Tuesday View (15th July)

It’s been very damp and humid here for several days now. Today the sun prevailed though – and it got hot!

But the garden is refreshed and ready for the next wave of July heat..


The pink rose just visible at the top-centre has been listening to me moaning about its lack of flowers and for the first time ever has sprouted loads and loads of buds… I’m looking forward to the display and will definitely get some pictures!

Otherwise the hotter oranges and reds are taking to the stage. A crocosmia has decided to flower for the first time, the Echinacea ‘Orange Passion’ (see at end of this post) is looking more and more lovely every day, and this pelargonium is becoming a favourite… taken from cuttings it must be the third year I’ve had it now, and it is growing on me.


Echinacea “Orange Passion” – click on any image to see this lovely cone flower – this is just one plant in a pot!

What colours are dominating in your garden at the moment?

In a Vase on Monday: Love and Hate

On Sunday afternoon I gathered some of the flowers and foliage I love best in my garden, to put in a vase for Cathy’s meme In a Vase on Monday at Rambling in the Garden. (Do take a look at some of the other great vases again this week!)


The Japanese anemones started flowering last week, and at this time of year the flowers are a lovely shade of pink, paling as the summer progresses. Some of the Nigella that seeded itself so wonderfully last autumn has produced the pretty seedheads I have included.

Then there’s my pink Hydrangea; this is the first time it has produced such beautiful flowers. It was blue when it was given to me by a class of students at the end of their course…. about 5 or 6 years ago at least!


The Russian Sage has also just begun to flower… I love this plant – its unruly growth and sturdy spears are a focus until late autumn and add a bit more wildness to the rockery. Some wild clover is growing on the edge of the lawn, alive with bees, so just a few flowers were also cut. And I chose the peony foliage to remind me how fabulous the white peonies were in May. I added one red Allium and one sprig of Verbena bonariensis on the way back to the house.

So, you are perhaps wondering about the “hate” in the title…. well, the tall red spike with reddish brown leaves is a spiny berberis. I cut some new and particularly sharp shoots that were growing over the pathway and decided to use them in the vase as they are actually quite pretty… but can you see those thorns?!


I can almost forgive it when I see how nicely it goes with my lovely Hydrangea!


 I’ve got a bonus vase this week too… a friend laid these on my doorstep this morning! Thank you Elisabeth!


Do you have any plants in your garden that you can forgive for being thorny, untidy or simply thuggish?

Have a nice week everyone!


Tuesday View (8th July)

It was so hot over the weekend, we were all starting to wilt. But today the temperature has been dropping steadily and in the afternoon the rain came…


What a relief, although tomorrow we will probably be freezing as it is supposedly going down to just 13°C!

The garden is loving it. This was the view at about 4pm…


And zooming in I can see the blue of the Russian Sage on the left, and some yellow Potentilla flowers opening too.


Is your garden happy with your current weather?

Have a great week everyone, and stay cool! ;-)

In a Vase on Monday: Hot Pink


My lovely sister has been over from the UK for a while, so I asked her to do my vase this week. She was a little nervous…. have you ever cut flowers in someone else’s garden?!

I think the result is gorgeous though!


“Hot Pink” because it has been very hot here, and there are lots of pinky purply shades in the vase today: the Fairy Rose, Teucrium, one purple Allium, some Field Maple leaves and seeds, Goat’s Beard foliage, Vetch, Sedum, Aquilegia leaves, Lychnis, Centranthus, Geranium….


Thanks go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting the In a aVase on Monday meme, where we gather flowers from our gardens to bring into the house.


And thank you Susan!



Blog Hopping: Why I Write

"What's a blog hop?"

“What’s a blog hop?”

If, like me, you had never heard of a Blog Hop before, it simply entails writing a post based on a few prompts about a set subject…

Sarah at The Garden Deli surprised me with her invitaton to participate in this blog hop entitled “Why I write”. After all, Sarah IS a writer, and I’m not! I love reading Sarah’s posts. Her writing flows, and she somehow manages to move seamlessly from everyday stories about what she’s growing to wildlife topics to fresh seasonal garden ingredients, usually ending with a delicious homemade recipe.


I think part of the blog hop idea is to introduce each other to bloggers who may write about the same things as we do, or maybe something completely different, as the blog hop also requires passing on the challenge to another handful of people.

I was a little taken aback, to be honest, when Sarah asked me, and my first thought was “How can I write about writing when I don’t write…?”! Erm, but I do write, don’t I? I suppose I have never thought about my blog in terms of “writing”.

Here are the questions to be answered:

  • What am I working on?
  • How does my writing differ from others in its genre?
  • Why do I write what I do?
  • How does my writing process work?

So here goes! I will do my best!

What am I working on?

My blog. My garden. Improving my photography. Working out how to make short videos with my camera… All of those things, as well as some translation work from home. A Herbarium was started a few years ago, which I may return to one day, and new recipes are constantly being tested and refined.


How does my writing differ from others in its genre?

I’m really not sure! I don’t claim to be an expert on growing things and am certainly not a top chef, but if I do know something useful I like to pass it on. I suppose then that my writing is fairly informal compared to some. My photos are also often the starting point for a post for me, whether it be a haiku or a plant description, and I like to share the beauty of the plants and wildlife I see, or the food I eat; the words are important, but not always the main focus.


Why do I write what I do?

Because I love words. Because I love plants. Because I love food. The blog was originally intended to focus on wild plants seen while walking my dogs down near the canal. But our old wolfhound hasn’t been able to manage walks for a couple of years now, so the focus became the garden and kitchen. In addition, my Tuesday Views have enabled me to keep a (visual) record of my garden over the past 18 months, which has proved to be an invaluable way to really plan future planting. Writing my blog encourages me to look for those discarded plant labels or to look up unknown plants to put names to them (and now butterflies too). So it is an incredible learning process for me.


How does my writing process work?

Like most of you, I think, an idea pops up and you mull it over for a few hours, days, or even weeks. Then suddenly it materializes! My favourite place to write is at our dining room table… near the dogs, near the kitchen, and with a view of the garden. Perfect!


So now I will hand the challenge over to just two other blogging friends. (I think three was mentioned, but I’m sure the rules can be bent!).

The first is a real writer whose blog I have been following for several years now. Nancy at StrawberryIndigo writes passionately and eloquently about life, nature, the environment and so much more. Her sincere and often humorous view of  life has made me one of her biggest fans!

The second is Alys at GardeningNirvana. I have only known Alys a few months and enjoy her site so much! She has a friendly and open tone that makes me feel as if we are talking over the garden fence. She grows beautiful plants and fruits, and also posts about her community Little Free Library project, the wildlife visiting her garden, garden design, as well as what she calls ‘Fairy Garden Frivolity’!

Please take a look at their sites. They will be posting soon on why they write… Thanks Alys. Thanks Nancy. I’ll link both of their blog hop posts on my site as soon as they’re published!

Thanks for reading everyone, and thanks again to Sarah at The Garden Deli!