Ina Vase on Monday: All Hallows

All Hallows’ Eve falls on 31st October each year and is the day before All Hallows’ or All Saints’ Day in the Christian calendar. The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows’ Eve when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself. It is generally believed that many Hallowe’en traditions have evolved from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, meaning ‘end of the summer’. This festival is believed to have been a celebration of the end of the harvest, and a time of preparation for the coming winter. It is also widely accepted that early church missionaries chose to hold a festival at this time of year in order to absorb existing  Pagan practices into Christianity. All Hallow’s Eve is now popularly abbreviated to Halloween and commercialised beyond all recognition.

With my dahlias on the cusp of their demise (especially this pumpkin-coloured one, appropriately called ‘Happy Halloween) and the spontaneous purchase of a cute little squash, combining the two seemed to be the right thing to do, especially so near the end of October and All Hallows. The first frosts which will undoubtedly see off all the dahlias will also mark a point of no turning back with summer long since gone and autumn rapidly galloping ahead towards winter. Although there is still colour in the garden, as yesterday’s post shows, decay will soon set in with every cold night and visitation from Mr Frost and the fiery orange of these dahlias masks the brown-ness already creeping into some of the petals which will soon drop. The addition of sprigs of dark and sultry Salvia ‘Amistad’ blooms, almost-spent flowerheads of Sedum ‘Jose Aubergine’ and a stem of Iris foetidissima with its papery capsules and vibrant red seeds were chosen to highlight the impending darkness and decay of the time of year but sadly they can barely be seen on the photographs – or perhaps the fact they are skulking almost unseen amongst what seems like a bountiful harvest is appropriate after all…

The blooms are held in place with a frog pin in this black scalloped dish which came with a removable glass frog, the latter being of little use, and two or three blooms which had been knocked off their stems were placed around the base to hide bare stems. Also representing decay is this tiny doll’s head, dug up from the garden several years ago and not in any way ghoulish in this context. The little squash came from Aldi and was one of several different varieties they were offering, all most appealing and tactile, and I rather regret not buying more.

I hope those who grow dahlias have been able to cut more of their blooms before they got blackened by frost, but whether you have dahlias or not do take time to forage in your garden and bring something indoors to give you pleasure over the next week, whether you can pop it into a vase or other receptacle or not. We would love to see what you have found, so do share it with us by leaving the usual links to and from this post.

ps I have been on Jury Service for the last fortnight and everything else was inevitably put on hold as it such an all-consuming and mentally and physically tiring process, but nevertheless a great experience and one which I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to take part in

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53 Responses to Ina Vase on Monday: All Hallows

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – rescue operation – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    Your lovely orange Dahlias match mine this week. Mine were also rescued but from wind and rain rather than frost! Here’s my post:
    The White and burgundy striped Dahlia from last week is: Avignon

  3. The perfect vase for Halloween….beautiful colors and perfect prompts…dahlias long gone here but some flowers still remain. I have a mix of recent and current vases as I picked the last frost delicate flowers, and a few that are still bravely blooming in the incessant rain and cold.

    • Cathy says:

      It always surprises me what does continue blooming when the weather turns, Donna, and I am interested to find out what is still blooming in your garedn…

  4. pbmgarden says:

    What an inventive display for All Hallows’ Eve. Love the soft texture and hue of the Dahlias and those seeds from the iris are great. I’ve never seen them before. No frost here yet but expect it will be soon, so I gathered as many blooms as I could yesterday.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – the iris is tucked in the woodland edge border and must have had at least two flowers but because their nondescript colour blends into the surroundings I rarely notice them!

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: Café au lait – Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  6. Annette says:

    Hi Cathy, these dahlias are just beautiful, I love orange, such a vibrant colour, and how clever to combine them with the Iris seedpods. Halloween has turned into a nightmare for many who are being pestered each year by ever greedier kids. Glad that we live in the middle of nowhere! Delighted to be able to contribute a vase today. It’s a cheerful, creative meme which I love. Hope you’re well and your projects are coming on nicely. Have a lovely week 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette. In our village we haven’t been troubled by Trick and Treat for a number of years either. All well here and happily getting on with projects now my Jury Service is over – it is a long list!

