In a vase on Monday – A pair of Queens

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The key blooms in today’s vase are Zinnia elegans ‘Queeny Lime Red’ and Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’ named by David Austin for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.  (Cathy would have found a couple of playing cards to add as props to the photo, but I’m sorry, I’m just not that organised!)IMG_6608

There are also a few sweet peas – I think this is ‘Painted Lady’ but a bit confused as I thought ‘Painted Lady’ was more obviously bi-coloured but can’t think it’s anything else I planted this year.  And there are also a few stems of Digitalis ‘Polkadot Pippa’, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and if you look really closely at the top photo, Erysimum ‘Red Jep’IMG_6609

And just because I’m currently a bit obsessed with the little vases, another array up for inspection.  This time Verbascum chaixii ‘Album’ (grown from seed ages ago and still self seeding around) and Sweet pea ‘Mrs Collier.’ IMG_6620

With thanks to Cathy who hosts this meme every week and is this week ‘propping’ with Chinese sampans!

In a vase on Monday – in a vase darkly!

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I used these little vases for the first time here but that was back in April and feels a looong time ago!

As some of you know, I have a bit of a thing about colour matching and wanted to bring together the rather droughted (and hence short stemmed) ‘Black Knight’ sweet peas from the Veg BedIMG_6575

with the matching coloured rose, ‘Munstead Wood’ from the Mid Century Bed.IMG_6574

I like the little glass vases – they make me think of a scientific experiment, with the blooms arranged as if for formal analysis.  (Or is that just me?  Perhaps A level Chemistry had more impact than I’d realised!) IMG_6572

And to finish, in case you thought I’d given up, I’m still trying to have flowers on my desk at work each week.  This arrangement, last week, was particularly girly in a rather male environment.  But do you know what?  I just don’t care.  I’ve battled on for more than 35 years now and decided some while ago that the ‘boys’ were just going to have to take me as they found me, flowers and all!IMG_6532 (1)

With thanks to Cathy who hosts this lovely meme.

In a vase on Monday – Golden!

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I made this little posy to take to supper with friends, and the title relates to both the golden/orangey colouring, but more importantly, a lovely, golden evening, spent outside until very late.

It features the first pickings of Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ which I planted in the Veg Bed, along with a couple of other roses for cutting, last autumn.  I’m not sure how similar she is to Rosa ‘Pat Austin’ (which I have in the Bronze Bed) as Pat has been taking a little break.  However, she’s got more buds coming, so by next weekend I should be able to have Emma and Pat side by side!

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As well as the Dianthus ‘Green Wicky’ and poppy seed heads, I added some soft, peachy blooms from this year’s runner beans ‘Aurora’ which are a super match for Emma.

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Sticking with the veg theme, I also added a few male courgette flowers, as well as a few self seeded Nicotiana.

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It’s lovely to be back taking part in IaVoM, why don’t you see what Cathy and the rest of the IaVoM crew have in their vases this Monday?

End of Month View – June 2019

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It was such a sunny day today the ‘St Swithun’ roses on the pergola look almost bleached to white, but the roses all over the garden are fantastic.  I did water and feed them earlier in the month, ahead of the opening on the 9th, and of course we did have rain in early June, so I think that really helped.IMG_4917

It’s funny to think had we not moved the date of the garden opening from coinciding with the St Helens fayre (as it has done for over a decade) today would have been the day.  Instead, it was all over, and today was spent gently pottering instead.  Lovely!

Having struggled to keep plants growing in these metal troughs in the past, I took the decision this year to plant them with Pelargoniums as they’re happy in the heat and more drought tolerant.  You can see that the whole ‘right plant, right place’ has worked a treat and I don’t feel I’m fighting to keep them alive as I have in the past.  I bought I think three of these ‘Choun Chou’ Pelargoniums a couple of years ago, and these are all cuttings from those original plants.  (The very leggy plants at the back are white Stocks.  I really love their scent so am a loathe to dig them out, but they do look rather a mess and certainly don’t complement the dark red.  Hmmm)

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The Swing Beds are pretty full with roses, and plenty of herbaceous Salvias, Verbena, Lupins, Diascia but, in addition to the small Eucalyptus I planted earlier in the year, I recently planted a new Anisodontea ‘El Royo’ in each bed to provide some larger more permanent structure.  You can’t see the Anisodontea above, but I’m working hard to keep them watered through this dry, hot weather in the hope they’ll be something to see soon!IMG_4910

Round to the Grass Bed and you’ll see I finally replaced the Stipa Tenuissima which line the back.  They’re a bit mismatched in size as some were grown from seed by me, some survived and some were bought in.  In the bed in front, I recently planted out both Cosmos and Zinnia seedlings.  The rest of the bed is covered with self sown seedlings of Forget me nots, Nasturtiums and a grass I’ve forgotten the name of.  Hopefully once the Cosmos and Zinnias get going they push the rest out of the way!

