Tag Archives: rose

In A Vase on Monday – old rose, new year plans…CompassYear

‘Nevertheless, She persisted’ American Feminist expression (2017– )

I’ve been thinking this week about this tenacious rose flowering outside our front door – watching its progress – it’s been this soft peachy/yellow from bud.  This is the fourth set of flowers the rose has produced; it flowered in November too. The colour of the rose has changed though, the buds are  usually a bright orange that fades to red and yellow.  I know more expert gardeners than me will know why the colour is so different,  for a start it was only pruned in the Spring last year. Life over took us in 2018, so our garden was rather neglected. With the rose are some rosehips and a purple recycled glass bud vase, which I bought in the Eden Project. The vase appeared a few times for ‘In a Vase on Monday’ but the rose has only appeared once before:

I’ve made a note to cut more flowers from the rose this year 🙂

8 January 2018 – Rose with rosehips in a Purple glass bud glass – and CompassYear 2017-2018

This rose was one of the few plants in my front garden when I moved in eight years ago, it was in a right state. My Chap does the pruning and has certainly revived the rose. I hope flowering in a cold snap, won’t have too much impact on the rose flowering in 2018.

Do check out Cathy’s blog at Rambling in the Garden for more ‘In a Vase on Monday’ arrangements from around the world – some using vases and some not. There’s always something beautiful to lift your spirits.

8 January 2018 – Rose (January 2018) and Bud and Rose (June 2016)

YearCompass – www.yearcompass.com

It’s the time of year for resolutions; I’ve mention before I don’t really do resolutions, I prefer to think of intentions rather that ‘give something up’ or ‘start something’, it just leads to failure and disappointment usually by the second week of January.  I try to avoid all the ‘new year, new me’ in the media. However I try daily changes, being mindful, trying and trying to avoid self sabotage – keep going…

But given what a momentous year 2017 was in both good and bad ways, I decided I needed to find something to help me close off 2017, and help me think though my dreams and aspirations for 2018.  I found an excellent short document made by the volunteers of YearCompass and Invisible University International in Hungary.    The project began in 2012, is based on psychological theories, has a booklet helping people close their year and plan their next year.  The booklet has been downloaded over 400,000 and translated into 22 languages.

The booklet is 20 pages and you need a couple of hours to complete for 2017 and about 4 hours for 2018.

2017the past year

  • Looking through the year focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, Fitness, etc.
  • Looking at decisions, support, gratitude, resilience, challenges and accomplishments.

2018 – next year 

  • What I want to achieve focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, fitness, etc.
  • Questions like:  Visit three places, three things to do every morning, three things to discover… And many other questions.
  • Pick a word for the year ahead.
  • And you sign ‘I believe anything is possible this year’.

It was very illuminating – and thought provoking, and threw up a few topics I’d not really considered.

Find out more about CompassYear (and download the booklet) at www.yearcompass.com 

I discussed what I’d written, with My Chap and old friends, who reminded me of my determination and resilience.  I’ll be coming back to what I’ve written and the plans I’ve made for 2018.

Onwards… #365daysofselfcare

I’ve been doing more of the things that lift me . I’ve been continuing with daily #mindfulness, yoga and #Onehouroutside.  

#Onehouroutside  was started by one of the Outdoor Bloggers Zoe from www.splodzblogz.co.uk.  I’m on a roll with one hour outside – I’ve managed at least an hour outside since mid December. I’m making a note in my journal as sometimes walking for an hour isn’t feasible (work or bad weather).

It’s been near zero again this week in Manchester, some crisp sunny days with blue skies, alternating with gales and rain.  My back garden is a quagmire,  but we are fortunate there are Canals and footpaths on our doorstep.

I wrote about a local walk last week – Monton to Worsley Green circular walk (about 3 miles). I’ll be writing more about local walks, inspired by Sarah from Urban Wanderer who has many good walks around Greater Manchester and Lancashire.  Have a look:

My plan for this week is to listen to some mindful walking podcast while I’m out walking. Usually I’m just mindfully breathing, counting breaths and steps, looking around me at the surroundings.

  • If  you have any suggestions for mindful walking podcasts please let me know in the comments 

Instagram #savouringJanuary2018

As I mentioned last week, I enjoyed the @blurtfoundation Instagram Challenge #blurtmerrycalmness so I’ve looked around for another photo challenge.  I found Gaynor Treanor on Instagram who writes about selfcare and mindfulness.  So I’ve been following #savouringJanuary2018.

