Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday...with Ornamental Artichokes

I was in the local park on Saturday for a friend’s birthday and walking along by the tennis courts we noticed the amazing display of Ornamental Artichokes.
Some of them were turning to seed and only a few were still in flower, but they were still pretty impressive.
So on Sunday I decided to cycle through the park to have another look...


When I got there I saw that a load of them at the end had been pulled up and thrown around, and been made a complete mess of, so I thought I’d take myself a few of the heads and possibly try to grow some in my own garden next year...




The wild meadow which was planted in the park a while ago is also still impressive, even though a lot of it is now turning to seed...




( the meadow is a good philip when you have to cycle a long way uphill to get home... ) 

...and just in case the Ornamental Artichokes don’t happen in my garden, at least I can add them to my plant documenting!











Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday...

I was clearing some things away this morning and my Granny’s old 1963 diary caught my eye...I wondered what she was doing on August 15th 1963; nearly 10 years before I was born.
What I read in her diary was quite ordinary... “long walk with dogs” and somehow it was a much more pleasing record of her life than writing flamboyantly about things.
Often things are simple, need no explanation and just are.
The entry on November 22nd is particularly poignant...Clive was my father, and I think maybe he came home from London to be with his parents because of the enormity of world events that day.
This is Beryl and Jim...some of the diary entries when he was on a fishing holiday simply say; “Jim phoned"
( Uncle Sport! What a name... )

...and there you have it; Tuesday 26th November, a whole day devoted to Ikebana!

It’s such a sweet little book, and just as informative as any of her old gardening library.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday...

August is such a strange month in the garden: it’s got half a foot in Summer and half a foot in Autumn. Having had May, June and July where everything goes mad, there has been a definite slowing down.
I always think of August as the height of Summer, but I don’t actually think it is in the garden...

However the succulents which I planted back in June have been a success and show no signs of slowing down...




( this amazing succulent, which I didn’t grow myself, is for a friend’s 30th birthday present...)

...and the heuchera and geranium have also done well in the pot

My current favourite is the chocolate cosmos though...
with only one completely attacked by snails...



( ...and don’t worry the cosmos in this photograph is resting in a piece of oasis, so that I could still have it in a vase afterwards! )




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday...flower naming

On Tuesday, during our hedgerow car meanderings, I also collected a selection of wild flowers...

When I was about 10 years old there was a summer holiday project to collect, label and stick into a book a selection of wild flowers. 
I looked forward to getting on with the project all Summer and then, rather typically, I suddenly realised that I only had about 4 days to get it done before going back to school!
I went round to a friend’s house and we collected flowers together...( she told me there were loads down a little path called ‘The Tinker Tank’...I don’t know why I’ve always remembered that ).
I loved it, and then felt rather foolish that I hadn’t worked on the project over the whole Summer, as I could have collected LOADS...and maybe even ones that no-one else had collected (...that’s always important to a 10 year old girl).
...but some of those flowers which I collected and named really stuck in my memory...wild campion, vetch, scarlet pimpernel...
I think I’ve always wanted to catch up on, or rather extend that school project, and now with various books of late grandparents and an iphone handy, I seem to be getting on with it...and I find photos of the plants a much more satisfying record, than pressed flowers ever were to me...

So here are some of my Summer wild flowers so far:
Himalayan Balsam...





( this was really tricky to find on the web, although it seems to be a relation of Lapsana... )


I’m always cautious of this plant, as one year our whole family had to pull up an entire field of the stuff ( from the roots ) as it’s poisonous to horses and cattle...


( ...and the photographer’s companion! )

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday...blackberry pickings

We were looking for milk thistles today ( there’ll be more about that in a couple of weeks... ) and found ourselves down a tiny Sussex lane; so tiny that when the windows were down we were able to lean out of the car and snip the thistles. Getting them in was trickier as they are extremely difficult to handle...

However my son proudly snipped a bramble...which wasn’t quite ripe
but which then reminded me that some of the blackberries in the garden needed picking...





...these are also ridiculously spiky and  tricky to pick, so I suggested we sacrificed some of the unripened ones for the sake of preserving our hands



...so although we’re deep into August and Summer, there will be the first blackberry and apple crumble tonight of hopefully many more over the September and dare I say Autumnal months!