Tag Archives: sweetpea

Our Shepherd’s hut, Old Brampton Derbyshire – In a Vase on Monday

Definition Glamping = a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.

“glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries”

There aren’t many things My Chap and I disagree on but CAMPING is one of them.  He’d love to be out in a tent in the middle of nowhere, with a campfire and basic facilities – he’s camped since he was a small child.

I like the great outdoors –  I like walking, hiking and gardening, of course. Definitely, I like getting away from it all, with a beautiful view, preferably by the sea.  I like eating outside when it’s warm, BUT I like my creature comforts.

When I was a child I camped with the Guides, usually in fields or orchards rather than on organised campsites.  I loved the campfire and cooking outdoors (still do), but I hated sleeping on the floor even with blow up mattress. Also, I hate being cold or wet -so this is a hazard of camping.  Generally, I’m not a fan of noisy campsites, with a club/bar etc.  Since I developed osteoarthritis, I need to sleep in a proper bed.  My Chap roles his eyes about my fussiness but understands why I’m like I am. Continue reading

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Six on Saturday – Old Brampton and Chesterfield 25 August 2018

We are away for a few days staying in a Shepherd’s Hut in Old Brampton, near Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

I am joining in with the #sixonsaturday hosted by the propagator www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

He’s got some beautiful clematis, petunias, cyclamen and a yellow potentilla this week. He lives in Reading, Berkshire close enough to hear the music from the weekend festival – his teenagers are at the festival but likely to be raiding the fridge and using the showers.   This really took me back as I went to school in Reading and often listened to the ‘sets’ from friends’ gardens.  It was a heavy rock festival then (1970s/1980s).  I’ve been now and again since then but the last time was 2007 – the band’s appearing there for the last few years haven’t been our music taste.  We still go to gigs in Manchester often 🙂 Continue reading

In a Vase on Monday: be present with yoga

“Calming the mind is yoga. Not just standing on the head.” Swami Satchidananda

This week, despite the heat in Manchester, I’ve done quite a bit of gardening in the evenings, when most of our North facing garden is in the shade.  I notice my mood is better if I’ve spent time outdoors, especially pottering around and watering the plants.  I’ve rationalised my plants into bigger pots, pushed together so that I can water everything I need to and bigger pots retain the moisture.  It’s also the first summer I’ve watered shrubs in the garden. It takes me about half an hour to water the pots (with a watering can and water from the water butts).  We have had so little rain here – and the temperatures have been in the high 20s for a couple of months.  Also, I’ve put succulents, sedums and drought tolerant plants in my hanging baskets.  Gardening helps me be mindful – as does yoga.

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7 August 2018 – posy of sweetpeas, lavender and dianthus – with The Book of You and a Be present yoga print

How yoga helps my mind, body and spirit

I’ve been practising yoga, on and off, for about 12 years, starting completely by accident.  A friend of mine had a pal who was learning to be an Iyengar yoga teacher so needed people to practise with.  It was right next to work, straight after work so it seemed a good thing to do. It changed my life.

When I was younger I had poor spacial awareness and was always tripping over, which lead to some hilarious incidents including my Steve (my former partner) pulling me out of a peat bog as I’d sunk up to my knees and was slowly falling face forward into the bog.  Another time I went flying, just as a busload of tourists came round the corner in very rural Ireland.  I was always collecting bruises from bumping into things.

It’s a long time ago, but the first things I noticed doing yoga was that it helped me stretch (especially my hamstrings), helped calm my brain as I was concentrating on breathing and the position of my limbs.  I learnt to do corpse pose (Shavasana) not ‘banana’ pose as my first Yoga teacher Jacky named it.  Yoga isn’t a quick fix – it took me about 6 weeks to see the real benefit. I carried on with Jacky’s classes and then John Aplin for years until my work pattern changed.

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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

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.

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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).

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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