Without a clear plan in mind, I cut a few stems from Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Glow’, just beginning to colour up, before moving onto the cutting beds where I was drawn to white-bloomed Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’ from where a vague plan began to take shape.
Staying with a solely blue and white palette, these two were joined by blue and white cornflower, Cosmos ‘Double Click Snow Puff’, Ammi visnaga, Clematis heraclifolia ‘New Love’ and rogueish Japanese anemone. Not only have all the cosmos suddenly shot up in height, despite flowering since June but on fairly stunted plants, but both ‘Snow Puff’ and ‘Double Click Cranberry’ are producing more double flowers, instead of their earlier singles. I haven’t grown any ammi for a few years due to previous mixed success, and this year’s A visnaga is still struggling to flower and certainly would have looked better in the vase if it was more white than green. This year I have tried hard to deadhead the cornflowers to keep them flowering, with some success, but like many people I find them ungainly and straggly – how can we keep them more compact?
When thinking about a vase for these assorted blooms, I checked my random blue and white china pieces for a possible contender but when first picked the stems were a decent length and
there was nothing tall enough for them; by then, however, my mind was doing its usual thing and coming up with props and titles so the stems were duly cut down to fit in this china gravy boat (is this just a UK term?). The props were 3 little Chinese sampans made of shells, bought from a ‘Chinese shop’ in the late 70s, a shop no doubt filled with stuff in the Chinese ‘style’ and produced purely for an export market.
Rarely coming up with a vase wider than it is tall as there are no vases of that shape in my Vase Wardrobe, this gravy boat was an interesting diversion from my typical vases. The chunkier stems of the echinops, ammi and herbaceous clematis were affixed in a metal frog in the base of the vase and the lighter ones gently inserted between them, and although in hindsight the ammi could have been cut shorter to hide the airy gap in the centre, it will still bring me pleasure for much of the week. Could you take a few minutes to pick something from your garden to pop in a vase and bring you pleasure at the start of the week? If you would like to share it with us too then please add links to and from this post.