In a vase on Monday – in the (clashing) pink!

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In general, I think people who love autumn are a bit strange.  To me it seems a negative, downhill time of year, but on a day like today when the sun’s shining, the birds are singing and the garden’s not yet a soggy, decaying mess, I’m prepared to cut autumn some slack. Even more so when I can pop into the garden and still rustle up a small vase of pink lovelies.

In today’s vase are a few Rosa St Swithuns, Salvia Cerro Potosi,

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a random (out of focus) Pelargonium,IMG_3717

and plenty of bright pink Flower Carpet roses, as well as three stems of silvery Phlomis italica for foliage.IMG_3716

Why don’t you pop over to Cathy’s blog to see her spectacular fireworks inspired Monday creation?

Duver sunshine

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I’ve blogged numerous times about the St Helens Duver – the National Trust owned area of heathland opposite where we live – but not recently.  (For a while I contributed regularly to a wildflower meme, and you can see the posts by selecting the ‘Wildflower Wednesday’ category).

Sunday’s sunshine, after Saturday’s grey, was such a treat I’m taking you on the usual circuit and sharing a few wild flowers along the way.

These hips are so fabulous I’d be tempted to pick a few, but they’re on a bramble clad bank between the path and the road and therefore completely inaccessible.  I’ll just have to admire from a distance. IMG_3686

Further down the path, looking right towards the Solent I just caught this yacht heading out,

whilst looking the other way, I spied a number of glowing Iris foetidissima seed heads.IMG_3691

At the bottom of the path, looking back across Bembridge Harbour, you can see over to Brading Haven yacht club.  There was plenty of activity there today, but rather them than me.

(I did actually sail a lot in my twenties, including racing back from Lisbon to Southampton, and from Aarhus in Denmark across the North Sea and round the top of Scotland to the Clyde.  These days I’d generally rather be on dry land, but seeing the jolly sails on such a beautiful day did start to make me wonder….)

The grassland above is one of the sites of the fantastic drifts of sea thrift Armeria maritima during May, which I’ve blogged about here.  There are still a few clinging on,IMG_3694

together with the odd chamomile – I think this is Chamaemelum nobile.IMG_3693

Rounding the corner and onto the beach I saw the dinghies has beaten me there!IMG_3707

And, while I’m diverging from the flowers, just thought I’d share a picture of Nimbus, in honour of his upcoming ninth birthday.  IMG_3708

And finally, also nothing to do with flowers, anyone else devastated by tonight’s Strictly outcome?

End of month view – October 2017

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Today’s ‘End of Month View’ features photos actually taken on Friday as it was such a beautiful day I was compelled to capture it.

This first view is over the statuesque Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’ to Bembridge harbour beyond.  Amazing to think that, as a half hardy annual, the Ricinus was just a seed eight months ago!IMG_3637

Walking across the decking there are still blooms on the Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’

as well as in various other pots.

Round to the Strawberry Bed you can see the Agapanthus are rather taking over.  I have now chopped back the seed heads, but I fear the strawberries are being squeezed out.

The  Swing Beds still have a bit of colour, largely from the Salvias, but also the Verbena bonariensis and a few asters and rosesIMG_3651

The pergola is luxuriantly draped in Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, but surely the amazing thing about this shot is the colour of the sky!IMG_3653

This Grass Bed photo is one of total chaos, and is in fact is no longer representative as I spent Saturday afternoon pulling out all the spent annuals and rediscovering the Stipa tenuissima at the back, which give the bed its name.  Dozens and dozens of Nasturtium seeds fell onto the bed as I was clearing, so next year they’ll be back with a similar vengeance unless I’m very determined.

I finally got my bulb order in last weekend and this bed is destined to be one of the beneficiaries. Last year the vast majority of bulbs planted here were eaten by some critter or other, so I’m hoping next year will be more successful.

In the left hand Lavender Bed I’m delighted that my little silk tree Albizia julibrissin ‘Ombrella’ is doing well –

it’s already come a long way from this twig (see to the left of this photo from April).  I wonder if next year it will flower?IMG_2355

Walking round the house to the western end of the garden takes you first past the Flower Carpet roses, looking ridiculously perky,

and then the old tin bath, also full of summery Gazanias and Osteospermums.

Once round the corner things take a definitely autumnal turn, 

but you’ve got to love that Cercis – talk about bonfire night!

Back round to the greenhouse, and you have to admire the continuing blooms of the greenhouse pots.  These have been blooming non stop since June and have been an absolute joy. 

The greenhouse, however, has not been such a joy.  It’s latterly suffered an infestation of whitefly, so I’ve hoiked nearly everything out, discarding all the tomatoes and cucumbers

and leaving pretty much everything else outside like a mad ‘bring and buy’ plant sale.

Fingers crossed the whitefly expire before the temperature drops – and anyone with any whitefly tips, please do share!  

With thanks to Steve, at Glebe House Garden, who now hosts End of Month views.

Hauser and Wirth

It was only seeing Hauser and Wirth on Gardeners’ World recently that I realised I’d never blogged beyond my Wordless Wednesday teaser last month.

Although a rather grey day, this was another bucket list garden, and despite it being the OH’s birthday weekend, I was indulged with a visit (although I did have to pay for lunch!)

Hauser and Wirth is a fabulous arts centre near Bruton in Somerset and was created from a number of historic farm buildings a couple of years ago.

Sadly, the gallery itself was closed on the day of our visit, but there was still amazing art work around the venue to enjoy.

Behind the gallery, Piet Oudolf has designed a 1.5 acre perennial meadow.  The garden exhibited the classic Oudolf approach to design, relying on contrasting forms and textures for interest, rather than clever colour combinations.

The view back to the gallery shows these interesting circular ‘plats.’  I really like these – they add a novel (and child friendly) dimension to what would otherwise have been a featureless path.

Looking the other was you can see the birthday boy himself!

There were numerous planting combinations that were just that bit different, and, as with another Oudolf garden, Scampston Hall (which I visited a couple of years ago), there was a comprehensive plant list, so it was good to be able to identify less obvious plants.

And of course, there were plenty of grasses.

So, thanks Hauser and Wirth, not only was it a great garden, but we also had a truly delicious lunch.