The appearance of a jar of turmeric as a prop in a Monday vase may seem a little incongruous, but in the absence of anything like a ‘glow stick’ or watch with luminous fingers I Googled ‘household items that glow in the dark’. ‘Black light’ is the technical term for UV light, I find, and everyday things that would glow in this sort of dark include not just certain items of clothing that fascinated or embarrassed us at 1970 discos, tonic water (glows blue), Hennessy VS Limited Edition cognac bottle (bright green), vitamin B12 (bright yellow), chlorophyll (red) – and turmeric (green-yellow). It’s down, it seems, to the chemical substance phosphor which can be energised by one type of light to emit visible light; if such items only emit light while the are being energised, they are called ‘fluorescent’.
Here endeth the science lesson and here is the vase again, opalescent rather than fluorescent, but without the turmeric. In it, and thus triggering the title, are Dahlia ‘ Nuit d’Été’ and luminous (but not, I think, luminescent) green Nicotiana elata ‘Nicki’s Lime’. Having read recently that the latter lasts well in a vase I thought I would give it a try; finding it a little hard to distinguish between new buds and spent ones I have not been very good at deadheading and hope that stems picked for the vase include the former rather than the latter! I have previously mentioned that this is my first successful foray into growing nicotiana although I agree with Anna that emergent seedlings are tiny and growing them on into full size plants seems a remarkable achievement in the circumstances!
All my dahlias are now flowering, whether tubers saved from previous years, bought-in rooted cuttings, or plants brought to fill gaps and provide some extra colour for group visits to the garden. The hot and dry summer, however, has slowed the process down and most are only flowering sporadically, with just a bloom or two at a time, but I am more hopeful now we have had some REAL rain! ‘ Unlike the other dahlias, Nuit d’Été’ obligingly provided me with these 5 stems for today’s vase, fitting the intended bill perfectly, but we can soon look forward to a varied selection of dahlias in future vases.
As I prepare my IAVOM posts on a Sunday I have no idea what to expect in other bloggers’ vases and this heightens the sense of anticipation as Monday approaches and the weekly vases begin to flood (well, at least trickle steadily) into the blogosphere. For many of us it has changed our Mondays in ways we never thought imaginable: try it and see if you haven’t already done so! Just find some blooms or other material from your garden or foraged locally, pop them in a vase or other receptacle (or present them naked, with no vase) and write a post for your blog including links to and from this post so that we can share in the pleasure you have found for yourself at the start of another week. WARNING! It is addictive!