I think my friends are probably sick of the dahlias which have been filling my vases since July. They are miraculously still blooming away even after a light frost. (The dahlias, not my friends.) But for my Book Club day I chose a little posy of all the little November survivors to put on the table.
In the next picture you can see a self seeded Scabiosa, bottom right and the Dianthus which was grown from seed and has bloomed all summer long.
On the top left of the next picture there is the dainty lilac Calamintha grandiflora ‘Elfin Purple ‘ which blooms for ages and seeds around abundantly. The fluffy blue flower in the bottom right corner below Salvia ‘Hot lips’ is the tall growing Ageratum corymbosum which is tender so has to come in for the winter. It is easy from cuttings if you forget.
There are four different salvias here, the lovely velvety Salvia leucantha which comes into bloom late in the season and is now in the greenhouse for safety.
Salvia greggi ‘Icing Sugar’ is a lovely two tone pink.
Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ looks good with the dark purple of Salvia jamensis ‘Nachtvlinder’ and Plectranthus.
I have used a few sprigs of Liriope muscari with purple beads. There are two verbenas , the tall Verbena bonariensis which handily seeds itself everywhere and the shorter Verbena hastata.
To match the purples I have used Solanum laxum ‘Creche au Pape’ which has lilac buds and opens to white and lilac flowers. It has been blooming for ages now and doesn’t show any sign of stopping.
What else is there? A couple of asters, Penstemon ‘King George’ which is a bit too red, a knautia, a cleome, a campanula, a rose, some bottle brushes of a Pennisetum villosum . Once we get a proper frost it will be harder to make a posy, but for now there is plenty to chose from.
As this is for a book club, there has to be cake so my chef made us an apple cake which was much appreciated. I have to admit to those who think I am rather grand having my own chef; I am referring to my lovely Pianist. These days he does all the cooking in this house and I am extremely grateful. I prefer to be grubbing outside.
225g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Half teaspoon almond extract
150g melted butter
250g peeled and cored cooking apples
25g flaked almonds
1 deep 20 cm loose bottomed cake tin.
Preheat oven to 160c or 140c fan or gas 3.
Blend flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, almond essence, melted butter.
Spread half the mixture in the tin and lay thickly sliced apples on top. Spread the rest of the mixture on top, trying to cover the apples. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds.
Bake for 1 and a quarter to one and a half hours. Serve warm. I reheated it for 1 minute in the microwave.
I’ve never given a recipe before as this is strictly a gardening blog but it is so yummy and goes with my Book Club Posy.
And the book? Meet me at The Museum by Anne Youngson. I read one review which said this is a luminous book about late love which makes it sound like a geriatric chick lit. This is misleading because this is a short book which is multilayered and is about life, death, time, loneliness, friendship, love, children. It makes you question what is the purpose of life and how to lead a meaningful life. It is about the importance of myth, ritual and sacrifice. It is about so much and so beautifully written. We all loved it.
Thanks to Cathy, the queen of the vase for hosting this meme. Do check out Rambling in the Garden to see what Cathy and all her fellow enthusiasts have been finding to put in their November vases.