In a Vase on Monday : Reddy or Not

IMG_2744One of the young buds of sunflower ‘Ruby Eclipse’ (shown in the last post) had a longer stem than most of its neighbours, but was clearly not going to have opened by today so, ‘reddy or not’ here it still comes to a vase on Monday.

IMG_2746Having lodged in my head at the same time as the sunflower bud, the title focussed my attention on reddish accompaniments which in practice far eclipse the potential impact of the sunflower. Climbing rose ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’ has gone up in my estimation once I noticed how consistently it flowered and got over my inbred reservations about ‘single’ roses – the last time I used it in vase the flowers lasted really well too. The only problem now is that giving it some TLC last year, pruning and tying it in, has meant an upsurge in growth and a long stretch to cut the flowers! Also from the hot border were cut second flush Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ and newly flowering Crocosmia ‘Constance’.

IMG_2745I returned to the cutting beds and decided on impulse to include the few scarlet flowers of Zinnia peruviana from the single plant I had grown from RHS seed – the zinnia wasn’t quite what I was expecting and the flowers are tiny, less than an inch across, but – hey ho! – they look pretty in the vase. They were joined by Persicaria ‘Firetail’, pinker in the flesh than when seen across the woodland edge border, but blending with the pinky red tones of the rose and adding height.

IMG_2747Also picked but not making the final cut were P ‘Red Dragon’ foliage, Uncinia rubra stems, spent flowerheads of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and the arching stems of Fuchsia magellicana, although making my way back to the house I treated the vase to a stem of Sundaville, growing in two pots outside the sitooterie to which they return over winter. Underperforming this year probably through lack of watering , one stem would not go amiss. Finally, a few sprigs of Sweet William were culled from pots outside the kitchen windows.

Envisaging a smallish vase today, it took some time to make a choice – the winner was a vintage Oxo jar, part of a moderately large collection of Oxo bits and bobs. The brand Oxo IMG_2752was first introduced in 1899 and cubes appeared in 1910 to replace the liquid version so the jar dates from somewhere in-between; the empty cardboard cube packets and the tin date from the 20s or 30s and the van is a modern reproduction, as is the ‘enamel’ sign. With the sun emerging and then disappearing in short bursts all morning finding a location to photograph the vase took a little time and the close-ups are still better than the main picture!

This week I have promised myself that I will replace the vase once it is past its best (as I did this last week, replacing it with sweet peas), if only with single blooms like the Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle” that we all like so much and which Ali showed recently in a vase at The Long Garden Path. If you like to challenge yourself to finding something to pop in a container every Monday (or just the occasional one) then do join us – post your vase as usual but add a link to this post and leave a comment here with a link back to yours. The meme is giving so much pleasure so please do come and share in our joy!


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41 Responses to In a Vase on Monday : Reddy or Not

  1. Thank you, Cathy, for the mention. A beautiful vase again – a really vibrant bunch! Love tho oxo collection! Wish us luck in keeping it going! πŸ˜‰

  2. Cathy what a stunning array of reddish blooms all set to accompany the sunflower. I have never heard of Oxo so of course I will be Googling it. Wonderful vintage collection and a splendid vase for your bouquet. I have 2 vases as part of another post showing lots of flowers blooming these days…and I used some sunflowers that were volunteers. They seeded themselves, about 10 of them, from last year’s flowers. Here the link and thanks for hosting:

    • Cathy says:

      I didn’t realise that Oxo might not be recognised outside the UK – essentially it started as a meat extract and was promoted for its nutritional value but developed in time into the range of stock cubes and gravy products that are well known in the UK. Great to be using some self seeders in your vase, Donna – and especially sunflowers. Not sure whether self seeders would survive slugs and snails in the UK πŸ™‚

  3. Annette says:

    I like the way you set the scene for your Monday vases, Cathy, and this one is rather temperamental I daresay. Luvely! Here’s “mine”:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – are you still away from home I wonder? No doubt I will find out in your post πŸ˜‰ Blog readers have found they enjoy the thought process behind vases – it’s another source of inspiration I suppose.

  4. Cathy says:

    I love the colours you’ve chosen this week Cathy, and the props have made me feel nostalgic about British dinners as a child! πŸ˜‰ I’ve got the same Persicaria in my vase this week:
    Thanks and have a good week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – not that you would have had VINTAGE Oxo with your British dinners as a child!! πŸ™‚ What a coincidence that you have used the same persicaria – I had to do a bit of clambering through the border to reach mine!

  5. Kris P says:

    I love the warm colors you’ve chosen this week, Cathy – perhaps they’ll coax the reticent sunflower to join them. Thanks for hosting! Here’s my contribution: (My apologies for the introductory message but I’m on a campaign.)

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Kris, and thanks. I don’t know whether the sunflower will open or not – the leaves drooped within minutes so I cut them off but the bud soon perked up again. I could have added some yellow inula but decided to keep to the orangey pinky red palette. I guess your message is about the unsolicited reblogging….

