greentapestry : May 2021

Monday 31 May 2021

IAVOM ~ "Flowers In The Window"

" And there is time, time, time

To plant new seeds and watch them grow

So there will be flowers before we go"

Well what a difference a week can make when it comes to the weather never mind politics. A lovely sunny and warm day especially when compared to last Monday and all that is so magical about this month has finally come about in the very last week! I realised this morning that my brand new vase could just sneak in one more appearance when it comes to 'In A Vase On Monday' before the month of May is out. Again few contents as the neck of the vase is on the small side. 

The first is lovely lacy annual orlaya grandiflora. These were sown on the 6th September 2020 and overwintered in the greenhouse before being hardened off. I have since sown a second batch in March and may yet squeeze in a third.

Secondly a couple of heads of anemone 'Galilee Pastel Mix'. The bulbs were planted towards the end of February in three inch pots in the greenhouse on top of the heated sand bench. Once they had come through they were moved way from the warmth of the sand bench before going out to harden off some time in April. I grew them last year for the first time but was unlucky to end up with a bag of flowers of all one colour but this year's bulbs are already revealing a more varied rainbow of colours. The flower that is prominent is more lilac than the pink it appears to be in the photo. The other flower lurking at the back is white. I planted another lot of bulbs in March which have still to reveal their flowers. They are perennial but last year's bulbs did not overwinter so it will be interesting to see what transpires with this batch. 

Finally a single snip of last year's carrot foliage which was still fresh from last week's vase.

My post title was inspired by my exercise on the treadmill this morning when my ears were treated to the sound of 'Flowers In The Window' by the excellent Travis. We often listen to their music late at night when we're away in the camper van, especially when we are parked well away from other vehicles and can sing at the top of our voices. One of those songs that I have heard before but had forgotten about so I was delighted to rediscover it and it sparked the idea of an indoor vase setting.

Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who came up with the gem of an idea for sharing our vases each and every Monday. 

Monday 24 May 2021

IAVOM ~ " The Darling Buds Of May"


Just simple pickings in today's 'In A Vase On Monday', in the shape of aquilegias which are amongst my favourite May flowers along with geranium phaeum, Solomons Seal and Jacob's Ladder. These are are the direct descendants of seeds obtained in the 1980s from The Cottage Garden Society seed exchange scheme. I think that the variety is 'Hensol Harebell'. They have gently seeded themselves about over the years sometimes in surprising nooks and crannies and are most easy going and usually disease/mollusc free. The ferny foliage has been snipped from a pot of carrots grown last year which I really must empty. The weather today is cool, breezy and not surpisingly there has been yet more rain. However the weather forecast promises some overdue warmer and oh so welcome days to come as the week unfolds.

I have treated myself to a new vase via Etsy after such a long spell of not adding a single newcomer to the vase cupboard. I like it, although the hole for inserting flowers is most restrictive in diameter. No doubt it will make another public appearance next May.

As always a virtual bouquet of flowers and thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for prompting us to share our vases each Monday.

Saturday 22 May 2021

Diary Update


Well almost a fortnight since my last diary post so I'm not doing brilliantly so far. I would love to say that I've spent a lot of time in the garden of late but that is sadly not the case. The weather has often been cool, windy and very, very wet and almost unlike May. It will be interesting to see what the weather statistics are at the end of the month. 

The table of plants in the photo is my haul from a plant sale last Sunday. This was far less chaotic than our first in ages plant fair visit in April and it was comfortable to browse. I came home with astrantias, thalictrums, a geum, a couple of pulmonarias, an actaea and a veronicastrum 'Fascination'. I have never grown a veronicastrum before. Three of them are plants that I have had before and lost. Astrantias 'Gill Richardson' and 'Burgundy Manor' both got suffocated by too many plants surrounding them and my lack of care whilst the lovely dainty thalictrum 'Hewitt's Double' has lived here before on at least one occasion and slowly fizzled out.

Planting out the September hardy annuals is still underway. I hoped to get them in by now but the weather gods have conspired against me. The foliage on some of them is looking slightly anaemic but hopefully they will perk up once their feet are in the ground. I will also treat them to some seaweed feed. It will be the turn of the half hardys next which are still in the process of being hardened off.

The French beans - both the climbing 'Cobra' and the smaller 'Ferrari' have been sown as well as 'Sweet Basil and 'Mrs Burn's Lemon Basil'. My little courgette plants look quite sturdy. March sown sweet pea plants are in now in the ground planted at the base of a wigwam.

I want to sow one or two more annuals before the end of the month so need to sit down before the weekend is out and make a list. I'm also thinking of splitting some of my biennial seed sowing over May and June so better add them to the list too. Only a handful of varieties though.

