Rose ‘Alcantara’

I repeatedly claim not to be a ‘rose’ sort of person. I appreciate them in other people’s gardens, especially the scented ones, but deadheading them is so tedious and they do tend to get greenfly, or black spot, or something. Having said that, I do have a few in my garden, one of which is a real beauty and I would not want to be without it: Rose Alcantara…

It domintaes the south-facing rockery in June, and when the Perovskia behind it also starts flowering this place is buzzing!

Rose ‘Alcantara’ seems to love being sun-baked at the top of this well-drained incline. This ground cover rose will continue flowering on and off throughout the summer, and I have never seen greenfly on it. It has survived our driest summers and coldest winters. It really deserves a prize. I would certainly recommend this to anyone with a hot, dry slope!

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Are you a ‘rose’ sort of person?

The Tuesday View: 20th June 2017

Each Tuesday I take a look at one view of my garden and follow its progress through the seasons. (Do join me if you can! Just leave a link below).

Not much has changed since last week, except that many of the plants in this area are beginning to look a bit frazzled (along with the gardener!). In addition, harsh light is making photos a bit tricky. But here is my view for today…

This is the driest part of the garden, and despite giving it a good drink with the hosepipe on two occasions, it is suffering from the heat, drying winds and lack of rain. No rain in the forecast as yet either…

Looking through the Acer I can see some orange blobs next to the Aruncus…

The Day Lilies have opened!

You can see the view better from the opposite direction in the morning light.

Another highlight today is the Stipa gigantea next to the red Lychnis coronaria.

Lychnis sow themselves all over this slope and, as they are pretty drought tolerant and love sun, I let them take over to fill the gaps.

If we don’t have rain soon I will have to switch to the south rockery for my view next week, as this south-west side will have only burnt offerings I fear!

Is it hot where you are? If so, what is standing up to the heat in your garden best this week?

 

In a Vase on Monday: A Seaside Vignette

My parents visited the British North Norfolk coast last week and sent me this card of Wells beach huts… in the snow! Well, that was perfect for cooling us down in the heatwave! I have never seen snow in Norfolk, so I wonder if this was just an artist’s imagination…

Anyway, it inspired this little ‘vignette’ with my own little beach hut purchased at the Anchor Shop in Blakeney in Norfolk last summer. And, of course, some peonies and Alchemilla.

The postcard with colourful beach huts on the sand is more familiar to me!

The single peony below (no name as it was wrongly labelled as ‘Bowl of Beauty’) has a lemony tinged centre and looked perfect nestled among the Alchemilla flowers. Mmm, like a glass of lemonade!

The main attraction is Peony ‘Festiva maxima’ though. Tinged with pink, its creamy white petals always remind me of ice cream with raspberry sauce! (Something else that would cool me down….)

Today is in fact a lot cooler and this morning was perfect for getting some gardening jobs done. A few showers have barely dampened the soil, so I am still hoping for some rain: May was far too warm and dry. Let’s see what June will bring!

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme!

Blueberry Pull-Apart Bread (Vegan)

After a few months with no food appearing on this blog I think it is time I share this amazing recipe with you. And just in time for Easter!

Sweet breads are popular here at any time of year, but especially around Eastertime, and this one beats cake as far as I am concerned. (Yes, it’s that good! 😉 )

You will need a 30 cm/12 inch loaf pan and, for the dough:

  • 500 g (4 cups) strong (bread) flour
  • 1 packet (1 tbsp) of instant yeast
  • 45 g (4 tbsps) sugar
  • 125 g (1 stick) margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 250 ml (1 cup) soya milk, warmed
  • pinch of salt

… and for the filling:

  • 75 g margarine (2/3 stick), melted (and a little extra for greasing your pan)
  • 125 g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 200 g (2 cups) blueberries (I used frozen)

 Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and all the warmed soya milk and mix a little of the flour into the well. Leave to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Now go back to your dough and add the rest of the sugar, the pinch of salt and the margarine. Now comes the fun part – mix with your hands until it all comes together into a nice soft dough. On a floured surface knead it for about 5 minutes. Then place in a clean bowl, cover, and leave it to rise in a warm spot for an hour or so.

In the meantime, scrape the seeds out of your vanilla bean and mix them with the 125 g sugar, grease your pan well, melt your margarine, and pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F.

When your dough has risen, punch it to release some of the air and then roll it out to about 40 x 35 cm (16 x 14 inches). Brush with almost all of the melted margarine. Sprinkle all but 2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar evenly on top. Now cut into 8 x 10 cm (3 x 4 inch) squares and stack 4 or 5 of them at a time to make it easier to put them into your pan. Press a few blueberries in between each layer as you go, and then squash the layers up nicely in the pan. Finally, brush with the remaining margarine and sprinkle over the last of the vanilla sugar.

Bake for about 45 minutes. If it starts turning too brown during the end of the cooking time, cover with a bit of foil.

Leave to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before easing out and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

My tip: this tastes wonderful served still slightly warm. 😉 Oh yummy!

I hope this has inspired you! Go on, try it!

Will you be baking anything for Easter?

In a Vase on Monday: January Sparkle

It was a real joy to see Cathy’s golden Narcissi this morning. And then Christina’s tulips to follow! I was in need of something cheerful on this grey and icy day and was almost considering myself defeated in terms of a vase this week, but Cathy and Christina inspired me to make an effort and find some January sparkle of my own.

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The recycled Hydrangea head, still looking pink, is starting to lose its petals. But the iris and coneflower seed heads are in still intact.

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I will be looking through the other vase posts later on this evening too, which will certainly also raise my spirits.

Hope you find some sparkle this week too!

The Tuesday View: 25th October 2016

This will be the last regular photo of my Tuesday view for the year 2016, as it will soon be so dreary and bare that I will get depressed contemplating it. If it snows this winter I will definitely show a shot of it though! 😉 Here it is, around 3.30pm today…

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The Perovskia will be trimmed quite low this week, and the red leaves of the acer in the background are starting to drop. There is, however, still the magical Persicaria ‘Firetail’…

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… as well as the Golden Euonymus (which I tend to overlook as it is there all year round), providing cheerful colour on days such as this…

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Slowly the rocks in the rockery are becoming visible once again – I will have to show a picture of them later in the year. I would like to thank those of you who have joined me, observing a single view of your gardens through the seasons. I have very much enjoyed seeing the changes – both dramatic and slight – in your weekly photos. It has certainly been a useful exercise for me once again, and I hope for you as well.

And, of course, also many thanks to the rest of you for visiting!

🙂