Yesterday, whilst contemplating picking and plonking for today’s vase, I was very aware of a forecasted minimum overnight temperature of 3ºC with the potential for frost and felt a strange dilemma – part of me was excited about this turning point in the weather, knowing that the inevitable effect on the garden would give me a good excuse for cutting back and tidying up, but the flipside would mean a sudden loss of blooms and overall colour. In these circumstances what should I pick? The last hurrah of the dahlias before their leaves are blackened by frosts and the flowers wiped out? Or the last of the lingering annuals with their endlessly brazen brightness?
In the end it was the annuals that won, mainly because none apart from the alonsoa have featured in a vase this year. It was the white bacopa that did it for me, planted either side of the sloping path up towards the paved area, where it was intended to spill over the sides in a white froth; sadly, it somehow never got going until the last week or two, but is now belatedly at its best, dotted with a myriad of bright and sparkly white eyes. In particular, it was the distinctive white eye of the bacopa that made me seek out other blooms with similar distinctively bright sparkly eyes: the red alonsoa from the cutting beds, bright pink verbena and yellow bidens from the unsatisfactory multi plugs in the conical hanging baskets, a stem of Dianthus ‘Dash Pink’ and, although not an annual, the fluffy bright eyes of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ with its dark foliage to set off all the brightness.
Sadly, today’s props are not what they should be. Somewhere (on a dusty shelf) I have a vintage pottery eyebath which would come in useful when your eyes are just not at their best but I could not lay my hands on it; neither could I find my copy of the book ‘Watership Down’ (soundtrack from the film of the book: ‘Bright Eyes’) which is probably in the loft with other nominally children’s books. Instead we have to make do with a tiny jug from an IKEA toy teaset, which would actually be perfect if an eyebath was indeed required. Hey ho!
Thank you for continuing to post vases in my absence last Monday; in fact, I had quite a lazy week blog-wise, but normal service should now be resumed and I look forward to seeing all your vases later today or whenever you are able to post them. I have decided to celebrate the 4th anniversary of IAVOM a fortnight today, Monday 13th November and will be doing so with a challenge and a prize draw. The challenge is to pop your blooms into something other than a vase – something with a completely different use, the more inventive the better, so put your thinking caps on, look outside the box/vase and plan ahead!