In a Vase on Monday – It’s Hot! Hot! Hot!

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Following on from last week’s In a Vase on Monday I have used another mug from the kitchen cupboard.  In the past few posts I’ve found a container and then picked the flowers.  This time I knew I wanted to use the last of the hot flowers in the garden.  Once I had my selection I searched for the best way to display and compliment them and found this cheerful mug at the back of the mug cupboard.
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The crocosmia is almost over but I was able to retrieve a few sprigs with flowers at the top of stems.
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The Calendula is also slowly coming to an end, and sadly it is falling foul of mildew.  Now is the time for the nasturtiums to start taking over the flowerbed and is winding its way around every thing at the moment!

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For a little bit of greenery I have used Cosmos leaves.

Here is my list of my Hot! Hot! Hot! In a Vase on Monday:

  • nasturtiums
  • calendula
  •  crocosmia
  • cosmos leaves

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Thank you Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme, which ensures I do regularly pick flowers from the garden to enjoy indoors.

Parham House and Garden – Glasshouse

At the beginning of July we bought a season ticket for Parham Garden we only have one more visit and it’s paid for itself, then we can continue to visit for free!

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We went again yesterday and having written several blog posts about  Parham I decided to go with a specific theme for this post.

Initially I was going to photograph unusual plants or plants that we may not use in a smaller garden due to their size.   The one above is an Eupatorium  which can grow to almost 7ft, far too big and overpowering for my small garden.

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However, after walking into the glasshouse full to bursting with Pelargoniums, Plectranthus, Begonias and Heliotrope, a virtual bee heaven, I decided to concentrate on this part of the garden.  The temperature inside here was comfortable, and not that sticky humid heat you often meet in a greenhouse.   I did look up if there was any difference between a greenhouse and a glasshouse and apparently the only difference is in the name.

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There was an interesting scent wafting about which, like a bloodhound, made me sniff around to locate where it was coming from.   I honed in eventually to the flower above.  We hunted under the leaves to see if there was a label but with no luck.  Maybe you can name it.image

This interesting, unusual plant is Brilliantasia Owariensis.  We continued in our dig around for the hope that some plants were labelled and luckily this one was.   I Googled it for a bit more information and was puzzled when searching using the full name only Spanish pages came up,  but when changing the search criteria, dropping the Owariensis part, lots of information on Brilliantasia Subulugurica, a plant from Zimbabwe, came up. It certainly was different.

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Another pretty bluish/purple flower is Tibouchina urvilleana from Brazil.  This was the only glasshouse plant we could find for sale in the plant nursery.  That is how we know what it was called.

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There are many fascinating fuchsias, one in particular is the above Fuchsia Boliviana ‘Alba’ from Peru.

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This bright red flower is Begonia Fuchsioides it was such a bright red that the camera on my iPhone, usually great for photos, only managed to produce a slightly blurred pic.

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As I leave the glasshouse, this is a photograph from the other end, with a very pretty salmon pink fuchsia in the foreground.

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I couldn’t resist the temptation to continuing taking photographs after we left the glasshouse.   Rather than stray away from the sole purpose of blogging about the glasshouse, I am ending with just one pic of the garden.   The array of sunflowers was a sight to behold, from little bright yellow ones to the tallest bronze flowers you could hope to see.

OPENING TIMES
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holidays until the end of September. In October Parham is open on Sundays only.

House | 14:00 – 17:00
Gardens | 12:00 – 17:00
Big Kitchen Restaurant | 12:00 – 17:00
Last Admission | 16:30

Parham Plant & Garden Shop is open to visitors free of charge from 10:30am – 12noon on standard open days (excluding event days) and from 12noon to 5pm for paying Garden visitors.

The next event at Parham is the HARVEST FAIR on 24th and 25th September from 10:30 to 17:00

Live cookery demonstrations, deer walks, gun dog displays, fungi talks, working horse cart rides in the Parkland, falconry displays, Tudor cooking demonstrations and Tudor dancing in the House. Wide array of stalls selling food, drink and country wares.

In a Vase on Monday – Cheerful Cosmos

 

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” – Oscar Wilde

One of the greatest things about blogs and Instagram is that it is full of ideas which sets the mind racing, well it does mine anyway.   You can see something and think wow, I could do that, and this is exactly what happened when I saw my blogger friend Elizabeth Musgrave from Welsh Hills Again had posted  a pretty photo of flowers in a mug on Instagram.    I ask her forgiveness for taking her idea and posting my version for In a Vase on Monday.

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After a considerable amount of heavy rain, and an unseasonable wind,  there is a lot in the garden lying flat, including the Ladies Mantle Achemilla Mollis which is now almost past its prime.   I find if I use it for arrangements when it gets to this stage, it just sheds seeds and makes a bit of a mess.   Fortunately I managed to cut a few sprigs that were still a lovely lime green before it changed to a manky khaki.

