Tag Archives: marigold

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

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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

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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.

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Brightening up a Dull Day

from my garden

All from my garden: Pheasant Berries, Kaffir Lily, Achillea, Phygelia and Marigold.

I was having a clear out and came across this amazing quartz crystal I bought many years ago in my hippy dippy days!

Joining Cathy for In a Vase on Monday.

 

Knolling, Flat Lay, Assemblage Art

flat lay, leaves, autumn, fall, flowers

As you can see I’m learning even more new terms.

The honeysuckle in my garden is having a second flush of blooms and the scent is heavenly in these sunny Autumn days. It inspired this Flat Lay piece of Assemblage art which includes a few verbascum blooms and birch leaves.

And did you know about Knolling ……… no? Nor me ….until I was enlightened by Instagram

knolling is “the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization”.

knolling, leaves, nature, flatlay, autumn, fall

I’m so fascinated by the markings on these leavesflatlay, leaves, Fall, Autumn

Leaf love!

leaf love

Yellow and grey are In!

little forest

(Mini birch forest)

Yesterday’s spiral of leaves were drying out but still looking gorgeous enough to adorn with some Marigold petals and Honeysuckle

spiral, autumn, leaves and petals

Oh! Ah! Oooo! the morning dew on Marigolds!!!!!!  I’m just loving this Autumn.

morning dew on marigold

I’m not a fan of yellow flowers in the garden as a rule, but couldn’t you just dive into this buxom bloom.

Why not add some honeysuckle berriesspiral of leaves and petals

I did 3 hours of digging in my garden yesterday in the Battle Against Bamboo (and bindweed!) So I could enjoy some guilt free playtime with petals and leaves.

autumn spiral

A Flat Lay extravaganza!

Not In a Vase, but all from my garden, I am once again joining in the IAVOM Garden Party this week.

and

Cee’s FOTD.

Phygelia

phygelia, flower

on a plate

phygelia macro flower

on Monday

flowers on canvas

flowers and berry

playing with flowers

Joining in with Cathy and her happy band of gardeners from all over the world for ‘In a Vase on Monday’ 

and

Cee’s Flower of the Day 

In a Vase on Monday

irises

Mmmmmmm ….. those irises – the colour, the shape, the markings, the scent – I greet them each morning with my first cuppa,

iris markings

and couldn’t resist bringing one inside …

iris in a bottle

to go with a collection of other plant shapes

From left to right

  1. A local farm shop has started selling milk in returnable glass bottles Hurray! In this one are rooted cuttings of my spectacular epiphyllum
  2. A miniature bottle of wine, so cute I couldn’t throw it away, with Mare’s Tail that is rampant in my front garden – I love it’s shape and design and the way it captures the dew in the morning, I respect that it has been on this planet much longer than humans – if only it did not want to take over the world.
  3. A chirpy marigold in a teeny Victorian bottle with NOT TO BE TAKEN moulded into the glass – but I will be eating the petals of the flower sprinkled on a salad later.
  4. Another miniature wine bottle, bought for the bottle’s shape this time. With chives.
  5. Miniature wine bottle which came as a ‘favour’ at my son’s wedding, with one of my beloved irises in it.
  6. A bottle which held an organic fruit drink now holds a sprouting acorn, which I pulled up from my lawn. Squirrels bury them in autumn, and I have never seen one being retrieved. A mini forest grows at this time of the year.

Do you have anything to pop in a vase (or a bottle) this Monday? If you do, how about joining in with Cathy and her pals over at Rambling in the Garden.

Also joining Cee who has a glorious photo of a beautifully flouncy Bearded Iris for her Flower of the Day

Have you seen any of these little white spiders in your garden? I’ve seen a few recently having never seen them before. So cute!

I had to look it up and believe it is a Crab Spider.white spider on iris

They do not make webs but lie in wait for their prey. Some can turn yellow or light green if necessary to merge with their surroundings.

 

Vase on Monday: Happy Solstice

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Seasons collide.

Pelargonium, marigold, viburnum and a lychnis all in the celadon glazed Japanese green-tea cup. The silver date card holder is there to mark the wonder of these summer blooms remaining in flower at the Winter Solstice.

A date to celebrate above all other in my world! Now the days get longer!

Hallelujah! 

Happy Winter Solstice one and all!

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The perpetual calendar (does it have a different name) is precious to me as it belonged to the parents of my beloved step-grandmother whom I called Dabbity. As a toddler I couldn’t say Aunty Margery.

Grandad, Dabbity and I used to go and stay with her parents in a tall narrow town house in Winchester. So many happy memories – they had a basement where the laundry was done and I was fascinated to see how the water squished out of the clothes when they were put through the mangle! I loved that place, I loved them and they adored me, having no grandchildren of their own. The calendar lived on the mantlepiece and I was allowed stand on a stool to change the date each day by turning the cards – it was thrill to the 4/5/6 year old me, and somehow it still is!DSC_0055

Pelargoniums flowering outside in December – I want to be delighted, but such signs of global warming are alarming. They are growing in a pot outside my front door (crushed eggshells cover the soil).

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Also in flower is this gorgeous verbascum ‘Clementine’, normal flowering time June – September.DSC_0073Still in a pot as I haven’t found the right position for it yet, I will have to provide it with more drainage than the soil in my garden allows, but I just couldn’t resist that colour combination.

And my houseplant of the week and also entry for Cee’s Flower of the Day is the Lipstick Plant, (Aeschynanthus) so called because of how the flower emerges from its bud, although my orange one doesn’t seem to do that lipstick thing.

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Oooof! That colour!DSC_0065

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I grew it from a cutting and it didn’t flower for a couple of years but oh boy it was worth the wait. Easy to grow, so long as you don’t leave it sitting in water when flowering – if you do, it drops its flowers in protest (I know, cos I’ve done it 😦 ). It sits in my bedroom window on a gorgeous plant stand, with side shelves, I found in a second-hand warehouse in my local town.window

I love that view, it’s why I bought the house. I write most of my blog posts looking out of this window, I’m looking out there now as I type watching the dog walkers go along the footpath and a pheasant strutting through the maize stubble – sometimes it’s hard to leave it!

Pop across to join the ‘Vase’ party that happens each Monday on Rambling in the  Garden. Such a fun meme to join in with thanks to Cathy’s wonderful hosting.

May we all look forward to peace, joy and happiness as the days are filled with more precious light.

A Vase on Monday – Loosestrife, Burdock and Marigold


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Joining in with Cathy’s Vase on Monday, here is a celebration of self-sown purple loosestrife and marigolds with a purple blue and pink lace-cap hydrangea, sitting on a stretch of crochet that is waiting, oh so patiently, to be sewn into a cushion cover.
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with some added self-sown burdock
v5the burdock is the tall, large-leaved plant in the centre of the picture below, just after I pruned off its spreading side branches

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I do not yet know what to do with a large gravel area at the front of my house and have allowed things to self-seed and added a few pots. It has been a wonderous mass of plants and teems with life. The burdock has been a top bug hotel hosting zillions of blackfly, ladybirds, ants, tincy spiders, shield beetles and probably hundreds of others I haven’t spotted.

I have been fascinated watching it through the seasons

SPRINGDSC_0645

EARLY SUMMER
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and now LATE SUMMER
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Joining in with Cee’s ‘Flower of the day’.

And playing around with a new ‘effect’ I found on my camera ……
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I see more Doodle shapes – I can see I’m going to have fun with that camera setting.

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The corner to corner crochet  as it will look as a cushion to sit next to the Society6 cushions, which are made from photographs of my machine embroidery printed onto fabric.