…in next door’s Mimosa!
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!
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Rather madly I suggested eating lunch outside today as, for once, the sun was shining. And although rather chilly (despite being under a glass canopy) the timing could have been worse, as ten minutes later there was a significant hail storm.
I’ve taken the daffodils as a prompt to consider things yellow today (as opposed to blue) and the photo below shows next door’s mimosa currently lit up among the grey, bare branches surrounding it. The sight reminds me of a weekend in late February around twenty years ago when I went to Rome for the weekend. The sun shone, we walked for miles around the stunning architecture, had coffee outside in the beautiful Piazza Navona, and on the Sunday, A bought me a bunch of mimosa (Acacia dealbata) from a street seller. We learnt that mimosa is a symbol of “Women’s Day” in Italy, a day celebrated in numerous countries globally (although not the UK) and in many a public holiday. The actual date isn’t actually until March 8th but by then I will have forgotten and the mimosa won’t be flowering.
Next is my witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Pallida’). I planted this shortly after we arrived here having admired a massive specimen near the Princess of Wales conservatory in Kew Gardens. I can’t say mine is exactly thriving, but it does seem to be getting better year on year so I think I just have to be patient. According to Crocus it should grow to 3m x 3m, but mine is probably only 1m x 0.5m, certainly not large enough to start cutting branches for the house.
Something else I won’t be cutting for the house is my Mahonia (above), after a comment regarding a winter arrangement I made years ago – ‘oh dear, I think the cat’s done something unpleasant in the sitting room’ – so much for it smelling of Lily of the Valley! As you can see, the Mahonia has nearly finished flowering in my shady bed and so will shortly be pruned back and mulched.
And lastly, I have a couple of pots either side of a door and in one of those chance combinations, the flowers of the Correa backhouseana are exactly matched by the papery sheaths of the newly emerging crocus shoots. The Correa, which hails from eastern Australia, isn’t hardy, but has been very happy so far this winter against this south facing wall. According to the RHS it can be propagated by seed (or semi hardwood cuttings), so that’s another thing to add to the ever lengthening seed list….