In a Vase on Monday – Dark

IMG_2616

I love ‘In a Vase on Monday’ because it’s full of beauty, warmth and a sense of community, and, reading Cathy and Christina‘s posts this morning about their meeting (which sadly I missed as I was away) only reinforced how wonderful warm hearts and like minds are.  Sadly, this was something so brutally missing a week ago in Manchester.

Consequently I’m sharing flowers which, whilst deliberately dark, I hope convey both life and beauty, things we all need to pause to appreciate in these tricky, tricky times.

Wishing you all a peaceful, beautiful Monday.IMG_2609

Thanks Cathy.

Tardy Parham post

The same weekend we visited Gravetye Manor, we also visited Parham House and Gardens in West Sussex.IMG_2453

It’s a garden I’ve been meaning to visit for ages as I read they had fabulous tulips.  Sadly, unlike Gravetye, only a few miles away, the majority of the Parham tulips were past their best, but there was so much else to admire, not least some glorious walls and structures.IMG_2399

IMG_2408

IMG_2402

IMG_2398

IMG_2426

IMG_2430

IMG_2443

Oh, and did I say there was a fabulous nursery?IMG_2451

Thanks Parham, IMG_2392

I wonder if I can make it back for your Garden Weekend?IMG_2388

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – May 2017

IMG_2554

I’ve just looked back at my GBBD post from a year ago and it’s all tulips with a few Narcissi – today’s is roses, poppies and pelargoniums.  What a mad spring!

The rose above is ‘Pat Austin’, the one below a bit of a family joke as I’m not a fan of red and so, when a builder chopped it back to ground level a few years ago I didn’t mourn.  However, since then it’s come back bigger and stronger, so I’ve given it a grudging acceptance.IMG_2563

And here’s ‘St Swithun,’ finally looking well established on the pergola. IMG_2571

There are a few more roses already in bud  so I’m starting to fret they’ll all be long gone by the garden opening at the end of June!

This little Cistus is also looking more summery than the calendar – but then so was today’s sunshine.IMG_2572

Having rested for only a couple of months the Leptospermum is back again.IMG_2552

By the front steps I’ve popped some bought Osteospermums into the big bath.  I like how the centres pick up the colour of the Pelagoniums behind.

Another daisy flower is the Erigeron karvinskianus growing in the crack at the bottom of the steps.  

Also near the steps is a lovely inherited Genista.

The first year we were here it flowered at the same time as the Callistemon, it’s planted next to and together they were quite a sight, but again this year it’s not to be.

Two Alliums flowering now.  The one on the left is called ‘Violet Beauty’ and was planted in the Drive Bed to flower with a similarly coloured tulip.  Not only did they not flower together last year, but this year only about three of the tulips returned, and not many more of the Alliums.

The one on the right is good old ‘Purple Sensation’ (being apparently strangled by the foliage of Allium Sphaerocephalon)

I bought a new Geum recently, ‘Prinses Juliana’ (the one on the right), to go in the Bronze Bed with ‘Pat’ (the rose).  I was perfectly happy with it until I read Sarah Raven talking about G. Totally Tangerine (the one on the left, which I had already in a pot on the barrow).  From these photos they don’t look that different, but she’s right, Totally Tangerine is a softer more subtle colour, and definitely a better match for Pat.  Darn!

More orange from this lovely little plant we brought back from Madeira just a week or so before I started this blog.  It hasn’t flowered for years but I’m delighted to see it blooming again.  I did find the name at one stage but have now lost it again.  Any clues?

Looking across the Lavender Bed to the Mid Century bed beyond I like how the Gladioli spires are repeated by the Foxgloves.

 

I love this little poppy.  I’ve gone a bit mad for them and have planted plenty, some grown from seed (including this one) and some bought as plugs.  Let’s hope it works!

