In a Vase on Monday: Wet Pickings

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.

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60 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Wet Pickings

  1. Alison C says:

    Pretty to have all the pinks together. You are right about the Lythrum it is lovely twisting and turning. I haven’t had that before but perhaps I should. That is an interesting vase with the extra holes and gives new dimensions. We have had plenty of rain now and I appreciated the time inside yesterday to do things I’ve been putting off!

    • Cathy says:

      I know what you mean about those jobs – I too have so many rainy-day jobs that have been waiting months! I only came across Lythrum last year but the one I put elsewhere in the garden has struggled, whereas this one by the (artificial) stream has really thrived. Vases with holes like this always seem such a good idea but stems just don’t stand up in them, so the chicken wire really helped

  2. Love the colours and the carefree abandon of arrangement – dancing in the rain!
    Here’s my Phygelia on a Plate for you this week:

  3. Pingback: Phygelia | Wild Daffodil

  4. It was certainly the wettest day we’ve had for some considerable time Cathy. Not only that but chilly too. You must have run round the garden quickly 🙂 It let up here late in the afternoon but even then it still wasn’t inviting you to go out weather. I do like the colours of your flowers and how they echo the colours of your intriguing vase. I’ve never grown gomphrena but will have to add it to my list to explore before next year. I think that Christina mentioned it recently too. I picked my vase in the interlude after Saturday’s rain and before Sunday’s downpour :

    • Cathy says:

      It certainly wasn’t a day for lingering in the garden, Anna! It was Christina and some US bloggers growing gomphrena last year that tempted me to try it – I am not convinced I will grow it again

  5. Very pretty and such a nice variety of flowers. I don’t have that many to pick from this time of year and marvel that you have such a sweet and colorful selection for this late in August.

  6. Pingback: this week’s bouquet – in my spare time

  7. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Jewel colours – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  8. Christina says:

    That’s a very pretty combination of blooms Cathy; I like our Gomphrena a lot. One variety I sowed germinated poorly they damped off; I think they wanted more heat and probably more light too. Sorry I can’t help with the drying process, it’s not something I’ve tried with them. Here’s my post for today:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – the gomphrena I planted outside was overshadowed by other things so perhaps they didn’t like that. By the way, in your comment on Anna’s blog you asked about dahlia suppliers – the 3 rooted cuttings I bought this year came from Halls of Heddon, a specialist Dahlia and chrysanthemum grower; up to now I have always bought tubers from Peter Nyssen but H of H have a much wider choice

  9. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Bon bon Bank Holiday! | Duver Diary

  10. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy – that’s a really interesting and attractive mix of varieties – plenty that I’m unfamiliar with, one of the many joys of IaVoM! I’m tempted by the gomphrena, but you don’t make it sound easy…
    Here’s mine

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen, I was surprised to have amassed so many different varieties when I came back in after picking. I am unsure about the gomphrena – the flowers are quite small too and in a border the plants would not make much of an impact

  11. Joanna says:

    So glad you finally got a good rain! Your arrangement is beautiful! I’m amazed at how you were able to pick the perfect blooms for your vase in such a hurry! 🙂
    I’ve been keeping pretty busy the last month or so, plus a lack of inspiration, but now I’m back with a small offering… 🙂

  12. Your quick snips turned into a marvelous vase. I like the colors and shapes and am very happy to hear about the rain. I am sure your garden is sighing happily. A bit of flora from Florida

  13. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, your intuition served you well. What a charming arrangement, nicely balanced, beautiful individual specimens. And to top it off a vase reminding you of a special person–lovely. Glad you’ve had rain. After such a long time it can help reassure things are right with the world. My vase is filled with little things today.

