‘Little moments’ from the Garden

Hello there! You are very welcome to my blog. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve managed to take some ‘blue sky’ pictures. When you live in Ireland, you learn to really appreciate those blue sky days! I think that it is true, that a blue sky really does lift your spirits. You can see below that I have also thrown in some ‘gray sky’ pictures, so you can see for yourself the difference a blue sky makes.

Most mornings I start my day with a walk – after the chickens are fed and their house is cleaned! I love walking, especially first thing in the morning. It really wakes me up, and gets me going. Walking in the country provides beautiful scenery (and also a lot of mud on my shoes). I then take a walk around the garden (this helps to clean my shoes!) – making mental notes of what needs to be done. But I also get to enjoy seeing and listening to the birds in the garden. I don’t spend a lot of time doing this, because I have to ‘get to work’, but just enough time to appreciate all that nature has to offer us in our little ‘neck of the woods’. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I usually post a view of my garden and my chickens on my morning stories. ūüôā

As for the garden, I did a very late transplanting of some bearded Iris. Iris Benton Storrington have done amazingly well in my yard, and this is the second time that I have divided and transplanted them. The first time was two years ago in September (as it should be done then) and they did great. We’ll see how they do this time as I’ve not only transplanted them late, I have added them under the birch trees in a newly formed bed. It’ll just be a case of wait and see.

The garden is definitely shifting to its winter mode. The leaves are slowly falling off of the trees, and most of the plants are nearly finished blooming. I surprised myself with being able to make an arrangement of flowers from the garden this weekend, though! That is probably my favorite activity to do – creating arrangements with flowers from the garden. This is why I am always adding new and interesting plants.

The last of our apples were picked this week. I’m not sure how we will get through all of those apples, but we’re going to try! My daughter made (a few times this fall, actually) some delicious apple turnovers, which were such a treat. I’m always on the lookout for apple recipes that call for LOTS of apples! Do you have any?

I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to get out into the garden to get our fall jobs done. Even just ‘being’ in the garden is lovely, especially with all of the birds that have come to visit us now. I love seeing our birch trees standing so majestically as the sun shines on them first thing in the morning. And I love seeing my chickens seemingly so happy. Haha! This makes me think of the song ‘My favorite things’ by Julie Andrews!

I hope you are keeping well, and having lots of blue sky days! Please stay safe and healthy.

In Peace,
Dana

Heaven Scent Magnolia last leaf
The very last leaf on our Heaven Scent Magnolia tree
Last cooking apple
The very last apple on our ‘cooking apple’ tree
Cherry Tree last of the leaves
Our Cherry tree with a blue sky!
Cherry tree gray sky
Same Cherry tree, but with a gray sky!
birch trees with bearded iris
This was a big job of digging up two sites of bearded iris, dividing them and then transplanting them. My husband was a HUGE help and did most of the work!
Iris Benton Storrington single flower
Iris Benton Storrington

But look at that bearded iris! Isn’t it beautiful? I can’t wait to see them in the summer!

Viburnum opulus Roseum November
Some very pretty coloring on our Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’!
Mushrooms in the yard November
There’s always some interesting mushrooms in the yard. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing!
Flowers from the Garden in hand November 14
A handful of flowers from the garden! Shasta Daisy, bergenia leaves, pink and red hesperanthus (or schizostylis / kaffir lily), Erysimum ‘Super Bowl’ Mauve, Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’, Fountain Grass Pennisetum Advena Rubrum, Pittosporum Tom Thumb, and one snapdragon.
Flowers from the garden November 14 in hand
Flowers from the Garden November 14
And here’s what I created!
Mr Fokker aubrieta frosty morn November
This was taken on a frost morning. The Mr Fokker anemone are still blooming, and the Aubrieta have started blooming again. Glad to know that they weren’t killed off with the very dry spring which we had.
apple turnover
Emer’s apple turnovers were super delicious, especially hot out of the oven. We are so thankful that our kids enjoy cooking and baking!
David Austin Roses dark pink NOVEMBER
There are still some blooms on our roses, although the wind has been working extra hard to knock them off…
sunny foggy morning birch trees
I took this picture on what had been a foggy morning.
mystic sky November garden
I like this photo for the fall feel and the mystic looking sky
4 chickens November
‘The Girls’ also known as Iris, Sweet Pea, Daisy and Rose.

Thanks for stopping by! Take care!

Blue sky play house with back hills
The latest fall view of our playhouse and the surrounding fields (and one of my favorite pictures).

In a Vase on Monday: Roses & Ivy with a helping of Blackberries

In a Vase on Monday; Roses & Ivy & other lovely stuff

In a Vase on Monday; Roses & Ivy & other lovely stuff

Honestly, I never would have thought I could produce so many varied arrangements from materials gathered in my own garden! ¬†I am so glad to have been challenged to look at everything in the garden as potential “In a Vase on Monday” material.

Hydrangea just barely visible

A single pink Hydrangea flower is just barely visible in the centre

I do have to say that I make my arrangements on the weekend. My life is way too crazy to do it on a Monday (do you know that feeling???). ¬† I’ve been lucky so far, always having some form of sun to photograph with. ¬†Can I just say that I love the sun? ¬†I’ve lived in some cities where the sun didn’t always come out as often as I would like. ¬†Let’s just say that those cities aren’t known as sunny locations: Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Dublin, Zurich, even Poughkeepsie where I’m originally from. ¬†All are great places to live and probably the reasons why I so appreciate seeing the sun when I do!

