Ina Vase on Monday: HOT!

I think everyone of us who lives in the UK knows it has been hot! hot! hot! for weeks (and accordingly dry! dry! dry!) and despite hints of possible thunderstorms in some parts, the weather app on my phone doesn’t show any change in the current pattern here in the Midlands for at least the next fortnight. I do remember the hot summer of 1976 but it was the year I first married and I had not yet left home so had no household responsibilities and definitely no garden to fret about. In the here and now, I had been using the hose every evening in the week leading up to the garden openings but am now trying to restrict watering mostly to pots for the time being. We have 9 water butts but almost all are empty and I want to retain some rain water for topping up the water features before our group visits, all of which are currently switched off to conserve water. I am not quite sure what the outcome will be, as a hosepipe ban is already being introduced in Northern Ireland; meanwhile I am a rather concerned gardener, torn between nurturing my thirsty garden and the environmental implications of doing so…

However, putting aside concerns about water shortages I am delighted to be able to properly administer In a Vase on Monday again today. Thank you for your forbearance last week – I managed to read all your comments but not catch up on all your vases but perhaps I will be able to take a peek when I see this week’s offerings. Even if there had been time to create a vase last week, it would not have contained such sunny blooms as those shown above as they have only been gracing the cutting beds (and the bold borders in the case of the inula) within the last week. I am delighted to be able to include zinnias, probably for

the very first time but not for want of trying. The larger ones are ‘Summer Bouquet’ whilst the smaller are ‘Lilliput Mixed’; there a few pink ones blooming too so perhaps they will also make an appearance soon. Included with them are Calendula ‘Indian Prince’ with its gorgeous contrasting reverse, dwarf sunflower ‘Microsun’ and Inula magnifica. The jug is a Royal Doulton car boot buy with a pretty orange trim.

The cutting beds are teeming with promising blooms and I am excited about future vase prospects, as well as enjoying the progress of the plants from seed through seedling towards colourful blooming plants. If you have room for even just one small cutting bed I would highly recommend going for it as it will bring you far more pleasure than you could ever imagine. Whether you have cutting beds or not, please consider cutting blooms or other material from your garden and popping them into a vase or jam jar to bring the pleasure of your garden into your home. If you would like to share the result with us on IAVOM please leave links to and from this post in the usual way.

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55 Responses to Ina Vase on Monday: HOT!

  1. Pingback: Strawberries and Wine | Wild Daffodil

  2. Oh yes! Your vase sums it up! 1976 was the year my first child was born, I was in hospital with him (we stayed in for 10 days then!) and a group of us new Mums were sunbathing on the roof of the hospital on 24th February, those were the days! The grass is turning brown again this year – Yikes!
    Here’s my Vase:

  3. craftycreeky says:

    Love your flowers! We haven’t any rain here in Yorkshire for weeks, we didn’t even get any thunderstorms last month, I’m just concentrating on watering the plants I’ve put in this year, there’s too many of them to lose!

    • Cathy says:

      We have an amateur weather station which tells us we had 6mm of rain in June! And here too, any promised rain earlier in the month was merely a few drops 😦

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    We are having crazy dry weather here too…and the heat is cranking up. Your beautiful vase full of those hot colors project the weather circumstances perfectly. Have a great week.

    • Cathy says:

      I agree, Lisa – their appearance was most timely! Enjoy your week too (I would enjoy mine more if we had some rain!!)

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Your hot sunflowers aptly describe the weather picture (in UK, but also in my neck of the US). The sunflowers are fantastic as are your zinnias. Hope you get nourishing rains soon Cathy. Thanks for hosting.

