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 →
Anyone in the UK will be well aware it’s Guy Fawkes Night, so as I’m writing this there’s the fizz, bang and pop of fireworks all around me. Plenty of people still hold their own family fireworks in the back gardens. Locally, in Pendleton in Salford, there is a huge fireworks display and bonfire at Buile Hill Park organised by Salford Council – many of the cricket and rugby clubs were hosting events as fundraisers. I’ve had the colours of fire on my mind today. I wanted to write about two things today – flowers and fundraising. Orange is the connection – we’ve been fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Red and orange pyracantha coreopsis, marguerite in a triangular, red glass vase
In a Vase on Monday – fire!
Pyracantha – yellow and orange berries – cut from two large trees next to the flats at the end of my street. There is also a yellow berry bush too but I couldn’t reach them to do a spot of pruning.
I wouldn’t usually include the berries that are going over but it seems appropriate to acknowledge the change in the seasons…
The vase is an unusual triangular shaped red glass vase dating from the early 1960s. I found it in my friend Steve’s home after he died in 2015. It must have been a wedding present for his father and mother. Knew them over 20 years, I never saw flowers in the house. But, I kept this vase and a pair of crystal vases probably another wedding present. One had a pile of pennies in it. I fill these vases with flowers and think fondly of Ju, Kev and Steve – very missed.
As usual, I am joining Cathy at www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com – it’s a simple idea pick plants, flowers, seedheads etc from your garden or locality and put in a ‘vase’. The vases are very inventive – gardening bloggers from around the world join in. Do have a look – it certainly lifts my mood on a dark, wet Manchester evening when I can see flowers in their full Spring glory on the other side of the world.
Prickly plants help stop burglars
With the dark nights, it’s easier for burglars to lurk and enter unlit buildings. One way to deter people with nefarious intentions is with shrubs with thorns. Good contenders are:
Pyracantha – Firethorn – I certainly felt it taking cuttings for the vase.
Berberis – there are many different varieties, including a stunning maroon one. My mum has it under her kitchen window.
Roses including climbers.
Motor Neurone Disease Association Manchester Ball – 3 November 2018
Fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association
On Saturday, my husband and I attended the Masquerade Ball for the Manchester Motor Neurone Disease Association along with 300 other people in all their finery. Bright blue and orange are the corporate colours of the association.
Our aim is to raise as much money and awareness as possible to help people living with MND (we call them warriors) five of them were at the ball.
My husband’s younger brother died from MND aged fifty in January after five years with this vile disease. He is loved and missed every day. My husband runs ultra marathons, endurance events, trail and half marathons. He’s pushed our pal Bethan who has cerebral palsy around Brighton marathon. Bethan lost her mum to MND.
The ONLY positive thing about MND arriving in your life is that you find some amazing people who become lifelong friends. We were with many local pals from the association and our running pals from #RunMND who came from all over the country to support our fundraising and have some fun. Plenty of people were there too from our local hospital Salford Royal which is the regional centre for MND support and care.
We had some suburb auction prizes including Manchester United tickets, take that concert tickets, numerous meals and afternoon teas, wines and spirits. We won the auction on a specially commissioned painting.
The event was organised by Stacey Kerr who’s our awesome volunteer fundraising coordinator – she has raised nearly £40k in her own right in five years.
We raised a staggering £11,600 – well done everyone
Here we are in our outfits #withfilter wearing my wedding dress 🙂 yes my shoes glow under the flashlight 😉
I still can’t form sentences to explain how much I miss my own brother who died suddenly in March 2017 – he was doing what he loved which is a comfort. He is loved, missed and thought about all around the world
I am reminded that ‘life isn’t a dress rehearsal’ get out and live it, have fun with the people you love, be kind, make a difference and laugh every day.
I’ve been away for the last three weekends, having fun on crafting adventures with the Women’s Institute and supporting my husband and pals running a half marathon for the motor neurone disease association. So I’ve not had much time for major work in the garden – I did manage to get out and photograph some of the plants. The weather is still rather odd in Manchester – warmer than it should be at this time of year so flowers are still going strong…Here’s my six on saturday choices.
1. Argyranthemum – Marguerite Daisy
marguerite – pale yellow
I have two of these daisies on my front porch in pots – I don’t know the specific variety as I think they were from B&Q with no tag. They’ve been very happy this year especially in the blazing sunshine and heat of June/July. Now to try and keep them alive over the winter. Continue reading →
‘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.
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.
The future depends on what you do today. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
It’s been an incredibly busy Summer for us. The organisation I work for has been through a complex restructure; I’ve moved team, building and started in a brand new role – so there’s technical updates, documents to read, meeting new people and setting up projects and activities. I’m enjoying the new role and all the new challenges – rather tiring though and my arthritis and back pain have been giving me gip. I feel like I’m trudging through treacle at the moment but I know all the knowledge and processes I’m setting up will help me later on.
I’ve been so busy, I’ve not contributed to the ‘In a Vase on Monday’ theme since June which I’ve missed very much. I’ve picked flowers fairly often, and even photographed them a few times but have always run out of time writing the ‘actual’ blog post. I’ve been looking at everyone’s vases – the vases and the people and their stories bring me much solace.
I’m hoping I’ll have a bit more time to blog as we head towards Christmas. There’s less options for flowers/plants for vases but I’ll do my best.
Keep calm and carry on – it’s been hectic – In a vase on Monday – 21 September 2016
1. In a Vase on Monday
For this week’s vase, I picked some purple, lilac and pink ‘Spencer’ sweetpeas – they’ve from two different locations one at the front door (you can see them in the background) and the other near our decking at the bottom of the back garden. The flowers have smelt wonderful. I didn’t fare quite so well with the dwarf sweetpeas – no flowers at all so I don’t think I’ll bother growing them again, I’ve tried growing them for three years but no success. There’s so little space in our garden everything has to pull its weight.
There’s also some mini red dianthus, some white and red margarite flowers. Also some pink Pelargonium from a huge plant which I’ve managed to overwinter three times. There’s some purple wallflowers which survived our mild Mancunian winter – they’ve been flowering all summer too. And of course, some lavender. Lavender is one of my favourite plants, I adore the smell. I’ve got about 15 plants in the sunny front garden and a few in the sunniest part of the back garden. Most of these plants have been flowering most of the summer and have bought us alot of pleasure. We eat out in the garden as much as we can – mind you the weather in Manchester this year has been very changeable (and wet alot of the time).