  7. Noelle says:

    What a lovely warm and richly coloured arrangement Cathy. The iris seeds surrounded by their pale lined outer casing ares stunning. Mile stones often have roman numerals on:

  8. Perfect for Halloween! I love the high colored Dahlias in the black container and also succumbed to squash buying at Aldi – wish I had more, too! Bought a Pie Pumpkin as well. Here is my vase

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautifully coloured blooms, still lovely this late in the season. I like the contrasting blue backdrop that makes the scene pop. Today, I’m sharing my own pre-frost pickings:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Eliza – choosing the right coloured backdrop can be quite hard, and then sometimes you don’t realise the effect of the wrong colour until you see the photographs, by which time it is too late

  10. Alison C says:

    A bright collection of lovely dahlias with the pods and salvias as the perfect accompaniment. Every day is a bonus. Mine have survived so far thought we’ve had a few light frosts. I brought in lots last week in case am enjoying them inside. Hope yours go on a bit longer.

  11. Cathy says:

    The perfect colour for this week Cathy – the fallen petals make it all the more autumn-like. And October just wouldn’t be October without a pumpkin or two! (I am making a very large pot of pumpkin soup tomorrow!) Hope the frost stays at bay for a while yet. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – some of the blooms were already dropping their petals so I thought it appropriate to include them. And we did have A Frost last night which has blackened the dahlias…

  12. Peter Herpst says:

    The orange ‘Happy Halloween’ dahlias are the perfect color for All Hallows Eve. Love the doll head! No blooms in my vase today but color nonetheless.

    • Cathy says:

      That dahlia was indeed the perfect choice for this week, and opportune that it was still viable (but only just, as we have now had a hard frost …). I thought you might like the head …:)

  13. Kris P says:

    I’d almost lost track of Halloween in the past week. Your vignette is a wonderful reflection of its positive essence, which can get buried by consumerism here. I’m sorry to see the dahlias disappear from everyone’s gardens, my own included. I’m making do with less flashy blooms this week as my newly planted cool season cutting garden will take time to get up to speed:

    Thanks for hosting Cathy!

  14. Chloris says:

    I love the dahlia Halloween. It’s one I bought but the tuber rotted. I will try again next year, it’s such a lovely colour. And the iris berries are a perfect match. Spooky doll’s head.

    • Cathy says:

      I will try and get a rooted cutting to you next year, Chloris. I am glad I noticed the iris berries and it them that got me thinking of a kind of gentle Halloween theme

  15. Amanda says:

    Lovely! Orange and that deep rich blue of the salvia. A classic combination of complimentary colours of orange and blue! They sing! I have decided to do an extra vase for Halloween and it will also be orange and using that lovely salvia too! Great stuff! Here’s my contribution for today.

  16. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: saving daylight | acoastalplot

  17. Sam says:

    Gorgeous colours this week, Cathy. I did jury service a few years ago and found it a fascinating experience; I’d definitely do it again if asked. Here’s my vase for this week:
    Thanks, as always. Sam x

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sam – glad you have found time to create yourself a vase this week. I must go back and comment on your Blue Peter post and follow the link but so much has been on hold recently with JS. I would have been SO disappointed if I had not been selected for a trial during my fortnight! 🙂

  18. tonytomeo says:

    How cool that the iris seed made it in there. They are something of a weed here, although not too terribly invasive. The bright orange of the seed really seems like it would be pretty enough for something like this. I have not tried it.

  19. Oh what a bevy of dahlia beauties Cathy and that little pumpkin is oh most sweet. The other German supermarket is selling a variety of squashes and pumpkins too. I like looking at them but have one or two of my own that must be eaten before I can justify making any purchases. I hope that your jury service didn’t involve much in the way of travel. It must be both a most interesting and intense experience. I managed to rescue the star of my vase yesterday before last night’s frost :

  20. Cathy says:

    These dahlias were in the nick of time but the others look as if they are all goners now… 😦 I am hoping that these squashes can be dried – at 39p I treated myself to another one, Turk’s Cap, I think. Well done on growing your own – are they baby ones, or mammoth things? Jury Service was in B’ham so only a short train ride but walking to and from stations at both ends so it was physically as well as mentally tiring, but a most interesting experience

  21. these dahlias look wonderful – v halloween indeed! I’ve still got Armistead hanging on in my garden. I’ve managed to join the link up on the right day for a change 🙂 I’ve got orange roses and pumpkins too. I’ve never been on a jury but friends have – interesting but very, very tiring.

