About my garden

Monday, 11 March 2019

Blackthorn In a Vase on Monday

I'm just going to subject you to a few of my photographs. I took so many even I was board looking through them but, don't worry, I'm not sharing all of them.
As you may know, I've started A Year With My Camera which is a free online course. So far we've covered exposure and are now learning some things about composition. A new course starts in April. It's by email once a week to work through at your own pace. Plenty of information is crammed in and the course is very popular.

These are a few Blackthorn twigs which I brought inside at bud stage. I've seen some in the hedgerows and some is out on our plot. 
This is from the native hedge I had the privilege of planting three years ago. 

Here is the vase:



and here are some close ups. Very detailed, simple beauty.  








Which one do you prefer?

I am learning but I have a long way to go. I still get muddled with exposure and often turn the dials the wrong way, but I have a grasp of how it should work. 

Do visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what treasures others have found to go In a Vase this Monday. 

Monday, 4 March 2019

Anemones In a Vase on Monday

Hooray for flowers!
These gorgeous velvety Anemones are growing in my poly tunnel. The joke is that my Mum, who lives 10 miles away, has them blooming in her garden with absolutely no cosseting. 


I'm very happy to see them and they have very long stems too, bonus. 

Last week I mentioned scoring stems of Hellebores. I did a quick non scientific experiment and I think it did make a difference. The stems did not collapse as they often do. 
Here is a link to one of the places I read about this technique. 
Green and Gorgeous.
Oh my, I wish I could take photographs like that!

Do visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what the others have found to put In a Vase on Monday. 


Monday, 25 February 2019

Daphne odora In a Vase on Monday

Like Cathy at Rambling in the Garden there was only one choice for this week's vase to be based on. 
Daphne odora 'Marriani'. I've been waiting two years for this to flower and now it's living up to expectations. I've planted it on a corner of two paths, where I pass often, and the intoxicating scent lingers around the area. I asked MrC if he'd noticed it but he hadn't...


Looking around to see what might go with it, I found this little collection. The Daphne is almost lost in here but of course, the scent wafts around wherever I place my little jug. 
I've included Hellebores, Penstemon foliage, a few Tete a Tete, an amazing little Pieris flower and some Laurel flowers. I thought I'd try them for something different. 



As we all strive to keep Hellebore flowers alive in vases, against their will, this week I've learnt a new idea. Several people have reported scoring a vertical line down two sides of the stem before soaking in deep water. Using a scalpel. I don't know if it will work but it's worth a try or perhaps we should accept their beauty is fleeting and cannot be preserved. They do last better if cut later when the seed pods are forming. 

As you can see the sun is shining. We've had an amazing few days of weather, coats were discarded and it felt like spring. I'm not saying this weather is right but we have enjoyed it. We've had warm daytime temperatures and often frosts at night. 
This is the first week I've noticed plants actively growing. Little seedlings which have been sitting in pots all winter are suddenly putting on growth and tiny leaves are showing on shrubs. 

We got stuck into several projects one of which include digging up nettles. It was strangely satisfying as the roots are so shallow. The longest one I pulled was as tall as me, that's not hard, but impressive anyway. I hope I've got rid of the worst ones. We've now covered the area with cardboard for now and it will become my new dahlia bed in time for the late May plant out. 
Lots to look forward too. 

Monday, 18 February 2019

A Tribute

This week I had the privilege of making a funeral sheaf for someone I used to work for. 
I'm showing it to you here as all the material was collected from her garden. I gardened for her for about 10 years. I'm not quite sure when I started and then, sadly, she spent the last couple of years in a care home which she found quite frustrating. 
She was a typical gardener - bought plants wherever she went, swapping roots and cuttings with friends and family. 





Despite taking around 20 photographs I don't think any of them do it justice. If you are able to zoom in, you can see in better detail. In real life it was bright, fresh and colourful.

It includes - Some kind of laurel (I think- correct me if I'm wrong), Euonymous - gold and white, Viburnum, Osmanthus, Hellebore, Hazel catkins, Rosemary- of course, Pittosporum, white Heather, Ivy and Chaenomeles. It's quite large - around two and a half feet wide and I was impressed how colourful it was for February. 

