Join me for ‘A Week of Flowers’ 2022

For the past two years I have invited my blogging friends to join me in posting a photo of a flower each day for a week at the end of November/beginning of December. And it has been so much fun that I am doing it again! This year I will be starting on November 30th.

November seems to have slipped by, possibly because the first half was so sunny and mild and it felt like October. Now I realize Advent starts this coming weekend!

Last year I made new blogging friends with my Week of Flowers. Connecting to people around the world simply by sharing our passion for plants is certainly a good way to spend a few hours on a dark December evening.

So, from Wednesday November 30th through to Tuesday December 6th I will be sharing the most colourful and cheerful flowers from my garden in 2022. 😃

Please join me in making December a bit brighter. It can be one photo, or more if you like. You can post just one day or all seven. But do leave a link in the comments so that we can all see what you have found to share!

I am looking forward to it!

In a Vase on Monday: Ninth Anniversary!

It is now nine years since Cathy at Rambling in the Garden first invited fellow bloggers to join her and share a vase every Monday with materials from their gardens. What a great idea that was! Even though this was November – the onset of winter in the UK – it struck a chord with gardeners around the world and soon created a wonderful little community in the blogging world. And yesterday some of us even met up on zoom for the first time, which was lovely!

Cathy has set us a challenge to celebrate this anniversary: create a hand-tied posy.

I love a challenge. So I made my posy a few days early, as frosts had been forecast.

At the centre I used some Miscanthus ‘Red Chief’, my last red Gaillardia, some Persicaria ‘Blackfield’, a few deep red Cornus stems and the very last of the small sunflowers.

Around the edges are some common spurge, some geranium leaves turning lovely autumn colours, and a large hellebore leaf.

A couple of sprigs of Queen Anne’s Lace and the deep red Leucothoe add highlights.

I tied the posy with a piece of string, and then added a green ribbon, although it is hard to see on my photos, and got a bit soggy when I put the posy in a glass of water!

Saturday night/Sunday morning we had our first frost – it was only just below freezing, but was accompanied by a cold north-east wind. And yet Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was still flowering. Such an amazing plant. So I decided to make a second posy to celebrate that as well!


More Miscanthus ‘Red Chief’, red cornus stems and Chrysanthemum ‘Anastasia’ at the centre, with silvery Anaphalis triplinervis and the blue Rozanne flowers. Then four bronze Heuchera leaves around the edges, and a purple ribbon.

(By the way, I used Rozanne in last week’s vase, and it lasted extremely well.)

A huge thank you to Cathy, and to all the others who join in every Monday as well as all those who write comments. This meme has made Mondays so much more enjoyable and I look forward to visiting everyone’s posts, even if it is sometimes a day or two later. You and your gardens are all wonderful!

💕

In a Vase on Monday: October Snow

Okay, I caught your attention…. but not to worry. We have not had snow and it was a gorgeous sunny 20°C today! 😃 But the contents of the vase I am sharing this week do make reference to snow. 😉

But first things first. I wanted to show the lid of the ‘lotus’ vase I used before I filled it up.

It is so useful as I can place three or four stems in each hole and space them as I wish to create the effect desired. Here you can see I started with the foliage: purple Heuchera and Hellebore leaves.

The asters are all fabulous – as always! September rain and October sunshine helped. I chose the deep pink ‘Alma Poetschke’ (on the right) and the ruby/purple ‘September Ruby’ (left), although the ruby one really is more purple than red despite the photos suggesting otherwise…

The snow is represented by the white ones: Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’ is the larger of the white flowers, and the small white flowers are Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’. (Clouds of white flowers adorn the garden, with bees humming everywhere. 😃🐝)

For height, I used some Miscanthus… they have actually started to flower, albeit very short and small flowers. They clearly like more moisture than I realised. And Persicaria. The darker one with the lovely markings on the foliage (see below) is Persicaria (Polygonum) Blackfield, which has turned out to be the most impressive flower of them all and the most drought hardy too.

