Sunday, 30 May 2010

Speaking of Chelsea...

Although I didn't visit the Chelsea Flower Show, I have been enjoying the BBC coverage and I thought I would share some of my favourite gardens with you. The Bee Friendly garden incorporated some lovely lilac and purple planting, and the ubiquitous alliums, of course!

Music of the Moors was a tranquil space and the willow window tracery worked particularly well. The designer said it was supposed to be as though you were looking out of a church window onto the moors. The planting was very evocative - no wonder it won best small garden category.

My absolute favourite was the one above, the M and G garden. I am just a traditional cottage gardener at heart and the romantic planting with the oak pergola and building really appealed to me.

The Rhubarb and Custard garden made me smile. It was good to see a garden with a sense of humour! It won the RHS viewers vote for best small garden, so must have appealed to others too. The spoon seat is especially gorgeous.

Christian before Dior was another designed cottage garden, albeit a little more formal. Although I did like aspects of some of the more contemporary gardens, I'm just a traditionalist at heart.

Chelsea week - has to be alliums!

Well, Chelsea week is over again and it always coincides with alliums. These are 'Purple Sensation' and they have lived up to their name this year. I had forgotten I'd planted them because they didn't come up last year, but this year, they have dotted themselves through the border and look fabulous. The bees really love them too.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Clematis and wallflowers

These photos are of plants from my own garden. The combination of colours was a bit unexpected (and I have to admit, not necessarily planned by me, as I didn't know what colour the wallflower would be when I planted it!) but I think it works. The wallflowers were bought at the local market, in the traditional way, wrapped in newspaper. I planted them last autumn and only two survived the cold winter, both of which were this deep red.

I have lots of clematis in my garden - Piilu, Asao, Arabella, Princess Diana, Kingfisher, Ice Blue, Rebecca, to name but a few. However, for flowering at this time of year, it's hard to beat the alpina and macropetala cultivars. This clematis macropetala has flowered beautifully this year and the pale lilac-blue compliments the spring flowering bulbs and early hardy geraniums very well.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Felted and ready...

Here they are after felting, ready for the embroidery.

Latest Felt

I made two pieces of felt the other day, as I mentioned, and above they can be seen in their pre-felted state. I am going to add grasses and cow parsley in embroidery to the green one, which already has silk fibres, yarns and tweed fibres added to it. To enhance the sky colours in the other one, I am going to add stitching in satin and cotton thread. Now all I need to do is get on with it!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

My favourite thinking place

This is my favourite place to sit and think, or sit and look at the trees, or just sit when I am at Barnsdale. I always try to make time to sit and listen to the birds when I visit, which I find so relaxing. Sometimes the things that are free in this life are the things we take so much for granted - to look at the sky, listen to the birds or notice the changing seasons.

Monday, 17 May 2010


This was one of the small courtyard gardens at Barnsdale which I particularly liked. I do like formality in a garden to a certain extent, but the planting inside the formality needs to be 'floofy' (one of my technical terms meaning informal and exuberant).

This is a close up of the gorgeous tulips. The colour contrast of the tulips against the green topiary was striking.

The blue of the forget-me-nots seems to cool the tulips down, but this was in a shadier part of the gardens. The colour combination still works really well.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Five followers...

This is great because I now have five people following my blog. (I'll have to start making more of an effort to put things on here!) I have been really busy with work and my garden just recently and have lots of little seeds ready to be potted on - Zaluzianskya, Echium, Poached Egg plant, Oriental Poppy and Verbena Bonariensis, to name but a few.

I have been working on a couple of felt pieces which I want to embellish with some embroidery and I have also signed up to an initiative that partners you up with another Felter somewhere in the world. The idea is to promote and celebrate International Day of Peace on September 21st 2010 by having thousands of felt creations crossing the continents. I really like the thought of that - how exciting to have something sent to you and to send something you have made out to someone else. Who knows what will turn up in the post, but I'm looking forward to it. Please click on the link to find out more.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Blossom everywhere!

I went to Barnsdale again last weekend and it was fantastic. The sky was blue, the birds were singing and everywhere was covered in blossom.

I took lots of photos and some of them remind me of Van Gogh's or Monet's paintings of blossom against a blue sky. Beautiful!

I really liked the weeping apple tree and took photos from under the branches as well as peeping through them.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Magnolia and Lilac

I was in the garden yesterday morning, enjoying the sunshine and hanging the washing out when I noticed the colours of the magnolia (liliflora Susan) and lilac (old tree, unknown variety) against the blue sky. It really was beautiful. The magnolia has been flowering for a couple of weeks and has a lovely scent and the lilac is just coming into flower. I love this time of year.