Today 8 January 2018 it was DAY 8: NOURISH #savouringJanuary2018

This definition spoke to me ‘necessary for growth, health and good condition’. It’s about taking care of yourself, doing the best you can for yourself, self-care and mindfulness. Good food matters too 🙂

  • What #selfcare have you done today?
  • Have you been kind to yourself today?

Follow on Instagram – @becmonton56 @Gabrielletreanor

8 January 2018 – lamb stew – Nourish day 8 #savouringJanuary2018

I’m feeling positive for 2018 – I think my intentions are feasible 😉 I’ll report back how I get on,

She persisted… 

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx


In a vase on Monday – sweetpeas are blissful and so are we

Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss. –
Endymion II, John Keats

This has been a very strange summer for many reasons, the weather has been really wet, so many plants and flowers are weeks behind flowering when they should have.  This week I dodged the monsoon downpours to pick these sweetpea flowers.    They  were tricky to photograph as the light was so poor – it felt like October.  They smell wonderful though.

It’s been a hectic year so far, many changes at work and uncertainty for many people But, I start an exciting new role next month, so there’s been much to arrange, lots of extra studying and planning; I’m looking forward to it.   I’m still feeling very, very tired and my back ache and arthritis have been painful, but I’m much, much better than I was this time last year.  I couldn’t have got to where I am today, without the unending support and love of My Chap – he’s always holding my hand – sometimes metaphorically 😉

Sweet peas and Purple glass vase from Eden Centre

Sweet peas and Purple glass vase from the Eden Project  – 22 July 2016

This vase appeared before as part of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before in late July 2015; it turns out I’d picked sweetpeas then too – completely different colours though.  I do remember that the sweetpea plants were about 6 foot high and covered in flowers – they’ve barely reached 4 foot this year.

As I mentioned, I’ve been very busy so although I’ve picked and photographed flowers and vases quite a few times this year – I haven’t ‘quite’ managed to write blog posts – chronically late even for me.  As ever, I really enjoy seeing everyone’s flowers (and vases) from around the world – it’s really lifted me, inspired me and made me feel part of a community.  Thank you everyone.

‘In a Vase on Monday’ is hosted by Cathy at www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com so do have a look to see what people have created – this week there are some Ikebana Japanese flower arrangements Cathy’s Ikebana Venus is beautiful.  I think I might have to think hard about Ikebana and do some reading before I have a go.  I still tend to plonk flowers in vases and hope for the best.

Sweet pea and purple vase

sweetpeas and vase from the Eden project – 27 July 2015

It’s said that the poet John Keats (1795-1821) was the first person to use the name sweet pea for these flowers.  Although. the style of sweetpeas he knew would be very different to modern day ones because of hybrids. In the language of flowers Sweetpeas meaning blissful pleasure.


We are feeling blissful 🙂

The big news is – My Chap asked me to marry him and I said YES!!!

On Saturday 18th June 2016, we took a picnic and headed off to Bodnant Garden in Wales; we go often and love it there.  We had a great time, wandering around the estate and the mountains of Snowdonia glistened in the sunshine.  We took many photos of the Dell, in particular (the rhododendrons and azaleas were nearly over but the hydrangeas were just coming into bloom).

We arrived at the rose garden about 5pm. It was exceptional – the roses are in full bloom and the scent incredible.  I sat on a bench by the roses My Chap got down on one knee and asked me….Blissful.

Rose garden at Bodnant, engagement bench, Constance Spry roses

Rose Garden at Bodnant Garden – our engagement – 18 June 2016

My Chap chose my engagement ring too – it fits perfectly – what a wonderful man.
We celebrated by buying a purple lupin from the Bodnant garden centre.
My Brother and Sister in Law sent us a stunning Waterford crystal vase which will definitely be appearing as the star of ‘In a Vase in Monday’.

engagement rings, roses, bench, Bodnant Garden Conwy

My Chap asked me to marry him in the Rose Garden at Bodnant on Saturday 18th June 2016 – I said yes

I don’t think it will surprise ANY  of my fellow gardening bloggers that the first thing we thought about was ‘what style and colours our wedding flowers should be?’   Roses will definitely appearing, as will lavender, and sweetpeas too.  I hope we can grow some flowers for our wedding, so I’ll be seeking advice for a ‘cutting garden’ in our small,  northern, north-facing back garden.

