In a vase on Monday – Marmalade madness

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So a marmalade combination for this Monday’s vase, photographed in Sunday afternoon’s sunshine.

The vase includes Dahlia ‘Mystery Fox’img_1658

old favourite Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date,’ with new growth of Cerinthe major purpurescensimg_1663

Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty,’img_1660

and Euphorbia myrsinites together with unknown succulent.  This was given as a cutting by  a neighbour and I now have quite a few of them.  Maybe some kind of Asphodel?img_1661

And the madness?  Well, after the delight of meeting up with Sam from A Coastal Plot at the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Tate Modern,  how about an IaVoM lunch next year when London’s Garden Museum reopens after its £7.5m redevelopment?  The website promises a ‘bigger, brighter cafe’.  Anyone up for it?

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who started it all off.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2016

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Over a week late with GBBD, but I still wanted to post as a record for me.  (I’m not sure having my daughter home is conducive to blogging!)

Whilst the raised cutting beds have been pretty hopeless this year due to lack of water,  the Zinnia above Z. elegans ‘Luminosa’ is doing well, whilst these Diascia personata, grown from cuttings last year, are going mad.  I mean to move them into the Swing Beds, but life keeps getting in the way.img_1585

In the Swing Beds the Nicotiana mutablis are starting to get going, but were definitely planted out too late to make the impact I was after.img_1597

They’ve been joined by Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Blue Cockade’, also grown from seed, shown here with Aster frikartii Monch. img_1601

Further blue is provided by the lovely Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’. Apparently this can be propagated by cuttings, so I really should try to make some more as I love it.img_1600

Elsewhere there are still roses going strong – R. Flower Carpet Pink,img_1582

R. Jubilee Celebrationimg_1618

and R. Munstead Wood.img_1614

Joining the rose above in the Mid Century Bed are Antirrhinum majus nanum ‘Black Prince’ (not looking very black to me!)img_1610

Amaranthus caudatusimg_1615

and Dahlia ‘La Recoleta’.img_1613

Whilst the Grass Bed was supposed to be taken over by Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’ and this lovely Cosmos, C. bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’img_1603

instead it’s been rather overwhelmed by self seeded Nasturtiumsimg_1606

and this grass, which I’m sure I originally grew from seed a couple of years ago, but now can’t remember the name of.  Help!img_1608

In the veg bed, this Lathyrus ‘Heathcliff’ must be one of the very last Sweet Peas.img_1592

In the greenhouse, the Plumbago is still flowering wellimg_1588

and has been joined by the Mandevilla Sundaville Pink.  Some of you might remember these rather gaudy plants were bought at Hampton Court Flower Show to go in pots with the wonderful Pelargonium Surcouf, but I couldn’t bear to plant them together as they weren’t quite the same pink.  Consequently, they’ve been left in the greenhouse, repotted twice, and are absolutely thriving.  Shame I’m now not sure I actually like them!img_1587

To finish this cheeky orange Diascia.  I bought this as a plug plant months ago and it’s in a pot by the front door and has been in almost constant flower ever since.  Gotta love a bit of bedding!img_1628

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD (on the, er, 15th of the month!)

To bee or not to bee #4

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I recently received an Autumn Newsletter from Mason Bees UK, the suppliers of my Red Mason Bee cocoons earlier in the year.

It’s apparently now time to bring the nesting tubes inside to check if they are occupied. The ones with mud caps (two of mine above) are likely to be occupied with Red Mason Bee cocoons.  However, there might also be cocoons in uncapped tubes, so we’ve been invited to remove the tubes from the the holder and hold the them up to the light to see if there is anything inside.

If the tube is occupied, the inside tube should be removed from the outer either by hand or needle nosed pliers.  Once removed they should be returned to Mason Bees UK for safekeeping over the winter.  New cocoons will be sent out in the spring.

So, that’s two occupied tubes taken care of, what of the other five which are capped but look different?  Apparently these are likely to be inhabited by Leafcutter Bee cocoons and the newsletter explained how I can look after these at home.  Knowing these were likely to be leafcutters I looked at nearby leaves and, sure enough, some exhibited the neat circular holes that leafcutters make.

Interestingly the newsletter shared evidence that ‘second hand’ outer tubes (ie reused for a second year) seem to attract nesting bees more readily than brand new tubes which is thought might be due to a pheromone effect, so hopefully next year I might have even more success.

What a buzz  ;-)

 

 

In a vase on Monday – pretty in pink!

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Today’s vase is a celebration of my daughter’s homecoming (as well as her 19th birthday in July, which, for the first time, she celebrated without me).

She finished her first year at uni in June, and was then home for less than 24 hours before flying to America to work in a holiday camp and then travel.  It’s so lovely to have her home, although the chaos that surrounds her is rather less welcome!

