I’m away this weekend on a girls mini break so I’m being organised and drafting this post in advance so I can just press send on Saturday when I’ll be mostly hot tubbing, afternoon teaing and Prosecco/Pimmsing! I decided I had to do a post this week because there’s a riot of colour and gorgeousness occurring outside our back door and it really needs sharing.
I’m amazed by how much pink there is, and I’ve even added to the existing pink. I really don’t like pink (especially baby pink) anywhere but in plant form, but four of my six points this week are resplendent in pink.
First is one of my new purchases. Have you ever seen more beautiful leaves anywhere in your life? I haven’t. This gorgeous coleus came from a garden centre in Liphook last weekend when I went to visit my mum. It was just impossible for it not to come home with me. It’s in a pot on our bistro which I can see from my home office, and it’s next to ….
…. my second point, and second pink purchase from Liphook. I have to have a dahlia every summer, and just look at this beauty. Shocking pink and shockingly gorgeous!
Taking a break from the pink with a more sedate yellow is this rose. It’s rose Sweet Memories and it’s in one of granny’s pots. No doubt I’ll share it again once it’s fully open, but there is something special about the anticipation of a closed rose so I wanted to share it now.
Another new purchase, but this one from closer to home when we took a trip over to Notcutts. I had a voucher for fifty percent off any plant over £30 which I used to buy a magnolia (still in its pot – not sure where to put it!) and I couldn’t resist this coprosma. Very autumnal colours and completely up my alley! Need to find somewhere for this too.
Back to the pink, and it’s a fuchsia. This is the oldest fuchsia that I have, and it’s the most reliable! I’ve got some fancy pants plant food from QVC and I think I’ll try it out on this fuchsia and see if she benefits. Fuchsias always make me think of my grandad and bring a smile to my face.
Finally, and sticking with the pink, our peonies are flowering. Baby pink, I know, but they’re so flouncy with it that I don’t mind the colour. They remind me of those ruffled over pants that people used to put over babies nappies in the 70s. They’d been threatening to burst into bloom for more than a week and then they chose the day before the heavens opened in biblical fashion, to show their wares, and then promptly collapsed under the weight of the rain! I’ve propped them up as best I can and reminded myself that I should listen to Monty Don when he tells us to support plants before they need it, not after!
Right then. I need to go and pack some clothes for this weekend and, importantly, check that I’ve got the Prosecco and Pimms ready. Hopefully I’ll have time in between hot tubbing and scoffing scones to have a peruse of other Sixes over at the Propagator’s blog. Have a great weekend all.
I’m typing whilst sitting on my new egg swing chair (must feature it one week, perhaps when there’s a dearth of prettiness left to feature) and I’m being entertained by music from next door’s youngest’s fourth birthday party. There’s a bouncy castle for the little ones but the parents are enjoying an 80s playlist which suits me down to the ground. That’s my era!
This is the closest I’m going to get to gardening beyond a bit of watering this weekend. We’ve just got back from a lovely week in Lanzarote, during which I managed to go flying off an e-scooter landing (heavily) mainly on my palms and left knee so kneeling is out for a while and dirt in grazed palms I’m guessing wouldn’t be a good idea. We stayed in a lovely hotel which, informatively, named a lot of the plants in its grounds.
I presume most people would know even without the label that this is a geranium (or maybe not?) but there were lots of succulents and other plants and shrubs which I was interested to identify. I thought it was a nice touch.
I’d sowed some seeds in the greenhouse before we went and gave them a good soaking on our morning of departure hoping they’d make it through the week.
I checked yesterday and the cosmos in the little terracotta pots had sprouted but nothing else. I gave everything a good watering and left it up to the lap of the gods. This morning I checked and a few nigella have appeared and one petit pois. I really hope I get some more petit pois. I may sow a few more when my hands are healed.
It seems the garden didn’t mind us being away because it’s got on with the business of the season admirably on its own. A couple of the pots were looking a bit sorry for themselves, but a swift watering and they’ve survived. The rhododendron was looking like it was about to explode with colour before we left and I was worried that we’d miss it completely …
… but it waited for us. A couple of the flowers are out but most are still getting ready. Such a beautiful bloom, this one. I’m so glad I rescued it from the sale table when garden centres reopened in the first relaxation of covid measures.
This Welsh poppy self seeded itself this year in one of my pots and before we left it had lots of foliage but no buds. Yesterday I noticed a bud, and this morning it had opened!
Similarly, my clematis Montana had some leaves but no buds just over a week ago, but now she has lots of flowers. More than ever before, in fact. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that she didn’t flower at all for a couple of years, then I got one or two flowers a year, but now there are quite a few. Lovely delicate linen coloured petals.
I’ll finish with geum Totally Tangerine. I thought I may have lost it this year, because an awful lot of the leaves were dead when I did some weeding and maintenance recently, but it’s just about hung on in there and now it has a flower. It’s definitely somewhat depleted from previous years, but let’s hope it picks up and gains strength through the summer.
That’s your lot for this week. It’s got to that time of year where I have to prioritise what to feature, rather than scrub around trying to find anything of interest. I imagine others are the same, so I’ll pop over to the Propagator to see what others have prioritised. I hope everyone has a great bank holiday weekend.
