Yesterday, when these blooms were picked, it rained virtually all day from morning till night – when was the last time that happened? May sometime? The garden was certainly very grateful, as of course was the gardener even though it meant a wet time was had picking blooms for today’s vase.
Rather than make a definite selection before I started cutting I started with the gomphrena and then just quickly cut anything potentially useful that was of a similar scale and palette so that I could get out of the rain. The gomphrena, the first time I have grown it, is G ‘Strawberry Fields’ and was very slow to thrive once germination took place; still struggling when I planted it out, it was dug up again and planted in pots where it has eventually begun to display its strawberry-like blooms. If I grow it again I will keep it in pots and perhaps leave the pots under cover; meanwhile, I have tried drying this year’s blooms but the stems have shrivelled up. Any suggestions?
Trying to keep the blooms relatively small, I steered away from cosmos and most of the dahlias, but the little pompon dahlia ‘Willo’s Violet’ fitted the bill and was a suitable shade of reddish purple. The soft white petals and dark leaves of Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’ deserved a place too, as did clary sage ‘Sundae Pink’, Nicotiana ‘Nicki’s Red’, Salvia ‘Neon’ (how I love the sharp fragrance of salvias like this!) and single small-flowered zinnia from a Lilliput Mix. Persicaria ‘Jo and Guido’s Form’ and Lythrum ‘Dropmore Purple’ provided vertical accents with their slender spikes, and it wasn’t until the latter was cut that I realised how prettily the stems twist and turn, adding to the pleasure its presence already brings to the garden.
In the end, none of this eclectic mix was excluded from the vase so perhaps my snipping was more intuitive than it seemed! Remembering the effectiveness of chicken wire in keeping blooms upright, I have utilised this Tantallon Ceramics vase, the one that brings back memories of my Grannie, with blooms placed in the central section as well as the surrounding holes. As long as the stems are placed judiciously, the chicken wire works well – but mistakes are difficult to rectify as it can be hard to remove the stems once inserted. Oh, and did you notice the little cocktail umbrella…?
Considering the lack of any real forethought in the choice of rapidly-cut blooms, I am pleased with the results and especially the blend of colours and shapes that make up the vase – but essentially it is still a ‘pick and plonk’ creation. Whether you create a pick and plonk or more elaborate vase today or something in between I am sure it will add pleasure to your week too, and as always the rest of us look forward to sharing that pleasure so please leave links to and from your post as usual.