In a Vase on Monday: Bohemian

Autumn has arrived, accompanied by still, chilly, misty mornings and golden sunshine. As I collected flowers this morning for my Monday vase I realised that fellow bloggers around the world will be doing the same at some stage today; a lovely thought, giving me that sense of connecting with like-minded people across the miles. 😀

This special vase* may or may not be Bohemian glass, but inspired me to try and create something romantic, gypsy-like, with a little wildness to it. I am not sure I succeeded, but the result is nonetheless pleasing!

I used Roses, Aster ‘Lutetia’, Scabiosa, Verbena, Cosmos, Helianthus, Golden Rod, Geranium, Anemone ‘Serenade’ and some sprigs of Sage, Miscanthus, Teucrium and various odds and ends of foliage.

I love this Aster, which is flowering extra long this year after all the rain we have had this summer.

Thanks go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme, where we are encouraged to create an arrangement from materials in our gardens. Do visit her to see what she and others have found this week to plonk/arrange carefully in a vase/suitable alternative receptacle, with or without props!

Happy Autumn!

(Or Spring if you are in the southern hemisphere! 🙂  )

*A gift from my neighbour‘s daughter, as a memento of her dear parents.

The Tuesday View: 19th September 2017

Yesterday was my sixth blogiversary, and I only noticed it after I had posted my vase, so I will put a note on the calendar for next year to remind me and will bake a cake to celebrate!

(Any excuse to bake a cake! 😉 )

I am not sure where those six years have gone, but then I think of how long we have lived here (12 years) and wonder again at how quickly time has flown.

Today time flew as well, and it was late afternoon by the time I got to photograph my view. Autumn shades of burnt orange, copper and golden yellow are beginning to colour the countryside here, and the garden is also looking very autumnal. The acer is gaining colour daily and every morning when I raise the blinds it makes me smile in the knowledge that it will just get better and better until mid October!

Looking down to the right, where the acer stands, the Helianthus and Sedums are a joy to see, but the rose, yellow Achillea, flowering mint and Teucrium are also providing interest in the upper part of this side of the rockery.

The early asters (Aster pyrenaeus ‘Lutetia’) are at their best now, even before the rest have begun to open. They are a very robust sort, and love this dry sunny spot in our chalky soil here.

You can see the new fresh foliage of even more Teucrium hircanicum in front of the aster… it is beginning to take over, and will be drastically reduced in winter again to keep it in check.

In the next picture, looking across from the path to the left, the grasses appear much nearer than they really are. The Perovskia is no longer so vivid, but still lovely.

If you would like to share a view of your garden as the seasons now shift, please do! And leave a link in the comments below. Thanks to those who are still joining me and posting Tuesday views! I will be winding down to a fortnightly view next month after the acer has peaked, but hope to keep it up until winter.

Happy gardening!

In a Vase on Monday: Top Ten for September

This week I am joining not only Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme, but also – for the first time – Chloris at The Blooming Garden for her series of posts where she encourages us to choose our favourite ten blooms each month.

Ten favourites in various vases!

 First of all this lovely Helianthus has outdone itself this year…

It was here when we came, but rarely did anything but produce a flower or two. Finally it is flowering profusely, but spreading profusely too!

I have combined it in this vase with my favourite Miscanthus, ‘Adagio’. I would highly recommend this dwarf variety which got established very quickly in my rockery and is a pretty focal point for much of the year.

Next, the Persicaria ‘Firetail’

It got off to a slow start in July, after a very dry spring and early summer, but has recovered magnificently. The leaves are also very pretty and although it is rather tall it never flops, even after heavy rain or wind.

The rose behind it is one my sister gave me several years ago…

It didn’t do well so I moved it, and this year it seems to have settled in at last and has flowered a second time. It smells lovely. Sorry, no name – I call it ‘Susan’. 😉

Next up is my beloved Sedum. These flowers make us think of my partner’s grandmother, as she loved them so much. In fact some of them came from her garden, so again, I have no idea what sort they are.

However, this next sedum, which is in a patio pot, is Sedum cauticola ‘Robustum’…

It fills the edges of pots nicely with its dark stems and foliage, and then the flowers are an added bonus in September and October.

Another Miscanthus, possibly ‘Flamingo’ with a slightly pink tinge, is in the next vase, along with my currently favourite Japanese Anemone ‘Serenade’ and the white Scabiosa I sowed this spring – I think they are ‘Snowmaiden’.

Last but not least, the Cosmos I have been raving about for the past few weeks – Cosmos ‘Double Click Cranberries’

Thank you to our two lovely hosts!

