Monthly Archives: April 2015

Raspberry ripple tulips, blossom and holidays! In a vase on Monday

Gardening tulips dogwood

In a vase on Monday – Tulips and dogwood – 27April 2015

It’s glorious sunshine in Manchester today, I decided to feature tulips again in my vase on Monday (Yellow and purple ones last week). These three reminded me of ripe cherries and raspberry ripple ice cream.  This could be because I’ve got holidays on my mind. We’re off to Cornwall on Saturday for a week – I am so excited!  I went last September (2014) for the first time in nearly 30 years. We had a wonderful time, especially at the Eden Project, so we’ll be going back there, the ‘Lost gardens of Helligan’ and the beaches too. Heaven!

These tulips were planted last autumn – I’ve mentioned before how much I like purple. These came from Wilko’s but as usual, I’ve got no idea what they’re called.

tulips gardening

Three purple, pink and raspberry ripple tulips – in a vase on Monday 27 April 2015

The dogwood (Cornus) is a variegated one with red stems in the winter.   It’s at the end of my garden and pokes out between a row of conifers in my neighbour’s plot . It hangs over into our garden; so we prune it, so it doesn’t poke me in the eye when I’m gardening.    Dogwood is easy to grow but it definitely needs pruning for it to be at its best; it spreads though if it’s left and the old wood doesn’t have the glorious stem colour.  There are loads of varieties including ones with yellow stems, it’s very common in gardens here in the UK because of it’s all round interest and its hardy.

I liked the contrast of colours with the purples, pinks, greens and whites. Also thought too much foliage would overwhelm the tulips.

I’ve used the same vase last week as I haven’t got any other tall thin ones – though I think The Chap might be bringing something home from work for me.

gardenin tulip dogwood vase

In the sunshine – tulips and dogwood – 27 April 2015

We had a good day in the garden yesterday after a very hectic few weeks.   I rearranged my strawberry plants, put a dwarf raspberry in a larger pot and put the tumbling tomatoes in hanging baskets.   Also I tidied up all the fuscias in pots we’d over wintered in the garage and thought about what I’d put where.   A bit of TCL for my cosmos seedlings too – fingers crossed they survive us going away.  And The Chap put up the solar lights up too – we’ve eaten out in the garden 9 times so far this year.

The other things I’m enjoying this week are the wonderful blossom on the cherry, apple, hawthorn tree – they look incredible this year.     There are many around where I live, as it’s full of Victorian houses and mature gardens.  I’ve only got room for two dwarf apple trees in pots in my garden but I’d love more.  The blossom is really brighting my drive to and from work; I really must get out and take some photos this week as they’ll be gone soon.

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom – 26 April 2015 – NO FILTER!!

Do have a look at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts ‘In  a vase on Monday’ She’s got a wonderful selection of vases this week and is celebrating her 1000th blog post – I’m a very long way off that milestone. It’s great to see what people are growing around the world.

What plants have you enjoyed this weekend? Or have you been to Cornwall? Any suggestions where to go?

Have a lovely time

Carpe Diem

love Bec xxx

In a vase on Monday – purple and yellow tulips with Berberis

Purple yellow tulip

‘If age teaches you anything, then one of it’s lessons is certainly not to hurry if you’re already late’ – Sergei Lukanenko (a science fiction writer)

This week’s ‘In a vase on Monday’ is some berberis (cut carefully because of its vicious spikes) with yellow and purple tulips.  The tulips have been growing in a border on right hand side of my garden (the sunny side). I planted lots of white, cream, purple and pink tulips last Autumn (from Wilko and Sainsbury’s so as usual I’ve got no idea what they’re called).   The yellow one’s were a lovely surprise last week. My Chap planted them when I wasn’t looking – as he loves yellow and tries to sneak more yellow flowers into the garden.