  6. Joanna says:

    What a fitting arrangement for hot summer days! Calendula ‘Indian Prince’ has a special place in my heart as on of the flowers I grew in my first garden!
    I hope you will get some rain soon! We have been a little one the dry side too here in Maine USA, but our definition of “dry” is really not that dry! This week is supposed to be very hot, too, but we’ve had some thunderstorms the last few days so everything is well watered, thankfully.
    Here’s my contribution, rather hastily put together, but you can’t really go wrong with peonies…:)

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Joanna – yes, I thought it was appropriate! I am always intrigued with the minor differences between blooms on Indian Prince, some of which prove to be more yellow

  7. Summer in a vase. I love those microsunflowers and your first annual zinnias look wonderful and better than mine! Our well is not feeling happy (well!) so we are having watering trials here, though fortunately getting some rain.Wishing some your way. Here is my vase

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, thanks – any spare rain would be useful, but I guess you need it too… I am growing 2 different short sunflowers this year, both of which have lots of lateral buds as well as the main bloom on the top, which means if you cut them you miss out on these lateral blooms. I shall have to experiment, I think!

  8. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Look out Van Gogh! What a brilliant, sunny arrangement. A lot of UK folk are talking about water butts. I presume you mean tanks which collect water from the roof? Is it not de rigueur to use the mains to water the garden?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jane – yes, in the UK a water butt is usually a plastic cylindrical container linked to a downpipe from the roof. Many people do of course use mains water without any qualms whatsoever, but I have always used rainwater whenever I can. Some parts of the country had hosepipe bans last year, I think, but I don’t recall one in the Midlands since the summer of 1976

  9. Alison C says:

    Bright and beautiful. So good to have several things in similar colours and I’m glad your cutting beds are doing well. Not a drop of rain here and butts are empty too. It’s very hard to know what to do and how much to water but horrible to watch things shrivel up. Apparently hose pipe bans are not likely but I suppose it depends how long this goes on. So pleased your open day went well in spite of reduced numbers. Our local one often clashed with Wimbledon finals weekend but when someone thought to move the date that did help! Here is my cool vase:

  10. Peter Herpst says:

    Oh my, I do hope you get some rain soon. I love the warm tones of your vase. Cloudy and cool here with a chance of showers so the bright colors really hit the spot. My offering this week is here:

  11. bcparkison says:

    It is so heart breaking to have a garden ready to pop and the water be lacking.

    • Cathy says:

      Hey ho, that’s the British weather for you but in truth I can be thankful that it is generally quite balanced and temperate, unlike places where they rarely expect rain and have months of heat like this

  12. Alison says:

    That is a very bright and cheerful vaseful! I’m so sorry to hear about your hot, dry weather. We do have chances of showers here, and the weather has been very cool, but we really haven’t had much rain in a while, just days with chances of showers, and my garden is parched. Maybe we’ll get some today. I did make a arrangement today, finally my sweetpeas are blooming! It’s here:

    • Cathy says:

      Looks like lots of places are suffereing from lack of rain. Good yo know your sweet peas are now blooming – hurrah!

  13. Noelle says:

    That a great sunny composition…that marigold is stunning…but why pick just one? All are perfect. The question of water is on my mind too:

  14. The first thing I thought when I saw your vase was ‘wow this looks like a Van Gogh painting’…..really stunning. Then I read your post and thought oh my that is awful, your drought.

    We are hot here too in late June and now July promises to be really hot in the 90s with high humidities, heat indexes in the 100s and no rain or precious little in my area….it keeps passing us by. Luckily we are not in a ban and my garden is OK as it has adapted to our extremes. My issue is watering the veg bed, cutting bed and pots. But we slog the hose around each day and water.

    I adore your zinnias and sunflowers, especially the frilly ones…and that calendula is perfection. One of my favorite vases I think. This week I have created a fragrant vase as my late blooming sweet peas are now flowering thankfully.

    • Cathy says:

      I try to think in centigrade now but at least we have rarely seen it more than low 80s – can’t conceive how 90 degrees must feel, and don’t want to!! And it is not humid here. Mind you, the Golfer loves it although admittedly he has not been outside since he came back from golf this morning

    • Donna, that is exactly what I thought when I saw the arrangement– a Van Gogh painting. It is a real beauty.

