In a Vase on Monday: Asters and Co.

On Mondays, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to join her in gathering materials from our gardens to put in a vase or similar container.

I cheated a little this week, since I am still out in the country and am only paying infrequent visits to my flower garden. So these flowers were actually picked last Wednesday and transported in a large bucket!

Originally I had two vases – one crammed full with the Alma Poetschke Asters and the unnamed Aster Annette gave me a couple of years ago…

The asters surprised me, flowering earlier and more profusely then ever without a drop of water from me all summer. Definite winners!

The second vase is simply a mix of all the best from the rockery at the moment: Sedum, Persicaria, the golden asters, zebra grass, yellow Achillea and Japanese Anemones.

Forgive the yellow photos – the barn as a background is perhaps not as ideal as I had thought!

Yesterday I sorted and rearranged all the ingredients, discarding only the anemones and a few of the spent asters. Here is the refreshed vase on the area of grass where my first new flower bed will be dug later in the week!

I had collected some Physalis seedheads recently too. They glow like lanterns in the rockery in the autumn sunshine, but I must warn anyone considering planting them – they are very invasive! I added a few dried golden hop flowers to them which came from a branch plucked from a local hedgerow a few weeks ago.

These lanterns always make me think of autumn, even though they are already turning bright orange by early August. By the way, they were the subject of my first ever Words and Herbs post back in September 2011 – yes, I have now been blogging for over seven years!!!

Iย look forward to seeing what other gardens around the globe will be offering up for a vase this week.

Happy October!

๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐Ÿ„

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Evening Posy

Monday is the day Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to join her in putting flowers from our gardens (or near vicinity) in a vase. After a long absence I am pleased to join her and all the other Monday vase creators this week. A very hot and dry summer, coupled with long absences from my garden, made vases almost impossible this summer. But the cooler nights and shorter days – as well as a good rain last week – have worked wonders.

On the way back from the evening dog walk I picked a few wild flowers from the edge of the pathway near our garden. When I got home, one man and his dog needed feeding, so dinner took priority, but my Man of Many Talents kindly took over the photography before the evening sunshine disappeared below the trees.

I think he did a pretty good job, don’t you?

Pink and white clover, tiny harebells, Scabiosa, fleabane, autumn hawkbit/dandelion and Linaria.

Hope you are getting some of this lovely September sunshine this week!

A Brief Summer Update

Hello dear friends! I know I have been silent for a while and do apologise! As several people have asked, I thought I would just briefly interrupt my blogging break to post a few photos – all is fine, but we have moved to our country house to care for our hedgerow shrubs and trees which were planted in April. Needless to say, the weather has been challenging; temperatures were in the mid to upper twenties all through May and June, rising into the thirties in July, and we have hardly a drop of rain for months. So watering is the main activity here – mostly at night to avoid the heat. No rain forecast for the near future and the heat goes on…

Back at my garden things look fine. Only a couple of hours of care over the last two months and it is still bearing up well in the heat and drought. This is the Perovskia mid July in all its glory.

Thank goodness my rockery doesn’t need watering!

Here is the Perovskia again a couple of days ago… fading a little, but that isn’t bothering the bees. The Scabiosa ochroleuca is wonderful again, but one of my favourite plants in this view is the Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’.

I hope you all have a wonderful August. I will try and catch up with all your posts I have missed very soon!

๐Ÿ˜€

Lavender Love and Pretty Pollinators

The lavender has been glorious this summer, flowering just after our heavy rain earlier in the month and with very little rain since.

The dry and hot weather suits these shrubs best. And I am not alone in admiring them either… here are a few of the visitors to my garden who love lavender too…

Vanessa cardui – Painted Lady

Inachis io – Peacock Butterfly

Ochlodes sylvanus – Large skipper

Pieris brassicae – Large cabbage white

Polygonia c-album – Comma

Melanargia galathea – Marbled white

Argynnis paphia – Silver-washed fritillary

Gonepteryx rhamni – Common brimstone

Macroglossum stellatarum – Hummingbird hawk-moth

Bee ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the long view of the south-facing rockery – some of these lavender shrubs are ten years old or more and have been cut down hard at some stage. I try and stagger the cutting back, so that I have plenty of shrubs flowering well every year. The white ones will be cut back this autumn and next spring. Others are cuttings or self-seeded plants.

Do you see any of these pollinators in your garden? And if you grow lavender, what visits it most frequently?

Here is a slideshow of these beautiful creatures. ๐Ÿ˜€

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy Summer!

In a Vase on Monday: Midsummer Glory

On Mondays I usually join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase full of bits and bobs from my garden. Today is no exception and since the summer solstice is just hours away I decided to make a special midsummer arrangement.

The orange day lily is the focal point, surrounded by the slightly burnt, fluffy, caramel-coloured Aruncus flower. These grow side by side in the garden and make a gorgeous combination.

The other star this week is the white Astrantia which seems to have finally established itself, flowering for the second year now.

Another white (well, perhaps creamy white) flower which is attracting the bees this week is the lovely Cephalaria gigantea. This is like a giant Scabiosa, and it really is a giant, swaying at the top of my rockery just asking to be visited by the pollinators. ๐Ÿ™‚

The foliage is from Epimediums, both large and small, and the frothy crown around the base of my turquoise vase is of course Alchemilla mollis – a florist’s dream I imagine!

I also added a couple of grasses and, for good luck, some St John’s Wort which is flowering bang on time for St John’s Day on the 24th.

More sunshine is forecast for this week – I hope for you too.

Now go and visit our lovely host to see what she has in her vase this week, and to click on all the links for other vases around the world this Monday!

๐Ÿ˜€