In a Vase on Monday: The Joys of Autumn

IMG_3277Some of the contents for this vase were mentally chosen after photographing blooms for Garden Bloggers Blooms Day, in particular its focus, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. This is one of the plants that has come with me from at least one and possibly two previous gardens, not because it was particularly precious but more the opposite – it was probably one of my earliest purchases at a time when garden centres carried a limited stock and my knowledge of perennial plants was equally limited. These days it is ubiquitous and even, dare I say it, ‘common’, and with my hugely expanded plant knowledge I have many times considered removing it in favour of something more ‘interesting’. This would be unfair (as I was reminded on GBBD) because it really does live up to its name, bringing joy not only in autumn but beyond, its lingering architectural flowers making a useful contribution to the structure of the garden or a vase for many months.

AutumnJoy.2It wasn’t till I photographed the  finished vase that I realised quite how autumnal the contents were, with the vase merging (above) into the leafy background both in the woodland and on the cobbled circle under the Amelanchier lamarckii. Against the background of the wall close to the woodland edge border the contents become a little more discernable, and although chosen deliberately for their current impact in the garden, the overall autumnal impact was largely serendipitous!

Joining the sedum were seedheads of Ammi visnaga, curiously curling upwards into a cup shape as they approach maturity, Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ and hips from climbing rose ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’. The vintage jug is one of the items of  kitchenalia that fills various shelves and a dresser in the kitchen, and surprisingly I have not ever considered it (or the neighbouring jugs hanging from the same shelf) as a vase until today. It is such a useful shape and colour and has an identical but larger brother which now may also make an appearance one of these days.

IMG_3274This vase just fell into place but I have to confess it was another one that was made earlier, and when it is posted we will be visiting Elder Daughter and The Poppet. Having posted a vase every Monday for 49 weeks it is too ingrained in me to miss a week, whether I was hosting the meme or not – and fortuitously, whilst checking this figure, I realised my second ever vase contained both the sedum and persicaria, and of course had used the draft title of today’s post, hence a last minute change! If you would like to join the challenge, just find something from your own garden to bring inside and enjoy it close at hand, posting the result and appropriate two-way links if you would like to share it.

Autumn Joy.1

This entry was posted in Being Creative, Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: The Joys of Autumn

  1. Annette says:

    what a joy indeed! the dragon and hips are a very artful addition – have a great week and good luck with the bulb planting – mine sat there for weeks but it’s almost done 😉

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – bulb planting needs to be a priority now, I think! And now I am at home again I am pleased with how well the Dragon has lasted – I conditioned the stems in boiling water this time.

  2. AnnetteM says:

    Love the setting of the vase against the brick wall.

  3. Anna says:

    I like the underneaths of this arrangement almost as much as the contents Cathy. So called “common” plants are usually good doers, easy to care for as well as pest free and have been labeled as such for most excellent reasons. I think that ‘Autumn Joy’ is cheerful, colourful and interesting. Exactly the sort of plant you need for the season. Hope that you are enjoying your visit.

    • Cathy says:

      Short and sweet visit, thank you Anna. Yes, I am glad I decided that AJ can stay – I don’t really have any objections to it and I am creating extra space for newbies anyway!

  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – sunset! | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  5. Christina says:

    Autumn joy! Not common at all when it does such a sterling job in the autumn garden. Have fun with the poppet! Here’s my post At least I used some different flowers this week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – I do agree that it is a stalwart, even if there are lots of other plants I haven’t got (which there always will be of course!). I had a quick ramble round the garden when we got back today before it got dark, and am already thinking about what I shall do in it tomorrow…;)

  6. Cathy what a lovely autumn vase, and the jug does complement it as that bright green of the jug picks up the bright green foliage of the sedum and the seedhead. I almost couldn’t see the arrangement because the autumn colors blended so well with your autumn garden.

    I too was seeing autumn colors right now but less colorful as my vase is one that is from a fading garden and fading fast. 49 weeks is amazing for making vases. I doubt with the snow I could go that long but who knows. I am up for the challenge of how long I can make a vase….so here we go with this week’s entry:

    • I am not sure how to ‘Like’ your post so I hope this gets to you. The sunrise photo is just delightful.D

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – I am pleased to have ‘rediscovered’ the vase as it is a useful size and colour. We are well and truly into autumn here now, although it is far too mild for late October and we are probably being lulled into a false sense of security!

