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Showing posts from November, 2018

Garden Bloggers Blooms Day: Clematis 'Freckles'

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The frosts of a couple of weeks ago turned all but the hardiest of my summer flowers to a memory, and now it's the turn of the winter bloomers to take a star turn in VP Gardens.

The earliest of these is Clematis 'Freckles'. The guidance says she blooms from November through to February; mine's been throwing out the odd bloom or three since July. This isn't a rare occurrence; it happens here most years and I know Alan has had the same experience this year.

I can thank NAH for this year's plentiful blooms. This is a pruning group 1 clematis, so I tend to neglect her dreadfully. NAH in Drastic Gardener mode cut her down to the ground last year when the huge tangle of stems invaded next door's garage. He left her for dead, but she's made of sterner stuff and has grown back more strongly than before. It was worth sacrificing last year's winter display ('Freckles' flowers on old wood) for what's there now.

The guidance says growth is up to 4 …

Remember Them

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Early morning at the trials field at Mr Fothergill's this summer and the light was just right for highlighting the poppies they'd sown in tribute to the fallen and the centenary of the end of WWI.


Then a few hours later, my fumbling fingers just about managed to capture this happy juxtaposition.

A couple of Chelsea Pensioners are usually invited to Mr Fothergill's Press Day for the presentation of the cheque for the funds raised from their 'Victoria Cross' poppy and 'Scarlet Tunic' sweet pea seeds. 25p is donated per packet sold and over £70,000 has been raised so far.

We also learnt the traditional heavy scarlet tunic coat costs around £600 and is very hot to wear on a summer's day, especially in the hot spell we experienced earlier this year. It was one of those days at the trials field, but luckily it didn't dim the cheerfulness and twinkling humour of our two Pensioner visitors. The Royal Hospital Chelsea has launched the Scarlets Appeal, to ra…

A new flower for the garden

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A strange flower appeared in my garden recently - it looks like I've discovered a new species. Those swirly purple and clear petals with a dark, mysterious centre are quite something aren't they?


I had a lot of fun creating my new flower at Court Street Gallery's fused glass workshop recently. Here I am cutting and shaping the pieces using the template I'd put together with tutor Alex's clear and friendly instruction.

You can also see some of the tools and equipment used... that dustpan and brush (bottom right photo) is most important as it stops the tiny pieces of glass which inevitably break off during the cutting process from going everywhere. The bottom left photo shows my final piece assembled and decorated ready for the fusing process.

Then it was time for cake and another cup of coffee. There's plenty on offer, plus the owners have created a lovely, warm and relaxed atmosphere at their gallery.


The petals and decorative elements are fixed on loosely dur…

GBMD: In Flanders Fields

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lt. Col John Alexander McRae (1872-1918)