Category Archives: garden

In a Vase on Monday

Joining in with Cathy’s wonderful group of gardeners for In a Vase on Monday

I have a few very confused little wallflowers in the garden. They are a variety that are supposed to flower in Spring and again in Autumn, but having looked quite pathetic all year, they are flowering now. Also in the tin ‘vase’ are some viburnum,  equally confused hebe, and some fennel fronds.

The containers are re-used items of household waste.
Last week I included my experimental ‘moss-on-a-plate’ and my cousin who lives in the Netherlands told me that Moss-on-a-plate is a thing. I Googled it and yes, lots of inspiring images came up. This spurred me on to make some more.

I managed to find some tiny fern plants in my garden. I just love all the shapes and textures of the moss and how it creates a little world of its own.

The Higgidy Pie dish was filled with grit and sandy compost

I used a torn brown paper bag to cover the plastic edges and a piece of rotting wood with moss on it, which I found in my rotting wood pile. Then I added some broken terracotta pot, a couple of tiny primrose plants, a celandine and a piece of lichen – all found in my garden.

I wondered where to keep the dishes, to give them the best chance of surviving and have put them in my new potting shed.

It went up in October and has very little in it so far. It smells all lovely and new and I need a few more shelves and hooks in there. I am sure Cathy would have filled it with cuttings and seed trays by now, but, being a fair-weather gardener, I am happy to gaze at it and enjoy its newness until I get a burst of enthusiasm for the garden again.

Do you like to find things in your garden or nearby hedgerows to put in a vase at this time of year? If so, pop over to Rambling in the Garden for some delightful inspiration.

In a Vase on Monday: Hesperantha

There are still a few Hesperantha or Kafir Lily, or River Lily blooming in the garden. They seem to like my soggy garden.

I try to get rid of the arum plants but they are very persistent and the leaves do cheer up a vase at this time of year.

The little green pot with a labyrinth was sold as a nightlight holder, but makes a sweet vase.

These 3 different types of moss seem to grow happily together in an old saucer on the bathroom windowsill. In another life I might like to study all the different types of moss – fascinating.

I found this on the Woodland Trust website about UK mosses.

I am joining Cathy for her regular feature: ‘In a Vase on Monday’.

A lovely way to start the New Year.

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Silent Sunday

A Vase and An Adventure!

A couple of weeks ago I set off for the North.

I have not travelled any long distance for a couple of years so I was both nervous and excited – I have a tiny 14 year old car – would it carry me safely onto motorways, round scary multi-laned roundabouts and do battle with the juggernauts of the road? My friendly car mechanic gave her a check over and announced her fit to travel…. but was I?

I planned to visit a couple of friends before spending a week in Harrogate for the Knitting and Stitching Show and then popping in to see Nanacathy on the way home.

On Sunday 14th November, after a negative result from a Lateral Flow test I set off to visit Rambling in the Garden Cathy of course I could not go without picking a few things from my garden!

Some pink Hesperantha, eucalyptus, golden privet, garrya elliptica, cotoneaster, a purple salvia, and taking pride of place, right in the centre – and the rose, Hot Princess!

Hot Princess was given to me as a birthday present by Nanacathy in 2018 when I went to visit her in Yorkshire and to attend the Sawdust Heart exhibition.

Hot Princess flowers in early summer, goes very quiet and then blooms again in early October and there has always been a flower from her on my birthday, at the beginning of November. It seemed a wonderful link between three bloggers to pick the last bloom of the season for Rambling in the Gardren Cathy.

I arrived at Cathy’s in sunshine (we had both had a negative lateral flow test that morning) and what a joy it was to meet her and the Golfer!

Of course, first on the agenda was a walk round the garden. It is difficult to descibe the feeling of actually standing in the garden I have seen so many photos of. In a photo you see what is just in front of the camera – but standing in the garden and soaking up the atmosphere and having 360 degrees vision made me tingle with delight!

