About my garden

Monday, 17 September 2018

Vanilla Ice In a Vase on Monday

 Here I am with a vase. I always have things in vases but don't always get time to post them on here. I find it harder to organise my time now that I am working from here. I need to get into more of a routine. I think when you have pockets of time you fit more in. 

In here is Sunflower 'Vanilla Ice' front and centre. I 'm sure I saw this first on IAVOM last year and added it to my seed list. It has been fab, flowering for at least two months with gently nodding heads. 
There is also 'Prado Red' which is a rich dark brown/red. Also smallish heads good for vases. 
The dahlia is (apparently) 'Apricot Desire'. It's really not apricot but very bright yellow. I find dahlias to be contrary and sometimes do change colour. What do you think? Disappointing though, when you've chosen a colour specifically. 
There are some Rudbeckia 'Sahara' in here which are wonderful. Robust plants and varied and beautiful flowers. Some very double and some single. 
Dill flowers. 
There are a few bits of Pineapple sage which I'm testing out in vases. The droop readily but improve with the hot water treatment. You put the stems into very hot water for 20-30 seconds, top up with cold and leave for at least 4 hours. I have found quite a few things respond to this, even things which have already drooped. 

I keep giving myself new jobs which is one reason why my list never gets shorter and I run out of time. This week it's a pile of mulch to move. 
There was some tree work going on next door. I had the nerve to ask for some chippings and got some...

...rather more than I expected. They were glad to offload it. At least I had the forethought to put down this plastic but now I need to bag it up and get it off this grass. 
I'm going to be using it around trees etc to keep down the weeds but, of course, I'm not ready for it yet so I need to store most of it. Absolutely not complaining as I have many uses for it. 
Tree surgeons are often happy to deliver a load of chippings for free. 

Pop over and visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see wonderful things in vases and add to your seed list. 

Monday, 27 August 2018

Sunflowers and dahlias In a Vase on Monday

Hello everyone and welcome to a wet Bank Holiday in the UK. We are hoping it might improve as the day goes on! We did go out and make the most of Saturday's sunshine. Safe to say the drought is over and the water tanks are full.

Here is a vase I made for a friend. It was to go on this hall table so I made it quite large to have impact. 

There is some birch and Cotoneaster foliage, Sedum at the green stage, Vanilla Ice sunflowers and some other sunflower, Amaranthus, Nicotiana 'Lime Green' and Dahlia 'Karma Naomi'. 
It's quite open and airy, the look I was going for and not symmetrical but not imbalanced I didn't think. 
The critique was:

MrC- It's lopsided
Me - That's the look
MrC- But will people know it's the look or just think it's lopsided?

My friend liked it so that's what counts. 

Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday

Monday, 13 August 2018

Rogue In a Vase on Monday.

We are back to normal summer weather here - wet and windy. We've had plenty of rain over the last few days and the garden is starting to look more perky instead of tired and brown. There is some green in the grass which we haven't cut for about 2 months. 

My vase is a pick and plonk today. Sometimes they are the best. 
There is rudbeckia, sunflower 'Prado Red', basil, Amaranthus, Nicotiana 'Lime green' plus bonus pink which came too with the green seeds, Scabious 'Fata Morgana', Daucus which should be purple but this is a rogue. There is also Atriplex and Rosemary which I don't think can be seen. 
Has anyone tried saving Daucus seeds? I'll have a go but as there is a rogue white in with the purple they may have crossed. Still all lovely though. 
Thanks to Cathy for hosting In a Vase on Monday which is always entertaining and inspiring, not to mention educational. 

Monday, 30 July 2018

Cupcakes In a Vase on Monday

Well, we finally got some rain, along with strong winds. It's such a relief not to feel I should be watering everything every moment of the day. There is still undercover watering to do, of course, but I expect that.
I did predict this as the schools have broken up for summer here and MrC has gone camping with a Scout troop. At least there is some chance of getting tent pegs in the ground. 
There have been plant casualties but how far that goes remains to be seen. Every day for the last month I have found a new plant shrivelled or drooping, some have been saved but some not. Well established shrubs have suffered as well as new planting. We have barely had any rain for two months and that, along with high temperatures, has meant plants are struggling.
The water butts are filling up again, at least for now, so that will help the water bills a little.

