Wild hedgerows of June

I’ve been having one heck of a spring in terms of workload and weekend commitments, with almost every single weekend taken up since March and a nightly work-induced stupor that has not been remotely conducive to blogging. This of course explains my intermittent absence from writing about all things garden related, and for this I can only beg your forgiveness.

The weekend just gone was yet another weekend away, this time in Derbyshire to see the inaugural RHS Chatsworth Flower Show to which my fabulous and most horticultural Aunt Kate had bought tickets. The day after the show, a rainy Saturday, found me hanging around in my grandmother’s ancient old farmhouse promising myself that I wasn’t going to do A SINGLE THING all day long. It was going to be a real day of rest. After putting the world to rights over a loooong lunch, and with Granny now napping in front of a Laurie Lee talking book, I wandered into the garden with a pair of scissors and a large enamel jug.

I had had my eye on armfuls of cow parsley from the hedgrows of the lane that runs behind the house, but most of this had set seed by now. I nonetheless found some late stems, and some foxgloves, and armfuls of long, waving grasses of many different varieties.

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I also found a dog-rose that had self-seeded into the wall of the house, and some white bramble flowers scrambling down the verges.

Back in the garden I augmented my June hedgerow pickings with boughs of redcurrant and gooseberry, and because my Granny hails from an era when flowers meant roses, I added some ‘proper’ roses, pink, yellow, and white.

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Into the jug they all went, and the shorter stems went into a small watering can that I found in the conservatory. The jug was a mere holding area for the stems (though I couldn’t resist a photo). Unfortunately it was needed back because… well, I may as well tell you… the flush on the loo had broken and this was what we were using to hoosh it with.

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So I found some real vases and divided everything between them, and then gave my grandmother a choice of ‘Pink and yellow roses with penstemons and wild grasses’ or ‘Foxgloves and white roses with cow parsley and wild grasses’ for her bedroom. She chose the former, which was a good choice as those yellow roses really did smell divine. I wish I’d taken a photo of those two vases, but I didn’t I’m afraid.

The remaining stems I divided between vases for my Aunt Kate’s room and my own. Kate’s vase contained the dog roses, redcurrants, brambles and gooseberries, and in mine I used the remainder of the wild grasses, a single dog rose, a waif of a foxglove, and some cow parsley with extra geraniums.

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Picking, arranging and photographing flowers in vases is the perfect activity for an afternoon of doing ‘absolutely nothing’ and giving pleasure to a whole household at the same time.

On the long drive back to Scotland, I noticed hundreds of dog roses in among the hedgerows all the way up the motorway, as well as foxgloves, cow parsely, red campion, elderflowers, may and ox-eye daisies…

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Do you have some flowers to cut and put in a vase? If so, please do share them and link back to Cathy’s page for all to see, where you will find links to all the other garden bloggers who have picked flowers from the garden (or hedgerow) on a Monday.

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18 Comments

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  1. Thank you for a wonderful portrait of gardening life in the UK, this confirms my perceptions. Glad your Granny is enjoying the fruits of your labours ..

  2. The hedgerows are lovely at this time of year – you created several delightful vases there.

  3. I love the image of the hedgerow! Beauty can be found in the simplest of landscapes. SO glad you’re back blogging! Keep us informed about your home garden when you catch you’re breath.

    Scott

  4. And I love using those wonderful French yogurt jars as vases!! We don’t really have hedgerows here in the U.S. so I love that image too!

  5. How nice to be able to gather all those flowers. I would love to see more photos of your grandmother’s farm.

  6. Gorgeous gatherings. How lovely to have a horticultural aunt and a granny with such beautiful wallpaper! It sounds like an idyllic couple of days.

  7. Lovely pictures, the very essence of summer! Did Granny tell you that the shapely stoneware jar once contained honey? I reckon it must be well over 50 years old. The enamel jug is even older – it was bought when Uncle H was a new baby.

  8. Oh your Granny’s farmouse looks to be a lovely building in a real rural area – where does she live? Does your Aunt Kate live on the farm with her? I wonder how you got on at Chatworth and how things compared with earlier in the week….

    I really enjoyed reading about your process of selecting blooms and then divying them up between the different recptacles – they all delightful in their own way although I think I liked your teeny pot best. Thanks for sharing

    • We were warned by other relatives who visited Chatsworth earlier in the week that the queues had been horrendous, and I see from your post that you had the same problem. Forewarned is forearmed, and we set of much earlier than we would otherwise have done, thus there was no queuing for us at all on the Friday. I also think they must have altered the traffic flow somehow. We had a wonderful time at the show and the weather was also excellent. A very different experience from yours I’m afraid!

  9. Hello Joanna, I’m just catching up on your blog and have discovered we were at Chatsworth on the same day. I certainly felt we got the best day in terms of weather, and I was relieved the traffic was nothing like as bad as feared. Glad to hear you enjoyed the show.
    What lovely and restful pictures these are- I hope life itself is also starting to take on some more calmness now after your busy period.

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