In a Vase on Monday: Cherry Brandy

Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ doesn’t seem to be as reliable as other annual rudbeckia, and germination can be poor, but they are dark and dramatic and make a real statement in a good year. I only managed to produce a couple of plants this time round and snipped all the flowering stems for this vase, whilst they were still looking pristine. It would have been a shame to have put them in anything other than  a brandy glass, from which I seem to have chopped the foot in the photo below:

Keeping it simple, the blooms are accompanied by stems from one of the Japanese painted ferns, probably ‘Ursula’s Red’, which has a hint of red in the stem and veins. It does have a label, but is growing in the narrow streamside bed which desperately needs an overhaul, peppered as it is with couch grass, Geum rivale and a smaller relative of rosebay willowherb. Tackling it would involve painstakingly removing everything, not easy with plants growing between the rocks and with the butyl stream liner somewhere below the surface – a job for a mild winter day, methinks, or one to keep putting off…

I have used the prop before, a little fridge magnet in the form of a miniature half case* of wine – sadly not cherry brandy: with a magnifying glass you can see that two of the bottles are Bordeaux wines, and the labels seem to be replicas of real labels, which is a nice detail. Holding the stems in place are glass pebbles, reminiscent of ‘beaded bubbles winking at the brim’, as described by Keats.

Many parts of the UK have been blessed with varying amounts of rain over the weekend, but hopefully it won’t deter the IAVOM community from finding material in its gardens to pick and pop in a vase. Wherever you are and whatever your weather, do consider joining in and leave links to and from this post if you would like us to share the pleasure your vase will bring you.

*If you would like an earworm, I found myself singing ‘A case of you’ by Joni Mitchell whilst I put this vase together:

Oh, you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter
And so sweet, oh
I could drink a case of you darling, and I would
Still be on my feet
Oh, I would still be on my feet

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34 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Cherry Brandy

  1. Wow, such a deep red Rudbeckia! Do you have it growing in front of a lighter green backdrop? I can imagine seeing it in a garden and wanting to get closer and closer… WordPress is so neat – in my ‘Reader’ right below your post before the Comments section are two of your previous posts, both featuring R. Cherry Brandy, one from last August and one from 2015. It’s the tags, I guess, eh? August is Rudbeckia’s time over here as well:

    • Cathy says:

      My 2 precious plants are in the cutting beds, and next to another rudbeckia I only had a few plants from. Yes, that’s clever about the tags – when I have noticed them before they don’t look as if they are particularly relevant, but I suppose in some cases you might need to see the whole post to understand why they have popped up. I find using categories and tags really useful if I want to go back and search on my own blog

  2. AlisonC says:

    You got a couple more plants than I did! So very lovely and the fern is beautiful. Perhaps it’s worth trying to save the seed?

    • Cathy says:

      I wasn’t sure if it was just me, Alison, but at least these two are really healthy plants. I will look up when and how to collect their seed as this is not something I am particularly proficient at

  3. FlowerLady says:

    Wow, what a beautiful Rudbeckia! I love the deep color.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve shown off the luscious Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ to perfection. Enjoyed your overhead garden views yesterday.
    Not inspired by my flowers this week but will check back to see others’ offerings. Have a great week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – and I am sorry you don’t feel inspired to share a vase with us today, not something that happens often! Glad you enjoyed the overhead views – I was so excited to have them 😊

  5. I did not realize there are annual Rudbeckias? Go figure. Those are very pretty and I wish I had some. I thought the brandy snifter was cut glass due to the pebbles. Simple and lovely. Here is my vase this week..

    • Cathy says:

      All my rudbeckias are annuals, Amy – this, Irish Eyes, Marmalade and Rustic Dwarf. I haven’t had any success with perennial ones. And the brandy glass is cut glass – but never been used for brandy (or anything other than a vase)!

      • Hmm, I had Goldstrum for so long it took over and I had to get rid of it. The R. hirta was barely an annual here..Laughing, it is cut glass, with pebbles? Gotta blow that picture up/ my brandy snifters have never been used for brandy either…

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    They are beauties… too bad they germinate poorly, but victory falls to the most determined, as we see here. Brilliant to use a brandy glass, too. 🙂
    My vase this week:

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  8. Anna says:

    Such a beauty Cathy. I’m reassured that you mention that germination can be poor as I have tried to grow it from seed at least once and failed miserably. I must persist! Thanks for the earworm 😄
    I have rudbeckias in my vase too this week :

    • Cathy says:

      And I am relieved it is not just me, Anna! I wasn’t sure how well known the Joni Mitchell song would be – I haven’t heard it in a while but I do have her LP ‘Blue’ on cassette somewhere, with this track…

  9. I’m sorry that ‘Cherry Brandy’ didn’t put on a better show for you, Cathy, but it looks great in your brandy glass. That’s the only Rudbeckia I managed to hang onto for a couple of years but it’s been hard to fin in my local garden centers in recent years, which means I should probably try growing it from seed too. After a good stretch of pleasant summer weather, the heat is now upon us and I ran a rescue operation yesterday, cutting lots of flowers before they succumbed. So that resulted in lots of vases:

    • Cathy says:

      It is sold as a perennial in the US, is it? My goodness, I can visualise you running round with armfuls of blooms – but worth it if it is going to be so hot, as presumably too hot for you to be in the garden too?

  10. the running wave says:

    Love the rudbeckia and love the ear worm. Love Joni Mitchell, and love the title for your post! It’s all just wonderful! Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, sounds as if it went down well with you Amanda! 😉 I have the song on cassette, but nothing to play it on now 🙄

      • the running wave says:

        I have ‘Songs to a Seagull’ and ‘Blue’ on LP and CD. I know there has been so much of Joni Mitchell’s amazing work since then but these are my two all-time favourites! A

  11. hb says:

    What an utterly gorgeous color, and the ferns make a delicate contrast. Just right.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks hb – I just wanted some simple foliage with the blooms and was pleased to have thought of using this fern with the red veining

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  13. Cathy says:

    That is a lovely colour Cathy, and the fern works beautifully with it. I love Rudbeckia and hadn’t realised until recently just how many varieties there are. Here is my vase for today:
    Thanks, and have a good week!

  14. tonytomeo says:

    Ooh; rich! It is like chocolate covered cherry. I do happen to like such deep reds, even though they are dark and contrast a bit too much with white.

  15. Chloris says:

    So you are a Joni fan too, I love that song. And I adore rudbeckias even if they don’t hang about in the garden. Cherry Brandy is fabulous and looks very sophisticated with the dark fern.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I hanker after a digital version of that album, or at least a CD, as I only have a cassette – will need to rectify that soon! The annual rudbeckias are so obliging from seed (other than CBs variable germination) and I am now wondering in the perennials are too – but as you say, perhaps the longevity doesn’t really matter if tge annuals are so easy

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