greentapestry : 2023

Monday 25 December 2023

IAVOM ~ Season's Greetings!


This week's little Monday vase celebrates Christmas as well as being a nod to the recent winter solstice. As we turn to the light there will be more and more flowers to pick so certainly a time to rejoice. In my vase are :

  • Cornus or dogwood 'Anny's Winter Orange' stems.
  • A couple of nameless violas.
  • A sprig or two of winter flowering jasmine whose Latin name eludes me just now.
  • A flower of the appropriately named galanthus or snowdrop 'Three Ships' - the flowers of which have certainly sailed in well on time this year.
The vase was hand painted by mum.

A big thank you as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden', who entertains us each and every Monday, whatever the season and on special days too. Wishing Cathy and all my blogging friends a most Merry Christmas and happy gardening in the new year ❄️ πŸ€ΆπŸŽ„πŸŒ±❤️

Monday 18 December 2023

IAVOM ~ In The Pink

A duo of pink chrysanthemums on this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. Both chrysanthemums are currently in the greenhouse is only heated when the overnight temperatures fall to minus figures. I've not grown either before. They are :
  •  'Avignon Pink' whose days with me are numbered. It is the lighter single bloom and looked a much warmer shade of pink in the catalogue. If it survives the winter and re-sprouts next year I will be looking out for a good home for it.
  • 'Tula Purple' - the jury is still out on this one. It's not as purple as I hoped but it may get a more prolonged stay than it's companion.

Meanwhile in the greenhouse another of the Tula series is about to open. My last pickings of chrysanthemum 'Spider Bronze' for a vase on the 27th November, are heading in the direction of the green garden waste bin today. In their floppy gone over state they have paled to a much softer shade of orange and still look most pleasing to the eye. I'm definitely impressed by the staying power of these flowers and after two years of growing 'Spider Bronze' it's a definite keeper.

As always thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting. No gardening for me today although I spent some productive time in the garden yesterday on what was a rare mild dry day. I finally planted my tulips in pots with himself's assistance, watered my cuttings and seedlings in the greenhouse, did some pruning and mulched the rapidly emerging snowdrops. Cutting off the old hellebore leaves is the next task on the list. Meanwhile it's a sorry state of affairs as it's housework that takes priority today but I will make sure that there is time for a coffee break or two and some vase perusing along the way.

Thursday 7 December 2023

A Week OF Flowers ~ Day 7

The last of my posts for Cathy's cheering meme 'A Week Of Flowers'. How the week has flown and here it has been a most cold one with heavy frosts and some snow at the weekend, so I'm finishing with some late bright August sunshine. The flowers are those of the hardy perennial helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer', which is in flower from July and lasts for a good while before coming to a standstill sometime in October. It's easy going, usually untroubled by pests and it is a magnet for pollinators. My plant grows in one of the sunnier spots in the garden where the soil is very heavy.  The plant usually gets the 'Chelsea Chop' treatment in May. I have grown it since 2009 when I first came across it in a holiday cottage where we were spending a week. The flowers were in a vase on the windowsill which you can see below.

I didn't know what the flower was so when I had the chance to ask the cottage owner I did and she told me more about the plant and showed it to me growing in the garden. When we left to return home she very kindly presented me with a small clump as a gift so it's a lovely memento of that week.

The construction is himself's creation. He had always been fascinated by the shape of pig arks and wanted to build something in that style! It's a bit of a man shed and gym but there is room for a few gardening odds and ends. It's where the last of my bulbs are waiting for me to plant them so hopefully warmer days will come soon. 

A big thanks to Cathy over at 'Words and Herbs' who came up with the inspiring idea of sharing photos of the flowers that have bought us happiness, at a time of year where there is not much in flower. Yesterday  I noticed that the very first of my beloved snowdrops are in flower so the year has certainly come round full circle. 

Wednesday 6 December 2023

A Week OF Flowers ~ Day 6

 Today I'm going back to my favourite month of May for Cathy's 'A Week Of Flowers' with two trees, the flowers of which take my breath away every spring. Above are flowers from Malus 'Red Sentinel' whilst below are flowers from my Conference pear tree.

The two grow side by side in my garden and both were covered in a profusion of blossom. Sadly the pear produced very little in the way of fruit this year in complete contrast to last year. However the weather in spring and summer of the respective years was so different. I have a feeling that we had more than our share of rain this spring followed by some late frost so not an ideal scenario for fruit to set. I wonder what next year will bring? The crab apple on the other hand was smothered with its bright red berries up to recently. I must look later to see if there are any still hanging on to the tree. Thanks to Cathy for hosting    'A Week Of Flowers' over at her lovely blog 'Words and Herbs'.

