Tag Archives: Roses

Cooling Down and Hotting Up.

As the garden starts to cool down, taking on it’s stunningly beautiful autumn colours, my workroom starts to hot up. Filled with inspiration and enthusiasm I now feel the need to make, make, make.


But first possibly a final look at the garden before it goes to sleep. My neighbours beautiful Copper Beech looking at it’s best, won’t be long before the whole lot falls then I’ll be out there raking leaves. The only problem with these is that they take far too long to break down into leaf mulch.


I have a habit of not throwing anything away even bits of wood. These tend to be placed around the pond as hiding places for newts and other small creatures. These lovely bits of wood then often produce fungi which to me are as beautiful as the flowers around.


Some years I may see none at all but this year seems to be a good one.


A general view of the bottom garden, this is where we removed the g/daughters playhouse from. You would never have thought it had ever been there. Lots of autumn colour in this area asters, cyclamen,phlox and a couple of grasses. In the background the rusty leaves of viburnum opulus.


The ever welcome flowers of saxifraga fortunei. Flowering really late in the season and looking so delicate you would think that the cooler nights would kill it off.


And still we have roses. This one being Rosa Macmillan Nurse a very pure white flowering right up till the frosts. Papaver rupifragum still flowering it’s socks off. Behind is a pink hydrangea now turned a lovely dusky deeper shade.

So as a taster from the sewing room. A piece of fabric bought possibly last year from Best Fabrics Castle Donnington, just enough for an autumn inspired bag. Thinking about the softer colours this barrel type bag has two side pockets and an internal one, I was going to use some pale leather on it but working on the hoof I change my designs throughout my making up process and decided against it.


Bag handles made. Fabric not leather.


Internals done, bag base stiffening in place.


As a fastener for the sides I had two studs left over from when I made my leather weekend bag last year. Finishing off the sides nicely.


All labelled up…..


…and ready to go.


Still have a few jobs to do in the garden, several bags of tulips to go in, plants to move and the whole garden to mulch for the winter then it’s time to start making all those things I’ve been planning. Bring it on…… Sue



Filed under From Sewing Room To Potting Shed

Late Roses and Baby Birds

After three weeks getting over a virus we are pretty much back to normal. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. So energy levels nearly back to normal it’s time I had a look around the garden, we’ve had an awful lot of rain lately plus some lovely sunny days. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was spring again or early summer. I have got such a mixture of plants flowering that would normally have been over weeks ago.

The roses that seem to have missed summer this year have now decided to wake up.


Rose Blushing Lucy is now putting on a really great show, a climber that covers most of the summer house.


Rose Kitty’s Rose, bought after my lovely neighbour Kitty died, I’m sure she would have approved.


Not sure of the name of this rose so I won’t attempt to try looking it up, but a perfect shape and lots of perfume.


Rose Princess de Nassau, now this is a late rose so it’s not flowering out of season. A large shrub or small climber will take a hard prune as it flowers on new wood and not until September, a bonus I think you will agree.


Hedychium ‘Tara’ this has made a huge plant with many spikes of flowers, a welcome site in the hot borders.


It’s going to be a great year for berries, here one of many Sorbus in the garden Sorbus Villmorinii has turned a nice pale pink. Not sure how long this tree will last, it has several limbs with die back and more looking crumbly but I will enjoy it till it drops then I have a Magnolia Wilsonii waiting in the wings to replace it.


Sorbus Cashmiriana white fruit with the foliage turning bronze.


We have had two pairs of Blackbirds fledge their young this week. I can’t remember seeing young blackbirds so late in the season. They have been fighting for space in the rill, seeing who can get the best position for a bath, quite amusing.


Now I’ve not been idle while feeling under the weather, there are only so many books you can read before cabin fever sets in. Imogen my 6 year old G/daughter was rummaging on my fabric shelves when she found this material, saying it looked like a rain forest and could she have a top made out of it. Here is the finished top and one chuffed little girl went home happy.


Now when we go to the coast as you know I always pick up ‘rubbish’ from the beach, I often see these little houses in shops costing the earth.So this is my take on a seaside scene. Little cottages using found wood,old nails, slices of pencils for doors,collar studs and old earring pieces…..

I’ll try not to leave it so long before I write my next post.


Filed under From Sewing Room To Potting Shed


I don’t know about you but my garden seems to have flushes of one colour. We have had a blue/ purple theme, then the roses came out and it was decidedly pink not my favourite colour at the best of times. This is now my most enjoyable period in the garden, this is when most of my ‘specials’ start to do their thing. Eucomis are budding up, the dierama are sending forth their beautiful, if fleeting, wands and the Roscoea have opened their first flowers. I love the exuberance of the garden at this time of year but sometimes you get overpowered by all around you. So it’s good to have a special corner where all these smaller more delicate looking and less showy plants can be seen more clearly. This has always been known as my White Garden, but over the years soft yellows and purples and blue have crept in, along with hips and berries in shades of red and orange in the autumn/winter. I have a plaque above one of the gates to this area and it says ‘secret garden’, the girls call it this but I still think of it as my white garden …. old habits etc ….


Along the boundaries are the Hydrangea paniculata, Roses Navada, Iceburg, Ginger Syllabub and Veilchenblau. These are filled out with various lost label clematis. This makes this tiny space quite secluded and private. I can sit in here with a cuppa and feel quite relaxed. It’s especially nice when the sun is setting and the birds are singing their bedtime songs. Here are a few plants that are flowering at this time.