The good news is that there is still plenty flowering. Many flowers love the hot weather as long as their roots can find some water.

Here is Cosmos 'Cupcakes' collected together in a vase with their own foliage. 

Every bit as pretty as I'd expected and they last well as do the normal Cosmos. These are a mixed packet so each one is different pink and white and even a blush. Airy and delicate. I feared they would never flower as they produced lush foliage and not buds. I've discovered that it is too much nitrogen which produces this effect. 
If I was Cathy I'd have a cupcake enhancing my photo but I need to have a baking session so none are available.

Also here are a couple of Dahlias. 'Cafe au Lait' - every florist wants to get their hands on this, I need plenty more tubers next year - and 'Thomas A Edison'. This dropped into my basket last autumn and has not disappointed. 

I've even done indoor jobs today, without feeling I should be outside, some long overdue so now I must get on with the outdoor jobs. The sky is still threatening more rain. 
Thanks for visiting. I'm linking with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday. 

Monday, 16 July 2018

Miniature In a Vase on Monday

Small is beautiful, as they say,  and I think this vase fits that description.

I've managed to grow Didiscus caeruleus properly for the first time. This is Lace Mixture. 
There is pink and white as well as the blue but I find the pink is quite insipid. 

I've included some small Ammi majus heads which I like as much if not more than the larger ones. Bunny tails grass which has very short stems but is soft and cute. Nigella and some kind of ornamental oregano which has pretty pink heads. All popped into one of my many white jugs. 
Hop over to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what interesting and intriguing things everyone has added to their vases this week. 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Sweet as sugar candy In a Vase on Monday

I'm naturally drawn to dark coloured flowers but these sugar coloured sweet peas bunched together are just delicious visually and aromatically. 

They are a  mixture off different varieties. There is some organisation in the planting but not by the time they get as far as the house. I think the purple is probably from a mixture called Twilight. 
I'm not going to go on about the weather except to say - it's no less desperate. But amongst all the frazzling of plants are some surprises. 

I've tried on many occasions to grow Gypsophila and always failed. This one has grown from a seed mix I threw in just before the drought. There is precious little else growing there as I have not been able to water it but this hardy little plant is thriving and has turned out pink! Love it. 
I've noticed before that sometimes direct sown seeds produce better plants which are less prone to pest damage. Perhaps not a fair test this year and often my direct sowings fail to show at all. 
I look forward to seeing what people have found to put In a Vase on Monday hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. 

Monday, 2 July 2018

In a Vase on Monday - Situation desperate!

The water situation, that is. We haven't had rain for weeks and have had hot sun instead. 
Things which I regard as tough plants are starting to wilt and smaller, shallow rooted ones have frazzled. 
As I pour the washing up water over the garden, I have renewed sympathy and understanding for those of you who live where this heat is normal. With no rain forecast and water butts pretty much empty, I continue to water selectively knowing I will lose things but is not possible, or probably sensible, to water everything. 
On the bright side - slug damage is practically nil and I have picked dwarf French beans which are normally devastated. 
Many things are blooming and I've gone for cool colours rather than the brights Cathy chose. 
I used another of my 'Constance Spry' vases. I found these lilies difficult to get in the right place. Of course the buds will open and change the look every day. They have been grown in my poly tunnel and thrive on neglect. The same bulbs have been there for three years. 
I pulled off the pollen from the ends of the stamens but actually, I think it spoils the look of the flower. If anyone is going to get pollen stains on clothes and carpet though, it will be me so was probably a sensible precaution. 

My Flower Farm crops are doing well. They have had more water in the last few weeks than the main garden while I try to keep little plants alive. Here is part of it, in case you are interested. There is another bed the same size behind this planted with smaller plants. I also have dahlias and sweet peas elsewhere as well as flowers in the poly tunnel so plenty to cut. 
Taken in the middle of the day but you can see the grass is suffering. I've even found shrivelled weeds. 
I certainly picked a challenging year to start. (Really, I think all years are challenging in different ways).
For plenty of fun and fancy vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a vase on Monday.