In a vase on Monday: Sunset

IMG_2407Having 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 inΒ  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.

IMG_2409The 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.

IMG_2410Aquilegia ‘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.



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46 Responses to In a vase on Monday: Sunset

  1. Christina says:

    A profusion of colour in your vase today, Cathy! I am very taken with the Aquilegia, did you grow it from seed? Here’s my link
    Last weeks sun flowers lasted the week with the additional of a couple of new stems and changing the Gerbera. Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina. These aquilegia were plants in a collection from Hayloft or Gardeners World a few years ago, but I have some bright flowered seedlings on the go now, including a red and orange double. Look forward to seeing your lilies – I might get one if I am lucky!

  2. Annette says:

    Beautiful, like a painting!

  3. Kris P says:

    Glorious colors, Cathy! Inula magnifica is new to me – I’m not sure why as it appears it would grow here. Its pretty in bud and bloom. Does it really get 7 feet (2.13 meters) tall? My composition this week is also bright, albeit with a touch of blue to cool it down:

    My vase from last week is also still going strong. Even some of the side buds of the sunflower have opened. Thanks for hosting!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – and yes, the inula does grow pretty tall and the leaves are HUGE! It is the first year of flowering, but I also have Inula hookeri which is a bit easier to accommodate. I hadn’t come across them either until a couple of years ago. Good news about your sunflower!

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  5. janeykate says:

    Beautiful colours! This is my first try at ‘In a vase on Monday’. Love the concept!
    Jane x

  6. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Lovely vase; I’ve never heard of Inula… Will have to check it out me thinks!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Liz. The I. hookeri flowered for weeks last summer so it will be interesting to see if I magnifica does the same

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  8. Julie says:

    Like a few of the others I have not heard of Inula before Cathy. You certainly have a lot going on in your hot border and it makes a stunning collection for your car boot sale jug!

    You can find my contribution this week at

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – and it makes me smile to think of how I have struggled to get the hot border looking hot and once I decided to make it bold and incorporate bright pinks and purples it suddenly begins to blaze!! I am now wondering about your ‘bard’ theme and what it could be…

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  11. This looks so exotic! It took me a minute to realize that one of them was a sunflower about to open! Beautiful combination. I don’t know what a lot of them are! I like your pitcher too.
    mine for this week: Much LESS exotic and rare πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – and in retrospect when I look at it it somehow looks richer and more glowing than when I first put it together- very strange! It is the inula that looks like a sunflower – the flowers are smaller and more daisy like. Can hardly wait to see what is in your vase with that title!! πŸ™‚

  12. Anna says:

    Your vase this week definitely sings of warmth and sunshine Cathy and how lovely to have your very own daylily too. I have filled a little vase today :
    PS I’ve just commented on your last post but it may not be obvious it’s me. Forgot to log out of WordPress again!

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Anna – I was just saying that the vase seems to really ‘glow’ now. sweet peas and roses in yours – how lovely!

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  15. ricki grady says:

    My columbines all flop annoyingly. Do you stake, or just have nearby plants to prop them up? It does make it easier to pick them though. I kind of broke the rules this week, but here it is:

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Ricki – I suppose all of mine are supported by other plants so flopping has not been an issue, except at the edge of a border where the odd stem might sometimes flop. Thanks for joining in, ‘rules’ or no rules!

  16. pbmgarden says:

    Gorgeous Cathy! Apparently I’m not the only person who is just learning about Inula today. Enjoyed reading how you used it as your starting point and made decisions to include each selection in your vase. I’m so excited–lots of vases to catch up reading about today. Mine is here:
    Thanks for hosting. Susie

  17. Cathy says:

    That last photo is lovely Cathy! Really warm colours conjuring up a summer’s evening… in fact we had one of those beautiful evening skies here yesterday! I am now going to search online for some seeds of that stunning aquilegia… Your inula flowers are very nice… we have an inula too, but the flowers always get smothered in black fly and are much smaller than yours. I may be able to find a usable one for next week though. Inspiring as always! Here’s my link for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Cathy! The open flowers of this inula are about 2Β½ ” (6cms) across; Inula hookeri are smaller than this. They are flopping a bit this morning so I need to investigate conditioning them….I had this aquilegia as a plant, but I have some in similar colours as seedlings, grown from seed from Touchwood Aquilegia – red/orange doubles and a mixture called ‘Dragon’s Breath’. Watch out for them flowering next year!

  18. What an explosion of colour! Your hot border must be amazing! The Inula buds are quite fascinating as they are now. I hope your vase lasts well and you get to see them open up. I love the colours of your aquilegia. It caught my eye when you showed the border recently.

  19. croftgarden says:

    Summer fireworks! Not one to be viewed before breakfast. I like the contrasting textures, especially the Thalictrum.

    • Cathy says:

      As it still surprises me to see such a bright vase sitting near me on the kitchen table I think you are probably right! This thalictrum is about 2 feet taller than me so I don’t usually get to see the flowers close up πŸ˜‰

  20. Chloris says:

    I love your sunset colours. The Aquilegia looks rather like Aquilegia formosa which is a great favourite of mine. I am joining in with your in a vase on Monday but bending the rules a bit I’m afraid. Well a lot actually. I have written a couple of posts about vases. But that is as close as it what you ask people to do in this meme. Not actually arranged on Monday, not all from my garden and not all done by me. But on the other hand we have vases. Plenty of vases.

    • Cathy says:

      It was lovely to see all those flowers and I am sure all your readers were thrilled that you shared them with us πŸ™‚ The aquilegia shows no sign of stopping flowering yet!

  21. The bold color and vivid detail is so beautiful. A wonderful inspiration to touch any day.

  22. Lovely, lovely. Thank you.
    We had wild columbines (aquilegia) growing on a hillside at our other place and I concluded that the original columbines must have been orange and yellow, but I don’t know for sure. They really are pretty.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s an interesting thought – I always assumed the wild ones were the purply blue ones as they seem to pop up most often (in the UK anyway) – but perhaps native ones vary depending on their origins. Something to look into perhaps….

  23. bittster says:

    Those colors are great, I love it! The inula buds are my favorite. I have to say I prefer them in the bud stage compared to open. Good job on raising it from seed!

  24. kristin says:

    GORGEOUS!!! The colors are beautiful and the arrangement is stunning!

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