In a Vase On Monday: Late Summer Colour

August was wet and cool and I spent less time in the garden than I would have liked. 🤪 But at least my sunflowers did not succumb to any of the storms or heavy rainshowers and they are still looking good! So that is what I chose for my Monday vase, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme.

(Look at those black clouds again!)

This heavy vase was literally stuffed with sunflowers, Tithonia, Rudbeckia, Heliopsis and grasses. There is even a sprig of fennel in there too.

The Tithonia are still going strong, despite some cool nights under 10°C.

I noticed after taking the photos that a stem of the Pennisetum had escaped. It was immediately tucked in safely, although the grasses last well without water too. I used Miscanthus Federweisser, which is just opening, and I also put my favourite Calamagrostis in – Karl Foerster.

A bonus vase this week is with Golden Rod and Himalayan Balsam. They are growing together just outside our fence, looking very innocent and rather pretty. I think they would like to come in, but they are both invasive non-natives, so I will not be encouraging them!

The Balsam has a strange soapy smell, otherwise I may have filled a vase with just them on their own.

And finally, I found that you can float sunflower heads! This is Earth Walker (I think) and it is lovely being able to see it up close like this. Some of my flowers have broken off in the wind, so I discovered this by chance when trying to preserve them. I can recommend it!

I am looking forward to a much more promising September weather-wise.

If we can believe the weather forecast. 😉

But I do also feel for all those facing stormy weather in the US as hurricane season gets underway. Wishing you all a safe week and calm weather!

🌤🌻☀️

 

In a Vase on Monday: Summer!

Every Monday, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us to join her in presenting something from our gardens in a vase. It is always a pleasure to participate in this meme, and this week in particular as there is so much to choose from!

I used the little hare jug my Mum sent me earlier this year, and filled it with summery flowers.

Above, you can see Scabiosa Perfecta White, with some Seseli from the Herb Bed. Below is my favourite Echinacea – ‘Green Envy’, along with a Double click Cranberries Cosmos, which is one of the few this year that actually look like they should. For some reason this one often produces single flowers for me.

This year I grew two new Echinaceas: Virgin, seen here with Scabiosa Ochroleuca and Cosmos Xanthos…

… and Fragrant Angel, which may become a favourite too.

The deep pink Cosmos is Rose Bonbon from the Double Click series. Pretty, but not as rampant as the white Cosmos featured here (Fizzy White). A sprig of Nigella is hiding in there too.

Gaura, Linaria and silvery Artemisia foliage add to the summery airy feel. (Although it is actually rather cool and autumn-like here at the moment!)

Summer seems to be drawing to an end earlier than usual. Sigh. Our housemartins are already practising for their long haul to Africa in September, swirling around the house and up to the nests repeatedly, as if imprinting the location onto their inner map. How are your seasons progressing? Do you detect a change too?

Now go and visit Cathy to see her lovely vase. And have a great week in the garden! 😃

Bavarian Horticultural Show, Ingolstadt 2021

 

As many of you know already, I live in Bavaria in the south of Germany. Bavaria is one of 16 federal states in Germany, and every year each has their own regional horticultural show. The 2020 show was postponed last year, but took place this year instead, and was in Ingolstadt (known perhaps best for being home to Audi car manufacturers). This is just a 90 minute drive from us, and having lived there for many years I could not miss this opportunity! So I picked up a friend on the way and we made a day of it. 😃

Here are some of my impressions…

There were some long beds of perennials leading off the main square like sun rays and I was impressed with both the dramatic planting and the size and vigour of the plants…

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

A lot of lilies were still flowering, and the combination with Coreopsis, Agastache and Heleniums made quite an impact.

The first asters were also flowering. Grasses played a major role in all the gardens, which appealed to me in particular.

A few beds along pathways were reserved for annuals. And these were amazing!

