Monday, 15 June 2015

June flowers

It's June, the first month of winter and generally the least floriferous month in my garden. We've had a few frosts by now which have knocked back the more tender plants, and while some things like roses are still producing buds, they are unlikely to open now... more likely just wither, brown or rot. There is promise in the swelling buds on camellias and hellebores, and I'm seeing the green leaves of bulbs peeking through. But mostly this month I'm reliant on foliage and berries, as well as the odd hardy bloom here and there.

My best performing plants for early winter are my early camellia, wintersweet, roses (hips are colouring up now), geraniums (still flowering strongly in sheltered areas), cyclamen (indoor only), snowberry, pansies and primroses, lavender, and there is still a bit of coloured foliage on shrubs like azaleas and blueberries. In the next couple of months I'll have more flowers with hellebores, daphne, mid season camellias and early bulbs.

What are your favourite garden performers for early winter?

Above, clockwise from top left: pretty indoor cyclamen, blueberry leaf, snowberries, wintersweet, primroses, rosebud, azalea bud, calendula, camellia Elfin Rose, succulents, pansy, more succulents. Centre: a fragrant bunch of wintersweet and coloured foliage, with the last two rosebuds included (better than leaving them out to be frosted!)

I'm joining in with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens. As it is summer in the northern hemisphere there are bound to be lots of inspiring posts to look at, why don't you pop over and have a look. 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Styling the Seasons - June 2015

 Welcome to my Styling the Seasons post for June! Usually for these posts I style one of the surfaces in my home that I use for that purpose... the mantelpiece, the hall table, the kitchen shelves, etc. This month I didn't feel like anything needed changing, so I set up a little photo shoot just for today. I've pulled together some items that represent June to me... let me show you.

 The front hallway is the perfect place for a photo shoot in winter. The low sun shines through the frosted glass in the front door at just the right angle to illuminate things nicely. I love how it looks lighting up this maidenhair fern. I bought this gold spotted cushion recently and love it's metallic accents! It's also nice to recline against, very important for hibernation this time of year.

 There are plenty of buds and flowers on my various cyclamen plants. This one is unscented, but I love its pale pink flowers and marbled leaves. 

 This is my latest crochet project which I'll share more about in a later post. With long dark evenings, I like to have a project to work on while sitting on the couch watching Game of Thrones. Actually, winter evenings are some of the best of all... when its cold and dark you don't have to try as much to justify all the things you should be doing but aren't!

 Snuggling up with a book and a coffee is another winter favourite... although to be honest I do this all throughout the year.

 One thing that is specific to June is the wintersweet flowers. For most of the year the plant is an insignificant shrubby bush but for a couple of months in winter the leaves drop and the buds open up to tiny, pale but incredibly sweet scented flowers. I make them into posies with azalea leaves and the last of the rosebuds (too cold for them to open properly now),  put them all around the house and breathe in as much as I can. When the flowers have faded I burn scented candles... my favourite this month is Pumpkin Cream.

 My little egg cup lady has a gorgeous camellia hat! It goes well with the embroidered rose on the warm woolly jar cosy.

Another thing I enjoy about winter is forcing bulbs to bloom inside. I have a couple of bowls of hyacinths and these muscari. They are just in a shallow bowl filled with water, held upright with some big stones. Easy and beautiful.

Hope you have enjoyed this post. Looking at my favourite things gathered together here makes me realise winter isn't that bad... I think I can handle another couple of months of this!

Styling the Seasons is a monthly styling challenge hosted by Katy at Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts and Lots. Find out more by searching the hashtag #stylingtheseasons on social media.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Snapshots from May

Well, May is long gone and we're already well into June, but I thought I'd still share some of my phone and Instagram snaps from the past month. The leaves have changed colour and fallen to the ground in the garden. Everything is pretty soggy and wet these days, but there are still roses blooming here and there.

 I visited Cuningham House, the Victorian greenhouse at the Botanical Gardens. It was an absolutely glorious autumn afternoon, with a low warm sun casting shadows and mysterious illuminations through the windows.

 The vaulted glass ceiling is held in place with a grid of metal bars. Inside the palms and vines grow massive. There is a lot of greenery, but also bright tropical flowers.

If you go through a door at the back of the hothouse you end up in the flower-filled conservatory. The displays here are changed seasonally and on this day the room was filled with cyclamens, so many that the air was heavily scented.

 I finished a few small projects at home. A cross stitched rose on a jar cozy, and an adorable embroidered bear from a magazine...

 Low winter sun makes for wonderful silhouette photos! Sunsets are fleeting and over in minutes. Sunrises take half the morning...

 My winter hoarding insticts kicked in and I gathered a stash of books. Perfect for sitting in the last of the day's sunshine, cuddled up next to Mr Lui.

As the month drew to a close, I found beauty in the continuing blossoms of the camellia Elfin Rose. We also had a run of frosty mornings (the worst one was -4!) and with that, winter was truly here.


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