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…