Today’s vase celebrates late flowering blooms of the summer garden (without resorting to dahlias or the few continuous flowering roses), all lustworthy in their own right.
Stuffed into this ‘Handpicked with Love’ vase (a gift from the lovely Anna of Green Tapestry) are the riotous colours of Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’, Amaranthus caudatus, Aster (Callistephus) ‘Strawberry Crush’, Astrantia ‘Star of Beauty’, Persicaria ‘Blackfield’, Clematis jouiniana, Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’, Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Glow’, a white Japanese anemone (probably ‘Honorine Jobert’, Cosmos ‘Double Click Cranberry’, Phlox paniculata ‘Lilac Flame’ and Sedum ‘Jose Aubergine’.
All these have stories to tell: the cosmos, amaranthus and Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ have been flowering since June, the astrantia is much later than its various counterparts, as is the aster, ‘Prairie Glow’ is probably the first perennial rudbeckia to reach flowering stage in this garden, the phlox comes from a mixed-up-label cutting taken last year and planted in the snowdrop border as white variety ‘Rembrandt’, the caryopteris is thriving as a low hedge in a dry border against a boundary and flowering profusely, ‘Blackfield’ is the yummiest darkest persicaria in the garden…the list goes on, and they are all stars in their own right and worth lusting over, even the humble and ubiquitous Japanese anemone.
The title refers to a poem by John Betjeman which is less jocular than much of his work and too morose to share with you now (Dark sockets look on emptiness Which once was loving-eyed, The mouth that opens for a kiss Has got no tongue inside) but my copy of his Collected Poems is included as a prop. I also have a cassette of an album, entitled ‘Late Flowering Love’ of Betjeman reading some of his poems, including this one, which I was hoping to use as a prop too but couldn’t lay my hands on it – not surprisingly as I haven’t played a music cassette for around 20 years!
What joys are there to be found and lusted over in your garden this week, and what can you spare to pop into a vase or other container and share with us today?