In a vase on Monday – Kitchen sink!

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The colour theme of this vase was supposed to be simply orange, with some contrasting purple from the Asters.  However, with the original pickings looking far too mean, I broadened the remit.

One thing led to another, and I’ve ended up with a rather random selection of the original planned Pat Austin roses (already looking a little floppy by the time I took the photo) Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’ and Asters,  then being joined by Zinnias, both ‘Benary Giant Lime’ and ‘Queen Red Lime,’IMG_4495

a single stem of Antirrhinum ‘Orange Wonder,’ seed heads from Arum italicum pictum,IMG_4498

Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date’ and Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’IMG_4494

I think it was Constance Spry who said when flower arranging you should ‘allow room for the butterflies’ – I think it’s fair to say by the time I’d finished cramming, there was probably only space for a Small Blue!

Why don’t you pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what others have picked for their vases this Monday?

End of Month View – July 2018

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Oh dear – a very bleached view this End of Month.

Whilst I have watered newly planted annuals, the veg patch and pots, there has been no watering of the grass and little of the main beds, and boy does it show!

Whilst a careful angle suggests something’s going on in the Swing BedsIMG_4395

reality is more brutal.  Actually the main casualty here has been the rather overwhelming pink geranium which I’ve been meaning to reduce anyway, so hopefully I can take the opportunity to have a rethink. IMG_4396

The right hand Swing Bed is similarly colourless.

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In the Grass Bed the Zinnias are filling out and providing lots of limey and sludgy pink blooms for cutting.

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The Agapanthus are a delight and thriving in the hot sunny weather.  And the Veg Patch behind where we’ve used a trickle hose for the first time for a number of overnight drenchings has gone bonkers – particularly the courgette plants at the front.

The bamboo structure is looking a little drunken after 50mph winds over the weekend but the beans don’t seem to care!IMG_4393

I bought some mini sweetcorn plug plants when I saw them in a local garden centre as they’re a daughter favourite, and they’ve gone pretty bonkers too.  I’m not sure how many cobs you get per plant.  I hope it’s more than one!

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Round to the western side the Dahlias are getting going, the roses are coming back and the Arctotis are just starting

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and there are a few new blooms on the Wisteria too.IMG_4409

Outside the greenhouse more Agapanthus joined by Asters, but the planned clashing Dahlia has failed spectacularly!  Not only have the Dahlia’s struggled to get going in the dry weather, but the first one to flower has turned out to be pink when I’d planned a fabulous, spiky orange bloom – ‘Mel’s Orange Marmalade’ (loved the name!).  I contacted Sarah Raven and unfortunately ‘Mel’ had sold out, but I selected an alternate, softer orange, but I haven’t yet planted them as I’m still hoping ‘Mel’ might be amongst the remaining five!

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Inside the usual jungle of tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines.

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But most excitingly – look at this –  I only had to wait 4 months!  Let’s hope there’s still some summer left to enjoy itIMG_4406

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and perhaps I can get some of these pots off the gravel!IMG_4401

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener who hosts our EoMVs.

In a vase on Monday – home grown?

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Saturday saw me at the V&A attending a course by the delightfully creative Susie Beech from A Petal Unfolds, and this is the result.

Susie was wonderfully supportive and helpful with a room full of budding, mostly novice ‘paper florists’ (is that a thing?  I’ve just made that up) and we all came away with a beautiful crepe paper peony.

Some chose a Sarah Bernhardt pink, others more of a coral, but I went with the deep red.  Many of will know I’m not a big red fan but, having inherited a dark red Aga, I decided to go with and allow my bloom to grace the kitchen where, obvs (as the younglings say) the heat of the Aga won’t distress it.

We started with the centreIMG_4367 (2)

then cut out a very precise number of petals, both large and smallIMG_4368

and then stuck them on, petal by petal, around the central stamensIMG_4369

until all the petals were used up.IMG_4374

It was a delightful morning (we’ll gloss over the fact that I was feeling a little worse for wear after rather overdoing the daughter’s 21st birthday celebrations the night before!) and I’d love to attend another workshop.  I’m really tempted by this poppy one in August.  Perhaps I could meet you there?