    • Cathy says:

      Well done for a Vase on Monday on a Monday and sorry I haven’t had time to read it till today. Yes, it was both physically and mentally tiring, but great to be part of that process

  22. karen says:

    Beautiful dahlias and very suitable for Halloween! Mine are sheltered under a plum tree and I might get another few days out of them, if I’m lucky. Here’s my IAVOM this week

  23. Cathy says:

    Thanks Karen – sadly Monday night’s frost took the lot of them, but it was only to be expected and today I have enjoyed cutting them down and compsting them, beginning a big tidy up of the cuttings beds

  24. Ah jury service. Well done! A long two weeks perhaps? I did jury service as a twenty something and was mortified by the things that go on.
    Safely in the garden is much nicer even with the frost having burnt the dahlias and my scented leaf geranium and lemon balm have gone to the greenhouse. Still some colour but chilly and untidy. I lobe your oranges

    • Cathy says:

      Not ‘long’ but all-consuming and very wearing. Our case lasted 8 days and it was a great experience (despite the kind of case it was) but I am so pleased to be back catching up with the garden. There is a certain appeal in cutting down those blackened dahlias and moving things inside and preparing parts of the garden for winter

      • And there is so much to do. I have been working and hardly had chance to do anything in my own garden.

        • Cathy says:

          Indeed there is – and of course my current ‘project’ takes precedence but I am champing at the bit to do other things as well. Are you working more than just your usual few days a week at the moment? Or is it sometimes full-time anyway? Have you got a List of what you will do when you have time?

  25. Ju says:

    Lovely Samhain display.. gorgeous colours 🙂

  26. Pingback: The last of the summer flowers – Edinburgh Garden Diary

  27. Dahlias are certainly stealing the show at this time of year. I see from other comments that many others’ have been blackened by now, while mine remain a vibrant green in their sheltered corner of our mild, coastal climate. Not that I can boast about this though, as our rapidly dropping light levels mean that almost no flowers are being produced anymore, and in fact I long for a frost so that I can commence the enormously satisfying ritual of cutting them down and burying them under a mulch. Your delightful little pumpkin is a perfect match for these lovely dahlias plus ‘Amistad’ and I. foetidissima. I have the latter in my front garden, a plant my mother no longer wanted, but it did not like being moved, or did not like its new spot, or just didn’t like me, sulked miserably all year, and failed to flower. Here’s mine for this week: and sorry it’s not a Monday (or even a spooky) vase. Monday is currently my working day and I’m too dead in the evening to open a computer, and not quite organised enough to arrange things at the weekends!

    • Cathy says:

      The frost on Monday night blackened dahlias here, Joanna, but like you despite their blooms I was still pleased that the moment had come to cut them down. Strange how satisfying these seasonal rituals are. I have still never had a decent clump of Amistad, but if I can overwinter a plant it will help, although I have several cuttings. Don’t worry if your vases don’t appear on a Monday – I am just pleased you still feel you want to create a vase when you can, for your own pleasure if nothing else

  28. Cathy the Dahlias have a really beautiful orange color and they are a beauty. The blue of Salvia contrasts beautifully. I have never seen the beautiful orange seeds of Iris, they are divine. It is a magnificent bouquet, beautiful, I love it. For its color is appropriate for Halloween and more accompanied by the pumpkin and the funny face of the doll that gives a little fear. And by the way, the story you’ve told about the origins of Halloween comes from the Druids of the Celts that as you very well say this date was to celebrate the end of the harvest and the change of season. Have a happy Sunday. Greetings from Margarita.

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