In a Vase on Monday: Call the Fire Brigade!

IMG_5272Despite not as much red as I had anticipated, today’s vase still has a fiery edge to it although maybe still not enough to necessitate calling the fire brigade. Although still containing yellows, it is far removed from last week’s softer colours so hopefully won’t be considered repetitive.

The main focus is inevitably the sunflower, my first this year – ‘Ruby Eclipse’, grown from seed collected last year – or at least that’s what it was meant to be but it looks rather larger and chunkier than I recall and has only a hint of red halo. This was the terminal flower IMG_5277though and there are several minor buds so perhaps they will be more elegant when their turn comes. Joining the sunflower are a range of other blooms: Hemerocallis ‘Cathy’s Sunset’, Inula magnifica, Sweet William ‘Black Prince’, Eschscholzia ‘Red Chief’, still in bud (more of these would have been brilliant as they are indeed a very yummy and fiery red), Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’, Penstemon ‘Raven’ (finally I have a reasonable crop of penstemon flowers after many years of failures) and a few spires from Heuchera ‘Neptune’.

The lovely red mottled glass charity vase I bought in Shropshire last year would have been brilliant if only it hadn’t been too small to house all these beauties, particularly as the stem of the sunflower was more than ยฝ” thick. Improvisation was required, and taking inspiration from some stripey cylindrical vases Christina showed us many months ago I unearthed one of the empty tin cans I had kept for just such a purpose and covered it with a trip of red felt fabric before cutting out flame shapes in orange and yellow and attaching them with double sided tape – et voilร , a fiery vase! Accompanying the hot-off-the-press vase was the label from one of the Golfer’s favourite tipples, fiery ginger beer, and an equally fiery carnelian pebble, hand polished in Madagascar. Carnelian is believed to stimulate the root chakra, helping you to trust yourself and your perceptions, and this is a particularly tactile piece, fitting perfectly in the hand.

fire.brigadeIt has been a joy to be able to pick big bundles of blooms like this, certainly aided by the cutting beds from which most of these were picked. I could have gone down any number of colour themed routes for today’s vase such is the abundance provided by the garden this month, but I knew all along that the sunflower had to be the starting point. I wonder which route other vases will take today? Reading about how our choices of blooms and vases and props are arrived at adds to the pleasure of the meme, so do consider joining us if you haven’t already done so – just leave links to and from your post so that we can see what you have found to pop into your receptacle to bring you pleasure this week. And please excuse my tardiness last week – normal service will resumed soon!



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52 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Call the Fire Brigade!

  1. Pingback: A Vase on Monday – Magenta | Wild Daffodil

  2. I think we clash this week! Although flowers never really do clash do they. I’d love to see our two together! How gloriously hot your vase is and I just love the fiery felt. Here is my magenta vase:

  3. Gina says:

    I love your vase of blooms. I don’t know whether my little vase of Sweet Peas will count but they are here
    I’m aiming for a proper cut flower border next year and all these posts are giving me so much inspiration

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Gina and of course your sweet peas count – whatever you find to pick in your garden counts, and posting tehse vases has encouraged me to pick sweet peas at least once a week now to ensure they keep on flowering, something I never got round to doing before (when I had decent sweet peas that is). Now I often have a little pot of them as well as my ‘official’ Monday vase

  4. This made me smile – beautiful blooms in bright colors and you got crafty and creative along with it. Nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Judy – and it was quite a quick and easy option as I have lots of felt left from a Christmas project I did a few years ago

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Terrific Cathy! I enjoy your attention to detail from start to finish, right down to ensuring the hot colors sit in a fiery base. The sunflower makes a great focus and that piece of carnelian does seem it would fit the hand perfectly. (By the way, after seeing your Tai Chi lawn I had a chance last week to take an intro Tai Chi class and it clicked this time. Must pursue.) I enjoyed making my vase this week.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Susie. I cut some Parkdirektor Rigger roses to include but for some reason didn’t – they would have added that extar bit of red though. Do let me know if you pursue the Tai Chi possibility and how you get on if you do…

  6. homeslip says:

    Well you are definitely ready for the heat wave Cathy, this vase is on fire! I was going to use just direct-sown allotment flowers this week, but a few garden favourites snuck in too. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – and I was so pleased to have a sunflower relatively early in the season (sown on 2nd Feb, so more than 90 days though!)

  7. mudpilewood says:

    What a brilliant way to disguise a can, I am off to raid the recycling bin and see what materials I have lying around.

  8. Pingback: Monday Flowers | Country Garden UK

  9. Gillian says:

    Wow! What a combination. I’m very envious of your Sunflowers… mine only have tiny buds and they are still in pots so it may be a while before they bloom. In the meantime I’m skipping about with excitement because summer has finally arrived here in Lancashire. The lawn is full of daisies and clover and the wildlife is bursting out all over! I’ve gone for Orange this week. Thanks for hosting Cathy. Gillian x

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Gillian – and I pinched out the tops of the sunflowers when they were quite little, so they are branching out and in this week’s heat buds on the side shoots are beginning to open too.

