Today’s vase is a single stem of greenhouse fantasy chrysanthemum ‘Salhouse Joy’, buds just breaking into bloom at the end of last month, enabling an appearance in the first vase of November. Growth has been slow and steady throughout the year but I still wonder if the end result is worth the long wait. It is a very pretty bloom, I admit, but if the plant again succumbs to an aphid attack as it has done in the previous two years, then its moment of glory will soon be gone and the long wait will begin again – do I continue tolerating the unattractive plant, which requires protection in the coldest months, for the bulk of the year, for the sake of pretty blooms for just a few weeks?
Meanwhile, this slow and steady resin snail has been revelling in the shade of the courtyard behind the Coop, but has kindly crawled out of the dampness to be a prop alongside the tardy chrysanthemum, which has been plonked into a dark green (‘moss’) Caithness Glass bud vase.
Anyway, enough of that, for next week we do not need to trouble ourselves to find plants that are blooming or in their prime of life, because the challenge for IAVOM’s eighth anniversary is to share a vase without fresh blooms. If I tell you that the giveaway is a copy of the new book ‘Cut and Dry’ by Carolyn Dunster, a ‘modern guide to dried flowers from growing to styling’, this gives you an idea of what you could use instead – and not just dried flowers, but seedheads, twigs, anything but fresh flowers. Be as inventive as you like – but if you don’t fancy the challenge, or miss reading this brief, just post as usual, and everyone who comments next week will go into the draw unless you elect not to.
And of course please also consider finding something from your garden to pop in a vase or other container today, and share it with us by leaving the usual links.