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In a flat vase on Monday, and an afterthought

We are back on the Hebridean island of Colonsay, just for a few days.  Not nearly long enough, which makes each day very precious!  One of my favourite places to walk here is through what I call the lost gardens of Colonsay House.  The outer gardens, beyond the walls surrounding the grounds of the house, were laid down in the 1930s.  There are all sorts of trees and shrubs you would usually only find in a botanical garden, and over the years they have all become a bit feral.  Seeding themselves all over the place.  The pathways, which would have been set out eighty years ago, weave their way through a veritable jungle.  There is always work going on in the woods, to retrieve them from years of neglect, but luckily not enough to make too much of an impression on this magical place!

There is a significant collection of rhododendrons and I LOVE their enormous leaves.   I have used some for my 'vase' today, along with a skeletal sycamore leaf (to give a sense of scale) and some lichen-encrusted larch.  Lichens love it here.  The air on Colonsay is as fresh and clean as any you will find anywhere in the world, blowing in off the ocean, as the island sits on the rim of the North Atlantic.


My happy place!
I was walking along the lane with the dogs a few minutes ago and saw some devil's-bit scabious, Succisa pratensis, meadow vetchling, and a lovely pink convolvulus, rambling through the hedgerow.  I love the colour of the devil's-bit scabious and always enjoyed the flowers of convolulvuls, whether they be white, pink, or the vibrant blue of morning glory, so I thought it was a shame not to include a few wild flowers from Colonsay, sitting alongside a jar of this island's wildflower honey.  The best honey in the world.  I have conducted my own honey survey, so I know!

Comments

  1. Love the leaves and the arrangement you made with them. Then there is the arrangement with the wild flowers almost going back a season compared to the leaves. Oh I can just imagine the flavour of that honey...we are great admirers of the work of bees, and although we have a very good local supply here, it is usually on our list of things to look out for on our holidays. Savour your few days in your paradise.

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    1. The beauty of the Colonsay honey is that it is a true mix of wild flowers. The island is full of wild flowers, and one of the apiaries is situated near sycamore trees which I believe makes really good honey, and now at this time of year, there is the heather to add in to the mix! When I open a jar and have a good sniff, I am transported to the moor where the heather grows! Simply delicious! A

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  2. Lovely flat display radiating fall colors. The large leaf looks almost as if it were rusted metal. This is the first thing I've seen that puts me in the mood for fall and it's lovely array of colors. Very nicely done!

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    1. Thanks Cindy! We have just come back from a walk and the autumn colours in some of the trees is really beginning to show! I love autumn. It's a beautiful time of year! A

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  3. That honey looks delicious, perhaps almost as good as the honey produced by the bees in my back field. We could have a tasting! And I love the rhodo foliage...not at all what I was expecting.

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    1. Wouldn't a tasting be fun! We used to live on Abaco in the Bahamas (very grateful not to be there now) and when we travelled to Nassau I could buy honey from other Bahamian islands and each island's honey had a different flavour. Very dark in colour, and delicious! No idea what flowers the bees were feeding on. The bees on Colonsay have a wonderful mix of wild flowers, and depending on the time of year either sycamore flowers or heather to add in to the mix. What flowers do your bees feed on? A

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  4. Very creative and I love the lichens! A friend had a honey store, so I keep trying different varieties, that looks good!

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    1. It is good!! Very good! Had some on my porridge this morning - yum! A

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  5. What a beautiful collection. I love the autumn shades and am always sorry I can't keep the leaves and conkers in their shiny gorgeous state. Convulvulus is very pretty, if only it wouldn't swamp other things. I always think it looks pretty in the hedgerows.

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  6. This is absolutely delightful, Amanda. I love the slektal leaf and the lichen especially. One of my Mum's neighbours works as a carer and will happily go and spend a week on Colonsay, taking her dog with her, so I am sure she will have walked in these gardens and loved them too.

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  7. I love your outside-the-box flat arrangement, Amanda. You're a discerning scavenger.

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    1. Most definitely a scavenger of beautiful things, or beautiful to me at least! Glad you enjoyed them too! A

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