About my garden

Monday, 15 January 2018

Tiny treasures In a Vase on Monday

I could see this Osteospermum from my kitchen window so I did a tour to see what else might be flowering to go with it. 



I found some yellow viola growing in a veg bed
Ceanothus which I had noticed outside my bedroom window, 
Vinca major - always so blue
One Erodium,
Zalusianskya ovata - the little white one, or night scented phlox if you prefer. I've mentioned this before but it is such a wonderful little plant. This flower was picked from a pot in my polytunnel. The pot had Tarragon growing in it and this seeded itself and took over. 
and some Artemesia 'Powis Castle' to enhance them all. 




Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what everyone else has found to put In a Vase on Monday. 

Conscious of the fact that I go on about the weather very often, I've posted some photos here to show that it really is very beautiful at all times of the year. 
The very best thing about living in the country, and this country, is the changing seasons and the weather which goes with them. 


 I took a few pictures of this crow against the pink evening sky, then he just turned his head at the right time. He is a regular with one damaged foot. We call him Mr Crow.

Winter sunrise. 

Beautiful even on a misty, cold and foggy day.

There is still some green amongst the grey. 

Though I long to be wearing fewer than 4 layers and have vases of my own flowers in each room, for now I have to enjoy pleasures of this season. Time passes so quickly that we shouldn't wish it away. 
Thanks for visiting. Enjoy your day. x

Monday, 8 January 2018

Weeds In a Vase on Monday

I went looking to see what could possibly go in a vase this week and found Hogweed flowering. Only one and not the giant poisonous one' happily, but common hogweed. 
I collected two dead grass heads and a few twigs of Lonicera fragrantissima to add to the flowers. It has a faint whiff of perfume but I hope it will get stronger on the plant over the next weeks. 


Here is my vase with the wreath from last week still enhancing the kitchen. 
Do visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what delights everyone has found for their vases this week. 

There was a bitter north-east wind on Sunday. It was strong and cold and made outside work very unpleasant, in spite of the beautiful sunshine, which was a shame as I'd planned a few things to get on with.
After the necessary outside chores, I cleaned some seed labels and had my annual seed sort. 
I try and  do this before ordering any more as it's all too easy to forget what you already have. I found at least two things I've already doubled up on by buying in the Autumn. 

I'm in the process of making a list, it's not quite as long as Chloris' but it easily could be without self control. (Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you didn't have any self control).
My seeds are now sorted alphabetically into two shoe boxes one for flowers and one for vegetables. Then I sort them into months for sowing.

I've received about 7 seed catalogues in the post. At least 3 of which are unsolicited. I certainly won't be ordering from more than 2 but the pictures are very beguiling and a girl can dream. 
These are a few things I'm going to be growing for the first time (as my list stands now):

Cosomos 'Cupcakes' 
Cosmos bipinnatus - 'Xanthos' - yellow and 'Rubinato' - dark red. 
Helianthus annus - 'Vanilla Ice'
Linomium suworowii - Rat tails or pink pokers
Rudbekia hirta - 'Sahara'
Salvia farinacea- blue and white mixed I'm hoping these will be good fillers in a vase. 
Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime' 


Not forgetting the vegetables:

Chilli 'Lemon Drop'
Quinoa
Agretti 'Roscano' an interesting sounding salty salad/stir fry leaf. 



My garden resolutions:

I will stake early and properly
I will water carefully
I will not sow or save more seedlings than I can sensibly manage

Oh and finally, I won't be starting seeds any time soon. I will be patient. 

Happy planning. What will you be trying for the first time?

Monday, 1 January 2018

Off on a tangent on Monday

This is not quite in a vase but desperate times call for clever ideas. I saw a tiny wreath on Instagram so I wanted to have a go. Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday.
Here it is hanging outside:

And in the kitchen:

I was quite pleased with mine until I looked back at the Instagram picture. Mine looks clumsy compared to this exquisite creation but I will now be on the lookout for little
things to save for this kind of project. 
This was my first attempt, but not my last, and a fun thing to do on a winter afternoon. 
I will let you see the inspiration as long as you promise to like mine too. It's here
MrC laughed and said he thought a 7 year old had made it for me, which I thought was rude. 

I used winter flowering jasmine for the main wreath plus one red willow twig. 
Nicandra skeleton seed heads, dead Lawson Cypress, some other kind of conifer, moss, rose hips and Leycesteria flowers. 
Most things are wound together and held in place by the Jasmine and will power but I did add a small amount of florist wire. 

If you would like some philosophy to go with it's Out with the Old at the top and In with the New at the bottom. 

