In a Vase on Monday: Red Chief

A couple of weeks ago I mistakenly showed a picture of my pinkish Miscanthus claiming it was my favourite – Adagio… well, I was wrong! ย Now the labels are becoming visible again as things gradually die back, I see it was actually ‘Red Chief’, and my Adagios are either side of it. This explains the distinctive pinkish tinge. (I have corrected that post already!)

Anyway, here is Red Chief, looking pinker than ever…

… along with some of my other grasses, some faded Verbena bonariensis and a few sprigs of my no-name pink Heuchera that has been flowering non-stop for months now. For such tall thin stems I chose my test tube vases.

The other grasses are Briza maxima, Calamagrostis, Miscanthus Adagio, Pennisetum (Japonica and viridescens) and Panicum virgatum ‘Rehbraun’.

I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme which certainly brightens up my Mondays and hopefully yours too! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜‰

In a Vase on Monday: Two-Tone

Happy to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden on this sunny (!) November morning for her weekly vase meme!

I was intending to cut the last of the Scabious flowers for a vase today, but when I saw they were smothered in hungry bees I just had to leave them standing. Instead, I salvaged some Euphorbia I had chopped down yesterday as it had flopped in the damp weather, and added a few of the late Cosmos. Yes, they survived another frost! The result is a bit odd, but nonetheless pleasing for a November vase. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The gloves on the photo are a reminder to take care when cutting Euphorbia due to the sap, which can cause allergies and burns. I ย must admit I have not cared much about this before and have never had problems, but recently my skin has become sensitive to grasses, so I am not taking any risks – hence the new gauntlet style gloves with nice long sleeves to protect my wrists. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The lime green of this Euphorbia (E. seguieriana ssp niciciana) has been so vibrant since the spring and I have plans to put another one in the sunshine bed next year.

The sempervivums in the background are spending the winter on my potting bench in the warmest spot under the balcony where they should be nice and dry.

Iย wonder if you still have flowers to share today – do visit Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) to see what her lovely garden has offered her this week.

And Happy November!

๐Ÿ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ

The Butterfly Bed, October 2019

This time last year I started planting up my brand new flower bed. A year on it looks like it has been there forever. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย It has been amazing all summer, despite the drought, and with some welcome rain in the autumn it has continued to attract butterflies until today.

We have had no end of Painted Ladies all summer in all sizes and some very pale and washed out but with exactly the same markings as this bright one pictured above. The German name ‘Distelfalter’ – Thistle Butterfly – reveals its favourite plant, and we have plenty of them both in and around the garden! It has enjoyed the Verbena bonariensis, Buddleia and Cosmos especially.

Another butterfly was caught with my camera the other day. I thought it was a Silver Washed Fritillary, but now think it may have been a Queen of Spain Fritillary. In any case it also loved the Verbena. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have also seen Great Tits eating the Verbena seeds, which surprised me.

There are four Buddleias which I think attract the butterflies most in summer, but they are practically over now. Currently it is the Aster that is grabbing all the attention in this bed – not only that of the bees, hoverflies etc, but mine too!

Aster pringlei ‘Pink Star’ is leaning at a rather odd angle I’m afraid, as a storm in September threatened to topple it completely and it was propped up as best I could without damaging it. The butterflies – especially Peacocks – have been visiting regardless, and the bees love it!

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ has just got better and better since the heatwave in July which caused it to stop flowering almost completely. The little Achillea next to it is a relatively new addition. It is called ‘Pomegranate’ which describes the colour pretty well. Although we have wild Achillea all over the garden, the ones planted in the flower beds have not thrived, so I am hoping this one will do better.

Here is a wider view of both Pink Star and Rozanne.

Mmmm… Miscanthus!

It is one of my favourite plants! This is ‘Adagio’, chosen because I grew it in the old garden and it is a relatively compact one. I have planted other Miscanthus, but they need another year or two to get established it seems. Adagio must be a strong one to have done so well in such a short space of time. The Gaura in front of it in this photo was planted in spring and will probably not get through the winter, but it has been a wonderful splash of pink here all year. (18th Nov: Correction! This pink one in the photo is actually Miscanthus ‘Red Chief’ and Adagio is next to it…)

Finally, the hardy Scabiosa (S. caucasica ‘Perfection Blue’) which I grew from seed have flowered on and off all summer and already set seed with new plants appearing. The flowers are about 8-10cm across, and such a beautiful shade of blue… I really recommend this plant!

So, all in all it has been a good year for the Butterfly Bed. Next year I will try harder to get photos of the other butterflies visiting.

Have you had many butterflies this year? Which was most common? I would also love to hear what plants you grow for attracting butterflies.

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday and a great week. Thanks for visiting!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Hello Autumn!

The last day of summer was warm and mostly sunny – perfect for gathering some flowers for a vase to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first flower I chose was my Aster pringlei ‘Pink Star’ – a tall and airy plant with lots of colour impact in the butterfly bed. The Verbena bonariensis next to it went perfectly. Then I added some Miscanthus and Pennisetum, a Cranberry Cosmos, some silvery Artemisia foliage and a couple of sprigs of pink Gaura.

A second posy of autumny colours was placed on the picnic tableย  – we had a delicious barbecue dinner outside early evening, savouring every moment in the knowledge that it may be the last day warm enough to do that this year. The miniature beer glass contained a red zinnia, Tithonia, Chrysopsis, Borage, some yellow Achillea and my favourite Rudbeckia.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ The first picture includes the papery remains of one of the small wasp nests we have had dotted all around the house, barn and garage – in autumn they just drop and are blown about in the wind before simply disintegrating. The wasps are peaceful and have not disturbed us at all, even when eating outside.

