30/11/2016 – @MancVegPeople – organic veg boxes at University of Manchester
30/11/2016 – @MancVegPeople – organic veg boxes at University of Manchester
In search of my Mother’s garden, I found my own.
Alice Walker, writer (1942- )
Hardy fuchsias are tough – mine have been flowering well, despite very wet and windy weather in Manchester. By the time I got outside, in daylight, to pick the fuchsias the rain had pulverised the flowers on two of the three bushes I have planted around the garden. These are picked from the bush outside the kitchen window, as it’s more protected from the elements. I took the photo at 2pm with a flash, as it was so gloomy.
Fuchsias are the first flowers I remember in my Mum’s garden when I was very little – I thought they were like ballerinas. My Mum adores fuchsias, and has always had lots of hardy and tender ones all around the garden in pots. I grew up in Berkshire and our garden was heavy London clay so many of her favourite plants were in terracotta pots on the patio – I learnt to garden with her. My Mum is nearly 80 now (please don’t tell her I said that 😉 ) and still has many pots filled with fuchsia, around her large patio – and often brings another fuchsia for our collection. My Chap just smiles and finds another space for them.
I’ve cut cotoneaster too, which is next to the fuchsia by the front door, the bush is covered in red berries and the leaves are turning red – it looks glorious – I don’t know the variety as this was one of the few plants in the garden when I arrived. The cotoneaster is proping up the fuchsia stems just like it does in the garden. The dianthus was a gift and this is the very last flower – the plant never really got going this year as it’s been so wet. I bought the fuchsia in Morrisons of all places and it’s tom thumb (or a relative) – It grows to window hight which makes a lovely view when I’m washing up.
I decided to take a photo indoors too – I rarely do take indoor photos of anything as my house is quite dark (north facing) and small so there’s always something in the background.
I painted the jug at ‘Pottery Corner’ in Chorlton*, Manchester in March 2016, using glass paint. It’s just one of the many things I’ve done with my WI pals from Cottonopolis WI www.cottonopoliswi.com, in Ancoats in Manchester. I was really pleased with how well they came out, as I’m quite clumsy and not much of an artist. Do come along if you’re local or look out for a WI – it’s not what you think it will be like 🙂
Looking back – first fuchsias (and first terracotta pots)
I looked back on Facebook and found some photos of the first pots I had in my garden. My Mum came up to visit in May 2010, bringing some spare terracotta pots, and we spent a happy few hours planting them up. The number of terracotta pots has grown rather alot since then 🙂
In August 2010, I wrote (on facebook),
more pots in my garden – I had such fun planning these… could be turning into a closet gardener…
In fact, I’ve always been a gardener but I lived in flats in Manchester for over 20 years, so had no opportunity to do much. I’d garden when I was at home at my Mum and Dad’s house down South. A small garden was the number one priority when I was looking for a house to buy.
I wrote about my Mum and her love of gardening in one of my early posts in February 2015 and fuchsias get a mention too. Considering how many fuchsias I have around the garden, and how long they flower for, I’m really surprised how rarely they’ve appeared in posts or in Vases:
I love fuchsias and have plenty of tender ones which live in the garage over the winter (as we don’t have space for a greenhouse). I really must remember to pick and photograph more fuchsias next year.
I’m dreaming of Spring and planting bulbs in pots in the porch where it’s dry and my Chap is distributing the pots around the garden. This week Cathy has a very zingy pink Chrysanthumum which is making me think of high summer. Do have a look at her post on Rambling in the Garden, where people from around the world post pictures of flowers from their gardens and localities. No matter how grey and wet the weather is, these beautiful photos and descriptions lift my mood.
Have a lovely week and I hope it’s dry where you are.
love Bec xx
* I paid full price for my painted vases and wasn’t asked to write a blog post about Pottery Corner.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust 1871-1922
This week is the third birthday of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. This week she asked us to join her and write on the theme of three. Cathy’s blog post really resonated with me, her kind words in my difficult times last year really helped me, as did her fellow gardening bloggers from all across the world. Reading their blogs and all the beautiful flowers lifted me so much… and inspired me to plant, prune and grow. I’ve picked three kinds of plants to represent three groups of my friends.
My friends have helped me so much especially these last 18 months, just as my garden has. Writing my blog helped me too even though most of the time I was so exhausted, I could barely string a sentence together or take photos. I’m feeling so much better now, but my new role means reams reading, many people to meet and numerous projects to plan, so less time for getting outdoors, let alone blogging.
My mission for 2017 is to be much more organised!
These flowers represent just some of my friendships –
The square vase is a gift from one of my oldest friends from University in Stirling – I’ve known her and my other Uni pals thirty years this autumn. How did that happen ;-)? I feel 31 in my head apart from when my arthritis, aches and pains are playing up. They’ve been such a support to me over so many years, but especially these last 18 months.
Cathy also talks about how picking flowers for her Vase has made her very observant about her garden. This certainly chimes with me – noticing what is in my garden, what’s in bud, flowering, what’s gone over – and also what’s been munched by the slugs. It helps with my mindfulness, which is one of the activities which helps me daily. She also says it’s humbling to read how the meme has changed people’s lives. I know it’s changed mine.
I know how much though goes into Cathy’s comments on every blog that links up to the meme. Her words helped me so much when I was feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted.
And I’m sure this will make Cathy smile – as usual I’m late with my contribution. I don’t think I’ll count up how often I’ve actually posted on a Monday and how often I’ve missed the day – oops. Cathy says it doesn’t matter so I guess I’ll keep picking vases and posting them a bit late.
It’s been a very hectic at work – and frankly it’s been another momentous week for the world. So I’ve been reflecting this week about remembrance, friendship and the future.
RHS Bridgewater – their 5th Garden here in the North West of England
This week I went to a public meeting about the plans for the new Royal Horticultural Society Bridgewater Garden on the site of Worsley New Hall in Salford. It’s called Bridgewater because the canal runs to the south of the site.
The garden will be about a half hour walk from our house along the canal. I’ll be a regular visitor; just like my Mum who’s a regular visitor at Wisley. We often walk up to Worsley Green and the Woods, no one can believe how lovely it is despite being in the middle of the city. We’ve been getting out on more walks around Lancashire and Greater Manchester too, so fingers crossed I might get up a small hill or two next year.
I can’t tell you how excited I am. It will be stunning… a new beginning.
In other news, we think we’ve found our wedding venue for September 2017. It won’t be a surprize that it has a beautiful garden.
My Chap is my rock – he has truly helped my soul blossom – he IS my new beginning.
As Robert Ford (1874-1963), the American poet, who knew a thing or two about the rural life, said:
In three words I can some up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on. Robert Ford (1874-1963)
Carpe Diem indeed!
I did this flower arrangement as ‘the lid’ of a pumkin as part of an arrangement at my course at the Women’s Institute – Denman College on 23rd October 2016 – that pumpkin’s long rotted.