In a Vase on Monday: Flying High

Having been all but absent from IAVOM last week and away again for part of this weekend I feel quite out of touch with most of my blogging friends, but hopefully normal service will now be resumed. I am really sorry to have missed not only your vases last week but the friendly interaction from the shared comments too. However, having read most of your comments last Monday it was clear that you enjoyed the heartwarming tale of Brian’s little helper as much as we did. Interestingly, inspecting my own ‘Blyton Lady in Red’ when we got home I found that my blooms were quite literally half the size of his – but I will at least have more of them. And as I am not exhibiting dahlias, on balance I think I would probably always choose More rather than Huge – with dahlias like Brian’s as an occasional treat.

As the conscientious hostess of this meme, forward planning is often required and today’s vase was put together and photographed on Friday with the post written last night, although not in absentia like last week. Having picked the blooms, I really dithered over a title – in theory not a problem as I wasn’t writing the post till Sunday, but to include the usual ‘prop’ it was required there and then for the photo opportunity and more often than not the title triggers the prop, or perhaps it’s the other way round… but it will have to do.

The colourful pickings began with herbaceous Clematis heracleifolia ‘New Love’, the gorgeous deep blue blooms appearing profusely on stiff stems about 3 feet tall; I first came across C heraclifolia ‘Wyevale’, probably the most well-known, at Powys Castle some years ago and it appealed immediately. Forming a rigid clump and flowering over a long season they make a wonderful blue contribution to a border and ‘New Love’, being such a vibrant blue, even more so. They also have a (very) slight fragrance. I added ‘Cassandra’, another deep blue variety, two years ago but it hasn’t yet flowered. One recent visitor to the garden struggled to believe they were indeed clematis and was only convinced when I showed her the catalogue!

Next to join New Love was Persicaria ‘High Society’, one of many persicaria that are now at their best, still flowering generously despite many weeks without rain; however, the foliage of some has suffered with what looked at first like a sort of rust but is more likely to be from the drought. Clashing stems of traditional cottage garden ‘montbretia’ have appeared in the same bed as High Society, remnants of a clump that was dug out many years ago (the panel on BBC4’s Gardeners’ Question Time recently pondered inconclusively why montbretia keeps on flowering with no attention whilst the named varieties of crocosmia will sulk and refuse to flower if they are too dry or not divided regularly). In the meantime, as this emergent clump will be removed shortly too, it seemed a good idea to use the blooms first.

With these contrasting blooms already in hand, it also seemed a good idea to continue with bright and even clashing colours, so I headed for zinnias in the cutting beds where (joy of joys) the small trickle of successful zinnia blooms continue – mostly from a Summer Bouquet mix, but also a single Purple Prince (bottom right above). Aren’t they lovely? The yellow zinnia (top left) had a damaged stem and a bloom of Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ (with Purple Prince) was cut to provide a splash of yellow but remarkably the former is still going strong so we have both. Another success is Helichrysum ‘Bright Rose’ (with zinnia top right), with Nicotiana elata ‘Nicki Red’, not as profuse as its lime cousin, adding further colour, and the central picture above showing the final constituent, Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’ alongside the clematis and persicaria. What an attractive annual grass this is, and how perfectly apt is its name! It was only sown in May as the seed saved from last year proved not to be viable and I was late buying a fresh batch, but plants grew quickly and were planted up in small pots barely a month ago, still awaiting damper conditions before they are planted in the ground, along with many other pots of newly grown or acquired plants.

It was High Society I was focussing on whilst seeking an appropriate title, but inspiration eluded me; casting my eyes around the hum…bits and bobs?…clutter?! in our house I saw this little plane, most probably the product of a christmas stocking at some time, and thought – High Society…success with zinnias…frosted explosions…Flying High? Admittedly not up to my usual standards but, as I said earlier, It Will Have To Do!

Neither props nor titles nor even vases are essential for IAVOM so please do not let their absence cloud your inspiration – even a single stem or twig (preferably from your own garden or gathered nearby) in a jam jar or on its own can bring you pleasure and that is what IAVOM is all about, bringing the joys of our gardens inside for closer and more intimate admiration. If you would like to share your joy with this friendly and supportive blogging community just leave links on your own blog to this post and a link to yours in a comment here on this post.

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48 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Flying High

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Kitchen sink! | Duver Diary

  2. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy, what a wonderfully colourful, exuberant vase today!
    I too am enjoying my Zinnias which, unlike so many things, are really enjoying this hot weather. Here’s mine:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen – it was good to come home to its brightness yesterday after a night away, and having those zinnias are great. I just hope I can recreate their moderate success another year when it perhaps wil not be as hot!

