Tag Archives: Cyclamen

Bitter Sweet Beauty

Down in the Woodland, all has been quiet for a few months. The spring bulbs have done their bit, and the early summer flowers are now collapsing and disappearing underground, as they do. But the watering has still been needed, so it hasn’t been forgotten.

And now these little beauties have appeared, almost from nowhere. Cyclamen hederefolium “Album”, shining out amongst the green foliage, under our silver birches. They have, not only pure white flowers, but also beautifully white marbled, dark green foliage. They seem to like it here – the clumps are spreading out and popping up throughout the border.

A beautiful sight! But why bitter sweet?

Because they signal to me the waning of summer and the onset of autumn. The waning of a truly amazing summer, too! It’s been many years since we’ve been able to enjoy a summer like this. Just as well I don’t mind watering! Me and the watering can have enjoyed many relaxing hours together ! We’re bezzy mates!

Now I’m starting to see other signals too!

In the grass garden, our sedum (now Hylotelephium, I believe?) is now showing hints of its future colouring.

Now, I have to keep my eyes peeled for the colchicums’ purple goblets to erupt from nowhere – I hope before the slugsnsnails get there!

Hopefully, nobody will let on to the weather, and we can continue enjoying this glorious weather for a wee while longer. And when all good things come to an end, as indeed they must, we still have much to look forward to and enjoy in our gardens.

In the Bleak Midwinter?

Well, it did seem to be the case, sitting indoors listening to the rain, yet again, pattering against the window. Looking out at grey skies can really dampen the spirits. But then again, the view from the French windows, had to produce a glimmer of cheer.

The sight of Garrya elliptica’s beautiful long catkins, like icicles, led me to venture out with iPad in hand. Never mind the rain!

So glad I did!

I was heading right to the end of the garden (how brave!) to the Woodland garden, hoping to find the first signs of Spring there.

En route, I paused to take in the perfume of our Mahonia japonica – a sniff of early lily of the valley!


Then on through the Allotment to revel in the sight of this year’s rhubarb poking through.


And then reaching the Woodland, to discover all that I had hoped for!

What with snowdrops, perfume and the promise of joys to come, it’s not so bleak at all!


Welcoming Spring


Sunday morning saw a short glimpse of spring. We realised it wasn’t to last. By afternoon the wind and rain was due to return, so we took the chance to grab a couple of hours to make inroads into all the garden tasks lined up for us.(And anyway, come the afternoon, the next round of rugby matches would be calling us indoors!).

The job today was to remove a large branch of next door’s lilac tree, (with permission, of course!) that was constantly bashing me in the bonce! Not a job for secateurs, but for a chain saw.


I should have taken a “before” picture, but Mr. Chef was well underway by the time I thought about it. That was the easy bit! Now it had to be disposed of!


But at least now the woodpile is starting to take shape.

It wasn’t all work. The sun also brought out a few gems to enjoy. The Woodland Garden, where we were working away, was starting to look good, with all the tiny jewel-like cyclamens, dotted around under the newly opening dusky pink, nodding heads of the Hellebores.

Elsewhere, in the Cottage Garden, it was the crocuses that were making the big impact. The sun was bringing them on and they were starting to open up and show us their faces.


They were planted when we first started planting up the Scented Shrub Border, as an understorey for the shrubs, and they are really spreading out nicely.


Maybe, even, too nicely!


But Sunday’s highlight (definitely not the rugby! 😦 ) has to be the Ypsilandra thibetica I found last year, after I had seen it featured on a fellow blogger’s post (thank you, Chloris!). Its healthy clump of green leaves has been there since then, but now the flower buds are starting to appear.


I can’t wait for its first violet scented flowers to bloom!

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! 😉

The Cuttings Calender – October


The star of the month!

Yes, you have seen this before. This was the vase I prepared before going off on our hols, in “Sun, Sea and Sand“. I was looking for a vase that would still be going strong – or, at least, strongish! – when we came home. And it did what I had hoped! Choosing berries, seed heads and grasses, that would die gracefully, rather than collapse, certainly worked. I do confess that part of me wanted a repeat of the red berry vase I did in September. I did love that, but the simple white roses with hydrangea, pipped it at the post.


This, my little experiment, you’ve also seen. This little vase was a sample of a cyclamen and viola flower, from my trip to the nursery, to see how they would perform in a vase. The viola flopped – literally! – but the cyclamen lasted well. Sadly the stems are a bit on the short side for its use as anything other than “posies” for example.


Now this was me trying to be clever! I’d salvaged these three jars, which had once contained some chilli relishes – a Christmas present to “Mr. Chef”. They have such a lovely chunky shape. They stack as well! I had long envisaged them, with flowers, being used together as a table display. The Grass Garden was producing a prolific patch of Aster frikartii “Monch”, which would give me plenty of lilac flowers for cutting, so these jars seemed the ideal receptacle. The table, at this time, is out of action, so I had to make do with a window ledge. I used the golden foliage from a Euonymus as a contrast to the lilac, in the two outer jars, and the silvery grass, Miscanthus “Morning Light”, in the central jar, giving a bit of height and softness. It would look better on our new table, though!

image The surprise, late flowering Jasmine, was a must for a vase!

I feel October was not my most productive month, vase wise. But who’d be without a holiday in the sun! Despite so few vases to show, my stream of displays is still continuous. Perhaps the longevity of the “holiday” vase is to blame! Next month, I hope will be more productive. Let’s wait and see!

I went to Ashwood and….


….came home with a cyclamen, a viola and some tulip bulbs.

I was needing some floral supplies for the forthcoming autumn and winter, as well as thinking ahead to flowers for next spring.

I wanted to see some winter colour,

from the kitchen window image

and from the dining room window image

and, hopefully, some cutting material for vases.


Oh! And I nearly forgot! A garden magazine – what I went for!