Sunday 3 December 2023

A Week Of Flowers 2023 ~ Day 3


We woke up to a light covering of snow this morning and it's slightly warmer but not warm enough to be out in the garden. What better then but to be browsing through images of summer days  to select one for Cathy's 'A Week Of Flowers' 2023, over at Words and Herbs. Here is the hardy perennial geranium 'Rozanne', a really long and prolific flowering plant. Later in the year she enjoyed the company of dahlias and her flowers have only just come to an end with the first hard frosts. I like her so much I now have a trio of plants. 

Saturday 2 December 2023

A Week Of Flowers 2023 - Day 2

It's yet another bitterly cold day here with the threat of snow in the weather forecast so what better than 
a flashback to summer as my contribution to Cathy's 'A Week Of Flowers' for today. The photo was taken in my garden on 18th June and features the climbing rose 'Blush Noisette' with clematis 'Bletkiny Aniol' also know as 'Blue Angel'. The rose was bought as a bare root plant in the winter of 2009. I remember reading that it was a small climber growing to about 10 feet but she has achieved double that height. It repeat flowers - usually in September and in this mild autumn buds have opened throughout October and November. There were still a few flowers clinging on last week. For some reason the flowers always appear paler in photos. It is gently but noticeably scented. The clematis arrived later that year and scrabbles through the rose - sadly it doesn't really reach it's peak until just after the main show of the rose's first flowers. However for a week or so they are the most perfect companions.

Thanks to Cathy over at 'Words and Herbs' for providing some welcome flowery downtime to lighten this leaner time of year.

Friday 1 December 2023

A Week Of Flowers 2023 - Day 1

This week sees me joining in 'A Week Of Flowers' - an annual celebration hosted by Cathy over at 'Words and Herbs' , where we can share the flowers in our garden every day for a week. On a cold and frosty December day when flowers are at a premium I'm starting with a glimpse of summer with papaver orientale 'Patty's Plum'. This hardy perennial gives me grief every year as I debate whether to dig it up and find a new home for it if possible or if not to lob it into the green waste bin. The flowers are stunning but only shine for just over a week and then vanish into a dishevelled crumple. It's not as if the remaining foliage is attractive to look at.  So far though it has won the day and remained in the garden. This photo was taken on the 9th June.

The plant has an interesting history. It was initially discovered as a chance seedling on the compost heap of Patricia Marrow's nursery in Somerset and then saved for posterity. Imagine if nobody had attended that compost heap for a while!

Thanks Cathy for brightening up these cold days with floral delights.

Monday 27 November 2023

IAVOM ~ Return Of The Spider

It's Monday again and time to share a vase. After much rain and now our first hard frosts of the autumn there is isn't much colour in the garden and what there is looks most forlorn and bedraggled. Under the cover of the greenhouse though there is a small corner of glowing colour which forms the content of today's vase. It's chrysanthemum 'Spider Bronze', which is bringing some welcome sparkle to the kitchen windowsill on a wet morning. I took my photo late on Saturday morning when we did have some welcome sunshine.

This is a tender perennial. I treated myself to one plant last year but it didn't come through the winter. I imagine that the long bitterly cold spell we had last December may have been responsible. As I liked it that much I treated myself in the spring to a trio of plug plants, which are now flowering away happily. I will be interested to see how long they last once picked as they are supposed to have a long vase life. 

The vase was a purchase earlier this year from the florist's shop near my hairdresser's salon. The shop contains a myriad of glass vases and bottles in all sorts of shapes and sizes. 

No gardening from me today apart from perusing the potted snowdrops in the greenhouse one or two showing some white and much promise of things to come. It is just too cold and damp out there for me and I've sustained an injury. I managed to cut through the nail of my index finger whilst slicing carrots so I am slightly sore and well plastered. Thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her most gently encouraging hosting. I'm really looking forward to vase hopping later today with notebook and pen by my side. 

Monday 13 November 2023

In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Ten Years Gone'

Today we're celebrating the tenth anniversary in 'In A Vase On Monday' which has given me and many other bloggers much pleasure over the years! As well as picking for a vase most weeks it has has been so interesting to see what everyone else is growing. My wish list has certainly grown as a result and over the years new plants have been introduced into the garden. Not only that but Cathy and fellow participants are such an encouraging, supportive and welcoming bunch so there is always a warm glow to Mondays whatever else is going on in the world.