Atmosphere is what struck me most. Cathy’s garden has the most gorgeous friendly, sort of cosy, atmosphere. Cosy isn’t quite the right word but the garden wraps you in a sense of friendly conversation with quotes and quirky, playful details around each corner.

Cathy enjoys creating brickwork buildings and little follies, all with a purpose and use and of great charm. Never have I seen a more appropriate example of “work is love made visible”, one of my favourite Kahlil Gibran quotes.

Cathy’s creativity is evident and it was fun to see her in her natural habitat. 🙂

Of course I loved all the art and the sculptures in the garden, it is an outdoor gallery and made me think that I would really love to introduce more art into my own garden

there were also plenty of rusty beauties tweaking my rust obsession into life!lots of beautiful autumnal colourand an intriguing hellebore, which I have forgotten the name ofdon’t you just love those leaves.

We had such a wonderful time talking about all the plants and seeing every nook, cranny and coop. I felt honoured to have an exclusive tour with Cathy as my guide – what a treat!

❤ ❤ ❤ THANK YOU CATHY!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

And then in for a cuppa and slice of yummy homemade cake.

My jam jar of autumnal gleanings and the purple scented iris I took as a gift looked right at home in Cathy’s glorious kitchen.

and I left full of joy and gratitude to Cathy for sharing her enthusiasm, her garden, time and cake with me so generously.

I marvel at this wonderful blogging community – we get to know so much about each other and what we share in common, so the meeting is easy, comfortable and fun. Then, over a cuppa, we discover more and truly enjoy each other’s company.

I left with warmth in my heart and all ready for the next leg of my journey – onwards to Cumbria!

Joining Cathy as she has gone on an adventure of her own today, with her vases, for In a Vase on Monday

Castle Drogo

Last week I met some friends at Castle Drogo, before travelling on to Cornwall with them to stay in Newquay for a few days.

Castle Drogo is one of the most bonkers places I have ever visited. Unfortunately the house was shut but you can see some photos of the interior if you go to the # Castle Drogo Instagram page

It was built between 1911 and 1926 as a family home?!

What were they thinking!

It looked like a prison or a workhouse to us.

Trees mask the glorious views to the moors as you walk around the house.

There are two magnificent arbours. We were not sure what variety of tree they were but my best guess was a type of birch.

My favourite tree was this magnificent maple, what a colour!

with its twisty moss covered trunk.

After lunch in the cafe we drove the hour and a half to Newquay.

This is the view from the apartment we were staying in.

Oh happy days!

In a Vase on Monday

Fennel, white salvia, golden privet, pale lilac aster and calendula.

This is not a very inspiring vase, but the orange calendula lifts it up. I have to admit gardening has been a struggle for me this year, partly because of the weather and the depressing relentless onslaught of marestail but mainly because of having Sciatica from May onwards – Yikes! What agony!!!

Mercifully it is much easier to live with now. Have you ever had Sciatica? My sympathies if you have – it is grim!

To cheer myself up I ordered some irises from

https://www.chailey-iris.co.uk

There was a Sale ….I got a bit carried away.

I bought 3 of  ‘Little Surprise’,  I just love the mix of soft pink, pale lavender, cream and palest green in the flower;

one Bright Flash, a smaller iris with deep rich purple flowers;  and some that were cheaper as they do not have a label. It will be fun to see what they are.

I ordered some irises last year and they were a magnet for slugs in the flower bed so I am going to try some in the waist high growing troughs I have just outside my front door. Hopefully I will be able to keep an eye on them here until they are grown-up enough to face life in the jungle.

I have filled in an old leaky pond and have planted some Siberica Irises and Lythrum Salicaria ‘Blush’ from http://www.dorsetperennials.co.uk

The Siberica Irises I chose are 3 of White Swirl  and some mystery mixed colours. I will have to make sure these are well watered until we get some more rain.

I am joining in with Cathy at ‘Rambling in the Garden’ for her ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme.

In a Vase on Monday: Alliums

I have just brought these magnificent Allium seed heads in from the garden as they were all falling over.