Just need to get on with arrangements and find a venue – We are getting married late September 2017.

Exciting times 🙂

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Carpe Diem


Bec xx




Wordless Wednesday – Waterford peonies and roses

Vase with peoni

Engagement Gift – Waterford crystal vase with Peonies and Roses – 6 July 2016

A huge box arrived, inside was a beautiful (and heavy) Waterford crystal vase from my brother and sister in law in Australia to celebrate our engagement.  We bought the flowers – Not In a vase on Monday yet..  But it will be soon.

Wordless Wednesday – Our engagement at Bodnant

engagement rings, roses, bench, Bodnant Garden Conwy

My Chap asked me to marry him in the Rose Garden at Bodnant on Saturday 18th June 2016 – I said yes

We visit Bodnant Gardens often – it’s about an hour and half from Manchester, inland from Conwy on the North Wales Coast.  It’s one of our favourite places – there’s always somewhere beautiful to walk, time to stop and smell the flowers, relax and enjoy the scenery – the garden overlooks Snowdon.

Last Saturday, we took a picnic and headed off to Wales; we have been together six years on 20th June so were celebrating that too.  We had a lovely time, the weather was sunny and warm, we took many photos of the Dell, in particular (the rhododendrons and azaleas were nearly over but the hydrangeas were just coming into bloom).

We arrived at the rose garden about 5pm. It was exceptional – the roses are in full bloom and the scent incredible.  Then My Chap got down on one knee and asked me – I said YES!!!!

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be – Robert Browning

Bodnant Gardens -National Trust – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden

p.s. Constance Spry rambling roses by the bench – Perfect



(Not) In a Vase on Monday – Remembering the gentle giant

My Chap and I are away in Cornwall this week – the beautiful coastline, countryside and gardens are replenishing my soul – along with some great fish cooked by My Chap :-).  I’ve been reflecting on what a momentous year this has been – I’ve found more inner resilience than I knew I had. I’m a stronger person than I was.

Today’s ‘In a vase on Monday’ is somewhat unconventional – the photo is nearly a year old but I hope you’ll allow me this.

It’s been a year since my friend (and former partner of 20 years) Steve died so suddenly on 30th April 2015.

I could tell you a million stories of Steve – we all have them.   Instead I’m going to tell about the significance of the flowers I chose for his funeral – they reflect his life and interests:

  • A red rose – because he was a proud Lancastrian, he loved the hills, towns and villages of this green and pleasant land
  • Cream roses – like the ones from his beloved mother’s  garden
  • Sea thistle – because he loved the sea
  • Orange blossom to represent his love of Spanish cities and many happy holidays with friends. Our last holiday was to Seville.
  • Eucalyptus – to represent a wonderful holiday to Australia to visit my brother and his family.
  • Purple heather – because he loved Scotland, hillwalking and the hills
  • Rosemary – to reflect his love of cooking – he and my Dad were always discussing recipes. He talked recipes and food with my Chap too – and we cooked together often.
  • Rosemary is for remembrance too
  • And finally lavender – he loved sitting in my garden and loved the smell of lavender.
Flowers for Steve's funeral - roses, rosemary, lavender, sea holly

Flowers for Steve’s funeral – roses, rosemary, lavender, sea holly – 15 May 2015

We read the following poem at Steve’s funeral:

Feel no guilt in laughter

Feel no guilt in laughter, he’d know how much you care.
Feel no sorrow in a smile that he is not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever; he would not want you to.
He’d hope that you could carry on the way you always do.
So, talk about the good times and the ways you showed you cared.
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.
Let memories surround you. A word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,
That brings him back as clearly as though he were still here,
And fills you with the feeling, that he is always near.
For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
And he will live forever locked safely within your heart.

Author unknown

Steve was a big man with a big personality and he touched so, so many lives.

He has been taken far too soon – Rest in Peace Steve (1967-2015).

We remained friends to the end.

His sudden death affected me deeply – but I have realised how much resilence I have and am getting back to where I want to be.  I couldn’t have done this without the love and support of My Chap, my family, Steve’s family and our many friends.

