Category Archives: Great gardens

In a Vase on Monday – fuchsias, 5 favourite NW gardens

So the hot, sunny weather is over for the moment.  It’s been raining on or off in Manchester all day, so I ran out into the garden to pick some flowers for the vase, you can still see the raindrops on the fuchsias. It’s a good thing it’s been raining, as the reservoirs, the farms and the gardens need it.  The drawback for me is that my arthritis starts aching again; it’s been glorious having three months pain-free. Continue reading

In a Vase on Monday – Bee Cheerful & Enjoy Today

‘Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you miss the sense of where you are going and why’ Eddie Cantor, US Actor and Radio Broadcaster.

The very hot weather continues here in NW England, the ground is parched, but looking on the bright side there are plenty of bees around.  We’ve had huge wildfires on the moors near Bolton and Oldham, we’ve got the threat of a hosepipe ban from early August (not that I’ve got a hosepipe) and everyone seems to be moaning about the heat.  I’m not complaining about the heat – I’m cheerful as it means my arthritis pain is minimal, which makes a massive difference to my wellbeing and energy levels.  So I’ve been doing more walking in the woods near us and getting out and about.

So I’ve been watering my plants with the watering can every evening; I find it a very relaxing, mindful activity.  I’ve had a very relaxing time in July as I’ve got time off work – time for Wimbledon and enjoying the sunshine (with factor 50, shades and a hat).

 

Coreopsis Hypericum Roses – In a Vase on Monday

I decided to go with a bright arrangement today.  For my Vase, I’ve picked:

  • Coreopsis – ‘Sunkiss’ and ‘Early Sunrise’.   The common name is Tickseed, but luckily I’ve not had any tick bites on my walks, though horse flies are rampant at the moment and most people I know have a nasty bite or two.
  • two patio/mini roses one red and one shocking pink – both gifts so I’ve no idea of their names.
  • Hypericum from my front garden – it’s appeared a couple of times in the blog
  • Pale yellow marguerite daisy – I’ve got three of these growing well after being in the ‘sick plant’ section at a well known DIY store.
  • An orange French Marigold, sadly the rest have been decimated by the slugs 🙁 They’re the only plants that have been eaten, so that’s not so bad.

The print ‘Enjoy Today’ was designed by Becky Bettesworth.   I bought it when I visited Cornwall for the first time in over 30 years in 2015.  I sailed often when I was younger and it reminds me to be ‘in the moment’ and accept the direction of the wind (and/or life).

The jug and mug are made by charlottemacey.co.uk/
They have cute, stylised birds flying on the inner rim.   I bought these in Cornwall too.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Red and Pink roses, Coreopsis, Marguerite, Hypericum berries

It was so hot, I photographed the vase in the early evening shade, so I am pleased the flower colours came out so well.

Continue reading

Happiness – five things that helped #3 – 19 May 2017

The weather took a major turn for the worse this week (12-19 May 2017) – it’s hurled down for most of the week, the garden certainly needed it – everything was really parched. But, all the rain meant I didn’t get into the garden much, let alone anywhere else. I’ve also been feeling very tired, and arthritis pain is high.  However, I’m continuing to note down activities, people and things that make me happy or I’m grateful for.

Thanks, Emma from www.misspond.com who inspired me to blog and also writes regular posts on Happiness.  One of the things, I love about blogging is meeting (usually virtual) new friends, finding a community and developing a network of people all around the world.

Here are five things that helped bring me happiness this week:

1. Hen Do arrangements 

Officially, according to tradition (recent tradition, mind you), I shouldn’t be organising my own hen do – but I am.  It’s because I have friends from various parts of my life work, locals, friends from uni, women’s institute and friends I met for random reasons over the last 30 years. My two UK bridesmaids have a lot on in their lives at the moment. One lives in London and is doing a Masters. The other is local to me in Lancashire, but she has a very hectic family life, busy life and her own 25th wedding anniversary do to arrange.   I thought I’d get the ball rolling so I asked everyone what they might want to do… So I’ve done a survey – I want to give people a chance to get to know each other, potter around Manchester, and also have some fun.  No dressing up, no tackiness, no clubbing (I’m too nackered). I am quite sure an Afternoon Tea will be involved 🙂

