In a vase on Monday: jug of carrot


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Hello. It seems ages since I managed to share a vase with you or Cathy. I always try to have something from the garden in the house although I do not always seem to have the time to write a blog post about them. Anyway here are the flowers.

A jug of Daucus carota

Apologies that these are not the best pictures, the light had faded and the electric lights were on. I hope you can see the variation in form depending on the stage of the flower.

These are easily grown from seed, sown in the early spring, directly where they are to flower or in modules in a greenhouse. They form a deep taproot and do not like to be transplanted. The flowers are lace like, in shades of burgundy through to white and then green.

They have a wafting habit, rather wispy. They do need staking but once flowering they are prolific. Reminiscent of Cow Parsley they make good fluff for flower arrangements but I like them best on their own.

Daucus carota has several common names including Bishops Lace, wild carrot, birds nest, Queen Anne’s lace. Given the variation between the flowers it is not surprising really.

Please take a look at Cathy’s post and see some of the flowers from around and about, always a pleasurable thing to do.

Rain is forecast here for this week. I hope you have a good week wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

Six on Saturday: 7/11/20


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Here we are, blogging from the confines of the second Lockdown, sharing our six from our gardens with you and our host The Propagator

We have had a couple of proper frosts this week and the garden has dropped leaves, the dahlias have blackened. Last week I shared Harlow Carr with you, this week I am back in my own garden, observing the last gasps of Autumn.

Penstemon Garnet

Penstemon are borderline hardy in my heavy clay soil. These are growing in a raised bed to aid drainage and here they thrive. The richness of the jewel like colour is a tonic on grey days of Autumn. I do not dead head these, or tidy them up for winter. I leave all the top growth, no matter how unsightly they become, only cutting back once new growth is emerging and the frost risk has passed. As extra security I take a few cuttings which usually strike very easily.

Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black

I planted a row of these asters to form an informal edge to the path. By midsummer the foliage is dark, almost black and looks strikingly handsome, repeating the darker foliage of Cercis canadensis and Sambucus Black Lace nearby. By Late Autumn they open zillions of tiny daisy like asters , creating a haze of flowers. A real sight when everything else is bowing out.

Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black

I mention the Forest Pansy so often I realise and that is because it gives such beauty. Here it is again.

Forest Pansy detail
Forest Pansy Cercis canadensis

Gardens are beginning to take on their winter scene and it is a good time to asses the parts you might want to change.

Garden scene

There are leaves to clear, roses to prune to protect against wind rock which is a big concern on my exposed garden. There are still roses but now the frost has touched them I shall prune them hard.

Rose Brother Cadfael earlier this week

Lastly I will share some Autumn images taken at the garden where I work. Tree work has begun and on milder days mulching is order of the day.

Tree work can begin.

I hope you can have a great weekend in your garden wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

Six on Saturday: RHS Harlow Carr


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I managed to visit Harlow Carr for the first time this week. The weather was chilly and there were some short sharp showers, but as you know, us gardeners are undeterred by weather.

The place was reasonably busy thanks to half term holidays but as it is spread over a significant site it did not feel crowded a key concern at this time.

Harlow Carr

The six I am sharing this week with lovely you and our host The Propagator are my highlights from the garden at RHS Harlow Carr.

Standout foliage of Bergenia and Maple

I love this image, the ruby red of the fallen maple leaf looks so vivid against the emerald rich green of the Bergenia.

2. The trees at Harlow Carr are exceptionally beautiful at this time of the year thanks to Japanese Maples and Liquidambar. The variation in colour and texture is incredible. I don’t think I have ever seen so many varieties at this the peak of their Autumn season.

Planted at key points around the garden the foliage literally sings out.

3. Outside the booth for Bettys’s Tearooms there was a fun cage for leaf collecting.

(Tea) leaf collection

4. There is a vegetable garden area which is as you would expect is an arrangement of raised beds and veg but the part I really liked was a bobbly hedge of Malus Evereste. This looked very attractive.

Bobbly Hedge

5. In a corner there is a lovely Exotic garden full of luscious leaves and bright shining dahlias.

Dahlia, Canna and Salvia
Pink dahlia and Melianthus

6. Around a beautiful tree is a circle of hedges of yew and an exquisite bench.

Circular rings around the tree
Yew hedges hugging around the tree

I love how the hedges enclose the area around the tree. The beautiful bench around the mighty trunk, the views enclosing and opening the surrounding garden, as if protecting the tree.