I went to look round the garden last week and see what there was to  use and if I need to buy anything to supplement. As you see there was plenty. I cut a few Forsythia branches to see if I could force them to open in time. They started opening the day of the funeral, typically, so I get to enjoy them along with this Chaenomeles. 


Making this was a lovely way to say goodbye and reminded me of the hours in her garden - often spent walking round holding a pot deciding where to plant a new treasure. Decisiveness wasn't a strong point. 

The best thing for me was that the family really appreciated it and thought it a fitting tribute. It was certainly personal and a special thing to do. 

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

Monday, 4 February 2019

Snapshot of January In a Vase on Monday

I must start by saying that my colourful vase from last week is still going strong and the Mahonia is making our room smell amazing. Well I think so, Mr C claims not to be able to smell it. The daffodils didn't last long so, Cathy, you have every right to have a smug look on your face!
On the same note the vase from the previous week with Pieris and Heuchera lasted until it was knocked over today. So the small treasures do give long vase life. 

This week's vase is a slight cheat as I made it on Thursday. I decided to join in with a  new idea on Instagram #whatsoutnow_january. I only just made it before the end of the month and here is my 'flat lay'. 


(Good point Blooms at No 45 - my account is @floralacre I need to work harder at my marketing!)

I'm going to try and do this every month to give a pictorial record of what is flowering. It will become harder of course, as there is more to show. I left out the single rose which still has a flower and the Dianthus to keep it the look seasonal. 

Afterwards I popped most of the things in a one of my favourite vases. The Hellebores looked pretty for a short while but I'd cut them too early really. They do better cut when more mature. Everything else is still looking pretty. 




My garden has been covered in snow since Friday. We now have rain and a rise in temperatures so the snow is disappearing quickly. I can't say I'm sorry, it just makes everything hard work, I'll be pleased to get back to normal. 

Thanks for visiting. Do hop over to Rambling in the Garden where Cathy encourages us to find things to put In a Vase on Monday. 

Monday, 28 January 2019

Sweet scents In a Vase on Monday

I don't often buy flowers, in fact I can't remember the last time I did. Daffodils in grey January seemed like a bright idea so I bought some this week. 
The plan was to cut some foliage to go with them and create a framework.


I used some Elaeagnus ebingei, the hedge which keeps on giving, mahonia and winter flowering Lonicera. It smells amazing! I've never cut large pieces of Mahonia before, only the flower sprigs which drop their petals quickly. 
When I'd done it I was so surprised by how colourful it was. I usually give the Mahonia a bit of a prune after it has flowered so this is a good way to do that. I used some of the red leaves in Christmas wreaths.
The problem was that the daffodils were too short to go in but you might rightly argue that it didn't need them anyway. 

I cut some shorter stems of Laurel and Elaeagnus to show off the daffodils.


 It's going to be a while before I have any of my own daffodils to put in a vase but this just shows what can be done if you look around, as Cathy inspires us to do. She also has scents this week. 
Visit Rambling in the Garden for more inspiration about what to put In a vase on Monday. 

Monday, 21 January 2019

A tiny vase on Monday

It's very hard to find anything pretty to go in a vase just now. It's probably the most challenging time of the year and makes me wish I'd dried some things!


Following Cathy's lead I made a tiny vase for In a Vase on Monday.
It's not a great picture. In the centre is a Pieris flower. There are a few Heuchera leaves, Pittosporum and Abelia twigs.
Just right for a bedside table. 

We had new neighbours for a few weeks but sadly they've eaten the grass and moved on. 

Shame, I miss them now. 
We've had lots of bright, chilly days so I've been able to get on with weeding and winter jobs. 

We've also moved our inherited greenhouse from a fairly shady spot to here. 
It'll probably be too hot now!
There are a satisfying number of compost heaps behind, mostly full. Moving the greenhouse has meant we can hide a huge pile of stuff where it was, and make good use of a sunny area by a fence for planting dahlias and climbers. 
We love a project!