the longest they have been probably for thirty years or more. My fringe had all but disappeared when I made the fatal mistake of asking himself if he would trim it. Say no more! Although hairdressers are open for business once more I will not be rushing to make an appointment so will have to do something with the headband I've recently bought to improve matters.

Anyway back to plant buying. Most of my plant buying is done in May at plant fairs and plant sales supplemented by trips to nurseries, the odd garden centre and open gardens. There have been none of those enjoyable activities so far this year although now that the weather has perked up after a really miserable spell plans for a couple of excursions are now being made. I occasionally buy plants online but really prefer to see plants close up and personal. Initially I thought that I would be content to make do without any plant buying and perhaps concentrate on planting all those plants screaming to get out of the cold frame. However there were one or two losses during the winter. I had peeked and peeked at the twiggy remnants of my lemon verbena plants willing them to sprout green but gave up all hope when it got to the end of May. I usually take cuttings of this but all my autumn routine went to pot when I injured my hand last September. Some years the odd pot left out over winter has re-sprouted the following spring but I think this year they probably were probably polished off by all that rain back in February.

I thought that I might be without lemon verbena this year and was resigning myself to that fact. However luck was on my side when I came across some positive feed back last month about Pepperpot Plants via my Twitter timeline and decided to look them up. Pepperpot Plants are a Hampshire herb nursery selling not only online but at some retail outlets too. Sadly lemon verbena was not available on their list at the time but I was still tempted and sent off for three scented pelargoniums, a couple of purple leaved perilla aka shiso plants and and a pineapple sage. I was delighted with the quality of plants, the speed of delivery and the sturdy packaging that the plants came in. I was also really pleased to see that there were a couple of plants in each of the pots of perilla.

The nursery updates their list of what's immediately available weekly and guess what ..... lemon verbena was listed a couple of weeks later! There was no hesitation and a second order was made for three lemon verbena plants, a couple of plants of African Blue' basil and a lavender. I have been restrained since but would have no hesitation returning to the same nursery. What about you - has it been a plant buying feast or famine during the lockdown? If the former any recommendations would be welcome.

Monday 6 July 2020

IAVOM ~ "Have A Little Patience"

In the words of the song all gardeners need to "Have A Little Patience" and never has that maxim resonated so strongly as I've waited and waited for my sweet peas to flower this summer. At long last I have a few for 'In A Vase On Monday'. Yaaaay!

I don't usually sow my sweet peas early and this year I think it was the middle of March - must search for the relevant labels to check. However I am sure that I've have never waited so long for that wonderful first of the year intoxicating intake of their aroma. This year my first sweet pea bloom didn't flower until the first day of July! I have planted two wigwams at home this year rather than in the garden. I have watered them regularly and copiously especially throughout April and May and have been feeding them. They grew well and started reaching for the sky but there was just not any signs of flowers. I started to wonder if I had made a mistake moving sweet pea headquarters from allotment to home where I have grown them for over ten years.

It was only when I commented on one of Karen's posts over at 'The Bramble Garden' which featured some sweet peas and mentioned my woebegone specimens that the penny dropped. Karen mentioned the word mulch in her reply and that was the one thing that I hadn't done. I immediately applied a layer of Strulch around them and that seems to have done the trick even though their lower limbs still remain rather bare of floral adornment. Thank you Karen for that most helpful and timely suggestion. We seem to have more than our fair share of wind this spring combined with a lot of sunny dry days and although I was diligent about watering them the water was obviously not soaking in.

I've not used Strulch before - has anybody else and if so what are your thoughts? So far so good here. As well as the sweet peas I've used it around bean plants, sweet corn and some other newly planted annuals. It is supposed to deter molluscs which it seems to be have done so up to now and it also has a most delightful aroma.

This year's sweet pea mix, which still have to reveal all their colours included 'Matucana', 'Noel Sutton,' 'Erewhon', 'Eclipse' or was it 'Enchante' (again I must find those elusive labels), 'Gwendoline', 'Mollie Rilstone' and 'April In Paris' and a couple others whose names escape me at present. It is not going to be my best year ever for plentiful supplies of sweet peas but at long last there are some most welcome pickings to swoon over.

Thanks also to our hostess Cathy who this week is also sharing her sweet pea bounty over at 'Rambling In The Garden'.