In a Vase on Monday: News of the Blues

It would be easy to think there was more blue around in the spring garden than at other times of the year, with muscari, forget-me-not, hyacinth, pulmonaria, brunnera, Anemone blanda and the like, with bluebells and aquilegia poised to join them in a matter of weeks, but that’s probably not the case. I have tried to ensure there are blues to be found in the summer garden too, and am pleased to have some established delphiniums and echinops and a handful of other perennials to provide splashes of blue later in the year, with sowings of clary sage ‘Oxford Blue’, Cornflower ‘Blue Ball’ and Silene ‘Blue Angel’ to make an annual contribution. I have even managed to successfully germinate larkspur this year and can see tiny specks of green on a sowing of Eustoma (lisianthus) grandiflorum ‘Echo Blue’ which is very exciting!

My little bunch of spring blues somehow seemed more attractive as a handheld posy than in a vase, but at least this grey glazed Prinknash Pottery jug sets them off in the best possible way, the shape of the jug reflecting that of the posy. The simple contents comprise sprigs of forget-me-not, similar blooms but very different foliage of Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, unlabelled muscari and tightly furled foliage of aquilegia.

Accompanying the vase as a prop is the Blues Band’s ‘Scratchin’ on my Screen’ CD, highlighting my enjoyment of blues music which was triggered around 15 years ago. A work colleague was about to begin flying lessons, having challenged herself to do something she had always fancied trying, and following her lead I was motivated to learn to play the drums, having been tapping out rhythms for many years. I continued lessons for a

few years and had my own drum kit, during which time the Golfer and I went to a concert (‘gig’, in modern parlance!) in our local town to see Manfred Mann; as well as playing their 60s hits they also played some of their ‘B sides’, introducing me to the ‘Blues’, a genre I previously knew nothing about and grew to enjoy in its many different forms. Paul Jones of Manfred Mann went on to form the Blues Band and we have now seen them perform many times too.

Perhaps there will be more musical references in other Monday vases today – thankfully no earworms to haunt us with mine! If you would like to share a vase with the wider IAVOM community, please leave links to and from this post in the usual way.

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35 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: News of the Blues

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Cool! | Words and Herbs

  2. Cathy says:

    Very pretty in your jug Cathy. Spring does seem to offer more blue flowers than other times of the year. I often hear people searching for blue in summer and I have found Veronicas offer some lovely shades of blue as well. 😃
    I have used a jug today too. Thanks for hosting! https://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/in-a-vase-on-monday-cool/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy. I have added a couple of veronicas in recent years, but none has made an impact yet – perhaps this year… Although I am reconciled to having some bluey-purples in the blue & white border to boost the blues

  3. Noelle M says:

    What a great topic: not only have you gathered some of your lovely blue flowers from the garden, we get the story of your love of The Blues, and drum playing. I am impressed. Mine is a rather ‘forced’ affair I am afraid, but I won’t be in this situation in future years, so it is now or never: https://noellemace.blogspot.com/2021/04/in-vase-on-monday-forced-to-show-these.html

    • Cathy says:

      I think we all drop snippets of information about ourselves into our posts sometimes, although I do keep mine to a minimum – mostly it will be something related to an IOVOM prop, as it is today! I am curious about your forced vase…

  4. ‘Blinded by the Light’ – there’s your ear worm courtesy of Manfred Mann!! But not a bad tune to be humming all day, although it does bring back memories of high school (shudder…!). I love blue flowers as well, especially in early spring as they reflect the blue skies above before trees leaf out.
    More daffs in my vase today!
    https://countygardening.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/in-a-vase-on-monday-sharing/

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – thanks for the earworm! Interesting what you say about the blue skies – I wonder if that’s why blue flowers are especially welcome in spring? They certainly reflect the blue skies we have been enjoying recently

  5. pbmgarden says:

    I adore blue flowers and your distinctive jug sets off these blue jewels to perfection. Very striking! I used to have brunnera, a lovely plant. I need to track down another one. Thanks for sharing your Blues story and flowers today.

    In A Vase On Monday – Iris Spring

    • Cathy says:

      Whether silver or green-leafed, brunnera make very pretty plants and build into nice clumps here. I moved one of my plain leaved ones and it is still very droopy, but I am sure it will perk up again soon

  6. I am a fellow lover of blue flowers, the Mystic Spires Salvia is my current favorite. I would be happy to have the contents of your vase in my garden. My neighbor has a drum set in his garage, his 10 year old son is talented and we enjoy listening to him. Do you still play? Here is my vase, thank you for hosting. https://theshrubqueen.com/2021/04/19/in-a-vase-on-monday-sticks-japonica/

    • Cathy says:

      I have heard of Mystic Spires, but don’t have it. I have never succeeded with S Amistad, but am trying S Caradonna this year, and perovskia too. No, I no longer play, and sold the drumkit some years ago – the drums and my drum lesssons served their purpose at the time and I am glad I made the effort with them

      • My guess is your soil is not well drained enough for the Salvias..if that is a proper statement. I am watering and watering the Mystic. I couldn’t grow S. leucantha and that surprised me.

