Looking Back

It was a strange summer for me this year; our beautiful old Irish wolfhound, who had been such a major and joyful part of our lives for almost ten years, died in early July. Hence the blogging break for a couple of months as I came to terms with that and all the ensuing changes.

Not only that, it was extremely hot and dry – the third hottest summer on record here, and the driest in over 50 years. I almost gave up on the garden as it shrivelled and burnt, with temperatures in the mid-30s all through July and August (apart from just a couple of cooler days in between.) We do not have a well in our garden, since we live on a very rocky hill, so watering long-term is not an option.

But then a last-minute attempt to save it with several evenings with the sprinkler proved a success and almost everything survived! Even my new dwarf Buddleia “Buzz Velvet” rewarded me with flowers after the first buds had been singed and failed to open.


Although the heat forced me to be physically inactive, I did spend some quality time with my family, partner and our other dog. I  also leisurely browsed blog posts, admiring your beautiful vases and gardens, while my fingers were kept active crocheting – yes, a new hobby of mine. My summer project was very calming, inspired by Eliza when she posted a vase photographed on a beautiful vintage pansy doily (Eliza’s Doily) in June. (Thanks again Eliza!) My sister helped me immensely, actually tracking down the original pattern in a 1949 pamphlet that some kind soul had scanned in and put on the internet!

My version is somewhat different, but I am quite pleased with it…


Another of Eliza’s posts was simply magical – do take a look at it here before summer is over: Lazy Summer Afternoon .

I thoroughly enjoyed all of Jason’s Tithonia posts this summer (Garden in a City) where he showed us his Mexican Sunflowers getting taller – I just love the way he describes how he deadheads them and would like someone to ring a bell each time he snips off a dead flower! (Jason’s Tithonias). A big thank you Jason, for introducing me to this plant last summer. I grew mine from seed and absolutely adore them – as do the bees and other insects!


I also enjoyed reading about Cathy’s challenge to herself to not buy any plants next year… one I will not be joining in with as I do not have that same self-discipline but also because I need to make changes in the rockery to grow more drought-tolerant plants. Good luck Cathy!


Then I followed Christina’s plans for changing her view from her terrace – which she is already putting into action. Her planting has inspired me over the years, as she also has very dry summers and long periods of intense heat in her Italian garden.


Annette’s Book, “Gartenträume”, has finally been published. Sadly it is only available in German (at the moment?) but I am taking great pleasure in reading about the gardens she has focused on  – including her own. Exquisite photography and a truly wonderful way with words makes this a joy to read. Well done Annette! If you speak German then do take a look at it here.


Weather watching from a Scottish Croft Garden, glimpses of a Norwegian summer, Monday vases (Wild Daffodil gave us the tip to type in “In a vase on Monday” in Google Images – what a lovely sight!), butterflies and rainbows, hummingbirds and bloggers’ flings, all kept me well-entertained during my break. So THANK YOU fellow bloggers!


Hope you all had a good summer, and thanks for dropping by.





In a Vase on Monday: Sunshine on a Cloudy Day


Hi everyone!

Great to be back blogging after a couple of months off. I’ll just post my Monday vase for today, for the fun meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and will update you on my summer in the near future.


Photographed in the rain

My sunflower jug has been waiting for this moment to show off the sunflowers ‘Valentine’ and ‘Earth Walker’, and Tithonia (Mexican Sunflowers) which I grew from seed, with some Golden Rod as well as a little pink-tinged foliage from Houttuynia cordata, often called Chameleon Plant (which I have in a pot as it is VERY invasive!).


Have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday: Ice and Lemon

Feeling the heat? ;-)

We’ve been enjoying the warmth under the sunshade on the patio, trying not to move about too much. And whenever I come indoors this refreshing vase, full of frothy zing, catches my eye and has a nice cooling effect. And the work was all done by my sister this week, so thanks go to her and to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme.


Grab a cold drink, preferably with ice and lemon, and enjoy the slide show!

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In a Vase on Monday: Midsummer Melange

This Monday I am again joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, with a mix of pretty pastels and gold for the Summer Solstice.


Alchemilla mollis, Aquilegia ‘Yellow Star’ and Hypericum provide the golden tones, and the pastels are Sweet Williams, Linaria, Lychnis, Allium, Verbena, Lavender, Campanula and Geranium. The white flower is a single wild Aster which appeared on the compost heap again. :)


I wonder if anyone can identify my Verbena… it has seeded around since last year and is looking lovely outside:


The golden Aquilegia is flowering well and is clearly a much later sort than the others, which have all gone over now.


I’m keeping it brief this week as I have a guest from England – my sister is visiting! :)

Do take a look at Cathy’s post with the other contributors linking in there.

And have a great week!