2. A visit to Salford Angels Women’s Institute 

I’ve been a member of Cottonopolis WI (since it started in January 2015), we meet in Ancoats, just north of Manchester city centre, on the first Wednesday of the month (7.30pm). Do come along if you’re a local. There’s always cake 🙂

I’ve written a few times about WI means to me; the fun, camping, adventures and excellent meetings and speakers – it’s most definitely not jam and Jerusalem – it’s been a campaigning organisation since its inception in 1915, lobbying for equal pay, The WI were founding members of both the ‘fair trade’ and ‘Keep Britain Tidy’.

One of the great things about all the new WI’s around Great Manchester is we do lots of joint activities and people attend other WI meetings – so I know ladies all over the city.  So on Thursday I went off to see the Salford Angels and had a lovely evening, with plenty of cake.

3. A walk around our neighbourhood – Monton in Salford

My Chap and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood after we’d had our tea. It’s something we do often in the summer evenings. We have a good look at all the flowers and plants in front gardens, noticing plants for our garden.  It was lovely to chat about this and that, nothing complicated or heavy, just a good chat and a laugh or two.

We are lucky to live in Monton, in Salford. It’s very green place, the Bridgewater Canal is at the end of my street, Worsley Woods are a mile, or so away, and there’s a couple of golf courses (not that we play – but there are many footpaths).  There’s even a parkrun at the end of our street.

It has a lighthouse that’s 30 miles from the North Sea (it’s really a garden shed) – just another reason why Monton is a bit quirky.

Red and white lighthouse, with two canal barges by the Bridgewater Canal

19 May 2017 – the lighthouse by the Bridgewater Canal, at Monton, Salford -30 miles from the sea!

4. Lunch with my pal C

I had a great time catching up with my good pal, hearing all her news and discussing my news – it really lifted my spirits. She’s a good listener. I’ve known C for over 12 years, we shared an office at work. She’s an IT geek and I’m not 🙂 Our birthdays are a couple of days apart, we usually go out to celebrate our birthdays, involving cocktails. Annual trips to Manchester Christmas markets, days out to Dunham Massey. She’s part of the Cottonopolis WI posse too – and obviously, she and her husband will be at our wedding in September.

5. My Gardening magazines arrived

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I love our garden and gardening.  I’ve been a bit lax about taking part in In a Vase on Monday recently, but I’ve got my eye on some margarites for next week. Bloggers get involved from all around the world. Their beautiful flowers lift my mood when I’m feeling low. This link hosted by Cathy at:

This week my Gardeners’ World and Royal Horticultural Society Magazine arrived. I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking through deciding what we might plant, or if money and space were available. The Gardeners’  World is very accessible for beginner gardeners like me, the RHS one helps with plant pests, plants that might suit our shady, north facing soggy back garden – and Latin plant names too.

6. Royal Horticultural Society Bridgewater Garden, Salford

We’ve been to RHS Tatton Park garden show most years (we are going again this year), but I only got around to joining RHS last year.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that the 5th RHS garden Bridgewater will be a mile or so from our house up the Bridgewater Canal from our house (hence it’s name). It’s great for Salford in so many ways, not least employment and training. Watch this space, as it develops – work has started, it opens in 2019 – the plants need time to grow 🙂

What have you been grateful for this week?

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xxx

 

In a vase on Monday – sweetpeas are blissful and so are we

Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss. –
Endymion II, John Keats

This has been a very strange summer for many reasons, the weather has been really wet, so many plants and flowers are weeks behind flowering when they should have.  This week I dodged the monsoon downpours to pick these sweetpea flowers.    They  were tricky to photograph as the light was so poor – it felt like October.  They smell wonderful though.

It’s been a hectic year so far, many changes at work and uncertainty for many people But, I start an exciting new role next month, so there’s been much to arrange, lots of extra studying and planning; I’m looking forward to it.   I’m still feeling very, very tired and my back ache and arthritis have been painful, but I’m much, much better than I was this time last year.  I couldn’t have got to where I am today, without the unending support and love of My Chap – he’s always holding my hand – sometimes metaphorically 😉

Sweet peas and Purple glass vase from Eden Centre

Sweet peas and Purple glass vase from the Eden Project  – 22 July 2016

This vase appeared before as part of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before in late July 2015; it turns out I’d picked sweetpeas then too – completely different colours though.  I do remember that the sweetpea plants were about 6 foot high and covered in flowers – they’ve barely reached 4 foot this year.

