Images © Nita Joy Designs
© Nita Joy Designs
Images available through Photobox Gallery
© Nita Joy Designs
Squirrel dedicated to the memory of Angelika’s Granddad.
As we come to the end of another year, I am sure this one went in a blink of an eye
I thought I would do a roundup post looking at some of my nature blogs that I have posted at my other blogging home – Birds on the Blog.
This year some of the things we have looked at are -
Well that was a heart wrenching time, when there was the heated debate about our precious woodland. With rumblings still going on in the background, it’s important for us to keep an eye on new policies being lined up for our forests.
I had the privillege of seeing a carpet of thousands of crocuses at Forde Abbey and gardens – I will be definitely be going there again next spring!
Blessed by a sea of blue in a gorgeous woodland, enjoyed and treasured by many! Can’t wait to visit again next year!
The joys of the National Garden Scheme – the NGS
A bizarre plant that doesn’t flower often and smells horrible, but still ends up being a popular plant to see.
Getting out there in the summer and enjoying what nature has in store for us.
Along the theme of my love of flowers is the language of flowers. This post looks at some suggestions for wedding anniversary ideas!
Who knew that hydrangeas were so popular. So many joined in enthusing about their love for the hydrangea
We look at suggestions of what food we can give to our feathered friends, with a couple of recipes of seed cake and fat balls thrown into the mix.
A controversial one … looking at the many benefits of Ivy for wildlife.
I hope you will enjoy the posts
Let me know which posts you particularly enjoyed!
This special event takes place at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens in Dorset.
I have mentioned this garden in several posts here and on Birds on the Blog, as it is a favourite garden of mine. Many of the plants are similar to Heligan in Cornwall. So if you like Heligan, I would definitely suggest a visit.
Each year this lovely garden has an event called – Enchanted Floodlit Gardens. This year it has been running since the 13th October and ends on the 30th, so there is still time, if you want to visit.
We first had a lovely tea of butternut squash soup and tomato and beef soup between the three of us, The butternut squash was spicy, spicy enough to keep you warm, for hours!
As we wandered around the garden with my camera and tripod, you couldn’t help but feel that you were back in your childhood. I was mesmerised by the glowing yellows, greens, oranges and golden hues of the specialist lighting, placed to give you a whole new understanding of plants and their beauty. I am not particularly keen on bamboo, but I have appreciated it so much more, since I have seen it highlighted at night.
The garden paths are lit by lanterns, which really add to the atmosphere. Not only did I enjoy the experience, I felt so utterly peaceful in my place of beauty, sharing it with my dad and Matt – not forgetting our little dog Brinkley, who (as usual) made friends where ever he went.
Listening to the call of owls across the moonlit sky, appreciating the detail of the hydrangea, cosmos, palm, bamboo, acer and old oak tree… makes you lost for words, as it is just beautiful!
Many times I sat on a bench and just let myself be there in that moment – I felt so blessed!
Have you been to event like this?
I have to say that the anemone is one of my favourite flowers. I love the detail and colours.
At the moment they are everywhere, in hedgerows planted by seeds blown by the wind, or gardens – large or small.
I always associate them with my dad, as his birthday is in September, so they will always have a special place in my heart.
In the language of flowers, the anemone stands for-
- Anticipation of change
I think the meaning of the anemone is really inspiring for a number of reasons. When I am going through a difficult time, gazing at the detail of the anemone reminds me to forget what is behind, and look to the future.
All about the lovely Anemone –
- You may be surprised to know there are about 150 different species with a wide range of colours.
- Varieties include spring, Mediterranean and the larger anemones (as included in flower image) that flower in late summer – early autumn
- As the Japanese varieties grow in September they are often related to birthdays in this month.
- There are two types of garden anemone – single and double, belonging to the Buttercup family.
- They are loved by cottage gardeners, as this delicate plant looks lovely in cottage garden borders.
- They like a variety of soil conditions, some varieties prefer a shady area in the garden.
- The name anemone comes from the Greek word anemos, which means ‘wind’ – wind flower, which means that the wind will blow open the delicate new petals and the dead ones away.
