In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Edge Technology

IMG_2602In truth, the only technology involved was the mechanics of the secateurs as today’s textural treats were snipped from the cutting beds!

IMG_2598Having been determined to stick to contributions purely from these beds today, I ignored the call of those lofty lilies which will have to wait their turn and risk having strutted their stuff too early if they want a turn in a Monday vase. As only token cuttings have been made so far it was about time they achieved their true purpose, so we have: orlaya, Ammi majus flowers and seedheads, Briza maxima, poppy seedheads, nigella flowers and seedheads and Dianthus ‘Green Trick’. I had intended to include Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’ but there were only 3 partially open flowers, all on quite short stems, and they quickly drooped although will no doubt perk up later – but the vase certainly looks better without them.

IMG_2600The Ammi majus flowers also look less happy when cut although the seedheads stand up for themselves, but the orlaya adds both texture and movement as does the briza and look set to be great additions to future vases. The nigella flower with its feathery sepals demands to be touched and its seedhead is no less desirable, and whilst the dianthus is equally tactile the one head and small apology for a head at the front of the vase from the three plants I had from Sarah Raven shows they are not yet very productive. The seedheads of Papaver ‘Black Peony’ are another story of mixed success – lovely dark flowers, although not as double and ruffled and peony like as the seed packet suggested, but each flower has lasted barely a day and there was never more than one open at a time so they will never be contenders for a vase in this form, more’s the pity. Still, the seedheads are pretty!

Ideally I would have liked a smaller vase for today as the stems were fairly short, but having decided it needed a solid colour this was the smallest green vase that would hold this quantity of stems. Realising it also required a non-busy background to set off the different shapes the photos were taken in our downstairs spare bedroom, where the discreet blue pattern on the wallpaper could have taken a blue instead of green vase, but I wasn’t going to change it at that stage.

Quite a ‘plonked’ vase today, but I particularly like the tactile quality – and it was completely different from last week’s which I was able to enjoy for several days, particularly with the hemerocallis opening up a new bud every day and the crocosmia, even when the petals dropped, maintaining its stature all week like a heavily lacquered hairdo. Who knows what next week will bring – or what other contributors will have in their vases today? If you would like to join in, post your vases or containers of self-picked material (keep an open mind) and link it to this post, with a link from this post back to yours so we can see what will be giving you pleasure this week.




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37 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Edge Technology

  1. Christina says:

    This is very elegant Cathy, it doesn’t look plonked at all. Love the seed heads used with the flowers and the movement from the Briza. Here’s my contribution this week, it is quite different from my usual style I think.

    • Cathy says:

      You are right – arranged in haste was more like it, as I definitely moved the odd stem around and retrimmed till I was happier with the effect πŸ˜‰ . I didn’t expect the movement from the orlaya too – I really like it. Look forward to your different style – it’s good to challenge oneself, isn’t it?

  2. Lovely textures and blooms Cathy…flowers I do not grow but intrigue me so I may have to look into trying a few next year. I picked flowers that were volunteering around the garden…hope you like my contribution as it is a bit wild:

    • Cathy says:

      The seedheads are a real bonus Donna, and I think I shall be highly recommending the orlaya, which I believe will self-seed too. I like the idea of a wilder contribution – it reminds everyone that our vases don’t need to be prim and proper πŸ˜‰

  3. pbmgarden says:

    I agree with Christina this doesn’t look plonked at all. Beautiful flowers and seed heads add interest. I like your white and green theme as well. Mine reflects the same colors as yours today:

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose the ‘plonking’ is all relative…. it didn’t take long, anyway! I am glad I took the cosmos out – and they are now perky in a little vase of their own! A vase in a table…?

  4. Anna says:

    Now that’s one of my favourite vases of yours Cathy. Light, airy, different textures and shimmery. Having grown both the ammi and orlaya I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer the latter.

    • Cathy says:

      I’d be happier if it was a smaller vase that things were in,but apart from that I like it too! I am waiting to see how my Ammi visnaga does, but I am not sure if I will grow A majus again although the flowers do look pretty on the plant…

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  6. Kris P says:

    Every time I see Orlaya in photos I think I should try it in my garden – next year perhaps. The Nigella you used also seems to be a nice clear white, unlike the ‘African Bride’ I’ve grown – do you know the variety? My bouquet this week is a mix of yellow and burgundy:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes I have seen photos of African Bride. This nigella was RHS seed (just labelled as N damascens) and I didn’t know what colour to expect but I am pleased that it is pure white – very pretty and perhaps I can save some seed…. I have also grown ‘Delft Blue’ but it’s not flowering yet

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  8. Hi! I found your blog through Gwirrel’s Garden and joined in your In a Vase on Monday. I love your “plonked” vase and the use of the seed heads. This is my bouquet

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Ronnie – thanks for dropping by and joining in. WE are learning a lot from each other as the weeks and months go by with this meme!

