A Week of Flowers Day Two, 23rd November 2020

Yesterday it was so cheering, in fact overwhelming, to have so many of my blogging friends join me in posting a week of flowers. It really did make the day brighter and happier. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

So today I am continuing my week of flowery fun with some more photos from my garden, this time from July… just look at that blue sky! Sigh!

 

It’s not too late to join in! ย Just post a photo of something bright and cheerful from your 2020 garden to help bring some cheer to these strange times, then leave a link to your post in the comments below so we can all enjoy it. Thank you!ย ๐Ÿงก

A Week of Flowers Day One, 22nd November 2020

As promised, over the next seven days I will be posting a week of flowery photos from my garden in 2020. And I am asking you to join me in this attempt to brighten these dismal days of lockdowns and uncertainty. Just one photo would be lovely. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I have chosen to post a collage of several flowers each day.

So today, a few photos taken in May…

If you would like to join me, please leave a comment below with a link to your post!

Thank you! xx

The Best of 2020: A Week of Flowers

We are feeling very miserable right now – our dear doggie was taken from us suddenly a few days ago and we are incredibly sad.

I need something to cheer me up. And with so many of us having to stay at home at the moment, and so much uncertainty regarding Christmas (Thanksgiving) plans, I think most of you will feel the same. I therefore propose a joint effort to cheer us all up.

From this Sunday onwards I will be posting some favourite photos of flowers and plants from this year’s garden: A Week of Flowers, Days One to Seven.

So why not join me!

From Sunday the 22nd through to Saturday the 28thย let’s share a photo a day (or more than one if you like) of our flowers and gardens and brighten up this dreary time.

And here is one for a taster.

Are you with me?

๐Ÿ˜‰

The Yard in November 2020

Everyone has a problem area on their property don’t they? Well, in terms of planting, our problem area is our yard.

The yard is a large paved area between the house, barn and garage, and in summer it heats up immensely. In the summer months it is brightened up by geraniums (well, Pelargoniums actually). They are about the only flowers that do not wilt in the heat, and it is clear why they are such a tradition on Bavarian yards and balconies.

Here you can see some in late summer, also planted around the bamboo in the huge green pot.

But this year I tried planting up some additional pots with shrubs and plants that should also overwinter. Not easy when considering how shady the yard is in winter and that we may have temperatures constantly below zero for several weeks. In emergencies I can put a few plants in the barn for a few nights. Anyway, we will see if we get a mild winter again…

Violas are great for autumn pots, as they simply freeze in winter and return as soon as the first rays of spring sunshine warm them up. The Carex will last a couple of years in a pot and will then be planted out in the garden, as will the violas next May, and new Pelargoniums will take their place.

I also like to use small conifers in my pots. Again, they will be planted out into the garden once they get too big.

Below you will also see a red rose, some small sedum, dianthus, carex, a pale pink Potentilla and a dwarf Buddleia.

I am hoping these will all prove to be hardy enough and will come back next year.

On the other side of the barn doors is the sledge, which will have a small potted Christmas tree in it soon, and be decorated with fairy lights for some essential Advent kitsch! I may go over the top this year; with Christmas markets banned I will need some extra sparkle at home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And here are the pots on that side of the barn too. On the left, a Hippophae rhamnoides, or Sea Buckthorn. This one is male and will not bear berries as I want it for its foliage here. It is supposedly very hardy and takes any amount of heat, wind or frost.

The next pot is Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’, another very hardy and heat tolerant plant, and it has absolutely gorgeous autumn colour.

A yellow summer Daisy is tucked in behind it, already damaged by frost but still flowering!

If the Itea and Buckthorn survive our north winds in winter they will get bigger pots next year as a reward. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

You can also see some grasses in the picture above – Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ and Hakonechloa – then another rose (The Fairy), and the wonderful burnt caramel ย of the Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’. This small shrub looks lovely when it flowers, but the autumn foliage and fresh green shoots in spring are why I chose it.

I still have a couple of summer plants left. All the pelargoniums went a couple of weeks ago but I can’t bring myself to put this pretty little purple daisy on the compost until the last flower dies.

I don’t even know its name, but it has been beautiful all summer!

And here is another summer daisy that didn’t flower until it cooled down a bit in September. It seems to like chilly and damp November days!

 

Finally I planted up one little winter pot with a new creamy white Hellebore, an erica and some wintery white violas.

I have already potted up lots of tulips which will bring extra colour to the yard in late spring.

So I am almost ready for winter now.

How about you? Are you and your garden ready for winter? Have you got any containers for winter interest? How cold can it get in your part of the world?

Thanks for visiting. And happy gardening!

 

Vegan November 2020: Sweet and Simple Buns

As November is traditionally Vegan Monthย I thought a traditional recipe from Bavaria might go down well. These are simple buns, made with a yeast dough, sweetened slightly and served dusted with sugar/icing sugar.

They have various names here, depending on where you live, but my Man of Many Talents knows them as ‘Rohrnudeln’ – oven noodles! His Grandmother used to make them and they were a filling treat for hungry boys.

Here is my vegan recipe for them.

Sweet Buns

  • 300g strong flour (2 1/2 cups)
  • 100g plain flour (3/4 cup). (or all plain)
  • 50 g (raw cane) sugar (1/5 cup)
  • 1 packet instant yeast (7g or 2 1/4 tsps)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 150 ml lukewarm water (5 oz)
  • 150 ml lukewarm soya (or other non-dairy) milk (5 oz)
  • A little soya milk or cream and melted vegan butter/margarine for brushing
  • Extra sugar (caster sugar or icing sugar) for sprinkling

Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and add the yeast. Stir in the water and soya milk. Mix and then knead briefly until it is a soft ball of dough. Place in a clean bowl, brush all over with a little vegetable oil, cover and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 190ยฐC (375ยฐF)

Punch down the dough and roll out into a long sausage shape. Cut into twelve equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place close together into a greased ovenproof dish (my dish is about 24 x 20 cm … 9×8 inches?) and leave to rest another 15 minutes. Then brush with milk/melted butter or margarine and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

When golden brown, remove from the oven and brush with milk and butter again, and immediately sprinkle caster sugar over them. Leave to cool a little before serving, dusted with more sugar/icing sugar as desired.

