Thursday, 25 July 2013

pot of gold?

if there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, it must have been right in the field across our road yesterday:) or maybe it's been on the other end - no idea where that was because I stood in my doorway to take the picture above... still, the rain had nearly passed and we had a lovely sunset. for some reason this happens quite a lot here. either we have a lovely morning and often the afternoon turns ugly. or we have a very wet day, but towards sunset the clouds are gone and the sun peeks through.
anyway, after the long dry spell the garden is looking much greener and happier again! there's only so much I can water and the rest has to doddle along somehow, fending for itself. right now the crocosmias are starting to flower and I just love their fiery red (no wonder they're called "luzifer"!) in contrast to the green around.
they are extremely reliable bloomers, even yucky weather for weeks doesn't deter them. they look like freesias when they flower, but just before the flowers open, they look a bit like a reptile to me - the tail of a rattle snake?
the perennial sweet pea is another show. unfortunately they tend to grow into everything, so I have to cut back some areas or they'll choke the shrubs behind them. but the rest of them are flowering like mad - not as fiery as the crocosmia, but they work well with the rugosa roses in pink and white, which grow beside them in the front garden. unfortunately they have no scent whatsoever. just like the crocosmia, but at least the crocosmia flowers seem to be chock full with nectar - which I only found out when I picked them and ended up with very sticky fingers.
even though I have so many plants in the garden, I fill some window boxes along the front of the house each summer. I just love the blues of lobelias - and the cheery yellow of the sanvitalia. they are sold as annuals, but this plant has overwintered quite neglected in the window box and with one dribble of tomato fertilizer it's gone off at full speed again a few weeks ago. this lasts until the frost - small sunflower faces that make me smile every time I look at them:)
of course I started a bit late with my solar dyeing - I couldn't find my large gherkin jars for some time. eventually I dug them out and filled them with teeswater top. the blue comes from frozen dark red and blue aquilegia flowers. which I had frozen (it makes the dye really flow out of the flowers, as soon as they are covered with water). for contrast I added some dyer's chamomile. in the left jar there is some of that, together with some black violas and  some tansy heads with buds at the bottom.
all in all I have 800 g of top in those jars. the right one is filled with meadowsweet, dyer's chamomile and some dahlias plus a few crocosmia flowers (it's a first, I haven't tried those before). on the left there are more orange dahlias and  a smaller amount of frozen black violas... I think I might have to wrap it in black plastic, because the weather has turned cooler and the jars don't really get very warm like that, even when the sun does come out! if all else fails and the summer turns cold and wet again - I'll bring everything inside and heat it up gently in my old electric canning "pot".


Delighted Hands said...

So much color and beauty! I would love to take a walk in your garden right now!

The dyeing is an interesting experiment for me-the bits of plant matter isn't a problem removing? The display of the jars is breath-taking!

K. said...

Oooh....you have a gorgeous bit of a garden there... and where did you find the massive gherkin jars??? Anyway, looking forward to see the results!

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - better bring a machete for that walk! all the paths are grown over; it's like taking a shower after a spell of rain:)
they plant matter isn't much of a problem with teeswater, because it's very smooth and dense and the plants can be flicked off easily. I wouldn't use stuff like madder or brazilwood again though - that was a total mess, because it sticks to the fibres really badly:(

Karina - it's a good thing that you can only see parts of the "garden" - I chose to skip the badly overgrown parts:) the big jars travelled over from germany a few years back - you might be able to ask in a restaurant or cafeteria for something similar? nor results yet - it's not really that hot just now, which means that I need to be more patient.....