Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Cuttings Calender – November


Oops! It’s nearly the end of December, and I’ve just realised that in the battle of home improvements v Christmas preps, I forgot to post the November edition of the Cuttings Calender.

Now, I don’t want any of you wondering if I’ve fallen by the wayside, so better late than never.

It’s starting to get harder now, with fewer blooms around, so November started with the last of the floral stragglers and ended with evergreens and berries.

I love the winner for its colour scheme of silver (foliage), black (berries) and purple (berries and flowers). The only flowers still blooming were good old Astrantia “Buckland”, which I twinned with the silvery foliage of Pittosporum “Silver Queen” and Astrantia ludoviciana. Sorry, there was also still a few blooms of Verbena bonariensis, standing proud, so they started the purple. Down in the woodland I was enamoured by the matching Callicarpa berries and Muscari flowers, so I wanted that effect in the vase too. What better contrast to all of this than black berries, supplied by Ophiopogon “Nigrescens”. So cool!

There were other contributions, despite the slowing down of offerings.


Centre stage in this vase has to be the winter flowering Coronilla “Citrina” flowering alongside summer flowering Alchemilla mollis. Crazy! Astrantia is still going strong, golden ivy leaves blend in with the flowers, and the ever flowering Campanula (not sure which one but it loves our garden!) provides a cool blue contrast.


Don’t the vases seem to flow from one to the other? Here we have the Coronilla and the Campanula again, this time with more silver variegated Pittosporum, but this time with a splash of warming pink, from the Cyclamen.


Now we’re getting more seasonal! Some good evergreen leaves – Sarcococca and Ivy – a beautiful sprig of Jasmine foliage turning gold and pink, with the last of the red berries and some red Cornus stems. I added some black “full stops” with some ivy berries and a stem of seed heads from Anemone japonica.

A difficult choice this month!

So sorry this is so late. December’s will be due any day now!

And I hope this does not appear too rushed. I’ve just been lucky enough to be nominated for a Liebster award for blogging, so I’m off now to ask and answer questions, and to compose my acceptance speech! 😉

Santa has been kind….


….to me and my garden!

A good, stout pair of leather gloves (for when the need arises!), a new journal (complete with pen!), a metal planter full of yummy chutneys (what shall I plant in it, once they’re all eaten, that’s the big question!) and lots of lovely garden shopping vouchers! And what do you think of my robins? Aren’t they wonderful? They need names. I’m thinking Rudolph, Donner and Blitzen!

But that’s not all!


I’ve long wanted a nice, metal watering can for using in the garden. The plastic one still has its uses, but I love to have nice, good quality utensils. My Grandad’s old treasured one has sprung a leek. I bet it didn’t cost as much to him, as this probably would!

But the biggest surprise had to be my Remembrance poppy. To see one in the flesh and to own it, is truly amazing! As it says, a piece of history! I wonder if my fellow blogger, Gardening Jules packaged this one up. She was a volunteer at the installation at the Tower of London, in November.

I must say, it has been another wonderful Christmas. Hope it was for you too 🙂

A Room with a View


At long last! We have the French doors we have been longing for, for so many years! We can now throw open these doors and bring the outside in.

Mind you, any home improvement inevitably comes with a prior degree of destruction. This is what we were faced with a month ago.


This – just after a new fireplace as well. You can just imagine the mess! Of course, it all comes hand in hand with the aftermath of decorating. At last, we are slowly emerging from the mayhem.

So, as you can imagine, at this time of year, D.I.Y. has been been vying with Christmas, for our undivided attention. Can’t decide which one won! Definitely not the garden and I’m getting withdrawal symptoms!

Back to the view, it leaves a lot to be desired, at the moment. A mound of bricks, salvaged from the various minor demolitions, stacked, ready for a future garden project. Remnants of plaster to be cleared. Various pots moved out of position to allow the workmen access. And the Christmas tree – patiently waiting in the wings, for order to be resumed, and to be brought inside for decoration. With a bit of luck, before Christmas Eve! Work still to be done here, too.

The garden has, unfortunately, had to take a back seat. I have managed to hastily rustle up a vase of something from the garden, even though we have struggled for display areas, in the upheaval. As this vase fades, and Christmas is fast approaching, I must start considering the next vase, with, hopefully, a festive look.

Mind you, this doesn’t mean I haven’t still had my walks round “The Estate”. I couldn’t do without that to restore a bit of normality. And on one of these walks, look what I found!


Our snowdrops are also peeking through. The signs of new life and the next cycle.

Mind you, I now can’t wait for summer! To open up the doors, and sit out, in our lovely, scented herb garden. Bliss!