The painted canvas is one metre square, it nearly covers the woodburner.

I must get another larger canvas, if I can, so that I can hide the fireplace completely in the summer.

The huge opaque white glass vase is a charity shop buy and this is the first time I have had anything the right size to go in it.

I am joining Cathy for In a Vase on Monday

 

A Day with the Boys

Good morning

Good afternoon

A walk round the pond.

We wanted to identify this little bird – it was so tiny and hard to spot in the fir trees. Such a loud alarm call for a tiny bird.

Even harder to find with my phone, look at the top of the video and it will come into view

We searched the free App ‘Chirp’, I have on my phone, once we were away from the bird. (we should not play recorded birdsong near birds as it confuses them) The nearest we found was the Willow Warbler and the Chiff Chaff, but ‘Chirp’ did not have their alarm calls

So I looked on You Tube and we found this clip

We think it is a Chiff Chaff, what do you think?

After a glorious gentle summer’s day in the sunshine, a last wander before bed

Good night. 🙂

Walled Garden

This is a delightful find and not too far from where I live.

An old Walled Garden in the process of being restored by volunteers

and raising money for the village church roof fund and charities

The River Bride runs through it

and it nestles quietly in the valley in the village of Little Bredy

There is even a basket of sticks left by a bridge for playing Pooh Sticks.

This little man-made waterfall is in grounds of Bridehead, a short walk from the Walled garden.

A wonderful wander followed by a traditional English Cream Tea, which consists of a pot of tea (in this case some not-so-traditional Lemon and Ginger tea) and a scone on which to spread jam and clotted cream.

In a Bunch on Monday

At last my garden has perked up and has some colour. I hurriedly put this bunch together to take to a friend

The white flowers are perennial stocks, they smell divine! Also cerinthe, quaking grass, purple loosestrife, persicaria and nigella.

This delightful fairy-like plant was in my friend’s garden

Do you know what it is?

Apparently it self seeds well and I will definitely be getting some seed later on

But neither of us know it’s name.

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

Happy Mothers Day!

My daughter’s children and me in the Hot Tub.

We’re in a Bubble!

I hired a Hot Tub as a treat for my daughter and and myself for Mothers Day and it has been a huge hit.

Cheers!

We have had it since Thursday and Little Miss M has hardly been out of the water. At night it lights up with changing colours – Fun!

I hope you have had a lovely day – and for those of you for whom the day is difficult, my heart goes out to you – sending love and hugs.

In a Vase on Monday: Happy Birthday

It was my daughter’s birthday last week and I picked some asters and cotoneaster to pop in a jar for her.

The bees are going crazy for those asters but the birds are not eating the cotoneaster berries yet. There is a Mrs Blackbird tucking into some pyracantha berries just outside my kitchen window – so they must ripen earlier.

I used an old doodle book of the children’s to make the birthday card

The book had been filled and discarded so I took out the centre to reuse the neon pink cover

I could easily reuse the holes for sewing in a new centre.

With a bit of neon yellow embroidery thread. My daughter loves a bit of neon!

I came across something called ‘block writing’ on Instagram, so I had to have a go.

When my daughter was born, I was reading a beautiful book about Native American practices: Voices of Our Ancestors. by Dhyani Ywahoo.

A was born at 3.45am and when I got back to the ward, the light of dawn was beginning to glow in the sky. I looked out of the window, feeling so happy and relieved and grateful to have a healthy baby girl, and I saw one bright star, which I now realise must have been Venus.  I gave A a Native American name ‘Bright Morning Star’- a secret name – just between her and me.

For her birthday I gave her a rooted fig tree cutting that I bought in the market – hope it grows well and tucked a note in the card for her to go towards her lunchtime meal at The Station Kitchen, West Bay.

I am definitely going to try and take some cuttings from my fig tree next year.

My daughter lives just across the field from me, so I walked up quite early to give her the card.

This was the scene over the village as I walked back – autumn mist in the distance.

