In a Vase on Monday: It’s the Eyes…

As has been the case in recent weeks, choosing the contents of today’s vase was not an easy one, although with two additional posies required for people or places at the same time I could at least share more of the bounty which, I am pleased to say, included rejuvenated sweet peas for the very first time. For IAVOM, however, it is The Eyes: a vaseful of rudbeckia, known by some as black-eyed Susan.

I have never had any success with perennial rudbeckia, but do grow a number of annual varieties and picked freely amongst them for this vase: Marmalade, Irish Eyes, Rustic Dwarf, Sahara and Cherry Brandy. The first three germinate and thrive well, but germination of Cherry Brandy is always an unknown quantity, and this proved to be the case with Sahara too, my first year of growing it. Anna of Green Tapestry kindly helped out with more seed of the latter after 2 sowings had failed, but I still only managed a couple of plants, about the same as Cherry Brandy. I noticed that the Sarah Raven packet of Sahara recommended sowing seed on the surface and not covering it, which I will definitely try again next year with these 2 recalcitrant but attractive varieties. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Joining the rudbeckia are spent stems of honeysuckle and annual Leonorus sibiricus, the latter adding vertical structure and the former foliage and a hint of red from the berries to pick out the russets amongst the blooms. A yellow spotty jug, my first choice of receptacle, was then rejected in favour of this drip-glazed jug-like mug which proved more in keeping with the chrome yellows and earthier tones of the rudbeckias – some with black eyes, others with green and brown, but none of them as startling as the piercing blue eyes of the prop, positioned so you are not forced to look into them directly which I suspect is not to be recommended….

Some blooms are more hard-won than others, but if you have blooms you can bear to cut to bring inside and pop in a vase then please do consider sharing them with us on IAVOM, leaving the usual links so we can share the pleasure they bring you.

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34 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: It’s the Eyes…

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Dilly Dallying | Words and Herbs

  2. Cathy says:

    That is a lovely mixture of Rudbeckias Cathy. Especially that deep reddish purple one. The doll’s eyes are a bit spooky, but the name Irish Eyes does actually make me think of blue rather than green! I have tried both annual and perennial Rudbeckia with no success. But I want to try perennials again next year, planting in spring to let them get established. Here is my link for today. Thanks Cathy. xx

    In a Vase on Monday: Dilly Dallying

  3. Pingback: Miniature Gladiolus and Winter Fruits – Absent Gardener

  4. Cath says:

    I tried growing Cherry Brandy from seed last year with no success and I just looked at the leftover seeds yesterday, so it was good timing to read your tip about germinating them. I do have some of the perennial ones. I especially love the ones with green eyes and your jug is perfect for them. The doll reminds me of a similar one I saw on the back of a comic book and begged that my mother order, because of the pure cornflower blue of its eyes. Here is my vase today:

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Lovely mix of rudbeckia, Cathy. Cherry Brandy is perhaps my favorite but I’ve not tried to grow it, so thanks for the tips. I have a couple of perennial rudbeckias. The bees enjoy one of them. Thanks for hosting. Have a good week.

  6. I was not aware of all these different kinds of rudbeckias. It is always interesting to read how some flowers are easier to grow in some areas. For us here in Midwest, USA, Rudbeckias grows everywhere as a perennial. I love the tones of this arrangements because, with September approaching in a couple of weeks, it reminds me of that month and the transition it signifies. Thank you again for hosting, Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      There are also varieties here that are very short lived perennials, like Prairie Sun. I had almost forgotten how close it is to September, so hadn’t made the connection with this period of transition – and these rudbeckias really are in their prime now

  7. Like Angie, perennial Rudbeckias can spring up everywhere here in southern Ontario with little or no help from gardeners. The annual varieties I let self seed and they also spread with no assistance, so I suspect simply sowing them on the surface, as you say, is the way to go. I love your last photo, the mug is perfect (beautiful glaze…) and yes, those blue eyes…look away. Just look away!

    • Cathy says:

      Fascinating to read about different people’s rubeckia experiences 😊 There are so many bits and pieces in our house as well as my ‘wardrobe’ of vases, that sometimes I forget what I have, but I was so pleased I thought of this mug, which as you say works perfectly

  8. I did not know how many varieties of annual Rudbeckia exist. Very pretty all of them. The Leonurus is interesting and new to me, I have some Leonitis leonurus coming along in my garden. Wondering about that? I had Goldstrum Rudbeckia in my former garden and it took over – they will die if too wet in winter and I always planted them on top of the slope. Here is my mad tropical vase

  9. Anna says:

    Some beautiful rudbeckias especially ‘Cherry Brandy’ Cathy but I’m really not quite sure about the doll with the oh so spooky eyes πŸ˜±πŸ˜‚ She would soon stare me out. I’m glad to hear that your perseverance with ‘Sahara’ paid off. I had a struggle with germinating mine this year but they usually come through fine. I usually use some bottom heat to get them started and cover them lightly with a layer of fine vermiculite. My vase this week is here :

    • Cathy says:

      I am thrilled to have actually achieved at least some Sahara blooms, thanks to you, and I will certainly try some bottom heat for both it and CB next year

  10. Kris P says:

    I have a hard enough time growing ‘Cherry Brandy’ and ‘Sahara’ from plugs! I didn’t even try growing ‘Sahara’ from seed even though I’d purchased a packet of seeds so I can’t offer any insight. Your arrangement is wonderful, although on this occasion I found your prop a bit on the spooky side. Here’s my post:

  11. Fun stuff! The Rudbeckia are gorgeous! I’m noticing so many of them blooming now as I take my daily walks and hikes. πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, even though they are sown the same time as many of my other annuals they still have their own chosen time of flowering!

  12. swesely says:

    I love the mug full of fall color! I also love the mug itself.

  13. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, . . . creepy. Rudbeckia are rad though. I still find the name amusing. Rude Becky and black-eyed Susan. hmmm

  14. the running wave says:

    I always knew these lovely flowers as black eyed Susan, probably because that’s what my grandmother called them! She gardened our garden as she lived in the cottage attached to our house! You have such a fantastic variety in this lovely vase, and I can see one doesn’t have a dark centre but green! They are all beautiful. I must get a plant or two for the infant garden! Amanda

  15. karen says:

    A lovely selection of rudbeckias there Cathy. I struggle with Sahara and Cherry Brandy too. Well, after a very long break, here’s my first IAVOM. We are now allowed to take flowers into the care home again.

  16. Lovely collection of Rudbecias, I love all of them, especially Cherry Brandy and Susan with black eyes. Leonurus sibiricus did not know him and he is divine. They form a divine, magnificent, fabulous bouquet: I love it. The blue-eyed doll as an accessory is a charm, although you do not recommend looking at her blue eyes directly … Is there a mystery in those eyes? Cathy take good care of yourself and the golfer. I wish you a very good week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

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