We made the most of the good weather yesterday and chopped and stacked a lot of wood for the winter. This is one of our wood piles. 😃 We don’t use much as we have very efficient floor heating, but for emergencies…

Thanks as always go to Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, for thinking up and hosting this Monday Vase meme. Do go and visit her today!

Have a wonderful week. And Happy Gardening!

☀️🐝🍁

 

Walktober 2022

Every year Robin at Breezes At Dawn invites us to share a walk in October – Walktober. I am pleased to participate this year as I think I have only done so once before in 2018. As soon as she does her post collecting all contributions, I will add the link.

17th October – And here it is: 😃

https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2022/10/13/you-are-here-2/

I realize that many of my readers do not get such intense autumn colour as we do. So I thought I would share some with you. In the mornings, old Anouk and I take a gentle stroll around the perimeters of the garden. Thankfully it is fenced in, or we would have deer directly in the garden. We often disturb some, sleeping just outside the fence in the tall grass between us and the neighbouring field. Especially here, where the Virginia Creeper has started covering a lot of the fence. It looks gorgeous right now.

As the name suggests, this colourful creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia ) is not native, but nowadays can often be found growing in the wild here. It is not considered invasive, and offers nectar and berries for the wildlife.

The hedgerows are full of berries; sloes on the Blackthorn, traditionally used for making sloe gin.

Spindle berries (Euonymus europeus), which (correct me if I am wrong) are of little use to humans but look incredibly pretty.

Viburnum opulus berries, again of more appeal to the birds.

And rosehips, which we must pick now if we want to make anything with them.

And the golden yellow patches of Jerusalem Artichoke flowers stand out well against the blue sky.

Close up, you can still see the morning dew on the petals…

Hopefully these will thrive next year too, as we are not harvesting the tubers.

Hornbeam trees line our driveway and are changing a lovely golden colour. They are renowned for retaining some of their leaves until spring, but each tree is different and some will no doubt be completely bare soon.

The pine trees beyond the fence also look wonderful when the sky behind them is that deep blue. It is nice to have evergreens nearby in the winter.

The grass has recovered from the summer heat and drought, but it is mostly weeds that grow here anyway…

Moon daisies, various types of dandelion, plaintain, clover and Prunella (self heal) are typical all year round.

Various funghi have appeared recently. I suspect many are edible, but since we are not familiar with them we will leave the mushroom gathering to the experienced!

A detour through the apple trees shows these are ready for picking… the only one of our trees to have produced any decent fruits this year, due to the combination of late frosts, strong winds and then the dry and hot summer.

I am looking forward to Apple strudel!…..

And one of the wild pear trees has produced lots of fruit. These have already been dried for winter snacks, as they are otherwise inedible – hard and sour!

I hope you enjoyed sharing our morning walk, and that you also have some pretty countryside near you to enjoy this October. To finish off this post I am quoting from a poem by Mary Oliver called ‘Lines written in the days of growing darkness’, which may sound dismal from the title, but is anything but!

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day…

🍄🍁☀️

Six on Saturday, 13th August 2022

Here in Germany, like in many other parts of Europe, there has been practically no rain since late spring. The garden is parched, and no amount of watering seems to make a difference. The strong winds have been relentless here, drying the ground and burning up foliage. Our trees are wilting, shrubs in the hedges we planted are dying, and the flower beds have all but been abandoned to their fate. I know so many of you are also lamenting the lack of rain. It is frustrating, but we can do little about it. So I shall focus on some of the positive things this August.

1. My vegetable garden has done well and I have harvested more than we can eat. My freezer is bursting at the seams! The yellow wild cherry tomatoes are the most productive and easy to care for tomatoes I have ever grown, and taste good too. I have also grown some sweetcorn for the first time this year and we have eaten a few cobs already, although really we should wait another week or two for them to fatten up. Delicious!

2. My Japanese Anemone opened a few days ago and is looking happy, despite a few brown leaves. I love this deep pink one – ‘Serenade’ – a pleasant change from the paler ones that seem more common.

