In a Vase on Monday: Mums – and Dads!

Chrysanthemums/Chrysanths/Mums – are in my vase today, still looking very fresh despite some chilly damp weather last week. A few fading Sedums accompany them.
But can you spot the two surprise flowers tucked in?

Yes, a pink and a purple Scabiosa were braving the cold wind in the Oval Bed. I brought them in to enjoy close up.

I chose my title because this vase is for my parents. My Mum is feeling low today and my Dad is fed up too… he has been in hospital and is hoping he can finally go home soon.

Flowers can raise our spirits, and I am glad to be able to share such a cheerful bunch mid-November. Wishing you all a sunny week and thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting!

🍁☀️🍄

 

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!

🤗

 

The Bird Bath

When I planned the Oval Bed a couple of years ago I imagined a birdbath in the centre of the ‘keyhole’. Something natural, made of local stone. Either light granite, which is common here on the edge of the Bavarian Forest, or limestone which is typical for areas along the River Danube.

Well, the bed took shape and was planted up. I initially wanted to call it The Bird Bath Bed, but without a bird bath that seemed inappropriate! 🙃Here it is in late May 2020.

And so the search for a bird bath began. Spring 2020 was perhaps not the best time to make any progress, but in the summer a few stone masons were visited, online shops were studied, but nothing seemed right.

I mentioned this to friends this spring, and not long after our friend Kurt offered me a huge lump of limestone, typical for the region where we used to live. I hesitated. It would mean chiselling out a dip in it for the water. But when my Man of Many Talents visited him soon after, Kurt had already made the shallow dip in the top surface of the stone!

So the stone sat in our yard for a long time, and the Oval Bed filled out in the spring and summer. Here it is in June of this year…

But then, yesterday, the forks were mounted on the tractor,  the stone was gently lifted, and everso everso carefully it was finally transported…

… round to the garden behind the house.

My Man of Many Talents had already measured it up and dug a hole exactly the right size and depth just where I wanted it.

It was slowly lowered in…

… and then with a bit of shovelling around we got it straight and filled in the edges with stones and soil. I quickly tidied up  the edges of the keyhole for the final photos.

The late afternoon light was perfect.

I am very happy with it. A big heartfelt THANK YOU to Kurt!

Today I ceremoniously poured some water into the indentation and now I am waiting for the birds to discover it. 🙂

In a Vase on Monday: Fizz, Fluff and Froth

Earlier in the week I picked all the pink Larkspur in the Moon Bed in the hope that any seedlings next year will be just blue or white. Well, the Larkspur looked lovely alone in its vase, but it would look even better if I added some frothy white Queen Anne’s Lace I thought.

As usual, one thing led to another and I found some wild Achillea milleflorum that had a pink tinge to it. Then I saw my pink Gypsophila was in flower. And a white Cosmos ‘Fizzy White’ looked pretty. And I just had to cut a couple of those gorgeous outlandish pink fluffy spikes from the Sanguisorba.

And so my vase evolved and I must say I rather like all that fizz, froth and fluff!

Why not join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for this lovely Monday meme. 😃

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Happy Gardening!

Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’

Buddleias are pretty tough plants and the only one I have ever lost was a dwarf one in the old garden after a very hard winter. This spring I was certain I had pruned mine back too early and a late frost appeared to have finished them off… a disaster for my Butterfly Bed where four different shrubs are the main focus of the bed.

I was wrong. By May they were all sending out shoots with new leaves appearing daily. Now they are back to the size they were last summer and the first flowers are opening. I am writing this down as a record to remind myself not to panic again next spring!

My favourite is Buddleia davidii ‘Nanho Blue’ (also called Buddleia davidii v. nanhoensis). This was featured in my vase last Monday (see here) and a few comments prompted me to take a second look at this shrub.

The reason I love it is partly for the fragrance of its flowers, which is not as overpowering as some. But the main reason is its foliage. The leaves are narrow – longer and thinner than other buddleias – and smoother too. As with my other buddleias they are also silvery. The combination of the smooth silver with the blue flowers is rather attractive, but even when it is not in flower it looks pretty. It retained most of its leaves throughout the winter as well, although they do look a bit worse for wear by the time I prune it in spring.

The flowers are also longer and thinner than other buddleia I have grown.

But what stood out in the photos of my vase the other day was the bubbly clusters of petals on each panicle.

This occurs on most of the flower heads it seems, and the effect is rather pretty. I think most of my buddleia have similar clusters, but because they are shorter and fatter flower heads it isn’t noticeable once they are in full bloom.

I planted a second Nanho Blue in the Oval Bed. This one is still quite compact….

 …… but the one in the Butterfly Bed is already about 2m tall and at least 1.5m wide. It isn’t supposed to get any bigger than that….

I will have to post some more photos once it is in full bloom… preferably with a few butterflies on it. 😉🦋

I think almost every garden has a buddleia, doesn’t it? So which buddleias have you grown and do you have a favourite? Are they invasive in your part of the world? Do they grow in warmer climates?

Thanks for reading and have a great gardening weekend!