In a Vase on Monday: Optimism

This week, after a very dry August, we had three consecutive humid days with temperatures in the low 30s, then followed by a short and torrential downpour on Thursday, for which I was very grateful and I am sure the garden was too. I was brushing past the still-burgeoning cutting beds a day or two later on my way to fill watering cans from what was probably now a full water butt, when I inadvertently broke an overhanging stem of a sunflower. Most of the sunflowers are at the back of their bed and staked, but this was one had self-seeded right in the front corner. Admittedly it has not grown huge, being a very accommodating and readily pickable 3 or 4 feet tall, but the stems are still quite thick and heavy.

Instead of putting the branched stem, which had two or three flower heads as well as a couple of spent blooms, onto the compost heap, I trimmed it and popped the budded stems into a vase on the kitchen window sill. I was very much enjoying the structure of the stems and buds and as Monday approached, it occurred to me that it would make a very suitable vase. Will the buds open? No idea, but I shall remain optimistic, and to accompany the potentially sunny blooms I have added a sky blue cocktail umbrella to protect us from their heat. The vase itself is a cheap glass one which was probably a ten pin bowling trophy for the Golfer or myself.

The photograph of the vase does not really do it justice, failing to highlight the architectural structure of the stems and buds (the angle of the shot, perhaps?) but this won’t stop me from enjoying the real thing. I hope you too can find something to pick from your garden to pop in a vase and bring you pleasure; if you do, please consider sharing it with us by leaving links to and from this post.

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29 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Optimism

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday | Wild Daffodil

  2. I particularly like the last photo – gorgeous shapes and colours.
    I have had a bit of a splurge buying irises – optimism again – hoping for gorgeous blooms next year.

    In a Vase on Monday

  3. Annette says:

    Iโ€˜m glad youโ€˜ve got some rain. Hopefully the sunflower will open. We all have to try and stay optimistic. Wishing you a good week๐ŸŒป

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – and I am invariably optimistic, very much a glass half-full (more like three quarters!!) sort of person ๐Ÿ˜‰ Best wishes to both of you

  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Sunday: A Happy Bunch | Words and Herbs

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Excellent way to enjoy your sunflower. Gardners seem to universally exhibit optimism. Glad you had some nice rains. Thanks for hosting our Monday vases.

    In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berry Sparkle

  6. Cathy says:

    It will be interesting to see if it does open for you, but the bud is also fascinating viewed close up. Nature never ceases to amaze me! Here is my bunch for today Cathy. Have a lovely week, with a few more showers perhaps, but certainly lower temperatures. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ 30ยฐC is way too hot for September!

    In a Vase on Sunday: A Happy Bunch

    • Cathy says:

      We seem to be back with those overcast August days again, Cathy, but of course they are a relief after those temperatures. No more rain forecast yet, sadly, but at least that downpour made quite a difference

  7. An interesting experiment and I like to appreciate the architecture of plants as well. Love the umbrella. We are an optimistic lot, gardeners. There is nothing like a good rain to perk everyone up..including the gardener. I am hoping for one today. Planted Zinnia seeds yesterday, double pink Cactus. https://theshrubqueen.com/2021/09/13/in-a-vase-on-monday-fall-colors/

  8. Kris P says:

    Sunflowers are interesting in all phases. Congratulations on the rain! We’re still probably 2 months away from the start of our rainy season given recent trends but, after an uncomfortably warm week, we’re expecting a cool down this week. This morning a thick marine layer has only now blown in, blocking all views of the harbor. It’s welcome (even if it does promote mildew) as it should keep our afternoon temperatures down ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s my post: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2021/09/in-vase-on-monday-few-more-dahlias.html

    • Cathy says:

      It seems a shame to be welcoming this thick marine layer, but of course if it means lower temperatures it would be a blessing, albeit mixed ๐Ÿ™„ And yes, I agree aout sunflowers at all stages, although mine tend not to die very gracefully and go mouldy before the seeds can dry out properly

  9. Anna says:

    I hope that the snapped sunflower stem responds to your considerate act of rescue Cathy. Will be interesting to see what transpires. Sunflowers are most interesting to study at all stages. It’s so amazing that something can grow so much in just a relatively short term. We had a full blown thunderstorm on Thursday and had quite a bit more rain yesterday. The garden really appreciated it ๐Ÿ˜„ A late in the day vase from me here : https://greentapestry.blogspot.com/2021/09/iavom-summers-lease.html

  10. Cathy your vase of Sunflower stems I love it. The cocoons are divine seen up close and far. I heartily wish the cocoons to open: that would be wonderful. But it is lovely as it is now, with the beautiful structure that they have. Let’s be optimistic ๐Ÿ˜‰ and hope they open up. I am very glad that it has rained in your garden. Take good care of the golfer and you. Cathy have a great week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  11. smallsunnygarden says:

    It is quite architectural; the flowers are so showy perhaps we underrate the plants sometimes! Still, I hope the bloom will open out for you. ๐Ÿ™‚
    There have been wild sunflowers growing alongside the highway here. The wild form is native. I mean to add plenty of one sort and another to my garden eventually.
    Here is my post for this week–entirely foraged: https://smallsunnygarden.substack.com/p/in-a-vase-silver-and-gold?r=2d53z&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=copy
    P.S. This is the updated form of my blog, which I’ve shifted over to Substack, so I really hope the link works correctly!

    • Cathy says:

      Farmers occasionally have a crop of sunflowers here, whether for oil or not I don’t know, but an amazing sight to see as of course they would not grow wild here although could that happen with escapees, I wonder…? No idea what substack is, but here goes….

  12. Always something from the garden to enjoy in a vase during the growing season. And your posts are always inspiring. Thanks so much for hosting!
    https://plantpostings.blogspot.com/2021/09/wistful-about-summer-vases.html

  13. the running wave says:

    The structure of flowers, buds, seedheads never ceases to enthral and amaze me! Your sunflower buds prove the point completely – they are fantastic. And full of promise too of course! Lovely. I hope they come out and you can enjoy them before too long. I was full of hope last weekend that I was going to be able to bring you my first vase from the infant garden – sweet peas and a gorgeous dark pink salvia, but despite trying WordPress again, which just will NOT let me navigate to the text box, and the continued bad behaviour of Blogger who wouldn’t let me post photos, I had to give up. Really frustrating. Anyway, you know how lovely sweet peas are, plus four stems of a glamorous pink salvia and use imagination for the rest!!! Have a good week Cathy. Amanda

  14. tonytomeo says:

    I noticed the vase first. It looked like one of those old bud vases that hung just inside the door of those old Lincoln sedans a very long time ago. I doubt anyone remembers those. They hung, so lacked bases. I found it amusing that Volkswagen Beetles were outfitted with bud vases a few years ago. Young people who drive those cars do not remember when bud vases were chic.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s really interesting to read Tony, as I knew about the vases in Beetles but as Lincoln sedans are presumably rare in the UK I didn’t know about theirs!

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