Tag Archives: petunia

Wordless Wednesday – soggy petunias

image

Soggy petunias - hanging basket - 15 June 2016

image

Petunia hanging basket - 15 June 2016

It has rained for days and days in Manchester – drizzle though to thunder and lightening – monsoonal at times.  My hanging baskets and the garden are absolutely sodden so I hope the plants survive…I want some sunshine – it’s the summer afterall.

Wordless Wednesday – soggy petunias

image

Soggy petunias - hanging basket - 15 June 2016

image

Petunia hanging basket - 15 June 2016

It has rained for days and days in Manchester – drizzle though to thunder and lightening – monsoonal at times.  My hanging baskets and the garden are absolutely sodden so I hope the plants survive…I want some sunshine – it’s the summer afterall.

#100happydays challenge 21-28 friends, food, drink, flowers and yoda too

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief – Cicero

Here’s an update on the #100happydays challenge (from late October 2015) – you can see my latest photos on my twitter account (@becinmonton).

As usual, I seem to been busy but one or two things stand out for me; fun with friends, my love of sci-fi and also once again, how important my garden is to me.   I’m so fortunate that I’ve got lots of friends who I’ve met via work, studying and outdoor adventures.

I’ve made lots of new friends too, since I joined the Women’s Institute a few years ago.   I’m a proud member of Cottonopolis WI in Ancoats, Manchester. I guarantee the WI isn’t what you think it is and it’s not about Jam, Jerusalem or calendars either.

star wars cookie cutters, lunch at Kro, Batch Gin, suffragette film

21/100 star wars cookie cutters, 22/100 lunch at Kro, 23/100 Batch Gin, 24/100 suffragette film

21/100 A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

These are my favourite cookie cutters; my friend L bought them for me a few years ago; I tend to make ginger biscuits with them. We are both big Stars Wars fans. I was 10 in 1977 when the first film opened. I think we went to see it about six times that year, played with pretend light sabers in the playground. I think there were toys the following Christmas and I wish I’d kept the toys my Uncle gave me.  I think Princess Leia being a kick ass warrior helped my view of the world too. I’ve loved the films ever since (apart from Jar Jar Binks).  I am VERY excited for ‘Force Awakens’.

I had a good chat on the phone with my friend L who I’ve known for nearly 20 years. Continue reading

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

In a Vase on Monday – restful reds and pinks

Garden – It is a beautiful place where there are flowers, grass and trees, where we can play and rest

 dianthus, Argyranthemum petunia

lots of dianthus, Argyranthemum and petunia – 23 June 2015

Here’s my ‘In a vase on Monday’ – it’s a mini vase.  These flowers come from all around the garden including pots and hanging baskets.  They are:

  • dianthus ‘Oscar Dark Red’ it has tiny specks of yellow. It’s new in the garden this year so we will have to see how it gets on.
  • dianthus with dark pink ring at the front are ‘Red picotee’ – there were others in the pack with different colour combinations but the other flowers were eaten by bugs.
  • other kinds of dianthus have been in the garden a few years but I don’t know what kind they are.
  • a red  Argyranthemum – it’s not been in the garden long so I’m not quite sure how big it will grow – A friend gave me this so I don’t know what is called either.
  • there are red mini trailing petunia too – B&Q didn’t admit to the variety 🙂
lots of dianthus - I don't know the names as usual - 23 June 2015

lots of dianthus – I don’t know the names as usual – 23 June 2015

The quote on the jar really resonates with me.   My garden is my sanctuary and I’ve really missed it. I missed my Chap more though –  especially as it was our 5th anniversary while I was away.

I enjoyed picking these flowers very much, as I’d been away from my garden for over a week – so much has grown and flowered.  I was straight outside  when I got home to see what had changed and I’m writing this post on the laptop at the bistro table at the bottom of the garden.

As usual, I’m late with my contribution – oops.   Today, I got back from a military history tour with my mum which was booked last year.    We’ve been to Belgium for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo – 18 June 1815. We saw a huge re-enactment and travelled around battle sites following events which enabled Wellington and the allies to defeat Napoleon and the French.

She has been so excited about this as she loves this period of history (and the Duke of Wellington!).  It was a really busy week, early starts and a lot of tramping around fields, so I’m very, very tired.  It was good to spend time with my mum, but the grim details of the Battle of Waterloo were difficult after all that’s happened this year.    I’ll write more about this break shortly; it was an interesting week but military history isn’t really my thing, as I much prefer economic and social history and the lives of ordinary people.

I saw quite a few lovely gardens and flower displays all across Belgium so I’ll do a post about that too.   The people on the tour thought I was a bit odd taking photos of flowers and gardens while they were busy taking photos of war memorials – ho hum.  There’s was clever wall display commemorating the battle in Wellington’s headquarters using moss, and the garden was lovely too.

Shop Local – I love Monton 

The mini vase (or jar more like) is from one of the local florists on my local high streets – it’s a jam jar style and about 4 inches high.

Garden - It is a beautiful place where there are flowers, grass and trees, where We can play and rest and enjoy the sunshine

Garden – It is a beautiful place where there are flowers, grass and trees, where We can play and rest and enjoy the sunshine – 23 June 2015.

