In a Vase on Monday: Eastern Inspiration

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.

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56 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Eastern Inspiration

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – a gift and a house full of flowers – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    My ‘Chinese asters’ have only been flowering for a couple of weeks too; I like them a lot but I find them quite difficult to germinate and grow on. We both have very pink vases this week. with more or less the same flowers. Weather wise it has become hot again here returning to the temperatures of August during the day but cooler at night thank goodness.
    Here-s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm, that’s interesting – mine certainly did better before, in terms of germination and flowering, and I probably won’t other next year – in fact if I hadn’t had the free seeds I wouldn’t have bothered this year. It is quite mild here too but not sunny and the nights have been variable – 17 degrees last night

  3. I was all set to comment Cathy when my Fitbit buzzed – you know what that means. So I’m back after a circuit round the house. A fabulous mixture of pink in your vase. The feathery green foliage is the perfect finishing touch. I presume that’s from the cosmos. I must try ‘Chinese asters’. You’re wise to pick them as we will be leaving summer behind in a few days but hopefully we might go a few more weeks yet before a frost. A fabulous family heirloom and it would be great if you could find out more. My vase is here :
    P.S. It’s good to see your vase – it’s identical twin has managed to disappear so I must do a thorough cupboard search 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – I am pleased to hear you are still getting your steps in! Yes, the feathery foliage is indeed cosmos – I have used it a lot in posies as there is so much of it and I ca afford to be generous, although it does tend to flop a bit when it is first picked. Hope you find your twin vase…

  4. Gorgeous Chinese asters. I don’t want to think about falling temperatures as the garden here is just reaching its peak. So much that I have two vases to share today

  5. Such a pretty vase with lovely pink flowers, which is so cheering for this time of the year!!!
    Sounds like your weather is getting colder, while ours is unseasonably hot and feels like summer still. It would be so nice to have some cooler weather without it being cold. Oh well, we take what we get.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cindy – it is not actually getting colder, just that I feel we can be prepared for some chillier days and nights. But you are right, we take what we get!

  6. Pingback: In a vase on Monday | Garden Dreaming at Châtillon

  7. Alison C says:

    There is definitely the dilemma of should I cut back and pull out or hang on for the last blooms. I’m a bit of a hanger on but it is satisfying to clear a bed and plant for next year. Also good to get on while the weather is more pleasant. It sounds as though you are making good progress. Love all the pinks and also the spikes an greenery popping out. This is such a great vase too.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison, I know what you mean about the dilemma. With the redoing of borders I have cut back many plants I wouldn’t normally cut back yet, partly for ease of moving but also so the plants that can think about beuilding up roots instead while there is still a growing season. It is the first time I have done a mammoth planting in autumn as it has previously been spring when I have had ‘bulk’ orders of plants. I cut back a large persicaria and could have had a vaseful of the blooms!

  8. Cathy says:

    Pretty pinks! – Interesting what you say about the Cosmos. They always seem to do that with me, but I thought it was just me and that maybe I should be pinching them early on. Clearly I have to search for a better variety. My china asters have been flowering for a long time now, but I don’t like the variety I’ve chosen (bought casually at Lidl). The stems are too weak. I shall go back to ‘Milady’ next year (although the flowers not so delightfully spikey). You have a wealth of treasures in your house. I got off my lazy bottom and posted today:
    Have a good week!

    • Cathy says:

      I can’t remember if I pinched mine out but the other varieties I grew were certainly not huge like Dazzler so I guess it’s the variety. It was ‘Milady’ that I have grown before and they flowered in June, I think ps a ‘wealth of treasures’ might be one way to describe it…!

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Happy Monday Cathy. Your pink flowers look great together. The Chinese Aster is amazing and I do love cosmos. Here in Chapel Hill, NC, we spent a long week anxious about Hurricane Florence and made it through without problems. Not everyone was as lucky. We’ve had even worse rains overnight and this morning. Flooding is a concern in parts of the state as rivers overflow.