- They are a perennial herb
- The woodland Anemone is a true beauty, providing soft carpets of delicate flowers for us to enjoy, it is one of our earliest spring flowers that grow just before the tree cover is too dense.
Some specialist nurseries
Avondale Nurseries specialise in this flower, have a look at their website to see the various anemones that are available.
Long Acre plants based in Somerset but has an online shop
Love Anemones? – Here are some gift suggestions I found on my travels around the internet
The V&A Museum shop have a lovely collection of jewellery and home ware inspired by the anemone
We have a range of cards and gifts that include the anemone, so if you would like to see our range, please visit my website – Send a flower card.
What do you love about anemones?
Nita Joy Craft Design has been working hard this year to broaden our range of gifts for our flower photography.
After many requests and enquiries, I am pleased to announce our first collection of handbags.
I have had wonderful comments from customers who have said how they have had many people stop and ask them where they have bought their handbag.
Here is a recent comment -
‘Hi Anita, I just wanted to let you know that on a recent holiday trip, I was stopped and asked 8 times where I had bought my bag!
It’s so lovely and unusual, it makes a real statement that adds a little extra touch to any outfit.
Another popular item in our gift range is our tote bags, which are very useful for shopping trips and my new collection of handbags is being received just as well.
The handbag collection has 7 designs which include glorious shades of pink, lilac, greens, yellow and blues. These colours will suit a number of outfits and suitable for special occasions or for every day use.
Here is our collection -
Our handbags are available through our online shop – Floral Gifts – Handbags
Please allow up to 14 working days for delivery as these handbags are made to order.
I am a big fan of the National Garden Scheme also known as the NGS!
I love visiting gardens such as the large RHS Gardens, but I also love visiting smaller / personal gardens, loving created by people who love to share their pride and joy with visitors, whilst raising money for charity.
Over the years I have tried to get to as many gardens operating under the NGS as I can, but there are still many on the list in my area that I am eager to visit.
As I regularly write blog posts about particular flowers, I often recommend particular gardens in the NGS to visit, as not only will it be a great day out, but it is also good to support our local neighbourhood gardeners. You can learn so much by visiting these gardens, admiring their planting schemes and asking the owners questions.
If you are looking to redesign your garden, or add to your garden and are looking for inspiration, these gardens are ideal! As often we can be a little intimidated by the larger grander gardens that are looked after by teams of gardeners. If you want to know which plants would be suitable in your area, visiting local gardens gives you a great opportunity to see which plants work for your soil conditions.
Last weekend I had the privilege of visiting the Cerne Abbas Open Gardens in Dorset. I had been a few years ago and was looking forward to a return visit.
The weather was perfect which always makes a visit to a garden extra special. The Cerne Abbas Village is stunning.
If you want to visit a typical traditional English village, then this is a must visit.
25 gardens took part in the weekend. If you love investigating every crook and cranny of old walls and pathways, you will enjoy visiting this village as there is always some thing interesting to see.
The photo on the right was taken as I was looking over an old wall admiring the view. The rose and rose bud was beautiful and I thought it would make a nice photo for this blog post.
We didn’t make it around all of the gardens, but really enjoyed the ones we ‘discovered’ as we walked around the village. As I walked around the streets, down various paths and small alley ways, I was reminded of one of my favourite childhood stories – The Secret Garden. As you looked for the yellow posters and open gates, you were never sure what you would find. The gardens fitted each other like a perfectly made jigsaw puzzle, and if you had a peek over the walls you would get a brief view of the next door garden’s delights.
The flowers that were in abundance throughout the gardens was the stunning rose, in gorgeous colours and tones such as white, pink and red. Astrantia was also a popular plant in these gardens and to be honest I can see why. I have a fondness for this lovely flower, the colours and detail complement so many other plants, and when the sun catches their petals they just look stunning!
Not only were the plants beautiful to look at, but also the scent made the whole presentation even better. You could tell that the bees were enjoying their dinner, but I was also mesmerised by the varying scents of the tea roses and honeysuckle. WOW!! If I had a chair and a mug of tea in hand, I wouldn’t have been able to move for hours!