It's a most modest vase from me this week in the shape of a teeny tiny expresso cup, which is one of a motley crew of cups and mugs displayed on the Welsh dresser in our kitchen. If my memory serves me correctly it was a charity shop find many moons ago. It's French in origin, manufactured by a china producer by the name of Sarreguemines. Hopefully with some research I might be able to put an age to it.

Just a duo in my 'vase' :

  • A spray of chrysanthemum 'Bigoudi Red' - this was bought as a cutting last year and came inside the greenhouse last winter. It has since been back out but it is now back in. The plan is to take cuttings next year and to experiment with leaving the odd one outside to see if they will overwinter. It is a  darker shade of red than it appears in my photo.
  • Some snippets of an unknown physocarpus although probably 'Diablo'

Sending Cathy over at 'Rambling In the Garden' a ginormous virtual bouquet of flowers and many, many thanks for all the love and hard work you put into keeping ' In A Vase On Monday' flourishing. You're an absolute star! πŸ’ πŸ‘πŸ»❤️

Monday 6 November 2023

IAVOM ~ Edited


 A slightly brighter and drier day of late enabled me to get out to take a photograph this morning. Last week's vase hadn't made in to the house but had dwelled in the greenhouse for a week. With it being cooler out there than in the house the contents apart from the dahlia were still fresh so I just introduced one new flower and swapped vases.

In my vase are :
  • Some leafiness provided by pittisporum 'Silver Ball'.
  • The antirhinnum 'Madam Butterfly Watermelon' - the flowers now more open than they were a week ago when they were just really showing hints of pink.
  • A spring of rosa' The Fairy'- this is a low growing polyantha rose which bears clusters of small light pink flowers from late June right through to the first frosts. The foliage always seems to be glossy and untouched by any signs of black spot. It has very delicate small hips. Perhaps it's only fault is that it does not appear to have any scent.
As always thanks must go to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' . The seemingly incessant wet weather of the last week has ruled out much in the way of gardening, although some work under cover in the greenhouse has been done. Looking forward to vase hopping with pen and paper in hand. 

Monday 30 October 2023

In A Vase On Monday ~ Drip

It's soggy and grey out there this morning and either rain and/or leaves have been showering down with some gusto. The willow in the background is slowly shedding it's leaves but there is a silver lining in that some of them fall on the other side of the wall so we do not have to clear them up. The next few days promise to continue in the same vein weather wise with another named storm forecast for the middle of the week. Still a few tenacious flowers are clinging on and one or two are positively thriving including dahlias and the stalwart hardy geranium that is 'Rozanne', who so well deserves her award of winner of the RHS Plant of the Centenary at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show.

In my vase this week are :

  • A single stem of dahlia 'Molly Raven' whose praises I've sung  loudly before now.
  • A stem of antirrhinum 'Madame Butterfly Watermelon'. This was grown from seed back in March and has not really thrived. It seems to be producing more flowering stems now that we're reaching the end of the season than it did in the summer. However it might be more floriferous next year if it comes through the winter.
  • A couple of sprigs of pittosporum 'Silver Ball'. This was new to me earlier this year and the plan is to keep it in a pot and to try to keep it in trim. Apparently it's a plant that lives up to it's name forming a ball like shape.
Thanks as always to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her gentle encouragement to pick a few flowers and share them whatever the weather is up to.

Here there might be a long enough break in the clouds for me to get outside to top up that green waste bin - tomorrow sees the penultimate collection of the year and there is still a little space inviting me to fill it to the brim. In the greenhouse there are some hardy annuals that are ready to be potted on so that will be the next job. A garden visit with a friend is on the cards tomorrow weather permitting. I hope that you all enjoy your garden activities this week.

Monday 16 October 2023

IAVOM ~ Clinging On

 The mercury has really dropped over the last week or so. Gone are the balmy days we were enjoying and although so far we have escaped that first frost the temperature has dropped to just above 4 degrees centigrade for the last two nights in the greenhouse - the doors have been closed overnight. We've also had some significant rain. There are still though pockets of summery resistance. In my vase this week are :

  • More of the cosmos that has not lived up to the label of 'Fizzy Purple' but is still going strong. Funnily enough though there has been the odd flowers that looks as if they are almost living up to their name and one of them has made it's way into this vase.
  • The very last solitary flower from 'Misty Lavender' larkspur. No signs of life yet from my autumn sowings of this beautiful hardy annual despite the seed packet's sojourn in the freezer prior to sowing so it's looking like a second sowing in March.
  • Some stems of self seeded briza maxima also known as Greater quaking grass presumably because of the way it shivers and shakes in any wind. I've decided that I should never need to sow this again as seedlings pop up in all sorts of places!
  • The final occupant in this Monday's vase is perilla frutescens var. purpurescens also known as shiso  and Chinese basil. It's an hardy annual herb which is a member of the mint family. The leaves are edible and can be used in stir fry dishes and salads. I first came across it in a Vietnamese restaurant in Frankfurt a few years ago where I asked what it was. It has a most unusual taste which I can't quite make my mind up about. Apparently the flowers are edible too although I've never tried them. It makes for a good foliage container plant. I've grown it from seed before but this year bought as a young plant in the spring from the excellent Hampshire based 'Pepperpot Herbs'.