As I mentioned, I’ve been very busy so although I’ve picked and photographed flowers and vases quite a few times this year – I haven’t ‘quite’ managed to write blog posts – chronically late even for me.  As ever, I really enjoy seeing everyone’s flowers (and vases) from around the world – it’s really lifted me, inspired me and made me feel part of a community.  Thank you everyone.

‘In a Vase on Monday’ is hosted by Cathy at www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com so do have a look to see what people have created – this week there are some Ikebana Japanese flower arrangements Cathy’s Ikebana Venus is beautiful.  I think I might have to think hard about Ikebana and do some reading before I have a go.  I still tend to plonk flowers in vases and hope for the best.

Sweet pea and purple vase

sweetpeas and vase from the Eden project – 27 July 2015

It’s said that the poet John Keats (1795-1821) was the first person to use the name sweet pea for these flowers.  Although. the style of sweetpeas he knew would be very different to modern day ones because of hybrids. In the language of flowers Sweetpeas meaning blissful pleasure.

*****

We are feeling blissful 🙂

The big news is – My Chap asked me to marry him and I said YES!!!

On Saturday 18th June 2016, we took a picnic and headed off to Bodnant Garden in Wales; we go often and love it there.  We had a great time, wandering around the estate and the mountains of Snowdonia glistened in the sunshine.  We took many photos of the Dell, in particular (the rhododendrons and azaleas were nearly over but the hydrangeas were just coming into bloom).

We arrived at the rose garden about 5pm. It was exceptional – the roses are in full bloom and the scent incredible.  I sat on a bench by the roses My Chap got down on one knee and asked me….Blissful.

Rose garden at Bodnant, engagement bench, Constance Spry roses

Rose Garden at Bodnant Garden – our engagement – 18 June 2016

My Chap chose my engagement ring too – it fits perfectly – what a wonderful man.
We celebrated by buying a purple lupin from the Bodnant garden centre.
My Brother and Sister in Law sent us a stunning Waterford crystal vase which will definitely be appearing as the star of ‘In a Vase in Monday’.

engagement rings, roses, bench, Bodnant Garden Conwy

My Chap asked me to marry him in the Rose Garden at Bodnant on Saturday 18th June 2016 – I said yes

I don’t think it will surprise ANY  of my fellow gardening bloggers that the first thing we thought about was ‘what style and colours our wedding flowers should be?’   Roses will definitely appearing, as will lavender, and sweetpeas too.  I hope we can grow some flowers for our wedding, so I’ll be seeking advice for a ‘cutting garden’ in our small,  northern, north-facing back garden.

Just need to get on with arrangements and find a venue – We are getting married late September 2017.

Exciting times 🙂

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Carpe Diem

Love

Bec xx

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday – Our engagement at Bodnant

engagement rings, roses, bench, Bodnant Garden Conwy

My Chap asked me to marry him in the Rose Garden at Bodnant on Saturday 18th June 2016 – I said yes

We visit Bodnant Gardens often – it’s about an hour and half from Manchester, inland from Conwy on the North Wales Coast.  It’s one of our favourite places – there’s always somewhere beautiful to walk, time to stop and smell the flowers, relax and enjoy the scenery – the garden overlooks Snowdon.

Last Saturday, we took a picnic and headed off to Wales; we have been together six years on 20th June so were celebrating that too.  We had a lovely time, the weather was sunny and warm, we took many photos of the Dell, in particular (the rhododendrons and azaleas were nearly over but the hydrangeas were just coming into bloom).

We arrived at the rose garden about 5pm. It was exceptional – the roses are in full bloom and the scent incredible.  Then My Chap got down on one knee and asked me – I said YES!!!!

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be – Robert Browning

Bodnant Gardens -National Trust – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden

p.s. Constance Spry rambling roses by the bench – Perfect