In a Vase on Monday: Bright Eyes

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!

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

59 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Bright Eyes

  1. Alison C says:

    A lovely bright splash of colour, lets hope things will go on a bit longer. We’ve had a first light frost here overnight but I’m not sure how much will survive yet. I agree about the opportunity for a clear out but do mourn the loss of the flowers. I’ve got a couple of things which are doing the best they have all year just in time to come out. Hehe, I’ve anticipated your challenge and not used a vase this week:
    Thanks for hosting and inspiring us.

    • Cathy says:

      Are you reading my mind, Alison…?! 😉 Doesn’t seem to be any damage here last night, and temps in the greenhuse were down to 2 degrees so I will need to get the heaters ready for the next time

  2. jenanita01 says:

    We had our first frost last night, and I am reluctant to go and see what suffered from it. Seems that Winter is coming early this year…

    • Cathy says:

      As I swim early on a Monday it was mid morning befoer I inspected ours – no damage apparent despite the frost. Hope all is OK with yours

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Generous – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  4. Christina says:

    Interesting that you say you didn’t use a lot of these annuals before this year. Maybe we should all post about our successes but more importantly failures or plants that didn’t perform as we’d hoped. Hope the frost wasn’t as bad as you expected. All your flowers are like little jewels. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Admittedly, none of the contents were grown for vases, apart from the alonsoa, but for bedding/baskets and were bought in as plug plants. So easy to overlook plants like that when it comes to IAMOV – certainly didn’t use any of the petunias that were in various pots either

  5. karen says:

    A lovely bright photo to wake up to this morning. We had a frost here. I know because I was driving around the countryside at 4am this morning after a relative was taken into hospital. So your pictures are most welcome this morning. I’m looking forward to joining in with your challenge, as I haven’t got many vases. And it will be lovely to see what creative uses other people have for their flower arrangements. Here’s the link for my own arrangement this week- which I know you have already seen, but thought others might like to view. I’m feeling the need for flowers and colour this morning so will check up on everyone else while I’m sitting waiting for news.

  6. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Graham Thomas – Absent Gardener

  7. We had our first frost (temp of 30) in mid-October but it did no damage to my garden as it was still too nestled under leafy trees. And now that the leaves are gone and the daytime temps have gone down to the 40s with a drenching, steady rain, my blooms are just about done. There are still many hearty souls still out there, but few and far between. I love your happy little vase of annuals….they are quite an eyeful.

    Here’s my link to some fall harvest vases:

    • Cathy says:

      And we have had a mild October so lower daytime temperatures will be a bit of a shock to the system! Glad you still have some blooms around to share with us

  8. Cath says:

    Oh, that sounds fun trying something other than a vase. Seeing your Alonsoa I remember that one of the things I liked about it was the wiggly stems. I think that it made it through the winter here, so was a semi-perennial. It’s exciting having the change of season – here it is finally starting to be warm and humid, time to lose the flannel sheets and dig out the summer clothes.
    Here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      I will have to look into alonsoa more as I assumed it was just an annual and I don’t know if there are any otther varieties either. I find the change of season exciting too, even tough this is autumn to winter!

  9. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday | Garden Dreaming at Châtillon

  10. Joanna says:

    Some lovely bright flowers! Hopefully you won’t get a frost yet. The challenge sounds like fun! We’ll see if there is anything left to put in a vase or anything else here by that time. 🙂 Here’s my vase for this week:

  11. I like the annuals and their rambling forms. Bacopa is an odd one always for me. Sits there for a long time, I gave up on it. Here is my vase

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Welcome back Cathy. I had to look up several things from your vase of lovelies. The white bacopa is very nice–hope it survives the cold. We too were closing in on freezing temperatures last night but managed to postpone the actual event which would cause everything to go limp.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – it always seems strange to have a week off from my usual Monday diligence 😉 No damage from our first frost, but I am sure it will come

  13. We had our first serious frost over the weekend. I cut the last of the flowers beforehand not wanting to take a chance that it would kill them. My flowers were pretty much over anyway; nothing like your luxurious display. I feel as you do about the weather: equally sad and glad. My vase is here:

  14. Ah, yes, I went with the annuals, too–mainly because that’s all I have left with blooms. I live near Linda. Since I’m on a hill and near a lake, some plants are still blooming, but the end of the garden is near. Winter is coming. Thanks for hosting! Here’s my vase:

  15. Noelle says:

    Your vase is indeed colourful…what a nice array of blooms. I’ve managed to find a few blooms…but the party is nearly over in the garden.

