About my garden

Monday, 14 August 2017

Snow White and Rose Red In a Vase on Monday

A bit of a mixed weekend here. A tissue got into the dark wash  sprinkling everything with white flecks but then I made soup with my own garlic, onion, courgettes and spinach. It says something that I was making soup at all in August but then Sunday was a beautiful day with the potential for getting sunburnt. It's back to the drizzle now but I have my flowers inside already.  

I used to love all those old fairy tales but I suppose they are all out of favour and not at all PC. Anyway, I've borrowed the title only here and mean no political comment:


In the vase:
Dahlia - Karma Naomi
White cosmos and foliage
Atriplex
I usually like thigs which tone but I like the contrast here. 

Then I had trouble finding a vase to show of these lilies. The bulbs have been neglected and not watered or fed properly but have produced anyway. Albeit on spindly stems. Not my best effort but they have been in three vases this morning so I must stop now. 
Shown with:
Ammi - I found a later flowering plant, most of them have gone over. 
Nicotiana - Lime green.

Last time I cut lilies I got into trouble as they dripped on the table so I have cut out the Stigma (?) which is one of the bits that drips. Perhaps I'd better not have them on the table anyway. 
For colourful and creative vases from around the world visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a vase on Monday. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

In a vase on Monday

Don't Mondays come around quickly? There is plenty to do in the garden. Mainly I seem to be battling grass and weeds. There is so much to look at and wandering round to see what is flowering is a real pleasure.
One think I need to do is make a list of things to move before next spring. And then actually move them! Many things are being smothered, I always forget how big things will grow by this time of year. I did take pictures last year but I need to find them and look at them...

Here are some flowers I gave to my sister in law for her birthday at the weekend.

My asters have got going beautifully now and I was able to cut enough newly opened flowers to make a decent bunch. I added some Atriplex, Wigelia foliage, feverfew and scabious. 
The feverfew is back for a second flowering after I cut the first spent stems off. I love the little scabious buds and am so glad I spent that half hour in the rain one day moving them. They nearly died but a lucky rainy day saved them. I must sow more for next year. 

Everything is slightly blurred this week.

I enjoyed the asters for a few hours before I gave them away but I have these cosmos to keep - and, of course, more asters coming.
With more atriplex and cosmos foliage. I still have lots of lush greenery and not as many flowers as I would like. The plants were very spindly when I planted them out so I thought that would mean they would send up flowers rather than lush leaves. Perhaps the ground is too rich. 
 This white flower caught my eye one evening, so pretty. The seeds were Cosmos Allsorts Mixed. 
All very pink here today. I look forward to seeing what everyone else has found to put In a Vase on Monday. 
Thanks Cathy for inspiring and encouraging us. x

Monday, 31 July 2017

Little things in a vase on Monday.

I've got two little vases today so I can appreciate the detail of some small flowers. 

The first is Nasturtiums. I've got these growing over a patch of ground we are trying to tame and I've been admiring these lovely creamy blooms. I planted tiny plants a month or two ago and now they are rambling all over or perhaps taking over is the right term.   I added some dark red ones as well. 



I did try them with their own foliage but it seemed too big so I added this Corydalis. I think it's just right. 


So cheerful. 

The second is a little jug of Dahlia 'Gallery Art Fair'. These do suffer a little in wet weather so it's best to bring them in out of the rain!


I hope you like my little jug. It came from a charity shop a few weeks ago for the vase sum of £1. 

They are mostly pure white but have a slight tinge of green in the very centre. 
For plenty of colourful and creative vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a vase on Monday. 

How do you like my new neighbours? They are just outside my bedroom window. The parents work so hard and I think, by the timing, they must be on their second brood. 
Their flying skills are very impressive as the little gap is only about 1 inch and they do come in at speed.

I guess they'll be off soon and let the parents have a bit of a rest. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

In a vase on Monday - Jumble of summer



 I wanted to showcase these wonderful sunflowers 'Prado Red' so I chose a few other things to add in. In fact the sunflowers seem overwhelmed by everything else and fade into the background. 

Rudbeckia hirta 'Green Eyes' I was fondly imagining these to be green flowers but of course it's the centre which is green. The eye. Doh. Shame, I quite fancy a green rudbeckia. 
Amaranthus caudatus - just a few weeks ago these were tiny. 
Crocosmia - no name
There is some cosmos foliage at the back but  you can barely see it in this picture. I'm getting lots of lush foliage on some plants so I've whipped off the tops in the hope of encouraging flowers. It's good as vase filler but needs water straight away. 


This is a jumble of summer flowers, mostly pink. Starry Dahlia 'Honka Pink'.


 Pink Dahlia 'Classic Rosamund, white 'Bishop of Dover, pink and blue larkspur

 Some sort of scabious, first pink aster, Penstemon 'Sour grapes'. Varigated Caryopteris foliage. This is just coming into bud so I should have left it really. 
I'm very pleased to have the larkspur as I never manage to grow it very well. So far each plant has one flower stem but I'm hoping for side shoots. Do you pinch yours out? 

For interesting and intriguing vases from around the world visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a vase on Monday. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Adventures in a Poly Tunnel - July

It's been a month of high temperatures and low rainfall until this last week when we have had plenty of rain. The water butts are full again and I am bailing out trays of small pots about to drown. 

