In a Vase on Monday: Carnival

If there hadn’t been those spikes of aconitum to deal with last week, there would have been a vase of antirrhinum instead, so they were the first port of call this week with other blooms being added as an idea began to take shape.

Three stems of Antirrhinum ‘Liberty Classic Rose Pink’ took central stage at today’s carnival, but recycled their carnival costumes from last year, as they came from one of several plants that overwintered. Between them they might have produced two or three fairly feeble spikes in late summer last year but this year the bushiest plant must have at least half a dozen shapely and attractive spikes already, with several more to come. Then, as this year, they were sown in early February – not sure what I can do to get them to flower earlier, as a colder winter would no doubt have seen them off. I am certainly pleased I didn’t include them when I cleared the cutting beds, along with some adjacent scabious which also overwintered.

First to join the antirrhinum were the first two stems of Calendula ‘Snow Princess’, closely followed by sideshoots from my whopping delphinium, possibly ‘Black Knight’. Adding additional brights are sweet pea ‘King George VI’, cornflower ‘Blue Boy’ and Pelargonium ‘Surcouf’, the latter grown from cuttings kindly given by Jenny of Duver Diary on the Isle of Wight, when we visited last year. Limonium suworowii ‘Pink Pokers’, rat’s tail statice, brings some purple streamers to the carnival display. All except the delphinium and pelargonium came from the cutting beds and, having benefitted from carnival weather throughout April and May, making a productive start to June.

After trying a few vases, I settled for this unmarked swirly green glass example, one of a pair originally bought because I thought they might work as ‘hyacinth vases’ – still unproven as I never have much success with growing hyacinths in water anyway. The prop is a piece of sheer fabric in carnival colours which in hindsight I think the vase looks better without.

Are their signs of an impending carnival in your garden? Whatever you choose to pick to create a joy-bringing vase for the start of your week, please consider sharing it with the wider IAVOM community by leaving the usual links to and from this post.

ps the poisonous vase still lingers, with more of the tightly curled buds swelling and showing hints of blue. In the meantime, I have listened to evidence from various parties but the case still remains unproven…


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53 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Carnival

  1. jenanita01 says:

    Lovely to see those snapdragons, as mine are just an inch high at the moment!

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  3. What a lovely riot of color to start the early morning hours of my work week. They surely bring a smile to my face and soul. Thank you kindly for starting my week with a splash of color.

  4. the running wave says:

    Lots of delicious things in your vase Cathy! A real celebration of colour in our gardens as we tip into June! Thank you. Amanda

  5. I’m envious of your snapdragons. They are an annual here – like petunias and marigolds – and I had planned on purchasing a flat of the ‘Rocket’ variety – tall and glorious. Alas, like may other things, the virus seemed to have delayed or deterred many growers from starting many things this year, and I found not a single plant available in any of the local garden centres. Note to self for next year – start from seed…. I LOVE the fabric you have swirling around your vase! It is perfect for your theme – reminds me of the striped tents and awnings seen at every carnival and fair!

    • Cathy says:

      They are annuals here too, Chris, but can survive through a mild winter, which it was in the UK. They are not difficult to grow from seed but it is a long process. Interesting to hear how much you like the fabric – it was absolutely perfect for the original reason I wanted it, unusually so as I am very choosy with colours/fabrics/paint, etc!

  6. pbmgarden says:

    It is a carnival. Glad you gave the lovely snapdragons their due this week. I was surprised to learn they overwintered for you. They do here as well, although it’s getting too hot for them. A great mix of flowers and beautifully displayed. Thanks for hosting us each week Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      It was such a mild winter, Susie. I am wondering whether it would be worth sowing them early in January, or even in the autumn to overwinter in the greenhouse, so that they wil flower earlier. This year’s sowing were only planted out a couple of weeks ago and are about 3-4″ tall

  7. Wow, such a lovely bright bouquet this week! I love that vase as well–you have the best collection of vases I’ve ever seen!

    • Cathy says:

      AW thanks Kimberley – I don’t think I have ever used this vase before, so at least I have justified its purchase now! Most of my ‘vase collection’ have come from car boot sales where they can be picked up very cheaply – £1 or 50p mostly

  8. A very festive carnival of color. I must try some Snaps this winter. I do love them. I think the fabric looks great and reflects the colors. I like the Blue Boy, too – wonderful color. Here is my mad Floridian vase

    • Cathy says:

      These are the best blooms I have ever had from antirrhinum, so I am especially thrilled to have them – but I can’t rely on mild winters to give me big bushy plants every year, sadly!

