In a vase on Monday – the season continues

In the week I was away from home enjoying the rain (I’m not being ironic) in Devon the weather has changed in Italy too.

No longer the intense heat of summer but now the pleasant warmth of early autumn AND it has rained!  I have become so accustomed to having flowers in the house that my first thought was to pick some flowers for a vase; so these were picked on Saturday but not arranged until Sunday. Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – Dahlia joy

Monday has become one of my favourite days of the week since I began joining with Cathy at Rambling in the garden where she asks us to create a vase to enjoy in the house from flowers picked in our own gardens.

It is still very hot so I was up at 5.30am to be able to work a little outside and in before it became too hot.  This is even more necessary on Mondays as it is important to pick flowers before the sun is on them and they begin wilting.  I cut and place them immediately into buckets of water; sadly the myth of walking around with a beautiful trug of flowers would mean that the flowers were dead before they reached the relative cool of the house. Continue reading

In a Vase on Monday – White froth

Monday is the day to pick flowers from the garden and fill a vase and to join Cathy at Rambling in the garden for her weekly meme.  Last week’s little glass bottles of flowers lasted very well; it was only yesterday that they began to look sad and past their best, proving to me that flowers last much better in a vase in water than when I use Oasis foam. Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – Ostrich plumes in shades of mauve

Monday is here again and time to find flowers from our own garden to put in a vase for Cathy at Rambling in the Garden’s In a vase on Monday.

Some different flowers this week mixed in with the Dahlia Magenta Star which is indefatigable in pumping out new blooms. Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – A basket full of joy!

I missed not being able to participate last week because I was spending a few days in the UK visiting family, but I enjoyed seeing all the vases although I was unable to comment on some as I only had my iPad with me and commenting on non WordPress sites was impossible.

Before I left I cut all the flowers from the sunflowers and Dahlias so they would have a chance to produce more flowers for my return home.  They didn’t let me down. Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – Changing my mind!

For the last couple of days I was sure that today’s vase for Cathy at Rambling in the Garden’s meme would contain the deeply magenta Gladioli which have been opening for more than a week; in fact I picked them before really considering anything else partly because they will not last many more days and also because they were planted especially to be picked. Continue reading

Chelsea 2013 – The Pavilion

The pavilion is a great showcase for good nurseries all displaying their plants growing to perfection; the winners of the medals are always the nurseries where the owners are passionate about what they do.  A chance for the ‘big names’ to strut their stuff, Hilliers again presented us with so much to look at and it rivalled some of the show gardens for the class of its design and planting.

Vibrant colour and well-grown plants on the Hilliers stand

Vibrant colour and well-grown plants on the Hilliers stand

The cooler weather may have made it difficult for the growers to get plants ready for the show but at least it meant that they remained in tip-top condition during the week.

I noticed a new trend this year; many were selling ‘something’ not just taking orders or selling catalogues.  Seeds were an obvious choice even from nurseries whose main business is actually selling plants; others were selling small packs containing sample plants (I think they were rooted cuttings and so sidestepped the rule about NOT selling plants.  I sympathise with them, the cost of being at Chelsea must be enormous, a large percentage of their trade for a smaller nursery.  Of course they want to be present to establish themselves in the eyes of the visitors but perhaps they need the opportunity of some instant payback.  Selling something there and then is necessary for them.  Perhaps the RHS needs to address this.  I am not suggesting that the Pavilion becomes a giant market place, but with all the technology available today perhaps one could order and pay for plants at the stand and collect the plants from a collection area.  Some of the bulb companies take orders at the show and you give credit card details, payment being taken when the bulbs are dispatched; this could also work for plants by mail order which would surely encourage everyone to buy from committed nurserymen rather than buy later from unhelpful garden centres that are mostly just bringing plants from Holland, and we all know the problems that this causes in the long run.

I always head for the Tulips displays, there is nothing like seeing the colours ‘in life’ to encourage me to begin thinking about my autumn bulb order now.  All the tulips were in excellent condition, and why wouldn’t they be, they are still flowering in many UK gardens.  The following caught my eye, but I am very happy with my selections this year that came from seeing other bloggers tulips actually growing.  So what tulips worked well for you this year?

Tulip Curley Sue

Tulip Curley Sue

T. Pink Diamond, Queen of Night, Ciy of Vancouver

T. Pink Diamond, Queen of Night, City of Vancouver

Tulip Marilyn

Tulip Marilyn

Tulip Avignon

Tulip Avignon

Does anyone know the name of this? my system failed

Does anyone know the name of this? my system failed

My most interesting conversation was with the knowledgeable staff on the East Malling Reseach stand.  They are doing research into the problems that could be caused by warmer winters.  I have a similar problem; the winters here aren’t reliably cold enough for me to grow apples and pears so I will be very interested when their site is updated to included chill factor requirements for different varieties.  Also I hadn’t realised that ALL dwarfing rootstock trees don’t have a tap root, which for trees planted in drought prone area can make a huge difference to its survival.

Dwarfing root stock

Dwarfing root stock

A couple of other plants attracted my attention, maybe they’ll find their way into the garden next year.

Ixia Mabel

Ixia Mabel

Dahlia Magenta Star

Dahlia Magenta Star