Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Meanwhile, A Trip to the Tip!

Hello Friends!

Goodness, it's been three weeks, most of which have been utterly glorious Summery weather, since I last wrote. If we have had the odd rainy day then it's gone mostly unnoticed, blanketed by blue skies and warm sunshine, and lazy ocean breezes billowing gently across sun baked hay meadows and ripening corn fields.

Welcome to my new followers! Thank you, and I am thrilled you now follow my ramblings.

I have a little news to share!  I started a new job on July 1st, and this is the reason why I haven't written an entry here for a short while.  I applied and interviewed in June, and shortly after was told I was the successful candidate! Yay Me!!!  It's part time, and that suits me well right now. It's taking a little getting used to, but I do love it.  My official title is Retail Assistant, but it also involves giving out a lot of information on the area to tourists and visitors who are looking for things to do, places to visit, and general things that all tourists need help with. I love helping people, and I simply love it!  Oh, it's with the National Trust, by the way. Many of you will know I am a huge fan of the National Trust, and I know many of you share my passion, so I am doubly happy to have got this job.  I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to work for them.

So, today is a day off and when my lovely neighbour asked if I would like to go to the "tip" with her, I jumped at the chance.  Those of you who know me well know that I can get a little excited over a trip to the tip {officially, it's the Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre} as it brings back such happy memories of going there with my Dad when we had rubbish to take for recycling, and we would always route around to see if there was someone else's unwanted treasure that we could use. I've always been a recycler long before it was fashionable, you see.  Off we went to take away her garden waste, and I could not resist taking photos of all the flowers growing around the centre, they are such a haven for wildlife!  Here are a few.

There was a huge bank of Convolvulus and the pristine white flowers were simply gigantic! It has many names, including bindweed and morning glory, but is generally considered the bane of gardeners and farmers alike as it chokes out everything in its creeping path.  Did you know there are over 1,650 species of Convolvulus?  Neither did I.  I think it is a very beautiful plant.

A hedge full of all sorts of wild flowers, and some that may have seeded from the nearby composting centre

I love umbelliferous plants of any kind. Their flower and seed heads make my heart go pitter patter and the birds will feed happily for many weeks to come.

Teasels in a tiny patch by some giant concrete monoliths. Loved by goldfinches particularly, and also by me to put in dried arrangements for Autumn decorating.

I think this one is having a 1980's style aerobic workout!

Another umbel gone to seed

Such a pretty colour on the sorrel plant. As a child, I would pull all the seeds off in my hand and scatter them like confetti as I walked the country byways with my Nanna. Little did I know my sweet game was spreading the seeds far and wide!

Buddleias abounded everywhere! Butterflies will be in abundance when the sun comes out, for sure.

One of the fun things is finding new treasures from the discarded items others have brought to recycle, and today I found these two, tiny cut glass bowls. I think they may be salt cellars, but whatever they are, they are pretty, vintage pieces that I am happy to give a new home.

Uh oh! As we approach the junction back on to the main road, we suddenly discover we will be stuck behind a tractor pulling a trailer full of hay bales. The joys of Summer in the country!

Soon enough, though, he turns into the farm lane and once again we are on our way!

So, I hope you enjoyed your little trip to the tip!  I am gathering material for more gardening entries, but you will have to bear with me as I adjust to working and I settle down into my new routine.

Until next time
Deborah xo

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Stargazer Lilies

Hello Friends!

Stargazer lilies, a big, beautiful, bold and blousy lily of the Oriental group and well known for their incredible perfume {which you either love or loathe} and those infamous deep orange stamens that drop pollen everywhere, indelibly staining anything it drops on.  Stargazers can grow to a height of around 36 inches with up to eight blooms on each stem, which in turn, when grouped together, makes a spectacular display in any summer flower border.

It's fun sometimes to look back and revisit things we once had in our gardens. At one time, I had beautiful Stargazer lilies that festooned the patio and borders, spilling everywhere in pots and which brought bright, bold splashes in a movable feast of colour to any spot in the garden. Each year, for about five years, they bloomed, but with diminishing vim and vigour, each year seeing smaller and fewer blooms. What became of them I knew not. It was a puzzle. They were properly cared for, as I thought, with the right amount of water and feed, and every year the compost was refreshed, so why did they just slowly diminish and disappear?