After the gorgeous display of Zinnias at West Dean I’m chuffed to be able to show off a couple of mine.  These are both supposed to be Zinnia elegans ‘Luminosa’ as the other one I grew was ‘Queen Red Lime’ which is a lot greener, but is yet to flower.IMG_1571IMG_1572

To these I added the lovely smelling roses Rosa ‘Jacques Cartier,’ (with Euphorbia myrsinites behind)IMG_1570

Diascia personata,IMG_1575

and the same two white species from last week, Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’IMG_1573

and Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’.IMG_1574

With thanks to Cathy who hosts this lovely meme.

End of month view – August 2016

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Much is looking rather exhausted in this EoMV.  It’s been so hot and I think the OH’s watering efforts when I’m in London consist of a little vague hose waving, which we all know doesn’t really cut the watering mustard!

Having said that, the annuals are finally getting going and the roses are putting on a much appreciated second flush.  Here’s R. ‘St Swithun’ surrounding the swing.IMG_1559

In this rather bleached photo you can see (in the centre) the Diascia personata is still flowering well, and there are Salvias too, but most of the other plants have gone over.  Late season interest from Aster frikartii Monch seems to have disappeared from this bed, although there are a couple of small plants limping along in the right hand Swing Bed.IMG_1558

In the Grass Bed the annuals are finally starting to fill out after a very late planting.  Here Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’, Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’, Calendula officinalis ‘Touch of Red Buff’ and self seeded Nasturtium ‘Black Velvet’ are jostling for position.

Although I did lose some of the Cosmos along the way, it’s filled out well despite the dry conditions.IMG_1560

I don’t think the Mid Century bed is doing as well as last year.  I’m missing the bright pink Malope as well as the Rhodochiton (which I’d grown up the obelisk).  I did plant some, but again the lack of water meant they never took off.  There are a few annuals struggling along here – Antirrhinum majus nanum ‘Black Prince’ as well as Amaranthus caudatus which may yet fill out with a bit more TLC.

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Lucky the dahlias and roses (here D. ‘La Recoleta’ and R.’Jubilee Celebration’) are doing their thing.IMG_1563

On the other side of the garden the Bronze Bed is rather overwhelmed by the Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date’.  I think next year I might have to reduce the number of plants from three to two, or even one, to get some variation here.  I loved the hot planting at Mottistone so perhaps should add a bit of (whisper it) red!IMG_1541

In the Veg Bed the Sweet Peas (yes I know they’re not veg) are rather mildewed, and the stems definitely shorter, but they’re still pumping out wonderfully scented blooms.  In front of these is a very handsome row of Chard ‘Pink flamingo’.  Sadly however, it seems to be remaining a very handsome row, which isn’t really the point.  We somehow don’t seem that interested in eating it.  Any top tips as to how best cook it?

Even further forward is Cavolo Nero ‘Black Magic’ and Broccoli ‘Early Purple Sprouting’.  I haven’t grown either of these previously, and they too have yet to undergo the taste test. IMG_1554

In front of the Veg the Agapanthus are still clinging on.IMG_1555

Some of you may remember that in the previous couple of years I borrowed a corner of a neighbour’s garden to use as a Cutting Patch.  I decided I didn’t really have time this year, but I am missing it.  I planted a few Zinnias (this one Z. elegans ‘Luminosa)’ in these raised beds, but they too are struggling with lack of water.  Behind there are yet more Diascias grown from cuttings.  I should probably move these into the Swing Beds with the rest.IMG_1548

Into the greenhouse and the tomatoes are in full flow.  I just love walking in and smelling that wonderful tomato smell, so redolent of summer.IMG_1549

In the pots a new Aubergine for me after multiple previous failures.  These ones are long but thin (clue’s in the name – Aubergine ‘Farmer’s Long’) which I think makes it easier for them to ripen.IMG_1550

Back outside for more pots.  The one below has been fantastic this year.  I love this little Pelargonium which was bought at the local Car Boot Sale and increased by cuttings.IMG_1561

The trough by the front steps is full of plants which, despite being tender, have overwintered in situ, including Gazanias and Chocolate Cosmos.IMG_1542

Here’s another shot of last Wednesday’s Morning Glory which is thriving under the glass canopy (where last year Sweet Peas sulked and turned their toes up!)

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Dahlias on the barrow are looking a little unhappy, whilst the Abutilon is fineIMG_1547

Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’ has been fabulous all summer, despite a certain amount of neglect.IMG_1553

In the troughs the Cosmos are finally getting going.  I deliberately planted the shorter Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sonata White’ as I’m always bad at supporting them and this way they don’t flop so far.  There is also Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’ here, but they’ve struggled to bulk up and are now having to compete with the Cosmos!IMG_1556

This last shot is really an aide memoire for me – just look how the two Pelargoniums are thriving whist the Salvia (back left) Dahlia (centre) and Scabious (back) struggle.  Some things so clearly like their roots in the ground it really is cruel to deny them!

And for my final pot you’ll have to wait for Wordless Wednesday later in the day!IMG_1551

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting our EoMVs.