Brandy Snap Mix - gorgeous!
Today I ordered tulip bulbs from Sarah Raven's bulb sale
. She has a good eye for colour combinations and I've gone for these: Brandy Snap Mix, Pale Tulip Mix and Vintage Silk Mix - even the names are tempting.
By the way if you get deer in your garden (a rather lovely problem I know!) don't be put off growing tulips. When they start to show place some small blocks of cheap perfumed soap around the bulbs and the deer won't eat them. It has worked here for many years.
Have you planted any tulips yet? There's still time. And if you don't have a garden they do well in boxes on windows and pots on doorsteps....
There are still autumn colours on the trees, we've had some wintry snow on the hilltops, and I'm planning Spring - throw in Christmas and I'll be getting confused.
A gentle disarray reigns over the herb beds.
Everything has gone to seed, but it has its charm.
I'm reluctant to clear it away yet....the bees love it, and the goldcrests,
and they make a delicate vaseful on the corner of the bath - dill, parsley, rocket, mustard and night scented stock - oh, the scent of that stock at bathtime!
Campanula lactiflora 'Pritchard's Variety' is one of my favourite perennials for cutting.
I had to cut my plant of this back hard in June (see here
) but it has given me lots of good bunches of late flowers plus enough for little jars of them to sit around the place, the fresh and pretty blue making me think it is still summer here!
The card is Lemons on Grey by Mary Ford, and the painting is Japanese Steam by one of my favourite artists Christine McArthur.
Papaver rhoeas in particular.
Another tip for cutting them (see yesterday's post) - pick when the first sign of colour is showing through the flower buds.
This is from Chiltern Seeds
who sell one of my favourite mixes of these annual poppies under the name Mother of Pearl.
Also supplied as Cedric Morris they come in subtle and delicate shades, veined and edged in subtle dove greys and strange lilacs. Wonderful.
I always grow the straight Shirley Poppies too, for their magical colours. I sprinkle them into the centre of the wigwams for the sweet peas.
Sometimes it works better than others (that's gardening!) and this year I sowed them too thickly and they were a bit weak.Angels Choir
have a lot of doubles. Very pretty but just a bit too frilly and powder puffy for me.
Plants of Distinction have a lovely sounding collection, all packeted separately called the Monet Poppy Gift Pack....tempting.
My different kinds are all muddled now as I have been growing poppies in the same patch for many years I should really either let the seeds germinate next year and weed them off (meanwhile growing on my chosen varieties in modules for planting out later) or grow them in a different part of the garden for a year.
Are you tempted?
The tissue paper like Shirley Poppies have a very short vase life, but you can keep them for about three days if you sear the ends with a flame for a few seconds before putting them in the vase. Dipping the ends in boiling water has a similar effect I'm told.
Isn't the picture of snow on the matchbox incongruous? It reminds me how totally one can forget winter....
Some local gardens (including ours!) and gardeners featured on Beechgrove Garden tonight - BBC 2 at 7.30 and again on Sun 18 Aug - BBC 2 at 9.30.
I don't have a television and had to go to a friend's house to watch. Thanks Claire, it was fun!