About my garden

Monday, 19 November 2018

Chrysanthemum love In a Vase on Monday

When I tell people I've got Chrysanthemums flowering they often make a face. I know what they are thinking and the word does conjure up images of yellow and white petrol station flowers wrapped in cellophane. 
Let me introduce you to something a little different. 



Here is my vase with a few of my gorgeous Chrysanthemums plus some Parsley. I really have to search to find some good looking foliage to add in. 


'Tarantula Red'

'Avignon Pink'
It's hard to describe the colours in these. They are pink but sometimes have caramel or cream tones and I think get more pink as they age. 
Some of these Tarantulas have droopy stems so I've cut them for myself. Most of them have sturdy stems and last for ages in a vase. 

Staking has been difficult. Plants have grown enormous (I suddenly remember writing about this last year) and then topple over and the stems grown at odd angles which is no good for cutting. The odd kink is fine but right angles are no good. I must work out a better way of staking or perhaps pinch out more so the plants are not as tall. 
They are all growing under cover. I know some other growers have lost their plants to frost even under cover. I've been lucky. Possibly as we are quite high here. Temperatures have been right down to zero even under cover. 

Wandering the internet yesterday I found another spider type in caramel colours but I really shouldn't buy it, I don't have room...

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


Monday, 12 November 2018

(Not) In a Vase On Monday - 5 years

Does anyone else make something pretty then spend 20 minutes trying to get a good photograph? Or is that just me?
I've made this little wreath/hanger to celebrate with Cathy 5 years of her meme In a Vase on Monday. Over the five years it has become very important to it's loyal followers. I joined in about 2 years ago and it was definitely one of the many factors contributing to my decision to begin Flower Farming this year. It proved to me that I loved growing and arranging flowers, and having people admire them is very encouraging. 
That said, we are not using vases this week. For one week only it's (Not) In a Vase On Monday.


I've been all round the house and these are the best pictures I could get. 



I've been making wreath bases for Christmas and beyond with anything I could get my hands on. This is Jasmine but I've also found Elaeagnus works well. I made a tiny one today for me. It's about 20cm across. I've also used some tiny pink rosebuds which I dried, dried Marjoram and some ferns which are not dried but I think might dry nicely once hung. 
The buds are wired.
Dried flowers are all the rage once more with Honesty being the most sought after. Florists up and down the country are looking for it. If I'd realised sooner I would have tried to dry more things and definitely more Honesty but then comes the problem of storage. 

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for inspiring, commenting, encouraging and holding it all together and thanks to Cathy and everyone else for adding to my endless list of plant and seed 'wants'. 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Autumn colours In a Vase on Monday


We've had two hard frosts in the last week which meant the end of anything remotely tender, sadly. I've started cutting back the dahlias and I will lift them. I've read ( and watched on You Tube) plenty about whether or not to lift, and how to store and divide. There are many options and I've decided to lift them as I think they'll get a better start next year and there is the opportunity to divide and make more plants. Always good! I'm not sure where I am going to store them yet. In the past I have treated them very badly and still found the majority grew well the next year. That doesn't mean it's a good idea. 

I picked this vaseful in seconds yesterday. Chrysanthemum 'Orange Allouise', Pineapple sage flowers and a stem of Dusty Miller. This plant has so many names it's thoroughly confusing. Today I'm calling it Cineraria maritima though I'm not sure that is correct. It doesn't have the divided leaves of the more common one. If anyone has experience of growing this and over wintering, I'd be interested to hear how you got on. 


It's a lovely plant which I really recommend as it goes with many things in a vase. 

These flowers are growing under cover so I can try and prolong my harvest a little longer. I am looking at yellow roses through my window though so there are some tough plants outside still giving. 
Pop something in vase and join in with Cathy for In a Vase on Monday. 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Purples and blue


A few of the blues and purples around at the moment. 


