In a Vase on Monday: Blood and Thunder

The blood-red wallflowers with forgotten origins were the initial proposed contents of this week’s vase and they were quickly joined by blooms from Lunaria annua ‘Chedglow’, a purple-flowered honesty with brooding dark mottled leaves, originally grown from seed received from blogging friend Anna of Green Tapestry, and currently looking stunning in an informal and dramatic sort of way.

Seeking an appropriately dark container, I ended up with this iconic Caithness Glass vase in the ‘peat’ colourway, although something with a splayed mouth would have prevented the stems appearing as if they had just been stuffed into the vase – which of course they have! I may have acquired a lot of vases since the inauguration of IAVOM but that doesn’t mean there will always be one of exactly the right shape, size and colour…

As soon as I cut the honesty to join the wallflowers, the title ‘Blood and Thunder’ popped into my head, so I went along with it – apparently originating from an oath which used to be taken religiously during the medieval period before going to a battle, the phrase has been appropriated not only for book and film titles, but also singers and songs. Weighing up potential props, a stick pin awarded to me for donating my tenth pint of blood was chosen rather than a rustic football rattle, the thunderinging of the latter used to disperse marauding wood pigeons or cats making themselves too much at home in the garden. Sadly, the tenth pint of blood was my last, donation having been put on hold during periods of pregnancy and breast feeding before being thwarted by my current health authority deeming me, as a shortie,  not heavy enough. These days, upper age limits may well prevent me trying again…

As spring hots up, each week is bringing a wider choice of material for Monday vases here, and with the Winter Sunshine sweet peas starting to bloom in the greenhouse they will no doubt make an appearance on IAVOM very soon. It is always intriguing to see what other contributors have been able to find in their own gardens, so please consider joining us too, regularly or occasionally, if you haven’t already done so, by leaving links to and from this post.

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30 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Blood and Thunder

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    Love the purple it is one of my favourite colours.

  2. Noelle says:

    What a great theme this week, and the props are spot on. I too had a little brooch similar to your pin but where or where is it? As for the football rattle what a beauty, better than my tin can filled with stones ready to spare the robin nestlings from the magpies. Many of us have plants in our gardens whose provenance can go back to having taken part in this weekly get together. Of course lastly nice flowers. Here is my contribution: https://noellemace.blogspot.com/2022/04/in-vase-on-monday.html

    • Cathy says:

      The rattle was my backup, Noelle, as I wasn’t sure I would be able to lay my hand on mine – but surprisingly I did! I like the idea of a tin with stones though. I am keeping an eye open in case the wood pigeons attack the wisteria again ,but so far they don’t seem to have nested in view of it, and this time last year they had already destroyed the buds….

  3. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Love those colours!

  4. a very dramatic display this week!

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Love these strong colors Cathy, especially the wallflowers’s rich redness. The Lunaria foliage is interesting on its own. Hope you are enjoying each day in the garden as plants awaken. https://pbmgarden.blog/2022/04/11/in-a-vase-on-monday-green-urn-with-irises/

    • Cathy says:

      It still surprises how vibrant the purple of the honesty is, Susie. I need to work out how best to get it growing every year as of course it is a biennial and I haven’t seen it for two years!

  6. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: For Fear of Being a (helle)Bore…. | Words and Herbs

  7. Cathy says:

    The title this week is very appropriate. Wallflowers are always such lovely rich colours and the honesty goes nicely, ‘lightning’ it up just a little. 😉 We actually had thunder the other night, while the wind was howling and it was sleeting and raining! Typical April weather! I know what you mean about the vases…. but today I knew at once which vase to use: https://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2022/04/11/in-a-vase-on-monday-for-fear-of-being-a-hellebore/
    Have a good week Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      It’s good when you know straight away, isn’t it?! What a wild night you must have had – here we are back to milder overnight temperatures but supposedly with some rain which we really could do with

  8. Rich tapestry colors and the vase goes very well with the deep colors. You have made me wonder if I can grow wallflowers here. I have seen a few. Happy Monday and thanks for hosting. https://theshrubqueen.com/2022/04/11/in-a-vase-on-monday-the-red-wave/

    • Cathy says:

      The wallflowers that linger here get very woody – I really must look through my seed records to see if it is one I have sown myself, which I think will be the case

  9. Donna Donabella says:

    What a dramatic vase of deep rich blooms, and a perfect title! Snowed and was very cold yesterday again, but we are finally warming this week, but I am sure we will still see snow flakes until mid May now and again. I had a surprise bunch of flowers from my husband that I am including today waiting for my garden to bloom a few more. https://gardenseyeview.com/2022/04/11/dreaming-of-wildflowers/

  10. Kris P says:

    I love this combination! The intense colors are very appealing. I tried growing Lunaria here and was very disappointed by the result (which didn’t last long enough to produce the seedpods the plant is known for) but, if I can find seeds of a variety with vibrant flowers like that, maybe I’ll try it again. Thanks for hosting and here’s my contribution: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2022/04/in-vase-on-monday-bright-blue.html

  11. Oh I have no memory whatsoever of sending you the seeds but Cathy but I’m so pleased to read that they have done well for you 😂 The leaves can be temperamental – sometimes mottled but at other times a more satisfactory deep all over purple. I wonder if it is light related? You have got me thinking not only about the origin of a phase but also whether himself has a discarded football rattle lurking somewhere. It may work against the squirrels. Lunaria in my vase too today here : https://greentapestry.blogspot.com/2022/04/iaom-i-will-survive.html

    • Cathy says:

      It was certainly many years ago Anna, and they religiously return every second year although I could do with trying to establish a batch every year – I wonder if seed collected and sown this year would flower next year? Noelle says she uses a tin with stones to deter magpies…

  12. Very pretty. The dark burgundy and purple blooms look great in that vase!

  13. tonytomeo says:

    It is nice to see honesty as a cut flower. I just met it for the first time a few years ago. It seems to be naturalized at work, but only because we collect the seeds to scatter where we think they will be happy. After the person who started the tradition retired, honesty regenerated a bit less prolifically each year for several years. Eventually, we realized that we should resume the tradition. Anyway, the blooms wilted when I tried to cut them, so I just leave them in the landscapes. It is nice to see them working well as cut flowers in other situations.

  14. I adore blood red wallflowers and this pairing is perfect!

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