Freeze-Froze-Frozen

One of the major inland waterways for freight carried across Germany, the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, is currently closed to traffic…

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It has been below freezing point for several weeks now (apart from a couple of days around Christmas), at times reaching -17°C and frequently staying at around -9°C during the day. I have seen the canal freeze over once before, but it never freezes completely, being built into the bed of a slow-flowing river. Last Monday it was officially closed to traffic, as the locks froze up and no ice breakers could get through.

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The canal links up the North Sea (Rotterdam in the Netherlands) with the Black Sea, and millions of tonnes of heavy building materials, grain and coal are transported via this route on long deep barges each year. Passenger cruises also regularly use this route, the most popular trips being from Rotterdam or Nurenberg, down past us to the Danube, and then on to Vienna and even Budapest. This part of the canal near to us was the last section to be built, involving high costs to reduce the environmental impact and secure habitats for wildlife. The completed canal is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

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Today it is a balmy +1°C, with +3°C  forecast by the weekend. Still cold at night though, so it will take a while before we see boats coming this way again. In the meantime it is pleasantly quiet…

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Have you seen local waterways freeze this winter?

Stay safe and warm everyone!

The Tuesday View in January

As promised, here is a picture of the Tuesday View under the snow!

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It is very frosty, so I didn’t stay out for long with my camera. But here are a couple of other images from today too.

Clematis tangutica – a tangle of stems with straggly seed heads, but the snow makes them seem quite comical!

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My beautiful Miscanthus ‘Adagio’ still looks pretty with some sun catching the top…

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There is no warmth in the sun outdoors today, but it does add some welcome sparkle…

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Hope you have blue skies this week, wherever you are!

The Tuesday View: 6th September 2016

Well, there have been a few changes to my Tuesday view since last time, two weeks ago. The garden held up well to the heat at the end of August and has been enjoying a little respite over the past few days, with cooler temperatures and quite a bit of rain.

TuesdayView6th1 The main change is that the Sedums are now open, contrasting nicely with the grasses and fern, which is now turning golden…

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…and my pink rose Gertrude Jekyll has finally produced more than just one flower at a time after barely flowering at all earlier in the year. I like the effect next to the Succisella.

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The Gaura lindheimeri  (‘Summer Breeze’) at the top of the rockery has also filled out well and is producing lots more lovely pale pink/white flowers. I think the name so appropriate as it sways gently in the slightest puff of wind, even on a very hot day, making me believe there is a cool breeze!  Gaura is not always hardy in our climate, but this one seems to have got established, with its roots nicely protected under the Golden Euonymus.

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The other Euonymus, which I planted last year (a dwarf Euonymus alatus), has started to turn a lovely shade of pinky red and orange… last year it dropped all its leaves in the summer in the stress of drought and extreme heat, so I am pleased it has got established now. It is hiding below the Perovskia from this angle…

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If you would like to join me in following one view of your garden week by week to observe the changes as the year progresses, please leave a link below.

🙂

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The Tuesday View: 19th July 2016

The strong morning light gives the rockery a different feel, and although the colours are not as intense as later in the day, I feel I must record this too. So today an image from around 9.30am…

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The Perovskia is getting bluer and stragglier by the day – I do love the way it stretches out in all directions, unaware of any need to behave and tidy itself up a bit – exactly how I want it to be!

You may just be able to spot a splash of orange at the top of the rockery, dead centre (click on the photo to enlarge and zoom in)… my Crocosmia is starting to flower and it is wonderful! I will have to take more photos in a week or so, but here is an image of it taken from the top of the rockery, with the Perovskia in the background…

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The Geranium sanguineum, near the bottom, is attracting bees for breakfast…

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And the dark Day Lily, hiding at the bottom of the photo behind a Buxus, is enjoying the last few moments of shade before the sun reaches it too…

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On the right, in front of the Golden Euonymus, the gorgeous Persicaria/Polygonum amplexicaule is flowering. I love the pale foliage of this one, ‘Firetail’, and the flowers are often still standing in November!