    I prepared a vase before Florence hit town.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Susie, I am so sorry to hear that you have been concerned about the potential effect of Florence in your area. I keep meaning to plot US bloggers on a map just to remind myself where you all are! I hope the flooding can be retained as much as possible

  10. What a beautiful combination of pinks! My aster are now just starting to bloom and cannot wait because the Monarch butterflies love them and I haven’t seen any this year. So we are ready for them to come back!

    Today I’m sharing some simple blooms from my fall garden. Thank you for hosting!

  11. Deep pinks are a favorite and I remember my mother growing those huge Cosmos,she had a patio with a 4 foot wall that they peeked over. You inspired me to try those China Asters last year, mine were half the size of yours! I am waiting for cooler weather here as well, but starting seed for the winter garden.
    Thanks for hosting. Here is my vase this week

    • Cathy says:

      It’s good to see deep pinks at this time of year. Sorry you were disappointed with your asters – you win some and you lose some, I guess. My sowing has stalled a bit as I have been focussing on other things – need to remedy that!

  12. Noelle says:

    Such a pretty arrangement Cathy..and very pink. As you picked the asters so early, should we have an extended autumn, the plants will want to grow more….I have a kitchen windowsill arrangement this week:

  13. You always have such an interesting combination of plants, most of which I am not growing and thus I am enthralled at their form and color. And that has to be the most perfect vase for this meme! I think you could sell them online to this group of commenters and we would all want to buy one. Whatever is the real story behind the compass, it is a lovely memento. My vase is here:

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    Late season makes us appreciate what blooms are left in the garden so much more, don’t you think? You are sitting pretty in pink, I’d say. I’m impressed by your 100-yr.old compass; bet it works like the day it was made. Here’s this week’s late season bouquet:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh yes, I agree about appreciating any late bloomers – and you are right about the compass. It’s such a simple scientific concept and there’s nothing to go wrong

  15. Peter Herpst says:

    The summer seems to have flown by so quickly but your vase captures some of its blushing beauty. It sounds like you’ve been very busy in your garden and am glad that you have your heirloom compass to point you in the right direction!

  16. Kris P says:

    I was startled to read that frost is already a concern in your area – we had a VERY warm weekend so it seems that summer isn’t ready to release its hold on us, much as we might wish for that. I love your Chinese asters and wish they bloomed as nicely for us as they do for you. My vase once again features dahlias:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, it’s not normally frosty yet, Kris. but it still a possibilty and the colder nights will be on us before we know it – so I was just being prepared! Although the aster blooms I used were pretty, that’s all there were from one packet of seeds…

  17. Pingback: Butterfly bush in a vase on Monday – Doing The Plan

  18. Cathy says:

    Those shades of pink are lovely and must look gorgeous in the garden with the September light shining on them. I am really happy to join you today after my long summer break. Here’s my tiny vase:
    Thanks Cathy!

  19. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Evening Posy | Words and Herbs

  20. smallsunnygarden says:

    A very lovely selection of pinks, and that is interesting to know about the Dazzler cosmos being so tall! Chinese asters are definitely on my bucket list should I ever garden in a more appropriate climate. 😉 I went foraging for everything from weeds (sort of) to lavender this week – here is today’s vase:

  21. Pingback: monday vase |

  22. Pingback: A definite autumn palette | Frogend dweller's Blog

  23. Great view from above! I really like that alonsoa. I’ve never grown it before, but it looks like I should. I’ve got some really slow cosmos this year, so I share your waiting game.
    Here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      I came across alonsoa by chance – needing to make a purchase to get something else free (!), so grabbed the packet of seeds as they were red blooms and I was short of red! The original variety flowered better although who knows with our summer this year

  24. tonytomeo says:

    Monday sure comes fast!

  25. Chloris says:

    I love the Click Cranberry Cosmos, definitely on the list for next year. Such a pretty pink arrangement.

  26. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Eastern Inspiration — Rambling in the Garden – Bon Bon Lifestyle Webazine

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