Monthly Archives: July 2015

Wordless wednesday – lavender

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Summer lavender (new camera too) 29 July 2015

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In a vase on Monday – sweetpeas

sweetpeas and vase from the eden project - 27 July 2015

sweetpeas and vase from the eden project – 27 July 2015

Everything has really caught up with me this week and I am full of a horrible cold.  We had a wonderful day at Tatton Park Flower Show  on Friday– so much inspiration for our garden, but it was a very long day.  I knew I was going down with something nasty as I couldn’t smell the beautiful flowers I’m including in my vase today.   It’s the sweetpea :-).

I  nipped out to pick these sweetpeas, growing by the front door  – they get full sun all summer and grow among two clematis – one dark purple and the other a more dapply mid pink one.  There’s also a big ‘tom thumb’ hardy fuchsia.  The sweetpeas are about 6 foot high at the moment.  I don’t know the variety as the tag is hidden away.  I’ve got more sweetpeas growing in the north facing back garden but nowhere near as far along as these.

The vase is recycled glass and came from the Eden Project in May 2015; there were about 10 different colours but the Chap said only buy one.  The Eden Project is well worth a visit if you’re in the area and the shop is an Aladdin’s cave of lovely things – often made from re-cycled materials – www.edenproject.com/shop/

sweetpeas and vase from the eden project

sweetpeas and vase from the eden project – 27 July 2015

Please take a look at Rambling in the Garden –  Cathy’s got gorgeous flowers from her mum’s  garden on an island on the West of Scotland.  It sounds a challenging place to garden, but must be very beautiful.  I went to University in Scotland and it’s a place close to my heart.  I really must visit again soon.   Cathy also talks about how her Mum picking flowers for vases helped give her love of gardening.  I hope her mum enjoys the vases people post.  Writing this blog, has also reminded me how much of my love of gardening, sitting in the garden and enjoying visiting stately homes, castles and great gardens comes from my mother.  Thanks Mum! My love of cooking comes from my Dad though.

Have a good week everyone – I’m hoping the rain will stop soon here in Manchester and I’ll feel better soon.

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx

In a vase on Monday – Lavatera, Campion, Margarite

Lavatera Marguerite and Campion in a weck jar

Lavatera Marguerite and Campion in a weck jar – 20 July 2015

The garden is looking lush this week, especially my pots and hanging baskets, but I’m a bit perplexed about how to pick the flowers for vases.    So this week there are only three flowers in my Vase on a Monday’.  They are:

  • Lavatera × clementii ‘Rosea’ – which was another gift from my mum.  It was the first thing I planted in my garden and reminds me of my mum’s house where I grew up.   They’re a magnet for bees too.
  • Campion – it’s a really vivid pink – the photos don’t do it justice. The plant came in a pot from my mum’s garden a couple of years ago in a bit of a sorry state.  It took a while to get going but it just keeps flowering for most of the summer.
  • A white Margarite (Argyranthemum frutescens) – it grows about four foot high, flowers for most of the summer. Sadly I don’t know the name. We bought it at Tatton Park Flower Show a couple of years ago.   I really love Daisy-style flowers and have quite a few different plants around the garden.  Always room for a few more 🙂
Marguerites, campion and dragonflies

Marguerites, campion and dragonflies – 20th July 2015

The ‘vase’ originally had risotto rice and dried herbs in it (which made a lovely dinner) and I bought it in Lidl last year and saved it for my chutney.  It’s a Weck Jar who are the German equivalent of Kilner, founded in Oflingen Germany in 1895.  The logo is a cute strawberry.   It’s about 6 inches high and it amused me that, according to their website, it’s actually a juice jar.

weck juice jar - with strawberry logo

weck juice jar – with strawberry logo – 20 July 2015

 

Do have a look at all the lovely vases hosted by Cathy over on Rambling in the Garden.

This week she has beautiful, restful and serene white flowers including a lovely dahlia.   Anyone can join in – I enjoy looking at everyone’s vases very much and it gives me such a lot of ideas for my garden.

There are some lovely dahlias in many of the vases – Particularly, I like the landaff style ones  (they’re daisy style too) and I’ve got a beauty in my garden at the moment – it might appear in the vase next week.

summer boarder - hanging baskets, dragonflies and allium 20 July 2015

summer border – hanging baskets, dragonflies and allium 20 July 2015

This week I am very excited because it’s Royal Horticultural Society Tatton Park Flower Show from Thursday to Sunday and the weather is looking good.   We are going on Thursday, and I expect some more plants will be arriving in our garden 🙂

Are you going to Tatton? Do you go to other flower shows?

Carpe Diem

love
Bec xx

 

In a vase on Monday – not blue anymore

Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.   If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.  Dale Carnegie

three hydrangea 'blue mophead' - three blooms in pink/green - 13 July 2015

hydrangea flowers ‘blue mophead’ – three blooms in pink/green – 13 July 2015

This week I’ve been thinking about how things don’t turn out quite the way you expect; this is one of the reasons I decided to pick these hydrangeas in today’s ‘In a vase on Monday’. The hydrangea macrophyia‘s name is ‘Blue Mophead’.