In other news a lovely blogging friend - you know who you are, sent me a couple of dahlia cuttings as well as a cutting of salvia 'Phyllis Fancy'. I've also welcomed half a dozen little bit healthy and happy scented pelargoniums from 'Fibrex Nurseries' a company which specialises in pelargoniums. Finally all this wet suff means that the weeds are growing! 

Saturday 8 May 2021

Dear Diary

When I started my blog many moons ago I had some notion that I would be able to make use of it to track gardening and allotment activities. I thought of it perhaps developing into regular diary type entries which would enable me to record the plannings, plantings and general going ons in the garden and what was then an allotment too. Well I was never brilliant at keeping a diary even when I was much younger and in the way of all my previous chronicle keeping attempts entries slowly but surely fell by the wayside. I have decided to have another attempt at a weekly or thereabouts diary type post. I'm sure that some weeks I will have more to say than others.

After the cool and dry April we experienced the first week of May has been decidely chilly too with some dramatic wintry precipitation. What has been remarkable though has been the amount of rain we've had over this time which has been welcomed by the garden, although perhaps not as much by the gardener whose attempts to get out there have been thwarted. Everything though looks so refreshed and the air smells better. We are promised warmer days in the week ahead starting with a prediction a temperature in double figures tonight! For the first time this spring a mollusc patrol will be mounted when darkness falls.

Plans for this week include planting out some of the September sown hardy annuals later than I would have preferred. These include orlaya, ammi visnaga, scabious and calendula. There should have been snapdragons too but only one germinated. Mind you it's a fine specimen if I say so myself but it is destined to be a lonely only. There are also some February planted on the heated sand bench 'Galilee Pastel' mix anemones to be planted. Once I have freed up a number of three inch pots there will be more pricking out and hardening off of various greenhouse residents. I reckon that everything is behind this year because of the combination of cold and dry. The first batch of March sown sweet peas are also ready to be planted. There is a wigwam already in place awaiting them.

Seed sowing plans for the week include zinnia, French beans, and direct sowing sowing some nigella. There is something else too but it is evading me just now. No garden centre, plant fairs or garden visits planned for this week but hopefully there will be more soon.

Giving me great pleasure in the cold and often damp gone past week have been my zingy pots of tulips. One filled with 'Ballerina' tulips, whilst the other two have a mixture of 'Ballerina', 'Jan Reus' and 'Purple Dream'. Although I love the colour combination 'Purple Dream' is much taller than the others and is rather wayward. I will tweak the combination next year. Apologies for the quality of the photo but it was a lightening snap with my phone on a chilly evening. It still conveys the colours. I feel so smug to have three containers of flourishing tulips as I have a love hate relationship with them, the leaves leaving me stone cold. The secret might be that himself planted them for me under my supervision. What has given you pleasure gardening wise this week?

Monday 3 May 2021

IAVOM ~ 'Purple Rain'


The occupants of 'In A Vase On Monday' were gathered on Sunday afternoon in anticipation of a rainy Bank Holiday Monday, a forecast which so far has been spot on. I wish that I could share the scent coming from these flowers with you as it's most pleasing. In the vase are :
  • Geranium phaeum - an old favourite. It's not scented but the bees love it, it seems to be reasonably pest and disease free and flowers for a reasonable amount of time. A good haircut after flowering promotes fresh growth. I think that this one is a seedling, possibly of geranium phaeum 'Lily Lovell' rather than a named variety. They do self seed but not to the extent that they should carry a government health warning.
  • Wallflower - I mentioned this one a couple of posts back or so. It was grown from in 2019. It flowered last spring and looked exactly as the seed packet described it namely 'Wallflower Sunset Apricot'. I was delighted with the flowers and looked forward to a repeat performance this spring but as you can see it has morphed into this purple/ pinky shade with only a touch of apricot remaining. It is scented but will be removed when flowering is done and I will sow some more seeds next month.
  • Lunaria rediviva also known as a perennial honesty. This is the most soft shade of lilac and  has the most sweetly scented flowers. I grew this from seed in 2017 and after moving it it sulked for a while but seems to be happier this spring. It is quite a big plant and I'm still not sure whether it is in the right place. Unlike the biennial honesty the seed heads are elliptical. 

My vase, an old pickle or relish jar of some description is now on the kitchen window sill. I don't think that it will last long but I am going to enjoy the scent whilst I can when standing at the kitchen sink. 

Thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for inviting us to share our vases on Monday. I don't think that there will be much in the way of gardening done here today other than under the cover of the greenhouse. The rain is forecast to continue for the day which is quite reassuring given how dry April was. The wind is getting up as promised which is not as welcome. Still time to do some cosy potting up in the greenhouse and visit other vase posts sounds a much more attractive proposition than being stuck in bank holiday traffic. I hope that you're enjoying your Monday wherever you are.