I was intending to write a Six on Saturday today given that the garden is waking up and there’s more to share, but then I realised I also wanted to write about our holiday so I’m combining the two (along with any other random thoughts that may enter my head!) But first, a holiday! Yes, that’s right, we actually managed to have a holiday, and in a different country at that!
Hubby was unexpectedly given three weeks holiday because the days needed using up, so we took the opportunity to book a short break in Gran Canaria. It didn’t turn out to be a simple as originally planned – we were due to fly out on 10th March (so we should be there now!) but a mix up in the holiday meant we had to bring it forward a couple of weeks. Much thanks to my boss for being so flexible in letting me change my holiday!
Anyway, Gran Canaria was the only one of the four main Canary Islands that we hadn’t been to, and we wanted somewhere with (pretty much) guaranteed sun. As it turns out, we pretty much could’ve been anywhere hot because we barely left the complex. After so long without a sunny break, we just wanted to chill out and recharge our batteries, and we were only there for four nights so we weren’t there long enough to get bored of lying around.
I just have to have a quick Brexit moan!
A stamp in my passport for an EU country. Honestly, it made me feel a leper! Anyway, it is what it is! I need to get over it, and currently there are far, far worse things happening in the world. As you can see, we flew out on 24th February which is the day that Putin decided that millions of innocent people needed to have their lives disrupted, at best, or ended at the other end of the scale. It was incredibly surreal to be lying on a sun bed in the sun with people going about their normal holiday lives around us, whilst a war was being waged a few hundred miles away.
I didn’t take many holiday photos because there’s only so many hotel photos you want/need, but I did snap some of the greenery around the hotel with a future Six on Saturday in mind.
There’s the obligatory palm tree and sun picture which I took as we were waiting for our tranfer back to the airport so I could remember the last bit of sun. Next to that, a beautiful bloom from around the pool. I don’t know what this is, but they were in pots all around the pool and in the sunlight the colour was amazing! Underneath that an impressive cactus and next to that, the olive tree of dreams. I have one in a pot that looks nothing like this at all!
On our first full day, we were treated to a visit from this beauty.
I tried really hard to get a photo that represented the vivid colours accurately, but I didn’t manage it, so I resorted to filters to get it to look something like an approximation of reality. The butterfly was beautiful, and huge! It was at least the size of an adult palm.
Typically for us on holiday, we managed to find a cat.
We joked that she looks like Tink’s grandma! Lovely as it is to find a cat to fuss, it’s still always good to get home to our girls waiting for us in their new basket.
It’s a month or so till our next holiday and we have to leave them again and I’ve recommenced my healthy eating and exercise regime. This week we discovered Pinch of Nom’s Diet Coke chicken, except we did it with Pepsi Max Cherry and Quorn pieces – absolutely delicious, full of veg and very low in calories – nutritious and delicious!
Back home, and spring has definitely sprung and what says spring more than daffodils?
Unfortunately the rest of my daffs have been flattened! Ordinarily this would really upset me, but, whilst I’m not happy about it, the reason for their flattening is good (and there are a few which look like they’ll recover). The week after we got back from Gran Canaria, our neighbour had the biggest of his trees chopped, most of which they did from our side, and the clean up involved a petrol powered leaf blower which caused the aforementioned flattening!
They chopped loads off, but I have to admit (especially as we contributed half to the cost) to being a little disappointed that they didn’t chop more. The height has been reduced significantly, but I was hoping they’d thin the trees out more too. However, it’s better than it was before, there’s already more light in the back of our house (and my home office is in the back bedroom that you can see so it’s not insignificant) and we remain to see how much more sun we get in the summer. Incidentally, I think I’ll look into getting a petrol leaf blower because our patio has never looked so clean, I’ll just be more careful around the daffs!
There are more and more signs that the garden’s waking up appearing almost every day. I always try to say to myself around this time of year, that I must appreciate the fact that we’re on the up again, days are getting longer, the sun is gearing up to shine on us and new shoots are emerging, because seemingly in no time, we’ll be past the longest day and heading back down. For now though, let us not think about that because it’s a long way off.
First is my polemonium which I bought to put in one of granny’s pots last year. I thought it had died so imagine my delight when I looked at it today and there’s new growth coming through. That’ll teach me not to read labels – I didn’t know it would die down and come back in the spring. Next to that is the cowslip that I rescued last year after it self seeded itself. It’s got such beautiful sienna edged petals – I’d never seen a cowslip that wasn’t bright yellow. Underneath that is one of my raspberries which has some leaves. Fingers crossed that I might get some fruit this year. Finally, beautiful flowers have appeared on my cherry thing! I got this from QVC last year, and I can’t remember what it is, but it’s some sort of cherry blossom,
Unfortunately, with flowers that you want, come plants that you don’t! The weeds have started growing again already!
There’s even some herb Robert growing on my little sleeping dragon!
Finally, I’m going to leave you with a picture of my latest cross stitch which I got framed recently, purely because I’m really pleased with it so I want to showcase it!! Indulge me if you will.
That was a lot of info in one post – hope I haven’t bored you all silly! I’m off to order a takeaway now – hope you all have a great weekend.