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal…. so I’m off to pick tulips in the garden of the cottage we are staying in (with permission).  Part 2 of ‘In a vase on Monday’ later…

Carpe Diem

love Bec xxx

I’ve written about Steve elsewhere on my blog:

You can find more about ‘In a vase on Monday’ which is hosted by Cathy at www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com.  today she is celebrating the wedding of her Younger Daughter – Cathy picked flowers from her garden for the bouquet and button holes.    She’s very talented :-).  Reading all the blogs from people around the world showing their flowers has lifted my mood this last year… thank you everyone 🙂



In a Vase on Monday – sunny yarrow, oranges and reds

crocosmia, rose, achillea and hypericum - copyright Rebecca Jones 2015

crocosmia, rose, achillea and hypericum – 10 August 2015

This week the weather has been pretty wet in Manchester, we’ve even had two monsoon rainstorms today.  I decided to pick the brightest flowers in my garden today to help cheer myself up:

  • An orange rose – it’s the only rose I have in my garden – it’s been flowering all summer in the front garden and has appeared in another ‘In a vase on Monday’ in early June (Oranges and lemons – 30 June 2015) – I don’t know its name but it has a delicate scent too. And as you can see below, the colour changes dramatically as the flower ages.
  • Crocosmia – Lucifer. This is in my front garden and has been flowering for about a month.  We bought them at RHS Tatton Park Flower show four years ago but it’s taken until this year to really get going.
  • Crocosmia – montbretia (the one you see in many gardens around the UK as it’s spreads) I’ve got this in the bottom left corner of my garden in a dark, shady corner, but it’s not been flowering much as I think it’s in the wrong place.  I’m going to move it to pots next year.
  • Hypericum berries from one of the bushes in the garden when I moved in six years ago. The flowers have appeared in Oranges and Lemons.  The berries go black in the Autumn so the plant gives a lot of all year round interest.
  • Achillea millefolium ‘Paprika’ – I got this one a couple of months ago in the local garden centre (Bent’s);  it’s very happy in my sunny, poor soil, front garden.  We bought four more different varieties at Tatton Park flower show a couple of weeks ago, which are settling in well along side my many kinds of lavender.
    Achillea’s common name is Yarrow; it was used in the past  as an astringent for wounds and in a variety of herbal remedies.  Butterflies and bees love it too.
rose bud - 10 August 2015

rose bud – 10 August 2015

Rose - full bloom - copyright Rebecca Jones 2015

Rose – full bloom – 10 August 2015

The vase is an unusual triangular lead crystal vase with red panels; it is very heavy. It belonged to my friend S’s mother J.  It would date from the early 1960s and (I’m guessing) a wedding gift to his parents (J and K) in 1964.

I’ve also got a new camera, so I could finally take an indoor shot.

Orange rose, crocosmia, hypericum, achillea

Orange rose, crocosmia, hypericum, achillea – indoor shot- 4 August 2015

I’m slowly getting the hang of my camera so expect a lot more photos of flowers very soon.  The close up detail is brilliant.  I am so pleased with it.

achillea paprika (Yarrow) - close up - Copyright Rebecca Jones

achillea paprika (Yarrow) – close up 10 August 2015

Do have a look at the Link Cathy at ‘Rambling in the Garden’ she has some beautiful white dahlias, hydrangeas  – it is so calm and restful.  I enjoy so much looking at everyone’s vases and flowers.  They give me so many ideas for my garden and they really lift my soul.

I’ve not had much energy for anything much this year ,including gardening.  I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in the garden and visiting the Great Gardens around the UK (mostly owned by the National Trust-hurrah for them). I’ve found it very difficult to write anything too, including on my blog, but things are slowly improving.   Life has got in the way but I’m working through all the practical issues, and getting myself into a better place.  My chap N has been a total legend, looking after me, driving me around and doing even more work than usual in the garden.  My family and friends have been brilliant too but I’d really like to feel more myself soon and no more back ache either too.   I know I’ll get to where I want to be; mindfulness and yoga help too.

We have been eating out in the garden quite alot when it’s been dry and our other seating area is slowly getting sorted out – It’s right by the house and so we have completely different view on our garden.  I hope I can take some photos of it soon to show you all and also explain why I love Pimms so much.

I hope you like the flowers in my vase today, and that you’re enjoying the ‘summer’ or whatever season it is supposed to be wherever you are 🙂

Have you been on a days out?  I’m always looking for new places to go.

Carpe Diem


Bec xx