        • Cathy says:

          Some are not reliably hardy here, Amistad being one of those, but I wouldn’t say our soil was not fairly well drained. There are plenty of other salvias and it is just a matter of finding out which will do well here

  7. bcparkison says:

    A little there blue here and a little blue there makes for a lovely garden and I don’t have any at all. Pooh.

  8. Kris P says:

    I adore blue flowers and these are lovely, Cathy. I grow whatever blues I can in my garden too but yours may be the larger collection from the sound of things. I’m so pleased to hear that you got Eustoma/lisianthus seeds to germinate – that’s the toughest bit as I understand. I haven’t even tried growing them from seed, relying on plugs instead. I regret to say, I’ve no blue flowers to show off this week, although my Echium webbii is blooming and there are some blue Iris still in bloom but another round of very warm temperatures is making quick work of those. Thanks for sharing the blues and here’s my post: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2021/04/in-vase-on-monday-is-it-already-summer.html

    • Cathy says:

      I have tried eustoma from seed before, with no success, but my current seeds are from Chiltern Seeds, one of my regular suppliers, so I giessed that if they pffered them for sale there was a reasonable chance of success. They come as teeny tiny white coated pellets, and there are very definitely dots of green visible on some of the white pellets! I have never come across them as plugs in the UK. It has been warm and very pleasant here too, but nothing like the heat that you no doubt will be experiencing – here, it is boosting growth, although a bit of rain would help!

  9. Anna says:

    Oh some beautiful blues Cathy. Whatever the shade blue is most calming colour and one of my favourites. I’m afraid my knowledge of blues music is somewhat lacking 😢 Something to remedy. I do remember Manfred Mann though vividly. I find larkspur a challenge to germinate – keeping my fingers crossed for this year’s sowing to succeed. A late in the day post from me on this lovely spring day. I was waiting for the sun to move round the corner to take a photo 😂 Heading back out there for half an hour or so to tuck some seedlings back in the greenhouse for the night. Hope that you have been enjoying your garden. My vase is here : https://greentapestry.blogspot.com/2021/04/iavom-snow-white.html

    • Cathy says:

      The larkspur seeds were in and out of the freezer, but it did make the difference – although I still only have about 6 seedlings! By the way, The Sahara seeds are proving to be unusually slow to germinate for me – how about you? I too have some seedlings to tuck away tonight when I have finished these comments – night night, seedlings!

      • Anna says:

        I was going to comment when I saw your reply Cathy but thought that I would just check on when I sowed my last batch of ‘Sahara’. Then between checking and coming back here I got sidetracked by all this beautiful weather They were sown on the Sunday 11th April and had started to germinate some time the following weekend. Mind you the tray was sitting on a heated sand bench. Hope that yours have come though by now. My larkspur seeds were in the freezer for a fortnight before I sowed them but have sat outside since. Maybe they will be heading for a short spell in the fridge before long 😂

        • Cathy says:

          Hmm, I did have one Sahara seed germinate very quickly but then no more. Chiltern Seeds suggests a period of cold can help rudbeckia as I popped them in the fridge for a little while and they are now sitting on a trivet above the Aga! It’s odd as I have 3 other varieties and apart from Cherry Brandy they have been fine – Cherry Brandy always proves to be difficult for me and I now have about 4 seeedlings of it…

  10. Cathy amazes me with the collection of blue flower plants you have for Spring and Summer: I love blue flowers. I hope that all the seedlings come out ahead and congratulations on the seeds that you have managed to germinate this year for the first time. I did not imagine you playing the drums, I am very happy for you. As for your vase, it is magnificent, precious, wonderful, I love it. The blue flowers are all divine and I love them: forget-me-not, Brunnera, muscari and aquilegia foliage, lovely. The pitcher that you have used as a vase is wonderful and it looks great with the flowers, I love it. The accessory, a CD of The Blues Band I like a lot (I also like Blues), it is a very good group and a fantastic accessory. Happy week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  11. the running wave says:

    So sweet and simple! I just love that collection Cathy! Blue in its clearest and purest form – just l love it. Sorry for the lateness, and also for the lack of vase again this week. The last two weeks have been ones I would not wish to repeat and having no garden to cast an eye over for subject matter doesn’t help. But one day! Let’s say it will be under the ‘Coming Soon’ banner! In the meantime those adorable forget me nots will keep me going! Thank you. A

    • Cathy says:

      I can imagine (sort of!) how fraught it must have been – but at least there will be an end at some point, even if it is not yet in sight…

  12. tonytomeo says:

    Blue is supposedly the least common color among flowers. Most blues are somewhat purple. When I was a kid, I took care of three gardens that were next door to each other. For one, red was the favorite color. For the middle house, yellow was the favorite color. For the third house, blue was the favorite color. Yes, the houses were painted the corresponding colors! (They were of ranch architecture, so it worked out nicely.) Also, their big cars matched the corresponding colors. The red house was my favorite, although the blue house was more challenging, and required that I gave the hydrangea bluing (acidifier).

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