At the back of the Swing Beds these Nicotiana mutablis are now over a metre tall.  I’m still a bit confused as to whether they self seeded, as they seemed to get going so early, it’s more like they overwintered,  There a definitely a few kicking about in seed trays that seem to have survived, so I’m thinking I should plant them out too.

There are a few Pelargoniums blooming now, including this one bought at our local Boot Fair and hence nameless.  It’s one of my favourites and I’m forever taking cuttings to increase my stock.

And this is another favourite – Surcouf, in the twin pots on the decking.  They’ve gone mad this year!

In the greenhouse the Sweet Peas are also going bonkers and I’ve picked a proper big bunch this weekend.

To finish I think my favourite bloom today.  This is Erysimum ‘Red Jep’ which I fell in love with when I saw it at Hyde Hall.  I found just one supplier and bought them online last year, but I note this year Sarah Raven has them too!  I’ve taken a few cuttings but I really must take more as already they’re looking a little woody at the base so I’m not sure how long they’ll continue to look so good.

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

 

In a vase on Monday – Sweet pea plethora!

This is another vase based around the sweet peas.  Finally I’m able to pick a real handful so I thought I use them to christen my new glass trough.   (I’d already ordered it before I admired the one at Gravetye, but it’s nowhere near as large as theirs).

The sweet peas have been joined by the Antirrhinum majus ‘The Rose’ again, as well as the stalwart Cerinthe major purpurescens.  I actually found the vase a little tricky to use as the top heavy Antirrhinum and Cerinthe kept dropping back out again as there’s no lip to keep them in.  I cut them a bit shorter and put the sweet peas in first and it was fine, but it has made the arrangement quite ‘dense’ as I wasn’t able to have the Antirrhinum poking out as I’d envisaged.  Also, I didn’t sear the stems of the Cerinthe and after a night in the kitchen with the Aga still on they’re already drooping, so they’re not ‘poking’ either.

IMG_2589

Anyway, drooping or not, it certainly smells divine!

And to finish a silly extra arrangement prompted by photographing the red and amber roses for GBBD – I thought adding in a stem of Aeonium would make a traffic light!

With thanks to Cathy who hosts this lovely meme.

 

In a vase on Monday – Gravetye blooms

IMG_2456

None of these beautiful vases are mine this week, but they were all on display at Gravetye Manor which I visited at the weekend and blogged about here, and I thought the lovely IaVoM crowd would enjoy them as much as I did,

The gardens are glorious and happily there were also flowers everywhere within the hotel.  The ones above were in an intriguing circular but flat vase.  It struck me as a clever design as it provides that wonderful arc of flowers, but doesn’t take anything like the volume of blooms required to fill a similarly sized gold fish bowl shaped vase, and, if it’s to be placed against a wall you don’t need an all round arrangement.

I asked at reception what proportion of the blooms came from the garden and, whilst understandably they said the proportion is higher in the summer, it was clear from my walk around the garden and from the lovely natural feel to the arrangements, that many of the blooms, and particularly the foliage, had been cut from the garden.IMG_2527

This fabulous pair of vases were in the dining room, and, whilst I’m sure the lilies were brought in, and I imagine the Molucella too, I know the beautiful Dicentra were from the garden as I saw a whole bank of them.IMG_2457

This vase also made use of another round/flat vase.  I can’t think what the blue flower is (any clues?) but this too I saw growing in the garden.IMG_2459

And finally, I think perhaps my favourite, so simple and yet so charming, just a lupin bud, and some foliage, including a little bud of  Alchemilla mollis.IMG_2460

The head florist at Gravetye is Chelsea award winning Sue Flight, who’s quoted on the website saying  “It really is a pleasure to work with the flowers at Gravetye. The ability to have specially grown cut flowers is fantastic and I am able to recreate the garden inside! Gravetye has been an amazing place to work where you feel a sense of belonging to a special family; a family that works together to provide exceptional hospitality for our wonderful guests.”

It turns out she runs monthly Flower Workshops at the hotel.  Anyone tempted?  I know I am!

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the garden who hosts this lovely meme.