This is the first vase my Chap bought me when we got together; it arrived with flowers too :-).  I like it because of the twist in the glass – and it often has flowers in it on our dining room table.   He works in the wholesale florist industry, selling just about everything except fresh flowers, so I have quite a lot of vases. It was lovely to do a full size arrangement this week – most of mine have been mini ones so far – Tag in a vase on monday

A close up of the purple and yellow tulips with Berbers 21st April 2015

A close up of the purple and yellow tulips with Berberis – 21st April 2015

I didn’t know much about berberis apart from its sharp spikes and it’s evergreen. Ours has red berries in the Autumn and the bees love it.  I’ve seen it growing right across the UK so it’s pretty hardy. People often plant it as hedges or under windows to deter burglars.  But, after a bit of research, I discovered there are hundreds of varieties, it grows wild across Europe including the Middle East but also in Himalayas.   The berries are high in vitamin C but very tart; the dried berries are used in an Iranian rice pilaf called ‘Zereshk Polo’. The berries are also used in hedgerow jams as it’s high in pectin.  I’ll have to look out for the dried berries in the specialist delis in Manchester and have a go at cooking with it. I’ll ;let you know how I get on.

Things have been very hectic for me recently, especially at work,so I’m a day late with my ‘In a vase on Monday’; I hope you don’t mind.  I felt so much more relaxed walking around my garden this morning deciding what to pick for my vase; I decided not to rush, just as Sergei said.  These tulips are really cheering me up so think I might use the picture as a screen saver at work.

Do have a look around Cathy’s blog – Rambling in the Garden for more lovely vases and flowers from people across the world – 
She has lovely tulips this week too.

Have you got tulips flowering near you?

love Bec xx

Double crimson camellia – In a vase on Monday

Camellia - with a jug and a mug - 13 April 2015

Camellia – with a jug and a mug – 13 April 2015

Today’s ‘in a vase on Monday’ is another mini arrangement – two camellia flowers on the same stem.

They’re from a four-foot high bush that grows in a pot at the bottom of my garden under the trees.  The weather was horrible here on Sunday, so a couple of flowers I had my eye on for an arrangement were  blown away – literally.   This camellia moved up from my mum’s garden down south last Spring 2014 – another gift (lucky me).  Her garden soil (and mine) doesn’t suit camellias which need acid soil; so that’s why it’s in a huge, heavy pot.   I wasn’t quite sure if it would be ok with the move north as it’s colder, and rains more, here in Manchester. But it’s settled in well, many buds formed in the late summer and has been flowering for a couple of weeks now.  I love the crimson flowers against the dark green, shiny leaves – it’s a double flower variety but I don’t know what kind.  I’m hoping someone might be able to tell me.

Camellia and jug - 13 April 2015

Camellia and jug – 13 April 2015

I’ve achieved one of my non-New Year resolutions – I’ve bought a gardening logbook, so I can make a proper note of what I’ve planted.  I just have to remember to write in it 🙂

Camellia from the top - 15 April 2015

Camellia from the top – 13 April 2015

I picked the the jug and mug because it had some red in it and are the right size for the flowers too.  I drink a lot of Earl Grey tea from that mug – often on that seat planning adventures.  The jug doesn’t get much use as I’m lactose intolerant and my chap puts a drop of milk in his builders tea.  The mug and jug make me smile because I love the sea, being by the sea and sailing too. I used to sail regularly when I was younger,usually on reservoirs, but not so much since I moved to the north nearly 20 years ago.  I’m hoping to go sailing later in the year if my plan come together – an adventure!

The mug and jug were made by Charlotte Macey, who is a Cotswold based artist.  She has some lovely pieces.  More on her website

You can find out more about Charlotte and her work here: 

I love this mug (with earl grey tea) - 13 April 2015

I love this mug (with earl grey tea) – 13 April 2015

I bought the mug and jug last July in Stroud, in the Cotswolds. My little brother was born there and I haven’t been back for over 40 years.   It’ a lovely, quirky town with plenty going on. My chap and I had a great time mooching around for the day.  I’ll be back again for a proper visit.

Cathy’s hosts this meme over on her blog –  She’s got a lovely arrangement this week, that made me want to hunt out a book I read a long time ago.  I’m really enjoying looking at everyone’s arrangements from around the world, seeing what’s flowering when and plants I couldn’t grow here – even if I wanted too.

Do have a look 🙂

What’s been flowering where you are?