Monthly Archives: November 2016

Babies!

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This time last year, prompted by a Black Friday deal from Chilterns Seeds, I went a bit mad with my seed purchasing:IMG_0089

And whilst I did plant the vast majority, some never got beyond the seed tray where they languished, sad and spindly, until I threw them out recently.  What a waste.

Reflecting on my reducing spare time (and likely move to full time working, with possibly even a fourth day in London every week, gulp) I decided that I really should curb my seed habit and curtail the number I grow in 2017.

And yet….

First of all I read Dan’s wonderful ‘Little Miracle’ account of growing Canarina canariensis from seed in the Frustrated Gardener, then I had a look at the Chiltern ‘preview catalogue’ for 2017 and finally, faced with the soggy mass of Hosta vegetation (above), what couldn’t I ignore?  Oh look:img_1909

My ‘real’ babies are adult now, but just think how many plant ones I can have!

Here we go again…..

In a vase on Monday – bronze cup?

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Having shared one of the lovely Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’ blooms in a Wordless Wednesday earlier in the month, I cut three for today’s vase and there were still some left behind.img_1904

These were joined by more of the rose hips from Rosa Wedding Day (which I used in the golf dinner flowers) as well as a couple of tawny Nasturtiums.img_1905

The final component was the Ceratostigma seed headsimg_1906

Not only does this plant have these funky, whiskery seed heads at this time of year, but it also has fabulous pinky bronze leaves (and for those of you who don’t know the plant, stunning bright blue flowers in late summer).img_1902

Why don’t you go over to Rambling in the Garden to see what Cathy and others have found this week?

To bee or not to bee #5

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As you may have gleaned, things have been rather busy recently chez Duver Diary and it was mid November before I suddenly realised I hadn’t returned my Mason Bee tubes. Thankfully it’s been mild here so I thought it was still worth doing.

I pulled out all the tubes and, as instructed, where no ‘cap’ was visible I held them up to the light to see if the tube was blocked (because apparently tubes can be occupied even if not capped) and sure enough there were a number which were blocked.

Happily, whereas in my last post in September I thought I had seven capped and therefore occupied tubes, when I actually investigated them all, there were fourteen!img_1898

As explained last time, some of the tubes appear to have been capped by leaves not mud – see below – and these are occupied by leaf cutter bee coccoons.  Mason Bees UK don’t want these returned, so I’m following their instructions to look after these at home.

I’ve now sent all the mud capped tubes off in a Jiffy bag and am looking forward to receiving another set of Red Mason Bee cocoons in the spring.img_1901

With thanks to Mason Bees UK for making it all so easy.

Lazy Sunday afternoon?

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As some of you know, I’m in my second year of a Level 3 Certificate in Garden and Planting Design qualification at Capel Manor college in Regents Park.

Whilst last year was about plants and planting (and I was in my element) this year is all about the physical rather than planting design, and for Assignment 2 we were required to construct a scale model at a scale of 1:50 to illustrate the concept of ‘mass and void’.

What with spending a lot of last weekend in the car transporting a 12lb salmon from Basingstoke to Kent (don’t ask) I was rather behind, and so the majority of this weekend has been spent on the assignment.

I got the main part of the model made yesterday but then got a little carried away with sofa cushions, lavender hedge and the Duplo veg patch and before I knew it it was lunch time.img_1350

Which would have been fine, but I still had to knock up the scale drawing.img_1354

Only the final A2 sheet with details of the materials used to pull together before the Wednesday deadline.

Meanwhile, shame about the bulbs still sitting in the box they were delivered in a fortnight ago….

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – November 2016

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There are still a few annuals braving the chill – the one above, Calendula ‘Touch of Red Buff’ and below Nicotiana mutablis,img_1879

Antirrhinums include sumptuous ‘Black Prince’img_1894

and (in my view) insipid ‘The Rose’img_1883

As well as the pink flower carpet roses there is also this one, ‘Berkshire’ which is a very similar colour but has a more single form.img_1869

There are still Pelargoniums flowering well, this one is the ‘Boot Fair’ oneimg_1884

wonderful ‘Surcouf’img_1877

and this one, ‘Pink Capitatum’, the only one so far brought into the greenhouse.img_1875

There are at least a couple of Salvias (‘Dyson’s Scarlet’ and ‘Cerro Potosi’) covered in more blooms now than earlier in the year.img_1878

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On the pergola the first few Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ are flowering, but they are terribly tangled up with the roses and I’m a bit concerned both are suffering from the relationship!img_1881

In the greenhouse the loud Mandevilla Sundaville Pink is still pumping out its exotic blooms, but other exotics are still flowering (incongruously) outside.img_1874

This Grevilleaimg_1872

more Gazaniasimg_1871

and still the Nerines.img_1873

And to finish, not exotic, but what a good doer – Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’.img_1893

With thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBDs.

In a vase on Monday – this could be the last time

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Of course not my last IaVoM post – that would be as silly as giving up breathing 😉   No, instead, the last of the golf flowers.

The final event, the thank you dinner for the Captain’s Committee, was on Friday night at home and held in the garden building we call the office (as that’s what it was used for by the previous owners), it’s the timber, cream painted building you’ve only ever seen from the outside. And the reason for that would be that the inside is normally filled with assorted detritus and large items of furniture the OH refuses to get rid of (a huge wooden chest, a large pine wall cupboard, a futon, oh my goodness, I’m going all Bruce Forsyth era Generation Game).

So, not only did we have the slight challenge of cooking for 14, but before that, a significant amount of furniture shifting.  Deep joy.  At one stage I thought I was never going to get to the flowers, but clearly, I have my priorities (to the extent that the first guests arrived before I was changed, ooops).

Whilst I still have plenty of pink flower carpet roses, and even Zinnias, I fancied a rather more autumnal look and was worried I might not have enough blooms to create the six arrangements I’d decided on.  As it was, as so many of us IaVoMers have found, it’s amazing what you can find if you look.

I decided on an orangey/burgundy theme, so picked a few of the Antirrhinum ‘Black Prince’img_1859

added what might well be the last of the Dahlia  ‘La Recoleta’, some Cerinthe for foliage and plenty of the self sown Nasturtiums.  (Interestingly, these are not the N. Black Velvet I grew from seed last year, they’ve definitely evolved into a much tawnier, softer colour this year which actually suited the arrangement better).img_1862

And then, it was just a simple matter of getting out the ladder and shimmying up the pergola to cut some rose hips from my Rosa ‘Wedding Day’.  Simples!img_1858

Not the best photos as I was a little pushed for time, but hopefully you get the idea.

So, now that’s all over, I wonder what excuse I’ll have for future vase challenges?  Hmmm.

With many thanks, as always, to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts all our IaVoM vases.  Why don’t you pop over to her site to see her post today celebrating this lovely meme?