Sunday 29 September 2019

Walking round the garden, whatever the weather

 We have had quite unsettled weather this week.  There have been beautiful blue skies...
...roses enjoying the sunshine (Olivia Rose Austin)...
 ...dry days which the sempervivums have liked...
 ...and the japanese anemones, both white...
 ...and pink.
 When we have had rain, the droplets settled beautifully on the alchemilla mollis leaves.
 They look a bit like liquid mercury.
 Clematis Prince Charles looked really awful and brown last month, so I cut it back and it has rewarded me by re-growing and flowering, which was an unexpected and very welcome bonus.  Some flowers have five petals...
 ...and others have four. 
 The little hydrangea I bought at RHS Chatsworth is turning shades of pearly pink and green.
 Liriope Muscari is getting bigger every year and giving a very welcome splash of colour to a shady border.
 The combination of buddleia, perennial sunflower and aster look lovely when the sun shines.
It has rained all day today, on and off, but occasionally, there is the reward of a rainbow.  Seeing one never fails to amaze me.

Sunday 22 September 2019


...more cards.  This was for my friend Alison's birthday.  I watercoloured the background floral stamp and then used a 'spotlight' die effect for the sentiment.  This was cut from the background and then layered up so that it stands proud.  It looks a bit like an optical illusion and I think it is really effective.
 Here's a close up.
This second card was a little different as I made it for someone I don't know and doubt I shall ever meet.  His name is Rhys, he is fourteen and has a life limiting condition.  His mum put out a call on Facebook for cards to cheer him up and Chris said we should send one, so we did.  He has now received over 18,000 cards and also presents too.   There is a short report about him here. It just shows that despite the world news, the depressing statistics and upsetting images, there are still a lot of decent and kind people out there and that is a comforting thought.

Sunday 15 September 2019

Favourite plants in September

 While things may be starting to turn autumnal, there is still lots to enjoy in the garden at the moment.  This combination of Japanese anemone, fuchsia and geranium Rozanne makes me smile.
Seeing a Red Admiral butterfly enjoying the buddleia was also a happy moment.
 The asters are also in full flower.
I am collecting a few more fuchsias...this is Rivendell (bought last year at RHS Chatsworth).
 Bella Rosa (I think)...
and Lady Thumb, all looking good.
 Hardy cyclamen are so delicate and beautiful - these are something I look forward to seeing every autumn.
 I think this is cyclamen Rose something - I shall have to check!
 Aster Little Carlow which is always a good flowerer.
Finally, my miscanthus are doing well and adding some elegance to the borders.
 This is 'Morning Light'...
...and here is Starlight.  Just some of my favourites at the moment.

Saturday 7 September 2019

Gardeners' Question Time

Chris and I were very lucky to be able to go to a recording of Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time which took place in Lincoln last Tuesday night.  It's a programme I always try to listen to on a Sunday afternoon and to be at a recording was a bit of a bucket list opportunity.  We duly arrived at the time specified and were entertained by a playlist of music all with gardening or plant associations, such as 'A good year for the roses' by Elvis Costello, 'Flowers in the Rain' by The Move and the slightly more tenuous 'Sitting on the Dock of the Bay' by Otis Redding.
Chris took the opportunity to take a photo before the evening got going
A man came onto the stage and gave the safety information as well as announcing the first set of questions and those people were asked to sit on the front row.  Kathy Clugston, the presenter, then introduced herself and the panel, Matt Biggs, Pippa Greenwood and Mathew Wilson.  There were lots of interesting questions ranging from dealing with pests and diseases to renovating trees, how best to use chicken manure and everything in between.  (Sadly, neither my question on pruning a hibiscus and Chris' on dealing with a plantaholic wife who has used every space in their small garden weren't chosen.)
What I found most interesting was the interplay between the presenter and panel; face pulling and gesturing to show that a panellist wanted or didn't want to contribute, being the most obvious.  Kathy Clugston also had to keep the pace right, deal with comments from the producer in her earpiece, re-do some linking pieces and introductions, think of suitable comments to round off each question while  remaining calm and relaxed - not an easy role at all.
Chris said he had really enjoyed the evening too, which is high praise as he is not really a gardener.  The shows will be broadcast on 20th September 2019 and 18th October 2019 and it will be fascinating to hear the final edited versions.