In a Vase on Monday: Not a Patch on Velvet

Just a quick pick for today, a vase of ‘Velvet Queen’ sunflowers, the first time they have been cut for a vase this year, aided and abetted by a step ladder (hint: needed for one of The Projects) that happened to be at an appropriate end of the garden. This regal sunflower has performed well in the cutting beds and has been blooming for around three months, with branching stems producing a number of blooms in a range of sizes. I have also grown the dwarf sunflower Dwarf Sunspot again, which grows to about 18″, but the flowers only lasted two or three weeks. In a sunflower trial/demonstration at RHS Harlow Carr this weekend a middling-height sunflower named Santa Lucia caught my eye and I shall be looking out for this one though.

As I plonked the velvety monarch with just a mere hint of artistry in an unmarked vintage green earthenware vase, I had in mind a piece of ‘crazy patchwork’ created with richly coloured and randomly shaped velvet pieces, that I thought I had tucked away with other quilts, bought during a textile-buying period when we first began to have some disposable income after renovating the house and building the extension. Most are stuffed into an open-fronted cupboard on a landing so it should have been easy to find.

Sadly, that was not to be, so whether it was just a figment of my imagination after all I cannot say, and we have instead an alternative piece of patchwork as prop, created not from velvet but patterned and textured silks with a few hexagons of a fine woollen fabric. From

the nature of the patterns I have always considered it was likely to date from the late Regency or early Victorian period, but I could be completely wrong. As with many quilts, each hexagon was stitched together on a paper template and in some cases, as with this one, the paper was never removed so a bit of sleuthing might turn up a fragment of dated newspaper. However, the fabric is delicate and fraying in parts so I shall not be attempting an exercise in detection.

Do join with us today on IAVOM and share a vase or container of blooms or other material from your garden or found locally – thinking out of the box is always encouraged! As other contributors already know, it will bring you much pleasure during the coming week, and if you would like to share that pleasure with us just leave links to and from this post.

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41 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Not a Patch on Velvet

  1. thenewgardenerblog says:

    Love the russet tones of the velvet queen. Mine clash terribly, you’d never be able to buy this arrangement from the shops but that’s the beauty of growing your own I suppose!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – and is this the first time you have visited IAVOM? I think it might be, and if so then a great big welcome! I can see your ‘clashing’ vase but comments have been ‘closed’, so I can’t comment on it – I suspect that might not be what you intended…

      • thenewgardenerblog says:

        Ah. Yes, sorry! Not sure how that happened! It is indeed my first time!

        • Cathy says:

          Sometimes people say it is their first time, but I didn’t recognise the blog name – thank you so much for joining us. It is a very friendly and supportive meme and we all learn from each other. Have people been able to comment on other posts? If so, then the option must be switched off on this particular post – if you click on ‘edit’ on your post and then ‘screen options’ you can check whether ‘comments’ is ticked, and ‘discussion’ too, I think. Hope you can sort it as it is a shame for us not to be able to support you this way

          • thenewgardenerblog says:

            Thanks Cathy, I think it’s because I was using the app not my PC and it only gives you limited options and I cannot fix it as I am now away! Ah well, there’s always next week! Looking forward to ensuring there are always flowers from my garden in my house!

          • Cathy says:

            Have a good break – and do let us know what we can call you when we are able to comment on your post next time!

  2. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Black Sunflowers – September 02, 2019 – Chasing the Blooms

  3. Noelle says:

    I wonder how high Velvet Queen got and whether you needed Working at Height Risk Assessment? It looks so rich and interesting, and that lovely vintage green vase is just the right container. Guess its that time of the year when many of us will be hunting out quilts and blankets etc…of course not lovely vintage ones like yours,. Here is my IAVOM;

  4. I love sunflowers there are some huge 10′ shrubs called Bolivian Sunflowers that grow here. I don’t have any of these as I don’t want to prune them. My grandmother used to have quilts like that. A ladder must be really handy to use it for flower cutting! I am waiting for the hurricane here in South Florida