  7. Cathy your vase is a joy, an Autumn Joy! I especially like the leaves around the base. My vase this week is very different.

  8. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: a Tropical Touch | Words and Herbs

  9. Everything you said about Autumn Joy is true for many of us. It is such a workhorse that I can’t imagine the garden without it, even though we’ve all matured as gardeners well beyond it. I am impressed with your 49 weeks!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and I can’t believe I thought about taking it out! I am amazed at the 49 weeks so far – and a teeny bit impressed, I have to admit! 🙂

  10. Cathy says:

    That’s so lovely – really sums up the season so well! I love sedums and don’t care how common they are! I will always grow them for their year-round interest. And for the bees! The Ammi seed heads are lovely, reminding me of Queen Anne’s Lace.
    Here’s my not-so-seasonal vase for this week:
    Have a great week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – and the vase looks just as fresh now we are back home, even the persicaria. I am intrigued by the tropical hint of your title….

  11. Veronica Roth says:

    That’s lovely. 😀 I’m running thru my garden collecting the last few flowers myself. Still have dahlias, chocolate cosmos and asters in the garden. So lucky, aren’t we?

    • Cathy says:

      Oh yes indeed Veronica – and putting a vase together like this makes you appreciate some things in a different way, like the sedum!

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: A Bit of Everything | Cosmos and Cleome

  13. That is the very essence of autumn, and in such a lovely little jug! Wow, 49 consecutive weeks? That’s awesome! Here are my vases, full of flowers plucked last night anticipating a frost that did not come:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kimberley – and after this mild autumn we too are going to be taken by surprise by a frost one of these days! Hard to believe it’s nearly a year of vases!

  14. jenhumm116 says:

    A lovely joyful vase, and I think it worked really well photographing it in the garden.
    I struggled a bit with the light in my photographs this week, so the main photo isn’t too crisp, but you’ll get the idea!

    • Cathy says:

      The light has been a real issue with me too on some vases, Jenny – at least that isn’t usually a problem taking the pictures outside. I am trying to make time to experiment with my camera as it is far more versatile than I have allowed it to be so far! Your nose twist sounds intriguing – my sort of title!

  15. How wonderful to have enough variety in the garden to have a vase each week! My shady garden doesn’t afford such abundance, but I’ve given it a go this week at

    • Cathy says:

      It has meant thinking out of the box sometimes, particularly starting in a UK November – but that’s what makes it such fun!

  16. johnvic8 says:

    Cathy, I love the way you have captured the essence of autumn. Thanks again for starting this great idea. My choices are dwindling with the fall, but am happy to share. You may find my vase this week at:

  17. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Fragrant Green Manure | Gardening Jules

  18. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy, I hope you have a lovely visit today, I wish I grew more sedums here they are a joy and I am going to rectify that next year. Amni visagne is new to me, the flower head is so interesting, was it easy to grow? Here is my fragrant manure vase today!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – yes good to see ED & TP! The ammi grew easily from seed and I am trying some autumn sowing this year too to extend the season. I have recently bought another sedum with very dark leaves, Jose Aubergine, that I sourced after admiring it at Waterperry – too little for any pickings yet! Meanwhile I am off to investigate your curious sounding vase!

      • Julie says:

        I have Jose Aubergine in my garden, which I bought with my daughter in mind as she is a Josie. It needs a little more love than tough as old boots Autumn Joy, but is very worth growing, a beautiful deep very aubergine colour.

        • Cathy says:

          There were some lovely big clumps at Waterperry – hadn’t occurred to me that it would be anything other than tough as old boots though…

          • Julie says:

            I have found she is happier in a decent loam rather than my naturally very sandy soil, I expect Waterperry has much better soil than me.