      • The bronze snaps were always my favorite…I grew them in containers with pansies. Believe it or not, it it too hot here in winter for pansies.

        • Cathy says:

          I shall have to investigate other colours – but I know I would be really choosy!

          • It was always a tossup between crimson and you have a color called Antique Shades Pansies? loved them with bronze snaps. and some curly parsely..

          • Cathy says:

            I can visualise pansies like that so yes, probably. I am not keen on bright contrasts in individual flowers so that would limit my choice!

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  10. Noelle M says:

    Lovely and colourful I can almost hear the music from the carnival. Love that blue, it surely brings out the best in the other colours. Here is my IAVOM:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – strangely I seem to have some infiltrators within my Blue Boys, as they are not all as blue as they should be!

  11. Anna says:

    Oh that vase of flowers positively sings Cathy. That snapdragon is rather delicious and how fortunate it got through the winter. Funnily enough the fabric reminds me of a dress I had some twenty five years ago or so in a cheeseclothy material. So we still don’t know whodunnit then? My vase this week is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Sadly I can’t rely on mild winters to give me decent snapdrogons, but to have a bushy plant is a first for me, so a joy. I am growing the scarlet version this year too. Ah, cheesecloth dresses, I remember them well…

  12. Kris Peterson says:

    This may be my favorite of all your vases yet, Cathy! And I loved the colorful fabric you arranged at its base in the first photo, which played well to the carnival theme. I adore snapdragons and, even though they collect rust within weeks of planting here, I continue to plant plugs each winter (they’re “cool-season” flowers here) only to be forced to pull them within a month. I should try growing them from seed to see if, by chance, that would make a difference. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks, Kris. The snapdragons are really easy to grow from seed but for me here they take a long time to reach maturity – I wonder how much difference your climate would make?

  13. Angie says:

    So many colors! This is just a beautiful and vibrant arrangement. My garden is just now getting to blooming and I’m very happy.

  14. Chloris says:

    Lovely to see your carnival of colours this week Cathy, I love snapdragons, these are such pretty ones. I am feeling wild this week .

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris. I am growing the crimson version of it this year as well but can’t rely on a mild winter for it to get as bushy as the plants these were picked from. Have you got any suggestions for how to get them to mature quicker?

  15. tonytomeo says:

    The color of that pelargonium resembles that of one of the wild ancestors to the modern hybrids. It is one of the two zonal geraniums that I have been growing since I was a kid.

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  17. Oh lovely. I’d not seen other colours (than crimson) in the Liberty series before. That’s a very definite pink! My antirrhinums have a long way to go before I can show them in a vase, so I’ve gone with potatoes … which are flowering:

    • Cathy says:

      This year’s sowings are certainly a long way from flowering too! I also have crimson, not grown previously.

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  19. Cathy says:

    This is really elegant Cathy, with some lovely ‘ingredients’ and gorgeous colours. The blue cornflower really caught my eye. You will see why when you see my vase for this week!
    I have grown Snapdragons from seed and they are lanky and nowhere near flowering, so it is lovely to see your carnival ones so bushy and bright!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – when I have got them to flower before they have been quite insignificant spikes (except the short Twinny varieties, which have always flowered well and much sooner, which is why I am especially thrilled with these. I am curious now about your vase and the cornflower hint…!

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  21. When I left my original comment, I didn’t think I was going to get a vase together today, but I did after all! Here it is:

  22. Alison C says:

    There is certainly lots of colour here as befits June. Snap dragons are so cheerful, mine are just starting here and I do look forward to them and will try and protect them from rust. I had Snow Princess last year but the germination wasn’t great. I’m hoping for some self seeders.
    I don’t seem to be finding time to post any vases. You can be sure I always have some flowers in the house but time gets away from me. I do so enjoy seeing your vases and the contributions from around the world which add to my plant wish list.

    • Cathy says:

      Good to know you are still having flowers in the house – have you been able to carry on with any of your business during the lockdown? When do you sow your snapdragon and when does it usually flower?

      • AlisonC says:

        Yes, I have just carried on as normal. I didn’t deliver for a few weeks but then realised that I could do it contact free. A few funerals too. I sowed the snap dragons in Autumn and they are just starting to flower now. We are quite exposed here, though. I think I’d planned a second sowing in spring but haven’t done that!

        • Cathy says:

          Ahah – you have sown snapdragons in autumn! That gives me the confidence to do the same here – how do you then overwinter them?

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