Despite the mixed success of the cutting beds in this experimental year, it is still a joy to be able to take advantage of the blooms that have been successful, augmenting them with material from elsewhere in the garden – and the combination of dahlias and hardy annuals this year has brought an abundance that has been missing from the end of previous summers so there is plenty to choose from.
Having decided to stick to reds, I began with Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’, Dahlia ‘Karma Naomi’, Amaranthus caudatus and dark leaves of a Bishop seedling from the cutting beds, with blooms of reliable ‘Parkdirektor’ climbing rose, Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’, Persicaria ‘Firetail’, foliage of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’, flower spikes and leaves of Heuchera ‘Big Top Burgundy’, hardy Fuchsia magellanica, a precious flower stem of Atriplex hortensis (red orache, which I have tried several times to grow from seed in the hope it will seed itself around) and honeysuckle berries from elsewhere. See them all closer up in the collage below:
Normally shying away from larger vases I knew showing these rich cardinal coloured blooms to their best advantage required more than just trimming their stems short and shoving them in a small vase with a large aperture. Scanning my shelves, I turfed some ancient pot pourri from this green glazed Bretby vase (bought for the decorative value of its greenness many years ago) and filled it with floral foam, enabling the longer stems to be supported at an angle and thus creating a wider vase than usual. I have avoided using floral foam for many months due to its non-recyclability but it certainly gave me the confidence to achieve this vase today and I am chuffed with the result which shows off the various shades and textures of the materials.
Props were a reproduction England football shirt and an incomplete sheet of ‘Penny Red’ postage stamps – the Golfer is getting used to strange requests to borrow items of his random paraphernalia!
I looked to see what was in my vase on the August Bank holiday Monday last year and it was a shabby chic vase of soft pink roses, sweet peas, sedum, cosmos and clematis – very different from the rich reds of today, the only common factor being heuchera flower spikes. What will you find in your garden today or forage locally to pop in a vase – and was it very different from what you were plonking a year ago? Please share it with is by leaving links to and from post.