Thursday 7 July 2011

Plants in the Post

The garden is going through it's annual slump. After bursting into loveliness in May and June, everything is looking rather exhausted and a bit bedraggled thanks to the heavy rain showers we've been having. It happens every summer and it deflates me a little after things having looked rather nice for a while. I've learned though that the key is not panic or get too dejected, but to plan for a bit further ahead.

I've chopped back some of the more ropey looking perennials (hardy geraniums, lupins, lady's mantle etc) and now I need to wait for them to come back for a second show in  a few weeks time, along with the late summer stars in the borders like heleniums, echinacias, rudbekias, asters and crocosmias and things. But I've been hankering after adding something a little grannyish to the garden to round off the summer.
Late last autumn on a trip to lovely Ludlow I brought back this beautiful bunch of blooms that just sings harvest festival to me. I've grown very fond of (and rather addicted to if I'm honest) brightly coloured chrysanthemums.

The Sarah Raven catalogue got me all inspired earlier in the year but its rather too pricey for me on the whole and I looked everywhere locally for seedlings in the colours I fancied, but no luck.
But joy of joys, I was sent an email for the 50% sale at Sarah Raven last week and the stunning, glorious Jewel collection was still in stock. I've only ever bought a rose by post before and was a little anxious about how these teeny plug plants would reach me safely, but they arrived in tip top condition with a very comprehensive and straightforward planting/cultivation guide.
And haven't they got such lovely names, Payton Blaze Red sounds very impressive and Littleton Red rather grand I think! I can't wait to pick them and see these rich, clashing shades on the kitchen table in a battered old enamel jug.

I bought some sweet pea seeds from SR and they've all germinated and grown on very well so I've got high hopes for armfuls of harvest chrysanthemums, at my favourite time of year, for a fair few years to come!


Rose H (UK) said...

Just what you wanted Steph, and a bargain to boot - can't be bad!
Beautiful jewel colours ready for Autumn.
It reminds me of growing up with a chrysanth mad mother...we always had row upon row of chrysaths with paper bags over the huge single blooms to keep them clean! Do you know Ican't remember if she ever put them into flower shows either...The vaiety name 'Silver Dollar' jumps into my mind. I'm off to Google it.

The Cookie Jar said...

Love the colours. I love the plants on Sarah Raven site but they don't post to Ireland. Looking forward to beautiful photos in the autumn

Pomona said...

Lovely flowers! I have had real problems with Sarah Raven this year, so I am glad yours arrived so quickly! My garden is also getting a bit in-betweeny, but I have found marigolds, anthemis, cosmos, lilies and nicotianas very useful in bridging the gap.

Pomona x

Louise said...

What lovely bright, colours! You must show us some photos when they're all planted and looking glorious! It sounds like a fab colour combination.

I love the new header picture too - that's more my kind of gardening - wild and full of 'weeds'!! (Though personally I don't believe in weeds!)

Please may I? said...

Beautiful flowers.

If the look like those in the book your garden will look amazing.
X x

millefeuilles said...

What a beautiful post. I love getting yarn in the post but I cannot wait to have my own garden to start a plant and seedling stash! (sweetpeas, sweetpeas, sigh :-) )

Speaking of the jewel collection have you read Sarah and Monty Don's book, 'The Jewel Garden' based on their own stunning garden full of joyful and hard memories? It is pure poetry.

Have a good evening.

blueberry hill said...

I agree, lovely names! Might have to go have a look at the SR site too now!

Sandies' Patch said...

I can't wait either!
I used to buy chrysanths and Dalias from the allotment gardens, near where | used to live for about £1 you got a mixed bunch ,huge, or chrysanths or Dalias. sometimes they would put in some Michelmas daisies too.

I hope your plants flourish!

Sandie xx

Lucy said...

Love the new header!

Naturally Carol said...

Georgeous meadow flowers on your new header! I love these oranges and reds etc in your flower pics..all the best with your new garden the way I think the little containers for transporting the seedlings are very clever.

