In a Vase on Monday: All Things Bright and Beautiful

IMG_3166I have been itching to include Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’ and Tithonia rotundifolia ‘Torch’ in a vase, ever since they showed their first hint of colour at the beginning 0f September. Finding two new flowers on the dwarf sunflower ‘Topolino’ decided it for me, and I snipped off the only two zinnia flowers (one having been open practically all month) so far, and three tithonia blooms that wouldn’t waste too many later buds by being picked. Bright and beautiful as they were, I looked around for any complementary extras – and picked more sedum, plain dark pink cosmos (a stray amidst the candy stripes), subtly striped French marigold, hips of ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’ and some honeysuckle berries.

Finding a suitable container was difficult as I envisaged something fairly short but wide necked – and not a jug for once. Failing this, and casting my eyes over our vintage and IMG_3170dusty kitchenalia I happened on a 1930 or 4os jam pot, globular with a frosted green band round its girth and complete with matching plastic lid and spoon, which would do the trick. A pin holder kept the stems in place, but I stopped short at the cosmos, marigold and hips once I realised that the others could hold their own as they were. These ‘rejects’ were cut short and popped in a little crocus vase and can go in the bathroom.

Having borrowed the jam pot from a dusty shelf on the ‘dresser’ in our kitchen, I decided to use this location for the main photograph, trying both with and without flash – the former washed out some of the colours and also highlighted the dust so unsurprisingly the latter was used. In the absence of other great and small creatures the props are all chickens (of which I have a large ‘collection’) – and looking at the first photograph now, I can see that from that angle it only shows just a mere glimpse of the tithonia. The view from above shows the solidness of that deep orange flower head more clearly:

IMG_3168Like several other bloggers, I get perhaps unreasonably excited about putting together my Monday vase, such is the enthusiasm the meme has generated in us. If you would like to be similarly (maybe!) excited, find something from your own garden or thereabouts, pop it in a container of some sortΒ  and enjoy it for as long as it lasts. If you would like others to see what you have found, write a post with a link to this post, and leave a link back to yours in a comment. If you haven’t any flowers to pick, then think ‘out of the box’ – it’s actively encouraged!


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60 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: All Things Bright and Beautiful

  1. What a bright and cheery vase, there, Cathy! Sorry, two vases! The colours are jewel-like. I’ve recently put together a vase and included some berries and hips, to great effect. Then, while walking around the estate, I realised I had overlooked the honeysuckle berries, so they’re on the list for the next display. They look so good! (Reassuring that you, too, have a dusty kitchen shelf! I love the paraphernalia!)

  2. Cathy I adore the vases and especially the main one from the front and top…oh it is a perfect end of summer, beginning of fall vase with those very bright, bold colors…it is continuing to make me smile and I have to remember berries for one of my vases. I have so many spent blooms, grasses, other foliage and berries that the vases seem endless in my mind.

    I included my vases in my harvest post…and I used some sedum too

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – and it does seem a bonus to have these bright colours now, although I would rather the tithonia and zinnia had started flowering earlier! Didn’t expect any more flowers on these sunflowers, either πŸ™‚

  3. SO beautiful!
    We were in London and Brighton last week and I was practically teary eyed over all the gorgeous blooming plants. The flowers and various cottage/country gardens are truly spectacular. Can’t wait to revisit for a longer period of time!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I’m going to try to remember to have some sunflowers in the yard next year! They are just perfect this time of year. Here’s my second edition for In a Vase – it’s all about dahlias. Have a good day!

    • Cathy says:

      It’s the first time I have had proper success with sunflowers, so there is no holding me back now! Look forward to seeing your dahlias!

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Mother’s Day Harvesting | garden4therapy

  6. Annette says:

    Glorious, Cathy, late summer splendour that is!

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  8. Wow you have some wonderful colour blooms. What would we do without dahlias at this time of the year. This is my contribution:

    • Cathy says:

      Hopefully next year I will have more success with dahlias, but to a degree the contents of today’s vase make up for their relative absence πŸ˜‰

  9. I love the bright, cheerful color combination…What a great way to start Monday.

  10. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – White froth | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  11. Christina says:

    Love the colour of the Zinnia, looks to me like ‘Purple Prince’ would have been a great addition to my vase this week too.

    • Cathy says:

      It is a great colour, isn’t it – and almost a month for a bloom too! Definitely worth having, I think. Wonder what froth you have today…..

  12. As much as I like your wonderful grouping of green containers and chickens, the shots from above are fascinating in how different the feeling is from the first picture. Mine this week uses a favorite vase but it’s barely visible. Have to work on that next time.

  13. That ‘Purple Prince’ is a beauty!

  14. Anna says:

    What brilliant zinging colour Cathy from both vases. Hard to believe that one of your containers was a jam jar in a former life – it looks much too glamorous for that. My little vase is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Well, the sort of jam pot you would decant into from your jar, rather than a jam jar itself. I am thrilled to have at least a little bit of zing – hopefully there will be more next year!

  15. Chloris says:

    Lovely zingy colours. I love that Zinnia. I am going to try growing them next year. Tithonias are just delightful. What an amazing colour, ‘The Torch’ is a good name for them.

    • Cathy says:

      The zinnia is from a second sowing – the first ones germinated but then failed to thrive due to the compost issue. These were sown at the end of May, so three till flowering isn’t too bad really…. Same with the tithonia – good germination rates for both of these (but not so for a green zinnia)

  16. Kris P says:

    It’s a very happy bouquet and I love the little assemblage at the top of the post. My vase this week is quite bright as well: . Thanks for hosting, Cathy!

  17. Hi Cathy! Your second to last photo really, really captures all of those beautiful blooms! So lovely to see. And so good to hear that others have dusty items in their houses too… I smiled when you wrote “excited” and wondered if you were thinking of me? πŸ˜‰ Thank you, as always, for hosting! Here is my link: Have a good week! (I say this because I am finding it increasingly difficult to visit blogs during the week. I do wish I had about 5 additional hours in every single day!) Dana

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dana – the meme has captured the imagination of lots of us in a way we could not have envisaged when we started. Glad you have caught the bug too! I posted daily for 2 years but then had to deliberately cut it down as once you become part of the wider garden blogging community you could easily spend all day reading or writing blogs and comments and never do any gardening!

  18. Oh, that is bright and beautiful, and I love the jam pot! I am guilty of cropping little messes out of my pictures all the time, so I can relate to choosing the picture that doesn’t highlight the dust! I’ll have to consider ‘Purple Prince’ as one of my zinnia choices next year; it’s a beauty!

    Here’s the link to my vase this week. More Cosmos, if you can stand it!

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  20. ricki grady says:

    I’m reminded how important props are in setting up shots. Your first photo is charming. Following up with a shot from above helps to get the overall picture of what we are looking at. The bright colors lift my spirits. My vase is almost the opposite:

    • Cathy says:

      I have just rescued this and your link from spam, Ricki – can’t imagine what the spam filter didn’t like! Thanks for your comments – I find the shots from above help show some of the other flowers better, so I do try to include them. In the early vases, the props were added originally as the vases were quite minimal because the meme started in November, but once there was more plant material to choose from I often forgot about including any props. Off for a belated look at your vase now!

  21. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Windfalls & Mint | Peonies & Posies

  22. Julie says:

    Your vase is beautiful this week (as always!). I love the colour combinations and am jealous that you got to zinnia Purple Prince before me. Mine are looking lovely but will have to wait for another week.

    You can find my contribution at:

    • Cathy says:

      They are the only two zinnia flowers so far, Julie, but there are buds on other plants although I would hope these might still branch a little, as the tithonia are doing – I am really pleased to have achieved flowers from both of these, despite the lateness of the season πŸ™‚

  23. Cathy says:

    That is a really sunny and happy combination, and the Tithonia looks lovely with the sunflowers. I am going to try growing it next year. Did you grow it from seed? Any tips welcome! Love the props in your first photo too Cathy. πŸ™‚
    Here’s my vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Both tithonia and zinnia germinated very readily – as I mentioned in another comment I had to sow a second batch as the first failed to thrive because of the compost. Both are meant to flower over a long period too. Thanks for your kind comments – it is good to use bits from various ‘collections’ as they tend to get forgotten about as I don’t actively collect these days

  24. pbmgarden says:

    Hi Cathy, I love that first photo showing off the zinnia and the sunflower. ‘Purple Prince’ has a nice color. Tithonia is something I’ve only learned about this summer and I do admire the strong color. Looks like lots of participants prepared vases this week. I’m off the see them all. My contribution is
    Thanks for hosting!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I think this might be a record Monday for vases – isn’t it great how we have all encouraged and supported each other? I only learned about tithonia last autumn when it was recommended to me for its colour, and I would certainly recommend it too – even though I forgot to pinch them out it looks as if each plant will produce several flowers.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cathy, it’s not often that dust can be seen to be an advantage but this time it is. Your vase looks absolutely splendid, a ray of sunshine, on that shelf. The zingy combination of the sunflowers, tithonia (one I will have to look up) and zinnias is fabulous and I love the honeysuckle berries. I’ve been checking up on zinnias, wondering why we don’t seem to grow them in Scotland, and find that our cold, wet climate here on the west coast doesn’t make the for the best conditions for zinnias. I think I may try to grow them in the cold frame next year. Here’s the link to my vase today:

    • Cathy says:

      We have a lot of ‘things’ (collections?) in our house Elizabeth, so finding a location with enough light for photographing is not easy and is why I often take the pictures outside – but I am glad I used the shelves for the backdrop of the first picture, dust or not, as I agree it does look effective! I tried zinnias last year, but without success – did we have a wet summer? I seem to have erased it from my memory! I will be interested to see how you get on with them in your cold frame

  26. Dorothy says:

    What a perfect container for your arrangement! I love the bright colors of the zinnias and sunflowers. I’m not familiar with Tithonia but it adds the perfect touch. I planted ‘Purple Prince’ zinnias last year and wish I had planted them this year!

  27. bittster says:

    Love the honeysuckle berries in there, it goes so well with the other bright and fresh colors… and of course perfect accessorizing!

  28. Helene says:

    Hello Cathy, this is my first entry on your meme, I have included my vase in my β€˜End of Month View’ post. I loved your flowers, the zinnias and sunflowers together really sing of autumn, the Tithonia was new to me, and all together looks like a bunch of jewels, very pretty! I absolutely love sunflowers and I have them in my vase this week too.

    • Cathy says:

      Welcome Helene – I was so pleased to have got these plants to flowering stage I couldn’t wait any longer to put them in a vase! Off to look at your sunflowers now!

  29. That’s a lovely combo Cathy, I am determined to succeed with zinnias – and to grow tithonia – next year. Don’t you just hate it when dust intrudes on a shot?!

  30. Love this. Maybe I will stop being out of sorts with my garden and put something in a vase as a way of reconnecting!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks – it seemed the best way of using these few ‘oddments’ as there is nothing of any quantity in the garden other than cosmos, which is how it’s been all summer really. I loved their brightness amidst the relative drabness! No idea what will be in a vase tomorrow yet – well, I do have a thought…. Perhaps we will see a vase from you too – it really does make you look at the garden in a different way…

  31. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – A Taste of Autumn | Gardening Jules

  32. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy, I hope you doing a In a Vase On Monday today, but the heavy rain is not helpful, we were away last week and have joined in to your last weeks post today with a little windswept vase!

  33. wellywoman says:

    Zinnias are fab and it’s been a great year for them. Wish I’d had the space to grow them this time around. Hopefully they’ll be back on the flower patch next year.

    • Cathy says:

      I tried green ones too, but germination was very poor. Hopefully with a better compost I can have the zinnia and tithonia flowering much earlier next year – both were from a second sowing after they failed to thrive before. The cosmos are brilliant – thanks again for the seed!

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