I've got Scabious, Aster, Salvia, White Achillea, Flax, Catanache, Verbena bonariensis and Daucus carota. 
The funniest thing I've used is Elaeagnus ebbingei flowers. We pruned a hedge and have a huge pile of prunings. I think some will be useful for weaving into wreaths. The flowers are tiny and white and smell delicious (at the front and far right of the vase). I cut off all the leaves and popped in the stems. 
As usual I'm joining in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday


This is a bouquet I made for a friend's 50th on Saturday. Luckily some of my dahlias survived the storm. I should have cut them on Friday but there were enough still upright, amazingly. 
Her partner threw a surprise party with balloons, cake, a band, food and then finished the evening by proposing! Quite an evening, happy faces all around. 
Dahlia's are Karma Lagoon (front) and Karma Naomi. I think Thomas A Edison is peeping out from the back. 

Monday, 8 October 2018

For Noelle - In a Vase on Monday

To make up for my lack of posting this summer, I have a couple of vases today. 
Noelle (Stasher) visited on Friday bringing a gardener friend and a date and walnut cake. We had a lovely morning looking around and eating cake. 
While looking around Noelle pulled up a Shepherd's Purse seed head and challenged my to include it in my vase this week. It is a lovely looking stem (the only weed in my garden, you understand!) and has very interesting shaped seed pods. 
I decided to go round and make a collection of seed pods and put them all together. This is the result. 

Included: Allium cernuum, Scabious, Nicandra, Didiscus, Coriander, Panicum, Dill, Amaranthus, Atriplex, Echinacea and probably other things. I'm pleased that it has a bit of colour to it. 
I think it will last a while. Most of it is already dried. I know lots of growers dry things for winter but I was very slow to think about it and also was not thinking of drying at midsummer when you need to be planning it. Next year I'll be growing Helichrysum for the first time in many years. And Statice. They have gone so far out of fashion they are back in. 

My other vase is Dahlia 'Honka Pink'. 



Still flowering away prolifically. I can't remember if I've posted them this year already. They will last a few days in a vase if cut when they have just opened. The quantity more than makes up for that, though. I think I have three plants now, all about 5 feet tall.
 I divided some tubers last year and that worked so I will have a go again. I did it in spring after watching videos (on You Tube) about how to do it. I think it's more common to divide in Autumn. 
Top tip - label your dahlias now while you can see what they are!

Cathy has had trouble with photographs today. I had trouble too. I don't think these are shown in their best colours. It's difficult to find a plain background in good light and I want to be able to set it up quickly.
 I recently bought a couple of A2 mount boards but have yet to work out where best to put them. I think they'll work well for small vases and single flowers but need more effort for bigger vases. The boards come in different colours. I bought black and burgundy. They are both white on the reverse side and I'm planning to paint one grey so I'll have 4 choices. 
Do share your best photo tips! 
Do, also, join in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday


Monday, 1 October 2018

Cups and saucers In a Vase on Monday

Here is a success story. For several years my Mum has given me a seedling of Cobea scandens. I duly plant it but have never got one to flower. This year I planted it In The Right Place and Watered It. 
It was next to my sweet peas and they got the water emptied from our duck pond (paddling pool) once or twice a week (with extra nutrients!).



It grew to a beautiful and very large vine. It must be 12' long and makes a bit of feature in what is a very flat garden. You can see my brassicas caged in behind and what is left of this row of sweet peas waiting to be cleared. 

I was very excited to get the first flower in August and from then on it has produced many blooms. They last a few days each, opening in green then darkening to purple before the centre falls out. They will open from a bud too. 
The stems are not very long and the flowers grow along the vine so if you cut a longer length of stem you would also cut the developing flowers. 






I added some of the vine to this vase, sacrificing any flowers it might produce but I would think it's days are numbered anyway. I like the twirling tendrils. Also tucked in is some Phacelia foliage to test out how it stands up in a vase. Very well, is the answer. 



I had to go back and take an extra picture when I saw the light coming through like this.

I was away early last week and heard reports of frost. The dahlias are still going, however, so hopefully they'll last a few more weeks as some of them have only just got into their stride. We are getting chilly mornings and evenings with warm days. Let's hope that continues and we can get our autumn tasks done. The weeds are making up for time lost during the summer heat. 

Call over to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what joys people have found to put In a Vase on Monday. 



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.