cut flowers with bees and hebes

In a Vase on Monday – Roses with Hebes and Dichroa

I picked some Hebes to remind me to plant more of them. At this time where the days are short and flowers are disappearing they are welcome food for bees and other pollinators, which made a *beeline* for the Hebes and Chrysanthemums in the bouquet.

roses hebes dichroa and chrysanthemum cut flowers

Hebes are a native NZ plant, so they are tough in our environment, growing well in windy sunny places. They do well on a bank, but don’t cope with wet soggy soils or too much shade. There are hundreds of different cultivars –  from the little green balls of the tiny Tom Thumb to large shrubs with exuberantly waving branches and long white flowers such as I have picked.

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In a Vase on Monday – mostly Salvias

Salvias and Chrysanthemums are the most prolific flowers in the garden now, and are beloved by the pollinators.

Salvia confertiflora made it clear that she would not share the stage with anyone in pink, so I have 2 vases, one with the pink Salvia involucrata ‘Bethellii’, ‘Boutin’  and ‘Mulberry Jam’ as well as the lovely scented rose ‘Nahema’.

salvia and roses cut flowers

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anemones dahlia and penstomon

In a Vase on Monday – Anemones with other pastels

It’s been another lovely Autumn weekend. Thankfully my finger was healed enough to get a big size glove over it and I was able to finish my garden tidy up and bulb planting. The Anemones are wildly flowering – a huge row of them all like soft cotton pleats and ruffles. And the first of my random seedling dahlias has flowered! Although it’s parent was a rather garish raspberry ripple this one is a smaller soft lemon and white. Probably nothing for the show bench but perfect for me.

dahlia and pelargonium cut flowers

In contrast to the wild colours in the garden right now, I’ve tried to keep the colours soft and quiet so as not to overpower the anemones. Pelargonium Appleblossom Rosebud which I used to have years ago, and recently got again from C’s aunt, who has a garden full of wonderful things, is doing brilliantly under the lime trees, so I picked quite a few of these.

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Breakfast for Bees

I was surprised the other morning as I walked around the garden listening and looking to see what the bees were enjoying most this week. Hundreds of bees were leaving and returning to the hive, ignoring the blazing mass of goldenrod, dahlias, coreopsis, and heleniums I have planted, not to mention the masses of wild carrot and thistles which have edged in to take advantage of the new compost.

The blue mist and the sedums down the driveway were happily filled with bumble bees, but not many honeys. When I arrived at the Louisa plum trees the reason was clear, fruit was the breakfast choice. On the tree and on the ground, the overripe and bird-pecked plums were full of bees. Not a wasp in sight, only bees.

bees on bird pecked fruit plums

I haven’t seen this before, but several things are different this year. We have had unusual cold weather – it’s now been now confirmed that it has been 1 degree colder than the norm this summer. We also have seen none of the Vespula wasps which often infest the area at this time of year. And it’s the first year that the Louisas have had a good crop of fruit.

Later in the day, as C was cooking second breakfast, the bees were having lunch in the asters.

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lambs and mom

Spring – hail, thunder, howling gales and lambs

Hail, thunder, gale force winds, and the mud that results from weeks of the same made it an interesting weekend for gardening. The rain may have softened the blow for the dogwoods which I mistakenly planted on a steep dry bank – having survived for two years their reward is to be dug up and wrestled into a wheelbarrow for transport to a wetter place.

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Tulips and Honeysuckle cut flowers

Winter Tulips and Honeysuckle in a Vase on Monday

My tulips are up. I’m especially happy with these because they are the ones which I’ve dug up and chilled each year for the last 3 years. I know this because all the new bulbs are still small leaves, whereas these red ones are all blooming. I think this is because my fridge has glass doors, so they probably had more light than they should have had during the chilling process.

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