Thursday 30 November 2023

New watercolours from Rosa Gallery

 I have wanted to upgrade my watercolour paints to better quality for a little while.   Winsor and Newton professional or Daniel Smith are just a bit too much for my budget so I was looking at some reviews and Rosa Gallery paints, made in Ukraine seemed to be a good option.  They are mid range and can also be bought in single pans.  So I bought a 28 set and waited for them to arrive.

I have only swatched them so far, on the card that came with them and in my swatch book.  I can report that they are lovely and creamy, and don't need a lot of water or brush work to activate. My current student grade paints need a fair bit of brush work to get them going.

In my enthusiasm to swatch them, I managed to have two of the same green on the card that came with the paints.  I added the black at the top instead.
Lots of little blocks of colour in my swatch book - it makes me happy!
I particularly like the blues and greens.  I have ordered a few more colours which I think I will need, such as Opera Rose, Cobalt Turquoise and a white, which is useful to have.
I'll let you know how I get on.

Saturday 25 November 2023

In and Out

My vibrantly coloured Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera - originally from Brazil) is starting to show its fuchsia flowers. Last year it tried to flower but I didn't give it enough water so the buds fell off.  I am not making that same mistake this year.  I repotted it in the summer and have been much more diligent with watering and look at it now!  It is on the bathroom windowsill and seems to be enjoying it there.

The flowers are so bright they are almost neon.  When things are turning shades of yellow, brown and grey outside, it is so nice to have colour inside.
Having said that about outside, Camellia Yoimachi is starting to flower.  We had our first frost last night and it is due to continue to be frosty for the next few nights.   This camellia will continue to flower on and off through the winter into the Spring.  There is only the faintest touch of pink around the petals at the moment.
I do like the contrast of the white and yellow.  The garden is still providing things to enjoy.

Saturday 18 November 2023

Jobs in the garden

 I have been busy doing some gardening tasks as and when I can.  I have finally got my tulips planted, delayed by hurting my back a few weeks ago (the spinal facet joint).  After a couple of visits to an osteopath and being very careful, making sure I bend my knees, it is better, so I have been able to do a few jobs. However, they have taken me longer than usual, as I have just done a little at a time. I have planted my tulips for next year - just three pots.

At the front of the house is Orange Emperor (picture above from Avon Bulbs).  In the two pots in the back garden are: 

Brown Sugar... (my photo from the garden in Spring 2023)

...and Ronaldo (also my photo from the garden in Spring 2023).  Ronaldo seems to last particularly well.
I have also insulated the pots which really needed it - again this took a while.  There may be others to do as the weather gets colder but I can do those as and when.  
I may have ordered a new grass, Calamagrostis acutiflora Karl Foerster, so I am looking forward to receiving that - probably not until the beginning of December. I have a Calamagrostis Overdam which is a lovely plant, so am hoping Karl Foerster will be too.  He will go into the sunny border.
In Spring, I need to do a lot of re-potting. All my roses, my ornamental standard cherry and patio apple need to go into larger tubs.
There are always plans to make and autumn/winter is a good time to make them!

Thursday 9 November 2023

Things to enjoy in the garden - after Storm Babet

We survived Storm Babet but have had Storm Ciaran creating havoc in the South of the UK, with high winds and more rain as it moves away.  So far, the garden seems to be coping.  I  have all the normal Autumn jobs to do - collecting leaves, planting tulips and insulating my pots.  These will get done as soon as possible.   You can tell Autumn proper is here by the change of leaves - above is a blueberry.
However, there is still some colour to enjoy.  This is Salvia Cerro Potosi.
Rose Blush Noisette is also still in bloom.
Japanese Anemone Bressingham Glow has been flowering since July but the flowers are now more muted in colour than the bright pink they were in the summer.  This lilac-pink shade is still rather lovely.
Hydrangea Merveille Sanguine is putting on some fiery autumnal shades too.
Rose Gertrude Jekyll has put out one final rose which is beautifully scented.  I am enjoying it while I can.