Thanks as always to our excellent hostess Cathy who blogs over at 'Rambling In The Garden' and who gently encourages to share our vases each and every week of the year.

    Monday 9 October 2023

    In A Vase On Monday ~ Blush


    A quick pick and plonk from me this week with just a couple of cuttings. In my vase are :

    • Some stems of the late flowering hardy tuberous begonia grandis subsp. evansiana. Despite its delicate appearance this is a toughie flowering from late summer until the early frosts. The stems are attractively suffused with red. Not only do the plants produce small bulbils they also self-seed but never enough to be a nuisance. The seedlings are easily recognised and in my experience fall close to the parent. There is also a white flowering version which is my favourite of the two. These plants appears extremely late in the day and I have often fretted in the spring that I've lost them so patience is absolutely essential.
    • Some leaves from my bushy salvia officinalis or sage plant which looked most bedraggled and sad in the spring but has grown with vigour despite the wet summer. I like the texture of the silvery gray leaves but I don't think that I've ever used it in a vase before now. 

    I picked and photographed yesterday when the weather was obliging but left the vase in the greenhouse overnight. On going into the greenhouse this morning I noticed gleams of either snail or slug slime on the sage leaves! I either bought a mollusc in with me or there is already one at lose in the greenhouse which must have been drawn to the aroma of the sage. An inspection revealed zilch but I think it calls for a torchlight patrol this evening as there were trays of seedlings in the vicinity.

    The vase is another of a recent purchase of three ribbed bud vases. Cathy asked me last week if the vases were different and yes they are both in size and shape. This is taller then the one I used last week with a narrower neck. I daresay that the third vase will feature at some point in the future.

    Many thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden', who this week has a dramatic display of beautiful white flowers to share with us. Here the sun has made an appearance and after a diversion filled tour around rural Cheshire, I'm more than ready for a breath of fresh air in the garden but will be vase visiting later today.

    Sunday 1 October 2023

    In A Vase On Monday ~ Shades Of Autumn

    Picked yesterday in short break after a most soggy saturating Saturday and in anticipation of today's forecast rainclouds are :
    • Rudbeckia 'Sahara' - a half-hardy perennial which is now a must have on my seed growing list each spring. It produces a veritable lucky dip of colours and either single or double flowers. Invariably there are some colours that I like more than others and these flowers are my favourites this year.
    • Some spikes of forgotten identity persicaria - it's quite a tall one and flowers for a good long spell.
    • Dahlia - 'Copper Boy' - not fully open yet and I wonder if they will still oblige off the plant and in water.
    • A single shy picking from our next door neighbour's fuschia. I think that it may be the from the hardy variety 'Mrs Popple'. Whatever it is it has produced a splash of colour in late summer/early autumn for many years, which we are also able to enjoy as it's part of a boundary hedge. 
    The vase is a new - one from a trio of grooved bud vases purchased only last week when I enjoyed an appetising lunch and a garden walkabout in the company of an old and dear friend. We visited Abbeywood Gardens in Delamere, Cheshire where we found it hard to believe that we didn't come across another soul in the gardens apart from one of the gardeners! It was a breezy day with a slight chill in the air but dry at the time of our visit. Apparently though it had been very busy in the morning so we were just obviously lucky with our timing. On the way out we popped in into the gift shop where I couldn't resist temptation. 

    Thanks to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting and inviting us to share our Monday vases each week. I'm looking forward to seeing what's in other blogger's vases today and will certainly have pen and paper to hand as I do.

    Monday 25 September 2023

    IAVOM ~ Slip Sliding Into Autumn


    It's Monday and time for a vase of flowers to kick-start not only a new week but a new season too whichever hemisphere you live in. In my vase this week are :

    • A stem from dahlia 'Molly Raven' - a dahlia bred by the plantswoman Sarah Raven and named after her daughter. I planted this last year and although she came through the winter in the ground she hasn't done as well this year. I intended to add to her numbers but the tubers were all sold out by the time I thought to look. I will have to make sure that I'm off the mark for next year.  I think that Sarah Raven is the only stockist of this so supplies must be limited.
    • A couple of danglies in the shape of leycesteria formosa aka the Himalayan honeysuckle. This is an easy going deciduous shrub which is partial to shady woodland areas. It is now in the process of forming berries which contain extremely sticky seed. It's a fairly insignificant plant for most of the time but comes into colour at the back end of the year and has continued to show colour into November some years.