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I managed to miss taking a photo of the Mid Century bed, so we’ll move on to the Lavender Beds and this shot, looking over the Coleonoma to the greenhouse.  If you look closely to the far left hand side you’ll see Kiri – now more than six months old and almost as big as Nimbus.

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Up the lavender stepsIMG_4918

takes us back towards the house.IMG_4924

The picture above shows the ‘Flower Carpet roses’ which sadly weren’t open on the Secret Gardens day, but are certainly making up for it now.

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In the Bronze Bed the ‘Pat Austin’ roses are having a bit of a rest,but the Achillea ‘Terracotta’ and Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ are romping away.  The ‘Happy Single Date’ dahlias are the dark leaf to the right of the photo.

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Looking towards the oak table you can see we’ve still left up the decorations from the opening.  Here’s looking outwards, with a second flush of Wisteria.

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In the corner where we have had morning glory in the past, this year I’ve planted Eccremocarpus scaber, the Chilean Glory flower.  I have to confess I’ve failed to grow this from seed in the past, so this year I bought seedlings.  IMG_4890

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The way back round takes up past the old tub, which I’m really chuffed with this yearIMG_4923

and some morning glory, Ipomoea lobata, in pots.IMG_4919

Inside the greenhouse I have more morning glory, as well as the usual peppers, aubergines and tomatoes.IMG_4897

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And outside, well, er, rather a lot of seedling and cuttings….IMG_4896

On the decking there are the usual pots with Surcouf Pelargoniums and Clematis ‘Princess Diana’IMG_4902

There is also the beginning of our own little citrus grove!IMG_4901

Terrible picture of the Veg patch (which needs renaming as it’s more about flowers these days)IMG_4903

and the Agapanthus coming (and squeezing out the strawberries) below.IMG_4904

And to finish – oh looky, looky.  The OH went mad while I was in London, and we are now the proud owners of two loungers for the very first time.  Can you believe, very shortly after this photo was taken, I managed to sit down on one. There might even have been a snooze in the sunshine.

A miracle indeed!

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In a Vase on Monday – feet up!

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Aaaaaaaaaaaah – finally, a weekend without a care!

Last weekend was the St Helens Secret Gardens event where I attempt to organise a village group of garden openers (13 this year) to raise money for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.  As you can imagine, there are any number of incidents where the greater medical expertise/equipment found on the mainland – usually at Southampton General – is key to a positive outcome, and the air ambulance provides the crucial link.  Consequently, I’m absolutely delighted that the sun shone and we raised over £3,100, beating our previous total.

However, not surprisingly, the previous (many) weekends have been spent coralling openers, emailing potential sources of publicity, baking cakes or trying to rescue my own garden from a year of  neglect, hence there’s been precious little time for feet up, let alone blogging.  So, this weekend, without a care in the world, I have done a lot of nothing.  One thing I have done, however, is arrange a few flowers.

It was my birthday last Tuesday and whilst the OH went to Canada on business (and gave me nothing) and the son bought me a new outdoor broom (because apparently I’d moaned about the other one being ‘too large and unwieldy’), the lovely daughter bought me four charming little vases.   Consequently, they’re making their debut today.

These Icelandic poppy blooms grow in a pot (with a chicken) and since the photo below was taken, they’ve gone sufficiently bonkers that I felt I had enough to cut.IMG_6272

On the basis that you should always arrange in odd numbers, I added the bud as a fifth bloom, so I’m now intrigued to see whether it opens.IMG_6325

Why don’t you pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what others have arranged in their Monday vases?

Oh look – post script.  And then there were five.IMG_6327

 

Old Rectory, Kingston – still glorious!

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I’ve blogged about The Old Rectory Kingston previously here, but have absolutely no hesitation in also sharing today’s visit, two years later.

The gardens surround a beautiful stone rectory in the south of the Isle of Wight, and have been a work in progress for the current inhabitants since 2002.  Louise uses the stone to set off soft coloured planting near the house, with plenty of purple, pink, blue and white.IMG_4869

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In the walled garden there has been a move away from edibles to flowers for cutting, with an explosion of far bolder colour here.IMG_4874

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Above the house are two wildflower meadows.  A photo taken of one of them won a national NGS competition in 2017 – I blogged about it here when I went to the Garden Museum.   My photo isn’t in the same league, but it’s a stunning display, nonetheless.IMG_4853

Circling back down towards the house takes you past the formal rose areaIMG_4856

with more roses in the ‘Sunset’ border on the way to the potting shed.IMG_4858

Here I had definite potting shed envy, not only regarding these intriguing individual metal ‘pots’ (about 3 or 4cm across) on a metal tray

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but even more so these wonderful drawers.  Sadly you can’t ready the ‘key’ sitting on top, but each drawer is named (‘Salad Leaves’, ‘Hardy Annuals A-M’ ‘Perennials’ etc. ) to help locate the desired seed packet.  What a fabulous idea – I want one!IMG_4862

Back outside and I’m just going to share some of my favourite views and planting combinations.IMG_4885

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Wow!  Thanks Louise and Derek, and thanks too NGS for such a fundamentally brilliant idea.

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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