Garden blogging

In a Vase on Monday – Perfect Peonies

Ok, I’m going to be very honest these are Waitrose bought peonies. They are so beautiful I couldn’t resist. Although peonies in a vase may not last long it is wonderful to be able to have a week or two enjoying them.

I found a vase I don’t often use because of the narrow neck and wide top – not all flowers lend themselves to this design because they need more support or maybe it’s my poor floral design technique! However the peonies seem to suit this shape.

What I found of interest was that although all the buds were the same size at point of sale, they have all developed at different times. This was of benefit which has been great for this short post because I managed to take a number of photos of peonies at various stages of development.

Please pay a visit to Rambling in the Garden where you will see some inspirational posts for In a Vase on Monday.

Cottage Garden, Flowers in the Garden, Garden, Garden blogging

Flowers in the Garden Early May

Oh, how glorious gardens are when the flowers start appearing.   Looking back on blog posts in previous years everything in my garden is a week or two later than usual.  We had some rain last week but not enough to really soak the soil and the temperature dropped for a week or two.  However, yesterday and today there is a distinct warmth to the air and we are due for a warm sunny week ahead.  This should bring everything on, nature has a way of catching up.

Rather than do a lot of writing in this post, I think the photos will say more than I can.  Starting off with the front garden, the lilac this year is magnificent and the perfume is whafting down the road.

Last year the Iris did remarkably well despite the snails and I am glad to say that they are looking great this year.   The Choysia on the side patio outside the kitchen door is abundant with fragrance.    

 I love the Clematis ‘Josephine’ that is scrabbling through the Elder sambucus nigra.    

 I always forget to plant something under the alliums as their leaves start to die off and look untidy when flowering.  Maybe this year I will remember; I read that Alchimilla Mollis is a good plant for this.    I bought an Erysimum Walburtons Fragrance Star a few years ago and it is still going strong.

 The Aquiligia are just about to flower and I am always so happy to see this pretty double pale blue one, which is ahead of all the others.    

 Even the strawberry plant is in flower.

 Last year I tried to raise Stock from seed and although it grew quite strong it failed to flower.  Much to my surprise, it did ok through the winter and is now in flower!

 The Dicentra is almost on its way out.  Such a shame it doesn’t flower the whole of the summer, it is such a lovely plant.   The verbascum is in flower with spikes of different colour.

 This is the bottom flower bed, with carefully contained Spanish Bluebells at the back and the forget me nots creating a blue hue.   I have managed to eradicate most of these chunky bluebells but they do give colour to the garden.   Just in front of the compost bin, there is a pretty clump of orange poppies.

 There are still a number of flowers just about to appear including three peony flowers, which is very exciting as it hasn’t flowered for the last two years.

 It is any wonder that gardens are thought of as being cathartic.

Flowers, Garden, Photography, Vegetables and fruit

End of Month View July 2011

So much has happened over the last week, with birthday celebrations and spending time with friends and family, it was only just now when reading The Patient Gardeners July End of Month View, I realised it’s the 1st of August.  I then reviewed my earlier EOMV’s and saw that the last EOMV was the video at the end of May. I missed out June!

Roses are still in bloom

My Twitter friends will know I was bought a beautiful Nikon SLR camera for my birthday.  There is so much to learn, it will take me many, many months to take photographs that are anyway near right and then there will still be more to learn.  As practice makes perfect, all these photos were taken using the new camera.  Some of the plants you will notice have droplets of water on them; I watered the garden early this morning, because, at long last we are due for a decent spell of Summer weather and it is expected to be hot today.    Yes, it’s Monday and I have not given up work, or retired (if only), but have taken a long weekend as a break and that is why I am managing to write this post during the day.

Where to begin in the garden?  The vegetables are doing well and the French Climbing Bean, Cobra, has served me (and my neighbours) well.  It is still producing beans and flowering so I am hoping I will have a lot more.

French runner beans - Cobra variety

I was very late with my tomatoes this year, and although I had planned to grow Gardeners Delight and Sungold, I have only grown Gardeners Delight.  They are looking good and I have removed several of the lower leaves to allow the sun through to ripen them.  None has ripen enough to eat, but there will be plenty when they are ready.

Tomatoes - Gardeners Delight

A neighbour gave me a yellow courgette plant and being honest I have to admit to not looking after it properly. I plonked it quickly in a pot with the intention of either moving it into a larger deeper pot, (last year I used Long Tom terracotta pots) or a Grow Bag.  As is the way of things, it got forgotten and has not done too well.  It is, however, still producing some courgettes but I am not sure how much longer.

Yellow courgette

After a warm and long dry Spring, the weather paid us back and we have had a lot of rain and it actually became quite chilly again for a while.  This put paid to my chilli and pepper plants, they have been eaten down to the stalk by the snails and what was left never recovered as it has not been warm enough.  Ah well, there is always next year.

One lovely surprise is the £1 stick bought from Poundland earlier in the year which is now producing raspberries.  I didn’t think it would fruit until next year, so with a little bit of luck and the birds staying away, I should have a crop of raspberries soon.

In order to photograph the raspberries I had to lean past the Fennel, the flowers are just beginning to seed.  I love the smell of fennel and must remember to collect the seeds.

Ladybird enjoying the Fennel

The  side garden/patio area is looking very colourful, with Montbretia, Fuchsias and Japanese Anemones all in flower.

When taking photos of the Japanese Anemones, I thought I should try my hand at the macro and exceedingly well timed a bumble bee turned up.

The other plants on the patio are my Olive tree, bought for me 10 years ago by my daughters as a 50th birthday present.  This flowers and fruits every year but to date I have never had any olives large enough to pick.  I have been told they would be very bitter anyway.

The £2.99 M&S Passion Flower, now in its 3rd year, continues to do an excellent job camouflaging the water butt by the kitchen door…

… and the Hibiscus at the bottom of the garden is flowering magnificently.

On a final note, the roses are still blooming and I found a grasshopper on one of them, who was most obliging and stayed motionless for me, while I clicked away!

Thank you Helen (Patient Gardener) for your timely reminder for the End of Month View.