Despite the days getting noticeably shorter and the nights much cooler (just above freezing recently with a light frost last week) the garden still has much to offer. I wonder if you are also happy to see the heat of summer fading and the golden autumn days arriving – it is my favourite season and has got off to a good start with some light rain, although a good downpour would be more welcome!

Happy Autumn!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Silvery Charm

Rain!

Yes, we have had two more entire days of good rain and everything is turning green again. With heavenly temperatures below 20ยฐC and a damp garden under cloudy skies the silvery plants in the butterfly and herb beds sparkled and I decided to use them for a vase so I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

The glare of the sun has been a problem with photography recently, but today it was hard to find a light spot!

At the centre of my vase is white Echinacea Baby Swan, which was planted in the herb bed last autumn. It is a novelty not to have young plants nibbled by slugs and snails – Echinaceas were impossible to grow in my old garden! The blue Scabiosa was grown from seed: Scabiosa caucasica ‘Perfection Blue’. It has such a lovely large flower compared with the annual ones. Other flowers are white Cosmos (possibly ‘Purity’), Coriander, Borage, Perovskia and a sprig of Buddleia ‘Pink Delight’, which has indeed been delightful. The silvery foliage is Artemisia ‘Silver Queen’ and Senecio (with the yellow flowers chopped off!)

And to complete the silver theme I added a prop this week – my silver charm bracelet which has probably not been worn for over a decade, maybe two. But each charm was a gift and has happy memories attached. ๐Ÿ™‚

I resorted to taking photos indoors with flash to get a picture of the entire vase…

 

As always, a big thanks to Cathy for hosting and encouraging us all to bring flowers indoors to enjoy close up – particularly uplifting on a wet day. I must admit we have been relishing this weather though and are not complaining!

Have a great week and hope you get the weather you and your gardens wish for.

๐Ÿ™‚

Heatwaves, Summer Flu, some Tuesday Views and a Mystery Plant

Having recovered from the second (mega) heatwave and a rather nasty summer flu virus, temperatures (both mine and outside!) have subsided enough for me to enjoy the garden and share a few Tuesday Views at last. ๐Ÿ™‚

At the beginning of July I enjoyed a two-week interlude between our heatwaves with pleasant temperatures and good company while my sister visited ๐Ÿ™‚ The garden was left mostly to its own devices and a few individual plants were watered to tide them over. Overall, considering the incredibly low rainfall we have had since April, the new beds have done well with minimal watering. I am constantly amazed.

Here is the Sunshine Bed in early August…

The annuals really filled in the spaces and the fact that they all survived has confirmed my suspicions that slugs and snails and not lack of watering were responsible for previous failures in my old garden. So far slugs are few and far between here, and I don’t think I have seen any snails yet!

Tithonia, various sunflowers, cosmos, as well as some (leftover) zinnias – which have fortunately turned out to be red – have transformed the bed into a sunny oasis in the dry surroundings.

And I finally got some Californina poppies to grow for me!

Oh, and a mystery plant… it may have been in with some leftover seed scattered haphazardly, but is more likely to be a weed as the flowers are rather unspectacular. But I have never seen it before. Any ideas?

 

 

The Butterfly Bed has done well too, although more ground cover will be needed – autumn will probably become my main planting season as two dry springs and summers in a row have been a challenge.

The Buddleias steal the show and have been attracting butterflies galore. Mostly Painted Ladies, a couple of Swallowtails, some Fritillaries, loads of small blues and recently also Red Admirals…

Some sturdy Scabiosa have finally flowered – sown indoors in February they were brutally planted out at the end of March and barely started growing until the end of June. But they are rewarding me with dozens of flowers and buds. ๐Ÿ™‚

And finally, the Herb Bed…

Some of the annuals are looking a little tired – it has been a tough summer. But along with the beautiful Stipa tenuissima, the Hypericums and fennel, Echinacea and Baldrian (Valerian? ‘Patrinia scabiosifolia’), as well as some cosmos and Tithonia the whole bed has provided interest since mid-June.

 

 

 

Do you also feel summer is flying by? July is just a blur now, and I am wondering what the rest of August will bring… more showers we hope!

I have put ย all the photos in a slideshow…

 

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I hope to catch up with some blog-reading soon and wonder how everyone’s summer is progressing. I do hope excessive heat or rain hasn’t stopped you enjoying your gardens.

Happy August! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐ŸŒธโ˜€๏ธ

 

In a Vase on Monday: Pink and Perky

Every Monday Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to join her in picking flowers etc from our gardens to plonk/artistically arrange in a vase. Well, after missing last week I was convinced I had nothing for a vase again this week… small plants don’t like being chopped about and the few flowers I have are for the bees. But then I looked again…

The last tulips are still hanging on – flowering since Easter they have withstood heat, cold, frost and WIND! The one on the left is Menton, which is much pinker than I had expected but fits well in the butterfly bed. (You can just about see the others in the background)

The other tulip is Amazing Parrot, which hasn’t opened out as much as many parrot tulips, but that seems to have helped keep it intact for so long. I love those peachy pink hues. ๐Ÿ™‚

The incredible Ice N Roses hellebore still stands tall and I love the faded flowers.

And at the centre is a pretty aquilegia with a rather complicated name: ‘Winky Double Rose and White’. I am adding aquilegias to the new garden with care as I don’t want to be inundated with purple ones again!

I also found one last Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ and some silvery foliage from a patio pot.

And I think I may have found a good spot to take photos at last! At least this afternoon, with the sun going behind clouds all the time, I found my potting table was in the ideal spot. I tried putting a table cloth on it to hide the dirt, but I think it looks better without!

With tablecloth:

So once again, many thanks to Cathy for hosting this meme and encouraging me to go out and hunt for some treasures to brighten up a chilly Monday! Do go and visit her and see what everyone else is finding in their gardens for a vase this week.