In a Vase on Monday: Also-Rans

Today’s vase contains blooms I have not used in a vase this year, and in some cases never; not necessarily because they were not worthy of inclusion, more that they were overlooked for one reason or another…also-rans.

It was the pale pink self-seeded achillea that began this train of thought, possibly the progeny of some achillea plugs I used in pots a couple of yours ago – or maybe a wild form, brought in on the wind. I have to confess to being totally underwhelmed by achillea, and have never successfully grown any of the bright varieties seen in other people’s borders; I again have some free plugs this year and they are also pale and wishy-washy. Low growing too, they are never going to make an impact in a border. Joining them are the pretty blue flowers of caryopteris with their intriguing and equally blue stamens, Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ and S ‘Nachtlvinder’, fresh seedheads of annual scabious, a spent heuchera flower spike and a couple of stems of Sedum ‘Xenon’.

It made a refreshing change to have paler and softer coloured blooms in the vase, instead of the solid and brighter colours of dahlias and sunflowers and the like, and there were several vases I could have chosen to house them, but my final choice was one of a pair of green glass vases with a fluted pie crust rim.

Today’s prop is a ‘silver medal’, awarded to me in one of the many athletic competitions I took part in as an older adult. The Golfer and I met at our local athletic club – he was a jumper and at the top of his game for his age group, whereas I was a sprinter, and although faster than an average female of my age very much an also-ran in terms of women who were competitive members of an athletic club. We competed in our ages groups at local, regional and national level, and at regional events you could still be awarded a medal if less than three people entered, as long as you reached a certain standard. No doubt this medal was awarded on one of those occasions!

In a Vase on Monday is not competitive in any way and there are no medals to be won, although occasionally there may be a prize draw, usually on annual anniversaries, the seventh of which is coming up in November. We pick flowers or other material from our gardens purely for the pleasure it brings ourselves, with the added bonus that it also gives pleasure to those we share the vase with and brings us into contact with a lovely bunch of people too – long may it flourish! If you would like to share a vase with us, arranged or plonked, please leave links to and from this post.

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38 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Also-Rans

  1. Noelle M says:

    It impresses me how you make such interesting links, with props. It just shows that all plants don’t need to be first or at the very top, to come together pleasingly in a vase…quite encouraging and I have quoted you in my post today…Here is my vase:

  2. jenanita01 says:

    Today’s theme is definitely subtle but those blue caryopteris are gorgeous!

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: September Stars and an Anniversary | Words and Herbs

  4. Cathy says:

    Indeed, long may this meme flourish Cathy! 😃 It is nice to see some calmer colours still with an autumn feel. Caryopteris is a plant I would love to grow and have indeed grown a few times, but if we have a hard winter it’s gone. Maybe I should grow it anyway as I know how mad the bees are for it. 😃 Have a great week Cathy. Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – I am always amazed that the carypteris makes it through the winter as it looks all but dead for several months…but I cut it back in spring and gradually new shoots appear. Perhaps a really severe winter would see it off – but no, it has seen some chilly ones already…

  5. pbmgarden says:

    You and the flowers deserve a medal with this very pretty collection. I like the dark S ‘Nachtlvinder’ that punctuates the softer, more pastel colors. The blue caryopteris is lovely. Achillea seems such a good plant to have in the garden but the cultivars I’ve purchased are very short-lived here. I do have a passalong that is aggressively persistent. Hard to believe it’s nearly 7 years of Monday vases and many friendships. Thanks for hosting Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Susie 😊 It’s interesting to read everyones’s experience of achillea – I thought it was just me missing out! I think I might not even bother keeping the free plug plants…

  6. Your vase this week is very soothing…wonderful muted colours. I kinda love Achillea as well – the common white variety pops up all over the place here – this year I unprecedentedly embraced it instead of just pulling it up. It releases a nice scent when a patch is mowed over. I love Caryopteris but, Like Cathy, it won’t survive a precedented winter here (I’ve tried…) Your vase this week is very soothing..wonderful muted colours.

  7. I agree about the Achillea and had the evil white one in a former garden. It did look good in a vase with Alstroemeria. I love the Caryopteris and the mixture. I won a medal in a 3K years ago, I think I was the only one in the age group. Also ran and have never run again! Here is my vase, thanks for hosting.

