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!

In a Vase on Monday: Sea Fever

A visit to the seaside last week was a real delight – here in Bavaria we are pretty much landlocked, so the smell of the sea air and the sight of such a huge sky, the glittering sea and the long horizon were quite magical. Memories of childhood holidays on the North Norfolk coast have been flooding back since, so now that I am back home I thought my Monday vase should adopt the seaside theme…

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“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky”

(from Sea Fever by John Masefield)

Vase5th2Cosmos Xanthos, Scabiosa ochroleuca, Succisella inflexa, Miscanthus, Tanacetum (Feverfew), and Ceratostigma (Leadwort).

Vase5th4Cosmos Purity, Caryopteris, Feverfew, white Lavender, and lilac Aster.

Vase5th7Zinnia, Tithonia and Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’

“I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied…”

from Sea Fever by John Masefield (Read the whole poem here)

The two little vases and the beach hut were found in a gift shop next to Blakeney Quay, and the windmills possibly came from the same shop many years earlier! The shells were collected on Norfolk beaches over the past years as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

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I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden once again for her Monday meme. Do visit her to see her rich choice of flowers this week, as well as all the other vases linked in from around the world!

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Have a good week!

The Tuesday View: 30th August 2016

I am still in the UK this Tuesday – ย so before you start wondering, this week’s view is a little different!

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The red plant in the centre is, I believe, the beautiful Lobelia cardinalis that Frank featured in his post last Thursday.ย The plants at the back of this border must be almost three metres tall!

The Lobelia is in this border too…

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These photos were taken on Monday at Coton Manor Gardens in Northamptonshire – a stone’s throw from my parents’ home.

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The borders are beautifully kept and I always think they look fabulous in late summer. (The Spring gardens are, however, also quite lovely.)

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Some of the planting combinations in this traditional English garden are just stunning. Look at this pale orange Dahlia, pink Echinacea, and the purple Asters behind.

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If you would like to join me in sharing a single view of your garden each week to follow the changes across the seasons, please leave a link in the comments below so we can all take pleasure in it. I will be back to my familiar view next week, where my rockery may just possibly be showing some signs of stress as a heatwave continues for the second week in Bavaria.

Have a good week everyone!

In a Vase on Monday: Sugar and Lemons

Tomorrow is Pancake Day in the UK, and although the tradition of eating thin crepe-style pancakes on Shrove Tuesday does not seem to exist anywhere else in the world I have always made them wherever I have been – even when I lived in Japan I had a pancake party!

The traditional topping for these pancakes is lemon juice and sugar. Yes, there are plenty of other things you can put on your pancake, but not on Pancake Day. You can have maple syrup, nutella, bananas, etc any time of year. But tomorrow it’s simply lemon juice and sugar; the inspiration for the title for my vase this week…

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Every Monday I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with her lovely meme where we are asked to find something from our garden and bring it indoors. Two days ago my first golden (lemony) crocus opened (Yippee!), so I knew I would have to bring some indoors.

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The tiniest ‘vase’ I could find was a miniature salt sellar, and since I had two I decided to pick a few (sugary) snowdrops too, which also immediately opened once brought into the warm house. There are only a few – most are still too small to pick.

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But these are not the only flowers I have this week. About three weeks ago I cut some Ribes sanguineum, remembering that when it is forced the normally deep pinky red flowers are white. In the course of the last week they have opened…

And another Amaryllis opened two days ago too – Amaryllis ‘Blossom Peacock’. A real beauty with a lovely straight stem.

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I shall do a round-up of all my Amaryllis/Hippeastrums once they have all flowered. So far I have had one or two flowering constantly since November. ๐Ÿ™‚

Until Friday it had rained practically all week, so having flowers indoors is very cheering. I am looking forward to seeing a few more of my spring bulbs emerge this week, but first I am looking forward to my pancakes tomorrow. What will you have on yours? Sugar and lemon juice?

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Aquliegia Alert

The Aquilegias (Aquilegia vulgaris) have just started opening in my rockery…

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They really add height and colour after the tulips have faded…

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I shall be looking out for a couple of new ones I planted late last summer, but in the meantime most of them seem to be pale pink or purple…

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I can’t imagine my rockery without them, so I was very worried when I recently became aware of a terrible disease threatening Aquilegias in the UK. If you grow them or intend to buy one, please read one of the following links – early identification is essential.

Gardening For health

The Telegraph

Apparently it is limited to certain areas and is particularly widespread in the south-west of England. However, my Mum is farther north (Northamptonshire) and has been saddened to find that all of her Aquilegias have disappeared. It only takes one plant to spread this mildew, which then stays in your soil and will prevent you from being able to grow them in the future too.

Carrie Thomas, who owned the National Collection, lost almost all her plants last year. She has compiled some useful information on her website, including a list of reported cases and where they are:

Touchwood Plants

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I hope your Aquilegias are safe!

 

Mothering Sunday and a Mahonia

Happy Mothering Sunday Mum!

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In the UK today is Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday – the traditional day to return to your home town and present a posy to your Mum. Well, it will have to be a virtual posy I’m afraid.

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I chose this Mahonia, as it is such a lovely intense golden yellow when the sun shines on it and it smells so sweet and honey-like. These pictures are from last year, as it is taking its time to flower this spring.

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Hope the sun is shining for you all!