  10. I love the fire of this vase and how you decorated the can as well as the carnelian and that ginger beer label…..of course the orange background was a wow! And what a delight Cathy to see a sunflower already…many of mine are growing larger but still weeks before I see any blooms….I planted so many for cutting and then I have others just for the veg garden as there are studies showing how they pull the bad bugs away from gardens…and of course they draw in the good pollinators too. When sunflowers bloom, I swoon!

    Here we had a few more inches of rain and cool weather so I had to rush and grab some things to make into vases before they were deluged….roses are taking the stage now. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – I am thrilled with how my sunflowers have progressed this year. Last year I had a small degree of success – but finally sunflowers! – but this year looks as if it will exceed all expectations. No slug damage to young plants – but was it the dry weather or those plastic bottles?!

  11. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Ice and Lemon | Words and Herbs

  12. Cathy says:

    Wonderful! Pure summer! The flames on the vase are a great finishing touch. So good to see sunflowers already too. My vase is the opposite to yours – to cool us down:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Cathy – and yes, I am thrilled to have sunflowers ๐Ÿ™‚ Could do with some of your ice and lemon here this week….

  13. Brian Skeys says:

    This is the time of year for fire coloured flowers Cathy. You have been very creative in covering the tin. You must have watched Blue Peter in the past!

    • Cathy says:

      You are probably right Brian – the heat is definitely being cranked up this week! We didn’t have a television till the 66 World Cup but Blue Peter was the one programme I was allowed to watch at a friend’s house before then… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Kris P says:

    You have an entire garden in this week’s vase, Cathy. I even spied an Alstroemeria. I’m impressed by your staging and the beautiful sunflower. I planted my sunflower seeds late and am beginning to wonder if they’ll bloom before the rampaging raccoons get them. Here’s my post this week:

    • Cathy says:

      And there were a couple of others that didn’t make it to the vase Kris! I am really pleased to have alstroemeria after struggling with it for many years – just another of a number of things that have come up trumps this year for the first time ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. What an impressive vase on fire, Cathy! Love those beautiful colours!I have also used a sunflower today, this is my vase:

  16. Pingback: in a vase: wicked witchcraft | sprig to twig

  17. rickii says:

    Oh, Cathy…a three alarm fire, for sure! I developed a theme this time, and here it is:

  18. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – So Hard To Say Goodbye! | Peonies & Posies

  19. Julie says:

    It is so good to see your sunflower Cathy – summer is certainly here when they start to bloom! Sadly I fear I have lost my few seedlings so may be without sunflowers for this summer – I will just have to enjoy yours! I really do admire your crafty skills Cathy – I would never have thought to make a vase and how well it goes with your flowery choices – or they with it.

    I have rushed to make sure I made a contribution this week, but expect to be absent for July whilst we are on holiday. This weeks vase is at :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – and having pinched these sunflowers out it seems really odd to have them branching out, but that means more flowers! We shall miss your vase contributions while you are away – but perhaps there may be an opportunity to find some blooms…?

  20. Amy says:

    What a gloriously bright bunch, Cathy! I love the sunflower! (I’ve actually seen a few blooming wild along the road lately; I don’t know how they do it without water.) And I love the way the alstroemeria pulls the yellows and pinks together. Not to mention the felt flames and the label ๐Ÿ˜‰
    My own vase went a completely different direction this week and included a bit of foraging…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – and the alstoemeria isn’t as pink as it looks in the photo. I suppose the sunflowers have such chunky stalks – perhaps they retain some moisture in their stems?

  21. Eliza Waters says:

    Breath-taking colors this week, Cathy! I love the clever vase you created to compliment the hot theme. Beautiful! Here’s my vase for this week:

  22. Pingback: In a vase on a Monday- a working vase | gardening hands

  23. Great summer vase Cathy, I love that shaggy look of the sunflower I grow quite a few in summer and will look for that one.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – I need to look back at last year’s photos as these are saved seed and I am not convinced they have come up the same…!

  24. Scorching!! As usual, your imagination and ingenuity shows no bounds!
    Sounds like you’re spoilt for choice – how nice! Your garden must be so exciting with all those blooms.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, thanks Ali! Yes, there is plenty of choice at the moment, but I will have to monitor which things will provide later summer colour.

  25. Bec says:

    this vase is really zingy – and the sunflower looks great – v impressed with the felt and tin can too. I’d never have thought of this as a way of doing a vase. I’ve got some orange and yellows in my vase today too – hope you like it.

    most of the rest of the garden is pinks and purples and crimson so I expect I’ll be back to those colours next week – have a lovely week love bec xx

  26. Anna says:

    Oh those felt flames are really clever Cathy and certainly reflect the weather we’ve had over the last couple of days. Most jealous of your sunflower. After last year’s success it’s back to the usual scenario when the molluscs have munched all my seedlings.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – and I have to say that using the bottles to keep the slugs away from the stems seems to have been a resounding success…start collecting those bottles ready for next year! I am thrilled to have one in flower so ‘early’ and there are several more on their way

  27. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your hot arrangement and container are gorgeous and the orange background is perfect! Thank you for hosting In a vase on Monday. I’ve enjoyed posts on other blogs but have not participated before. Here is my first offering: I’ve cheated a bit as none of the contents came from my own garden.

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