Let me introduce you to Maggie Hannaford a fairly recent addition to my garden and a bit late to the party flowering but I’m not complaining – isn’t ‘she’ a beauty!
There are enough blooms this year for me to pick for my botanical art and still have some in the garden to admire.
Winter skies are always beautiful in Hobart around dusk with pink hued clouds alluminated by the setting sun.
The aptly named flowering Shrimp Tail Salvia echos the colours of the evening sky and the leaves turn to patches of burgundy and green like an exotic camouflage print, perfect for the Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.™
I once mistakenly picked this flower for a floral arrangement, the strong scent becomes more intense inside and is not at all pleasant – definitely a flower to simply admire in the garden.
Another month is drawing to a close – where did the time go! Here are a few moments in May to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to.
It started with a trip to Adelaide for the Bowerbird Design Market, a fun three days to showcase all things petal & pins, chat with familar faces and new amongst the market goers, catch up with other designer makers and have a glass or two of South Australian wine…
when we got back we couldn’t put it off any longer – we needed more envelopes – that’s 5000 sitting on our doorstep…so I’ve been ‘sleeving’ cards…
I started @thehobarthaberdasher on instagram to sell some of my sewing stash…fabrics, trimming, beautiful laces – if you’re a sewer or crafter take a look, I’m happy to post world wide!
and while I’ve been giving away bags of apples from our garden, someone gave me quinces from theirs. With a supply of homemade quince jelly from last year I decided to just use them decoratively – a large bowlful on the dining table and that lovely yellow was perfect for a photo prop with my banksia rose greeting card don’t you think?
I did a ‘Postcards Over the Edge’ Workshop with Tasmanian artist Lynne Fellowes at the Schoolhouse Gallery – a fun and creative way to spend a day with a couple of friends…
and I’ve watched the cherry tree turn golden and loose it’s leaves…so in the garden I’ve been sweeping and raking.
What have been some of your Moments in May?
Last year we went to the Hobart Dahlia show and I shared some photos in my post Darling Dahlias of the wonderful blooms on display.
Having written down some of our favourites I waited until October to see what ones were available to buy from the dahlia society to plant in our garden.
Three on my list arrived but enough time had passed for me not to be too sure exactly what had taken our fancy and the names weren’t particularly descriptive (well at least for a novice dahlia grower!)
I was a bit late in getting them in the ground and must confess rather lax at following the information sheet on tips and care so they were rather left to nature with little nurture.
Two of the three survived and flowered – the first Granite Be Ready reminded me of the pom pom adorned hat on a doll my grandmother brought back from her travels when I was a child (from just where I can’t recall and indeed if it was mine or my sister’s although I remember always being rather taken with that hat!).
A week later the pretty pink Maggie Hannaford revealed herself!
They look a little lonesome on their own in the garden so I’m planning to have a bigger patch planted later in the year and give them a little love & attention.
Of course watching all the dahlias that have been popping up in my instagram feed I’m now enamoured with the soft pink and cafe au lait ones!
Walking back from the post office today I picked a small piece of Hedera helix – also known as common ivy, English ivy, European ivy, or just ivy!
I do have ivy growing in my garden but not with the dark purple-black fruit and I’d been thinking it would be striking in a flower arrangement, so today I’m sneaking it into my In A Vase On Monday arrangement with flowers and foliage from my garden.
You may remember my peony tree ‘pink sticks’ from a few weeks back – I’m pleased to report they kept their colour once dried – so I’ve added a few of those and some blackened plum sticks (the water shoots that grow nice and straight up from the base of the tree).
I’ve used 3 cobra head lilies, one pink rose and some bergenia flowers that after a few days of good rain and a little sunshine are providing a lovely splash of colour in the garden.
I’m not sure the sticks work so in the morning I may have a fiddle and try it without them but I am pleased with my choice of vase – an old tarnished silver sugar bowl, which I’ve used with a ceramic flower frog to help hold the arrangement in place and my miniature wire bird cages from Faff & Rambling seemed the perfect little props to sit along side.
Cathy from Rambling In The Garden started In A Vase On Monday to inspire people to bring something from their garden inside to enjoy – what ever the season. Pop over to her blog to see what she and others have gathered this week and if you feel like joining in one Monday put a link to your vase in the comments on her post.
I thought the rosehips were appearing early in my garden and then I realised it’s officially Autumn next week!
The roses aren’t the only thing that need deadheading or a late summer trim, time to take advantage of the last few weeks of daylight saving and get out into the garden in the early evening.
What are early this year are the apples – usually I’m picking and bottling in April but they are already showing their pretty pink blush now.
With blackberries ripe too it’s time for making a few crumbles – now that signals Autumn at our house!
Spending a little time in the garden this afternoon I decided to join Cathy from Rambling In The Garden for ‘In A Vase On Monday’.
The first thing I picked were some sprays of this delicate pink flower, perhaps you can identify it – I salvaged the plant from a neighbourhood green waste pile (I had the perfect bare patch to welcome it!)
I multi-tasked and watered the garden while randomly picking things including fig leaves, snow berry, purple leaved smokebush and parsley flower heads.
This ad hoc approach meant much more fiddling was required when I came to put my bunch in a vase and I ended up adding some dried gum nuts to toughen it up.
I used a vintage cut glass vase I bought from the tip shop and photographed it with one of the birds Mr Petal & Pins and I have bought as holiday momentos – this one we found in Lake Como.
Why not hop over to Cathy’s blog to see her ‘In A Vase On Monday’, and if you would like to join in put a link to yours in the comments of Cathy’s post.
I’m joining in for Cathy’s weekly challenge of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ today.
Since this morning was an unseasonal wintery temperature and raining, I have cheated a little by using the vase arrangements I did last Wednesday.
The time had come to trim some of the low hanging banksia rose as you needed to duck to get down the garden path it so beautifully arches over. Mr Petal & Pins trimmed sparingly and I gathered some of it for vases.
I added some peace roses to one arrangement and some elderberry bush and three flowers and leaves from a lily that perhaps someone can identify for me.
Last year I created several dresses with the banksia rose, one of which now features in my Red Carpet Collection of cards.
I was also delighted earlier this year to be commissioned to create one of my Garden Fairy’s dresses as a life size one in a wallpaper panel and it was this dress the client and I chose.
It was a lovely project to take on and I was very excited to see it in place – hopefully it will lead to more commissions – enquiries most welcome!
A few days ago, I decided to pick a bunch of white and cream spring flowers from my garden and since the wedding season has begun they were perfect for creating a wedding dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.
I used the Jupiter’s Beard centrathus ruber, Snow Ball Bush viburnum opulus, and Granny’s Bonnet aquilegia – all of which I have created dresses with before.
The Jupiter’s Beard reminds me of tulle and the Snow Ball Bush guipure lace flowers.
I love white and green gardens, they are elegant and calm, but I’m too much of a lover of colour to ever restrict a garden to just that, besides my garden is a collaborative effort with ‘gardeners past’ and tends to reflect that.
If I were playing the game of ultimate dinner party guest-list, one of the guests would be the person who started my garden – a pre dinner stroll around the garden would be a must, with a glass of champagne of course!
Who would be on yours?
© Sandra Alcorn 2015 All words and images on this blog are my own work (unless otherwise credited) please ask before reproducing elsewhere.