Wordless Wednesday: Curlilocks

Curlilocks

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Singing a Happy (Oppor)tune

IMG_2705It’s always good to be home again after a few days, or even a day for that matter, and reacquaint myself with the garden. Taking photographs as I did so this morning I thought I might post an early EOMV, but realised it wasn’t August till Friday and changed my mind as another opportunity arose. The first thing we noticed when we pulled up outside the house yesterday was a skip in front of one of our neighbour’s – clearly being filled with soil from the footings being dug for their small extension, started in our absence

IMG_2686Not one to let the grass grow under my feet, nor waste perfectly good soil, I checked if they minded us having it – and have already barrowed several loads up the lane to our garden, where the streamside area with the three pillar fruit trees will be transformed in due course to another border. This border wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye a couple of weeks ago and was one of those ideas that just appear out of nowhere – the three young fruit trees will be moved to the fruit cage leaving me with a decent size border to play with. Definitely something to be excited about as I hadn’t anticipated more planting space – planting space which is currently suggesting a largely spring interest border with lots of primulas and who knows what else. And with a witch hazel already at the near end, others on the other side of the path and towards the apple trees, well, I can guess what else might be planted….

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In a Vase on Monday: Not at Home

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Going Wild

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Travelling north on Wednesday to spend a few days in Glasgow to catch some of the Commonwealth Games we stopped at Sizergh Castle near Kendal for a break and a walk round the gardens. There was an impressive rockery along one side of the building, built from sections of limestone pavement at a time when the desecration of unique natural environments was neither here nor there, and four Plant Heritage National Collections of ferns (Osmunda, Dryopteris filix mas, Dryopteris affinis and Asplenium scolopendrium).

IMG_2626The highlight of the visit though was a temporary wild and woolly exhibition on the wooded hillside – dozens of knitted and felted creature in or on trees, on the woodland floor or, in the case of a large flamingo, flaked out on a bench.

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Wordless Wednesday: Here be Dragons

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In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Edge Technology

IMG_2602In truth, the only technology involved was the mechanics of the secateurs as today’s textural treats were snipped from the cutting beds!

IMG_2598Having been determined to stick to contributions purely from these beds today, I ignored the call of those lofty lilies which will have to wait their turn and risk having strutted their stuff too early if they want a turn in a Monday vase. As only token cuttings have been made so far it was about time they achieved their true purpose, so we have: orlaya, Ammi majus flowers and seedheads, Briza maxima, poppy seedheads, nigella flowers and seedheads and Dianthus ‘Green Trick’. I had intended to include Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’ but there were only 3 partially open flowers, all on quite short stems, and they quickly drooped although will no doubt perk up later – but the vase certainly looks better without them.

IMG_2600The Ammi majus flowers also look less happy when cut although the seedheads stand up for themselves, but the orlaya adds both texture and movement as does the briza and look set to be great additions to future vases. The nigella flower with its feathery sepals demands to be touched and its seedhead is no less desirable, and whilst the dianthus is equally tactile the one head and small apology for a head at the front of the vase from the three plants I had from Sarah Raven shows they are not yet very productive. The seedheads of Papaver ‘Black Peony’ are another story of mixed success – lovely dark flowers, although not as double and ruffled and peony like as the seed packet suggested, but each flower has lasted barely a day and there was never more than one open at a time so they will never be contenders for a vase in this form, more’s the pity. Still, the seedheads are pretty!

Ideally I would have liked a smaller vase for today as the stems were fairly short, but having decided it needed a solid colour this was the smallest green vase that would hold this quantity of stems. Realising it also required a non-busy background to set off the different shapes the photos were taken in our downstairs spare bedroom, where the discreet blue pattern on the wallpaper could have taken a blue instead of green vase, but I wasn’t going to change it at that stage.

Quite a ‘plonked’ vase today, but I particularly like the tactile quality – and it was completely different from last week’s which I was able to enjoy for several days, particularly with the hemerocallis opening up a new bud every day and the crocosmia, even when the petals dropped, maintaining its stature all week like a heavily lacquered hairdo. Who knows what next week will bring – or what other contributors will have in their vases today? If you would like to join in, post your vases or containers of self-picked material (keep an open mind) and link it to this post, with a link from this post back to yours so we can see what will be giving you pleasure this week.

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Posted in Being Creative, cutting beds, Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Missing the Cut: Neither Use nor Ornament

IMG_2595IMG_2593Well, OK it’s pretty when you look at it close up, but when it’s up THERE (about 8 feet) and I’m down HERE (about 5 feet) AND it’s in the middle of a wide border AND there’s about 8 feet of stem and beetle nibbled leaves between those satin pink flowers and ground level one must surely wonder what the purpose of these ‘tree lilies’ are…. Even the lily beetles have balked at scaling its full height and I certainly couldn’t tackle any of them if they did make it to the top – not safely, anyway! They demand more in the support stakes too, outgrowing the tallest stakes we have, hence this 40º or so list.

At least, I thought, they could appear in a vase on a Monday, or indeed as individual flowers in several vases – now that WOULD make a statement, both useful AND ornamental. This was not to be, however, as all the heat and sunshine we have been experiencing has chivvied them up and now the buds are opening in a sudden flurry and I have already mentally planned next week’s vase whilst the following week will be a vase-away-from-home on Monday….

Neither use nor ornament, like I said.

Posted in bulbs, corms and tubers, Gardening, Gardens | Tagged | 22 Comments