In a Vase on Monday: A Lost Chance

All week I have been planning to cut lanky (Salvia) Phyllis Fancy for today’s vase and had one of my few really tall vases in mind, so far unused because…I have had little material substantial enough to justify its use…I am not brave enough to create a BIG

arrangement? One or the other, anyway, but the reason is irrelevant because when I went to cut her stems yesterday she was on the wane and no longer at her best, with droopy flowers and floppy leaves. With chillier days and a few frosts in recent weeks I guess this is just the lady’s normal seasonal demise and I will learn in a few months how well she has coped with a complete winter.

An extended ramble provided alternatives, quickly developing a pink theme: jolly blooms of Chrysanthemum ‘Jessie Cooper’, surprisingly late blooms of Osteospermum ‘3D

Double Purple’, omnipresent Salvia ‘Neon’ and Persicaria ‘Inverleith’, drying heads of sedum and greenery courtesy of Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ and parsley seedheads, a surprisingly pleasing little bunch. Trying to avoid using vases that regularly appear, I picked out a glass container held in a wire framework which originally, I recall, housed a hyacinth gift; I am not sure if it looks a little too chunky for the posy, or if the stems could have been a little shorter to balance the two.

It was an interesting exercise scouring the garden for this vase after many, many months of relative plenty, and scouring will be done with an increasingly fine toothcomb in the coming weeks; however, 52 weekly vases a year for five years shows it can be done. Every week it is SO interesting to see what other contributors have found in their gardens and to read the context of their vases, so please keep them coming, leaving links to and from this post to enable us to share in the pleasure that the vases give their creators.

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53 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: A Lost Chance

  1. Christina says:

    Remarkable vase for the end of November. I think the height balance works or the stems could even be a little longer. I’m still away so my vase will be tomorrow.

  2. Amanda says:

    Greetings from Melbourne Cathy! I didn’t manage to pick anything for this week, so cheated and visited a flower shop instead!! Your lovely post just goes to show what glories can be found in a British garden in November! Beautiful colour! I love it! Amanda

  3. Alison C says:

    I like going big with arrangements, it’s very satisfying but perhaps easier in summer than November. I like little posies too, though and yours is a lovely surprise this week. Seedheads and grasses always help. It is very interesting to see what people find. Here is my vase and an update on flower farm progress

    • Cathy says:

      I was a bit disappointed not to have had the chance of a ‘tall’ vase after all, although where I would have photographed it I have no idea! Look forward to reading about your progress as well as seeing your vase

  4. Noelle says:

    You’ve chosen another unique vase, and found some beauties from your garden. I like your description of how plants wax and wane, and sometimes miss the boat. I was going to pass this week…but going into the garden to ferret around for cyclamen corn inspired the arrangement. It was posed and photographed, the post written, then I looked at your contribution.

  5. That is too bad about the salvia but I do love the vase you were able to scour for. Now there is little to scour for in my garden with snow and freezing temps….my vase post is from summer actually as I was unable to post it in summer due to my health issues. So better late than never.

  6. It is interesting how many times we start out to do one thing and end up with another. I love the deep pinks and am amazed at the bounty in your garden this late in the season. You have to look to see! I just read your 29 bags of compost post and have been growing seeds here – it’s addictive I think. Here is my vase (partially from seed)

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and yet at times of plenty I try to stick to my first thought otherwise I would never make a decision the contents of vase! I love the whole miraculous process of sowing and pricking out and potting on and have quite a few autum sown things potted on now

  7. Remarkable is right! Holy cats. My gardens are covered with snow. Just the stalks sticking up through the white.

  8. bcparkison says:

    My goodness…you did really well for end of the season.

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, you managed to find a compatible mix of blooms and foliage. The vase adds a lot of interest to the entire look. My vase pickings are smaller and smaller but a gift from my sister saved the day this week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – it is strange how almost everything still flowering in the garden is pink! You have such generous sisters and I am guessing the title is a giveaway of what this sister has give you

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Monday?! Already?! Didn’t we just do this . . . . last . . . . . . well, Monday?
    Floral design still impresses me because it is something that I can not do. I can grow just about anything, but I can do nothing more with the flowers than cut a few and bring them in. Osteospermum seems to be somewhat popular. I have noticed modern cultivars of it in nurseries. I never worked with the shrubby types. I just remember it as a cheap small scale ground cover from the 1970s and 1980s. It bloomed only in white, with occasional mutant purplish flowers.

