Tag Archives: Garrya elliptica

In a vase on Monday – Happy New Year!


Some of you may remember that after the rainbow  ‘Drive in’ flowers at the golf club, I was invited to repeat the commission for the New Year’s Eve dinner dance.  It was always going to be a tough act to follow, and I didn’t make it easy for myself.  Not only did I have a relatively last minute change of plan, but then also found myself unexpectedly driving round the island most of the morning chasing a ferry for my daughter and a strapless undergarment for me.  Both crucial, obviously, but it definitely cut into the relaxed pottering/cutting/conditioning/arranging day I’d hoped for!

The plan was one large arrangement plus 24 table arrangements (for twelve tables of ten).  I had been advised of a ‘silver’ theme and so had initially thought to incorporate sprayed silver seed heads in all the arrangements, but I found it ridiculously hard to get hold of silver spray (for some reason various online suppliers wouldn’t deliver to the Isle of Wight, and lots of shops I tried didn’t stock it).  The one tin I had purchased was largely used up spraying the seed heads used in the arrangement I did for my sister (and two smaller ones I didn’t show) but there were a few left over and so I used those in the large arrangement.


As well as the seed heads, I added some wired silver baubles to the green base of Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’, Garrya elliptica and some sage.   I think the silver made the Garrya look a little ‘grubby’, but I still love those tassles!IMG_9775c

Having run out of silver seed heads for the table decorations I had to improvise and part of that involved purloining Mimosa from our neighbour’s tree (thanks M & J!) as well as adding little clocks, as they seemed more appropriate for New Year than more Christmas baubles.

As with the October flowers, I found the blooms I had available didn’t really work together, but this time I ended up with just three colour schemes.  Firstly, yellow, with the beautiful, fluffy Mimosa coupled with yet more Euphorbia,IMG_9767

secondly white, with Leucojum, the last of the Ammi and some CerintheIMG_9771

and lastly pink, largely my lovely, incredibly long flowering Leptospermum, but also, at the last minute, I added a ‘drape’ of a few bells of Rhodochiton atrosanguineus.IMG_9770

And there they all are.


Only a potholed drive to the golf club and a couple of fraught journeys from car to tables before I was able to relax with a glass of fizz, safe in the knowledge that the flowers (and the bosom!) were in the right place.

With thanks as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme.

In a vase on Monday – Christmas!


Somehow in the Christmas rush I failed to post a Merry Christmas message, so, belatedly, I hope you all had a fabulous time.

Today’s vase is really a repeat of last year’s – a vase for my sister to add to her Christmas decorations.  She was hosting Christmas for ten, including me and my family for the second year running, so it was the least I could do.  Sadly, however, this one was done in rather more haste, and it shows.  Not only were the ‘mechanics’ rather obvious, but one stick had lost its adornment completely.  To be fair, it had traveled over a hundred miles, but it had shared the back seat with my ‘kids’ (18 and 19) rather than the boot with the dog like last year, so I’d hoped it would have been better looked after, but apparently not!


The chillis were left over from my Padron Peppers grown in the summer in the greenhouse.  I didn’t keep up with the picking and so these small, green, relatively mild peppers ended up as larger, fiery red affairs, fun for a vase, but may be not so much fun on a plate!

The greenery was provided by bay leaves (did I ever tell you I have a veritable bay forest?) Euphorbia characias wulfenii,IMG_9757

Phlomis and Garrya elliptica.


To these I added some small, wired red baubles, as well as some foliage I’d sprayed silver. Below you can see the extraordinary seedheads from my bottelbrush, Callistemon.  IMG_9754

This spraying has been a bit of a try out for the arrangements I’m supposed to be providing for the golf club’s New Year’s Eve party.  Last time, I prepared flowers for the golf club I was able to use plenty of fresh flowers still blooming in the garden, this time pickings will be a lot slimmer.  Wish me luck, I’m already worrying!

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

End of month view – January 2015


A rather sorry end of month view, but then it is January so perhaps I shouldn’t fret.

The old tin bath above was new (in a second hand sort of way) towards the end of last summer. I painted it to match the house and initially filled it with a bit of a quirky mix, including a number of Aeoniums and some Diascia which provided a jolly show to greet those arriving up the steps at the front of the house.

For the winter, I’ve changed its look to a dark red and silver combination of Cyclamen, pansies, Cineraria and Euphorbia mysinites.  Unfortunately I hadn’t read the crucial advice for winter containers, which is to cram in the planting from the word go as the plants won’t really grow and spread in winter as they do in summer.  Consequently my pot is a little sparse, but still, it provides welcome colour at this time of year.

The rest of the garden looks a lot like it’s ‘resting’.

The Drive Bed, below, has a few hellebores (worryingly I think fewer than last year) as well as one of the two Garrya Elliptica.  The strap like leaves are the Sisyrinchium striatum I moved from the Swing Beds in the autumn, the idea being that their flowers should match with the pale yellow flowers of the climbing rose ‘Snow Goose’, later in the year.IMG_5917

The right hand Lavender Bed is not showing much apart from the Phormium, Euphorbia and clipped LavenderIMG_5921

whilst the left hand Lavender bed is a little fuller with Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve‘, Anisodontea and a low conifer (front left) which I’ve forgotten the name of.IMG_5920

The view of the Grass Bed is rather disturbed by all the workmen’s kit.  Whilst the grasses are still looking good, the rest of the bed is pretty empty apart from the Forget me knots.  The numerous spring bulbs are still to raise their heads.IMG_5923

I had a little tidy of the two Med Beds in front of the greenhouse, and cleared away many leaves which had blown into the bed.  The two most obvious plants here are the Euphorbia mysinites (front left) and Agapanthus plants which I planted out last year and were grown from seed two years earlier.  I don’t know whether the Agapanthus will flower this year but I live in hope.IMG_5938

The picture of the two Swing Beds shows the Salvia and Phlomis italica dominating the foreground.  Both need cutting back so they don’t get too leggy this year.


The photo below is of the Oak Bed, which spends most of the year shaded by the Over-the-road-Oak.  There are a lot of Spring bulbs to come in this bed which take advantage of the better light before the Oak gets its full canopy.  And there are already a number of Hellebores flowering towards the front of the bed.

The Viburnum Tinus is rather overwhelming here and also needs to be cut back.IMG_5913

And to finish, a little more colour.  Sadly this isn’t in my garden, rather in my neighbour’s, but it’s their lovely Mimosa, flowering bravely in the January chill.



With thanks as ever to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting this End of Month meme,

In a vase on Monday – just had to share


I promise this is my last Christmas themed post for the season, but I just wanted to share a creation other than the twigs.

This arrangement travelled over 100 miles and crossed stormy seas (well, the Solent) in the boot of the car.  And it was joined by the dog, the homemade Christmas pudding (mum’s recipe), the 12″ kransekake, and more bottles of wine than I care to disclose, to my sister’s, where it watched over a fabulous, festive, fun, family Christmas.

The foliage was a mix of bay leaves (we have a veritable bay forest at the back of the veg beds), Garrya ellyptica


and ivy, all foraged from the garden.IMG_5687

These were joined by some purchased rose hips, as mine, from Rambling Rector, had all been eaten (actually looking a bit tatty, tsk, M&S!)IMG_5681

as well as some home grown mini peppers (Mini Belle Yellow) and mini orange aubergines (Turkish Orange), impaled on green split canes.



I just wanted to share, because it was when I was blogging in October about the fact I didn’t know what to do with the peppers and aubergines once they were ripe (but the summer was over) that it suddenly occurred to me I could use them in a ‘fruity’ arrangement, and thought I could share on this meme.  So thank you as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, for hosting.