In a Vase on Monday: Flaming Flowers That Brightly Blaze

There are so many variations of paintings of sunflowers by Van Gogh and I did not set out to recreate any of them, but they were certainly in my mind as I tried to arrange the wayward stems of my own sunflowers into some semblance of artistry, an artistry they were reluctant to succumb to.

It would have helped if there were more blooms than this, but I picked all those that were suitable, the middle and right ones in the foreground being ‘Velvet Queen’ and the remainder an assortment of self-seeded ones, largely cross pollinated. The seedhead is from one of the self-seeders and it never ceases to amaze me that sunflower seedheads, along with many other natural phenomena, show complex Fibonacci sequences, not that I could count the seed spirals on this example yet.

Not surprisingly sunflowers seem to inject their own sunshine into our days, regardless of the actual weather, although yesterday – when this post was prepared – was an exceedingly pleasant September day. Despite the days being noticeably shorter and bookended by cooler beginnings and ends, there is still plenty to enjoy in the garden throughout September and into autumn. Over the last few days I have also been enjoying a vase of leftovers, a dahlia casualty and trimmings from the persicaria I evicted. Perhaps there are some trimmings from your garden you could pop in a vase and share with us? Just leave links to and from this post if you would like to do so.


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39 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Flaming Flowers That Brightly Blaze

  1. Noelle M says:

    Pleased to hear you enjoyed lovely weather yesterday, here it was certainly a day of showers, Your sunflowers are really joyful, and the colours in the petals so complex. How tall are the plants in the garden? Here is my IAVOM:

    • Cathy says:

      Sorry to hear about your showers, Noelle. None of my sunflowers are over 5ft or so, and the self -seeded ones seem to be shorter possibly because they crossed with dwarf varieties I have grown. I expecially like the darker varieties, and Velvet Queen has been a ‘must’ for me for a few years

  2. the running wave says:

    How lovely! Certainly need your sunshine flowers today! Cool, wet and windy outside – in total contrast to Kris’s super high temperatures at the moment! Your sunflowers are glorious! Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      I thought the forecast was talking of possible temperatures in the low 20s in E Scotland today…?! Hope it does warm up for you

      • the running wave says:

        We did get some warmth on Monday – in the end! I just wanted to say that I finally had a couple of my ill fated zinnias to show in my vase this week! Hooray! I thought the day would never come. Two out of a paltry four blooms, but better than nothing. Do you grow yours from seed, and if so, whose seed? I am consistently finding that seeds from Sarah Raven are disappointing, and I know I am not alone. I would love to know who you favour for seed buying – or maybe it depends on what you are growing! Different suppliers for different plants? I did a bit of blurb about IAVOM on my Instagram feed on Monday, with a link to your blog, so I hope you get some more visitors over time! Have a good week. A

        • Cathy says:

          It took me a few years Amanda, before I got to where I am with them now. Yes, mine are all grown from seed, some from Plants of Distinction but most from eBay where it is easy to buy spontaneously – there are 2 or 3 suppliers that I buy from regularly and seed quality is invariably good, and of course they are much cheaper than elsewhere. Thanks for promoting IAVOM!

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  4. Sunflowers are certainly cheering. I have one rogue sunflower who muscled its way into my post today:

  5. I love a Fibonacci pattern. I leave flower heads for the birds and mice once they have gone over. Yours are looking lovely

    • Cathy says:

      It’s getting a balance with seedheads, though, particularly for self seeders

      • A quick hoe in the spring sorts them

        • Cathy says:

          Good point, although that wouldn’t work in the cutting beds, especially now they are netted – although the sunflowers didn’t appear till after the beds were planted up. Anyway, on the whole I don’t mind the self seeders (except the weedy ones of course!) unless they become invasive, and some I dig out and pot up for plant sales, like lychnis and verbena

  6. It’s a cool, wet and windy morning here as well, although the sun is supposed to show up for the afternoon. I love sunflowers so much – but I think I get what you’re saying – they have a mind of their own when it comes to arranging them in a vase! I tried something new today…

    • Cathy says:

      I perhaps could have cut them a bit shorter and they might have stood up better; also, one was branched with three blooms and they were all so LEAFY! I didn’t want to take all the leaves off so I trimmed them fairly randomly and think I have got the balance right on that

  7. The Blue Porterweed in my vase was very uncooperative, I can see the Sunflowers could be really difficult with the stem size. Though it still looks like a Van Gogh painting and a great send off for summer. Here is my welcome to fall..

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  9. Eliza Waters says:

    I agree that sunflowers seem to radiate the goodness of a summer day back at us. I often admire the marvel of their Fibonacci spirals and the bees and birds love them. They will always have a place in my garden, as I can hardly turn down their self-sown gifts.
    My vase this week:

  10. Joanne says:

    Just beautiful! And I love the title of your post too, from the song Vincent. 🙂

  11. krispeterson100 says:

    I love your assortment of sunflowers and I’m impressed that you’ve got self-seeded varieties among them. They’ve never self-seeded in my garden but, as I’ve been throwing spent sunflowers into my compost bin this year, maybe that will change. It’s hard to feel the approach of fall here as we’re enduring an epic heatwave and the sky is once again covered in a smoky haze. But I rescued flowers from my cutting garden so I do have blooms to share:

    Thanks, as always, for bringing a bright spot to our Mondays, Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – the sunflower heads that do get left never look as if the seed is going to be viable, but some of it clearly is. And they do pop up from seed put out for the birds too! Do you always have a smoky haze when te weather gets hot like this?

      • krispeterson100 says:

        Sadly, fires have become a fact of life in late summer into autumn here, and when we get scorching heat as we did over the last several days, the risk of fire increases significantly. The biggest fire in southern California at present was set off by fools that launched a powder-infused grenade as part of a gender-reveal baby shower. There was ash all over our back garden this morning but whether that blew here from the El Dorado Fire or the newest fire in the Angeles National Forest is hard to say.

        • Cathy says:

          Oh so there ARE still fires raging? I nearly asked you that as I haven’t heard them mentioned for a while – perhaps because they are increasingly ‘normal’? It certainly doesn’t help when people take unnecessary risks – how irresponsible is that?

  12. pbmgarden says:

    I think Van Gogh would get right to work, inspired by your sunflowers. Pleading better late than never I share a simple vase.

    • Cathy says:

      And I thought the background (a sheet!) really sets off the colour of the sunflowers- it’s a combination that works well, as Van Gogh found!

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  14. tonytomeo says:

    When I grew sunflowers in the front garden at the request of a neighbor, I could cut only those that broke, or were out of view below the top of the low hedge that they grew behind. I brought only a few inside, and then came home to a party of finches in the dining room. Bird poop and sunflower frass were everywhere!

  15. hb says:

    Lovely and cheering for someone housebound by terrible heat this week. Thank you for making my day better.

  16. Cathy says:

    They look beautiful against that blue background Cathy. Hope the nice September sunshine continues for you. 😃

  17. Anna says:

    All beauties Cathy. Next year I’m going to thwart those molluscs and succeed with sunflowers!

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