Looking Good and Giving Me Pleasure Today…

… are the roses, both blooms and quantity of buds, like ‘Madam Alfred Carrière’:

IMG_7352(and look at that sky…!) … ‘Zephirine Drouhin’:

IMG_7353and ‘Munstead Wood’, so much happier now she is out of her pot, albeit a large one:

IMG_7359… the Winter Sunshine sweet peas in the greenhouse and the first outdoor sweet pea:

IMG_7349 IMG_7350…the cutting beds filling up (and the greenhouses emptying!):


… the only delphinium (‘Camelot’) I have ever got as far as flowering, now in its third year and even bigger and sturdier:

IMG_7354…popular Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ strutting its stuff next to one of the many alliums that are bursting into bloom:

IMG_7355… a single ranunculus in bloom, my success rate over the years being about 0.1%:

IMG_7356… that glorious patchwork of rhododendrons, epimedium, Geranium phaeum and Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ in the woodland edge border:

IMG_7358… our pink hawthorn flowering properly for the first time:

IMG_7360… and lastly the wisteria, well on the way to making its annual floral statement (and yes, Christina, it does have a fragrance – how could I have doubted it?!):

IMG_7361I had taken these photographs of what has been giving me the greatest pleasure on recent rambles (not forgetting Wednesday’s aquilegias too), then saw that Christina of My Hesperides Garden has linked a similar post to Gillian’s on her Country Garden blog, so I have decided to do the same. Do check out their blogs to see what is looking good in their gardens today.

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Wordless Wednesday: One, Two, Miss a Few…


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In a Vase on Monday: (Quarter) Pint Size

IMG_7315Having spotted three lily of the valley blooms at the edge of the hedge border I decide to celebrate their presence by using them as the basis for today’s vase. Contrary to many other gardeners’ experiences it has been a struggle to get them to establish here at all – so three  blooms can be seen as a small triumph. A similar reluctance to establish is shown by other supposedly rampant growers like pachysandra, ajuga and even forget-me-nots, none of which I am not too unhappy about, but I have hankered after a patch of lily of the valley for a long time and tried on several occasions. Poor things – I bemoan their lack of presence then pluck them as soon as they appear!

IMG_7316Complementing their pristine and diminutive whiteness, the little milk bottle (yes, quarter of a pint) also holds the sparse blooms of slow-to-establish Epimedium x youngianum ‘Niveum’ with a few of its leaves, the whitest flower heads of grown-from-seed Linaria ‘Pretty in Pink’, Aquilegia ‘Variable White Double’ from Touchwood seeds, a single polemonium leaf, white heads of snowy woodrush Luzula nivea and self seeded greater quaking grass, Briza maxima. I am becoming increasingly fond of both these grasses which are pretty, graceful and useful.

IMG_7317Pint size props are the tiny crate of milk bottles and a natural milky quartz crystal point, creating a display that is very different from last week’s glowing embers.

Wherever we are in the world it seems that most of us Monday vase makers are suddenly finding we have plenty of choice again – with apologies to those in the southern hemisphere who are approaching their leaner season. Regardless of the season, most of us have still come up with vases week in, week out, as we have learned how much pleasure there is to be gained by the experience. Do join us if you haven’t already done so, leaving links to and from this post so we can share your pleasure.


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Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: Unblemished

GBFD.hostasMay16Please visit Christina’s blog at My Hesperides Garden for more foliage day posts – thank you for hosting, Christina.

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IMG_7313Creative glimmer
Magical transformation
Stump becomes toadstool

Creative glimmer, magical transformation
Magical transformation, stump becomes toadstool

Joining in with Ronovan’s haiku challenge (challenge words magic and glimmer) and Sandra at Wild Daffodil‘s 52 week photo challenge (challenge word frivolous); thanks to both of them for hosting and now watch this space for the magical transformation and decide for yourself whether it is frivolous or not…

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Wordless Wednesday: The First Roses


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In a Vase on Monday: Fiery Spirit

IMG_7298With The Wedding flowers and a wild flower vase at my Mum’s it seems some time since I have put together a ‘proper’ vase so was delighted to have the opportunity again this Monday.

The tulips I showed yesterday are past their peak and were unlikely to last long in a vase, but I couldn’t resist including a single ‘Irene Parrot’ and a clutch of ‘National Velvet’, all part of Peter Nyssen’s Harlequin Mixture. Other fiery contributors were Tulip batalini IMG_7303‘Bronze Charm’, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, Cheiranthus allionii and a red/orange aquilegia (grown from seed), Anemone ‘Hollandia’ and foliage of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ and fresh bronze leaves of Epimedium. They were placed in a dull grey Prinknash Pottery jug and accompanied by a large piece of locally mined coal and a hand polished carnelian. That parrot tulip is really something, isn’t it?

What box of delights will you share be sharing with us today? Just pick from your garden or forage locally and pop it in a vase or other container and provide links to and from your blog post. See you soon!



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