    • Some of the impostor 'Purple Fizz' cosmos that I grew from seed in spring. Not what they claimed to be on the seed packet but still pleasing enough once I got over my initial disappointment.
    • Hiding behind the cosmos is some pickings from aster (now called something else which doesn't trip of my tongue easily) 'Little Carlow'. This was the main flower in Cathy's vase last Monday. This hardy perennial has clouds of most pretty small lavender-blue flowers from late summer well into October.
    • Some spikes of linaria purpurea - these flower on and off for some considerable time and the bees like them. The only drawback is that I've never managed to cull them before some seed has escaped and then it seems that I'm forever extracting many emerging seedlings. The pink version linaria 'Canon Went' is restrained in comparison.
    Thanks as always to Cathy who blogs over at 'Rambling In The Garden' and who kindly invites fellow bloggers to share their vases each Monday be it autumn, winter, spring or summer. This week as autumn begins we are promised some extremely wet and windy weather especially in the middle of the week. Part of my bulb order should be arriving this week but I'm not sure how much planting I will be able to achieve. Still it will be most exciting to open the box and dream of the spring and summer flowers that will emerge from those bulbs next year. 

    Monday 18 September 2023

    In A Vase On Monday ~ 'Summer Days Drifting Away'


    There is some heat in my vase this week in contrast to the cooler and wet day that it is out there. Spreading some sunshine are :

    • Dahlia 'Copper Boy' planted in 2022 - these remained in the ground and came through the prolonged bitterly cold spell that we had last December to make for much larger plants this year. They were very well mulched before the temperature plummeted. Their only fault is that the stems are on the droopy side possibly because of the size of the flower. It's a big 'un.
    • Helianthus annus' Claret' - or another case of a flower not reading the seed packet. My friend who I passed some seedlings on to inherited the real deep wine-red deal rather than the striped marmalade version that I ended up with. Still until recent years my sunflowers were invariably nobbled by molluscs well before they could grow to adulthood so I'm happy with any flowers whatever the colour. 
    • Rudbeckia 'Sahara' - a now favourite half-hardy perennial. This year's batch of seed has produced a mix of colours with both single and double forms. I have a soft spot for the singles. I sowed the seed in early March on the heated sand bench in the greenhouse making sure they were under cover on cold nights. Previously I've sown them in a heated propagator in early February but I don't think on balance that they gain that much from an earlier start.

    The vase is an old Keiller marmalade jar which was an eBay purchase.

    Thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her impeccable hosting. Here the imminent arrival of the autumn equinox is being ushered in with a spell of predicted wild and wet windy weather this week. I was able to spend a few hours this weekend pottering about outside and have culled the tomato plants, taken salvia and lemon verbena cuttings, filled that green waste bin to the very brim and have sown more hardy annuals. I think that the next couple of days will be hunkering in days but I've resigned myself to that and have just been cheered by the sight of the first signs of germination from some pansy seedlings sown just nine days ago. Now to pick some apples before the wind brings them down!

    Monday 4 September 2023

    'In The Pink' ~ Part 2

    Another variation on a theme of this week in my vase this Monday - well mainly pink with a hint of burgundy creeping in. The occupants are :
    • Cosmos - I purchased the seed in good faith as 'Fizzy Purple', the seed packet's blurb promising large purple coloured flowers. Something went amiss along the way as the flowers have varied in colour and not a single one was purple. These flowers are from the most attractive to me plant. 
    • Astrantia major 'Burgundy Manor' - a hardy perennial with both dark flowers and dark stems. This is it's second flush of flowers. I cut off the first batch before they went to seed. 
    • More of the achillea 'Summer Berries' - a long flowering perennial sown in the spring of 2020.
    • Aster divaricatus also known as the white wood aster - a late flowering perennial. I bought my original plant from the sales area in the garden at Powis Castle in north Wales many moons ago. It's a most unassuming plant that just gently gets on with it's own business.

    A big thank you as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' who generously gathers us together weekly to share our vases. Here we have the week that we have dreamed of since June - blue skies, sunshine, soaring temperatures and not a drop of rain in sight. Bliss, although I may be uttering those words "It's too hot!" before long. Happy gardening.

