Tag Archives: Antirrhinum Black Prince

In a Vase on Monday – Dark


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.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – November 2016


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


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


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?

In a vase on Monday -in my cups!


Today’s vase was actually put together on Saturday, to take to our lovely neighbours as they had invited us for supper.  The title relates to their reliable generosity with the drinks.  I  won’t elaborate further.  Hic.

The vase started with just ‘bruised’ flowers emanating from the Mid Century bed, but they looked almost too dark and so were enlivened with some brighter pink from the Flower Carpet roses.

The dahlia is ‘La Recoleta’img_1739

and, here again, but showing an older bloom with its centre exposed, joined by a single stem of Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’ and backed by some new growth of Cerinthe major purpurescens.


The Antirrhinums were grown from seed and are finally getting going.  This one is Antirrhinum majus nanum ‘Black Prince.’img_1741

Here’s the grass I mentioned in GBBD, which Nick identified as Pennisetum ‘Red Buttons,’img_1740

and lastly, the fabulously glossy seed pods of Dolichos lablab ‘Ruby Moon’ which I’m rather obsessed with!img_1743

With many thanks to Cathy who hosts IaVoM – and of course M and J for a fabulous evening!

Taking stock in Stockbridge


Just every now and then, the stars align, and you find yourself garden visiting on a one of the most glorious days of the year.

Thursday, saw me in Stockbridge, Hampshire, a beautiful town in the heart of the Test valley.  (The Test is an English river well known for being beautifully clear and for the excellent quality of the trout fishing).  There were four gardens open for the NGS, and I indulged in them all.

As ever with group openings, each had a very different feel and yet there were a couple of themes running through.  Firstly, ‘light and shade’.  On such a bright day one was acutely aware of areas of sun and shade, and all the gardens had some kind of pergola or shaded sitting area, as well as areas of shady planting, providing wonderful contrast to the brighter, sunnier areas.  Secondly, brunneras.  It took me until the last garden to realise what the attractive leaf was, which I think I saw in every garden – Brunnera Jack Frost below.IMG_3146 (2)

This Brunnera, (and the poppy, top) was in the garden of my first stop, ‘Little Wyke’, which was reached down a narrow passage to the left of the property.  Anticipation was high as the scent of the roses was concentrated in the passage and acted as a wonderful hint of the joys to come.


As well as some gorgeous roses, including Generous Gardener, above, there were some unusual and striking planting combinations such as the artichoke with the daisyIMG_3157

as well as the Nigella and the (I think) yellow DorinicumIMG_3148

There were also some beautiful old planting containers

and a potting shed resembling a work of art.


The second property was the Shepherds House, I think the largest of the four.  The owners had been there eight years and in that time had made significant changes, including some serious earthworks to create not only a stunning pond, but also some really interesting levels.  The garden was full of contrasts – not only the levels, but also really striking light and shade, made even more noticeable on such a bright day.


The perennial borders sung with colour, whilst the planting around (and in) the pond was more restrained and more foliage based.IMG_3182


The third property was The Old Rectory which had the Test (or a tributary?) running through the boundary.  The river is incredibly clear and admiring the light on the water, with a halo of roses above, was just magical.


In addition to more restrained riverside planting, there was a pond with voluptuous waterlilies,IMG_3214

some lovely ‘pops’ of colourIMG_3201

and some fabulous pots.



Lastly, Trout Cottage, which I think was the smallest of the four but had some really interesting planting – especially vertical, to make the most use of the space.

The planting had only commenced in 2008 and it was incredible to see how established it all looked.  There were some fabulous ‘plummy’ combinations reminiscent of the Stoke garden I loved at Chelsea – Astrantia Gill Richardson with Antirrhinum Black Prince


As well as numerous climbers.  Below Rosa St Swithun (looking considerably better than mine!)IMG_3222

and Rosa Abraham Darby,IMG_3235

Clematis Niobe


and Clematis Madame Julia Correvan, which apparently never sees the sun and is still thriving.


And lastly, the beautiful bright green foliage of Hydrangea Quercifolia, at the back of the pergola.  Not only lovely now in the summer, but in autumn the foliage turns a lovely deep red.


So, what to take away from Stockbridge, other than memories of a fabulous day’s garden visiting?  Well a wishlist for a pergola, a pond, a trout stream, oh, and maybe even a possible one, a Brunnera Jack Frost.

With many thanks to all the owners, not only for opening their beautiful gardens, but also for giving me permission to write about them here.