In a Vase on Tuesday – A Casualty

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It’s like buses. You wait for ages for one, then two come along at once! So close on the heels of yesterday’s long awaited “In a Vase on Monday” post, I can’t wait till next week for the next one!

It comes, though, virtue of an “accident”. Some of my stems of Echinops had escaped their support. I’m ruthless now, and since they showed no desire to be caged up again, they had to be cut back – flower buds and all.

However, my conscience is always salved, if any material can be recycled in a vase for the house. These stark buds seemed to lend themselves to a simple display. I chose a collection of glass medicine bottles, with one stem in each. It may be simple, and not as frothy as my rose bowl, but gives the poor buds an extended life, giving a bit of pleasure indoors.

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I wonder if they’ll flower!

In a Vase on Monday – A New Rosebowl.

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I had to join in today!

I have just treated myself to a rose bowl. I have long thought about having one, not just for roses, but for any flower display. It seems to me to be a perfect solution for displaying many types of flowers, keeping them well supported and displayed. After scouring several local charity shops, I even had a choice of two. I plumped for the simpler, beautifully cut glass bowl.

Of course, the timing was perfect, coinciding with the first flush of roses, so what better way to christen my new bowl.

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I picked a bloom from each of my roses currently in bloom, not wanting to deplete the garden display too much. They sat in the bowl quite well behaved, and I filled out the gaps and softened the overall posy with sprays of Alchemilla mollis. How beautifully it combines with the roses! And how good it smells good too!

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I can see the bowl getting much use!

I’m joining in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who started this meme and faithfully shows us her beautiful and imaginative arrangements every week. Please pop over and see her contribution this week!

I Went to Ashwood and….

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….bought another scented shrub!

I’ve almost finished housing my poor, little homeless treasures, and you may well be thinking “Here she goes again!”

But this was no impulse buy! Cytisus battandieri (now renamed Argyrocytisus battandieri) has been on my wish list for ages  – nay, years – ever since reading that its flowers smelt of pineapple. Hence its popular name of Pineapple (or Moroccan) broom. I even have a container ready, and have earmarked a suitable spot – how disciplined and restrained is that?!

It’s a truly beautiful shrub! Apart from its scented flowers, it has lovely trifoliate, glaucous leaves, that have a delicate, downy coating. So not only does it please the senses with its beautiful looks and perfume, the leaves and flower buds are so very tactile – like stroking silk!

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It likes a sunny, sheltered position, in a dry soil,  so should do well against our west facing brick wall, especially now that there is more light in the garden, since the loss of the overhanging ash tree. It is often grown trained against a wall, due to its lax habit. Indeed, the best example of this lovely plant that I’ve seen in the flesh, is grown against a brick wall in my brother’s new garden. What a specimen!  I hope mine will like its blue glazed pot and do well.

And now, less than one week on, it has started flowering, and looking and smelling gorgeous! Yes, it really does smell of pineapple!

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How’s that for an “impulse” buy?! Truly worthy of its place next to our bench!

Bringing Chelsea Gold Home

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It’s magnificent!

The florist, “Daisy Chain”, is opposite where I work and I was pleasantly surprised two years ago, to come face to face with a floral, crystal ballgown, straight from the show. Helena had won silver-gilt with her gorgeous creation.

A Chelsea Ball gown with a crystal theme.

A Chelsea Ball gown with a crystal theme.

The following year, she achieved another silver-gilt, for her “Alice in Wonderland” tree.u

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Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of appreciating that one close up. It was far too big to bring into the shop.

Still not good enough, though – she was after her gold.

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And now she has it with her beautiful carnival headdress!

When you get to see it in the flesh, so to speak, you can really see the intricate detail and the hours of work involved.

 

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Orchids, dianthus, grevillea, and anigozan (kangaroo paw) are among the flowers used, set into a wire framework, filled out with red feathers and beads. Looking closely at the “horns” shows tiny green “pearls” wound around, which are actually the succulent, Senecio rowelyanus, or “string of pearls” plant, which she grew herself.  Really a work of art, well deserving of a gold!A real feather in Helena’s cap! (Groan!! Sorry!)

So is she happy now? Had enough?

No, she’s now going for “Best Floral Exhibit”.

Can’t wait to see how Helena does next year!

Helena wasn’t our only local Chelsea gold.

John Massey and Ashwood nursery also got, not just a gold medal, but also a Diamond Jubilee award, for their display of Hepaticas, in the floral pavilion.

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It’s been a most successful Chelsea for our local exhibitors.

Congratulations, and well done!

P.s. I apologise for any disruption in this broadcast. I inadvertently published this post before I had completed it. So sorry!

The Bench Has A Partner

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It didn’t take long before we realised that the bench needed a mate! To make best use of it, we had to have somewhere to balance our refreshments, while lapping up our surroundings. It took some searching. Hard to find a table for sale on its own, never mind one in that style and colour, and at a reasonable price. We discovered where we could get one made to order, but way out of our price range. We finally tracked down the best compromise – a table of a very similar pattern, only in cream. However, with our cream cushions on the bench, we think it works. So cheers!

The work done on removing the ash tree, necessitated moving all our pots out of the danger zone. So rather than put them back where they had been, I thought “High time for a different look!”. Yet another reshuffle! Mind you, part of the “rethink” was to find homes for our many impulse buys, and many of them were earmarked for containers, while their predecessors found new homes in the borders.

Then came the flash of inspiration! While pottering about, I noticed that the new foliage of the Zenobia – already in a blue glazed container – really picked up the colour of the bench.

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And then, that the glaucous colouring of the Fothergilla “Blue Haze” was pretty close too! Maybe not quite yet, but the blue colour gets stronger as the season progresses. Should make a nice arrangement! And to finish it off, what better than the blue grass, Festuca glauca.

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So, moving on, the pots on the “Link”, were replanted, and rearranged, this time hoping for a more streamlined appearance.

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Hmmm! Maybe too “linear”?

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Just a slight tweek! Is that better?