Flowers, Garden blogging, In a Vase on Monday, Photography

In a Vase on Monday – Being Non-symmetrical

Yeah!  This week for In a Vase on Monday I am displaying flowers, not bought from a shop, or cut from the garden flower patch, but a little posy chosen from pots on my patio.   Whilst I was deadheading and I thought to myself there was no reason why I couldn’t arrangement a few in a small jug.

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I dug out a very pretty Royal Albert China cream mug from the cupboard – the pattern is called ‘moss rose’ which in itself is floral and eminently suitable.

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I arranged the posy in the jug very carefully and, because I have OCD tendencies, I tried to make it look symmetrical, but it didn’t work because with a handle one side and a pouring lip the other, the jug itself is not a uniform shape. Then having visited the many contributions to Rambling in The Garden’s weekly meme and seen how clever people are in their displays, I did a little rearranging.

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The more I looked at it, the more I realised that with the handle on one side, it would look a more interesting composition with the Angeliona pointing out the other, a bit like a teapot spout,  even though I say it myself, I’m quite pleased with the finished article!

The flowers used are Verbena ‘peaches and cream’, Angeliona ‘raspberry’ the colour picks up the roses on the jug, Achillea ‘terracotta’ (although looks more yellow to me!) and Lewisia Cotyledon.  Oh and I put in a few sprigs of Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla’ for added perfume.

I hope you like my non-symmetrical posy.  For some great ideas on arrangements please pop over to The Rambling Garden. 

container planting, Flowers in the Garden, Garden blogging

Six on Saturday – Patio Planting 23-06-2018

I am an infrequent contributor to Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator Blog but coming back from my holiday and welcomed by a glorious display of colour on the patio I have to share them with you.1. My Container Garden 28550C20-5A53-4A9D-83C9-F2F2DE717D7F2158B714-66B3-4929-90B3-B9158559B776It wasn’t deliberate that the brights are on one side and the gentle shades are on the other, somehow it just developed that way.2. Gentle bluesF9BC0163-68ED-4CB9-9ACE-4B42085B75E3The above container has hidcote lavender, white petunia, scaevola and brachyscome.  I had been looking for a Salvia when making up the planting but it wasn’t in the garden centre at the time so I plumped for the lavender.3. Black and white2FFA7EE2-EF1B-4E88-90FA-F2CF882AB9BDThis is my black and white pot with petunia ‘black velvet’, angelonia ‘carrara’, the beautiful vanilla scented nemesia ‘Wisley vanilla’ and calibrachoa ‘black cherry’.  4. Sunshine3B41B16F-9686-42A8-9299-A97C6A3CA813I call this my sunshine pot.  It needs much more attention than the others because the bidens need regular deadheading and, as you can see, having been away there is a lot of deadheading to do.  I have overplanted it with the bidens ‘charm’ so that is another job to thin it out.  The other plants are dahlietta ‘coby’  and a trailing golden  lysymachia. 5. All the CoralsDDD1E61A-B6CC-41D0-A483-E0FC5146A618I found a beautiful coral ‘pelargonium’ in the garden centre tucked behind loads of reds so grabbed it quickly and hunted around for matching plants.  I came away with a trailing verbena ‘peaches and cream’ and calibrachoa ‘orange’ .6. A Rockery collection31F04DC0-CAD1-4F84-9363-3DCD979D1ECDThe last of my six is a small collection of rockery plants.  My patio is south facing and bakes in sunshine all day, apart from a couple of hours in the middle of the day when the sun is behind the trees, so this little collection are more than happy.  There is a white osteospermum, a very pretty lewisia in shades of pink to peach flowers and an armeria ‘ballerina lilac’.That’s my Six on Saturday for this week.  Hop over to The Propagator Blog to check out the Six on Saturday posts from other bloggers.

EOMV, Garden blogging

End of Month View – May 2018

They say better late than never! No longer the owner of a garden I was feeling a little melancholy, to say the least, when reading the links to the various blog posts for the End of Month View. Whilst looking at the photos of other gardeners flowers and plants I realised there is no reason why I can’t still join in even though I no longer have a garden.

I left my lovely garden in Worthing at the end of April, moved to Emsworth and now only have a patio, however I do have an overgrown bindweed choked allotment that I offered to look after whilst waiting for my own to come up.

It is only half a plot, owned by an elderly lady who is loathe to relinquish it (naughty!) and advertised for someone to look after it. Whilst not ideal, it is something to do until either I am offered another plot or I can persuade the lady to pass it on to me, which can be done apparently if we send joint letters to the council. It is so overgrown, but has lots of wonderful fruit bushes. I am making myself work on one area at a time and not spend any money!

