8 Jul 2012

Not the Hampton Court Flower Show ...

Wildflower meadow in tray
Wildflower meadow in a tray on my balcony!
Today I was supposed to be at Hampton Court for the flower show.  I had my ticket and programme ready and then I overslept.  I never oversleep.  No, seriously, I'm one of those annoying people that leaps cheerfully out of bed at 6.30 a.m. to embrace the day. Today the fates decided otherwise; between yesterday's extended balcony gardening, repotting and moving plants until beyond nightfall, being kept awake throughout the night by workmen laying gravel on the nearby railway tracks and torrential downpours of rain, I was thoroughly befuddled when I eventually awoke around 9.30!  It wasn't too late to go but I just couldn't motivate myself out of my pyjamas.  It was pouring with rain and I thought about the joys of standing in a large crowd getting soaked and decided to save myself the two and half hour return journey and do some more planting at home instead.

As it approached 4 o'clock, the appointed time for the big Sell Off of all plants there, I rather regretted my decision.  The sun was shining, there was no rain to be seen and I'd just read a good review of the Grow Your Own section over at the Physic Blogger that reminded me I really wanted to see Mark Diacono's forest garden display.  *sigh*  (There are just some days when, whatever you do, it won't go right.)

So, to cheer myself up, I thought I'd post about the flowers currently on display in the Veg Patch gardens and have resolved to be a bit more stoic about going next year. I'm sure it will be worth it.

Day Lily buds
Day Lilies about to flower.

Pea flower
Purple Podded pea flower.
Potato flowers
Potato flower from unknown tuber.

Onion flower
White onion. Several appeared this year after an onion was left for seed last year.
Oriental Lily Red
Oriental Lily - I think this is supposed to be edible but probably a bit chewy.

Tom Thumb nasturtium
Tom Thumb nasturtium: edible flowers and leaves. 
Calendula opening
Calendula opening.

Purple pea pod
Purple podded pea pod.
Margeurite Daisies
Marguerites - so fresh and cheerful.

Sage flowers
Sage flowers. Edible slightly milder taste than the leaves.
Violas in June
Violas, still flowering in mid-summer, probably due to the rain!

Empress of India
Nasturtium, Empress of India
Strawbs, lavender, oregano
A corner of my exuberant herb bed: strawberries, lavender, golden oregano.

Borage buds
Borage buds. I've sown seeds to flower at different times to keep bringing the bees in.

Veg Patch Lavender
Lavender, nurtured from a tiny wind-sown 2 cm seedling found in the soil last year. 
Kale flowers
Kale flowers, now eaten.  Yum!

So, less of a veg patch and more of a flower garden on this count! I said last year that I hoped to introduce more flowers into the veg garden; hmm, that seems to be happening okay.  And I haven't even mentioned the sunflowers or red orach or any of the other flowering herbs. I promise, there are plenty of veg in here too!

PS.  As I've typed this post, we've had several heavy showers so I'm now feeling vindicated in my decision (if very wasteful of the ticket. Still good causes and all that ... ).  Needless to say, all photos were taken on previous occasions!


  1. Oh i am so sorry for you, i would love to visit the Hampton Court flower show. One year i will.
    Lovely photos of the flowers by the way.

    1. I've actually had quite a nice day, the sun is now shining (temporarily) so I don't mind. Sometimes it's good just to rest and catch up! And I know there's always next year ... ! Pleased you enjoyed my floral display, thanks! x

  2. That's such a shame Caro! I've been a couple of times, and have have just been reading Wellywoman's post about it.
    Anyway apart from that this is a good post and I like all the pictures, which certainly have brightened up what has been another mostly dismal day.
    Flighty xx

    1. I was really looking forward to the show, Flighty, so was very thrown off balance by oversleeping. I like to be out and ahead of the crowds and, of course, the weather has been dreadful today, so now feel I made the right decision. Next year I'll make sure to pace myself better! xx (Will go and catch up with Welly's post now... !)

  3. nice photos as usual Caro, your normally a 6.30 am riser? that`s the middle of the night for me

    1. Ha ha! I used to be more of an owl, now my daily schedule makes me both an owl and a lark! It's lovely to get things done in the quiet of the morning (after a lovely cup of reviving tea!) x Glad you liked the pics (thought I might have overdone the selection a bit!)