There is plenty going on in the tunnel though I've not spent as long in there as I should have done. 
As we go in the strawberry plants are on the left. They did very well but all good things come to an end. I cut off all the leaves and gave them some BF&B and a good watering. I'm going to try and get them planted into lines as it would be much easier for harvesting next year. 

Next some Kohl rabi. Also Garlic chives. Some of these Kohl rabi swelling but I think they have probably been too dry so the rest might have to come out. As I was taking this I notices the holes and discovered plenty of caterpillars so I whipped them off and disposed of them. How? I'll leave that to your imagination. 

As usual rocket going to seed. It does produce lots of little side leaves so it stays in until I need the space. 

I had a few bean plants in here last year and they did very well so here are some Cobra. Producing lovely long slim beans. The broad beans were behind. I cut them down but a few had more flowers coming at the base so I left them in hoping for a few more beans. 

Tomatoes in the centre. I'm doing well at removing side shoots and lower leaves. I've been feeding with molasses as recommended by James Wong (Grow for Flavour) and have also sprayed with aspirin dissolved in water. Also recommended by James. This is supposed to help them fight off blight. So far so good but probably too early to judge. They do look healthier than normal, I think. 

Gardener's Delight and Tigerella were sown first and are ahead of the others. It's so good to be harvesting tasty tomatoes. 

Small black chillis turning red when ripe. I've forgotten the name of them. This plant is now 3 years old. I've kept it in the house through two winters. 

Samphire grown from cuttings from a supermarket packet. Just watered normally with a dose of salty water now and then. More garlic chives in the background. 


Spinach beet on the right hand side. 

Soya beans. I have not tried these yet, I need to find out when to harvest and what is eating these. Sigh. 

Long green chili which turns red when ripe. 

I like to keep trays of things ready to plant when there is a space. I've slipped a bit in the last month but this is spinach and beetroot. I hope to get some more sowing done today. We are having torrential rain so that's a good indoor job!

Happy days. Broad beans, french beans, snap peas and courgettes from outside. And lovely eggs, of course. 

Harvesting in July (Inside and out):
Tomatoes
Garlic chives
Garlic
Spinach 
Perpetual spinach
cucumbers
French beans
Broad beans
Runner beans
Snap peas
Parsley
Basil 
Spring onions
Samphire
Chillis
Courgettes
Rocket
Beetroot
These are the successes. I've failed to have a succession of lettuce. The seeds have either not germinated or not survived. It is disappointing but I've got some coming on now and I've had a few plants which I've harvested leaves from rather than the whole head. 

Temperature high July to date: 41∘C
Night time low: 7.5 ∘C


Monday, 17 July 2017

In a vase on Monday

I've been brutal and dug up this inherited hydrangea. It is flowering in full Barbie pink and, in fact, there are several more who's days are numbered. 
Here it is in two vases. The first:

I'm sorry if this is your favourite plant and I've offended you. It's probably still alive so if you'd like it, call round and we'll have a cup of tea and a tour of the garden and you can take it home. 

This vase is destined for our office windowsill at work. I often take flowers if I have time and they do cheer up the office.


In the vase:
Barbie drink Hydrangea
Teucreum crispum
Dahlia 'Rip City'
Hordeum jubatum - foxtail barley
Ceanothus foliage
I do think they look better mixed with other things. Perhaps I add something else later. 

For plenty of creative and interesting vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a vase on Monday. 

A couple of weeks ago we had some time away in the east of the country.  I'd never been and there were several gardens I wanted to visit. 
How is this for a view? The famous White Garden from the top of Sissinghurst Castle Tower. 

It was pretty busy, as you'd expect, but every so often people would clear and I had a clear view for photos. It's vast and very lovely. Sadly the roses were mostly over. We've had some very hot weather so they haven't lasted long. 



Still lots to see though. Definitely worth the trip across country. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

In a vase on Monday - Exactly as advertised!

I don't usually think I'm very susceptible to advertising. I don't watch much live TV or read many magazines. Recently though, Chiltern Seeds have started sending out mini catalogues  a couple of times a year with the MOST gorgeous photographs in them. I love flowers and I love photographs of flowers so I am helpless. They are so lovely I keep them. All colour co-ordinated too, you've got to love that. MrC, bless his heart, says I should use them as check list and tick the ones I have!


I've long been a fan of their seeds and managed to spend plenty even without the photographs. For anyone who doesn't know they produce a 188 page catalogue with very small print. I have to read it with glasses on now. Each variety has a detailed description but no picture. They do now have pictures on their website. I sincerely recommend the seeds. I've always had excellent results and no-one is paying me to say that though if they want to send me seeds to test, I'm ready. 
When I started gardening I had a large garden and a small budget and filled it with plants grown from seed. Very satisfying.

So these are Gysophila elegans 'Kermesina' looking exactly as advertised. Here with Artemisia Powis Castle.

How sweet and pretty. I've taken off the tops in the hope the plants will branch out. I've used the Mud, Wall, Sticks technique and grown quite a  few plants. Because of our relatively dry spring, the slug damage has been minimal. 



The garden is bursting with blooms and here is a snapshot of a few of them. 
In the vase:
Abelia foliage
Nigella seed pods
Blue Catananche flowers
Teasel buds
Dahlia 'Bishop of Dover'
Perennial Wallflower 'I've got the label somewhere'. Pastel something I think. 


And this is a carrot flower. Not some fancy cultivar but a carrot which went to seed!

For lots of fun and fancy vases from around the world visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a vase on Monday.