Friday, February 15, 2019

Thornless Gooseberry Bushes

I love gooseberries but I hate getting scratched by thorns. My 3 gooseberry bushes have long and sharp thorns. My plans on this spring were to find in Garden center catalogs such bushes:
1. No thorns!
2. Pest resistance 

3. Tolerant to mildew
I don't want no longer have to be extra careful when picking berries. I'd also like to choose the varieties that don't need to be sprayed with insecticides,
to grow gooseberries the healthy way - no spraying, to know that my berries are completely safe and organically-grown. My wish was to only plant gooseberry, then pick berries, large numbers of sweet, delicious berries.

Well, I'm happy now because I have chosen highly adaptable gooseberry bush grown in St. Petersburg area conditions. It's the Pavlovsk' nursery, where selectors have bred thornless bushes. I liked the variety 'Serafim' that combines the thornless, high winter hardiness and resistance to powdery mildew, good productivity.

As the author of bred gooseberry writes 'Serafim variety is characterized by an average ripening period, berries are medium, red, with dessert taste. A great advantage of this variety is practically bare shoots. Single small spikes are found only in the lower part of the shoot'. 
I will order two gooseberry bushes 'Serafim' in March, as the nursery recommends. I hope they come safely to me.

Do you have any berry bushes in your garden? Have you a problem with thorn branches?
Photos - Internet

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Flowers Decorate Shawls

Recently I've been to a new exhibition “Shawls and Scarves” at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. I did not expect that I would be so impressed by exhibits there. Well, I will tell and show you the most interesting things there.

Square scarf 'Reps' 19th century

 Throw, lace, 19th century

For the first time a unique assortment of ancient and modern Russian textiles is presented in State Russian museum, St. Petersburg. The shawls, throws and kerchiefs are shown as parts of old traditional costumes. In 18 century in the northern city of Kargopol gold embroidery on white thin linen shawls and scarves was developed. They were part of the elegant costume of northern women. Gold threads are attached to the fabric with silk threads, that have a clear pattern on sewing.

Female festive costumes, late 19th century

Fragment of embroidered shawl of a bride, silk, gold

Fragment of embroidered kerchief, silk

As a rule, the corner of a kerchief was decorated with large embroidery, a kerchief was fixed under the chin, leaving free corners on shoulders. In the years 1860-80, the most elegant kerchiefs with rich ornamentation appeared.

 The kerchief, gold threads, fabric, Kargopol, 19 century  

 Triangular kerchief, gold threads, fabric, Kargopol, 19 century

 The kerchief, gold threads, Kargopol, 19 century

Attending church, celebration, harvesting – all these required the proper type of feminine head covering.  In 18-19th centuries fashionable costume of a lady or merchant’s wife was incomplete without a flower-patterned shawl or kerchief.

 Merchant's wife in a festive costume, Toropets, 19th century

Fragment of embroidered headscarf, gold, silver threads, silk

Part of embroidered kerchief, silk

 Fragment of embroidered kerchief, silver threads, silk

Fragment of embroidered shawl, silver threads, silk

Makers of scarves and shawls imported new textile and technology to Russia in 18 century. The art of silk weaving from Middle East influenced the textile manufacturing in towns of Kolomna, Vladimir, Toropets, Bogoevlensk.  

  Embroidered bride's shawl, silk

Fragment of embroidered bride's throw, silk

At the beginning of the 19th century, a square scarf appeared, a pattern woven with gold and silver thread replaced the oriental patterns, and a border appeared at the edges. Manufactures in the cities of Zuev, Shchelkovo, Kolomna produced scarves with complex patterns. Brocade kerchiefs and shawls were part of the ceremonial women's attire in the merchants and among wealthy peasants.

Throw, silver threads, 19th century

Fragment of the throw

The evolution of this manufacture from the time of Catherine the Great to elegant modern shawls, throws and kerchiefs is due to the development of the textile industry in the country.

Next post I'll continue showing you beautiful things. 

Click to enlarge photos.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Book Review: "Vertical Gardening"

Five years ago I was given a book to my birthday, it was "Vertical Gardening" by Lydia Uleysky.  The years passed  I often read this book, because the author tells and shows interesting ideas, sharing her experience in garden  landscape.
The author Lydia writes on creepers she sorts through all their varieties and gives ideas of the most common of them. Indeed, creepers are indispensable in vertical gardening; they help to increase green areas especially in small gardens.
For inexperienced gardeners Lydia advises to start with ordinary bindweed, decorative beans or Parthenocissus. She talks that people in southern  Russia often decorated verandas, high walls of houses with colorful clematis, wisteria, climbing roses, Amur grape.
Of course, I now rely on my gardening experience in the past 5 years. Some plants such as wisteria or Amur grapes will not grow in my climate. I'm acquainted with a variety and features of climbing plants I could explore in my garden for example Caprifole honeysuckle that might hang upside down and to decorate the walls of my summer cottage.
Here are projects of trellises and gazebo 
The author Lydia tells about wooden and iron grids, pyramids, romantic arches, trellises, they might be decorated with clematis, parthenotsissy, ipomoea as well. I have arches and trellises in my garden too, they divide garden into different areas. So I could select a cozy area near my pond and close the compost boxes with nice green plants. 
The book also tells about tools to combat the invasion of pests, about the methods of reproduction, watering and fertilizing of favorite plants in containers and tubes.
My birthday gift today is a book (I hope) 'The easy care garden expert', one of the series by Dr. D.G. Hessayon. I'll see it at the evening, when my family congratulate me, later I will show you.

Do you have a book you've read many times? What are you interested in gardening books?