In A Vase On Monday: A Sussex Posy

IMG_6467We have just got back from four days in the Lake District. When we arrived home at nearly 10pm last night, the garden seemed to have gone mad. It was just light enough to make out potato plants and radishes that have doubled in size whilst we have been away.

The flora of the Lakes is lush and exotic to a chalk dweller like me. Eskdale where we were staying is carpeted in ferns and covered in brightly coloured rhododendrons perhaps brought back from the Himalayas by Victorian pioneers. It was wonderful to go back to my northern roots – I grew up in Manchester and often visited the Lake District as a child – but it is also lovely to be back in my adopted home in the land of the South Saxons. We may not have fells but we do have downs.

This week, to join in with Cathy from Rambling in the Garden who invites us each Monday to pick something from our garden and share it, I have chosen a posy from our front garden including purple campanula that is currently sprouting from every orifice, white valerian, ox-eye daisies, Erigeron karvinskianus, a Gertrude Jekyll rose and bronze fennel for foliage.

The picture is of the Long Man of Wilmington, a chalk giant carved into the downs near us, which hangs above our bedroom mantelpiece.

The vase is my trusty robin jug in celebration of garden birds. This morning we caught next door’s cat trying to kill a magpie. Our neighbour thinks it is a fledgling (quite a large one) and said all the local cats have been chasing it over the weekend. We tried to rescue the bird which had a bleeding leg: we called the RSPCA who suggested protecting it from the cat by placing a cardboard box over it and putting a weight on top. They would then send someone to help. I did this, but it was perched under the box on the edge of the trampoline and by the time I got back from the school run it had gone – hopefully it managed to fly away. I know magpies can be thugs towards smaller garden birds and that the cat was only acting on instinct, but I felt so sorry for the poor, injured creature.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Do you collect bird pitchers? The arrangement looks lovely with the Downs photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – no this is the only one I have although I keep on meaning to increase my vase collection for this meme!

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  2. It sounds like a lovely holiday and isn’t it just that way that our gardens go crazy while we are away. Your garden must be lovely as shown in your vase….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – lovely but in need of some taming!

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  3. Ali says:

    I just came back from 4 days away in the Peak District and was amazed at the growth! And am a fellow Northerner flown South. Maybe that’s why we appreciate the climate and gardens here all the more? I love your description of campanula spilling from every orifice! Campanula is one of those plants, like irises and astrantia, that I really love, but never grow. I feel like I can’t add acquire any more favourite plants and am content to admire them in others’ gardens. ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ is looking lovely. I bet she smells lovely too.

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    1. Yes – hope that didn’t sound too rude about the orifices? 😳 Gertrude Jekyll is a real star – my friend who is an apothecary grows lots of this rose to distil.

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    2. Ps I still haven’t got over how sunny the climate is down south although we were amazingly lucky with the weather in the Lakes!

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  4. Peter Herpst says:

    So sorry about the injured magpie and hope it’s okay. Nature can be cruel. Your arrangement is gorgeous as always and the picture is cool, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! No sign of the magpie so fingers crossed it has managed to fly to safety.

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  5. AlisonC says:

    I like traily things in vases, adding movement and shape. I love daisies too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I’m with you on daisies.

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  6. tonytomeo says:

    This is the third Gertrude Jekyll rose I have seen this morning. It still looks like a camellia. Does bronze fennel stay bronze all summer or does it fade to green?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It turns green later in the summer, with pretty yellow flowers, then makes a great seed head.

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      1. tonytomeo says:

        It used to be more common here, as a naturalized weed; so I was hesitant to plant it. I thought I could justify it if I grew the bronze variety, but it really looked bad. Even the fresh new growth faded right away, and stayed a dingy alligator green through most of summer. In a way, it was still pretty, but I preferred the green of the common weeds. The bronze fennel I see on the coast looks completely different! It stays bronze much longer, and seems to bloom prettier than mine did. It all looks the same once it dies in witner and the birds take the seed.

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  7. Kris P says:

    Your robin jug is wonderful, as are the flowers and foliage you used to fill it. While the magpie may not have recognized your intentions, he certainly benefited from them. Hopefully, he’s flown to safer pastures.

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  8. Cathy says:

    We have magpies in the garden again this year, but thankfully not nesting here. They really can be a pest, but I hope yours made an escape, nonetheless. Your vase is lovely – the perfect rose at the centre and an elegant shaped arrangement around it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cathy says:

    I was going to ask about the picture but then you told us half the story – so why is the Long Man of Wilmington going Nordic walking and what is the wheeled thing that the man is taking for a walk in the field below…?! 😉 Your collection of Sussex flora looks so soft and summery and makes a nice welcome home after your time away in the Lakes. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  10. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I’ve never heard of bronze fennel, but it makes a nice feathery addition to your vase and ties in with the robin, both in colour and feathers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – it is a great plant.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Christina says:

    Pretty mix of flowers. Magpies are a real pest here so that although I love all the other birds and would hate for them to be attacked I think I would be quite pleased if a cat caught any of them in my garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was just watching the attack with the kids that was a bit gruesome. I know magpies can be a real pest!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Nat says:

    Isn’t it funny how something as simple as a vase of flowers can make your day so much brighter. Shame about the cat. I don’t mind magpies we don’t get many as our German Shepherd likes to chase them.

    Liked by 1 person

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