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The one lesson I still need to grasp is that anything will make a vessel for flowers.  I am still in the mindset that a flower arrangement equals the need for a purpose made vase.  This, of course, is total rubbish!  The above mug is a very pretty shape and from Laura Ashley.  I chose it because the colours match the shades of the Cosmos from the garden and is an ideal height for a small posy.

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This is an ‘aerial’ view of today’s posy.  I have grown from seed a large and varied selection of Cosmos this year, some have single petals and others have the interesting double petals known as Sea Shells.  I have added some Verbena Bonariensis, which is always good for colour without taking up space.

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You see, I am beginning to learn a few things about making an In a Vase on Monday. Pop over to Cathy’s blog In a Vase on Monday.

In a Vase Monday – Colour, Colour, Colour


There is a lot of bright colour in the garden, so today I have made a small collection of orange, pinks and purples.

I’ve used:

– crocosmia

– cosmos

– calendula

– verbena bonariensis

Climbing on the small step ladder to look at the collection on the top of the kitchen cupboard I chose a bright Spanish vase.  I don’t use this very often because I think it detracts from the flowers but on this is occasion it compliments.


Thank you Cathy from Rambling in the Garden for hosting this Monday meme.  Cathy has also gone for bright colours lets see how many other bloggers have done the same.

Gravetye Manor Garden – A Dream of a Garden

Special occasions need to be celebrated in special places.

It was my good, long term friend’s 50th birthday on 18 July and it didn’t take much thinking about somewhere nice to go on that day.   We are very lucky to have Gravetye Manor about a 50 minute drive away, near East Grinstead.   It is an impressive country house hotel with a beautiful William Robinson garden.

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William Robinson, a professional gardener and author of The English Flower Garden moved to Gravetye in 1844 where he started to put his garden design idea into place.  He lived at Gravetye until his death in 1935.   In 2010 it was bought by Jeremy Hoskin who has turned it into the beautiful hotel it is today.    Tom Coward joined as head gardener in 2011 having previously worked with Fergus Garrett at Great Dixter.

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The garden is not open to the public unless you are eating or sleeping at Gravetye.   I have visited the garden on several occasions and booked in with friends for a rather splendid afternoon tea at £25 per head, and it goes to show the popularity of the garden that when trying to arrange tea, they were fully booked for many weeks ahead.   We pushed the boat out and booked a table in the Michelin Star restaurant for lunch, it was a milestone birthday after all.

We were met at the top of the steps, welcomed to Gravetye and taken through to the garden where we had pre-lunch non-alcoholic cocktails and, perused the delicious menu.   The meal was everything you would expect, starting with small amuse bouche of a warm pea veloute and roasted sesame seeds, ending with coffee and petit fours.  Each course was explained to us when it was brought to the table and we were not fussed over, although well looked after.  There is nothing more annoying than being asked every few moments if everything was alright.   Once well fed and watered, including a rather nice Picpoul de Pinet, (a Languedoc French white) we headed off to the garden, which was the main reason we were there.

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It was an exceptionally hot afternoon and we purposely planned not to visit the whole garden, the above map gives you a good idea of  its size.   We did manage most of it though.

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You can book a garden tour which includes a talk by Tom Coward as he takes you around the garden followed by lunch.  The small group above were enjoying being guided by Tom, and although we seemed to be following them a around we were keen not to look as though we were tagging on.  This long border faces over the wild grass meadow down to the lake.

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The garden is full of exciting plants, including a creamy white hydrangea with blooms the size of your head.  I particularly liked the creamy verbascum growing through the hydrangea.

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Gravetye is one of those gardens full of photographic opportunities, such as the larkspur, rudbeckia and poppy heads, with the stone walls of the house as a backdrop.

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The kitchen garden is a sheer delight and full of interesting and varied produce which supplies the restuarant.   Apparently in July 30 punnets a day of strawberries are harvested.  We were told that the head chef very much dictates what is grown.  He will make suggestions which are trialed and if successful then given more planting space the next year.   It is at the top of the hill and in the heat of the afternoon we didn’t linger too long and set off to the orchard and the greenhouses.

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As you can imagine a greenhouse on a hot day is not somewhere you want to stay for long but we were blown away by the size of the peaches and their sweet, tropical, aromatic, aroma hit you as you entered.  Such temptation!

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We didn’t have the afternoon tea but I wanted to leave you with a photo of the tea I had with my friend Sandra in September 2014.  We sat in the patio part of the garden at the side of the house which overlooks the lake.  This is the link to that particular post, you will see the garden is still beautiful in September.

Chilling Out in the Gravetye Manor Gardens

If you have the opportunity to visit Gravetye Manor either for tea, lunch or staying as a special occasion, it is somewhere not to be missed and really should go on your ‘To Do’ list.

Gravetye Manor is in East Grinstead, West Sussex. The garden is open to hotel and restaurant guests. Pre-booked tours of the garden are available for small groups. Contact the reception team on 01342 810567 for further information. Check out their website http://www.gravetyemanor.co.uk.