Tag Archives: Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas

In a vase on Monday – Sweet!

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Just a quick one today, actually created last Monday from a huge bunch of sweet peas (largely) picked in the greenhouse in the dark!  I added the lovely rose, ‘Jubilee Celebration,’ to heighten the sweet scent and plonked them on the kitchen table for the OH to enjoy while I was up in the smoke.

Sadly it wasn’t looking quite so peachy by the time I returned on Thursday, but I’ve just picked similar blooms again and think I might make them this week’s ‘blooms on a desk’ so that I can enjoy them!

Why don’t you see what others have created this week over at Cathy’s blog, Rambling in the Garden?

Happy Monday!

 

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.

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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 – May Day carnival

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Oh so happy to have enough blooms to make a proper vase full!

Some are returning again from recent vases – the Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas (shown flowering in the greenhouse in yesterday’s post – some of the stems are 10 inches long!)IMG_2377

Cerinthe major purpurescens

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but oh look – the Antirrhinum The Rose I was rude about last year is a perfect match for the Pink Sweet Pea.IMG_2380

I do love the way the stems curl, I think they’re fabulous in a vase and have now completely changed my mind about pulling them out – despite the sugary colour.  You can always add a dash of zing, in the form of Euphorbia polychroma!

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

Happy Bank Holiday Monday!

In a vase on Monday – Peas in our time!

Not the best photo, and not my most abundant vase, but I was so excited to have a Sweet Pea bloom that I decided to share it in its isolated state.

Regular readers will know I grew these Winter Sunshine Sweet Peas from Owl’s Acre for the first time last year in the Greenhouse, and they were an absolute joy – blooming from April to way past when the outdoor ones has started too (and I needed the space for the tomatoes!)

And the vase?  Another sister present, and all the more special because my mother’s name was Mary, and as some of you know, her garden grew very well, thank you!

With thanks to Cathy who hosts this lovely meme.

End of month view – October 2016

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It’s beginning to look a lot like… autumn.  The over the road oak’s papery leaves are just starting to fall and the autumn tints of the Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ are showing off the beautiful heart shaped leaves.

Elsewhere at this side of the garden my beautiful Dahlia ‘Happy Single Date’ has completely given up the ghost and there’s not much to admire in the Bronze Bed except the wonderful Melianthus major in the background.  In the centre you can see part of the ribbon of Carex buchananii grasses grown from seed and planted out this year.  The idea was that they would remain evergreen (ever-brown actually – my mother in law thought they’d died) and provide interest through the winter and combine well with the Hamamelis before the bulbs. It will be interesting to see if this works, or whether they do indeed just look rather dead.

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Across to the eastern end the Swing Beds are still green but really not very colourful apart from the Salvias.  As well as some late colour, after completion of my planting course last year I’d really like to introduce some better structure here.  I’d deliberately not planted anything shrubby to the back of the area immediately either side of the swing because I grew sweet peas up netting at the back for a few years.  However, they’ve never done that well and so this year I didn’t bother and think the lack of height here – particularly bearing in mind the size of the Phlomis and Elaeagnus further out – is a problem.  But what to plant?  Hmm.img_1846

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The plan for the grass bed this year was to have a froth of Cosmos and Ammi, but I planted some Calendula along the front edge to cover up the gaps until the other two got going.  So where are we now?  Er, completely overrun with self seeded Nasturtiums!  I really must dig these out as I do love the forget me nots in this bed and at this rate there won’t be any.img_1852

These two make a pretty autumnal combination, but so not the white effect I’d planned!img_1851

The Salvias are making their mark in the Mid Century Bed too, but I also like the dark AntirrhinumsA. majus nanum ‘Black Prince’ and there are still some dahlias and even roses coming.  Plenty of new Cerinthe growth too, with the odd plant actually in the bed rather than the paths!img_1854

Here’s Rosa ‘Falstaff climbing’ looking a little chewed on the obelisk.img_1853

In the Veg Beds there’s not much to see except the Kale.  I do love the look and colour of these leaves, and have even used them in arrangements, but they do give a rather cabbagey aroma which is less than ideal!img_1843

In pots there are plenty of Pelargoniums still pumping out the flowers including this beauty P. Surcouf,img_1842

and a number of succulents having a late bloomimg_1841

or just looking bonny!img_1832

The raised Cutting Beds have been pretty hopeless this year due to lack of water, so rather a shock to see the Zinnias pumping out the flowers now too.img_1837

To the right of the raised beds you can see the Shady Bed which looks much the same as always except the gradual increase in size of the Sarcococca confusa.  This is finally making its mark both in looks now and scent later in the winter.  Perhaps I’ll even allow myself to cut a few sprigs next year.img_1838

And to finish, the greenhouse.  Whilst the veg in here are coming to an endimg_1839

I’m excited at the prospect of new babies for next year – firstly cuttings in the propagatorimg_1840

but also Winter Sweet Peas, still in the packet as I type, but I can’t wait to see these again come next April!IMG_0199

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting everyone’s EoMVs.