My local high street, Monton in Salford, is a thriving place with lots of lovely shops including an art and craft shop, handbag shop, cake and decoration shop, boutiques, florist, a proper fishmongers as well as the usual convenience stores and estate agents.  It’s got a Holt’s pub called ‘The Park’, a couple of wine bars, a craft beer bar called ‘Malt Dog’ as well as a couple of restaurants, and the newest La Turka (Turkish).  There is an active community association too www.montonvillage.org.uk/ who do alot of work with businesses promoting the area and amenities, arranging gardening groups on Monton Green and Christmas lights too.  The floral displays were placed in ‘Best urban village’ in ‘Britain in Bloom’ a few years ago.   There’s also vegetable plots which are part of ‘Incredible Edible Salford’ www.incredibleediblesalford.org.uk/ (they’re on facebook and twitter too).

Monton has a great festival on the first Saturday of July (4th July 2015)  with many stalls, competitions, live music in marques, and a funfair on Monton Green. If you’re in the area do come along 🙂

dianthus, marguerite and petuni

pink and red dianthus, marguerite and petunia – 23 June 2015

*****

You can find out more about this lovely meme hosted by Cathy over at ‘Rambling in the Garden’ – this week she has a beautiful yellow rose as the centre piece of her arrangement and the cutest little tea set – do have a look.  I really love seeing what everyone is picking from around the world and it gives me loads of ideas for my garden and vases.

Have a lovely week everyone – and let me know if you’ve been out and about?  It’s going to be sunny in Manchester this week.

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx

 

 

Childhood garden memories….

‘It often happens to children – and sometimes to gardeners – that they are given gifts of value of which they do not perceive until much later
Wayne Winterrowd

I started gardening a long, long time ago – about 40 years ago I think. My Mum gardened when I was little; she still does – but only when it’s sunny. She gets my chap to do the heavy work now like digging or pruning.   My Mum, Dad, little brother and me moved into a new build house in the early 1970s – I was four.  The garden had 6 foot fences, a tiny patio and a lot of sticky, London clay and no grass at all.

I don’t remember much about this time but I know my mum and dad put in a lot shrubs that didn’t need much pruning, including honeysuckle on the fence by the back door and vibernum which also has a beautiful scent (in May/June).  They put grass seed down as soon as they could so we had somewhere to play.  Random plants grew too from dormant seeds in the fields that the house was built on.  The best were blackberry canes and my Dad cooked a lot of Apple and Blackberry Pie. When I see these plants in other gardens it reminds me of my childhood and my parents’ garden.

My mum took a cutting from the replacement honeysuckle a few years ago and gave me a bit which I put at the bottom of the garden.  It took a good few years to get going but soon clambered over the fence onto bushes in my neighbour’s garden.  It smells wonderful and is even stronger in the evening; its scent wafts across the decking at the bottom of the garden (Where I Sit Part 1).  I don’t know the variety (said I’m an amateur gardener) and don’t have any photos – I’ll take some later in the year.  Honeysuckle is great for growing through other plants though and it’s the unexpected flowers peeping out that I like.

My mum also rescued a silver birch sapling that had been ‘run over’ by the council grass cutting chaps (in a skip she claims) and planted it in the back garden – it’s now a 40 year old, 40-foot beauty with plenty of birds using it as a base to nip down and eat the strawberries, etc.

My mum did a lot of pot gardening with your typical ‘council park’ style bedding plants, like violas, pansies and begonias – it was the 1970s and there was less choice than there is now – none of these huge garden centres.  But every pot had a fuchsias of one sort or another – some standard height, some trailing and some bush varieties, pinks, purples. I adored the flowers which I imagined were ballerinas.   Often, I helped her put broken pots in the garden for drainage, fill with compost and plant the flowers – and a lot of watering and dead heading flowers (to keep them flowering).  She had pots full of plants that wouldn’t grow in the garden because of the clay soil – rhododendrons, for example.

My mum still loves fuchsias, still pot gardens and has a huge patio covered in pots.

So when I moved into my house, the first thing she did the following Spring was buy me some terracotta pots and some bedding plants.   Here’s what I planted:

Pots summer 2010

White lobellia, pink petunia and fuchsias

I’ll let you know what I plant in the pots this Spring but there will definitely be fuchsias – I’ll tell you more about my love of fuschias another time.

Things to do in the garden – February

There are all sorts of suggestions online and in magazines – mostly for people with huge gardens, loads of time or very organised – I’m none of these.  Here are a just a few:

  • plant veg seeds indoors – I’ve only got v small window sills so it’s tricky deciding what to plant. Whatever you choose it’s got to be worth it in the garden either flowers or vegetables.
  • tidy the shed (yeah right I haven’t got space for a shed) and scrub your seed trays (I’ve only got two).
  • prune autumn raspberry canes – there are two sorts of raspberries – I’ve got the kind that fruit in the early summer.  Now’s the time to plant raspberry, gooseberry and blackberry canes too.   Blackberry and Apple pie – Lovely!
  • plan your borders and new beds – oh yes I’m definitely doing this but more about this soon.

Have you managed to do anything in the garden in February? and what do you fancy planting?

Have a lovely week

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx