In a Vase on Monday: Jumping the Gun

IMG_3126Although perhaps an autumnal vase as befits today’s seasonal equinox, it was not quite what was originally intended. I have been ‘secretly’ watching the far corner of the cutting beds, where one of last year’s dismal dahlia failures had been unceremoniously shoved on IMG_3130a sink or swim basis – and had surprisingly swum! The first flower took me unawares, hidden as it was behind a bank of frothy cosmos, but it was soon joined by a couple more and lots of buds. Optimistically, but too much so, I cut the buds on Saturday in the hope they would be opening in time for a vase – they tried desperately to do so in the warmth of the kitchen, but today humbly apologised for their failure.

As it didn’t perform last year I cannot vouch for the flowers, but it was supposedly ‘Noordwijks Glorie’, a large orange decorative dahlia (don’t know why I chose that, other than for a location in the hot border) – certainly not whatΒ  these single yellow flowers are! The other possibility is that it is one of my ‘Bishop’s Children’ seedlings, somehow grown bushier and more advanced than the others – whatever it is, the slugs haven’t found it and despite all the buds I cut there will be many more to come. The problem now was what to put in the vase….. Having already considered including 3 precious flowers from ‘Bishop of Llandaff these were now a must, but anything else in these shades came with a short stem and it would be a shame to to cut the dahlias back too much, particularly as I was chuffed to have them in the first place!

IMG_3132Looking for some texture without too much colour I cut some prickly stems of echinops and spent flowers of alchemilla, the latter something I have not used nearly as much in vases as I thought I would. On my way back to the house I chanced a few Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ sprigs, in the hope that they would bridge the shade gap between the two different dahlias. The vase was a clear Caithness glass vase with a couple of subtle swirly stripes in yellow and orange, barely noticeable once the vase was crammed with the unopened dahlia buds too – in retrospect a larger vase might have been better, or the original buds could have been left out.

I remain unsure about the finished vase, partly because not having had the opportunity of using dahlias before it doesn’t yet seem ‘me’, if you can understand that, but every time I sneak a look at it I have a more favourable impression, so in due course it will get the thumbs up! If you would like to have an exciting Monday like other contributors to this meme and enjoy the process of seeking out things from your garden to put, plonk or perfectly place in a vase or other container then you would be most welcome to join us – we have inspired each other and realised how much pleasure there is to be had from bringing the garden inside our houses in this way. Just post your vase with a link to this post, and leave a comment on this post with a link back to yours so we can all have a look and encourage and inspire you to join in regularly.


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40 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Jumping the Gun

  1. Christina says:

    Shame about your Dahlias, they do seem very late. I like the form of the Echinops. Here’s my post: although in a vase isn’t in the title the vase is there I promise.

    • Cathy says:

      At least I have a few dahlia flowers, so that’s an improvement – next year perhaps!! My GBFD will be tomorrow – probably a bit like your title!

  2. This week I used 4 vases to highlight my Seasonal Celebrations wrap-up as we celebrate the equinox so they are pictured throughout the post. We had a cold snap and I had to hurriedly harvest all my marigolds…hence the 4 vases this week.

    I love using spent flowerheads in vases as they make a grand statement and last so long in the arrangement. Not many dahlias bloomed here…your buds will bering continued surprise as they open in the vase.

    Here’s my link…hope you enjoy it:

    • Cathy says:

      I am hoping the buds will still open too, Donna! With the echinops, I hadn’t realised how fragile they were by this stage, and they were beginning to disintegrate as I used them πŸ™‚

  3. I think Dahlias do ok left in the ground as long as they get a really deep mulch to protect them from the worst of the weather. I have picked rather than knicked , my own this week. to take a look see Thanks for hosting

    • Cathy says:

      I am going to grow mine in pots next year so will lift the ones I planted out this year anyway. My B of L has survived a couple of inters but I think I shall still lift him as I want to clear some of the debris from that border.

  4. ‘put, plonk, or perfectly place’ I love it! Hi Cathy! It really is a wonderful way to start the week by seeing what you are going to put together. I love your colours and especially your textures. Not a dahlia type of gal??? It has me smiling, but I don’t know what that means! πŸ˜‰ Here is a link to my “In a Vase on Monday” Have a good week! Dana

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Dana – I just meant that I wasn’t experience in picking and plonking dahlias so it was such a novelty to have them in a vase!! And yes, I do get excited about Mondays and finding flowers to put plonk or place in a vase πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – tangerine dream | Duver Diary

  6. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy, a lovely vaseful and I like where you’ve photographed it.
    There’s something of the autumnal look about my colours too this week:
    Thanks for hosting!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen – in retrospect I wondered if photographing in that spot detracted from the vase, but perhaps it enhances the autumnal feel? Look forward to seeing your tangerine dream – my mind is already putting forward ideas of what there might be….

  7. Kris P says:

    Often as I try to will flowers to bloom on my schedule, it never seems to work – Mother Nature does as she pleases. Perhaps you’ll publish a follow-up photo when the dahlia buds open? My vase this week was designed to reflect the change of seasons: Thanks for hosting, Cathy!

  8. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Lovely vase, and the Dahlias are very nice. If I bother with them, I tend to just buy them that year as they’re too much work and seem to be too temperamental for my liking. Although when they do flower they are very much worth the effort!
    Sadly I don’t have one here, mainly due to the miserable weather for the past week most plants are pretty much finished now and I’m most disappointed. The sun has returned though; sadly a little too late.

    • Cathy says:

      Have you had rain Liz? We could certainly do with it here as it is very dry. Sorry most of your plants have given up for the season. I am determined to succeed with dahlias as others bloggers have done so well with them – so am not giving up yet!

  9. Anna says:

    Oh I like the outdoor setting for your vase Cathy where it blends in so well with the tree trunk. Dahlias can be rather hit or miss at times I think but are worth persisting with. I have a little offering this week but have been slightly naughty as it’s not my own creation :

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I shall persist with the dahlias – I don’t give up easily! It’s often easier to find a spot outside for the photo shoot, as we have quite a cluttered house – but then my vases always sit where I can see them when I am sitting at the kitchen table πŸ˜‰

  10. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Glamour in The Woodland | Peonies & Posies

  11. Julie says:

    Lots of similarities in our vases this week Cathy! I love the autumnal feel of your arrangement this week – I am sure that the more you use dahlias the easier you will find it to incorporate them into arrangements and in turn you will enjoy growing them more! Although my father loved to grow dahlias I was most definitely not a dahlia person until about 5 years ago – now I cannot get enough of them and add new varieties to my growing every year. I have found though that the buds never open once the flower has been cut. It is best to cut them when the flower is fully open but as fresh as possible.

    You can find my contribution at

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your encouragement with the dahlias, Julie – although it would be shame if I have wasted the ones I cut and they don’t open!

  12. Cathy says:

    Love the garden setting for your photo today. It really adds to the autumny effect. The echinops seed head is a great addition. Here’s my vase for today – enjoyed putting it together so much!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – I chose the white echinops, to ensure there was no hint of blue in it. We shall all be looking for alternatives to flowers soon!

  13. Love the way you shot the photo out in the garden. My vase this week is a tiny one for my bathroom sink. Alas, no dahlias in my garden.

  14. pbmgarden says:

    Hi Cathy, great vase and setting this week. Sorry about your uncooperative dahlias, but unopened flowers can be quite an interesting addition to a vase I think. I’ve had a disappointing time with mine this year, the first year I’ve tried them in quite a while. My vase this week is

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – and yes, the dahlia buds looked really nice in the small zinc bucket I had them in for a couple of days, and the stems were curved at different angles – perhaps I should have just had the buds and nothing else, but I suppose I felt a ought to do more. Sorry about your dahlias too!

  15. ricki grady says:

    Dahlias always keep me in suspense: will they or won’t they appear after a harsh winter? This year was a mixed bag, mostly compliments of the gophers. I think you plonked yours quite fetchingly, and I love the setting you chose for photographing.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ricki – it isn’t easy to be objective about my own vases, and I was unsure about the setting. I have decided to grow any dahlias in pots next year – and keep them away from slugs until they are strong enough to survive them!

  16. I really like the setting you chose for your vase this week, Cathy, and the Dahlias are beautiful! Here’s my offering this week.

  17. It looks great to me, Cathy! And so well considered! I do like using Echinops, in and out of flower, in vases – they have such a strong shape! I have found, though, with my last vase, they have a tendency to shed. No matter! Now, spent Alchemilla is something I wouldn’t have considered – till now. It works just as well as in full flower. Lovely dahlias – must consider them myself for next year.

  18. bittster says:

    Nice job, glad to hear the dahlia is making a go at it! I like the look of the Bishop in front of the stump and ivy. It all really has an autumnal feel to it.

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