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

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Wordless Wednesday

In a Vase on Monday on Scrap Happy Tuesday

It was my son-in-law’s birthday yesterday – Happy Birthday Mr. M!

You might remember he is the farmer who likes supporting my crazy crafty ways.

You can see him and my daughter in this post.

I had meant to post this yesterday, but the day did not go to plan, never mind it now doubles up as a multi-functional post, two memes in one.

In true Scrap Happy Style I made Mr M a card out of old used teabags and some of the old wire fencing he brought for me to play with.

Each element, a symbol of members of his family. The heart with gold kisses represents my daughter – her name means ‘beloved’. My two Granddaughters’ names are represented by the fern leaf print and the ‘pearl’ and my Grandson’s by the red beads.

In the Chive vase are a couple of Robin’s Pincushions found on a wild rose in my garden

Intriguing, I love the colours and texture – they have a touch of magic about them

and the wonderfully shiny hips reminding me of the school nature table, when each year in primary school we seemed to do something about hips and haws.

Joining Cathy for In a Vase on Monday.

Kate and her fellow scrappers for the monthly Scrap Happy Day

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra (me)LindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Del and Nanette

and Cee for Flower of the Day, with a link to her post with some graphics on the state of the fires and air quality on the West Coast of the US.

In a Vase on Monday

Self-seeded Calendula and aster with ripe and ripening pears.

It is a challenge to catch the pears at the the right time to pick them before the wasps get to them. A good crop this year.

Joining Cathy and her joyful meme: In a Vase on Monday

I am completely replanting the bed behind the espalier pear trees. Everything has been taken out because the ground elder and marestail had taken over.

Looking from North to South

I dug it over, took everything out, and dug it over once a week for 4 weeks in the hope of getting every bit of weed root out. I saved all the bulbs and have replanted them in a completely random fashion and planted new and old irises

Looking from South to North

A rogue sunflower which grew in the pot I had the tiny fuschia (Jollies Nantes)  in.

I have also scattered seed from Nigella, calendula, cerinthe, aquilegia, foxglove and purple loosestrife.

It will be fun to see how this looks in Spring.

The daughter of a friend of mine is just starting her garden and liked my scattergun way of creating a border, so I have collected seed for her to try it out.

I found this You Tube clip

 

made some little seed packets out of a Gudren Sjoden catalogue

I loved making these, I like the way they are in the shape of little flower pots.

Joining in with Cee’s Flower of the Day

 

Rain

The view from my window this afternoon – the village 3 miles away had a river running down the street and so did the local town.

But it was all over in about 10 minutes and then sun came out. We are very lucky.

Thinking of all our American friends in Louisiana and surrounding area.

How has it been where you are?

Fennel and Irises

fennel, IAVOM

My daughter and her family have been away for a few days and I wanted to put some flowers on the table to greet them on their return, but right now my garden doesn’t have much to offer. (Must do something about that for next year.)

fennel and succulent cuttings

Sometimes something quick and simple hits the spot nicely.fennel in a jar

and I like the way the fennel echoed the spectacular light fitting in their sitting room

fennel and light fitting

Fascinated by the delicate lines of the fennel flower heads I had a play with them against a rust-dyed background

fennel on rust dyed fabric

Placing a piece of glass over them to flatten them against the fabric.

Now it is decision time – do I recreate these shapes in stitch, or paint, or try some other method, using them as a resist. My sister suggests Brusho paints – I had never heard of them before, so that is an exciting new media to experiment with.

I am also wondering about using the Cyanotype Process, but that would take some practice. I am going to allow the thought to bubble away on the back burner of my mind for a while.

Onto the Irises – I am including this bit as a Garden Diary entry to help me remember the names of the new Irises I have just received from Chailey Irises

4 new Irises

irises

Grindelwald,  white, fragrant, mid to late flowering with some blue markings

Hi, white, mid season and fragrant

Summertime Blues, pale blue and highly scented

Raspberry Blush, pink with a long flowering season

Irises are my favourite flower, especially when they are scented. I love their sculptural shapes and the way they look like flamboyant dancers with wide wavy skirts. I have cleared a patch of ground to fill with irises and bulbs, these are the first ones to go in – looking forward to Spring!

