In a Vase on Monday – Perky Pat!

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I actually created this two weeks ago, but have failed to find time to post it!  I was inspired by this fabulous David Austin rose ‘Pat Austin’ (named for his wife) and created the arrangement around her.IMG_6082

I added in the Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, also currently flowering with Pat in the Bronze Bed, IMG_6083

and also Cerinthe for contrast.IMG_6085

Also flowering in the Bronze Bed was a large self seeded Honesty.  Although it’s white, so not remotely bronze, I’ve ignored it for so long that the flowers have turned to beautiful fresh green seed pods, so I cut a number of stems for this arrangement and then hoiked  the plant out.IMG_6086

It’s so lovely to be back with Cathy and the rest of the IaVoM crew.  I’ve missed you.

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Eddington House Nursery – Rare Plant Fair 2019

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Before we even get to the weekend’s fair, rewind to Friday.

Whilst I usually try to travel home on Thursday evenings, I’d stayed in London the extra day and the OH had picked me up from the pier at around 8.40pm.  On being reunited, I immediately started ranting about my (lack of) preparation for the St Helens Secret Gardens event I’m (supposed to be) organising – not to mention concerns about my own garden being a complete disgrace.

The OH said he thought ‘publicity was key’ and had a cunning plan – he wondered if the lovely people at Eddington House Nursery would put up a poster for ‘my’ Secret Gardens event at their weekend Rare Plant Fair.  Genius!

Consequently, I persuaded him to stop off on the way home so I could ask.  Bearing in mind by this stage it was 9pm and I was wandering round the back of their property, it’s hardly surprising they thought I was up to no good.  Happily, once they’d recognised me, they agreed to put up a poster, so all I had to do was create one(!)

Fast forward an hour, I’d eaten a tasty dinner, designed, printed and laminated two posters and was on my was back to the nursery.  By this stage it was after 10pm, but they were still there to receive the goods, bless them.

Hardly surprising, therefore, that I definitely wanted to support the event.  I visited on Saturday, and had the great pleasure of listening to Anne Swithinbank speak and also had a good chat with Derry Watkins at her plant stand (she was speaking today, but I sadly didn’t have time to return).

As ever, the nursery was looking immaculate (I love the new display of succulents in wine cases see picture, top).  This time I only bought a couple of Salvias from Derry but have my eye on some other items from the nursery itself, and intend to return when it’s less busy.

Thanks guys, you’re the tops!

In a Vase on Easter Monday – cheating again!

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I was lucky enough to return to Gravetye Manor again today and thought I’d (briefly!) share some of the lovely blooms arranged there, as I wasn’t at home to create my own.

I do have an Easter Tree at home but it can’t compete with the wonderful ‘springiness’ of the one above.

A couple more arrangements took my fancy,  firstly this one.  I admired these vases when I was there before – they’re wide like a goldfish bowl, but quite flat front to back and so don’t require nearly as many blooms as a spherical vase, and also sit better on a windowsill or fireplace.IMG_6011

Secondly, this short one with fabulous parrot tulips picked from the grounds. IMG_4848

Lastly, nothing to do with flowers, but oh my days – what a rhubarb souffle!

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Hoping you all had a fabulous Easter and managed to get outside in the sunshine – even if you weren’t gardening!  Hopefully I’ll get round to posting some photos of the garden at Gravetye soon.

With thanks to Cathy who hosts our Monday vases – and will hopefully forgive me for a non-home grown contribution!

In a vase on Monday – Feast or famine!

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Having missed IaVoM for a few weeks, I’m back with three vases today.

We had a houseful at the weekend with the mother in law plus extras and so that, combined with the lovely spring blooms, prompted me to run around the garden like a mad thing while the OH went to fetch them from the hoverport.

Firstly, another arrangement in the little milk bottle circle, this time with the Narcissi in the Bronze Bed, both ‘Cragford’ and ‘Yazz’, with some Spiraea for spring zing.  I’ve used this approach before notably here for my book club ladies, but that time I managed to find five of the pots, this time only three were available, but they did the same job of providing a centre piece when the centre has an umbrella running through it!IMG_4689

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And finally some new little vases making their debut in the downstairs loo!