So, apologies for my bloom not actually being home grown but I’m sure Cathy, who hosts our Monday vases, will forgive me for going off piste.  She’s very liberal like that 😉

 

New garden update

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Some of you may remember we bought a tiny terraced house in Richmond in March this year for me to live in during the week when I’m working in London and for the ‘kids’ to be based in now they too are working in London (well, one of them is…).

When we bought the property the garden was like this (except without the pots and furniture, as obviously the vendor took those)HF304_170626S_IMG_09

I loved the walls and paving but didn’t like the rather orange-y fence.  I also wanted some more permanent planting but didn’t want to have to start digging up the paving, and so settled on buying two large troughs.

We also chose to buy seating – rather than a table and chairs – and went with this contemporary, grey seating which felt appropriate for a ‘town’ garden (and is amazingly comfortable).

With regard to planting, it needed to be simple as the space is so small, and, as it would mostly be used in the evenings I thought white would be a good colour to feature.

Interestingly, when I was doing my design course I seemed unusual in struggling to incorporate white in my planting plans.  I always feel it’s ‘different’ and doesn’t sit very comfortably with other colours, except perhaps blues, and so consequently I have little of it in the garden on the Isle of Wight.  You may remember I made the Grass Bed white last year, but I have little white ‘intermingled’, consequently, the idea of ‘playing’ with white was appealing.

I also wanted scent and so planted some Nicotiana alata ‘Grandiflora’ and Sweet Pea ‘Mrs Collier’ seeds.

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We painted the fence grey (a little darker than I’d envisaged) and then the OH found the black trellis, which we attached to the fencing.

Evergreen climbers, both Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ and Passiflora ‘Snow Queen’ – a relatively new introduction with larger flowers than ‘Constance Eliott’ and said to be more disease resistant – are being trained against the trellis.  I’m hoping that in winter, when the planting in the troughs has all died off, the climbers will largely have covered the trellis and so a green outlook can be retained.

(My thoughts to plant a ‘Claire Austin’ rose were deemed too ‘obvious’ by the son, hence the Passion Flower, which, although supposed to be scented I  don’t suppose for a minute smells as good as ‘Claire’!)IMG_4221

I’ve also added three Cosmos Purity plants which are only now coming into flower.  The bought bedding at the front has struggled in the hot weather. IMG_4294

The sweet peas are in a pot, next to pots of the daughter-requested strawberries and are only just getting going.  The strawberries are a variety called ‘Buddy’ which are supposed to be very long fruiting, but in this, their first year, they’ve not surprisingly produced nothing.IMG_4291

There is also a tiny bed by the back door (not shown) which, happily, already has a Trachelospermum jasminoides planted in it which I’ve been tending very carefully as it fits the theme perfectly.

As you can see, it really is tiny, but it’s been a joy to be able to sit out these warm evenings and enjoy the white blooms glowing in the dusk – and even more of a joy to be able the water the whole garden in less than 10 minutes!

And as for scent, I’m pretty pleased with that too – you can even smell the perfume from the upstairs bathroom!IMG_4283

In a vase on Monday – Chaos!

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I’ve been back on the island for four days for the first time in weeks, but rather than a chilled weekend enjoying the weather and the seaside, we were invaded!

No, not by any kind of bug, but instead by my daughter’s university choir who were staying with us on their choir ‘tour’.  This comprised giving a recital in the beautiful (and wonderfully acoustic) Quarr Abbey, and otherwise lots of eating, drinking and hanging out in the garden and at the beach.  As you can imagine, it was a little chaotic.  Hopefully the flowers, also chaotic, convey some of the joy of having a houseful of jolly, musical, twenty somethings.

I’m delighted my Dahlia ‘Happy Single Dates’ are back.  Those of you who have read this blog for any time know that they grace plenty of summer vases (as does the other, dark, Dahlia here, ‘La Recoleta’.)IMG_4312

These were joined bysweet peas, Heleniums and Dianthus – the Dianthus were retrieved from last week’s vase.  They really do last brilliantly in a vase and continue to provide their fresh green zing.

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So happy Monday, whatever you’re up to.  I expect order will resume chez Duver Diary eventually….IMG_4314 (2)

With thanks to Cathy who hosts all our IaVoMs.