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In a Vase on Monday: Sultry Serendipity - - Britain
27.11.2023 / 10:03

In a Vase on Monday: Sultry Serendipity

Caught out yet again by the sudden descent towards darkness, I had to quickly pluck a few things from the garden to make a posy for my lift-giver to choir early last week. Having been working in the greenhouse, I snipped a few blooms from the overwintering Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’ and plucked greenery from some ivy on the way back to the house. Back inside with my cup of ta and cake, I found my friend had messaged me to say she was unwell and not going after all, so the posy was no longer required. Rather than keep it in its interim jam jar, I sought a vase with a degree of sultriness to match the dark moodiness of the salvia blooms and deep green of the ivy and its curious flowers, coming up trumps with a blue hyacinth vase.

Grow Pearlbush (Exochorda Racemosa) For True Floral Treasures - - China
22.11.2023 / 05:03

Grow Pearlbush (Exochorda Racemosa) For True Floral Treasures

When you grow pearlbush, you are adding a flourish of rare beauty to your garden. With its brilliant white flowers, this shrubs makes a beautiful plant for a border or hedge. Common pearlbush (Exochorda racemosa) is known for its dazzling display of bright white flowers in early spring. These flowers blossom from pearl-shaped buds which gives this shrub its name.

In a Vase on Monday, 10th Anniversary (When a Vase is Not a Vase): Tough as Old Boots -
13.11.2023 / 09:45

In a Vase on Monday, 10th Anniversary (When a Vase is Not a Vase): Tough as Old Boots

Welcome to the 10th anniversary of IAVOM, a meme which commenced on an inauspicious November Monday, with the sole purpose of encouraging me to pick flowers or other material from the garden on a regular basis. It must have worked because, ten years and 520 vases later, it is still going. My favourite vase from each of the last 12 months is shown in the collage below – July presented the hardest choice!

In a Vase on Monday: the Emperor and his Mystical New Clothes - - China
06.11.2023 / 09:59

In a Vase on Monday: the Emperor and his Mystical New Clothes

No prizes for guessing what some of the contents of today’s vase will be – blooms from my gifted rescue plant, Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’! With so many blooms and autumn closing in around the garden, it is not surprising I chose to grab them while I could. Having already taken some with me to the voluntary work I do, I added them to the remains of the previous posy I had taken there, stems of Chrysanthemum ‘Emperor of China’. They made a surprisingly pleasing combination, so I decided to replicate this at home, adding foliage of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ and stems of Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’. My cornus, unlike those of Cathy at Words and Herbs in Bavaria, still retain their foliage, so I snipped all the leaves from the stems apart from the topmost pair.

In a Vase on Monday: Trio - - China
30.10.2023 / 11:09

In a Vase on Monday: Trio

Today’s vase is a simple trio: single stems of Rhododendron ‘Cheers’, an unlabelled sedum (hylotelephium) and slightly bedraggled Miscanthus ‘Red Chief’. The rhododendron grows on the fringe of the woodland, in my direct line of sight on rambles around the garden, so I could hardly fail to notice when the first blooms appeared; now, more and more buds are opening and they are such pretty blooms that I thought I would try them out in a vase. The sedum (which probably does have a label tucked at its base somewhere), is planted in a border nearby and has relatively dark blooms that seem to pick out the centres of the rhododendron, as does the miscanthus, the latter proving immensely useful in late-season vases.

In a Generational Vase on Monday - - China
23.10.2023 / 09:49

In a Generational Vase on Monday

A busy weekend meant today’s vase had to be prepared and a post written even further in advance than usual, and it will be brief.

In a Vase on Monday: In Need of Support -
16.10.2023 / 08:15

In a Vase on Monday: In Need of Support

I have no doubt mentioned a number of times that I have been very lax in supporting my dahlias this year, inevitably resulting in a number of casualties. By way of excuse, I have been awaiting a supply of stakes from a friend whose husband coppices for a local farmer, stakes cut a number of months ago apparently, waiting in their garage and on the point of being dropped off here any time now – or at least that was my friend’s intention! At least if I receive them soon they will be ready for next year and I can have them in place when the tubers are first planted out again, as is probably recommended by professional growers!

In a Vase on Monday: All White on the Night! -
09.10.2023 / 08:55

In a Vase on Monday: All White on the Night!

Succumbing to the urge to move unusually lanky aster Symphyotrichum‘Little Carlow’ today instead of waiting till it was dormant, I also moved the sanguisorba I featured in a vase a few weeks ago, and again today, a little nearer the fence. Whilst doing so, I realised the label read Sanguisorba dodecandra and not S canadensis as I had thought. Googling doesn’t tell me a lot about the former, and illustrations suggest it looks more like the latter, so it remains a bit of a puzzle. The aster looks all the better with something behind it and, having dug it out with a large rootball, doesn’t look any the worse for its experience; the sanguisorba, however, is now glowering at me and I cut a few flowering stems for today’s vase rather than leave them to a potentially slow demise on the plant.

In a Vase on Monday: Cute - - China
02.10.2023 / 09:35

In a Vase on Monday: Cute

Last week I chose random blooms for my Monday vase, blooms that had missed out on being featured; this week I am choosing (mostly) blooms with shorter stems, blooms that have missed out to others such as dahlias, which could otherwise easily dominate vases from June to October.

In a Vase on Monday: Random Selection - - Japan
25.09.2023 / 09:23

In a Vase on Monday: Random Selection

Having decided to pick blooms that had not been included in a vase this year, not because they were not vase-worthy but more due to the seasonal abundance, I toyed for a while with different titles – Waifs and Strays? Pigs Ear? – but the ease of finding a prop meant that Random Selection, like the blooms, made the cut.

In a Vase on Monday: Moonlight Serenade -
11.09.2023 / 09:18

In a Vase on Monday: Moonlight Serenade

The starting point for today’s Monday vase was the tall spires of Sanguisorba canadensis. I am rather puzzled by them and can’t remember where and when I got the original plant, which was in the main blue & white border. It must have been over five years ago and I recall it flowering just once, but not leaving me impressed, especially as it began to spread without earning its keep. Last autumn, when I lifted all the contents of the border, I composted most of it, but planted a small section in an adjacent border, where it is now flowering generously. I have no idea why I wasn’t impressed before, because the flowers are gorgeous, six inches (15cms) plus of greenish-white fluffiness on each spike; the plant is exceedingly tall, I know,  more than its supposed five feet (1.5m), and thereby taller than me. I am not intimidated by tall people these days, but I do avoid the tallest of plants in my garden. However, I will overlook this failing on the strength of its blooms, albeit not literally!

In a Vase on Monday: Which Came First? -
04.09.2023 / 08:15

In a Vase on Monday: Which Came First?

In this case, it was the egg, as that is what I found myself thinking of when I picked today’s blooms…

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