Happy New Gardening Year everyone and may the year be everything you'd wish for. 
Thanks for visiting. 
x

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Adventures in a Poly Tunnel - December 2017

The end of the year and the time when we gardeners look forward to starting again. Soon we'll be able to start sowing seeds in the UK. I think I usually start a few broad beans in January but, of course, it's best to wait for most things. Sowing too early rarely does any good. 
I am just soaking some peas to plant for pea shoots. Apparently you can do that in the depths of winter.
Looking back at the year, I think I've made the most of it. There are always improvements but (hopefully) I'll learn from my mistakes.

Not much growing is happening in December. We've had some very cold weather so the plants are just existing until it warms up. I do minimal watering but there are still some things to harvest. Most things are not very picturesque just now and much tidying is needed. 
 Lettuce - I just pick a few leaves as I need them. 

 Perpetual spinach.

 Winter sunshine sweet peas. I should plant these in the border. I'll look for a spare space but most of the ground is still full. I'm hoping to get some early flowers by growing them inside. 

 Tangle of chillis waiting to be cut. I've just pulled up the plant. 

 I finally dug up all the dahlia tubers. They are drying here then I will tuck them into the soil under my bench. Each one has two labels so hopefully I will still know what they are in March. 

 Tidying up the Cavolo Nero is a job for a winter day. 

 A tiny Romanesco cauliflower. So far only big enough for a Nouveau cuisine recipe but stunningly beautiful.

Harvesting inside and out:
Cavolo nero
Red Russian kale
Chard
Spring onioins
Spinach
Chillis
Lettuce
Rocket
Parsley
Garlic chives

Nighttime low - -4 ∘C 
Daytime high - 29 ∘C Doors at one end may have been closed but it does get very toasty on a sunny day.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas In a Vase on Monday

Flowering on Christmas Day in spite of heavy frosts and a little bit of snow a few weeks ago.  Plants are amazing and that is why we love them.



All of these were growing outside apart from this little collection:



My final treasure - the first Hellebore:



Take heart - spring is just around the corner.
Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for sharing, visiting and commenting throughout the year and thanks, as always, to Cathy for hosting - In a vase on Monday
x

Monday, 18 December 2017

Seasonal colours In a vase on Monday

When it's bleak outside it means even more to bring greenery in to cheer the house. People have been doing that for centuries at this time of year and it's a wonderful tradition to follow. 
This is still the only Christmassy thing I have around but there is plenty of time and I do realise it's only tentatively Christmas looking. 
We have recently decorated our sitting room and someone removed my mantelpiece when I was outside for half an hour. We had discussed changing it but I didn't expect it to just disappear! The room does look better without it but I don't know where to put my Christmas Ivy and I often have a vase up there. The room still looks rather bare as we haven't accumulated much clutter yet (it's only a matter of time) so this vase is some welcome colour and exuberance. 



I wasn't very sure about it when I put it together but it looks fabulous from my usual seat which is a different viewing angle. I struggled to get a picture in the bad light. I should have taken it outside this morning. 

I've used Laurel. We have quite a few of these plants and my son has campaigned for their removal. I'm not a fan but they do provide much needed shelter and, of course, they are evergreen. 
Bay - sprigs with buds
Rose hips - so lovely to have the colour.
Chrysanthemum - I think these are Anastasia Green. These are growing under cover. 

For plenty of vibrant vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a vase on Monday and join in the fun with whatever you can find to enhance your home. 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Chilli weather In a Vase on Monday

It's not Chilli weather at all it's chilly weather. 
I'd planned to go round on Sunday afternoon and collect up all the little flowers for a mini arrangement but we were blessed with sleety snow for the whole day. The last few days have been changeable and challenging. Very cold frosty weather, then heavy rain and high winds then snow. The snow didn't settle well here due to all the heavy rain but other places have had plenty. I can't complain - I have a warm house and power and the roads were no frozen here this morning.
It turned out not to be much of a day for wandering around outside so I collected these on one of my trips out to make sure the poor hens weren't freezing. Some days their water has frozen so I go out regularly to make sure they are OK. (They were, they had the sense to go inside).



My fall back was going to be these these chillis which I cut from plants in the poly tunnel just this week. I popped them into this bowl for now. 
In the vase:
Salvia - I've temporarily lost the name but it's bright pink. It turned out there were hardly any flowers left so I added 
Mahonia flowers - very sweetly scented.
Sweet pea fronds - no, I don't know why they are still alive.
Also a few 'Violette de Loire' Salvia heads which had no petals once I got them inside. 









This looks just right on my windowsill. 
See what other people have found to put in a vase at Rambling in the Garden hosted by Cathy.