In a Vase on Monday – On the Wild Side

On a Monday Cathy from Rambling in my Garden hosts the addictive ‘In a Vase on Monday’, a meme to encourage her readers to bring a little of the outside inside and fill a vase or container with something lovely. Inspired by the beautiful Autumn hedgerows, that we walk past everyday on our daily dog walk, I have ‘borrowed’ some Hips and Haws to help fill the ginger jar given to me by my Mum some years ago.

On the Wild Side

On the Wild Side

One of my favourite dog walks takes us up out of our village, past the last of the houses and along the lanes and footpaths that skirt the Greensand Ridge, if time permits we head off towards the woods, if not we return past the old church and then loop back again through the village towards home, all along our route the Hedgerows have been ablaze with colour and the Hawthorns spectacular this year, dripping with fruits.

Hawthorn Berries

Hedgerows of Colour

Archie our Labradoodle without the doodle, is a kind and patient dog who loves to walk, he keeps a look out when I am foraging in hedgerows.



From the hedgerows I collected some Haws (Hawthorn berries), native Dog Rose Hips, English Ivy with seed heads, before heading home and from my garden wildflower Achillea millefolium stems, good old Iris Sibirica seed heads and one of my favourite autumn leaves Rubus tricolour (chinese bramble).


In close up

I picked from the Hedgerows on Saturday morning and am hoping the Hips and Haws will survive inside for a few days as I want to return this bouquet to the birds and plan to put it on our patio table later in the week. Inside the Ginger Jar I have put a large Yoghurt bucket with handle so it can be lifted out and hopefully the birds will still get to enjoy the fruits and the empty Ginger Jar will go back on its shelf.

Heading outside for the birds

Heading outside for the birds

Enjoy your Monday and please take a look at Cathys In a Vase On Monday post for links to the wonderful creative folk who contribute to Cathys meme.

In a Vase on Monday – Fragrant Green Manure

In a Vase on Monday - scented green manure

In a Vase on Monday – Fragrant Wild marjoram, Phacelia tanacetifolia and Rosa Goldfinch

Just like black gold, green manure in the form of Phacelia tanacetifolia is invaluable in my garden. I can happily watch beneficial insects bring my garden to life enjoying the scented, generous Phacelia blooms whenever the opportunity arises. Bees are the main customer, Ladybirds, Lacewings and Hoverflies are also attracted.

In my vase today I have used Goldfinch roses as the mild weather has encouraged a few extra blooms, a little bashed by rain but the fragrance is still beautiful. I have added some Wild marjoram seed heads too, although I have them stored for drying to save the seed, they are also still faintly scented. Wild marjoram is another excellent plant for beneficial insects especially Butterflies and Bees. Its very pretty in borders and lovely in salads too!

Phacelia tanacetifolia and Rosa Goldfinch

Phacelia tanacetifolia and Rosa Goldfinch

Phacelia tanacetifolia is one of my favourite plants, I grow it in my vegetable garden as a green manure in the autumn and in borders throughout the spring and summer as its so beautiful – ferny, feathery foliage and lavender blue flowers, brought to life by the insects it attracts. Seed is incredibly easy to collect and save for resowing.

Phacelia tanacetifolia

Phacelia tanacetifolia in action

I am joining in again with Cathy’s weekly meme at Rambling in your Garden to collect plants from your garden and share in a vase, this is such a rewarding project and great fun to be involved with and my grateful thanks to Cathy for hosting, please take a look at other blogs from all over the world sharing their lovely plants and vases.

Wildflower Wednesday – Chenopodiums – Goosefoot in Autumn Colours

Chenopodiums - Goosefoot

Chenopodiums – Goosefoot

One of our local dog walks runs along the edge of farmer’s fields. There are few wildflowers along this agricultural route and the fields are regularly sown with oil seed rape, chemicals are sprayed on the crop. Last winter the farmer stored on one corner of his fields a vast pile of manure, muck, slurry, something dark. It was subsequently spread on the fields and the crop this year, wheat. Goosefoot, Grasses and Orache, have sprung up where the vast muck heap once stood.

I am linking in with Gail at Clay and Limestone for her monthly wildflower Wednesday meme. Please take a look at other wildflower contributors from across the globe.

Wildflower Wednesday – Fancott Wood and Meadows – a Coronation Meadow

Meadow Buttercups Ranunculus acris

Sundays view – Fancott Meadows – Meadow Buttercups Ranunculus acris

The nearby river is lined with Willows and to escape the snowstorm of Willow pollen raining down in my own garden last Sunday, we made a visit to Fancott Meadow, managed by the wildlife trust and now designated as a Coronation Meadow

In 2012 Plantlife published a report Our Vanishing Flora highlighting the desperately sad statistic that in 75 years 97% of our meadows have been lost. 97% which means a miniscule 3% were left. Prince Charles the patron of Plantlife galvanised into action and to celebrate the Queens coronation set about organising the Coronation Meadows project, 60 meadows for 60 years of the Queens reign were identified across the UK at least one for each county.

With a threefold task, firstly to celebrate our rare surviving meadows, secondly to create new meadows with seed gathered from designated Coronation meadows and thirdly to encourage the public to discover and nominate new meadows known as Peoples Meadows.

Fancott meadow, an ancient meadow in Bedfordshire is reached by a public footpath tucked away behind a pub. Archie, always ready for a good walk came too. A few Hebridean sheep now graze the meadows, so Archie was soon back on a lead.


Archie en route to the meadows

We had previously visited last July when there were lots of Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria in full flower thriving in the damper areas but just beginning to form buds in late May.


Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria May

Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria in July

Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria in July









It was too early for Ragged Robin and Great Burnet – Sanguisorba officinalis and we had missed the Cowslips and Adders tongue fern, but lots of  Clovers, Vetch, Birds Foot Trefoils and early Meadowsweet amongst the Buttercups and we easily spotted Yellow Rattle which is a semi parasitic grassland annual, this little gem weakens tough grass growth, helping other wildflowers to thrive. I bought some seed earlier this year with a little project of my own in mind.

Yellow Rattle

Yellow Rattle

I am joining in with Gail at ClayandLimestone who hosts the Wildflower Wednesday meme on the the last Wednesday of each month. Please take a look there are lots of other Wildflower posts to enjoy and share.