greentapestry : July 2022

Monday 25 July 2022

IAVOM ~ Hotchpotch

This week's Monday vase is a bit of a hotchpotch to say the least and is certainly not a combination that I will be repeating again. It's more of one or two pickings which I like and one or two that hopefully will goad me into some sort of action in the future. The contents are as follows :

  • Cosmos 'Apricotta' - I thought that I might like this when I saw it in the seed catalogues and on line photos but I don't. The pink eye seems most garish when compared to the soft apricot petals. If it was minus the pink I would love it. It's a reminder to me to return either to all pink or white cosmos varieties and not to flirt with novelty in the future.
  • Rosa glauca - not in flower at the moment but I like the foliage more than the flower. Again a reminder to introduce more grey into the garden - maybe a eucalyptus.
  • Persicaria - a most useful late flowering perennial. I wish I knew which one this was. There are two stemas in the vase but one has gone into hiding.
  • A couple of heads of allium sphaerocephalon which is a most subtle and pleasing plant. These seem to be dwindling and as I'm about to put my autumn bulb order in I'm going to add a good number of these bulbs. They occupy so little space and are such easy maintenance and unlike their bigger cousins don't leave a legacy of unattractive foliage to clear up. Annoyingly I cut these two stems shorter than intended.
  • Finally a flower from a plant which I've hankered after for years but have only recently purchased namely helenium 'Moerheim Beauty'. It's been on the wish list forever and I'm not sure why I've never got hold of a plant before. Maybe it will encourage me to buying one or two other plants that have lingered on the wish list for way too long.

All in all it's not the most aesthetically pleasing of vases but more of a memory jogging post for me. I could have shared yet another big vase of sweet peas but that would be at the risk of becoming boring. Sadly the sweet pea foliage has now developed mildew so I don't know how much longer the wigwam will be there for. In other news last week's exceptional and indeed record breaking temperatures for the U.K. seem most distant. It's back to wet and windy here and in fact there has been a lot of rain since Thursday but the garden is not complaining in the least. Sending a big thank you to Cathy who blogs over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting and looking forward to seeing what's in other cases this week.

Monday 18 July 2022

IAVOM ~ 'Cool For The Summer'

This week is was a case of picking flowers yesterday morning as we are in the grip of a heatwave today and tomorrow - dire and record breaking temperatures are forecast for most of the U.K. and we are been advised to stay in during the heat of the day with blinds or curtains closed. Even though I was out early yesterday to snip and take pictures my photos till looked bleached, so I was out even earlier this morning wield a watering can followed by a case of take two. I have a couple of vases this week. In the first are: 

  • Achillea 'Summer Berries' - these perennials were sown in September 2020, produced a few flowers last summer but have made substantial growth this year. They seem quite easy going although probably need some help not to flop ungainly. I had hoped for some of the other colours suggested in the mix so will sow some more this September to see what transpires.
  • A few sweet pea flowers - these were sown at the start of March. 
  • A couple of sprays of daucus carrota - sown last September and now an annual sowing. 
  • My first picking of consolida ajacis or larkspur 'Misty Grey'. I sowed some seed at the end of  September to overwinter in the greenhouse but they completely failed to germinate. A second sowing was made in March after firstly confining the seed packet in our freezer for a fortnight's holiday. After somewhat erratic germination I eventually ended up with well over a dozen plants. I was able to give some to a friend who had been drooling over them in a catalogue but didn't order seeds. I hope that the plants will stand up to being frazzled for a couple of days as I do have a soft spot for them. 

My second vase this week is a jug of sweet peas. We were away last week for a few well timed as it turns out days in Shropshire, when the sun was shining most of the time but most pleasantly so. Before leaving I stripped off all the flowers from the sweet pea wigwam and have been rewarded by being able to snip industrial quantities of them since returning home. 

Thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her impeccable hosting each Monday. There will be no gardening activities today but a gentle flurry of domestics followed perhaps by a leisurely read this afternoon with a glass of something cool to hand and then a spot of vase visiting. Cooking is also off the agenda - himself has been informed.

Monday 4 July 2022

IAVOM - Sweet Pea Love

Summer wouldn't be summer for me without sweet peas to pick and bring into the house. They usually sit in a vase or an old jam jar on the kitchen windowsill where they are a welcome diversion from washing the dishes or other sink based chores. Apart from the array of colour their scent is for me one of my absolute favourites. In her book 'Scent Magic: Notes from a Gardener' describing the joy of sweet pea flowers after a ten month wait the author Isobel Bannerman writes : "Sun -warmed water, soap suds, marshmallows; treats of all kinds come to mind on sniffing sweet peas. The first lathyrus odoratus flower of the year is like the return of a great friend, usually alone and fragile, who has made it to your doorstep. A couple of days later you might be able to pick six and proudly put them on the kitchen table. A week later, the house is filled with them in every sort of vessel, like paint pots, like a flower show. The wait, the patience, the frost fingers grappling with hazel, mania about mice, all becomes worthwhile".

I held on until the start of March to sow my sweet peas and they are only really just getting into gear now. I find that if I sow them any earlier that the germination rate is not particularly good. This year's planting is restricted to one wigwam and has met with some setbacks. My assistant gardener was in charge of planting and early tending and in his eagerness was responsible for some accidental damage to stems and also uprooted one variety. I resisted the urge to say much about these unfortunate incidents 🤐  In my vase are 'Erewhon', 'Black Knight', 'Matucana', a solitary stem of 'Gwendoline', 'Eclipse' and a new to me variety with the unfortunate name of 'Piggy Sue'. 

The weather here seems to have forgotten that is summer. It seems to have been cool and windy for days with a good amount of rain thrown into the mix but there are signs in the forecast that there is better weather to come on the horizon. A big thank you to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her steadfast hosting. As always I'm looking forward to seeing vases from other 'In A Vase On Monday' participants.

P.S. I was puzzled by expressions of concern for my personal safety in comments responding to my last post. The drop below my usual vase perch is only 10 feet and not 30! I was obviously not thinking clearly when my fingers hit the keyboard. I do apologise and must go back and amend that alarming figure. I still think that the vase not be the same if it went over the edge.