They remind me a bit of doughnuts. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ They are best eaten fresh, and taste very good with custard, but on the next day try slicing them and spreading jam over them! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

A Walk around the November Garden

Instead of a video I thought I would take you on a walk around the garden with photos this month. It means I can focus on particular plants (and look up the names I have forgotten! ๐Ÿ˜‰).

So get yourself a cup of something warming and join me on the tour. โ˜€๏ธโ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ

First of all, a frosty morning view of the Oval Bed ย with the new (unfinished) Moon Bed behind it. (More on the Moon Bed in another post). The grasses are Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’.

Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus Federweisser

The Butterfly Bed is still quite pink! It is home to a wonderful pink Aster and a lovely pink Chrysanthemum – ‘Anastasia’ – that is unperturbed by rain and frost..

Let’s have a closer look…

The other side of the Butterfly Bed has been widened and I hope to make it look more interesting that side too next summer. There are already some Asters which have mostly gone over now, and Geranium Rozanne has been added to this side for summer interest. I have also planted some bulbs on this side.

Rozanne is still flowering, even after several frosts!

The sedums are turning brown, but as long as they remain standing I will not chop them down. The tall grass in the background is Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’.

Now let’s look at the Herb Bed.

A couple of the Stipa grasses have been replaced with seedlings. They do produce an awful lot of seedlings but they are very easy to remove and replant.

A surprise bloom or two on the Echinacea and Geum are providing the last splashes of colour in this bed.

Moving across to the Oval Bed now, you can see some Verbena bonariensis still standing. On the right is Miscanthus Federweisser. It really does have very silvery seedheads… the palest I have seen. It is for that reason that I planted the same one in the Moon Bed.

These are the seedheads of Echinacea ‘Green Envy’…

And a dear little Polygonum/Bistorta affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ that has appeared in vases on and off all year. It flowers all summer, with shades varying from very pale pink to bright red, and I think the seedheads and foliage are also attractive, especially at this time of year.

The pale pink Arctanthemum arctica that I featured in a vase a few weeks ago has now gone over, but after removing the flower stalks the foliage below was surprisingly fresh and I am hoping it will remain green a bit longer.

Another Chrysanthemum (C. indicum ‘Oury’) is open in this bed too. A lovely deep pinky red. It should get a bit bushier by next year.

So if you are still with me (!) let’s have a quick look at the Sunshine Bed…

The Helianthus had to come out as they were mildewy. I shall leave the rest of the perennials standing as long as possible.

Here is a Chrysopsis still in flower…

And the lovely very late flowering Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’…

And finally a glimpse towards the Larch ‘Forest’ beyond the Sunshine Bed…

And looking back towards the Oval, Butterfly and Moon Beds. Eventually these will all be linked up… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I will share some pictures of the containers in the yard soon as well.

โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿโ˜€๏ธ

Wishing you some autumn sunshine. All my photos were taken over the past week, but since Monday we are in thick fog again today with no prospect of it clearing for a few days!

Happy gardening!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Seven Years, Seven Grasses

Congratulations go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden today on the seventh anniversary of her wonderful Monday meme!

๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿ†๐ŸŒป

Each week gardeners scattered across the globe join her in putting materials from their gardens in various receptacles and sharing them. It is always a pleasure to have flowers indoors, but this week Cathy has challenged us to create a vase WITHOUT flowers!

Fortunately this is relatively easy for me at this time of year, as my grasses all look gorgeous right now. And there are seedheads still standing too.

I have several different Miscanthus now… above you can see Red Chief and FederweiรŸer. Those small black seedheads are Rudbeckia fulgida from the Sunshine Bed.

Are these fireworks?!…

I saved some of my Allium seedheads earlier in the year, and they still have a slight pinkish tinge to them. Really sparkly in the sunshine.

Whereas this Allium below is completely grey, although I find it just as pretty. Next to it is an Echinacea seedhead. I have plenty of these dotted around and have only removed those that were toppling over.

Here is another one next to some bushy Pennisetum…

Another seedhead I love is this one… Queen Ann’s Lace. Like little stars.

And Scabiosa ochroleuca also has very pretty seedheads.

I also used a sprig of Hypericum for its berries, although they are rather dark. In front is some annual Briza, saved from last year.

I think I have four different Miscanthus in the vase, along with some Panicum, Eragrostis and an unnamed pinkish one which was also saved earlier in the year. All the names are recorded but I can’t recall all of them. I love grasses so much though that more will be added to the garden in the future.

It was fun putting this vase together. I haven’t added any water to it as these will all be dried and saved (except the Hypericum) for future winter fillers!

Many thanks to Cathy for keeping this lovely meme going for so long now. It has brought such joy over the years, and has often given me something to focus on in difficult times. (Especially this year!) I love sharing my vases and seeing other creations from fellow bloggers. Sometimes they are abundant, with masses of gorgeous blooms, sometimes minimal, introducing me to new plants, and always a lovely way to link up with gardeners near and far. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Do visit Cathy today to see her celebratory vase.

And have a good week, especially if you are in a lockdown again like we are. Keep smiling and carry on gardening as long as the weather permits!ย ๐Ÿ˜ƒ