  3. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Flowers for a Pizza party – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  4. Christina says:

    This is a lovely vibrant vase Cathy; you are very good with your preparations and titles! I’m glad your zinnias are doing well for you this year; mine are not producing as well as last year but that might be due to my cutting them back so hard before leaving for my holiday in July. Here’s my vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina. Zinnias have made such a colourful contribution to other people’s vases in the past so I am pleased to be able to use them myself now. Apart from cutting them back hard before you went away, do you pinch them out earlier on?

  5. Wow – what a glorious and explosive riot of colour Cathy and the vase is just the perfect vessel for all those flowers! Is it a vase that we have seen before? Art Deco comes to mind. I must investigate persicaria ‘High Society’ forthwith. I recently managed to track down persicaria ‘Fat Domino’ at the Tatton Show 🙂 My persicaria plants have browned at the edges too which I have attributed to a distinct lack of the wet stuff. Hope that you have a good week. My vase is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – I have used the jug before but it came cheaply from an antiques market once and I have no idea of its origins. It could be vintage or it could be just modern and rustic! Now my persicarias are filling out a bit I will look into propagating them so will let you know if I can send you any HS and perhaps Jo and Guido which is also doing well. Good to hear the the ‘rust’ really does seem to be down just to the drought

  6. Beautiful and colorful bouquet that is so cheerful on this Monday back to work day. Love the airy greenery. Adds the perfect touch of cheerfulness.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    A rich, explosion of color. Lovely Cathy. Hope your trip was grand. Thanks for being our conscientious hostess. My vase is

  8. Noelle says:

    I always look forward to your arrangements and sometimes ‘hover’ over the title before I plung into the main text, with flights of fancy as I imagine growing zinnias next year…I find it difficult to decided what to leave in…or leave out…

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Noelle. Despite relative failures with zinnias in previous years I have kept trying but overall I have sown far too may varieties of things this year and will try to be a bit more selective for next time 😉

  9. Enjoyed your post, I think the title and props are great. I had to study the plant material a bit to figure out who was who! I am looking forward to Zinnias this winter. Here is my vase

  10. I love the bright and clashing colors of this vase…they scream the heat of a tropical summer which I know we both have had without much rain here. I have been absent too for several weeks but just popping in with a vase I had hoped to share weeks ago. I am likely not back full-time to blogging for a couple more weeks but glad to connect again. And I hope to have some cutting garden vases soon to show.

  11. Peter Herpst says:

    The bright colors are a perfect reflection of cheerful summer. I love your exuberant arrangement. Your garden is carrying on brilliantly even in your absence. My post is here:

  12. From your vase we would never know about the climate/weather conditions you are all suffering with. Compared to so many locations, I can’t complain. Nothing special here this week, but it is high summer and there must be vases:

    • Cathy says:

      A lot of the garden has shade for part of the day so perhaps it hasn’t suffered as much as some that are in full sunshine all day – so I am not complaining either!

  13. Kris P says:

    You’ve gathered a wonderful amalgam of color, Cathy, although what caught and held my eye was that Panicum grass. With this introduction, it goes on my ever-lengthening list of “must get” plants. Whether it’ll even grow under our hot, dry summer conditions is a whole separate issue. On my side of the pond, the dahlias are demanding attention again this week:

  14. Alison C says:

    You have a colourful collection and I too love the grass. I need more of them next year. I like the clashing colours and they do all work together with the beautiful green jug to anchor them.

  15. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – cut flowers from my garden | Bramble Garden

  16. karen says:

    What a fabulous colourful mix you have this week. I too have been out of action for the IAVOM postings of late. Plenty of flowers have been going back and forth to MIL and Mum to keep their windowsills cheered up. Just haven’t had a minute to take photos or write up. Here’s this week’s rapidly written post. Karen

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I know you will be keeping up with flowers and posies even when you are not posting – the recipients will be greatly cheered by them, I am sure

  17. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, Monday already. Hey, you have nicotiana AND montbretia! Is montbretia invasive?

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm, thuggish, Tony rather than invasive – and it’s hard to get rid of!

      • tonytomeo says:

        I was just working in an area that the montbretia dominated over the past few years. We do not even bother trying to get rid of it there. If we ‘could’ get rid of it, the ivy would take over again.

  18. Ali says:

    Beautiful. It’s an embarrassment of riches!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – it’s not indicative of the garden as a whole though, which is definitely not an embarrassment of riches at the moment 😉

  19. Cathy what wonderful flowers and what wonderful colors. It is a magnificent vase full of color and Summer, I love it. The Zinnias I like very much like the Persicaria “High Society”. The Clematis in blue are fascinating. It is a divine branch. The vase is very beautiful. And the small plane is lovely. Flying high. Have a lovely week. Greetings from Margarita.

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Raspberry (jam) and custard | Views from my garden bench

  21. Super vase – so summery and bright – I’m definitely going to grow zinnias next year. I’ve got a small posy this week (and nearly on time too!).

    • Cathy says:

      Do have a go at Zinnias, Bec – I am so thrilled to have these and they are lasting well in the vase which is always a good thing

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