  15. Kris P says:

    I love your sunny vase, which reminds me just how far behind my own summer flowers are this season. Granted, I was late in planting seeds and tubers but our own cooler than usual weather has also held things back I think. There’s heat on the horizon later this week so maybe that will prompt some growing activity. I was frankly distressed to read about possible restrictions on watering in the UK as I’ve always envisioned it as a land of bountiful rain. As the American Southwest, and California in particular, continue to struggle with rain and water shortages, I can’t help deepening worry about the challenges climate change will bring us in the future. Meanwhile, however, there are flowers:

    • Cathy says:

      Rain in the UK varies by region, Kris, and although patterns are changing as they are across the world this heatwave is but a blip amongst our increasingly wetter summers – and we are not geared up for it

  16. karen says:

    Your vase is a picture, Cathy. So cheerful. I’ve got that inula growing here. I’m going to borrow your idea and partner it with calendula orange flash. Sadly all my zinnias died. Either eaten or shrivelled. They require more nurturing than I’ve had time for this year. Here’s my vase this week. All the best . Karen.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Karen – I have learned they don’t like to be overshadowed. Mine (some, as I too have lost many) have at least flowered and enough to make me want to persevere again next year!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my, Cathy, your vase does epitomise the heat we’re ‘enjoying’ at the moment. We’ve been asked to cut back on the water we use so, like you, we are, until told otherwise, watering pots only. I remember 1976 very well too – we’d just returned from Germany the year before and did not expect it to be so hot and dry. I’ve yet to have any success with zinnias but maybe I’ll give it another trial next year. In the meantime, I’m still enjoying the roses –

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I have found the zinnias do well until I come to plant them out, but at least some have made it to flowering this year!

  18. Cathy I love the vase so colorful that says Summer and heat. I really like the flowers you have used: Magnificent lnula, Zinnias, Calendulas, and the beautiful dwarf sunflower “Microsun” which is beautiful. The vase is beautiful as is the bouquet. The detail of the sunglasses with the heat is very successful. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you. Is it very hot in Spain too, Margarita?

      • Cathy is hot in Spain too, although we had a few days of respite with storms. I’m in the country house and we were 33 Centigrades. Today it is 30ºC and in Madrid, the capital of Spain, 35ºC. It is little heat for Madrid that usually hovers around 38ºC and even 40º C. However, they have announced that this year would be a year with less heat than the last 4 years. But with its clear heat waves it is. I hope that in England they do not have much heat this summer. Greetings from Margarita.

  19. Oh sunshine in a vase Cathy – I’m glowing again just looking. I remember that summer of ’76 vividly as I made the transition from full time student to full time employee. I didn’t have a garden at the time just one or two houseplants. We could really do with some decent rain but it doesn’t seem to be on the cards just yet 😦 I’ve been waiting for the sun to sink slightly so I could take a photo for a late in the day vase :
    Thanks as always for hosting come rain or shine :

    • Cathy says:

      I too just had houseplants and was making the same transition 😉 Tonight, I have just been out to water things in the greenhouse (9.30pm ish) and it was most pleasantly cool… 🙂

  20. Anca Tirca says:

    What a sunny, beautiful vase! Thanks for sharing, Cathy! My vase can be seen here:

  21. Hi Cathy, I’m a bit late today, and I am so sorry to learn you are dealing with drought. We’ve had downpour after downpour, but I will take that any day over extended droughts. Here’s my offering today:

    • Cathy says:

      Even though it won’t yet be classed as ‘drought’, there is no sign of an end to it so it’s a bit of a concern for us gardeners!

  22. Chloris says:

    How appropriate matching your sunny flowers to the weather. I love the cheery colours. You are right about the cutting garden. I just use one of my raised veggie beds, but I wouldn’t be without it now.

  23. Cathy, your vase perfectly sums up this summer, and not just in the UK! Here in the US we are having a heatwave of insane proportions. And these colors of your flowers are wow! So bright and summery!

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