  9. That’s so beautiful, Cathy! So cool and fresh! I do love green and white together – especially in a green vase! I’ve been dying to see the Ammi and Orlaya you’ve grown from seed. I fancy giving them a go next year. And the nigella too – love it! From what you’ve written, it sounds like Orlaya performs better as a cut flower. I’ve made notes! πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      It’s good to share experiences – people seem to be saying orlaya is a better bet. Ammi majus started flowering a few weeks earlier and is indeed a pretty flower – which insects like too, although they also like the orlaya. I have to count the number in a 5 min period on 3 occasions for the Which? Gardening trial

  10. Cathy says:

    Light and summery! I think it’s lovely Cathy and doesn’t look at all like a plonked vase. You’ve got lots of nice textures in there. I’ve tried growing Orlaya but I think the slugs had it, so am quite envious! I am also a great fan of Nigella, both the seedheads and the flowers. Here’s my post for this week:
    Thanks Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Both the orlaya and ammi were from late April sowings and were successful right from the start – may not be so another year though! I had forgotten just how pretty the nigella seedpods were – I love them! My mind is boggling about your sand…

  11. Elizabeth W says:

    Hi Cathy, your vase is beautiful and so very different from mine. I love the freshness of the green and white colour combination. I don’t have any ornamental grasses in my garden but I can see that I will have to remedy that as soon as possible. Here’s my post for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      The briza is an annual grass which has been recommended for cutting but I have seen lots of perennial grasses on other blogs which I would like to add to the garden in due course. Looking at the vase now it has almost a green gingham look to it, if you see what I mean!

      • Elizabeth W says:

        I agree, it does have the look of green gingham about it. I’ve noted the orlaya, ammi majus and the briza – I can see them being a very useful addition to my garden. In the meantime I purchased a gypsophila plant yesterday. Together with the recently acquired Thalictrum ‘Splendide’, also white flowered, it will be useful for flower arranging … not that I can claim to arrange flowers – I’m definitely a plonker πŸ™‚

  12. Chloris says:

    I love the combination of green and white flowers. Love the Nigella and the Briza is lovely too, I must grow some next year. Gorgeous for flower arrangements.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris. The nigella was RHS seed and I love the purity of the white – when is it best to collect the seeds of these, as I would love to have them again?

  13. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Loving your large quaking grass seed head – mine are much smaller and have long since turned brown after blooming quite a while ago. I think I’ll have to get both to extend the interest and foliage in vases.

    I really miss Ammi; a must-have for any vases. And really wish I’d sown some seed this year… Definitely will in future. And of course, some Angelica, fennel and maybe even cow parsley.

    • Cathy says:

      I thought my briza was going to be over quickly too but it has put on another spurt and grown taller with it too – not grown it before so didn’t know what to expect.

  14. kristin says:

    I’m a day late. Our darn internet had the case of the Mondays yesterday. I love the different textures you used. I especially like how you used ammi majus flowers! The arrangement looks so light and airy — perfect for summer!

    Here is my arrangement!

    Have a beautiful week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kristin – it was a happy coincidence that there was texture and movement in several of the plants and I certainly hadn’t noticed how the orlaya nodded until I cut it.

  15. I really love that vase Cathy, very pretty indeed. Very interesting to read about your experiences with the dianthus and papaver – and I find the same with ammi in a vase. My own entry doubles up as a celebration of foliage, but as some of the foliage came from you hopefully you will forgive me! Yes, pick yourself up off the floor, I am joining in again, two weeks in a row. I think it is a record…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Janet, and hurrah (that your little plants survived and you can spare foliage)! I should perhaps have pinched the dianthus out – the plants are very leggy, and I need to take cuttings if I want to try and keep them for next year.

  16. I really love this mix. Almost like a bunch of wild flowers picked by a child, Charming and understated. And yet lots of work gone into raising it all from seed. Well it looks fab and work has paid off. D

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dorris, and back home after several days away it still looks good in a different way – I have moved it into a dry vase to see how the seedheads dry out. And today we dDO have a bunch of wild flowers picked by a …um…..well….. by me, anyhow πŸ™‚

  17. bittster says:

    What a cool mixture of textures, I think it shows up best in the last photo, all I thought at first was nice mix of whites and greens…. then I saw the last picture!

  18. croftgarden says:

    This is lovely, definitely one of your best.

    • Cathy says:

      Thought I had replied… was just saying the plants were the real stars so I couldn’t really go wrong πŸ˜‰

  19. Christina says:

    It was useful reading this again and your comment about the Ammi. Thanks for the link.

    • Cathy says:

      You are very welcome, Christina – I had completely forgotten about that vase and how pretty it was but I knew I had used ammi in one of them πŸ˜‰

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