    • Cathy says:

      Most of us still just plonk our blooms in their vases, Tony, with maybe a tweak or two to satisfy us – I never think of my vases as ‘arrangements’. There are lots of varieties around in the UK now but perhaps not as hardy as earlier ones

      • tonytomeo says:

        If I were not so intent on avoiding another blog, I might consider it. I got so many pictures of colorful foliage today that I could have gotten a picture of a pile of colored leaves and called it good! We do not get great color here, so I wanted to show off. Something a big more Californian might be better.

  11. Peter Herpst says:

    You’ve found quite a bit of lovely color for this November vase. I like the way the wire and pebbles work with the contents to create a delightful whole. Happy new week. My contribution is here:

  12. Kris P says:

    I love all the pinks and I was delighted to see an Osteospermum in the mix, Cathy. I don’t often go really big either, as other than dahlias and sunflowers (the latter which tanked this year), I don’t usually have stems tall enough to warrant use of any of the few large vases I have. Coincidentally, I did end up going big this week, however, at least in my choice of vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – yes, this osteospermum is similar to the ones you showed last week, I think. I boughtthese (and a white version) as plug plants but although they are pretty, they were very late to start flowering

  13. You did well, Cathy, to find so many lovely pink flowers even if the salvia didn’t quite work out as hoped. I had to look twice at your container – my initial thought was there had to be a very tiny glass phial buried in the pebbles! I love the wire and think it works incredibly well. I think you are right about scouring – I fear it’s going to be red berries and evergreen foliage for me from now until springtime. Here’s my link for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth. The container has a handle attched as well, like a little bucket, but I thought it detracted at the front. I use these little pebbles a lot for holding stems in place, and they are tiny enough to fill out curved vases, which helps

  14. Pingback: Monday Flowers – Autumn Treasure

  15. Hi Cathy – it is lovely to see that you can still find so much colour in your garden. I was doing well but some very wet days and a few frosts have brought most things to their knees in my garden. I have managed to make a contribution this week though
    I hope you are well and looking forward to the challenging weeks ahead whilst we wait for some flowers to return! xx

    • Cathy says:

      It’s lovely to have a contribution from you Julie. Here, the only things still ‘going strong’ are 2 persicaria which have been absolutely amazing for months

      • Thank you Cathy – I enjoyed joined nag in again – it has been too long! Apart from my greenhouse flowers I think everything is really over here – although the first snowdrops & winter jasmine are out and the hellebores are full of buds so lots to look forward to – I do love the winter season. xx

  16. Isn’t that the way! We get all set to create, based on specific flowers and then reality strikes. But lovely as always showing we can all rise to the challenge of finding flowers that will spark our creativity.

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  18. rickii says:

    We have to be ever more flexible when we go out there to forage for plant material, don’t we? I like what you came up with.

  19. smallsunnygarden says:

    I think your combination of chrysanthemum and osteospermum flowers is a great deal of fun, besides seeming a bit unusual from a seasonal point of view! I, too, was surprised to read that that was a wire-wrapped glass vase. 🙂
    Here is my contribution (hint: there are roses), as well as an announcement I have been delaying, and an admittedly long explanation thereof…:

  20. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – late – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  21. Cathy your vase is magnificent as are the photos. I really like all the flowers in the vase, but the Osteospermum are divine, just like the Chrysanthemums “Jessie Cooper”. The Hakonechloa macro herb “Aureola” is very special like the Sedum heads. I love your idea of putting a glass jar inside the white lattice, it is very beautiful. It is a divine arrangement. Have a very good week. Greetings from Margarita.

  22. Oh now that was rather inconsiderate of Phyllis but I’m sure that you have forgiven her and Jessie is such a fabulous understudy. What a treasure trove of a vase for so late in the year Cathy.

  23. Cathy says:

    Goodness! Is it really the end of November?! Your vase is stunning – the sedum still looks like a summer flower. My persicaria collapsed after a hard frost and snow showers, so my garden has now come to a standstill. Lovely to see yours is still going strong!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, you wouldn’t guess it from t6his vase, would you? Sorry to hear your garden is at a standstill, Cathy – but do you have any winter flowerers to come?

      • Cathy says:

        In our part of Germany it isn’t really worth trying with winter flowers as we can have several weeks of permafrost. Having said that, I have planted a Chimomanthus at the new garden just to see what happens! 🙂

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