Firethorn, pansies, Remembrance Day poppy wreath, Six on Saturday – 10 November 2018

Firethorn, pansies, Remembrance Day poppy wreath, Six on Saturday – 10 November 2018

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It’s been a windy and cold in Manchester this week. There’s still some summer flowers hanging on, but mostly it’s full-on autumn colours reds, orange and yellow. I’ve not been out in the garden to do any jobs as the weather has been foul.  Planting tulips in pots in the porch have been my main focus this week.  Also, I’ve been busy crafting felt poppies for my Remembrance Day Poppy Door Wreath.

There are many poppies too – as there should be at this time of year.  There are some stunning installations near Churches and memorials, in parks and in railway stations.  Our WI sent poppies to one of our sister groups out in a small village in Lancashire who was making felt and wool poppy wreaths for their war memorial – I made 16 felt poppies.

1. Viburnum

small white viburnum flowers on a branch with green privet bush in background
This is one of two standard viburnum trees that came as a wedding gift to us last year;  they were in full bloom for our wedding in September 2017. Since then – they’ve flowered at very random times – I think the very cold weather in March and boiling heat in June/July has confused the plants. They’ve been re-potted so I hope they survive the winter OK.
I don’t know the variety, as M and S didn’t admit it.  I’ll take some bud photos next time it’s sunny to help me identify it – no scent though.

    • Do my gardening pals have any ideas what variety it might be?

2. Sweet William – Dianthus Barbatus

sweet william pink and white flowers - dianthus

These sweet williams fill two pots in our front garden – I bought them from the ‘sick plant aisle’ at Wilko earlier in the year.   We’ve grown sweet williams in our garden often over the years. I’ve never grown them from seed as we don’t have a greenhouse or a cold frame.

Sweet william have appeared often ‘In a Vase on Monday’:

3.  Viola and Pansy

viola yellow and purple viola lensbaby trio 28

a yellow and purple viola Lensbaby trio 28 sweet

purple and yellow pansy flower - lensbaby trio 28 sweet mode

purple and yellow pansy flower was taken with Lensbaby trio 28 – sweet

The pansies and violas in the pots in the front garden are looking good.  I was practising with my Lensbaby Trio 28 using the sweet effect which has a central focus which makes the plants pop with blur around the edges.   This lens is giving me great shots – I am loving it.   Practising on a sunny day as there’s so much to get the hang of inc aperture/light exposure.  I am getting there.

4. Red patio rose

10 red mini patio roses - 10 November 2018

red mini patio roses – 10 November 2018

I’m really pleased with these patio roses; they are still flowering and have been for about six weeks.  They flowered earlier in the summer (June/July) and then stopped.  This photo is with my Samsung SLR.

5. Pyracantha – Fire Thorn a group of red berries amouny dark green leaves pyracantha red fire thorn

Red firethorn in my neighbour’s garden – it is everywhere around the neighbourhood.  This photo is taken with a Lensbaby Trio 28 – sweet.

6. Poppies everywhere

poppies in a wildflower meadow - using Lensbaby Trio 28 - twist

poppies in a wildflower meadow – using Lensbaby Trio 28 – twist – Reminder – this photo is my copyright please don’t reuse.

This is a wildflower meadow is on a ‘spare’ piece of land at Manchester University – about 40 foot long; the seeds were planted earlier in the year by local school children.
I was so pleased to see there were so many flowering – there were many cornflowers too. The cornflower is the symbol of the motor neurone disease associations in Australia.

Blue cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) and Australian MND Association

The blue cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) was adopted by Australian MND Associations as the national symbol of hope for MND, because of its fragile appearance but hardy nature.

Like the cornflower, people living with MND show remarkable strength in coping with this devastating disease.

One of my oldest’s friends mum has died from MND this week only 63 and diagnosed less than a year – it is a vile, vile, disease.

