The Sunshine Bed: Phase 1

The first delivery of plants for my Sunshine Bed arrived at the end of last week, just as it started to rain…. ideal actually, as the ground was dry and this would mean good conditions for planting.

Well we didn’t get much rain in the end so I was able to hoe and rake the soil on Monday morning and get everything in. Just as I was finishing up it started to rain again and as the plants had all had a good soak beforehand I didn’t need to water them in. What luck!

Here is the sunshine bed seen from the house..

Let’s walk along the grassy path and take a closer look…

A bit closer… and you can perhaps recognize what the trees are now. From left to right, a silver birch, a willow and a wild cherry.

I had to mow around the bed as it is that time of year where you can almost watch things growing, and I am amazed how lush the vegetation looked after just a few litres of rain.

A side view shows how meagre my plants look at the moment. But I know they will fill out and there are two more plant deliveries to come…. 😉

On the right, Cytisus x praecox ‘Allgold’ (Broom) which shouldn’t really be in flower yet but as is often the case with nursery plants it is a bit early. Yellow broom grows at the roadsides near us, which is what prompted me to choose it. I noticed some died in the drought last year, but most of it survived as it is pretty tough and likes the sandy soil we have here.

A couple of aquilegias, some Alchemilla mollis ‘Thriller’, Euphorbia, a Papaver naudicale (Iceland Poppy), several grasses and some Helianthus microcephalus ‘Lemon Queen’ complete the picture… for now.

I have already sown seed for annuals to go in this bed: Tithonia, sunflowers and yellow Cosmos. And some Crocosmia bulbs are going in today too. 🙂 As you may have guessed, this bed will be yellow and orange. It is the first time I have chosen a colour theme for a single area and I am not entirely sure I will stick to it long-term, but we will see…

Have you ever planted up a flower bed with a limited colour theme? And did it work?

I would love to hear your ideas or suggestions regarding plants too. That is what is so good about blogging – learning from all you talented gardeners and garden designers out there!

Thanks for visiting!

In a Vase on Monday: Monster Catkins

Monday, and despite yet another storm and snow and hail showers I do actually have a vase to share today, joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme.

These innocent little catkins found their way into a vase the other day. They had been rescued from a fallen grey poplar tree – one of the casualties of our February snow.

Only a few hours later, after a good drink, they looked like this!

They smell slightly smoky… I wonder if that is normal or because the tree they were growing on was uprooted.

I brought some sprigs of Forsythia back from our old garden last week, which started opening within two days of warmth. Everything was put into a fresh vase.

The other catkins are common Hazel. I love hazel catkins, but next to these poplar ones they are somewhat plain, don’t you think? 😉

(Oh, and the roses that crept into the last photo are from the supermarket!) Thanks to Cathy – do go and visit her for some spring colour – I think spring is springing in the UK!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Christmas Eve

A dried up branch was spotted and retrieved from the floor of the woods some time ago and carefully tucked away in a corner of the garage. Then yesterday I brought it indoors, stuck it in a vase with some brown paper to keep it upright, added some greenery and then started unpacking my little baubles and bits and pieces to decorate it. Such a pleasing and relaxing activity, and satisfying too. My favourite little tree decorations have been collected mostly from Christmas markets over the years since living here – this will be my 25th Bavarian Christmas – and each bring back memories as I unwrap them from their tissue paper.

The standing angel was given to me by a student many years ago, the vase itself a gift from my Man of Many Talents when we still lived in a flat in the town centre! My goodness, that seems like a lifetime ago! We had a ten metre long balcony that overflowed with flowers and tomatoes each summer!

The red fairy was a gift from my sister, while the pretzel decoration was found on the Christmas market in Regensburg fairly recently. And the tiny little green Christmas tree bauble and the little green house bauble were bought with my Mum when she visited one Christmas – we visited so many markets over the years that she flew over in December!

