Tag Archives: In a Vase on Monday

A Solstice Vase on Monday

solstice

After weeks of wet and gloomy, we had the most glorious weather for the Summer Solstice

mandala

The honeysuckle grows on a fence outside my bedroom window – can you imagine the heady wafts of scent on a warm solstice evening ………. deeeeeee-lissshhhhhh-usss

I have mixed it with the froth of Lady’s Mantle for a Solstice celebration

celebrate solstice

They are in a heavy ceramic circular candle holder with a trough (there must be a better word?) around for flowers. I bought this many years ago in Glastonbury and it has been the centre piece for many a meditation gathering and Solstice celebration in my past life in hippyland.

I do hope you enjoyed the Solstice in your neck of the woods.

Oh how I am delighting in my Long Border filling out, gradually hiding more soil.

(you can see the beginnings of the creation of this border and how it looked a couple of months ago in this post)

Next door are doing some renovations, there will be a fence eventually between the concrete posts, and then that bit of the border will be north facing and in shade. I will move some hostas there when the time is right.

Did you spy a Hot Princess?

Cathy! She is flowering and she is Hot! This is my lovely birthday gift from Cathy when I went to see her last November. Cathy knows I love Hot Pink and this thoughtful gift is just perfect!

rose

Just before I go I MUST show you some of my poppies – which have been so much enjoyed by me, my neighbours and most importantly, the bees!

purple poppy

red poppy

pyrple

Click on any photo to see it full screen

pink poppy

Turn up the volume to hear the buzzzzzzzz.

Joining Cathy for her In a Vase on Monday, weekly link with other gardeners around the globe.

and

Cee’s Flower of the Day

 

Happy Solstice!

 

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irisSome dark and dastardly flowers have appeared in my light and airy, cheerful and prancy pinks, blues, purples and whites – they look like the sort of flowers dark and eeeeeeevil witches would growiris

they actually have BROWN petals (I know – they are really sepals but …) BROWN!

Brown and purple together – so 70s!

They look so witchy I have marked the plants cut all the flowers off and put them in a cauldron. Now to create a suitable spell! Wwwwwahhh-ha-ha-ha…….ha!

tar pot

The cauldron is a tar pot I bought at an agricutural museum auction about 30 years ago – it came in very handy in my white witch hippy days of affirmations, incantations and making powerful wishes.

iris

It is not very often I can say I do not like a flower but I don’t like this one – is there someone out there who does? I will wait til flowering time is over and then I am happy to pack them up and post them to anyone in the UK who would like them.

dark iris

I can turn my hand to a few spells should spells be needed, but only of the White Witch variety.

What spell would you like me to make for you?

Join gardeners creating magic over on Cathy’s blog as she puts blooms In a Vase on Monday. Cathy has a much more comforting and genteel offering today.

Vase on Monday and My Big Dig

marigolds and argyranthemumsMarigolds, bronze fennel and argyranthemums in a goblet, all from my new long border

The story of my BIG DIG:

I moved to this house in March 2007 and since then I have been battling with the border on the north side of the drive

When I arrived it was neatly clipped (and very dull) as you can see below – so not me!DSCF0013An old field hedge, it was full of brambles, ivy and hawthorn inter-planted with laurel, lonicera, a ghastly variegated bamboo and the whole lot was plagued with never-ending bindweed.

I started to clear out the bramble, ivy and hawthorn but it was hard goingMay2007 006

The border gets very wet in the winter. I’m not one for clipped hedges so I planted a contorted willow I’d grown from a cutting, hoping it would enjoy the spot and soak up some of the water. I slashed and burned the baddies and let the laurels grow tall.

Oh boy, how those laurels love to grow! They were always needing to be cut back.

garden hedge

I loved how the willow arched over the drive and knew it was Spring when I saw it with the Amalanchier against a blue sky.

against a blue sky

The photo above was taken in April 2018 when I noticed that the willow was showing signs of distress. The leaves were fewer than usual and once formed shrivelled and went brown. I hoped it was a temporary blip.

I battled on against the bamboo which got into everything and was coming up through next door’s paving. Horrid stuff! I could not see how I would ever get rid of it.

Enough was enough – it all had to GO!

The demolition squad came in and with the help of a hired stump grinder, I love a good gadget,stump grinder and my son-in-law’s tractor and trailer they cleared the border within a day.DSC_0563

I wanted to save the willow, and was in denial about the state of it, but you can see how poorly it was. This was in June when it should have been in full leaf.IMG_1534

Gazing at the border from the road, I was thrilled with the amount of garden I had to play with …bare border

– not so thrilled with how the tractor had damaged the drive though, hey- ho!

We were in the middle of a heat-wave but I was determined to dig through every grain of soil to remove any bits or bramble, bamboo and bindweed, before putting in precious plants.

What a job! I knew that no-one else would be as thorough as me, or as determined, so I carried on, digging in 30 minute bursts intertwined with some sitting down with a crochet hook.