  19. Kris P says:

    Love the setting and the Sedum. I’ve been on the look for ‘Autumn Joy’ but have yet to find it locally. I’d also describe my vase as inspired by autumn but autumn in California and autumn in the UK are clearly very different things:

    Thanks, as always, for hosting Cathy. I’m a little late in posting today for reasons described in my post.

  20. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – A Floral Tapestry | Peonies & Posies

  21. Julie says:

    It is amazing to think that you have been posting a vase a week now for 49 weeks Cathy – it is very nearly time for a birthday!! I must have joined you very soon after you started – I need to have a look back and check – I have missed a few along the way though. This weeks vase is looking very autumnal – I do love the jug you have chosen! I hope you are having a lovely break and enjoying The Poppet!

    My contribution this week can be found at

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie. You were certainly one of the very first contributors so you won’t be very far behind! When I skimmed through my previous ones there were lots I had completely forgotten about – including the previous Autumn Joy vase!

  22. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday (night): Allium | Mom in the Garden

  23. Hi Cathy, I have to confess that I smiled while reading your post and I also felt embarrassed! I haven’t thought of Autumn Joy as common, which is why I felt embarrassed. I’ve been gardening for a few years but I still have SO much to learn! Amni visagne is new to me and I love it! I hope you are having fun visiting! Here is the link to my vase:

    Thanks Cathy! Dana

    • Cathy says:

      Oh please don’t be embarrassed Dana – I think all of us bloggers respect each other’s knowledge or lack of knowledge as we have a common interest. We are all learning from and supporting each other too

  24. pbmgarden says:

    Your vase and staging capture autumn very well. I love your use of the rose hips in this arrangement. Autumn Joy may be ubiquitous but for good reason–it is lovely and long-lasting. I had a hard time finding enough minutes today to get a vase ready, but here it is finally. I enjoy it so much I was motivated to work on it a little bit at a time all day. Thanks for hosting Cathy!

  25. bittster says:

    I really made an effort to get in another vase this year, here it is:
    Hope you’re enjoying your visit and thanks for hosting!
    I love the curled up seed heads of the amni, and I never think of sedum as common. Maybe commonly used, but for months I admire the fat green flower buds, the watermelon shades of the opening blooms, and then the darker russets when the flowers fade. I wish more of my other plants were as reliable!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes you are quite right, Frank – good job I wasn’t rash enough to remove it on the spur of the moment. I should never have doubted its credentials!

  26. A lovely feast of warm colours there, Cathy. I know what you mean about sedum. It may be commonplace, but it contributes so much to a garden, with its flat flower heads, especially at this time of year. And useful in vases to boot! I love the Ammi! They have fascinated me for years, since I first saw them abroad, and the way the fading flowers close in. I found out an interesting fact about this plant, which I plan to mention in my next post. I might give them a go myself, next year.

    • Cathy says:

      Ooh – I shall be interested to read your ‘fact’ so shall resist the temptation to Google in advance! The flowers have closed in even further now – and I am certainly wondering whether they will hold their shape as they dry out. The A majus dropped all their petals and there are no seedheads (must have formed seeds at some stage though…) and I definitely prefer A visnagi

  27. Chloris says:

    Well, 49 weeks. That is an achievement. But I know you love doing it. You seem to have an inexhaustible supply of lovely vases and jugs. I would never call Sedum Autumn Joy common. It is so useful at this time of the year. It is so effective in your arrangement.
    And how is your dear little Poppet?

  28. rickii says:

    I would love to see some photos of your extensive vase (and near-vase) collection one of these days. Kudos for posting EVERY Monday. I can’t seem to get it together that often, much as I am enjoying this process. I’m wishing I’d had my camera with me at the Hardy Plant Society annual meeting on Sunday. The bouquet on stage was huge and spectacular, and I would love to be able to show it to you. I’ll lift some of the ideas to put something together next week. Your collection of unexpected materials in that perfect little pitcher is charming as all get-out.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Rickii. Many of the things I have used are just part of general kitchenalia, bought for display, but I have acquired several cheap and useful ‘real’ vases at car boot sales, some of which have yet to be used! Perhaps I will try and show them all sometime – or set myself the challenge to use every single one….on second thoughts…. no!

Comments are closed.