  14. Angie says:

    I wish I had your eye for knowing what flowers to combine. This vase is beautiful! We had two days of rain and after the hot weather it seems it’s what the flowers needed especially roses and dahlias. Here is the little vase I’m sharing:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Angie – my roses seem to be putting on a growth spurt now that the weather is cooler and damper but many have not flowered since June

  15. Angie says:

    I wish I had your eye for knowing what flowers to combine. This vase is beautiful! We had two days of rain and after the hot weather it seems it’s what the flowers needed especially roses and dahlias. Here is the little vase I’m sharing:

  16. We’ve had serious rain and flooding where I live so my garden is pretty soggy and bowed down. We got 10 inches (25 cm) at my house but are fine. Not good in parts of the city and areas around me. Waiting for more rain for the next few days. Ugh, but I found flowers elsewhere this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Gosh, that is a lot of rain at one time Linda – glad your home and garden are OK, and hope the areas around you are not too badly hit with the next bout of rain…

  17. bcparkison says:

    I love pick and plonk myself and yours is very nice.

  18. Noelle says:

    Lovely array of special flowers there Cathy, and great to read cultivation notes along the way. I have an ‘after the rain’ post for IAVOM:

  19. Peter Herpst says:

    How nice that you finally have rain after your hot dry spell. Intuitive snipping indeed; your small pink flowers look fabulous together and work very well in Grannie’s vase. My attempt is here:

  20. Kris P says:

    I’m envious of the rain of course – we’re unlikely to see any for at least a couple of months yet. Your mad dash yielded a pretty display. I especially like the pom-pom dahlia, which isn’t a type I’ve tried to grow (yet). My own dahlias are the stars of my vases (again) this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Gosh, I wouldn’t have wanted to wait another 2 months for rain! Hope you and your garden ares surviving, Kris. I am unsure about the pompon dahlia – it is much smaller than I expected

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  22. Sam says:

    Your vase is a very lovely ‘pick and plonk’, Cathy! The rain was very welcome here, that’s for sure, and the garden has lapped it up. My vase is a ‘pick and shove in’ this week:
    Thanks, as always, for hosting. Hope you have a good week. Sam x

  23. Alison says:

    Your arrangement is so pretty and delicate, actually puts me in mind of spring. We got a tiny touch of rain here overnight, just enough to dampen the pavement, which was welcome after a hot, smoky couple of weeks. My post is here:

  24. Cathy I’m glad it rained even though I picked you up collecting the beautiful flowers of the lovely vase. I like all the flowers very much, but especially the Lythrum “Dropmore Purple”, the Zinnias Lilliput, the Gomphrona “Strawberry Fields” and the two classes of Dahlias. It is a magnificent bouquet with some shades of color that move around lavender – pink that I love. I like the detail of the cocktail umbrella next to the vase. Greetings from Margarita.

  25. Debra says:

    it turned into a beautiful little arrangement, Cathy. I love the little vase!

  26. tonytomeo says:

    Rain in August must be nice. We get no rain until October or so. There might be a quick shower before that. It happens every so often; but the real rain is a long way off. I do not think I could find that many flowers out in the garden right now. We can grow just about anything here, but most of it needs more water than I am willing to share.

  27. Rebecca R. says:

    Happy that your garden got to enjoy so rain this time of year. I love all the pinks and magentas together. Really pretty!

  28. Pingback: Our Shepherd’s hut, Old Brampton Derbyshire – In a Vase on Monday | Views from my garden bench

  29. A loving the magenta colours and especially the pompom dahlia – We’ve been in Derbyshire, so I picked a small posy from the orchard where our Shepherd’s hut is. We’ve had a lovely relaxing weekend – what we needed after a hectic summer. Love Bec xx

  30. A lovely pick and plonk Cathy and gorgeous colours. I especially like the salvia.

  31. FlowerAlley says:

    I just purchased two more gorgeous vases. Maybe someday I will actually use one and post here. I am so grateful for your blog. Sometimes I don’t even know it is Monday, until I see your post. Ha.

    • Cathy says:

      I am glad it helps you organise your diary – and so pleased that you enjoy IAVOM ps please be brave enough to try a vase sometime soon … 😉

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