    Monday 28 August 2023

    IAVOM ~ Pleasings

     Its' a typical soggy Bank Holiday Monday here so I've quickly whizzed around (well as much as I'm able to whizz around these days) and picked a few flowers that are pleasing me at the moment. They are :

    • Orlaya visnaga - I think that this is 'Green Mist' but can't be sure without locating the seed packet. They were sown last Sepember and spent the winter in the greenhouse before being planted out in the spring. The plants have not done so well this year with the foliage becoming most anaemic in appearance. They were planted in the same border as last year but maybe the cold spring didn't do them any favours. I've pulled a couple of plants out but luckily some were able to hide behind other plants so the foliage wasn't as noticeable. I shall be sowing another batch next month.
    • Larkspur 'Misty Lavender' - another hardy annual also sown last September but alas to no avail. A further spring sowing was made after the seed packet had a spell in the freezer and this time the germination rate was most satisfactory, with surplus seedlings to give to friends. I love the colour of this larkspur and it is a must again for next year.
    • Some phlox drummondii' 'Cherry Caramel' - I sowed this half hardy annual in March. The flowers vary slightly in colour and it has rather a floppy habit but that can be forgiven.
    • Achillea millefolium 'Summer Berries' - a hardy perennial grown from seed which produces a range of colours. This paler shade hit the right note so has been retained.
    • Finally a sprig of clematis jouiniana x 'Praecox' - which can be grown as a climber of a scrambler, a bee and butterfly magnet but a clematis that dies absolutely disgracefully.

    Thanks as always to our excellent hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden', who enables us to share our vases whether it be a high day or a holiday. Here I'm keeping an eye on the weather - there are signs of it possibly brightening up so some of the gardening jobs on the list might be ticked off later. On the other hand if it doesn't I will be checking through my seed box to make sure that I've got all the seeds that I intend to sow in September. Not so long now until the start of a new year πŸ˜‚

    Monday 21 August 2023

    IAVOM ~ 'In The Pink'


    It's mainly pink in my vase this week which these days is a colour that I'm not as fond of as I once was. I'm not sure why - maybe it's like food tastes changing inexplicably over the years. There are still some pinks about though and in my vase week are :

    • Antirrhinum' Madame Butterfly Watermelon' - grown from seed sown in March and not quite the deep dusky pink I thought that she might be. Still the colour might deepen with age.
    • A sprig of hydrangea paniculata' Little Blossom' with initially white flowers which develop pink tinges. This is a relatively new plant to me.
    • A couple of sprays of seed grown achillea 'Summer Berries'. I sowed this perennial in September 2020 and is now well established. It is most easy going and flowers over a long spell. I sowed some more this spring. 
    • A bit of a dark leaved physocarpus probably 'Diablo'.
    • A sprig or two of pittisporum 'Bannow Bay' - this has a different coat according to the season - variegated light green with a cream edge, before changing through late summer to autumn into a mottled green and burgundy effect. I think that it has reached this point now. It then moves to a deeper burgundy after frost. It's winter coat is my favourite.

    Thank to our hostess Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting each week so that we can enjoy vases from fellow bloggers each week of the year.

    Monday 14 August 2023

    IAVOM ~ 'Here Comes The Rain Again'

     We travelled home today after a quick trip to Shropshire where we woke up this morning to some heavy rain. As we headed west the rain eased for a while but then came down in buckets and more buckets. It has only just stopped now. This was the only dry flower I could come up with and that's because it's been under cover in the kitchen for a week. Even then a teardrop of rain landed on it when I whizzed it out for a quick photo. I don't know how I did it but I accidentally decapitated two buds of dahlia 'Molly Raven' last Monday. I bought them into the house where one of them has gone on to open. I planted this dahlia in the garden last year and she surprised me by coming through the cold winter. I think that a very thick application of mulch before the first penetrating heavy frosts did the trick.

    The reason for our trip was to meet up with the lovely Cathy from 'Rambling In The Garden' and her equally lovely partner 'The Golfer'. We visited the garden at Wollerton Old Hall, lunched before making our way round the garden chatting about plants whilst the menfolk chatted about non plant related matters, made purchases from the plant sales area and rounded up the day with coffee and cake and a quick plant exchange in the field which serves as a car park. An most excellent way to while a way a Sunday afternoon and one where the rain held off. Thanks to Cathy as always for her impeccable hosting skills each and every week. I'm looking forward to seeing what's in other vases this Monday.