Dierama ‘Guinevere’ a beautiful pure white flower reaching just a metre tall. This is one of several different Dierama I have, most grown from seed.


I might need a bit of help with the ident’ for this. A campanula I presume but again no label but I like it’s lush leaves and really large pendulous flowers.


After R’ Veilchenblau has finished the honey suckle and a seedling clematis take over.


Clematis Integrefolia Alba looks stunning growing through low perennials.


Romnya coulteri. Not growing in this area at the moment but at the end of the year this will be moved to a new spot.

This plant was only bought from Elizabeth Macgregor two years ago and has already reached two metres plus. So I have cleared a large space for it the White Garden.


Anemonopsis macrophylla a very beautiful choice plant loves the cool shade of the W/G. Only growing to 60 cms.


Lots of Primula florindae have seeded around the damp area and the perfume is wonderful. Some have now seeded a soft orange but I will leave them here as they compliment the yellow.


This florindae is fasciated, the stem is almost two cms across and has many many more buds than normal. I can’t wait for it to open a bit more.


Roscoea beesiana, the first of many in my collection of Roscoea. Looking just like orchids, they are quite tough plants bulking up year on year.

I’ve cleared quite a large part of this garden of overgrown shrubs to make way for more special plants. This will soon be achieved when we go to North Wales this year as we will be visiting my favourite nursery Crug Farm Plants. I’ve mentioned them before and several of you out there already pay them a visit too. I have to make long lists off their web site as I never know what will be available by the time I get there. That’s my excuse what’s yours….

Enjoy your garden come rain or shine, we are off to a family gathering, should be fun…..


Filed under From Sewing Room To Potting Shed

And Finally

It’s been a relaxing fortnight, after the fantastically busy garden open weekend, I thought I would have a break from serious gardening. I’ve potted, sat and enjoyed the view. I didn’t even think I could do justice to a post.

So here I am back again full of enthusiasm and buying plants again. I’ve even got some visitors coming back this week for plants that were ordered.

In this last two weeks the garden has truly come alive. With 54 different roses in flower and lots of peonies, daylilies and many other perennials now filling all the remaining spaces.


Salvia sclarea looking magnificent, I often see these in walled vegetable gardens but have never grown them until now. I got the seed from a seed swop locally last year and this is the result. I will save seed again as it is so impressive.


Another unsown seedling. I grow pure white foxgloves but this is a beautiful rogue.


Iris Ellenbank Damselfly I just love the markings and it’s delicate colouring.


Aquilegia longissima. This is seed from L and G ‘s garden there it grows to only about 50cms as it is growing in poor soil on their drive. Here it is in my secret garden, semi shade good soil and more than a metre tall. They will have to be moved later in the year, but they do look good.


Rosa Buff Beauty

Roses…for many years along with several other plants these have been my passion. I now grow far less than I use to. Mainly because quite a few got old and past their best so I discarded them. Some didn’t perform as I would have liked either. So now I grow around 70 roses. This year seems to be an exceptional one, the weather is good so the blooms are not being damaged by too much rain.


William Lobb one of my all time favourites. This fades to a soft grey/lavender with a lovely perfume. The buds are covered in a perfumed moss.


Lady of Shalott a Mothers Day present from my daughter a few years ago. Now looking splendid amongst a dainty white iris and a pale purple viola cornuta.


Rosa Moyesii a rose I have had for many years now and as you can see there is a hip starting to form at the side of the bloom, but I know it will drop off. In the 20 plus years I have had this rose not one hip has managed to form properly.  !!!!!


Madame Hardy now looking a little sparse as the wisteria is covering most of the growth. A rethink needed.


Ispahan a wonderful rose. Healthy strong, full perfume, long flowering season. What more could you ask of a rose.


Constance Spry a once flowering lax shrub or climber, has wonderful perfume and large full blooms.


Cornelia a lovely rose from start to finish, pretty buds opening a coppery/apricot fading to pink, excellent perfume. Picture does not do the colour justice.

I hope you like the small selection of plants and roses now flowering in the garden. I could bore you to tears with the roses but I will stop now.

And finally, I got the total raised at the open weekend, it came to £3700 not bad considering how awful the Saturday was. We have all received our share of this based on the number of days we opened. All of our chosen charities have now benefited from everyone’s hard work.  Will I do it again next year …never say never.


Filed under From Sewing Room To Potting Shed

Cannot see the wood for the trees.

And yet another VERY rainy day, no gardening just a very wet walk round. So here is a view from my bedroom window, now showing only 3/4s of the garden as everything has gone berserk. We seem to have a huge overlap of plants in the garden, still have tulips and bluebells (the horrid Spanish type I’m afraid ) and now have roses and wisteria. Altogether a very confusing mix.


Still there is not a lot of bare soil around the plants so hopefully not too many weeds.

On a different note, a couple of folk couldn’t understand how my plant supports work. Simple really, place in amongst the plant and twist.


 This gathers up all the wayward stems.


I really like the rusty finish, blends in quite well.

Let’s hope tomorrow is a little kinder as I have some friends coming to see the garden….they may need their wellies…but we can always retreat to the conservatory for tea/coffee and cake…….




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