  5. Anna says:

    Oh can I borrow some of your sunflowers for my vase pretty please Cathy? What a fabulously rich colour. It sounds as if they have reached a decent height. I made or should I say embarked on a patchwork quilt in the 80s but I think that it remains an unfinished item somewhere in the loft. My vase is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Well yes, pop on over and you are welcome to share them Anna! I think the first time I had these it was a free packet (GW?) but they will feature regularly now as I am very fond of them, more so than any yellow ones. It was a combination of our respective heights that made cutting difficult of course! You could always use the bit of the quilt you completed to make a cushion cover or a picture…

  6. I’ve added ‘Velvet Queen to the list of sunflower seeds to look out for! It’s really unique looking – but is it one of those with no pollen? When I see that description I think it must be of little value to bees and other pollinators, but that’s just a guess. Nonetheless, very striking. As is the cloth the vase sits on — at first glance I thought it was a mosaic table top. Really beautiful! Here’s my meagre dry season vase:

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Velvet Queen has great color (and apparently height). Love the patchwork theme in your design. I awoke many morning warm and snuggle beneath a patchwork quilt my grandmother made long before I knew her and fashioned of left-over snippets of family life. Thanks for hosting Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      The sunflower is probably only averagely tall, Susie, and it is me that is short! Good to have a quilt with memories like that – is it in the family still?

  8. Pingback: this week’s bouquet – in my spare time

  9. Your sunflowers are stunning and must be humongous if you needed a step ladder. I wish you had caught a photo of that too. I’ve never had to use a ladder to pick flowers and it makes me smile.
    Thank you for hosting us again Cathy and here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Cindy, you might not be aware that I am quite short – about 4’11” and a bit – and therein was the problem with what is an averagely tall sunflower!!

  10. the running wave says:

    I love the beautiful autumnal colours of your sunflowers Cathy. I grew some years ago with similar colours, and darker. I must look out for your velvety ladies for next year. They are gorgeous. I have similar colours in my vase this week, but they come with a huge apology – to the flowers! Have a good week. Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      They are gorgeous, aren’t they? I have grown Earth Walker before, but Velvet Queen seems to perform better and reliably has side shoots that produce a bloom too

  11. Kris P says:

    Velvet or not, your cupboards certainly contain a wealth of riches, Cathy. I wish I’d started my own sunflowers earlier this year and that I’d planted more of them – your ‘Velvet Queen(s)’ are gorgeous. I’m still heavily reliant on dahlias this week as the rest of my garden is entering its late summer doldrums:

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    I love these sunflowers whose petals look like they are painted with broad brush strokes, so pretty. I grow several varieties, but I think in the future I will grow only ones that don’t surpass 6-8′. 12-14′ is too tall to maintain! My vases this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, a 12-14′ sunflower doesn’t bear thinking about for a shortie like me! And thanks for pointing out the brushstrokes which I agree make them look like a watercolour painting

  13. smallsunnygarden says:

    How lovely, and perfect in the green vase! And I like that the colours are not too dark but still have that rich, deep, bronze hue.
    Great minds think alike, or perhaps it’s just the season for sunflowers. 😉 I have them again in my vase today – not much choice as regards colour or height, as they are from the wild patch! And the coreopsis is blooming:

  14. Cathy says:

    A gorgeous colour sunflower Cathy 🙂 Sunflowers and patchwork do go so well together and make me think of September picnics. You certainly picked the right vase too – I wonder how many vases you have…. 😉
    I hope to be back with a vase again soon. Was in the UK last week and met up with Karen (Bramble Garden) at Coton Manor. We both agreed we must ask you to join us next time as it can’t be too far for you too. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy. I don’t think I dare work out how many vases I have – there will be the ones I had as ornamental pieces pre-IAVOM and then loads of them bought at car boots post IAVOM! Hope you had a good day out at Coton Manor – yes, do ask next time as it would be lovely to meet up

  15. Chloris says:

    I love those sunflowers, I must try some that colour next year.

  16. tonytomeo says:

    Velvet Queen was one of the varieties I grew when I lived in town! It was not my idea, but a neighbor wanted them long the driveway (which was closer to her house). I only grew them once, and she selected other varieties each year

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