In a Vase on Monday: Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

I would much rather be making a notional nod towards the lyrics ‘Sunshine on a rainy day’ in my title, but sadly we have still not had any rain to compensate for a week of 30° temperatures. The cloudier skies over the weekend and the gentle breeze that accompanied them have been very welcome, and the wall-to-wall sunshine, heat and humidity of the preceding week are but a memory, recreated in today’s vase: a sunflower sun from freebie ‘Sunburst Mix’ shining amongst larkspur ‘Dark Blue’ with wispy clouds of clary sage ‘White’. I am thrilled to have grown larkspur successfully this year and have enjoyed watching the blooms fill out to form these densely packed flower heads; the secret, I believe, is to put the seeds in the freezer for a couple of weeks prior to sowing.

I chose a vase in the ‘heather’ colourway from my endless Caithness Glass collection, this one having an asymmetrical rim not visible in the photos. The sunflower did not want to stand upright, despite the use of a metal frog, but trimming it successively shorter eventually brought about the desired effect and the gubbins were concealed with clear glass beads. The umbrella is part of a garden ornament given to us which brings rather more pleasure to one of the grandchildren than to us…!

Would you like to pick blooms or other material from your garden (or forage something locally) to share with us on IAVOM today? If so, please leave links to and from this post so we can see the vase that will be bringing you pleasure over the next few days or maybe beyond.

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27 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Fizz, Fluff and Froth | Words and Herbs

  2. Cathy says:

    A gorgeous sunflower. And doesn’t it look good with the larkspur. Now that I have also grown it successfully I think it will become one of my staple annuals. A lovely colour combination. 😃
    Here is my vase for today… pink and fluffy! 😉

    In a Vase on Monday: Fizz, Fluff and Froth

    • Cathy says:

      I so wanted to use sunflowers but also larkspur and this seemed the best way to do it – as you say, the combination works surprisingly well

  3. Linda Casper says:

    Before I read your commentary I thought to myself: sunshine in a vase! Lovely.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, that’s good to know, as I wasn’t at all sure it would work when I first started putting it together – thank you!

  4. Pingback: Sweet Violets – Absent Gardener

  5. Cath says:

    The sunflower definitely says ‘hot’! I like the larkspur and clary sage too. I haven’t grown either before, but have some young clary sage plants ready to go in. It’s raining now and some places here have had far too much – I hope you get just enough to cool down. I have a little vase today too:

    • Cathy says:

      Clary sage is such a useful annual – I grow it in 3 separate colours and it is ever so easy and obliging. It’s not been a long period without rain , just exceedingly hot and the some things are beginning to suffer. It was cloudy when I wrote the post yesterday but it is bright and humid again today

  6. pbmgarden says:

    The cheerful sunflower looks great with the color of the larkspur. Thanks for the tip about placing seeds in the freezer before planting. Hope you get some nourishing rain. Thanks for hosting our Monday vases, Cathy!

    In A Vase On Monday – Summerfest

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie. Germination was stil nowhere near 100%, but I got as many plants as I needed out of them. We are back to high humidity again today, but there is a 40% chance of rain tomorrow

  7. Noelle M says:

    The Larkspur was well worth persevering with Cathy, Again a wonderful title, but I do wish we could have a little cloud here during the day to temper the sun. We have however had a night of thunder and lighting and rain on Saturday night, for which the garden gave a huge sigh. Here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Ooh, lucky you with with the thunderstorm. My Mum, who particularly likes them, is always asking f we have had any as the Midlands is meant to have more than its fair share, with being so far from the coasts – but no, not even a rumble 🙄 Bright again today,a nd humid, but a chance of rain tomorrow

  8. Brilliant summer colors..I wish some rain in your direction. I used to freeze Larkspur before sowing it as well. Beautiful and one of my favorite blue flowers. Do you need a cocktail for that umbrella?Thank you for hosting..

    • Cathy says:

      I am so enjoying seeing these gloriously dark delphiniums in the garden, Amy – and the sunflowers just shot up once they got going and of course are flowering way above my head!

  9. Kris P says:

    I can’t imagine sunflowers and larkspur blooming at the same time here but they look great together. I’m sorry you’re experiencing heat and humidity – that sounds like our summer thus far! We haven’t had any really scorching heat yet but the humidity is unusual for California, which is known for its “dry heat.” I hope you get some rain soon – we have a slight chance of rain here this morning but, at the moment, things don’t look promising. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      The different flowering times are so intriguing, Kris – when would they be flowering for you? It’s vertainly unusual for the UK to have such high temperatures for more than just a a few days, but it was easily a week and although temperatures have dropped a bit we still have the humidity. Some parts have had rain though, but not here. Hope you do get some yourself sometime soon

  10. Anna says:

    Oh that is one sunny sunflower Cathy and well done on growing the larkspur which are a glorious blue shade. My larkspur seeds underwent the same freezer treatment but the seedlings sadly frazzled. Still I will sow so more in September and maybe I will have flowers next year 😂 Bright, warm and sunny here today although fresher but tomorrow is looking more promising as far as the wet stuff is concerned. My vase is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Such a shame about your larkspur seedlings – I did have to sow a second batch after the first compost fiasco, but between the sowings I managed about half a doxen plants, which was enough for the cutting eds. Where would you overwinter yours if you sowed them in Sept? Has progress been made on your wall today, or are you not doing it yourselves?

  11. tonytomeo says:

    Oh my! It looks like it is reaching out to grab something with stout blue arms. Larkspur is rad. I have not yet grown it here, but I suspect that it would do well. I see it in the neighborhood.

  12. Cathy your vase is magnificent, fabulous: it says summer. I love your sunflower combined with the blue larkspur. White sage is adorable. The set is wonderful, fantastic, I love it and it makes me smile. The white accessory umbrella looks great. Cathy I am very sorry for the lack of rain you have and the heat and humidity that you are experiencing: I hope it rains and the temperatures drop. Although here in Madrid having 30ºC is a luxury and it means not being hot. Cathy take good care of yourself and the golfer. Have a great week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thans Margarita – thinking of you and your mother and hoping you continue to take things slowly

      • Cathy thank you so much for your kind words and wishes. Don’t worry, my Mother and I will continue taking things slowly and resting in the afternoons due to the high heat and because we don’t care about taking more or less time: our health comes first. Take care. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  13. Annette says:

    Beautiful combination, the sunflower is positively glowing in front of the larkspur which are much more charming and natural than their sisters, the delphiniums. They’re also very drought-tolerant which is a bonus. They usually self seed too 👍 Have a good week and stay cool 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette, and it’s interesting to hear you say the larkspur are drough tolerant – I wonder if I could get away with some in the borders next year, where it would be great if they self-seeded… We have a 40% chance of rain today (and had a two minute shower yesterday evening when I was out watering – whoohoo!). I hope temperatures are tolerable for you too

  14. It looks fantastic Cathy. That larkspur has filled out brilliantly. Must try some seed in the freezer!

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