Having had my eye on the increasing stature of a grown-from-seed Inula magnifica for a number of weeks, awaiting the first flowers to use in a Monday vase, I was pleased to see that the main flower was just beginning to open over the weekend and guessed that the subsidiary buds would shortly be opening too. These other buds have much longer stems than the main flower, so for the first time I snipped some flowers the night before in the hope that they would be starting to open by this morning – and if not, the buds would be attractive in their own right; as it was, two of the three have begun to unfurl their bristly yellow petals.
The inula being the starting point, with ‘sun’ as a vague theme and the starting point of a title, there was plenty of additional material to choose from in the bold borders. There were too many spent flowers on the geums to make it worth including those, although they are still making a great statement in situ, but I wanted to use some of the nasturtiums anyway so picked out some of the buttery yellow ones that I had expected one seed packet to produce, and included some fiery red ones for contrast. Some of the January sown sweet peas are now flowering too – these red ones are ‘Winston Churchill’ and will add a sweeter fragrance to help counteract the nasturtiums distinctive aroma.
Aquilegia ‘Oranges and Lemons’ have been flowering for what seems like months, so with the odd dead head removed added extra colour and interest to the vase, as did a few stems of bidens and the frothy flowers of a fallen thalictrum, the latter avoiding an early bath on the compost heap by its inclusion. A sprig of the very thorny climbing rose ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’ and a stem of the first hemerocallis to flower brought a more solid presence and although I know the hemerocallis flower will barely last the day, it will be interesting to see if the other buds on the stem open now it has been picked. The hemerocallis – ‘Cathy’s Sunset’ – gave rise to the final choice of post title, neatly relating all the colours of the vase to one of those magnificent sunsets that we are sometimes fortunate to see.
The chosen vase was a simple cream jug with an orange trim, a recent car boot addition, but somehow seems to be irrelevant to today’s contents. As always it will be interesting to see how long the vase looks fresh – it was quite a shock when I came home last Thursday afternoon to find last week’s vase looking exactly the same as the day it was filled, and with the removal of a few individual flowers on the foxgloves it has life in it still. If you would like to experience the challenge of finding something in your garden or nearby with which to fill a vase or container of some sort, either on an occasional Monday or every week – whether plonked or arranged – then you would be most welcome. Just post as usual, but include a link to this post, and a link back to yours from a comment here so that we can pop over and have a look at what you have found.