Christmas is always full of memories for me, and I try and make new ones each year. This will be our first Christmas in the new house, where we seem to have settled permanently now. But my thoughts are already streaming ahead to next year and all the plans I have for the garden…

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful new gardening year! Thank you for reading, liking and commenting throughout 2018. And special thanks go to Cathy who has tirelessly hosted this Monday vase meme for another year.

 

(Not) In a Vase on Monday: Advent

I may not have any flowers left in my garden for sharing with Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) for her Monday meme, but a walk in the woods provided me with material for this Advent arrangement instead of a vase.

A piece of bark, probably spruce, was found on the ground, along with some spruce and pine twigs which must have come down in the last storm. There were also plenty of spruce and pine cones and I took some lichen too. I added a few walnuts given to us by friends, and a chestnut and acorn or two gathered earlier in the autumn. At the front is a piece of the silver fir from our old garden – I love using it in Advent decorations as it lasts so well.

Wishing you all a peaceful Advent with lots of cosy candlelight.

🕯️🕯️🕯️

 

Walktober 2018

I first heard of this meme last autumn via Eliza, but I was too late to take any photos to join in. So this year I was prepared!

Hosted by Robin at Breezes at Dawn, this is a challenge to share a walk you have taken in the beautiful month of October. Since October is probably my favourite month of the year, and this October has been particularly beautiful in many ways, I am happy to share a walk with you that we have been taking regularly over the past few weeks with our dog, Gina. Once the heat of summer subsided in September we started exploring new territory to find a longer walk nearby and found this lovely loop that takes us about an hour. Unless we dawdle. Or meet someone to stop and chat with!

We start off by walking down from our house to the cycle path, but turn off as soon as we can to avoid ‘traffic’ and take this track parallel to the path…

 

It opens out onto this spectacular view…

We pass this oak that fell in the September storm. It has been partially removed, but the huge canopy remains, slowly drying up. So sad to see such an old tree uprooted. Perhaps the dry summer had weakened it.

We walk across the meadow with berries in the hedgerow…

… and look back across the path. We always walk this way late afternoon and the golden sunshine highlights the colours of the trees…

To our left, a small pond lies behind these trees. The sun is lower now…

Then we cross the path and encounter this wild bee garden that is clearly tended with loving care…

The bee house is home to several colonies of bees and is buzzing, even so late in the day and late in the season.

The next part of the walk is shady, and we speed up a bit to keep warm, but I stop to admire the wild asters…

… and the autumn leaves strewn across the footpath (do you see Gina’s ears?!)…

… as well as this large Euonymus tree/shrub…

… and this lovely old apple tree groaning under the weight of a bumper crop…

Passing an old farmhouse, this tree next to the outbuilding catches my eye.  A lovely old lime tree (Linden) with two smaller ones behind it…

We also see a lot of Sumac, an invasive species here but such gorgeous colour in autumn. The German name ‘Essigbaum’ – vinegar tree – refers to the apparent use of its fruit for making vinegar… I have never heard of anyone making it here though.

A brief steep climb away from the village we have passed brings us out on to the top of the world. Well, not quite, but it feels like it! I stop for a breather. Winter wheat has been planted here and is already making the fields look a little green again.

Now we are back down in the woods – dark fir trees to our left, but still some colour from beech and oak.

Did I mention what a great year it has been for acorns? We have been crunching them underfoot since August and they are still dropping from the trees.

Finally I spot this fungus and consider it worth a shot, although it is quite dark in these woods.

Then we cross the little brook that runs alongside the cycle path and we are almost back to where we started. Just one more short uphill stint and we are home and ready for our dinner!

I hope you enjoyed our walk. Why not share a picture or two of one you have taken this month and put a link on Robin’s page by the 28th. Thank you to Robin for hosting!

In a Vase on Monday: Frost and sunshine

This morning it was white when I raised the blinds and peered out of the window…. no, not snow, thank goodness, but a sparkling white frost!

Luckily I picked some of the last flowers from the meadow yesterday so I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase. Yellow and white, depicting the frost and sunshine I woke up to. 🙂

Do visit Cathy to see what she and others around the world are finding in their gardens today.

Hope your week brings you some October sunshine!