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That is my view today, on a hot sunny July morning. Do join me in sharing one single view of your garden each week, to record the changes it sees through the seasons.

In a Vase on Monday: Buttermilk

Cream, yellow and white seem to be predominant colours all around us now, with the hedgerows alive with St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Queen Ann’s Lace (Daucus carota), golden grasses and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), to name just a few.

I picked some wild flowers from the edges of a meadow that has not been cut at all this summer, and plonked them in a vase. But for Cathy’s meme I decided a ‘proper’ vase was needed and gathered more creams and whites and yellows for my milk jug. This was also inspired by the roadsides and hedges, and by the jug itself.

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The Leucanthemum daisies and yellow Achillea ‘Parker’ were the starting point. Then Alchemilla mollis and some yellow Fennel were added, along with some Feverfew, Clematis seed heads, a white Heuchera flower, wild Yarrow and some white airy wild flowers that look a bit like cow parsley, but I don’t know what they are…. Milk Parsley perhaps?

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I love the sunshine effect this vase created when I brought it inside. 😀

And here was the first vase from the meadow. I may not have identified everything correctly, as there were a few things I recognize but have never named…

There is a large stem of Artemisia in there too, as well as various clovers, some Agrimony and some wild Yarrow (Achillea).

Our host Cathy at Rambling in the Garden is having a party with Annabelle today, so do drop by for a share in the celebrations! 😉

The Tuesday View: 12th July 2016

A thunderstorm overnight has brought temperatures down to the 20s and has provided the garden with a good drink and the gardener with the opportunity to do some tidying up… after all, I wanted to make my view look a bit respectable before showing it to you today! When I took the photos it was drizzling slightly, but already it is raining quite hard again.

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Both the Lavender and the purple Linaria are going over – we had some pretty high temperatures at the weekend. But now the Perovskia is slowly becoming the focus, while the red rose (cut back this morning) is still going strong with plenty of new buds. The Centranthus has run out of steam and although I have only trimmed it back, I don’t think it will flower much more this summer… with no hummingbird hawk-moths to visit it has little function anyway, as the bees and most butterflies (except the skippers) seem to prefer the lavender and other flowers. And now my dwarf Buddleia (‘Buzz Velvet’) is also out (just behind the red rose at the top of the rockery) so the Marbled Whites and Tortoiseshells have been visiting its rich magenta blooms.

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By next week my Crocosmia should also be visible (you can see the leaves behind/to the right of the buddleia) … exciting for me as they rarely flower in our normal summers. They clearly like a damp spring.

What changes have you observed in your garden this week? Do join me in sharing your view each week, to focus on the seasons progressing. Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome also often shows us several of her views on a Tuesday, while I just focus on one. If you wish, leave a link in the comments so we can find you and can enjoy watching the seasons change in other parts of the world too. 😀

The Tuesday View: 14th June 2016

I decided to get a shot of the view in the morning today, as (surprise, surprise) rain is expected later. The sun just managed to add a bit of warmth to the photo before disappearing behind thick clouds again!

Tuesday View, 14th June 2016, 11.30am

Tuesday View, 14th June 2016, 11.30am

I think this view of the rockery has changed quite a lot since last week, but then I know every centimetre of it! Almost all the poppies have gone over now, some have been removed too to give the other plants some breathing space, and the red rose top centre is starting to flower. The white peony is almost over, while the lavender is just showing a hint of colour. And my new rose (centre) ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ is flowering. The Centranthus ruber is in full bloom, but I am quite worried as I have only seen one solitary Hummingbird Hawk-moth on it so far. Normally there are several at a time throughout the day.

What changes have you noticed in your garden recently?

It would be lovely if any of you wish to join me in posting a photo of  the same view of the garden week by week. Just put a link to your post in the comments here, so others can also enjoy your view!