 

In a vase on Monday – Unseasonal delights

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My first Monday vase in a while has been prompted by the excitement of having April Sweet Peas to share.

Encouraged by Julie at Peonies and Posies I sowed some Owl’s Acre Winter Sunshine
seeds in the autumn and then planted them out in the unheated greenhouse in February. This Winter Sunshine strain has been specially bred to cope with the ‘sub-optimal light conditions’ at this time of year, and, whilst Owl’s Acre suggests they could flower in March, I was a bit delayed in planting them out and so am thrilled to have blooms to cut before the middle of April.  Not only do they have good long stems but also have that gorgeous sweet pea scent.  Mmmm.

As I only had three stems I needed to mix them with something else, and chose the equally unseasonal Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens.’  (According to Sarah Raven’s website these should flower from June).  These stems were cut from a plant which had self seeded and over wintered in the pebbly path near the metal troughs, so it was no great loss to cut them as they really shouldn’t be there anyway!IMG_0194

Sweet pea, Winter Sunshine, LavenderIMG_0192

Sweet pea, Winter Sunshine, CreamIMG_0199

I’m also growing a third colour, ‘Mid Blue’, but that one’s being a little shyer than the others to flower.

So, here is my Monday vase, photographed on Sunday evening in front of the still leafless over the road oak, and now on the table in a (still) Aga warmed kitchen.  Bonkers!

With thanks as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting all our Monday vases.IMG_0190

 

End of month view – February 2016

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Welcome to a sunny End of Month View!  Last month’s EoMV, I note was sunny too, but frankly there’s been precious little in between.  The lawn is still soggy, and although it has been cut once during the month, it’s only marginally less field like.

The Swing Beds are much the same as last month just with some more bulb foliage, as well as plenty of Sisyrinchium striatum leaves.  Long standing readers may remember these beds got rather overwhelmed with Sisyrinchium, so I dug them out, only to go on a visit to Mottistone Manor last summer and really admire them there, so I moved a whole lot back.  Fickle?  Moi?

The Grass Bed is also similar to last month, but here, as well as bulb foliage, there are plenty of forget me nots, some of which are just starting to flower.IMG_0005

There’s nothing in the Veg Bed for the Diving Lady to admire currently, but she does have a new pool.  Last year’s rather purple Iris reticulata ‘Blue Note’ has been replaced with Iris histrioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley.’

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In the shady bed the Hellebores are still the highlightIMG_0025

particularly this lovely dark one.

Just behind it is a Sarcococca confusa which has finally got big enough for the scent to be apparent without having to scrabble around sniffing at kneecap height!IMG_0026

At the other side of the garden, this Hamamelis, H. ‘Arnold’s Promise,’ is finally (after about six years) starting to make a statement,IMG_0013

whilst in the Bronze Bed, H. Aphrodite is a little less shy than she was a couple of weeks ago.

The idea was that the colour of the Hamamelis blooms would be picked up by the trumpet of the Narcissus ‘Cragford’.  Well sort of!IMG_0012

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Along the boundary with next door, is this inherited grass, absolutely glowing in the low light.  It’s really time for a cut back, but I’ll for a while longer.  Any clues what it is?  I’m thinking maybe Miscanthus?

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There are plenty of pots around including this new one planted up by the front door.  For once I’ve got the Crocuses past the mice.IMG_0036

And meanwhile in the greenhouse, I’ve finally planted out my ‘Owl’s Acre’ supposedly early flowering ‘Winter Sunshine’ Sweet Peas.  I don’t quite see them flowering in March, as suggested on their website, but I think I have to take a lot of the blame for that.

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Elsewhere in the greenhouse, I’ve finally started planting seedsIMG_0021IMG_0020

as well as pricking out autumn sown seeds – this time Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, which I’m hoping to have growing up the obelisk again this year.IMG_0023

And to finish, a bucket full of N. ‘Tete a tete’ – so cheery!IMG_0019

With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting all out EoMV.