It’s been gently snowing here all day. Nothing is sticking but it’s freezing cold and the fountain is rock solid again. The heater in the greenhouse is clicking on and off in an attempt to keep the chill off some perennial flowers that I sowed. And the Calvolo Nero seeds that I sowed last week are popping through regardless. They don’t care about the snow.
And this? This is my sign of Springtime that will keep me going throughout the next month.
I picked some Roses today for a friend and neighbour who was celebrating her birthday. I love that I can go out into my garden and pick lovely flowers. I feel like some kind of Victorian lady with my secateurs and basket gathering whatever is flowering right now.
Flowers picked from the garden are never the same as the ones from the florist because they are so random. It’s whatever is there right now. The florist has lots of different blooms to choose from but I only have a small selection. And in my garden right now, that means Roses!
I love picking flowers from the garden because what you get is something real. It’s a bit like how when you have a kitchen garden you tend to harvest vegetables that are ready at the same time like New Potatoes and Mint and Tomatoes and Basil, rather than the myriad of things you can buy at the supermarket.
Having a cutting garden is a new joy for me. And I’m only too happy to spread the love.
I always said I didn’t like Roses. Not because I don’t like the flowers but because the bushes look pretty bad in the Winter. My new garden has lots of mature Rose bushes in it and they are all flowering right now.
I have white, cream, scarlet, pink, yellow – fragrant, spray, climbers, ramblers – you name it. I must admit I’m coming around to the idea of Roses. They really are blowing my mind. And such a great cut flower too. My house is literally full.
Back in November (a little late) I planted some pretty special Tulip bulbs that my neighbour gave to me. I didn’t know if they would flower or not or even if the ground was going to be too heavy for Tulips. Well, they flowered and they were beautiful.
Each one was a deep burgundy colour with yellow stripes running through it like ribbon. So perfect.
I’m a cut flower kind of person – I see a flower, I cut it and bring it in. So they all came indoors and looked beautiful in my new McCoy tulip vase. An object made for purpose!
One of my neighbours is the photographer behind the Tulip Anthology book which celebrates the wonderful image of the tulip. The book is lovely and showcases Ron’s amazing photography beautifully. As part of the preparation for the book he sourced and grew some rare tulip varieties. Some of them dating back to 1780.
Since he doesn’t have to room to grow them in his own garden he asked me if I would be the custodian of the bulbs. Of course I said yes. And today he brought them around for me.
I normally grow Tulips as part of my productive garden. And to be honest they are usually what I can get from the local nursery. But these are special. Even their names sound special. They are all Rembrandt type tulips. One of the oldest is Absalon, which is a dark chocolatey brown with yellow swirls. Also included is a tulip called Insulinde which looks like satin ribbons. And The Lizard and Columbine
I’m more than a little nervous about growing them. I feel like I’ve been entrusted with the equivalent of a diamond necklace. I shall be treating them like royalty and guarding them well against those pesky squirrels. Ron’s tip for planting was to add some horticultural sand to the soil for drainage and sprinkle the bottom of the planting bed with bonemeal. I’ll be doing both of these and keeping my fingers crossed for some gorgeous blooms come Springtime.
I took this photo of a late rose on the way to drop off at school the other morning. It’s amazing to me that it’s the end of October and beautiful flowers like this are just growing in the car park. The rain drops helped of course.
So I spent about half and hour this morning just walking around the garden and figuring out what’s in the garden. Since, I didn’t plant any of it it’s all a surprise to me. The flower above seems to pop up here and there and I’ve no idea what it is. Does anyone know?
There are a lot of roses. And they seem to be of the bush variety rather than climbers. Most are finished flowering for the year but a few here and there are still doing their thing.
There is also some snow-white Viburnum which I’m warming too.
So I picked what was out there, bunched them up with some Rosemary that I found by the back door and brought them inside. I’ve never been one for looking at flowers in a garden. I like my flowers in a vase. Hmmm… this is maybe why I grow mostly vegetables and fruit.
My mother-in-law is coming to visit so I cut some Roses from the garden for her room. I had to climb a fence to get them but they were so, so worth it. The gorgeous pale pink colour is beautiful and they smell even better than they look.
I’m not really into house plants but cut flowers, in my opinion, really do make a room. I also have no idea what variety they are since they were in the garden when we moved in and form part of our boundary fence with the neighbours. I hope they are enjoying them as much as we are.
At this time of year I love Hyacinths. It’s just so lovely to start bringing the outside in. Spring is here (on some days) and on others we’re flipping back into Winter. But that’s okay by me. I’m mostly staying indoors still and keeping warm. But it’s nice to have something growing and alive and promising in the house.
I bought the stubby bulbs from the florist at my local garden centre (she’s so smiley I can’t resist buying from her!). They came in a crisp brown bag and I ran out to plant them in the potting shed and ran back to get warm.
Now they are looking at me as I brush my teeth in the bathroom. And when they open up, that gorgeous Hyacinth-y smell will fill my morning. Can’t wait.
I finally made it onto a botanical illustration course. After I declared my interest last month I’d been looking for a local course to attend so that I could learn the basics.
Nothing materialised but then I got a newsletter from Alitex (purveyors of gorgeous greenhouses – hey, a girl can dream can’t she?). And in it there was a link to a botanical illustration course held at their greenhouse show site (another excuse – do I need any more?) with renowned botanical illustrator, Billy Showell. What a piece of luck?
Even though it was a two and a half hour drive from my house I signed up, immediately.
Firstly, Billy was amazing. She came prepared and we got down to drawing straight away. Her teaching style was spot on. She showed us how to do things, gave us tips and shortcuts and helped me when I hit a tricky bit. In short she was lovely.
Lunch was in one of the conservatories and since the sun had come out it was the perfect setting. And… it was decked beautifully with easy chairs, old wooden doors, Lemon and Olive trees and some nighttime ambience for that long summer evening.
We also had the opportunity to wander around the greenhouses and tick off features on our imaginary list and say things like, “Oh! I would definitely have that in my greenhouse.”
And then, after all this, I got to take home this painting.
Which, I can hardly believe, I created with my own bare hands. I’m thrilled.