In a Vase on Monday: dried flowers


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You never know what you might “need” when you are shopping. About three weeks ago I purchased a couple of bunches of asters which most certainly were not on my list. At £1.30 a bunch who could resist.

Much to everyone’s surprise they were not put in a vase, instead they were hung upside down in the kitchen to dry. After a few days the grumbles started and by the end of week two, outright hostilities: what’s happening with these, they’re ugly!

Well yesterday I snipped the heads off and threw out the stalks.

I have quite a bundle which I have used to put in some of my glass tea light holders. Mixed with poppy heads and nigella they make an interesting gathering.

Cathy (the host of IAVOM) you saw these hanging around in my kitchen, what do you think?

In a Vase on Monday: for an open garden


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Yesterday I opened my garden for the first time for NGS. This was an ambitious plan on my part as the garden was a paddock when we arrived in 2014. There was nothing here thanks to the former residents, a herd of goats.

In 2018 I have battled with a wet, cold winter which left standing water on my low-lying, clay soil as recently as April, followed by the driest Summer for 57 years.

Then, on the week of opening my garden, Thames Water decided to shut the lane to my house and put diversions in place. The final insult however was that the forecast was for rain!

The (NGS yellow) sunflowers were a market purchase to greet visitors on arrival and decorate the tea room aka the garage.

Sweet peas and dahlias in various shades of pink which I grow at work for Ali. I brought some of these home to decorate the tea tables.

I am pleased to report the afternoon was a great success: the rain held off, lots of people visited and perhaps most fun of all was that our very own Cathy joined by the Golfer came along. Cathy as we know is very knowledgeable about plants and floated around the garden chatting to visitors, answering questions. Meanwhile the Golfer did a sterling job, stood at the top of the lane waving traffic down towards the parking.

It was a really good day and I thought my garden did alright by the visitors. We raised just under £1400. Thank you to everyone who came.

Thank you to all my lovely helpers

The charities supported by NGS provide crucial care.

In memory of friends lost:








And for those currently undergoing care

Lucy and little Daisy, Get well soon!

In a Vase on Monday. Thanks for reading. D.

In a Vase on Monday: gasping for water


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Can any of us believe this heat, amazing, scorchio.

My vase today has roses: Lark Ascending and Morning Mist, both David Austin roses. These are the second flush of flowers.

An orange tone Zinnia not grown from seed by me but purchased as bedding plants.

Echinops ritro before it opens, calendula, sweet pea and verbena bonariensis.

Everything is struggling in this heat but with regular watering, essential to keep things fresh for my garden opening in a couple of weeks, flowers are managing to actually flower.

I am very late with this vase so if you are reading on Tuesday do still take a look at IAVOM Cathy

Stay cool.D.

In a Vase on Monday: selection


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I have missed joining Cathy in her weekly meme but today I have got a bit of time at home to join her.

Firstly is a sprig of Verbena bonariensis in a Japanese Tom-thumb sized pot which I acquired at Darsham nurseries , Suffolk. It reminds me of the pebbles on the beach.

So not much picking or arranging involved but pleasing to my eye at least.

In the garden shelter I have an old acid bottle, don’t you?

into which I have picked flowers from Hosta Praying hands.

I am not really a fan of Hosta flowers as I think they detract from the beauty of the leaves so I snipped them and plonked them in the bottle.

My neighbour gave me a bunch of her perennial sweet peas. Pretty and pink, I have them in a blue glass bottle outside.

Aren’t they sweet.

Now do take a look at Cathy’s blog and look at some of the other lovely arrangements.