In a Vase on Monday: September Stars and an Anniversary

I got a message from WordPress the other day to congratulate me on my blogging anniversary. Guess how many years….

Nine!

😃

My goodness, how time flies!

To celebrate I am sharing my vase of asters today for Cathy’s meme (Rambling in the Garden).

The purply pink ones are a novae-angliae aster called Septemberrubin.

The white ones are what they call wild asters here, but are actually Erigeron, growing on the edge of the woods and at the roadsides.

Naturally I had to add a few grasses. After all, it IS September and they are at their peak; Miscanthus, Panicum and Pennisetum.

 

The wonderful September weather is set to change soon, so I am busy outdoors the next few days to make the most of it. Looking forward to some rain though. 😉

Have a good week!

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Bye Bye August!

The last week of August has brought us relief from the heat and lots of rain, and the garden is suddenly looking sort of ‘in between’: like summer is over, but autumn hasn’t quite got going. I am dithering about cutting down zucchini and tomato plants, while wrapping up my basil at night as temperatures drop to single digits. The house martins I showed you last week are preparing to fly south. There is a saying here that they will be gone by September 8th, which in the Roman Catholic calendar is ‘Maria Geburt’ – the Birth of the Virgin Mary:

Am Maria Geburt fliegen die Schwalben furt’

And like so many of the old sayings here in Germany, it is still pretty accurate; last year I saw a few stragglers on the 9th but they left within a couple of days as well.

My Monday vase is reflecting the season perfectly this week, all the late summer golds and oranges once again.

The Golden Rod grows wild, just behind the fence, but pieces had been broken in the heavy rain at the weekend so I could easily reach over and pluck a few stems.

I decided to pick one of my sunflowers in the Herb Bed – next to my giant sunflower is another plant with a big stem with multiple flower heads. Not sure what sort though, as they all got mixed up when planting them out.

Then I added a red and a yellow Benary’s Giant zinnia, some Helianthus Lemon Queen, a Tithonia and some Rudbeckia, all from the Sunshine Bed.

Oh and some grasses. This one is Miscanthus Red Chief.

One more picture of the Tithonia… 😜

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. Her vase is so sweet this week!

Have a great week!

😃🌻😃

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In Vase on Monday: Dazzlers

The sunlight has been quite dazzling recently, as have the white flowers in and around my garden. I decided to combine them in a vase, joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

I had forgotten how prickly Cleome can be, and the strong smell of the Feverfew Fleabane surprised me too… maybe because it was cut early in the day?

The Gaura were smothered in bees and other small pollinators when I cut them, which was pleasing to see.

Cosmos Purity needs a bit longer to get going as usual, producing loads of (pretty) foliage but few flowers. Still, I cut a couple.

The Echinacea is Baby Swan White, which is possibly actually E. White Swan as it has turned out to be much taller and larger than it should be!

A Scabiosa ochroleuca was permitted to join the rest, despite not being really white but more cream. A sprig of Queen Ann’s Lace was added and finally a couple of sprigs of Artemisia Silver Queen, which I should use more often as a filler as it is such a thug it needs cutting back constantly!

We had another fantastic blue sky to the north this morning, but it is getting very warm again. This vase is nice and refreshing to look at indoors. 😃

Wishing you all blue skies and sunshine (and some kind of refreshment too 😉) this last week of July!

 

Scentsations

It starts in March, February if you are lucky. You are walking along the edge of woods in a bare and frosty landscape and suddenly… WHAM. A sweet floral perfume awakens your olfactory senses for the first time this year and the only flower in sight is a clump of Hepaticas. Hepaticas don’t smell of anything though, do they? You stick your nose in one and inhale. Nothing. But moments later another waft. It is magical and transitory.

Next the violets. I love them and hate them because I may smell the first one for a brief moment and then cannot detect a hint of the sweet violet perfume again. Apparently a trick our noses play on some of us. I envy people who swoon at the perfume they emit on a warm spring day.

Later, a bluebell wood in England. Then the lilacs in a friend‘s garden. The plum blossom on a neighbourhood tree.

And then the highlight of my spring, telling me summer has arrived and reminding me of the cordial, sorbet and pancakes I will be making – the elderflowers. The first hint of them in May crescendoes into a heady and intoxicating scent. I have never had elderflower champagne, but can imagine the taste. There are a lot of elder trees near us and their fragrance dominates for several weeks as plants in shadier spots open their flowers more slowly and later, lasting long into June. It sweetens on a warm day and in a very hot spell in early June it becomes almost overpowering. Mix that with the peonies and you are in heaven!

Oh yes, the peonies are nice too…

Another June delight: walking in the countryside on a warm day there is an occasional waft of a sweet scent similar to wild strawberries. It makes me look up and around and look again, really hard, at the wild flowers at the side of the footpath… Bedstraw? (Galium alba). Such an insignificant plant until it flowers. Like the Hepatica, if you go up to it and sniff, you probably won‘t smell a thing. Maybe you have to sneak up to it from behind to catch it!

I can enjoy the scent of roses, and like sweet peas too. But my favourite scent in spring or early summer has to be the elderflower.

What is your favourite scent on a spring or early summer day? Could you choose just one? 😉

In a Vase on Monday: Herbal Tea?

Monday has come round again and I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase. I must confess this was actually put together on Saturday, as I discovered the cornflowers on the edge of a corn field while walking our dog. I couldn‘t pass up the opportunity of having enough cornflowers for use in my cornflower teapot!

There is nothing quite like these beautiful blue flowers. And they really are blue. (Centaurea cyanus)

 

I realise I recently posted a similar vase of wildflowers, but I love them so much and this time there are a few new additions. Pink Campions (Silene dioca) for example…

Then the Scabiosa are flowering. They are usually pink in the wild – I‘d love a pink one in the garden but only seem able to find blue ones. Another one to put on my ‘Grow from seed’ list!

I also found some delicate pink Dianthus (Dianthus deltoides) but only picked one on our own land as they are rare. Then there are Harebells (Campanula patula), a Moon Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), some white Achillea, the fragrant Bedstraw (Galium mollugo, I think) and a slightly pink flower which I mistook for cow parsley (on the left in the next picture, slightly blurred!) There are so many similar flowers it is hard to identify it, but I will take a better look at it next time I see some.

I wonder what is growing wild near your gardens this June.

Have a good week everyone!