The eastern inspiration for today’s vase was the ‘Chinese asters’, Callistephus chinensis ‘Gala Mixed’, which for some reason despite having been sown at the beginning of April has only just begun to flower. Bearing in mind how imminent the first frosts might be I picked the lot of them and searched for appropriate companions.
I didn’t have far to look, as the huge ‘Dazzler’ cosmos that has been dominating the cutting beds was just next door and I stretched up to reach the tallest blooms. The seeds for this were free (with Gardeners’ World magazine?) and it is not a variety I will grow again – just too tall! They were joined by a couple of the far more amenable Cosmos ‘Click Cranberries’, very similar looking Zinnia ‘Lilliput Mixed’, Persicaria ‘Inverleith’ and Alonsoa ‘Salmon Beauty’. P ‘Inverleith’ is shorter than some but larger than the fairly common P ‘Donald Lowndes’, and looking really pretty next to the stream. I have grown a red variety of alonsoa for a few years, but this year I was tempted by this soft pink version which drew lots of comments on garden opening days in June. After a couple of months break from flowering it has just started blooming again.
The pink posy was popped into the ‘handpicked with love’ vase that dear blogging friend Anna gave me – in which it looks perfect – and was accompanied by a vintage compass to
confirm an easterly direction. The compass was given to me by my Grannie and was presented to her brother when he retired, or at least that’s the story I remember. It doesn’t have a personal inscription but is dated 1918 and has the manufacturer’s name, so a quick Google search showed it to be made of nickel chromium and the same as those issued to officers in WW1 but without a ‘military arrow’ – so it seems an unlikely retirement gift.
On the cusp of autumn northern hemisphere gardens are hovering uncertainly, flaunting late season colour while they can but afraid of inevitable change in the weather. Temperatures are dropping, the hours of daylight are getting shorter and sunshine has been patchy, so blooms are slower to mature or are giving up the ghost. Most of the colour in my own garden is in the cutting beds, where joy is still to be had in just standing and gazing, as long as I ignore the spent rudbeckia, sweet peas and marigolds. Elsewhere, as part of my rehashing of the borders, some larger plants have already been cut back for ease of movement as I rearrange the borders and plant up the new acquisitions. Out of the eight borders (three main, three bold, two blue & white) five and a half have now been ‘done’, with the inevitable large collection of redundant plant labels.
I hope some of you will be motivated to find something in your own garden for IAVOM today – and find the time amidst your seasonal tasks to cut them and pop them in a vase or other receptacle. If you would like to share them with us too then just leave the usual links to and from this post – we would love to see them.