  16. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Definitely an eyeful of bright and cheerful color. One can see why you’d choose these beauties as a last hurrah before Jack frost turns down the lights for winter. I was also thinking of eyes this week:

  17. Kris P says:

    I enjoyed the connections your mind made in searching for the right props to accent your vase as much as the vase itself this week, Cathy! Contemplating what to rescue from the garden before a frost must be a little like deciding what to take from one’s home in the event one’s faced with evacuation. (Although our heatwave is finally over and the winds have stopped blowing, I guess my own head is still focused on natural disasters.) My post this week gives a just a nod to Halloween:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – there are probably other routes I could have gone down for a ‘bright eyes’ prop’, but I stuck with my original thought process. The US has had more than its fair share of natural disasters this year, hasn’t it?

  18. Cathy says:

    Hi Cathy, after too long a pause! You didn’t need the Watership Down soundtrack, I already had it running in my head. What a pretty vase – and very bright-eyed indeed! I am obviously seriously out of the loop now, but would love to know why the bidens plugs were so unsatisfactory? And what a good idea to have a celebratory unusual container day. (Although it has to be said, I don’t have many ‘real’ vases, never mind imaginative substitutes, but will try to come up with something!) Here is my vase for today …

    • Cathy says:

      Good to have you back with us, Cathy. The bidens came in multiplugs, along with verbena and calibrachoa (ie 3in 1) but the bidens dominated the baskets to the detriment of the other two. Nice idea, but I won’t be buying them again

      • Cathy says:

        Bidens are pretty vigorous, aren’t they? I used to have them seeding around here and they gave me pleasure at a stage when there wasn’t much else, but then they mysteriously disappeared. Did you buy a collection from T&M?

        • Cathy says:

          No, the multiplugs were from J Parkers, the cheap and cheerful supplier, who I went with this year because of these plugs and the combination of petunias that I wanted

  19. Chloris says:

    Four years of weekly vases, what an achievement. Such a pretty posy of annuals. I love bidens. I have a perennial one called Hannay’s Lemon Drop. Glad you had a nice trip.

    • Cathy says:

      Still 2 weeks to go till 4 years though, Chloris – will I make it…?! 😉 Must look up Hannay’s Lemon Drop – this is the first year for ages I have not sown bidens myself (this one was in a multplug) and I regretted it…

  20. Anna says:

    You’ve got me singing again 🙂 I like the leafy silhouette highlighting your blooms Cathy. Well there was definitely a frost in Cumbria this morning after a fabulously clear starry sky last night and an owl serenading us as we made our way to bed. Back home now but the light was fading when I returned so no vase from me this week – my blooms are fading too.

    • Cathy says:

      Is everything in Cumbria packed up for the winter now? How wonderful to see such a starry sky, and a Big Sky too no doubt, and be joined too by the owl before you left ☺

  21. Patsi says:

    “The last of the lingering annuals with their endlessly brazen brightness”. Beautiful !

  22. smallsunnygarden says:

    Your annuals are very cheering, even if it is the last for the season. Will they stay well in the vase? I have been very tempted by Bacopa recently myself, but no notion of where to fit it in at the moment, so it stayed at the store (great self-restraint 😉 ) I missed posting last week; I’m finally admitting that blogging is rather difficult with our ongoing slow internet issues, but Mondays are always better with a vase and post, so here is today’s: 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – I wasn’t sure how well they would do in a vase but they have been OK so far although have been very thirsty and needed their water topped up after barely a day. Slow internet is such a pain – as soon as fibre was available here we paid extra to get ourselves a reasonable speed as we were ‘too far’ from our local exchnage to ever get a decent speed without it

  23. Anca Tirca says:

    A beautiful bouquet, the last blooms are always wonderful! My vase is here:

  24. Sam says:

    A lovely, colourful collection of blooms. No time this week to join you but hopefully next 🙂

  25. I don’t know what I was thinking! I completely forgot to come over here yesterday and link to my vase post. I’m so glad I finally remembered though, because now I know about the challenge! Thanks for continuing to inspire us Cathy.

    My vase:

  26. Cathy says:

    I immediately spotted Red Dragon among all the other lovelies Cathy! I especially like the yellow Bidens and pink verbena. Hope you didn’t get that frost after all… we got our first this morning. Hope to be back with a vase next week!

  27. Cathy a beautiful and colorful bouquet of flowers and the vase is great. I love the red Alonsoa, the bright pink Verbena, the yellow Bidens: they are beautiful. I think I have diccho almost all the flowers in the vase. The bouquet is magnificent. Greetings from Margarita.

Comments are closed.