One of the joys of my daughter now working in London is that we sometimes have a bought breakfast together before work.  Last Thursday morning (at 8.30!) she wanted to go ‘frock shopping’ ahead of a weekend away, so I was trailing after her into H&M when I spotted these lovely little bottles.   They were heavier and more solid than I’d anticipated (to be honest I thought they’d be so light that as soon as you’d placed your bloom the bottle would be over) so I treated myself.

I’ve arranged them here, supposedly in decreasing trumpet colour order, but really the last three are pretty much pure white.  I’m not sure of all of them but number 2 is ‘Lieke’, number 3 ‘Jenny’ and number 5 ‘Thalia’.  And I added some more Spiraea because I’m obsessed with that colour at this time of year!IMG_5877 (2)

Why don’t you go over to Cathy’s blog to see what others have shared for their floral spring flings?

 

 

 

End of month view – March 2019

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What a difference a month makes!  Not only is the garden alive with fresh, springy growth but the puppy is about twice the size and very keen on ‘dancing’ with her big brother on the lawn.

The Spiraea japonica which was just twigs last month, is now beating the massive Coleonema in the foreground for zingiest green award.

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In the Veg Patch the various rhubarb plants which were moved last year from the Strawberry Bed (as I thought they’d get more water) are still looking pretty pathetic.  Admittedly they still haven’t had much water nor their manure mulch.IMG_4702

However, look what’s doing far better – one plant accidentally found its way on to the compost heap and is far happier that any of the planted ones!  Why do I bother?IMG_4704

Meanwhile the Strawberry Bed is in serious danger of being overcome by the Agapanthus and requiring a name change!

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In the Swing Beds the ‘Pink Impression’ and ‘Menton’ tulips have returned almost as well as last year, and are joined by ‘Jenny’ Narcissi.  I finally got round to pruning all the roses and also had a very brutal cut back of the Clematis ‘Freckles’ planted up both front posts. 

I can confirm the damage to the grass was done by the OH, not the dogs, as he rather zealously cut out various weeds.  Annoyingly, the replacement seeds have just fed the local pigeon population, rather than being allowed to germinate. IMG_4711

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In the Grass Bed the ‘Peeping Jennys’ (with the larger brighter yellow trumpets) are starting to go over, but they are being replaced by the softer coloured, flatter trumpeted ‘Lieke’.  

Normally these bloom together with the Forget me nots, but whilst the Narcissi are much earlier than last year, the Forget me nots have barely started.IMG_4716

In this photo, looking from the Mid Century bed across the Lavender Bed, you can see two big clumps of ‘Red Jep’ Erysimums.  I’ve taken quite a few cuttings of this as they are getting rather leggy, and have introduced them into other areas of the garden.IMG_4719

Over to the greenhouse and the two Greenhouse Beds have been tidied up and mulched with just the Agapanthus above ground at the moment.IMG_4725

The Greenhouse Pots are a bit depleted this year, but I still love the soft pink of the ‘Bellsong’ trumpet together with the terracotta of the pot.IMG_4723

Into the greenhouse and, marvel of marvels, not only has it been cleaned inside and out, but also repainted.  I can’t take any of the credit apart from paying the bill, but it’s been a massive weight off my mind as I just couldn’t see when I was going to find a whole weekend to do it myself.  I can’t remember the last time I was so chuffed! IMG_4726

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I’ve had a few issues with seeds this year.  I think some have been eaten, probably by mice (see the terracotta coloured pots only one of the seven ‘Soleil’ courgettes has come up) which has never been a problem before.  I’ve replanted various, but annoyingly that was all of the yellow courgette seeds.IMG_4731

The OH is very proud his citrus trees are finally bearing fruit, so I have to point them out below.

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At the other side of the garden the Wisteria is just on the cusp of floweringIMG_4735

and the Narcissi (‘Cragford’ and ‘Yazz’) are crowding out the Bronze Bed.IMG_4736

The Melianthus major is back (hurrah!) but being rather squeezed out by the Acanthus (which I’m far less keen on) so think I need to address that.IMG_4737

And to finish, a tray of succulents that has just been moved out of the greenhouse.  Looks like a couple haven’t made it through the winter so I’ll have to keep my eye out for  replacements….. IMG_4740

End of Month View – February 2019

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What a crazy January/February!  One of the main distractions has been this:IMG_4645

Not only were we daft enough to buy a puppy (I could stop there).  Not only were we daft enough to buy a puppy, but we chose one born near Ilkley in West Yorkshire which required two weekend trips up north – one to choose her and one to pick her up.  Kiri (Labradoodle x Golden Doodle) arrived home on 10th February and has been terrorising both us and 10 year old Nimbus ever since!