  4. Love the flower on that Purple Podded Pea. It would seem the trip was not meant to be.

    1. Thanks, Bridget. I'm a great believer in fate and agree with you!

  5. I can't remember the last time I overslept till 9.30 what a shame you missed the show - that's just the way it goes sometimes - but as you say - there is always next year. Love your flower selection - who needs a flower garden when you can grow edible flowers (ish) in amongst the veggies.

    1. Neither can I, Elaine! Usually my body clock is very punctual about waking me. C'est la vie. I think I've just been absorbing tiredness for too long, always trying to squeeze one last little job into the day. And I thought life was supposed to get easier as we aged!!

  6. Such a lot of flowers in your veggie patch, very pretty. Like you, I'm up and doing in the garden first thing. When it isn't raining, goodness how long ago is that!,I'm usually sorting things by 6am. If it is sunny!! that is the only time I can weed sunny borders, it gets too hot later on. Such a shame you missed Hampton Court, will be even better for you next year!

    1. Thanks, Pauline. Yes I love my flowers, particularly the unexpected ones like herb flowers (thyme and mint just coming into flower now). I thought it was all looking a bit green in recent years so have worked on adding in little splashes of colour - Morrisons is brilliant for picking up a little bargain when doing the weekly shop (that's where my violas came from!). I love to get in the garden really early - I'd go in my pyjamas if I thought no-one was looking - it's so peaceful early in the morning, and cool as well. My veg patch also gets very hot if we have a day of sunshine so I've learned to avoid the heat through early starts.

  7. I sympathise, Caro. I haven't been sleeping well recently. With hay fever, humid nights and insect bites that have been driving me potty I've been feeling sleep deprived. I'm learning to be a bit kinder to myself and body and go with the flow. If I need more sleep I try to get it and if that means getting up later or having a nap then I just do it. There was a time when I would feel incredibly guilty and just soldier on through but I'd end up suffering at some point. Sometimes you just get days where you feel things conspire against you. You've got some gorgeous photos there and at least you didn't have to fight the crowds and negotiate the mud at Hampton Court.

    1. My problem, Welly, is burning the candle at both ends. The longer, lighter evenings find me still gardening at half nine, then coming indoors to cook dinner - very continental! Not every night, of course, but it sets a pattern. I'm very aware of the humid nights as well (to be honest, I thought it was just me overheating!) so it all combines towards sleep deprivation. Thanks for your compliment on my photos; I'm quite good at mud (especially if I have my wellies on) but rubbish at crowds. I'll need to go very early next year!

  8. I never sleep late these days but as my mum would say, you must have needed it. What a shame you missed the show though. You've got some lovely flowers blooming, you would never have seen flowers mingling with veg once upon a time but I think we all recognise now how important it is to help to bring in insects to pollinate our crops.

    1. Yes, I think my mum would say the same, Jo! I still have very little time for "bedding" plants but love the flowers that bring the beneficial bugs in and add a splash of colour. If you can develop a taste for adding flowers to salads and other foods, many of them are edible and tasty too!

  9. To be honest I probably wouldn't have bothered either with all the rain...especially with the travel time. It sounds quite miserable actually! Still it's a shame that it wasn't sunny that day and that you had to miss the event.

    Really pretty photos of all your current flowers - I'm most intrigue by the note on the Oriental lily being edible! Have you tried it yourself yet?

    1. I think, Tanya, had the sun been shining, I would have got myself together and gone, even for a few hours but the thought of sitting on a train, sopping wet (I loathe having wet feet in wet shoes) just led to a prolonged bout of indecisiveness. Most unlike me.
      I haven't tried eating any lilies yet but have just bought another edible flower book which, on first glance, seems to have some really nice suggestions for eating edible flowers. I will, of course, post about any recipes that are particularly successful - you know me!!

  10. Beautiful photos and flowers - who needs Hampton Court? Sometimes a 'home day' is just what's needed. And I agree, sitting on a crowded Tube with soggy feet is grim. Not worth it with so much loveliness outside the back door!


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