P.S. An extra vase for my Mum, who is feeling under the weather, and for Dad too, as they had to cancel a much-looked-forward-to short break in the south of England. xx

Sunflowers from the flower field

 

The Tuesday View: 12th September 2017

The sun came out this afternon after a damp morning, so I was glad I had waited in hope and could take some photos of the Tuesday view in bright sunshine with raindrops glistening everywhere.

The shot above was actually taken whilst balancing on the rock I place my birdbath on, with the pink rose at my feet producing more buds again. If I zoom in we can see the Aster more clearly with the Hypericum and Helianthus behind it.

The next photo is a few steps further to the right, looking down towards the giant Miscanthus at the bottom of the rockery…

Now I have taken a few steps back and am looking towards the pathway that goes down the side of the garden. You can see what a tangle the lovely Clematis tangutica becomes on this large-but-not-large-enough obelisk. I can also detect noticeable brownish-orange tinges to the Acer.

And as we walk down the path and look left, between the Clematis and the Acer we can see my beloved dwarf Miscanthus ‘Adagio’ in front of the giant Miscanthus. Teucrium, Sedum, Perovskia and yellow Potentilla complete the picture.

I wonder what pleasures your garden is bringing as the seasons change. If you would like to join me in posting a view of one part of your garden each week, just leave a link below in the comments so that we can find you.

🙂

Have a lovely week!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Late Summer Lusciousness

That blue sky in the first picture below sadly didn’t last beyond midday, but was welcome after a chilly week with plenty of rain and drearier skies. Summer has definitely left, as have most of the swallows, but the garden is still looking quite summery and is clearly reluctant to stop producing lovely flowers. So I am again joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme. 😀

I started off with my Tree of Life vase, which I really wanted to use as the seasons change, and I was intent on filling it! The Cosmos have been lovely these past few weeks, so I picked some of the pale pink ones along with a couple of ‘Picotee’ and ‘Cranberry Double Click’. Pink seems to be the main colour right now, with the small rose flowering once again and the Sedums blushing beautifully. A few went in the vase, along with a couple of the deeper pink Japanese Anemones (‘Serenade’) and some of the various Scabiosa grown in pots this summer. But then this golden Helianthus was shining so brightly I couldn’t resist adding it too. I think it makes the golden centres of the Anemones stand out even better.

The first of these tiny violet Asters are flowering and a sprig actually got trimmed by mistake, so I added that too…

A few white Scabiosa and some of the lovely white Verbena grown as an annual added a few lighter highlights to the arrangement.

I included some of that wonderful Teucrium that has been flowering for months and at this time of year threatens to take over the whole rockery. (Great chunks will be uprooted in winter!)

And of course I just had to use some grasses as well – Miscanthus and Pennisetum.

As autumn apporaches, or spring in the southern hemisphere, do visit Cathy to see what fellow gardeners around the globe are finding to put in their vases this Monday!

The Best Pesto I Have Ever Eaten!

The title of this post refers to the compliment I received from friends who are not vegan, when I served up our homemade vegan basil pesto for dinner recently. I was chuffed, and my Man of Many Talents thought it was time I shared my secret recipe. So here it is!

Vegan Basil Pesto

For 4-6 servings:

  • 3 cups/45 g fresh basil leaves (homegrown is best! 😉 )
  • 90 g pine nuts (they are expensive, but splash out on the best quality you can find)
  • 15 g cashews
  • 4 level tbsps nutritious yeast (essential for texture and the slight ‘cheesy’ flavour)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (fresh if possible)
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes (the sort that come in a jar, marinated in oil), roughly chopped
  • 1 – 2 tbsps of the sun-dried tomato oil
  • 100 ml of mild olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a mixer until chunky. If the mixture is too thick you can either add a drop more oil or – if it is being eaten the same day – a splash of water to thin it slightly.

Serve over hot pasta and let all that sunshiny flavour tickle your tastebuds! Very good with a tomato salad and a cold drink. 🙂

Do you love basil too? What sorts do you grow and what do you use it for?

The Tuesday View: 5th September 2017

Thanks to those who posted a Tuesday View last week in my absence. I spent a few days in the UK and enjoyed some fabulous weather over the bank holiday weekend in my Mum’s pretty garden. 🙂

After just a short time away from my own garden I can now see some real change. The view is somewhat disshevelled after some more really hot days took their toll, some real downpours flattened the Perovskia (again!) and now cooler nights are leading to foliage colour fading to yellow. Leaves are beginning to litter the beds and lawn. Yes, autumn is on its way.

What has struck me most this week though is the change in light. On a bright sunny Monday afternoon bursts of sunshine were interrupted with a few moody clouds… Here are a few photos in a slide show, so you can see what I mean.

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Have you noticed the changing season yet? Do share a view if you can, and visit those who are linking in below!

Next week I should have got round to tidying up a bit and hope to show a few close-ups. 😉

Have a wonderful week!