A more miserable February happening was both the OH and me getting flu.  I was stuck in Richmond too ill to travel, and he was stuck on the IoW, likewise.  Consequently there was no TLC to be had.  I thought the ‘kids’ might look after me, but as soon as the daughter realised how poorly I was, she decamped to a friends’.  Conversely the son didn’t, but after two days’ worth of the odd pat on the back and a couple of cups of peppermint tea, he too succumbed!  I don’t think I’ve been so wiped out for decades and am still not 100%.  (I made a new year’s resolution to climb the five floors to my office and, up until the flu, I did so without fail at least once a day when I was in London, but I haven’t been able to face it since).  As you can imagine energy for gardening has also been a little thin on the ground.

The final thing that happened was that I was promoted at work (something that’s been lined up for months but for various reasons has been delayed).  The joke is that almost as soon as it was announced I went down with the flu and had more days off sick (four) than I have in the previous decade!

Anyway, back to the garden.  Finally, in the glorious weather a couple of weekends ago I got out and started some clearly/pruning/weeding.  There’s masses still to do but at least I’ve made a start.

The usual twirl takes us firstly past the troughs.  There should be Minnow Narcissi coming here, but I’m more excited that I’ve got away with leaving the Pelargoniums out over the winterIMG_4659

On to the Veg Patch which has been cleared apart from some cutting plants –  three plants of Dianthus barbatus ‘Green Wicky’, a Peony (Coral Charm)and three new roses for cutting.IMG_4653

I treated the Diving Lady to some Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ for her pool.IMG_4654

The Swing Beds have had a bit of a weed but all the roses still need pruning and I must do some dividing and general rationalisation. IMG_4655

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In the Grass Bed there is plenty of self sown Cerinthe and masses of forget me nots and bulbs coming.  I still haven’t bought any more Stipas, but I have planted up some seedlings in pots, so the plan is to try to replace them along the whole back of the bed.IMG_4657

The Mid Century bed is also a mass of Cerinthe, accompanied by a massive self sown Euphorbia.  (I pulled one out last year, but this one, left behind, is really taking over!)  In the centre you can still see the Erysimum Red Jep flowering.  I’ve taken cuttings of this so will be able to introduce it elsewhere in the garden. IMG_4660

In the Oak Bed, the Hellebores have bulked upIMG_4665

and the Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’ is finally looking properly established.IMG_4666

The bulbs in the Bronze Bed are nearly all still in bud – but the ones picked for my Monday vase were very quick to bloom once brought into a warm kitchen.

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More Hellebores in the Shady Bed, but the inherited white rose which used to do quite well here, despite the lack of light, has keeled over during the winter and needs digging out.IMG_4650

Next, the greenhouse, where there were some cuttings and seedlings here when I took these photos in late February, but since then I’ve planted hundreds more seeds and everywhere’s starting to fill up.

Which is a little tricky, as I’m sure you can guess who hasn’t spring cleaned it yet….IMG_4652

And to finish, another shot of mademoiselle.  Butter wouldn’t melt….IMG_4658

In a vase on Monday – Narcisscircle

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Finally!  I’ve found some time to post a Monday vase.

This one consists of Cerinthe, Narcissus Cragford and a few Tete a tetes, thrown together in my pretty (and very easy to use) milk bottle circle.IMG_5729

I did put together the vase below last week, but failed to post about it, so here’s two for the price of one!  The Hellebores flopped very quickly (despite searing), so I was interested in Cathy’s tip today about slicing the stem lengthwise.  Perhaps I’ll try that next time as I do love seeing them at close range.

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I’m so enjoying the beginning of spring.  It been a pretty challenging February – nothing serious and largely self inflicted.  I’ll explain more in my late End of Month View post to follow.

With thanks to Cathy who hosts all our Monday vases – and doesn’t judge those whose involvement is rather sporadic…