    Monday 31 July 2023

    IAVOM ~ Something Borrowed


    We returned home late afternoon yesterday after a relaxing holiday in Scotland to a most soggy garden, so for this Monday I'm cheating slightly, by using a photo taken on our travels. You won't be surprised to hear that we managed to fit in some garden visiting during our break including a trip to the National Trust for Scotland Threave Garden, near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway. This garden was a joy to visit with one of the most well maintained walled kitchen gardens that you could wish to visit as well as a jam packed recreation of their original Victorian greenhouse. This vase is what greeted me when I visited the Ladies' room. I'm not sure of the exact contents but it included astillbes, sanguisorba, alliums and what I think is veronicrastum.  As always a special vote of thanks to Cathy over at' 'Rambling In The Garden' for orchestrating our weekly get togethers on Mondays to so that we can share our pickings. Her post features instant sunshine this week, something that we have been sadly deprived of for the last month. Once again it's pouring down so those gardening jobs will just have to wait a while longer including picking the first of the tomatoes. Fortunately I picked some French climbing beans in a dry interlude this morning so no prizes for guessing what will be on the menu tonight.

    Monday 24 July 2023

    IAVOM ~ 'Crying Over You'

     Another Monday has rolled around and this week I'm sharing my first and  
    a most cherished vase of sweet peas on 'In A Vase On Monday'. Alas there will be no copious bunches of sweet peas this year to adorn the kitchen windowsill or to pass on to friends - the first time this will have happened in years πŸ˜’ It's a happening that has caused some me some grief as sweet peas along with their scent are my all time favourite summer annual flower.  I sowed them in the greenhouse at the start of what turned out to be a bitterly cold March. They were planted out in late April looking positively jaundiced, limped through May, survived the drought and heat of June and have finally flowered in this so far wettest of Julys. The flowers include the usual suspects 'Matucana', 'Erewhon', 'Gwendoline', 'Eclipse' and the new to me 'Black Night'. I have decided that this year I will be edging my bets and will also sow a just in case batch in the autumn.

    Thanks as always to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting. Do visit and see what flowers and foliage she and other bloggers have in their vases this week.

    Monday 10 July 2023

    IAVOM ~ "A Space Of Flowers"

    It's Monday and time to pick some flowers for a vase. These were picked yesterday as the  weather forecast predicted rain for today and it was spot on. In my little vase this week are :

    • Rosa 'the Lady Of Shalott' - this is a new one for me arriving in January as a bare root rose - a birthday present from a friend. She is planted in a big container, although possibly not big enough, which I can see from the kitchen window. I wasn't quite sure when I saw the initial flushes of orange red buds but she opens orange and the petals soften as they age. She is most lovely indeed and has a reputation for enjoying rude good health.  The rose specialist David Austin catalogue describes the scent as a "pleasant, warm Tea fragrance, with hints of spiced apple and cloves" but sadly my nose can't pick that up.
    • One of the last flowers of the annual orlaya grandiflora. The flowers do not last that long. I sowed in September and March and intended to sow again in May but forgot so sadly that's it for this year.
    • A sprig of the half- hardy annual phlox drummondii grandiflora 'Cherry Caramel' sown in March.
    • A bit of leafiness from a physocarpus - I think this one is 'Diablo'.
    My vase is a little Victorian ink bottle and the post title is a phrase from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem ' The Lady Of Shalott'.

    Thanks as always to Cathy who blogs over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting. Do visit her if you haven't already and enjoy the flowers in her vase and those contributed by fellow bloggers. Here a rainy afternoon beckons and so far a cool and wet July has been the opposite of our extremely hot and dry June.
    Hopefully though there must still be some more summer weather on the cards. For once there is no last minute fill it until brimming room in the green garden waste bin due to be emptied tomorrow. The torrential rain and wind on Saturday evening was so violent that it toppled the bin completely over.  Amazingly the contacts remained intact! 

    Monday 26 June 2023

    IAVOM ~ Brush Strokes


    Monday has rolled round again and time to join in with 'In A Vase On Monday'. A trio of occupants in this week's vase. They are :

    • Viola cornuta 'Brush Strokes' - grown from seed sown in the greenhouse on March 7th. They are mix of colours with some flowers more stripey than others. I've not made my mind up about them yet but will sow the remainder of the packet in late summer. They are described as a short lived perennial so we shall see.
    • The fabulous fluffiness that is lagurus ovatus commonly know as 'Bunny Tails'. Again these were March sown. These along with fennel and lambs ears must be amongst the most tactile of plants you could wish to come across. The perfect plant for for children to stroke whatever their age.
    • A sprig of mentha x gracilis or ginger mint - the flower is attractive enough but I grow it more for its striking green and gold foliage.

    It's a bright and breezy day and thankfully much cooler and less humid than of late. We've also had a fair amount of rain in the last week or so so not so much in the way of lugging around of the watering can. My right arm is delighted. Green bin filling duties are calling me and once done I look forward to vase visiting later on today. Thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting.