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  7. Hi again Cathy, thanks for letting me re-submit my contribution:
    I read many of the interesting comments on hydrangeas awhile back and was gratified that some gardeners have returned to the hearty hydrangea. As you see in my one photo, I am nuts for the very deep cerulean blue varieties–I find them elegant in a tall vase. In other blue vases (we had a party once and the florist delivered six gorgeous arrangements all in dark blue glass vases!) I love to put dahlias, which are another favorite. What I love about dahlias–ordinary as they may be–is that they will bloom their hearts out until one frosty day in November at which time they will turn to black rags and be gone. But until then, a dahlia will give you its all. As for hydrangeas, I have all over our property and LOVE the way they change color to deep wine tones as the season changes. As long as one keeps up the Ph they like, that is….

    • Cathy says:

      And I think most bloggers have come to accept that we all have different likes and dislikes, even if we can’t always pinpoint WHY we do or don’t….

  8. Chloris says:

    Lovely rich colours in your vase this week. I don’ t know why I don’ t grow Zinnias, I shall certainly try some next year, they are lovely for picking. I love your Oxo collection, specially the little van.
    I am joining in with your meme this week with a rather autumnal arrangement.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – and I could see this morning how more autumnal arrangements could soon be the plat de jour! Unfortunately the Oxo bits are only a small part of the collection – started when we built our extension and I had an empty kitchen! Re zinnias – I was wowed by some bloggers’ zinnias last year and I do have a few ‘Purple Prince’ that should get to flowering stage – sometime!

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  10. Julie says:

    You have taken me back to my childhood Cathy with your oxo collection. I can remember using the cubes to make a hot drink before I moved on to tea and coffee! Your flowers are lovely – what a stunning selection of hot colours. My zinnias are just starting to flower so should be appearing in some vases soon. They are one of my cutting garden essentials.

    You can find my contribution this week at

    • Cathy says:

      In the early days Oxo was advertised as being beneficial for children when mixed into hot milk – doesn’t appeal to me at all! Interesting to read that your zinnias are about to flower as the few I have are in bud but I assumed they were late as there were some flowering in a village open garden nearly a month ago – that’s reassuring! Have you grown them regularly?

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  12. pbmgarden says:

    I like your red theme today. Especially I’m fond of sweet william and zinnias. Hope to join in again next week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for still dropping in. The sweet williams were supermarket plants but I have just bought some seed to autumn sow – not something I have grown from seed before. See you next week!

  13. bittster says:

    Nice colors! You called your border hot again, are you still planning to make it bold? These would be the colors I would imagine for a bold border, is that what you’re envisioning?
    I gave the vase a try this week, let me know what you think!

    • Cathy says:

      Oops, slip of the tongue with the ‘hot’ border – well spotted! I am trying hard to embolden it but the original hot occupants are putting up a fight! Just popping over to look at your vase now – I am pleased we have encouraged you to join in πŸ˜‰

  14. Christina says:

    Love the hot colours of your vase today, Cathy. Sorry no vase from me this week as I’m not at home. I look forward to joining in next week.

    • Cathy says:

      Glad you’re OK and just away from home, as I realised you had not posted and you are always the first! Hope you are having a pleasant time, wherever you are.

  15. AnnetteM says:

    Another great combo of vase, props and title, Cathy!
    Here is mine…..

  16. Anna says:

    A most apt title for your post Cathy. For many years we had a little Oxo tin which we used to hold various medicinal compounds until it got badly dented and then the lid went missing 😦 The cubes look vintage too.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – I am sure many people have got old Oxo tins tucked away, and many of the ones I have bought (I don’t add to the collection any more) have got pins or buttons or other bits and bobs in them. The little boxes were indeed vintage – but empty – although I do have some that still have 60 or 70 year old cubes in them…. πŸ˜‰

  17. Elizabeth W says:

    Hi Cathy, I wasn’t able to join in this week because the tail end of Hurricane Bertha hit us here on Saturday and the garden took a lashing. The damage is heartbreaking πŸ™‚ The rain has stopped today so just as soon as the wind dies down, and the sun stays out for longer than 10 minutes, I’ll be out there with gardening gloves on and the secateurs out to sort out the mess that Bertha has left in her trail. However, I just had to pop over and see your vase, and I am so glad I did – what a beautiful arrangement, love the combination of flowers and colours – and how nice to be reminded of Oxo Cubes πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Elizabeth, I am so sorry that Bertha affected you in the way it did – it was so localised that it hard to know what to expect. We had very little wind and an inch of steady rain but no damage at all – is there any lasting damage in your garden? I do so hope you have not lost anything precious….

      • Elizabeth W says:

        Hi Cathy, thanks for your concern for my garden. I’ve been out and examined the damage and I’m glad to say that with a bit of judicious chopping and pruning I think that the damaged plants will recover. I’m pleased to report that nothing precious has been lost. Even the high fence has stood up to the winds and that we did not expect. We have lost a few lettuce but I can live with that.

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  19. Hi Cathy, I found you through another Cathy (Words and Herbs) and I’m delighted to join in on In a Vase on Monday! I’ve included a link to this page in my post. Here is my link:
    Thanks so much for hosting! Dana

  20. Hi again Cathy, What a fantastic variety of flowers you have! My garden is slowly but surely growing and expanding, but not quite there just yet. It is lovely to see the different flowers from other people’s gardens to get more ideas. Now to have a look at some of the other vases! Dana

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