Ivy. Isn't it lovely?

Ivy. Isn’t it lovely?

I digress. ¬†Back to flowers. ¬†I had it in my head that I wanted to use my ivy. ¬†This is the same ivy that I have spent countless hours removing from my hawthorne trees and ditch wall! ¬†It is completely invasive! ¬†I do remember that when I lived in Zurich I noted the greens used by florists were so lovely. It was indeed this very same type of ivy that was used to make the most amazing arrangements. ¬†So I might just keep a little bit of it. ¬†I‚Äôm sure the ivy itself¬†will have more say about it staying than my actually doing something about it. ūüôā

Ivy, roses, snapdragon, schizostylis (or rather: Hesperantha), Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Ivy, roses, snapdragon, schizostylis (or rather: Hesperantha), Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

What to add to the greens?  The snapdragons have had a good run. Those in the arrangement are a lovely fuchsia colour, although they are very near the end of their lives.  I’m still a little shy of cutting fully beautiful flowers when they can be enjoyed outside. I feel less guilty if they are nearly done anyway.

Snapdragon  in the evening sunlight

Snapdragon in the late afternoon sunlight

an awkward view of the roses

an awkward view of the roses

The roses are my climbing roses. I don’t have the variety, since I was sent the wrong type when I originally ordererd them. ¬†It was a dead giveaway since these guys have thorns and I ordered thornless… ¬†Nevertheless, their blooms are lovely from June through until late fall.

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha)

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha) members of the Iris family

O.K., so I posted a picture of these guys, see pink flowers above and below, ¬†on my Facebook page (have you clicked on my Facebook “LIKE” button yet? ūüôā ¬†) and someone commented that this plant has¬†just had their name changed. What? Really? Seems there was some confusion about Hesperantha having corms versus Schizostylis having a short rhizome. Honestly, I read the article and I still think mine are Schizostylis. ¬†I might just use both names to cover all of the bases.

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha)

Schizostylis (new name Hesperantha)

It is a banner year for wild blackberries in our yard! They are everywhere. Those brambles live in the same area as the ivy, and I have also spent countless hours trying to get rid of them! They are unruly, have terrible thorns, and are invasive. Ah well, but while they are still here we at least get to enjoy their fruit. I do like having some fruit in the arrangement. Just something different.

blackberries galore..

blackberries galore..

What I really liked about this arrangement was¬†all the different items, just a few of each, that worked together. ¬†Well, they do in my eyes! ¬†It is a rather messy, maybe I’ll say free flowing (?), ¬†arrangement.

a little messy looking

a little messy looking

I’m sure I mentioned in an earlier post that my father-in-law grew my snapdragon from seed for me. ¬†This one variety, which has a really nice multi-tone colour, ¬†has variegated leaves. ¬†It didn’t make the main vase, but is sitting nicely in its own Irish pottery vase.

snapdragon with variegated leaves

snapdragon with variegated leaves

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

One last view

One last view

Thank you, Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden, for hosting “In a Vase on Monday”! ¬†You can visit her vase, and many links to others by visiting her page here:¬†http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/in-a-vase-on-monday-stars-from-another-galaxy/¬†¬† (that one isn’t working, so please try here:¬†http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com)

Have you thought about making a vase yet? ūüôā
Dana

 

In a Vase on Monday: Lavender in September for a scented treat

Snapdragon, Lavender, Erysimum bowles, Autumn Joy

Snapdragon, Lavender, Erysimum bowles (mauve), Autumn Joy

Lavender?!  In September?  I have a lot of lavender, and because I love it, I added more new plants last year.  Those new guys were the first that I harvested in July. I like to make lavender sachets, wands, bouquets. There are quite a few things you can do with lavender!  It seems that the plants  had lots of immature stems, which have continued to grow throughout the summer and were just ripe for the cutting for my arrangement!

Lavender in September!

Lavender in September!

Purples, white, and a bit of pink

Purples, white, and a bit of pink

It was such a treat working with the lavender.¬† I. Love. Lavender. ūüôā

Autumn Joy sedum

Autumn Joy sedum

I have one Autumn Joy plant at my front gates, which I wouldn’t normally like cutting from. But this one stem was broken and on the ground. I couldn’t just leave it there!

 

Autum Joy sedum, tortoise butterfly and bees

Autum Joy sedum, tortoise butterflies and bees

In a Vase on Monday: White & Purples & a wee bit of pink

In a Vase on Monday: White & Purples & a wee bit of pink

The snapdragons were planted from seed for me by my father-in-law.  He can grow anything from seed or cutting, unlike me!  I have some mixed colors and just picked out the white ones.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Pottery Vase from when we were first married

Pottery Vase from when we were first married

In a Vase on Monday...

In a Vase on Monday…

What fun it is to gather flowers from the garden!¬† Thank you Cathy from Rambling in the Garden!¬† You can see other arrangements linked to Cathy’s page at: ¬†http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/

Have a good week!

Dana