  8. Anna says:

    A most pretty and gentle on the eye collection of flowers Cathy. Caryopteris appeals to me too 😄 I love my salvia ‘Nachttvlinder’ which as you know seems to flower over a long spell and has those beautiful aromatic leaves. I think that I have only ever used it in a vase once though. I have recently sown some achillea ‘Summer Berries’ so am looking forward to seeing how that does next year providing it gets through the winter. What sort of jumper was ‘The Golfer’ – I am thinking possibly long jump? My vase is here :

    • Cathy says:

      I always think of you when I see my Nachtvlinder, Anna, although I have still only got a spindly little plant which struggles to bulk up. The Golfer did all three jumps – long, high and triple, but triple was invariable his best. I took on a bit of long and triple myself under his tuition

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Nice pastel combination this week, Cathy. Achillea has many forms to love and others, yes, are a bit underwhelming. My favorites are ‘The Pearl’ and ‘Moonshine’ but it seems there are some nice pastels out there, particularly the salmon ones. I think seedlings revert to the wild. I’ve learned recently that yarrow has great healing power used as a poultice, good for cuts and stings.
    My vase this week:

  10. Pingback: In A Vase on Monday – Frost Comes | Eliza Waters

  11. krispeterson100 says:

    I’m pretty impressed with the fact you were a sprinter in adult sports, Cathy, and I’m sure that alone deserves an award. I wouldn’t mind having some of the softer colored Achillea in my own garden but only ‘Moonshine’ has proven to be happy here. I love Caryopteris but I’m afraid it’s another plant that doesn’t want to live in my part of the world. Here is my post, offered in remembrance of a great woman:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris- in athletics we came across those who competed into their 80s and 90s, so starting as a 40+ year old I was a mere youngster!

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: Hello Autumn! – Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  13. Annette says:

    A sprinter, Cathy, you never cease to amaze me! Your pastel vase is delightful. I particularly like that Achillea, a rather delicious pink. I’ve got Nachtvlinder too, it’s a beauty. Do you know Violette de Loire? You’d love it. In spite of a rather busy day look what I’ve got:
    Wishing you both a sunny and happy autumn 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I used to run at school, Annette, but then not till after my first marriage ended and I joined the athletic club after realising that in the Mums’ race at my children’s school I was beating the other Mums who were 10 years or more younger than me. And if course it was meant to be, as that is where I met the Golfer…!

  14. the running wave says:

    Lovely gentle colours in your vase this week Cathy! I love it! And hooray for the sprinting medal – that is extremely commendable. I was never much of a runner. Quite good at high jump though! The beautiful colours of your quiet collection of flowers is quite a relief to me after looking at my offering this week! Amanda

  15. Chloris says:

    Lovely soft colours. I agree about achilleas, they always seed around in wishy- washy colours, but one I do like is the terracotta ‘Walter Funcke’. I love Salvia ‘Phyliss Fancy’, thank you so much for giving me one, she is doing very well.
    I am joining in today, but you will have to forgive me as it took me a long time to get round to showing an actual vase, but then I came up with three .

    • Cathy says:

      Does Walter do well for you? Good to know that Phyllis is doing well for you – shame she is so late to flower. It amazes me how quickly a cutting grows into a flowering plant – one of my cuttings is in bloom and as big as my original plant which I lifted and overwintered (my first original didn’t survive the previous winter outdoors)

  16. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday- Flowers for Joan | Bramble Garden

  17. karen says:

    Very lovely soft blues and pinks. After a long gap in postings, here’s my IAVOM. Flowers for Joan. Xx A sad update, but there’s always hope.

    • Cathy says:

      You have been missed Karen, but I know you have other things that keep you busy. Surprsisingly, the caryopteris has outlasted everything else in the vase

      • karen says:

        Thank you Cathy. That’s good to know. I shall try planting a caryopteris if it is long-lasting in a vase. It’s a lovely blue, and especially useful at this time of the year. xx

  18. tonytomeo says:

    You know . . . I was none too impressed with yarrow either, back when it was so trendy here. I appreciate it more now that it is not a fad. It happens to do well in the climate here. I think there are only two species out there presently. It is a nice subdued wildflower sort of bloom in a landscape where we can get carries away with flashier bloom that does not perform as well. We should keep these landscapes looking somewhat rustic anyway.

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