My six from Harlow Carr. I hope liked this snap shot. Have a great weekend wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

Six on Saturday: 17 October 2020


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Have you noticed how our gardens this week have become very autumnal thanks to the weather and shorter daylight hours? It is mid October so I suppose it is to be expected yet it seems to have changed almost overnight. Sharing the sights of the garden with you and our host The Propagator


This impressive display is from Cornus Midwinter Fire, so called I should imagine because it has incredible stems which are the colours of fire, orange through to yellow. These will reveal themselves once the golden leaves drop.


These multicoloured shades of green to yellow to red are from Vitis coignetiae, crimson Glory vine. The crimson colours are starting to come through and I am hoping it gets time to show before the leaves drop.

Ruby red leaves

This is Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia. This is at the garden where I work. It is a plant which I really dislike for its rampant growth literally meters per season. Self clinging, it leaves dirty sucker marks which are almost impossible to remove over anything in its way including brickwork, paintwork and window panes. High maintenance. When cutting it back I have had a severe reaction to its sap which has left my forearms swollen for a week. Then it changes into this stunning show and all is forgiven. Almost.

Autumn light on the Hornbeam

Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, is catching the sunlight, illuminating the subtle change from fresh green leaves to a yellowing before turning fully brown. Rather like Beech these leaves will not drop until the spring.

On the opposite side of the path is Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black which is covered in tiny daisies.

Lady in Black

Late to flower these tiny sequins of daisies have only emerged in the last ten days.

White flowers are still shining in the garden, this white penstemon.

Fresh and bright

Nearby the tall daisies of Leucanthemella are still flowering.

White daisies

These are my selection to share with you this week. Have a good weekend wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

In a vase on Monday: 12 October 2020


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Hello Cathy and good morning reader. It is a while since I got myself organised enough to put a vase together for this delightful Monday meme and here it is.

In a vase on Monday

There are dahlias and grasses and the prettiest Aster.

Prettiest aster

This is Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black. Plum coloured aster type foliage on to which, in the middle of October, burst thousands of tiny daisies. A great display very late in the garden year.

Rich dahlias and penstemon

These dahlias, Downham Royal, Bishop of Auckland, and penstemon Garnet are flowering happily and will continue to do so until the first frost arrives. I hope that frosty days will not be here for a while yet but who knows, the weather this year has been extremely different.

Grasses are glorious this time of year and this is a favourite of mine.

In a vase on Monday

This is Calamagrostis brachytricha and it looks splendid at this time of the year. The seed heads are a pink tone which catches and holds any moisture, dew or rain, making a delightful sight.

Calamagrostis brachytricha

What else can I tell you? It is definitely Autumn out there and the nights are drawing in rapidly. The virus might be driving us all to distraction but a really good distraction is outside and in our gardens. Let’s celebrate our gardens and rather than lamenting summers passing we should try to enjoy the changing seasons, picking flowers, fruits, vegetables and foliage while we can. Taking part in this Monday vase meme is a good way to do this. Join in, make a link back to our host Cathy and share your vase with bloggers around the globe.

Have a great week wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

Six on Saturday: 3 October 2020


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That was September

Into October and how the weather has changed. Deluge from Friday and for days to follow. Ghastly gardening conditions but thankfully mild overnight. Flowers will continue although most of us are unlikely to want to venture out to see them. My six were taken on Thursday, a dry day which already seems a distant memory.

Joining our host The Propagator


These are such good flowers, I cannot recommend them highly enough. Tall daisies, late flowering and fresh as, well, as a daisy. No staking needed. The funny thing is that they are facing towards the light and are looking away from the garden towards the fence!


This is Amelanchier turning-to Autumn colour. A good reason to find space for one, that and the early spring blossom.


These bright yellow daisy types are great for autumn interest. Vivid yellow petals but these do need staking on my rich soil. A good back of border perennial, shown here against the backdrop of the woven willow fence.

Now is a good time to put all succulents in the dry. Actually with this weather they should already be under cover, a sunny garden room, window cill or a greenhouse is ideal. They dislike our winter wet and will not survive a frost. Mine are now in the cold frame until it gets very cold when I shall bring them indoors. Mollycoddling very necessary.

I grow the willow leaf sunflower this for its bonkers foliage and height. I do not like the flowers and generally dead head them however next week, I have a National Garden Scheme, by appointment, visit. I shall allow them to beam. I’m all heart.

Verbena bonariensis. You know it. You grow it. It’s everywhere.

At this time of year it’s an invaluable blast of colour.

That’s it. Have a good weekend wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.