Color themes were red and orange, orange and blue, or grey and pink…

Some of the small show gardens were really imaginative…

I really loved this view…

 

A few were nothing special, but there was always an element for inspiring, such as the raised bed idea here, and the firepit using decorative stone and paving with a cute little bench…

Inspiration…

Not sure we need one of these…

But one of these is on my wishlist. It rocks gently, and of course we tried it out! 😉

And this grass is on my wishlist too: Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’…

So many lovely vistas, flowers and ideas…

The show is being held all summer and covers 23 hectares on the edge of the city, with large open expanses, and a small lake on one side. It will remain a park after the show, and will be such a treasure for the city dwellers. I do hope more trees will be planted there, making it into a haven for birds and insects as well as people.  😃

Have you been able to visit a garden show this summer? (I might even visit this one again soon! 😉)

 

In a Vase on Monday: Dilly Dallying

Sunday was a lazy day, rather too hot and humid to do much. But with rain and thunderstorms forecast for today I decided to cut flowers for my Monday vase nonetheless.

Notiice my new Tree of Life garden ornament in the Herb Bed. 😉

The dill has been amazing this year and I realize now it has been grateful for extra water, being planted in the Veg Bed as well as the dry Herb Bed. Before it goes to seed I wanted to use the flowers in a vase, so that was the starting point.

Another success this summer is the Cosmos ‘Fizzy White’ in the Moon Bed. I got tired of getting so much foliage and so few flowers on Cosmos Purity, so grew this one instead this year – a winner! There are plenty to spare for cutting. 😃

While moving slowly around the garden (it was REALLY hot!) I noticed the grasses are now starting to make a statement. The one in my vase is Calamagrostis Karl Foerster. I love its rapid growth in spring and the deep golden seedheads in summer and autumn.

Then I added a Sanguisorba seedhead and some white Borage (which seems less attractive to the bees than the blue). But the arrangement needed something to pep it up…. ah yes, Tithonia!

 

These have been wonderful this summer too, reaching a grand 1.8m and flowering like mad.

So that is my contriibution to Cathy’s meme – do visit her at Rambling in the Garden to see her vase and catch all the other links to vases this week. 😃

 

Wishing you a sunny (but not too hot!) week in your gardens. 😃🌻🐝

New Labour-Saving Tools!

I mentioned a few weeks ago how shoulder and hand problems have meant less gardening is happening here lately. That got me thinking… surely there must be an easier way to neaten up the edges to the flower beds and sweep away debris from my flower pots in the yard.

Yes! There is!

First off, this battery powered lawn trimmer.

Einhell Cordless Grass Trimmer GE-CT 18/24 Li

It is so incredibly light…. much lighter than a garden spade. And it works! I was surprised at how quickly I could whizz round all the beds after the mowing had been done. Within ten minutes it all looked tidy again. No bending, no sore hands from cutting or pulling at grass, and it saved me about an hour’s work. And very quiet.

It is a great tool for tricky corners of the lawn, around trees or shrubs, and also for weeds growing up through paving or gravel. It is telescopic with an extra adjustable handle for stability. Very little hand pressure is needed to operate the motor and I can swap easily from the right to the left hand.

The little plastic blades look harmless enough but cut through weeds and some thicker grass too. Perfect for edges!

Secondly, the Einhell battery powered leaf blower.

Einhell Cordless Leaf Blower GE-CL 18 Li

This is quick and quiet and is meant for light clean-ups of patios etc. Doesn’t work well on larger or wet leaves, but for dispersing dust and petals it is perfect. Also much better than sweeping with a broom or bending down with a dustpan and brush. And with the light battery my shoulders much prefer this to our heavier petrol one that I can never get to start for me!

It has adjustable speeds,1 to 6, but I find you need 6 to move things best.

These were an excellent investment which I would recommend to anyone trying to save themselves a bit of bending and trimming. Both my tools use the same batteries and charger, so I can be using one while the other charges and swap the battery I am using from one tool to the other while outside.

The lightweight trimmer especially bowled me over!

Although Einhell is a German company I still had to wait a while for the products as supplies are all haywire right now. Maybe something for your Christmas wishlist? 😉

For more information, take a look at their website, which is in English as well as German:

https://www.einhell.de/en-de.html

By the way, I did not get paid for writing this post and am not affiliated to the company in any way. But I do recommend their products. They produce a wide range of simple high quality tools such as saws, drills, water pumps, generators and hedge cutters. My Man of Many Talents has a few of their products too. 😃

What is the best tool you have for your garden chores? Any good recommendations?

Have a good week everyone, and happy gardening!