    Monday 12 June 2023

    IAVOM ~ Walking On Sunshine


    It's Monday again and time for a vase on what is a rather warm and sunny day. Fortunately though we had a good thunderstorm accompanied by a couple of hours or so of rain on Saturday - our first rainfall for about three weeks. There was much rejoicing followed by a mollusc hunt come darkness. As you can imagine there was a bit of a party going on. In my vase this week are : 

    • A flower from rosa 'Lady Emma Hamilton' who has just begun to open this last week. She is one of the roses that I can smell so is especially appreciated.
    • A couple of the annual orlaya flowers which are hiding themselves at the back.
    • Spikes of the restrained pink linaria 'Canon Went', which unlike it's purple relative doesn't seed everywhere with abandon.
    • Some foliage from a physocarpus. I'm not sure which one.
    • Astrantia major 'Gill Richardson' group which I think along with 'Burgundy Manor' are my favourite astrantias. The red ones always seem to take a while to get going but this one is now three years old and has now really taken off.

    With thanks as always to Cathy who blogs at 'Rambling In The Garden' and who enables us to share our vases each week whatever the season. 

    Here it is too hot for any serious gardening until perhaps this evening. Even then I think it will just be a gentle stroll round as I have come down with a summer cold, have lost my voice and don't have much energy. The green bin may well go up the lane tonight ready for tomorrow's collection without it's full quota of garden waste πŸ₯²

    Monday 5 June 2023

    IAVOM ~ Snow In Summer

    A trio of different stems in my vase this week picked in a yet another shower of willow catkin snow. It's difficult to go venture out at the moment and risk opening one's mouth for risk of swallowing some of the fluff. The back of the house is becoming reminiscent of Miss Haversham's abode as cobs of snow congregate on the window sills and cover the decking. Oh for some rain to dampen them down. Our prolonged dry sunny spell continues unabated by even a gentle shower. Hopefully the annual shedding should be over soon. In my vase are :

    • Aquilegia - this one gate crashed it's way into the garden this year. I'm not sure yet whether it's a case of live and let live or whether it will be going into the green bin.
    • Briza media or quaking grass. I wonder why I have sown seed of this earlier in the spring when it has popped out as usual in various spots. During winter there's no sign of it so maybe it's a case of out of mind until it's time to think of seed sowing.
    • A stem of rosa glauca - although the little pink flowers are pretty enough it's the buey/grey foliage of this rose which is it's most attractive feature. I like the red veins too. You may see some greenfly on the bud plus a smidge of willow snow. There seems to be an abundance of aphids in the garden this year and there is much squidging going on.  I don't know whether this is down to a lack of the insects that might nibble on them or another factor. I wonder if other U.K. gardeners have noticed an increase in numbers?

    Thanks go as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting. I'm looking forward to seeing what delights are in other vases. Here it's too hot for me to venture out in the garden until this evening where as always there are jobs to be done including what seems to be a round of never ending watering. Until then there might be time for a bit of gentle sitting in the shade and listening to an audio book. Hope that you enjoy your gardens this week.

    Sunday 28 May 2023

    IAVOM ~ Spring Things


    Yet another bank holiday today and for once the weather is beautifully calm, warm and sunny which is a most welcome treat. The forecast for the week ahead is more of the same so hopefully I can complete planting out seed grown annuals. This morning we planted some more sweet peas - a tale born from faint hopes of my own seedlings and resulting in a degree of amusement - a tale for another time.  In this week's 'In A Vase On Monday' are :
    • Rosa 'Luisa's Daughter' - a special gift and named after my mother. I think that I like the bud stage best. It is a quite open and loose in shape and most pleasantly scented. It is also the first rose to flower. I am in a bit of a dilemma as it is planted in the wrong spot so need to move it. Will probably be asking for advice later this year.
    • Geum 'Totally Tangerine' which I've found to be what you can certainly call a good do-er. I just wish that I could bring myself to like the foliage.
    • Thalitctrum' Purple Stockings' which is possibly my favourite thalictrum. It is a tall plant, with beautiful dark stems topped with clouds of purple fluff. I think that I picked it a few days too late as a haze of purple specks landed in and around the vase. I have some chives in flower so may do a swap later on.
    • Orlaya grandilflora also known as the white lace flower - the only annual in the mix. These were from September sown seed. A further batch was sown in March so I will have more flowers for later in the year too. 

    Thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for her stalwart hosting as always and especially today for going the extra mile when she is feeling under the weather. It is much appreciated.