Now to think about planting for some colour in August. I look forward to seeing what others have in their vases for inspiration – I need something perennial, bug and slug resistant and low maintenance.

Joining Rambling in the Garden and other garden bloggers for In a Vase on Monday.

 

In a Vase on Monday: Altered Art

In a Vase on Monday, altered art, pink dandelions, figs

In my vase today is a posy of Pink Dandelions, thank you so much for the seeds Cathy, they are such gems! And twigs of snowberry bush, well that’s what I called it as a child, don’t know its proper name.

These were picked to accompany a card and three figs from my fig tree, for a dear friend, for her birthday. I also gave her a book, ‘Waterlog’ by Roger Deakin, which I forgot to take a photo of. She loves swimming, in fact she was a swimming teacher and taught all my children to swim.

She is an artist and I absolutely love her sketches and paintings, but she often struggles to like them herself. She tore up one of her paint sketches and gave me a piece folded over into a card for my birthday in November, I tore it on the fold line and did some stitching to make a card for her.

Then I took some of the paper I coloured with Koh-i-Noor, watercolours,

looking for colours that would make a good background

choosing background

I chose this one

Koi - nor inks

staining papaer with inks

I was a bit apprehensive to see what J’s reaction would be to what I did to her painting

altered art

It took her a little while to realise it was one of her painitngs. I think she liked it.

Do you have any blooms to pop in a Vase this Monday?

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

In a Vase on Monday: Pink Dandelions

pink dandelions

These pink dandelions are SO pretty – I love them

pink dandelion

and don’t you think they look just right with the chartreuse green of Lady’s Mantle

rose quartz, shell pink, pink dandelionsThey are the colour of Rose Quartz and shell pink

pink dandelion

I am completely in love!

Joining Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday

and

Cee’s Flower of the Day

 

In a Vase on Monday

spode jug, nigella seed heads, crochet cotton mandala

Nigella seed heads sit in a beautiful Green Spode jug, given to me many years ago by my mother-in-law.

It sits on the turquoise crocheted mandala which I have just finished, at last! It has been sitting in the WiPs pile for far too long. I will write another post soon about the edging I made.

I am joining in with In a Vase on Monday, Cathy’s weekly meme, where gardeners from all over the world pop things in a vase for us all to enjoy.

Gardeners are a generous lot and sharing seeds and plants is one of the great joys of gardening.

Cathy, very kindly, sent me some pink dandelions seeds last year. I sowed some in the garden but none came up. This year I sowed them in a Veg Trug, and the first one came into bloom at the weekend

pink dandelion

So pretty.

Another gardening triumph this year are these

Angels Fishing Rods

my friend Anne’s Angels Fishing Rods, grown from seed harvested from her garden at least 6 years ago – this is the first year they have flowered. I am so proud that I have managed to keep them going for 6 years not knowing if they would ever flower or not – it is a minor miracle. They are tall and beautiful, but hard to photograph to show their full splendour, dancing in the breeze.

Friend Andy is represented in my garden in Loganberry form 🙂loganberry

I gave him a plant from my garden in about 2004, I moved a couple of times and then, when I moved to this house, he gave me a plant from his.

Then there is the gorgeous Hot Princess! My Flower of the Day, given to me by Nanacathy for my birthday.

rose, Hot Princess

She is such a gorgeous rose, all pink perfection with a beautiful delicate scent. She seems very happy here and has given me the confidence to try a few more roses in the border for next year.

I am also joining in with my daughter @newgatenarcissi for her  #gardencollagemonthly

She is just getting into gardening and was so thrilled that a few of you joined in last month. Thank you ❤

I chose all the pinks for my July collage.

#gardencollagemonthly

It is a great way to feel good about the garden and ignore all the work still to be done.

Happy Gardening!