Sadly, I realised, the willow was past hope. Amazing to think it had grown that tall from a twig in about 10 years. A guy in the village offered to chop it down for me in July – he looked a bit precarious up that ladder, but he did the job

IMG_1752

And then there was the mighty stump to get rid of, IMG_1758my kind and wonderful neighbour decided it was his mission to rid me of the deceased willow stumpIMG_1761

he laboured for days with beads of sweat sprouting like a fountain from his forehead, but eventually it was out!

Everyone who passed made helpful suggestions about what I could do about the winter flooding, crates were mentioned and all sorts of other ideas but all solutions came with a heafty price tag. I left the hole to monitor the water level and kept on digging and sifting through the rest of the soil.

The hole started filling up with water in October and by November it just sat there for weeks.flood

My solution was to build up the soil to take plants away from the water level and choose plants that can cope with these conditions. The RHS site is helpful: Wet and Dry Soils.

I ordered 3 bulk bags of top soil from the Sherborne Turf Company

IMG_2611

and had them dumped straight in the holeIMG_2613

Fabulous!

And now after all that digging and delving I have the joy of planting.

As suggested by the RHS: Geums, stacchys, hardy geraniums and persicaria were ordered from Dorset Perennials

Dorset Perennials

Some plants came from the local market and some were transplanted from other parts of the garden ……… and look at it now! (filmed on 8.May)

I feel very proud of myself!

If the plants get through the winter I will think about planting a crab apple next spring.

The border includes Dianthus Carthusianorum a pink perennial with scented and edible flowers which I have grown from seed I collected from a friend’s garden. Happy Days! The flowers are in bud right now but I’m hoping they will appear in a future ‘Vase on Monday’.

Do pop along over to see how other gardeners are celebrating Spring or Autumn on Cathy’s blog, Rambling in the Garden.

Pineapples from my Garden

flatlay flowers, pineapple

flatlay dandelion pineapple

flatlay pineapples, primroses, dandelions

Cathy from NanaCathy, knowing my penchant for pineapples kindly sent me a photo of a pineapple door wreath made out of sunflowers, so instead of doing the digging and the weeding as intended, of course I had to have a play. Thank you Cathy for the inspiration, it was fun! 😀

Luckily the weather has been glorious this Easter here in the UK and I have been blissfully gardening each day, so some digging and weeding got done eventually.

Most of my garden is still waiting for much needed attention, but there are little cameos here and there that I love

Self sown cerinthe survived the winter under the espalier pears

cerinthe and espalier pears

Early morning sun through the amalanchier sings spring!

early morning sun

and the randomly planted Brompton Stocks, wallflowers and other self-seeded joys are really perking up in the sunshinewallflowers

I do hope you have been able to enjoy a garden somewhere this Easter.

Pop along to see what other gardeners have been up to at Rambling in the Garden.

and

Cee’s Flower of the Day

 

Celebrating Narcissi

From the field that surrounds my daughter’s new home

narcissi field

circle of narcissi

mandala

narcissi and cerinthe

mandala of daffodils

There is also a cherry tree, so in homage to last week’s vase from Greenway House:

cherry blossom

vases of flowers

looking good against the colours in the sitting room and adorning the golden locks of the resident flower fairy

narcissi in your hair

Joining Cathy for In a Vase on Monday

and

Cee’s Flower of the Day

In a Vase on Monday: Greenway House

rhododendron in a bowl

This bowl was catching the light beautifully at Greenway House (Agatha Christie’s holiday home) in Devon.

I visited on a glorious spring day at the time of the Camellia Festival and completely fell in love with the place. You can see more posts about it full of camellias, in the drop down list top left of the page.

The garden is huge with wonderful meandering paths giving views of the River Dart

DSC_0490

One of the entrances to the Camellia Garden

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And looking up –  a view of the house and the most spectacular magnolia

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You can even stay there in the South Lodge

DSC_0536

which gives you free access to the grounds after the visitors have left

DSC_0538

and this is the view of Dartmouth

Dartmouth

A white magnolia covered with lichen caught my eye

and wouldn’t you just love to have a greenhouse like this one!DSC_0557

It is a wonderful place – visit if you can!

Joining the others for the In a Vase on Monday party.

In a Vase on Monday

cerinthe and daffs

Spring!

These lovely narcissi smell of spring. My daughter’s new home was once a Market Garden and the house sits amidst a field of these gorgeously uplifting bright blooms.

She is currently looking at how she might sell some of the flowers and/or the bulbs, so any hints and tips you might have would be gratefully received.

I have put them with cerinthe from my own garden, which seeded itself last year and survived the winter.

They sit in a metal jug which was made in Yugoslavia and bought for me by my Mum from a market stall. The crocheted pansy doily was made by my step-grandmother who I adored – she taught me many handicrafts including Hardanger embroidery. You can see the culmination of a wonderful Sew-Along over on Kathy’s blog – so pretty.

I am joining in with Rambling in the Garden’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme.

Also joining Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Edit:

I just had to add this from my garden just now

look up

Amelanchier against a blue sky – Sprinnnnggggggg!