We planted the hyrdrangea earlier the year in Ericaceous compost (which is acid soil) so the plant should have blue flowers but the plant is clearly having none of it. The newest flower is the blue/purple one but the colour turns to pink and then fades to pink/green. I guess I could add something to the pot to change the flowers back to blue but I don’t really have the time or energy this summer. Maybe next year 🙂

three hydrangea blue - three blooms in pink - 13 July 2015

three hydrangea blue – three blooms in pink – 13 July 2015

I’ve used this bud vase in my first ever ‘In a vase on Monday’ with tête a tête daffodils back in March. I just wrapped garden wire around the three hydrangea stems so they would stay together and not fall out the vase.   I think I might wrap a thin cream or dark pink ribbon around the neck of the vase if I pick these flowers again.

I think the flowers are beautiful especially as there are so many shades of pink into washed out green.   I’ve moved the pot to the bottom of the garden on the deck so we can can enjoy the flowers when we’re eating and relaxing. Not that we’ve had much chance to enjoy the flowers close up as it’s been pouring down today.

yoda with hydrandea, petunias and some margarites

yoda with hydrandea, petunias and some Marguerites – 13 July 2015

There’s been such a lot to deal with this year but I am slowly working through things and I know I’ll get there.

I’ve been struggling to get things done on time, including writing every Monday about my flower vase. I hate being late or missing deadlines so my tardiness has been bugging me. So it’s only a short blog post today too, so that I can FINISH it! Doing a small job well 🙂
Next on the list is answering some emails/blog comments and then some flower dead-heading/weeding and planning good things for the weekend with my Chap.

Do have a look at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts the meme.  This week she’s gone rather artistic with Sunflowers.  This has reminded me I need to visit Manchester Art Gallery to see how the ‘Lost Gardens of Manchester‘ exhibition is getting on – I was there in May and there will be plenty of new plants and flowers by now.

Do you have plants that didn’t turn out how you expected?  And life has a habit of doing that too – ho hum.  

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx

In a vase on Monday – red, white and blue (and purple)

Denby - Boston jug - sweetpeas, petunias, geraniums - 6 July 2015

Denby – Boston jug – sweetpeas, petunias, geraniums – 6 July 2015

This week’s theme is red, white and blue (and purple) because Wimbledon is going well for Andy Murray and his brother Jamie, the sun is shining in SW19 and also in honour of American Independence Day.  Hope all my American readers enjoyed their 4th July celebrations.

Today it’s a mini vase.  The flowers are:

  • First sweetpeas from the plants growing by my south facing front door (it’s the pink/white candy coloured one) and some white ones too – the scent is drifting through the house. Even though there are only three flowers in the posy.
  • A bright scarlet geranium from the hanging basket at the front of the house– no idea what variety as it came in a mixed set from B&Q – it’s got a darker brown stem and flowers though.
  • Also some white geranium flowers from a big plant that’s been overwintered a couple of times in the garage.
  • And some purple and white petunias (which was the closest I could get to stripes). They’re growing in a trough down on the decking with the bistro chairs – with a lot of purple, pink and white flowers.

It was at this point I realised the only blue flowers I had in the garden that hadn’t gone over, were trailing lobelia, with just the odd flower, so they didn’t work at all well in the vase as they kept falling out.  There’s probably some special florists trick I should have used ;-).  I really must remember to plant some more blue flowers next year.

Denby - Boston jug - sweetpeas, petunias, geraniums

Denby – Boston jug – sweetpeas, petunias, geraniums – 6 July 2015

Hence the blue vase – It is a ‘Denby Boston’ jug which I’ve had for over 20 years. When I first moved to Manchester my mum would arrive for visits with a few pieces of Denby tucked under her arm.   The plates and bowls have a blue rim and cream inside.  I still love them and have a large collection now and use them every day – not just ‘for best’.

If you look carefully, you’ll see the flowers are very wet; as it has been hurling down with rain in Manchester on and off this week.  Tricky to photograph too as it looked like Autumn out there. But at least my water butts are full up and I’ve only got to do minimal watering of baskets under the eaves and trees at the bottom of the garden.

I’ve only been to the US twice – once in 1990 for a scientific conference in Miami Beach and ten years ago with my mum who wanted to go whale watching in New England; we stayed in Plymouth and visited Boston too.  We saw very rare Wright whales – it was an amazing experience.   I’d love to go back but need to save up for a trip to Australia where my brother and family live in Melbourne – he and my sister in law were over in Boston and New York with her work which is very random indeed – and reminded me how much I liked America.

I think my chap and I need to plan more overseas travel adventures… it’s been a hard few months – so we’ll  be sitting at the bottom of the garden on the bistro chairs (Where I sit part 1) planning some trips – yoda will probably advise :-).

Do you have any suggestions for flower and gardening related trips in Europe or the US?

I want to go to Keukenhof (I love tulips) and also back to the Alhambra and visit some of those incredible Italian villa gardens.

And as usual I’m late to the party (I’ve been very busy and energy levels are very low this week).  Do have a look at all the lovely vases hosted by Cathy over on Rambling in the Garden. Anyone can join in – I enjoy looking at everyone’s vases very much and it gives me such a lot of ideas for my garden.

Have a wonderful week, enjoy the tennis (come on Andy) and I hope you have sunshine where you are and I’m hoping the weather improves here.

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx