A Glowing and Sparkling Floral Finale


Did you all have a wonderful Bonfire Night? We did, after inviting our neighbours to join us on the backgreen in order to burn a veritable ton of cotoneaster and buddleia prunings. Like so many people, we actually had our bonfire on the 4th of November because that was the more convenient day for everybody (although I still smelt of bonfire on the 5th of November and I reckon that counts). We had sparklers and take-away burritos and lots of friendly neighbourly chatting as we warmed our hands by the fire. Nothing goes up in flame like dried buddleia and cotoneaster, and the incinerator became so hot that when I returned to it today to take some of the ashes for my raised beds, the ashes were still glowing briskly.

Today I found the last glowing embers of the garden and collected them together in a sort of autumnal grand finale: pink and white cosmos, velvety red snapdragons, salvias (‘Amistad’ and ‘Neon’), roses, verbena, and alstromeria, as well as a cameo from a salmon-pink perlargonium and some potted heartsease violas. It has occurred to me that this is the second grand finale I have done this autumn, but I am sure you can forgive me for that. I keep thinking the flowers will stop, and they just haven’t.


In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and I do recommend visiting her page to see what she has gathered from the garden today (hint: it’s also firework related) as well as links to many other vases created by garden bloggers across the world. Cathy and The Golfer was kind enough to drop in for tea last week, and it was such a pleasure to catch up with them. The Salvia ‘Neon’ was one of several gifts from her in 2016, and I was delighted to show her how well it had been doing and what a favourite it had become. Unfortunately the garden was in a state due to ongoing redesign works (although they were far too polite to say so!). Cathy and The Golfer, once again thank you for your visit and I hope next time you come through I shall have something rather better to show you by way of a front garden.

24 thoughts on “A Glowing and Sparkling Floral Finale

  1. I love your eclectic collection of bits and bobs [great photo for Instagram…? πŸ˜‰ ] Your cosmos is still looking great – I nearly took all mine out today but then wondered if those remaining buds might still make it to flowering before winter really arrives… As before, it was lovely to catch up with you again – didn’t the time go quickly?! I wonder how your garden plan is going…? It was good to see it at its inception so I can watch its progression from paper to the real thing. Must let it be known that I have just ordered a sparkler for next Monday as a possible prop – before I saw your sparkling post!! πŸ™‚

    1. My cosmos came out eventually as the flowers started to look very ragged, but I was ever so sorry to see it go as it is such a useful provider of vase material! Yes, time went very quickly as always on your visit. The plan has changed again(!) so it may be something of a surprise when you get to see it, but I’m having lots of fun with the design. I do like a sparkler in a flowerpot, although these were such cheap ones I didn’t have much time to dash back to the camera!

      1. Yes, my cosmos went this last week, and after the frost last night the dahlias will be out too, leaving my cutting beds empty again… I sent for a number 4 sparkler from eBay but it still hasn’t arrived so I will have to pass it on to Elder Daughter for the Poppet’s birthday next year! Look forward to hearing what route the plans have gone in – such an interesting exercise to do, and then all of a sudden you will just KNOW that it’s the right one for you and your garden

  2. Delightful arrangement, Joanna – so nice to see the fancy pelargonium in there as well. I often look at mine and wonder how to use them. The sparkler is such a nice little touch of pizzaz in a lovely grouping against that good-looking wall.

    1. Thank you Cathy. This poor pelargonium withstands all sorts of abuse, including living outdoors all winter, as well as being roped into performing as a backdrop. I do love my lovely wall, thank you for the compliment!

  3. Perhaps a second curtain call instead! Maybe there’ll even be a third. Such a lovely grouping of flowers and pots, etc, and sparkler πŸ™‚ How lovely to see Cathy and the Golfer again. I’d love to meet her one day.

  4. Beautiful montage – I could gaze at this as a framed picture. Cotoneaster does indeed do a good bonfire. The glowing embers I posted on Instagram a while back were from our Cotoneaster blaze. And yes, next day the heap was still glowing in the centre.
    There is a surprising amount of colour still around. Even in our garden on Speyside, 175 miles north of Edinburgh, I still have Calendula blooming, along with flowers from a bee-friendly mix sown in the spring. That’s about all the colour here, as the rest of the garden needs to be rescued and brought back to life. A big project. Meantime I haven’t seen the Edinburgh garden since early September, as I’ve been working up here. Will see it shortly – wonder what husband and son have managed to keep going!
    It was neighbourly of you to invite people to your bonfire on the back green. A lovely idea. My daughter and her boyfriend have just moved into a tenement flat in Edinburgh where the ground floor flat owners are planning to create a patio area in the back green for all to enjoy. Come to think of it – they might be you!!

    1. Ha ha! Definitely not me, but what a lovely idea! The best back greens are the sociable ones, and I’m trying to encourage people to come out and use the space, because when we first arrived I was pretty much the only one. That’s wonderful to still have calendula in bloom. We lose most of our light after October so most things have given up by now, sadly. I do hope you find that your Edinburgh garden has been kept in fine fettle by your husband and son. What troopers!

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