LandGirl1980 said...

Ahhhhhhhhhh-doring your new meadow header! Looks lovely!

I too love Cryzanths :o) And they last for ages when cut!

...Nina Nixon... said...

You've inspired me Steph - my garden is looking rather shabby now too.

Have a lovely weekend,

Nina x

melanie said...

These will look gorgeous in your already beautiful garden :) xx

Jill said...

It is so nice to see how the plants arrive from Sarah Raven, I keep meaning to order some, her catalogue is so inspiring. You are right about the garden looking a little sad, so your new plants will certainly add some cheer!
have a nice weekend.

bibbitybob said...

The fact that your garden has a 'slump' has cheered me a little (not that your garden has, but that mine isn't just due to my rubbish gardening skills...I hope you know what I mean and am not just digging deeper....). I love browsing the Sarah Raven catalogue but have never ordered from there so it's good to hear good feedback. I look forwards to seeing your flowers in bloom! x

lemonade stand said...

Your blog is full of colourful flowers. My garden is also getting a bit in-betweeny, but I have found marigolds, anthemis, cosmos, lilies and nicotianas very useful in bridging the gap.

Anonymous said...

Chrysanthemums are great for the vase! In Greece they are in bloom in October. Although not my favourite, your varieties look stunning!
Beautiful, bright photos, as alaways!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous colours, they will make your garden sing. Looking forward to the pictures...

LinenandRoses said...

I absolutely love crysanths too. Such gorgeous clashing bright colours. I'm sure yours are going to look wonderful.I can't wait to get started on my new garden and you are definitely inspiring me with this post.

Barri-Jayne said...

I love chrysanthemums! These colours are amazing and great bargain at 50% off.

Barri x

Tea with Prudence said...

Hi Steph,
REading your posts is always a joy.
Yes, those mums are so perfectly grannyish and colourful - who could resist.
My garden is covered in frost at the mo', (winter over here), but a few golden daffs have opened their brave little faces to the cold.

I planted some crocus this year, for the first time, so looking forward to them blooming.

That packaging from Sarah Raven looked very interesting. Don't they come up with great ideas to do things??


sarah-jane down the lane said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous! All gardens should have a late summer blaze of Grannyness, I do so agree! Still figuring out what we have in this garden but next year I will be adding to it! I finally understand the importance of a garden notebook each season to note the ommissions and the positives!

Sarah x

salty pebble said...

such beauty in the colour x
wow - your garden will look so bright, joyful and heavenly- enjoy x

...Nina Nixon... said...

Hey Steph - I just wanted to pop over and say 'Hi' and wittering is always welcome over my way.

You never know - our paths might cross one day.

Have a wonderful weekend and fingers crossed for a bit of lovely weather.

Nina x

silverpebble said...

Hello there STeph,

Firstly thankyou - I've leant I can cut my lady's mantle back for another show later. I didn't know this! I'm off to get the secateurs in just a minute.

Secondly those chrysanths are wonderful. I think chrysanthemums are enjoying a comeback and why shouldn't they with suchwonderful colours? I truly hope all your new babies thrive and produce a great show in the weeks to come

Thirdly I hope the rain stops soon where you are x

Curlew Country said...

Hope your Open Studios event went really well Emma, I do love your little hut. Must paint our shed!

Can't wait to find out which magazine you're going to be in. How exciting!

Hope your Lady's Mantle does put on another show. Mine usually does (definitely get new, fresh leaves at any rate) towards mid September. Just cut back to the smaller leaves you'll probably be able to see pushing through underneath the old ones.

Gosh I wish I could have got out into the garden this weekend. The rain is coming across in horizontal drifts! Miserable but ever so cosy and makes me think ahead to autumn.
Have a smashing week.

Katy Noelle said...

"Bruno Bronze" - they all sound like funky, funny lipstick colors! =D