In a Vase on Monday: Umbrellas on a Cloudy Day

Although it has been, like April, a largely dry month here, May has seen a lot of cloud cover with hazy rather than endless sunshine and yesterday, when this vase was created, was no different. The vase-making process began with a stem ofย  Allium (Nectaroscordum) siculum, looking especially healthy this year and attracting a regular posse of bees – and which made me think of umbrellas. Most years the blooms seem to get stuck halfway through opening, mummifying in their in-between state, so it makes me happy to see a clump of fully-developed blooms for once.

From here I moved on to pick a stem of a particularly attractive astrantia, with a theme beginning to develop once I realised it was A ‘Ruby Cloud’. More clouds were added in the form of furry bunny tails grass, Lagurus ovatus, and umbrellas in the form of another allium, possibly self-seeded A roseum. I have seen clouds not dissimilar to the fluffy pink balls of Phuopsis stylosa towards sunset many times but yesterday could not identify the source of the strange glow in the midst of our neighbours’ mature beech tree. Developing seedheads of various aquilegia were also added as much for their attractiveness as anything else, and leaves of an unlabelled heuchera included for contrast. The vase is one of a number we have acquired as trophies in the past from our tenpin bowling league, and cocktail umbrellas returned as the inevitable prop.

Last week’s vase with the antirrhinum travelled with us on a short visit to my Mum’s last week, tucked into the corner of the boot of the car at the last minute, and I look forward to being able to create more vases with further blooms over the summer as well as sowing early for next year – although with an increasing variety of blooms to choose from as we head towards summer and the first buds opening on my dahlias there may not be an opportunity to share them with you again this year. In the meantime, perhaps you have blooms from your own gardens to share with us on IAVOM.

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31 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Umbrellas on a Cloudy Day

  1. Horticat says:

    Pretty. You have captured the beauty and whimsy of a meadow in your vase, Cathy. I admire your astrantia in particular. I don’t think it would enjoy my climate, but have seen it growing in gardens in the (much cooler, wetter) hills nearby.
    My vase (actually a bowl ๐Ÿ˜‰ today is daisy themed.

  2. Nice to see those unusual Alliums… Dahlias with opening buds! Mine have barely been planted!!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chris – it’s only one dahlia with opening buds, and I have to admit it seems pretty early…but I am not complaining!

  3. Hi Cathy, I just typed out a long comment and promptly list it. Call it a senior moment. Anyway, the gist of it was that I think your arrangement is so pretty, the astrantia in particular, I like. I’m enjoying the many aquilegia that have sprung up all over my garden so it’s no surprise that that’s what’s in my vase this week. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Grrr – don’t you just hate those moments!! The dark astrantia always look particularly striking, although I think generally they are slower to establish. I wonder what colours your aquilegia are…?

  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Spring or Summer? | Words and Herbs

  5. Cathy says:

    So lovely and fluffy and really reminiscent of clouds. That Astrantia is a gorgeous colour and the name suits it. The bunny tails grass is sweet – is it grown as an annual? Have a lovely week Cathy.

    In a Vase on Monday: Spring or Summer?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – it’s a good job I cjecked the label of the astrantia because I had forgotten I had any of this name and assumed it was Ruby Wedding. And yes, bunny tails is an annual and very easy to grow. I sowed some in October and a second batch in spring, and both are flowering

  6. I am looking forward to your Dahlias. I have always loved Alliums, that one is new to me and very pretty and cloudlike. The bunny tails grass is also a favorite. I hope the clouds bring some rain to your garden. Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      The allium isn’t very clear in the picture, so might be worth googling to check you are looking at the right thing! The bunny tail grass is much admired by visitors

  7. Donna Donabella says:

    Absolutely adore the fluffy clouds and umbrellas of this week’s vase. I needed them here recently. Two and a half inches of rain in 24 hours was sorely needed and will make the garden jump. That bunny grass is a perfect addition and a favorite. I have a lovely birthday vase of flowers to share and an update on my containers coming along slowly.

    • Cathy says:

      We were due some showers today, but have had none ๐Ÿ™„ Glad you had some to refresh your garden ๐Ÿ‘

  8. Beautiful! Those astrantias are lovely, I have never had any success with them, I must try again (and I must sow the bunny grass seeds I bought and then forgot about!) Thanks for hosting – I donโ€™t usually have time to join in on a Monday but am on holiday this week, so here is my post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      The grass grows really quickly, so should soon catch up – you won’t regret it! Astrantia can take time to establish, and I hope you find success if you do try again. Thanks for making time to join in today

      • Ah thank you! Maybe I was just impatient with the astrantia! Itโ€™s just occurred to me I could always draft a post on Sunday for posting on a Monday so hopefully I shall be back with more posts! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Cathy says:

          I always draft my IAVOM post on a Sunday, and schedule for Monday – and sometimes schedule other posts too if I am going to be away and don’t want to draw attention to my absence

  9. pbmgarden says:

    You certainly know how to brighten a cloudy day Cathy! The alliums and astrantias are lovely. I have never see astrantias here and am not sure why. Someday I’ll give them a try. The soft little bunny tails are cute. Thanks for hosting.

  10. Nectaroscordum sicilicum is such a beauty Cathy and looking rather lovely here too ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve not come across that particular astrantia before so name noted for investigation. Your May weather sounds rather different to ours despite the fact that we’re not so many miles removed. Definitely a lot more rain here than in April, extremely windy at times and often on the cool side. My vase today is is here :

    • Cathy says:

      It’s good to have the Nectaroscordum flowering properly this year – do you have issues with it at all? I had forgotten I had this astrantia and it’s a good job I checked the label when I cut it! We have had some rain this month, but not a lot – and we did finally get some today, although not till this evening (and not a lot!!)

  11. Noelle says:

    It been fun watching some of the bees attempt to enter the blooms on Nectaroscordum sicilicum. I love the range of flowers in your vase, and the dark backdrop shows them up to great advantage.

    • Cathy says:

      The bees have been busy on mine too, Noelle! I keep meaning to get some black fabric to use rather than this black felt, as it picks up so many bits from outside, which are practically impossible to brush off (and of course I can’t wash it)!

  12. Kris P says:

    Rosy clouds is a wonderful image to start with, Cathy, and you did a great job filling out your theme. I harvested my own bunny tail grass just last week after last year’s crop self-seeded all though one of my succulent beds rather than staying in the area I selected for it the prior year. I hope you get more rain, interspersed with some sunny skies, in the coming month. Dahlia buds already?! You’re well ahead of me. Here’s my contribution:

    • Cathy says:

      I have never noticed my bunny tails self-seeding, but as someone else has suggested before it would be so easy to weed them out without realising what they were. It’s only one dahlia with buds that are opening, but it does seem earlier than usual – and of course thye will come thick and fast in due course!

  13. tonytomeo says:

    That vase looks rather fancy for a trophy, unless it was for a very important tournament. In the picture, it looks like Waterford, at least in style.

    • Cathy says:

      Looks can be deceptive Tony, but close-up it certainly looks and feels like the cheap glass it is, and was awarded for a very low key competition in our local league!

  14. Great title and vase. Love the Phuopsis stylosa, which I’ve just looked up and probably will go looking for now ๐Ÿคฆ. What does it smell like btw?

    • Cathy says:

      Tnank you ๐Ÿ˜Š The phuopsis can get a bit unruly, but is easily pulled out – and fragrance is not it’s strong point but it’s not objectionable, and the flowers make up for it!

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