Saturday, 28 January 2012

It pays to read the labels!

On a trip to the UK in 1993 I saw a beautiful plant, just a single stalk, looking so elegant at the back of a flower bed at one of the stately homes I visited.  I found out the name, leonardis something or other, and back home I located it at the garden centre.

I thought it would be perfect in front of the bay window,  so I bought three plants, and two salvia plants - I loved the idea of the richness of deep blue with the orange.  In they went and I was right, the situation was perfect.  The poor salvias didn't survive long, but the orange monsters thrived - and were cut back after flowering - don't they look so neat and tidy!

Then, they took off -

They made for an interesting view out of the window - but did attract bees of all shapes and sizes.

So they were cut back several times and eventually were dug up and transplanted to the garden at the back of the house where they have thrived once again.

That's just one shrub, number two is off to the left and the middle one has not survived the transplant and my later weeding.  I gave some seedlings to a friend and she has had no luck, but see what I noticed recently - I accidentally broke off a piece when weeding, so poked it in the ground -

You can see I'm not an obsessive gardener and that is the dreaded bindweed - would you believe I am saving the seeds of the granny bonnets? but how vigorous is the orange monster.  And on reading the label I found it grows 2m by 2m........  Anyway, the front garden looks like this now -

It is just perfect for reading the paper and browsing the gardening catalogues, g&t in hand!

I have managed to do some sewing in such a busy week, I made the last of the sawtooth blocks of the red/black/white quilt, and put the top together -

Avert your eyes Jenny, she tells me she doesn't do 'random'.  Well this layout has some assistance from the wind.   Recently we have had some weird weather but one day was very warm, so I had the sewing room door wide open, and very windy so the blocks were scattered around a couple of times.

I have earmarked a black self patterned fabric for the binding and am presently piecing all the left over strips as part of the backing.  Three quilts using the same fabric is enough for me!

I went back to the Dowse this afternoon, had a coffee and another look at some of the exhibitions I mentioned earlier.

"Living Halls" by Fiona Jack is so interesting.  It comprises 49 paintings.  After WWII halls were constructed as memorials to honour soldiers killed in action rather than traditional memorials as were built after WWI.  They are complex spaces built by communities to symbolise their grief but also to solve a practical need for a place to gather for everything from dancing to voting.

Here are two of the paintings that particularly appealed to me -

And this one

I have finished hand quilting the Wonky Hexagons, now to chose the binding, then it's on to the baby quilt - think I shall use embroidery thread and big stitch as the backing is flannel, then I need to pin the next sandwich to machine quilt and stop looking for patterns for the Shut-in Stitchers because I keep finding things I want to try!  I did get some bargains at Spotlight, mainly pinks and purples, which are drying on the line as we speak.

Lots I want to share with you, but that's enough for today; maybe I should concentrate on small and often........  and wouldn't you know, the diary tells me "Lost time is never found again".....

Nice talking with you


Nancy J said...

Your orange plant is a bit like the blue salvias that were here when we moved in. As high as the top of the kitchen window , they were moved very soon,in your garden the orange suits its place so well, at the back, maybe it can get frostbite in the winter and die off.cheers from Jean

Jenny said...

Hi June

It's not that I "don't" do random. but rather that I "can't". Must be something to do with how my brain is wired, I expect. Or, maybe because I am a Libra, and everything has to be even and balanced!

Your front garden looks lovely with those chairs (nicely balanced I notice) all set out for you to relax in.