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.
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?
I love roses 🙂 they’re often in vases around the house (from florists). My Chap often buys bouquets for us. We only have four rose bushes in our garden – two pink climbing roses, a red patio miniature rose (see below) and this orange beauty in our front garden. When I moved into my house nine years ago this month, it was in a bit of a sorry state, as it was in desperate need of punning and TLC. It’s one of the first things My Chap did after he met me was to prune the rose (and install a gate into the garden from the ginnel – AKA alleyway).
The orange rose soon revived – it tends to flower in at least two distinct seasons. This year it has flowered three times. It has a delicate rose scent too which wafts across the garden path.
In a Vase on Monday – Halloween Orange Rose
This is the last hurrah of the orange rose bush this year 🙂 I can’t believe the range of colours; it is bright orange as a bud fading through to the most stunning sunset colours.
Do any of my gardening pals know what variety it is?
Orange roses have appeared many times in my vases over the last three years – it’s also flowered at some very odd times including in January this year 😉
The summer print will need to wait until next year 😉
As usual, I am joining in with Cathy from Rambling in the Garden who’s written about the history of All Saints Day and Halloween. She has some glorious dahlias on their last hurrah too, before the frosts hit and the plants die off. Cathy also has pumpkins with her vase which reminded me of a pumpkin flower arrangement I made a couple of years ago.
Pumpkin Flower Arrangement
Here’s something different for Halloween. I’ve been on two flower arranging courses at Denman College in Oxfordshire. It’s the Educational College for the Women’s Institute.
In October 2016 I was there for the weekend learning different styles of flower arrangements. I learnt how to use a pumpkin as a ‘vase’. This arrangement has a block of oasis and it’s just a case placing the flowers as if making a round arrangement. For the arrangement, I used:
Callicarpa – beauty berry
choysia – this is a variegated one
poppy seed heads, pine cones and ivy
I’ve been far too busy to attempt this type of arrangement this Autumn – but I have unearthed my terracotta carved pumpkin for the porch.
Making a door wreath
This photo has also reminded me to make an Autumn door wreath – there’s a wreath ring around the bottom of the pumpkin on the plate. It is decorated with fluffy wool, pine cones, seedheads and ivy. It’s a straightforward wreath to make and most of the elements are around in the woods or my garden. I’ve put it on my list to make a door wreath this weekend 🙂
Here’s my tutor Christine’s arrangement – Stunning isn’t it?
My Denman Tutor – Christine Pearce’s arrangement featuring a broom and cobwebs too.
I learnt so much from Christine at my two visits to Denman. You can see her work and book for courses via:
The clock’s changing, the darker nights and Halloween make me reflect on what
When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people. Jens Stoltenberg (1959 – ) the Norwegian Director General of NATO since 2014 – he was previously Prime Minister of Norway.
Jens words resonate with me – I try to #bekind – and be in the moment. My daily mindfulness activities are going well. I’m also walking or spending time outside for at least an hour each day.
This week I’ve been thinking of the past…it’s was our first wedding anniversary last week. My favourite flower is lavender, we got married in late September when it’s in its full glory – we grew lavender plants for all the table decorations, it was in my bouquet, mentioned in quotes. It was both a decoration and as a colour in our bunting. The smell of lavender brings back so many happy memories, not just of our wedding day. Our wedding was purple, floral and fabulous.
So for my In a Vase on Monday – I went to pick lavender from our garden as I did a year ago, I picked eucalyptus to represent my wonderful Australian family. it’s from a huge tree at the end of our street. The vase is one I glazed a couple of weeks ago – it’s raku glaze. I don’t usually photograph the vases in detail but I thought you’d all like to see the shimmery glaze.
I learnt the technique at Create in Bolton – I wrote about making a clay daisy flower for the garden last week for my In a Vase on Monday.
lavender and eucalyptus in a blue raku vase I glazed
The thing with raku glazing is you don’t quite know how it will come out. It’s an interesting process, there are fire, alchemy and sawdust involved 🙂 I’ll write about this in more detail another time, after our next raku firing session.
raku pottery vase – shades of blue, green, copper, white.
As usual, I’m joining in with Cathy from Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday. Do have a look at what she’s and the gardening bloggers from around the world have picked for their vases this week
Quote from the song – you and me by you + me
The quote in the frame is my ‘paper anniversary’ gift to my awesome husband; it’s from a special song we played at our ceremony:
You and me were always with each other
Before we knew the others was ever there
You and me we belong together
Just like a breath needs the air
I told you if you called I would come runnin’
Across the highs the lows and the in between…
Liz from Echo Design made the quote frame for me for my ‘paper’ 1st wedding anniversary present for my wonderful husband.
Our wedding – flower and love filled
It was our paper anniversary last week. I realised I hadn’t really written very much about wedding last year on a gloriously sunny day in September – it was very ‘full-on’ for most of 2017 and this year too. I wasn’t very well last year, high arthritis pain levels, so it took a great deal of energy to organise our wedding even though it was a team effort.
