No, the ‘first’ was not a first prize for these zinnias, but the first time I have have had decent enough zinnias to merit a vase of their own!
After juggling sowing times for a few years I achieved a small degree of success with them last year with some VERY SMALL zinnias in the cutting beds. They were stunted and straggly and overshadowed by other things, but it was still part of the learning process. Resolving to keep on trying, this year they were planted out in what was once a token vegetable bed within the fruit cage but now housed just sweet peas and an overlarge rhubarb crown (more about that in another post); here they ‘grew like Topsy’ until overshadowed by the aforementioned overlarge rhubarb. There are, however, still a handful of plants – Purple Prince, I think – which are a respectable 3 feet or so high and which happily offered up blooms for today’s vase. Aren’t the centres of zinnias fascinating?
It occurred to me that somewhere in my distant past there might be certificated evidence of another ‘first’ which could serve as a prop; duly found, I was pleasantly distracted by the rest of the hoard, comprising school reports, O and A level exam papers and various random achievements from my child-and-teenage-hoods. The undated prop was a Firat Prize awarded in the one year I entered a local horticultural and produce show, aged (deduced from another certificate, this time a second prize) somewhere between 10 and 15 and therefore a good few years ago, and awarded for Decorated, White, Hen’s Egg ‘hardboiled’. On the back of the certificate is written the word ‘cup’, possibly suggesting the egg merited a trophy for best children’s exhibit, but of this I have no recollection whatsoever!
The vase was one bought earlier this week from the charity shop operating on the site of our local recycling centre into which we had called after recycling a number of bags of rubble, its pretty shade of green seeming to reflect the equally attractive green of the zinnia stems. The vase does actually have a proper ‘front’ which I thought would be more appropriate for countrified or wild flower contents than for these zinnias.
Will you join us today, with pickings from your own garden or locality? We would love to see you.