It seems, in retrospect, I may have done a few things badly by my bulbs, by using the wrong compost, by putting them in pots, and by not digging them in deeply enough, despite following the instructions that came with my bulbs to the letter.  Also, apparently, lilies don't stick around that long either, so as they sowed seed each year, this contributed to their demise. I am no expert, these are simply facts I have gleaned from across the internet. You may know differently? Please share!

While I had them in my garden, I adored them, and so did the pollinating insects, especially the hover flies, and they obligingly posed while I snapped away happily as they drank the rich, fragrant nectar.

Sometimes, when I have taken a macro shot, the resulting photo looks as if aliens have landed.

Pure, velvety, sumptuousness!

Another alienesque shot, but oh! Just look at those snazzy colours complimenting and making the whole image pop!

Pretending to be a Venus Fly Trap look alike

Even after the rain they still manage to look spectacular

The Lily and the Bee 
by Henry Lawson

I Looked upon the lilies
When the morning sun was low,
And the sun shone through a lily
With a softened honey glow.
A spot was in the lily
That moved incessantly,
And when I looked into the cup
I saw a morning bee.
“Consider the lilies!”
But, it occurs to me,
Does any one consider
The lily and the bee?

The lily stands for beauty,
Use, purity, and trust,
It does a four-fold duty,
As all good mortals must.
Its whiteness is to teach us,
Its faith to set us free,
Its beauty is to cheer us,
And its wealth is for the bee. 

“Consider the lilies!”
But, it occurs to me,
Does any one consider
The lily and the bee

I hope you enjoyed a little trip down Stargazer Memory Lane today!  Maybe one day I will bring them back into my garden, for no cottage garden is complete without.

Until next time
Deborah xo

Friday, 21 June 2019

In The Pink

Hello Friends!

It's Summer, well, the date and fact that we've had the Solstice tells me it is supposed to be Summer, but the cold and chilly winds and that I have the heating on tells me differently. Still, the garden is now doing it's very best and it's putting a big smile on my face.

Recently, I noticed that many of the flowering plants in my cottage garden seem to be pink, or one of a number of varying shades and tones of that colour. Why, I didn't realise there were so many!

Pink is such a joyful colour. It can be delicate and blushing, shy and unassuming, or it can be boldly bright and blazing.  It goes so well with many colours, for subtlety or eye popping dazzling contrast. There are the cold bluey pinks that border on mauve; there are the orangey and yellow coral pinks that sit somewhere in the middle;
there are the red pinks, that full blown pink as we move into the warmer sector of the spectrum.

Since early Spring pink has been popping up all over my garden, beginning with the pink Camellias, and moving on from there with aquilegia, apple blossom, and more.  Blooming in my garden right now there are pink pinks {carnations}; pink roses; deep pink roses; cream roses tinged with pink; coral pink roses; tiny, papery pale pink and also deep pink geraniums; all sorts of assorted pink geraniums that have promiscuously cross pollinated serendipitously; pink columbine, or aquilegia, again many shades that are a result of cross pollination; several different pink Oriental poppies. deep pink osteospermums; pink pelargoniums; and earlier in the year there were pink camellias; why, even two of my varieties of strawberries are pink; as are pink tinged blackberry blossoms, and so much more!  Also, the lovely, and fragrant, Betty's Smile rose with it's delightfully delicate blush pink, slowly opening this morning.

Today, I spent some time sorting though photographs, and these are just a few!  If you dislike pink, look away now!

I have never thought of myself as a pink kind of person. so I don't know if this is a deliberate and conscious action on my part; or if my subconscious took over; or if it's just happened that way, that pink things seem to find their way into my garden.  Whichever, there's an awful lot of pink in my garden!

What colour dominates your garden palette? Did you think about it, or has it just happened? And, do you like pink?

Until next time
Deborah xo