In a Vase on Monday: Advent Sunshine

Well, after a cold blast last week our temperatures are much milder again now. And although much has now shrivelled and died back in the garden there are still a few surprises. So I am pleased to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden again with a Monday vase.

These treasures were found in the Herb Bed, exposed to the icy wind and cold.

Echinacea ‘Flame Thrower’ and Hypericum ‘Miracle Night’

Both were placed in a small pot which a friend gave me for storing dried herbs and spices, but I immediately saw its potential as a vase!

I wonder if you have any surprises left in your gardens after the first signs of winter?

Have a good week, whatever the weather!

🙂

 

 

 

 

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!  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! 😉

In a Vase on Monday: Celebrating Six Years of Vases!

Congratulations to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden on the sixth anniversary of her wonderful meme! And a pat on the back for all those who have been taking part and creating lovely arrangements throughout the seasons. 🙂

This week we have been set an anniversary challenge: to present an arrangement only 6 inches (15 cm) square/high.

I immediately chose my miniature crystal rose bowl as a vase and went out on Sunday afternoon in the bitter cold to see what was still standing after several nights of frost.

My now favourite Achillea – ‘Pomegranate’ – is still looking wonderful, so I snipped a tiny bit off and found some of its common cousin growing wild which I also added. Then I found a little Fleabane, tinged with pink. And that was all I needed for a pretty little display.

Of course, I couldn’t stop at just one tiny vase, and as I had already selected some of my favourite miniature containers as alternatives I filled them too…

I particularly like the fireworks effect of the fennel with the pennisetum. Just right for a celebratory vase!

This meme has changed the way I garden – I soon recognized how rewarding it is to be able to bring flowers indoors almost all year round, as well as enjoying them outside. And my planting choices were therefore influenced.

So a very big thanks to Cathy for the inspiration and for keeping this meme going with her encouragement and thoughtful comments on our vases weekly. So much dedication is remarkable. 😃

 

 

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. 😃

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  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. 😃

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.

I 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!

🍁🍄🍁

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. 🙂  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. 🙂

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!