People think it’s a rare disease because only about 5,000 people are living with MND at any one time but that’s because people die so quickly.  It is a 1-300 lifetime risk. There is no cure and only one drug which slows its progress (which isn’t suitable for most people)


As usual, I am joining the Propagator who takes six photos around his garden or the locality and writes about them.  This week (10 November 2018) he has some asters, some hechara, some pyracantha like me as well as plenty of leaves and roots.  Gardening bloggers from around the world join in too. Reading the post gives me ideas about what I can grow in our garden.

Remembrance Day Poppy Wreath – red felt door wreath

Remembrance Day Poppy wreath - November 2018

Remembrance Day Poppy wreath – November 2018

I made this Remembrance Day poppy wreath using a small 10inch flat wreath ring, some hessian ‘ribbon’, sewed some felt poppies (they’re folded in four), and found some templates for leaves.  I love the jagged black buttons. I’m very pleased how it’s come out.  I’d have included a purple poppy too to remember the animals and birds that were involved too but I didn’t have any purple felt.

The week before I’d made 16 poppies to send to our WI sisters in a Lancashire village.  When I joined the Women’s Institute five years ago I hadn’t done any crafting in decades. Now, I’m much more confident of my abilities – even though I’m still slow.


My husband used to be in the Army, we will be at the cenotaph in Eccles on Sunday paying our respects to the fallen.  I am very fortunate that all my relatives who went to serve in the first and second world wars returned – though they all lost friends and saw grim things. My Dad was in the RAF in the 1950s including at Suez lost a good friend who he talked about often.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
from ‘The Fallen’ written September 2014 by Laurence Binyon.


What are you doing for Remembrance Day?  

Have you seen any interesting poppy installations where you live? or are the poppies still flowering? 

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx


  1. 10/11/2018 / 11:12 am

    Such beautiful photos as always. I haven’t seen any real poppies this year (a pitfall of city living) but I know there are Rememberance events happening around St Peter’s Square this weekend so will head down there for sure x

    • 12/11/2018 / 12:06 pm

      Thank you Chyaz – I saw photos from St Peter’s square there were hundreds there.
      there’s urban flowers around the city in nooks and crannies – I need to photograph more of them.

  2. 10/11/2018 / 1:46 pm

    The poppy wreath is lovely.

  3. 10/11/2018 / 2:09 pm

    Beautiful images and lovely content. Thank you.

  4. 12/11/2018 / 11:14 am

    Lovely pictures, It made me realise that a littlefield a couple of years ago was filled with Poppies, I looked yesterday and there were none, It would of been special to of seen them yesterday, I wonder why?

    • 12/11/2018 / 11:21 am

      thank you 🙂 a field on a farm? or urban? If a farm it could be that it was a fallow year and they’d planted wildflowers – and this year the land will be planted with a crop. If it’s an urban space it could be that the ground was disturbed at the wrong time for the seeds to germinate (or even weekkiller!).

      • 12/11/2018 / 6:50 pm

        Ahh it’s used by a farmer . We are in a village surrounded by farms x

  5. 12/11/2018 / 11:15 pm

    I painted a watercolour poppy to share on Remembrance Sunday. I’m going to give the original to my Mother in Law as her Dad fought in WW2

  6. 13/11/2018 / 11:02 am

    What beautiful photos. We have a lot of red firethorn growing around our neighbourhood.

    Louise x

  7. Lora Hughes
    13/11/2018 / 4:32 pm

    All your photos are so nice. I noticed you mentioned using different cameras – or are they different lenses? I’m in big need of a photographic upgrade – suggestions?

  8. Wendy
    13/11/2018 / 5:23 pm

    Soo many beautiful flowers! How lovely that the poppy seeds were planted by school children. I love seeing all the autumn colours and poppies are really beautiful xx

  9. 15/11/2018 / 7:38 pm

    You have some wonderful flowers in your garden and it’s lovely to see them doing so well at this time of year. I’m so sorry about your experience of MND. Your wreath is perfect, so beautiful. we enjoyed some lovely displays where we live

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