No garden visit would be complete without a cup of tea of cold drink. We enjoyed an ice cream and an elderflower presse at Abbots Brasserie and Tea Garden. There are a couple of tea rooms and pubs in Cerne Abbas, so plenty of places for a drink and something to eat.
If you would like to visit the Cerne Abbas Open Garden weekend, then they will be holding the next event next year on the 18th- 19th June 2011, so make sure you add it to your diary, as you are sure to have a lovely time.
If you would like to visit a local NGS garden near to you, you can select the county that you live on the NGS website and a detailed list with photographs will be shown. You can also pick up little yellow NGS booklets at various tourist information points, for more information.
Roses always come at the top of the list in literature and various gardening shows. The sheer abundance of varieties, colour and smell makes it a truly inspiring plant. Whatever garden you have, there will be a rose variety to suit whether you have a balcony, small patio or city or county garden, you can enjoy this flower.
One of the best times to truly appreciate the scent of roses, is just as the sun comes down on a warm summers evening, is absolutely heavenly.
Roses are always popular with weddings, anniversaries and valentines.
Every survey that asks the nation – what our favourite flower is, the answer is always the same – the rose.
The english country garden is not complete without one or two of these delightful flowers.
In the language of flowers the rose stands for –
- The Yellow rose can mean – jealousy
The rose is a perennial flower and has over 100 different species within the family Rosaceae. Every year the collection grows, with new varieties being introduced all the time.
David Austin has over 800 varieties!
The RHS have provided a guide to how to plant roses
To ensure greater success with growing your chosen rose, the advice is that bare root roses are the best to buy, from a reputable grower. As roses are available everywhere, including the local petrol station and high street DIY store, you can never be sure of where the roses have come from, and how long they have been there. Buying quality roses can be costly, but this is where cutting corners doesn’t usually save in the long run.
Greenfly can often be got rid of by using a water spray with water and a bit of washing up liquid, sprayed directly on the leaves. You could also ladybirds into your garden to munch them up – purchase a ladybird breeding kit.
In reference to ladybirds there is currently running a UK ladybird survey, you can help them by recording any sightings.
Roses will bloom with a good feed such as a general feed or specialised rose feed, mulching, and careful watering.
It’s also best not to plant a new rose where other roses have been, particularly if they were diseased
Last year I had the opportunity to visit the Hampton Court Flower show, and their special Tudor Rose Marquee was breath taking. The crowds were horrendous and trying to get close to the displays was hard, but the display of toses were gorgeous. I wouldn’t have missed it! To see a 3D video presentation of the marquee take a look at the RHS video – Tudor Rose Festival.
Not sure which rose to choose?
David Austin has helpfully provided a guide to help you choose the perfect rose for you!
Some of the best roses for cut flowers are –
I also love the Albert Bell, with stunning yellow flowers and lovely scent.
Want to learn how to make a beautiful display of flowers?
Sarah did a wonderful programme on supporting UK cut flower growers, if we can support our local growers, not only will have gorgeous flowers, but also help specialist nurseries stay in business.
More information about the beloved rose -
Where to buy roses –
Gardens to admire roses –
Each of the RHS Gardens – Rosemoor, Harlow Car, Hyde Hall, and Wisley have wonderful display of roses. Wisley are currently developing a new rose garden. If I had to pick one for roses then it would be Hyde Hall in Essex! One word – AMAZING! You will overdose on this beauty, if it’s possible to.
From the 19th -20th June RHS Rosemoor are holding a special weekend in honour of the beautiful rose -Scents of Summer
National Trust gardens tend to have a great show of the wonderful rose
Mottisfont house and gardens in Hampshire, have special events when the rose is in bloom, Check if there is a garden near you that has similar events.
Garden of the Rose in Hertfordshire
Coughton Court Gardens in Warwickshire
Castle Howard in Yorkshire
Any cottage gardens will have a host of wonderful roses added to their design. Check with your local National Garden Scheme , support a charity and see wonderful gardens!
We have a collection of rose cards and gifts suitable for all occasions, including -
Add your special message for a truly special card!