3. The Perovskia looks magical (with the Gaura just about hanging on in the background). In fact, it looks better for the lack of rain!

4. Stipa gigantea is still shining, here with the best of the Tithonia finally reaching about a metre (the others are less than 30 cm high) and a couple of sunflowers – sadly not as grand as last year when I had dozens of enormous sunflowers, but sunflowers nonetheless.

5. The Gaillardia are looking good – one of the toughest flowers I have, flowering non-stop despite gale-force winds and scorching sun. And loved by the bees etc.

6. And finally, a bit of an oddity…. a Hellebore flowering in the full sun in August!

I realised when finishing this post that I had six photos and it is Saturday. So I am finally participating in Jon the Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme for the first time. If you visit Jon’s blog you will find links to other gardeners posting six garden-related things on a Saturday. Many thanks to Jon for hosting this meme. 😃

Happy gardening, and wishing all those in a drought lots of long and gentle showers!

🌧🌧🌧

 

In a Vase on Monday: Glorious Globes

This Monday, after a week off, I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden again for her weekly vase meme. And I decided to choose a global theme today – literally!

Globes.

After all the hot and harsh winds over the past few weeks, with no rain in sight, the flower beds are literally disintegrating. But this has meant structure is playing more of a role, and I have noticed a lot of round shapes in both flowers and seedheads.

Firstly an Allium seedhead and the fresh Allium ‘Millenium’ which is the latest flowering one I have found. I also added a Nigella seedhead (slightly oval), and a sedum – also much rounder in form before actually flowering.

And the Echinops of course – a perfect globe. The orange seed heads of Gaillardia too.

Then the Succisella inflexa ‘Frosted Pearl’ (which is very drought tolerant) and the seedhead of Scabiosa perfecta.

(The grass I added is my current favourite: Deschampsia ‘Schottland’. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but have slowly fallen in love with it!)

The Scabiosa close up is quite remarkable…

Naturally I used a globe shaped vase and found a prop to match too….

This ‘marble’ came from the Kugelmühle (‘Marble Mill’) near Berchtesgaden in the German Alps, right on the border to Austria. Founded in the seventeenth century, this mill ground stones to perfect globes, which were sold as marbles – toys for children – exported via Rotterdam and London to all over the world. There were in fact many such mills in the region in past centuries. This particular mill is still working, and is a lovely spot for a walk in a shady ravine on a hot summer’s day. And there is of course a beer garden for a refreshing drink too! Aah, nice memories of holidays in the mountains!

Have a good week, and stay cool! 😎

In a Vase on Monday: There’s No Smoke Without Fire

I was busy today, and left it rather late in the day to find something for my Monday vase so that I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. But I was determined to cut some flowers! even though it is hot. And windy. And dry. There have been warnings for forest fires in our region for a couple of weeks now so as I rounded the corner of the house and saw smoke I was somehow not surprised, but also rather afraid. It was only about a kilometre away from us, with a lot of dry woodland between us…

No sooner had I called my Man of Many Talents than we heard sirens in all directions. Nonetheless he got his emergency watering vehicle ready just in case; a trailer with 600 liters of water, a pump and a fireman’s hose, hooked up to his ATV. Thankfully the excitement was soon over, and the smoke subsided. Phew! I don’t need that sort of excitement too often! Only ten days ago a freshly harvested wheat field went up in smoke, a little farther away from us. Local farmers assisted with putting the fire out… they all have their tanks filled with water at the ready.

I still wanted to cut some flowers, but my thoughts had turned from sunshine and shade to fire and smoke! I cut lots of Heliopsis ‘Sommersonne’ as originally intended, but it is accompanied by the remains of the single flower on my young Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) and some Euphorbias, which are the only plants that seem entirely happy in the extremely dry Sunshine Bed right now.

The sunflower vase is a summer favourite. 😃

 The wind has died down for now, but it has scorched and frazzled a lot of plants. Still, we had cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and garlic from our own garden yesterday, so I mustn’t grumble! 😉

Have a great week and stay cool!

😎🍉🍹