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.