A Week of Flowers 2021, Day Two

Today is the second day of my Week of Flowers, where I am inviting you all to join in with me and post a bright and cheerful photo of a flower or two each day for a whole week.

So many have already contributed on Day One with beautiful reminders of what has flowered this year and what will be in the coming Spring. So if you haven’t joined in yet, please do, and leave a comment below to share. Let’s cheer up this dark time of year!

My garden has brought me so much pleasure this year, and I am sharing some of the sunshine colours today.

I especially loved my sunflowers this year, which benefitted from warm and damp weather as opposed to the hot and dry springs and summers we have had in recent years. Here is a link to more photos of them in The ‘Edge.

Wishing you all a sunny day!

The Garden in November, 2021

The garden is still doing well in November, which somehow surprises me – but perhaps it is always so!

(I managed to get almost all the beds onto this one photo, taken from the terrace – albeit on Sunday 31 st October, so cheating a bit!)

Our first frost this year was October 10th, so a little later than previous years. Since then a few more have followed, so quite a few flowers have gone over now. But there is still loads of colour to cheer up these grey November days. 😃

Let’s start with the Butterfly Bed, sporting the Chrysanthemum ‘Anastasia’ I used in my vase the other day. It takes over from the adjacent pink Aster in mid October and will flower for another 2 or 3 weeks at least.

Another highlight in this bed is the leaves of perennial Geraniums changing colour… I like this unplanned combination with the lime green Euphorbia still looking lush.

At the back of the Butterfly Bed is my lovely ‘Red Chief’ Miscanthus. It isn’t as large as some, but from late October onwards the leaves and seedheads add some drama with their deep pinky red.

Moving across to the Oval Bed, two tall Miscanthus and the now faded Aster ‘September Ruby’ dominate. A mix of ground cover plants will provide winter interest for a month or two. I wonder if we will get much snow this winter….

The Miscanthus on the left is ‘Beth Chatto’, and the other one is ‘Federweißer’ – my favourite. To give you an idea of their size, the Aster is just short of 2 metres. I would recommend both Miscanthus, although my ‘Beth Chatto’ is a little later in gaining size and flowering than my others.

Beyond the Oval Bed is the Moon Bed, which was mostly planted in autumn last year and added to in the spring this year. Almost all the plants were in 9 cm pots, and still managed to put on so much growth, benefitting from the damp summer.

The colour scheme is white, cream and blue, drifting into purple. The white Aster ‘Ashvi’ and the Boltonia ‘Snowbank’, along with Aster ‘Barr’s Blue’ have kept this going into November, so I am pleased they seem to have settled in so well. Looking at it now I find it hard to believe that I could barely see the woodchip mulch only a few weeks ago. White Cosmos, Cleome and Gaura filled the spaces.

This Prickly Poppy, grown from seed, has flowered for months on end.

And naturally there are several grasses in this bed too. The Pennisetum is looking lovely at the moment.

Now a brief look at The ‘Edge, where my sunflowers were in the summer. The seeds were devoured in record time by the birds (and mice?!) and the remains are now on the compost heap. But there is still a lot of colour in this bed from plants like Cornus, Physocarpus and Pyracantha ‘Orange Charmer’.

A small yellow Chrysanthemum also adds some sparkle late in the season. 😃

The Herb Bed is simply glowing with another Pennisetum and my Witch Hazel adding golden hues…

And finally the Sunshine Bed, which is very very dry due to the trees behind it, and yet the Helianthus did well and the Chrysopsis does not seem bothered even now…

November is not such a bad month after all, as long as the sun keeps popping out every now and then! Still, I am glad I have managed to get all my spring bulbs in as it is rather chilly these days.

Hope you have plenty of mild and sunny days ahead now the nights are drawing in. Happy gardening and thanks for reading!

🤗

 

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: 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!

In a Vase on Monday: Mixed Summer

Can you believe it is August already? I know it took Cathy – the host of this meme – by surprise too. What a mixed summer it has been so far.

And here is a mixed bunch of summer. 😉

This is my first sunflower vase of the year, with lots of other fiery colours from The ‘Edge flower bed, and a splash of purple for that jewelled look. 😃

I always look forward to the day when I can use my sunflower jug and share it here.

Take a look at the slideshow and enjoy!

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