Friday, 18 November 2011

More Flowers in My LIfe

I found myself remarking on someone else's blog that I knew I'd grown up when I quit rebelling against my parents and starting trying to be more like them.  I don't expect I'll ever have half the talents or skills my Mom had or be half as smart as my Dad, but I like to think that I am still striving to learn from the example they set me - both the positive and negative.

A neighbour planted sweetpeas running up tall sticks.  I've never had much
luck with sweetpeas - I never seem to think tall enough.

Mom's gardens were always spectacular.  I still have her notebook where she made sketches of plans, by season, height and colour.  According to a garden planning DVD we recently got from the library, two further characteristics to consider are form and texture, but I'm unlikely to ever achieve anything like a professional looking garden.  I'd settle for just having more flowers in my life. 

We had a glorious show of orange, even better than the photo I took, this summer.  I just dumped all the out of date flower seeds into the front patch and this is what happened.  They were brilliant while they lasted, but I expect they were annuals and won't return next year.  So, I started thinking about what  other flowers I would want.

No doubt these flowers are not 'properly arranged' but
they made me very happy anyhow.

I always caress the lavender plants I pass to enjoy the scent in my hand, so lavender went on my list.  I often do that cliche thing with roses, so they went on the list as well.  The inside of Mom's, now my, wedding ring is stamped with 'white rose' in spite of being 14K yellow gold.  I 've always loved white roses and now do even more since the opening scenes of Downton Abbey.  (How's that for successful merchandising?)

Sarah gave us this amaryllis last Christmas and it blooms over and over
again.  When it's not doing this thing it lives in the back porch until it
is ready for show again.  Brilliant gift idea; and, it matches her Dad's car!

Large purple irises are another flower I associate with Mom's garden and I always loved the furry bits inside.  I'm sure I spent a good deal of my childhood with pollen on my nose.  It's rare to see anything but miniature irises in this neck of the woods but I'm hoping I've found some large ones,  We won't know til they come up. 

These are in a neighbour's yard.  Love the burgundy and dusty pinks, but
some of these are grey-ish as well...

When I first lived in Salt Lake City I was amazed at the tulips that came up through the spring snows and whilst I hope not to be having that much snow here, I think bulbs always have a place in a lazy person's garden, so we bought some black tulips, white tulips and some hyacinth.

I've long wanted a 'cutting garden' but Bill didn't care for the idea, until I started bringing in the droopy flowers - I can't abide a flower that can't hold its head up - for the dining table.  Turns out he meant he didn't like the idea of rows and columns of flowers, or something like that.  I'm learning he makes all sorts of dogmatic statements that he doesn't really mean, so I ignore much of what he says these days.  I do hope to have some sort of colour in the house this next year, as it really does lift the spirits.  You can be sure I will share photos of anything that works!

So, we made a trip to a couple of garden centres and came home with eight lavender plants, six rose bushes (3 white, 2 pink and one orangey-red that smells nice), and dozens of bulbs.  The one thing on my list - and it has since expanded - that we didn't buy was a hydrangea.  Since visiting Wales, I've finally come around to liking hydrangeas; must show you those one day.  Aren't Welsh hydrangeas glorious?  Many of the plants around here turn grey and much as I like that colour in principle, I think there is enough grey in the sky, the sea and the river.  I don't want that colour in my garden!  I've learned since that one can influence the colour of a hydrangea by manipulating the soil.

However, the garden centre wanted £40 for a plant and I thought that was silly.  At least having already spent about £50 it wasn't going to happen.  I was reminded by Anna of how much I like the money plant, also known as honesty (money and honesty are both good things, too, right?).  And these pumpkin looking things one of the neighbours has.  I think they are brilliant.... Chinese lanterns they are.  We may need to take out some of that expensive brickwork to get all this in! 

Admit it - you want more flowers in your life, too, don't you?


BigLittleWolf said...

These flowers are just lovely! Both my mother and grandmother had a green thumb. I don't seem to have inherited it - but I do so appreciate gardens tended lovingly by others.

Delicious post. Beautiful photos.

Designing Domesticity said...

I think the gardens are lovelier in England - must be all that rain and damp. Alas, despite the weather, I still miss it over there. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. Liz