It’s the first day of Winter today according to the meteorological calendar. The older I get the quicker the time flies by and the more rubbish my memory becomes; this is one of the reasons I started a blog – to record what was happening around us, in the garden, days out and what adventures we got up to. It’s certainly done that, I’ve rediscovered my love of photography. It also gives me a chance to see how the garden changes from day to day and year to year. But, I really do sound like a broken record mentioning often what odd weather we’ve had this year – it’s been very, very mild, temperatures often 10-15 degrees – and not getting anywhere freezing overnight. Here beside the Bridgewater Canal, in Monton, in Salford, quite a few of my plants still haven’t realised it’s December. Usually, the garden in December would be looking rather leafless, bare sticks and trees, the odd evergreen plant and a basket or two of winter violas and pansies – with frost and cold, wet soil. Instead, there a couple of plants flowering that really shouldn’t be…
1.Margarite – ArgyranthemumFrutescens
I have three of these plants in pots, in the front garden, and they are still flowering – they’re proper sun lovers. I love daisy style flowers, so I have many different plants – dahlias (Bishop styles), Leucanthemum, these and cute alpines. Continue reading →
I’ve written many times about how much flowers, gardening and the great outdoors help my health and wellbeing – coupled with mindfulness and yoga help me every day. I think I’d be in a much tougher place without all these things. That and my ace family and friends. Not long after I started my blog, nearly four years ago, I came across a gardening blog called Rambling in the Garden (www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com), run by a lovely lady called Cathy. There was a link up every Monday involving picking flowers and plants from your garden (or locality) and placing them in in a vase – it was fascinating to see what she had grown in her garden, and what the other gardening bloggers around the world were growing. Today the meme has it’s fifth birthday.
I thought I need to get involved, as one of the reasons, I’d started the blog was to keep track of what is growing in the garden and when it flowers.
I learn so much from being involved in this meme – so much about gardening, what to plant and what not to plant, flower arranging and how to take ‘macro’ photography shots. But more than that Cathy has always written lovely supportive and caring comments on my posts, always has something constructive to say – and above all has always been kind. One day, I hope to meet Cathy face to face – probably when RHS Bridgewater opens – as I know she’d want to look around.
Keep on doing what your doing Cathy – it’s magical and wonderful.
Cathy says she had no idea what she’d started, but I know for sure it has a positive impact on so many people 🙂 xx
Gardeners join in from all around the world – On dark days in the middle of Winter, seeing the bright blooms from around the world have lifted my mood. They’ve helped me when I’ve been unwell too as it’s encouraged me to get out and take photos. It’s helped me to write better too – to find my voice. So thank you to every IAVOM blogger who’s picked and taken photos over the years – and an extra special thank you to everyone who’s ever commented on my vases. I’ve been rubbish at replying but I’ve read every comment. I rarely manage to post on a Monday either – mainly because it’s dark/wet in Manchester and life is full on. But, Cathy says that doesn’t matter… it’s the joining in that counts.
And sometimes pals in your phone/internet can help you more than they realise, help you find a way through, find a new perspective…
Today is the fifth birthday of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ hosted by wonderful Cathy. Here’s what she’s picked and written about – not a vase and some dried flowers – but much more than that it’s about kindness, friendship, help and support – Thank you, everyone 🙂
For this week’s contribution to IAVOM, Cathy suggested NOT using a Vase…. have a look 🙂
If you want to join in – have a go, it’s not massively complex – some people just post one photo and minimal words, others weave the photos into stories – others pick plants from holidays and trips. It’s a good way to see how your garden or locality changes, month to month and year to year – and you never know you might find a new pal or two on the internet.
five fuchsias in five bottles in a wicker basket with a Veronica Dearly quote.
Life is very hectic at the moment – in a good way. Various plans seem to be coming together but it is tough squeezing everything in – I feel like I’ve been chained to the laptop. Most things I’m writing are things I want to write about – so that helps. I’m working on various different projects and activities – some crafting projects and courses too. I’m hoping my plans are coming together and I’m remaining positive – carrying on with mindfulness, yoga and daily walking. This quote resonated with me – I’m keeping going…
‘One of the things I’ve learnt the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.’
Lucille Ball (1911-1989) – actress, comedienne and producer. She was the first woman to run a Hollywood Studio in 1962.
My birthday is in October and My Chap’s a week later – these follow quickly from our first wedding anniversary – so there’s been plenty of adventures and weekends away as well – he’s been running for the motor neurone disease association at half marathons too.
One of the things, I’ve been doing is taking photographs when it is sunny – here’s my vase from Monday. The weather has been sunny and warm most days; even when it’s overcast it’s still too warm for the time of year. It was 22 degrees on my birthday last week. This vase looks like one from August, not mid-October.
pink pelargonium, purple and red saliva, purple wallflower and fuchsia in green/blue stoneware jug
Flowers in my Vase
pink edged pelargonium – Crimson Flame
purple perennial wallflower – this bush has been flowering continuously since about March – it’s appeared in the IAVOM often too.
fuchsia – it’s a hardy one, grows is about five foot high at the moment and flowering profusely – I think it’s magellania
Gosh, it’s been windy this week. It’s been throwing down with rain for most of the time, here in Manchester – two storms Ali and Bronagh in quick succession, so my north facing, shady garden is a squelchy mess but the two water-butts are overflowing. The weather cleared on Saturday morning so I ran out to take some photos for my ‘Six on Saturday’ joining up with the Propagator and all the other gardening bloggers around the world. It’s a simple idea to photograph some of the ‘action’ around your garden and its surroundings. The weather’s been warm despite the rain so my petunias are still looking good.
1.Salvia and our new Arbour
salvia Amistad purple flowers and new arbour in the background
I’ve got a couple of other salvias in pots around the gardens. They’re good for Autumn colour and seem easy to grow. I like them as they come in many shades of pink, red, purple and different sizes too. Hopefully, they’ll survive the winter OK.
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 →