The other gardening project I am involved with, (again not mine!) is helping my daughter and son in law renovate their large overgrown garden. I have written several blog posts on our progress titled Restoring a Hampshire Garden. They are both still learning and I have given them an idea of what to plant and in what positions. Also I brought a lot of plants from my old garden for transplanting into theirs. There were a number of precious plants with memories that I was not going to leave behind. Last week we planted the grasses, including a rather beautiful Pennisetum ‘Karley rose’, Penstemon ‘Husker Red’, Dahlia ‘Preference’ and a bright pink echinacea.

As for my own personal gardening, I am getting into container gardening in a big way! A couple of years ago I completed an online course for container gardening with Learning With Experts, and my tutor was the inspirational Harriet Rycroft. With extra words of advice from Harriet plus the likes via Instagram I have been busy planting my own container garden just outside my patio doors.

The patio faces south, and is bathed in sunshine from early morning to late afternoon. There are a lot of trees around and I have had an issue with squirrels digging up the pots. One morning I came out to find all my freesia bulbs missing. Magpies and pigeons are also a nuisance.

Turning to good old Google, I read that chilli flakes and especially Birds Eye chillies were an excellent deterrent. I added gravel around the base of all plants and gave them a liberal sprinkling of chillies and so far, fingers crossed, the squirrels have kept a wide birth.

Talking about trees, there is a fabulous Monterey Cyprus opposite the entrance drive which has a tree preservation order. It does block out the sun for a couple of hours mid day, but that’s no great loss, a little shade can be a good thing.

There you go, that is my End of Month View, and although I no longer have my own garden I am keeping very busy. It is very hot working on the allotment during the day so I am trying to go early evening and soon hope to be able to post some photos of it’s progress, but it’s a bit daunting and sometimes soul destroying. The bind weed grows overnight, apart from pulling it up daily I can’t really do anything constructive until the autumn and the slugs have eaten all my sunflowers – but that’s gardening for you!

Garden blogging, Gardening Course

MyGardenSchool – Container Gardening Week 1

Even at my age I love to learn.  You never know everything and there is a wealth of information out there to be drawn on.   When MyGardenSchool asked me if I would be interested in reviewing one of their many on line gardening courses, I said yes eagerly.    The course was offered to me as a free course and all they require in return is my unbiased opinion and feedback on my blog as to how I find it. 

  
The next step was to decide which of the many and diverse courses on offer, most of which are 4 weeks, I was spoilt for choice, from garden design to garden history and everything I between.  Being a very amateur photographer I was drawn to the course run by Clive Nichols called Flower Photography Master Class, which I dismissed as I needed a bit more paraphanalia that I have at the moment.   Eventually I chose Container Gardening with Harriet Ryecroft as the tutor as I thought I would benefit from some advice and guidance on container planting.  I always end up with an eclectic jumble which doesn’t always look as though much thought had been given to the placing and, more to the point, planting. 

 
The on line course is a virtual classroom in which we can interact with fellow classmates and our tutor.  There are weekly assignments to upload which are then assessed and critiqued by Harriet. 

On Wednesday (2nd September) I received my first video tutorial with accompanying notes.  Week 1 was Enhancing Your Garden with Containers.   Harriet took us through various styles, suggestions and ideas with some great photos, which I found instructive as there were a lot of points I had never thought to consider.   Our assignment was to select 4 containers, explain why we liked them, where we would place them in the garden and why.  Harriet responded with some points which I will take on board, for example reproducing some of the border planting into the containers on the patio, thus bringing the two parts of the garden together.

  
Initially it looked as though I was going to be the only one on the course, but now there are three of us.  It will be fun to draw on each other’s views on planting and containers.  I have been somewhat challenged with the first assignment as the Garden School website was updated when the course started and, as with anything to do with computers and technology, there have been a few glitches.  These are slowly being ironed out and it is an exciting and vibrant looking website.   It is still a little cumbersome using my iPad, although I have found a way around this and, unfortunately, I still can’t log on to my laptop but as I said these are small glitches and easily sorted. 

Completing the assignments don’t look as though they are going to be too onerous or time consuming.  There are no limitations on the number of words we need to write which is great, and I found, on this assignment anyway, the only thing really required was the time and thought to look for the 4 containers but once on a roll it was fun.

Now I am looking forward to Week 2 – Principles of Success with container Gardening which starts on Wednesday.