Tag Archives: sweetpea

In a Vase on Monday – sweetpeas (late but not forgotten) 

I’ve not been in the garden as much as I’d like this year, mainly lack of time, far too much going on.  Another devastating bereavement, my wonderful brother, I can’t express in words how much I miss him.   His death in March, led to major health relapse, my osteoarthritis went into meltdown. I’m much better now than I was, back at yoga, walking and feeling much more myself.  One of the reasons, I was so busy, was very good though – My Chap and I got married in September 🙂  more about that in other posts 🙂

It’s never too late to spend time in the garden though, so I’ve been out tidying up, and pruning.  I was at the bottom of the garden, and hidden behind a huge bush of purple perennial wallflower, I found some Spencer sweetpeas still flowering. I was gobsmacked,  as the sweetpeas at the back door, and front door, were over about a month ago.

Pink and purple sweetpeas in tall round glass vase

9 November 2017 – In a Vase on Monday – Spencer sweetpeas with lavender

Finding the sweetpeas reminded me that I’d not joined in with Cathy and her ‘In a Vase on Monday’ over on Rambling in the Garden for over six months.  I need to rectify that!  She’s got a Vase representing fireworks this week – it looks awesome.

So here’s more about the vase and the flowers:

  • these are Spencer sweetpeas,  they grow to over 6 foot, and I love the colour combinations, and of course, the smell. I buy them as small seedlings even though they’d be easy to grow from seed. We’ve only got small window sills and no room for a greenhouse – so needs must.
  • I’ve tried dwarf sweetpeas but the Spencer ones are definitely the most reliable in soggy Salford – if they avoid the slugs 😉
  • Sweet peas have appeared many times In a Vase on Monday over a couple of years – have a look on the #sweetpea hashtag
  • I love their scent – it still manages to waft around our tiny house days after they’ve been picked.
  • The lavender come from the newer plants we bought for our wedding, joining about 7 bushes dotted around our front garden. We’d planned to use them as centre pieces at our wedding but, due to a soggy September, most had gone over by our wedding day.  All wasn’t lost though – lots of lavender confetti.
  • The vase came from a local charity shop – a pound!

Near the wallflower is an offshoot of the honeysuckle, it’s rather taken advantage of one of our garden ‘sculptures’. It had the very last of the flowers. It’s made me smile watching it overtake the poll. And much like the sweetpeas, it’s found a way forward. Not the path it was expecting, but reaching for the light and flowering, despite obstacles – a bit like me.  It’s ‘supposed’ to be growing up the fence about four foot away.  I took a photo in May for #wordlesswednesday which shows how much it’s grown

9 November 2017 – errant honeysuckle and a watering can sculpture (and yoda too)

It’s been a very difficult few years but I am so fortunate to have my Chap holding my hand (sometimes metaphorically), my family and friends all around the world, by my side.  I know I need to take care of myself too.

An empty jug (or watering can) can’t pour – Anonymous

I’ll be paying attention to self-care – mindfulness, yoga, walks, fun, rest, Earl Grey tea – the smell of lavender. #365daysofselfcare

What I do know is Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. So on that note I plan more adventures in the across the North, the world, up a hill or two, buy the sea, drinking a Pimms,  eating a cake or just chilling in the garden.  I hope you’ll join us.

And as Yoda says,

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

Advertisements
Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea milk bottle vase

In a Vase on Monday – A change is as good as a rest

A change is a good as a rest – proverb

A change of work is the best rest. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four (1888) – 2nd Sherlock Holmes novel

The more regular readers of this blog will have noticed that MOST of my flowers vases contain purple, pinks, lilac and white flowers with red appearing now and again. So perhaps people might think that’s the only colour scheme in our garden – it’s not.  I walked round looking for flowers to pick, it was a very overcast day here in Manchester, a couple of different yellow flowers popped out from the gloom.

Definitely time for a change!  So this week’s In a Vase on Monday, in a milk bottle vase, has many yellow flowers and a bit of red too.

Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea milk bottle vase

In a Vase on Monday – Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea – 26 September 2016

It looks so cheery, even though it’s feeling very Autumnal:

  • Coreopsis – sunfire – I really liked their raged edge.
  • Pansy 🙂
  • Red dianthus –these flowers have appeared in ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before:
  • Achillea – it comes in many colours and sizes. This one starts as yellow and fades to pink/yellow.  It only grows about 18 inches high.  I don’t know its name as it was a gift.  Its common name is yarrow and it’s appeared in a vase before.
  • White sweetpea – this is the very last flower from the plant at the end of the garden.

Yellow is associated with happiness and joy especially for flower bouquets it represents new beginnings – so that seems appropriate too – since I’m about to enter a new decade.

Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea milk bottle vase

Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea – 26 September 2016

Do have a look at Cathy’s flowers over on ‘Rambling in the Garden’ – she has one vase with very architectural pink Nerine which look stunning.   She has another vase which has dahlias, zinnia and Persicaria amplexicaulis as well as foliage from oca –  It’s  a New Zealand yam – I’d never heard of this before.

Continue reading

Red keep calm and carry on sign pink vase flowers

In a vase on Monday – keep calm and carry on

The future depends on what you do today.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) 

It’s been an incredibly busy Summer for us.  The organisation I work for has been through a complex restructure;  I’ve moved team, building and started in a brand new role – so there’s been alot of reading, meeting new people and setting up projects and activities.  I’m enjoying the new role and all the new challenges – rather tiring though and my arthritis and back pain have been giving me gip.   I feel like I’m trudging through treacle at the moment but I know all the knowledge and processes I’m setting up will help me later on.

I’ve been so busy, I’ve not contributed to the ‘In a Vase on Monday’ theme since June which I’ve missed very much. I’ve picked flowers fairly often, and even photographed them a few times but have always run out of time writing the ‘actual’ blog post.  I’ve been looking at everyone’s vases though – the vases and the people and their stories bring me much solace.

I’m hoping I’ll have a bit more time to blog as we head towards Christmas.  There’s less options for flowers/plants for vases but I’ll do my best.

Red keep calm and carry on sign pink vase flowers

Keep calm and carry on – it’s been hectic – In a vase on Monday – 21 September 2016

1. In a Vase on Monday

For this week’s vase, I picked some purple, lilac and pink ‘Spencer’ sweetpeas – they’ve from two different locations one at the front door (you can see them in the background) and the other near our decking at the bottom of the back garden.  The flowers have smelt wonderful. I didn’t fare quite so well with the dwarf sweetpeas – no flowers at all so I don’t think I’ll bother growing them again, I’ve tried growing them for three years but no success.  There’s so little space in our garden everything has to pull its weight.

There’s also some mini red dianthus, some white and red margarite flowers.  Also some pink Pelargonium from a huge plant which I’ve managed to overwinter three times.  There’s some purple wallflowers which survived our mild Mancunian winter – they’ve been flowering all summer too.  And of course, some lavender.  Lavender is one of my favourite plants, I adore the smell. I’ve got about 15 plants in the sunny front garden and a few in the sunniest part of the back garden.   Most of these plants have been flowering most of the summer and have bought us alot of pleasure. We eat out in the garden as much as we can – mind you the weather in Manchester this year has been very changeable (and wet alot of the time).

Continue reading

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

Love

Bec xx

 

 

 

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 – 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