We got married in the garden, had an afternoon tea, two wedding cakes, and a hog roast. There was music til late – love, laughter and happiness celebrating with our family and friends from near and far. My wonderful Brother was in my thoughts as he always is. He’s in everyone’s heart and always will be. My awesome sister in law and my brilliant nieces were crucial to our wedding day – it was just brilliant that they were there to celebrate with us.
irregular choice purple floral candy whistle shoes and purple, lavender, rose wedding bouquet
Our wedding flowers
The flowers in my wedding bouquet have very special meanings for us – I’ll write about that another time – we picked the flowers with our florist – she said grooms hardly ever come to meet her – and she says it’s a shame. I’ll write another time how to work with a florist to choose a bouquet and flowers for your special occasion. There’s eucalyptus, the lilac rose is the same colour as ones in my wonderful sister in laws garden in Australia – and lavender there’s always lavender 🙂
with my husband at Abbeywood Estate Cheshire, September 2017 – Photo by Sara Porter Photography
My wedding dress and headpiece were made for me by the awesome Rachel and Charlotte at Legend Bridal in Great Harwood Lancashire. They are truly wonderful people and interpreted just what I wanted – a ‘posh, party dress I could wear again’ to perfection – and I felt like a Queen 🙂 I hope to write more about the process of working with them soon.
‘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.
‘Nevertheless, She persisted’AmericanFeministexpression(2017– )
I’ve been thinking this week about this tenacious rose flowering outside our front door – watching its progress – it’s been this soft peachy/yellow from bud. This is the fourth set of flowers the rose has produced; it flowered in November too. The colour of the rose has changed though, the buds are usually a bright orange that fades to red and yellow. I know more expert gardeners than me will know why the colour is so different, for a start it was only pruned in the Spring last year. Life over took us in 2018, so our garden was rather neglected. With the rose are some rosehips and a purple recycled glass bud vase, which I bought in the Eden Project. The vase appeared a few times for ‘In a Vase on Monday’ but the rose has only appeared once before:
I’ve made a note to cut more flowers from the rose this year 🙂
8 January 2018 – Rose with rosehips in a Purple glass bud glass – and CompassYear 2017-2018
This rose was one of the few plants in my front garden when I moved in eight years ago, it was in a right state. My Chap does the pruning and has certainly revived the rose. I hope flowering in a cold snap, won’t have too much impact on the rose flowering in 2018.
Do check out Cathy’s blog at Rambling in the Garden for more ‘In a Vase on Monday’ arrangements from around the world – some using vases and some not. There’s always something beautiful to lift your spirits.
8 January 2018 – Rose (January 2018) and Bud and Rose (June 2016)
It’s the time of year for resolutions; I’ve mention before I don’t really do resolutions, I prefer to think of intentions rather that ‘give something up’ or ‘start something’, it just leads to failure and disappointment usually by the second week of January. I try to avoid all the ‘new year, new me’ in the media. However I try daily changes, being mindful, trying and trying to avoid self sabotage – keep going…
But given what a momentous year 2017 was in both good and bad ways, I decided I needed to find something to help me close off 2017, and help me think though my dreams and aspirations for 2018. I found an excellent short document made by the volunteers of YearCompass and Invisible University International in Hungary. The project began in 2012, is based on psychological theories, has a booklet helping people close their year and plan their next year. The booklet has been downloaded over 400,000 and translated into 22 languages.
The booklet is 20 pages and you need a couple of hours to complete for 2017 and about 4 hours for 2018.
2017 – thepastyear
Looking through the year focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, Fitness, etc.
Looking at decisions, support, gratitude, resilience, challenges and accomplishments.
2018 – next year
What I want to achieve focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, fitness, etc.
Questions like: Visit three places, three things to do every morning, three things to discover… And many other questions.
Pick a word for the year ahead.
And you sign ‘I believe anything is possible this year’.
It was very illuminating – and thought provoking, and threw up a few topics I’d not really considered.
I discussed what I’d written, with My Chap and old friends, who reminded me of my determination and resilience. I’ll be coming back to what I’ve written and the plans I’ve made for 2018.
I’ve been doing more of the things that lift me . I’ve been continuing with daily #mindfulness, yoga and #Onehouroutside.
#Onehouroutside wasstartedbyoneoftheOutdoor Bloggers Zoe from www.splodzblogz.co.uk. I’m on a roll with one hour outside – I’ve managed at least an hour outside since mid December. I’m making a note in my journal as sometimes walking for an hour isn’t feasible (work or bad weather).
It’s been near zero again this week in Manchester, some crisp sunny days with blue skies, alternating with gales and rain. My back garden is a quagmire, but we are fortunate there are Canals and footpaths on our doorstep.
My plan for this week is to listen to some mindful walking podcast while I’m out walking. Usually I’m just mindfully breathing, counting breaths and steps, looking around me at the surroundings.
Ifyou have any suggestions for mindful walking podcasts please let me know in the comments
As I mentioned last week, I enjoyed the @blurtfoundation Instagram Challenge #blurtmerrycalmness so I’ve looked around for another photo challenge. I found Gaynor Treanor on Instagram who writes about selfcare and mindfulness. So I’ve been following #savouringJanuary2018.
This definition spoke to me ‘necessary for growth, health and good condition’. It’s about taking care of yourself, doing the best you can for yourself, self-care and mindfulness. Good food matters too 🙂