Tag Archives: cut flowers

In a Vase on Tuesday – A Casualty

image

It’s like buses. You wait for ages for one, then two come along at once! So close on the heels of yesterday’s long awaited “In a Vase on Monday” post, I can’t wait till next week for the next one!

It comes, though, virtue of an “accident”. Some of my stems of Echinops had escaped their support. I’m ruthless now, and since they showed no desire to be caged up again, they had to be cut back – flower buds and all.

However, my conscience is always salved, if any material can be recycled in a vase for the house. These stark buds seemed to lend themselves to a simple display. I chose a collection of glass medicine bottles, with one stem in each. It may be simple, and not as frothy as my rose bowl, but gives the poor buds an extended life, giving a bit of pleasure indoors.

image

I wonder if they’ll flower!

Advertisements

In a Vase on Monday – A New Rosebowl.

image

I had to join in today!

I have just treated myself to a rose bowl. I have long thought about having one, not just for roses, but for any flower display. It seems to me to be a perfect solution for displaying many types of flowers, keeping them well supported and displayed. After scouring several local charity shops, I even had a choice of two. I plumped for the simpler, beautifully cut glass bowl.

Of course, the timing was perfect, coinciding with the first flush of roses, so what better way to christen my new bowl.

image

I picked a bloom from each of my roses currently in bloom, not wanting to deplete the garden display too much. They sat in the bowl quite well behaved, and I filled out the gaps and softened the overall posy with sprays of Alchemilla mollis. How beautifully it combines with the roses! And how good it smells good too!

image

I can see the bowl getting much use!

I’m joining in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who started this meme and faithfully shows us her beautiful and imaginative arrangements every week. Please pop over and see her contribution this week!

In a Vase on Monday – But a Day Late!

image

My very first Dahlia!

I’m so impressed with it that I wanted to show it off, by joining in with Cathy, at “Rambling in the garden” and her meme. I do hope she’ll forgive me for being late!

Like so many of you, I’ve become very fond of cutting flowers from the garden to bring indoors, with the result, I wanted to try growing some this year, specifically for cutting. I’ve never grown Dahlias before, but thought they would be ideal, to grow in pots with this aim in mind.

While strolling past a nearby florist, earlier in the year, I noticed baskets full of summer flowering bulbs for sale. Two dark red ones instantly appealed to me. This one is “Natal”, a pompom dahlia.

image

It’s turned out to be an absolute stunner, I hope you agree!

Sadly, the other hasn’t amounted to much. The tuber wasn’t the healthiest, although it did shoot, but it has just become mollusc fodder. Which is the way my other pots of flowers for cutting – Ammi majus, which I adore, and have been desperate to try, and Didiscus “Blue Lace”, a new one on me, which looked interesting, scented with pale blue umbels – have ended up.

But, at least I have my dahlia – and some sweet peas!

So back to the vase!

I just cut one stalk, which had two beautiful flower heads on it. There’s still another two left, with loads of buds in waiting. I thought the dark chocolate coloured foliage of Cotinus “Grace” would set them off beautifully and provide a bit of a prop for the single stem. It did need a bit of lightness, though, to alleviate the darkness, so I added some silvery blades of Miscanthus “Morning Light” and then came across some stems of Astrantia, which were white, with similarly coloured splashes at the base of the flowers. Should pick up the dark red shade perfectly! Funnily enough, the whole vase blends beautifully with the decor in the dining room, complete with complementary candles. Cathy will hopefully appreciate the props!

Oh, and the sweet peas came indoors, too!

image

The Cuttings Calender – December ….and the Calender!

image

Well, I managed it! A year of continuous vases in the house, cut from the garden! It’s been a delight, both in the doing and the viewing! I did think I might fall by the wayside, especially towards the end of the year, as material becomes more scarce, but I was surprised by my own imagination. And I was helped by the inspiration from fellow bloggers who contribute to Cathy’s weekly meme “In a Vase on Monday”. Cathy’s blog is “Rambling in the Garden” – most enjoyable and inspirational, so please, do go and have a look! Seeing what others achieved gave me many ideas. So thank you all!

My December vase had to be the Christmas one. I had to include the Christmas necessities of Holly – both green and variegated – and Ivy – again variegated, complete with their berries. I chose to also include some Christmas Box (Sarcococca). Sadly, the traditional red element was lacking. I struggled to find many red berries in the garden. They must have all fed the birds, since they had been there earlier in the month. The only red element I could find were two holly berries and a couple of sprigs of Skimmia “Rubella” buds. Never mind, I had the props to finish it off, in the form of some Christmas pot pourri and a beautiful hand made card. And our colour scheme helps too! I must confess to using the language of flowers, in a bit of a sentimental moment, by adding a sprig of Myrtle for good luck and one of Rosemary for remembrance.

image

Earlier in the month, the vase was decidedly more pastel, using the newly blooming flowers of Coronilla “Citrina”. These flowers are beautifully scented and their leaves are a lovely glaucous blue, so I chose some creamy lemon variegated evergreen leaves to set them off, in the form of Pittosporum “Silver Queen” and Elaeagnus “Limelight” to accompany them.

image

As the last vase faded, I was faced with a bit of a problem. It would be several days before I could get into the garden in daylight to concoct the next vase (I’m no lark!) and no way could this vase last. Then inspiration struck! What could I pick from the doorway? Our front porch is overwintering our olives and myrtle, the latter sporting some magnificent juicy, black berries. So by the light of the hallway, the follow-on vase was concocted! Ok, a modest little number, but a pleasing little vase nonetheless!

image

To round off the year is the “Full circle” vase I showed in my last post. It’s based on the first vase I did, in my little milk bottles, using sprigs of Sarcococca, but this time with a few added winter blooms. Standing proud at the back, are scented sprigs of fresh Lonicera fragrantissima and spicy Chimonanthus praecox alongside the delicate Coronilla again. On the sidelines are a beautiful sprig of Mahonia japonica with its tiny daffodil-like flowers and the ever flowering blue Campanula. In centre stage are some berries, including the cheeky tongues of the Euonymus berries – I just love them!

And this time I found a suitable prop in the form of our brass armillary, displaced from its normal site by the Christmas decs. Somehow it seems appropriate for a New Year vase!

image

And finally, the proof!

image

My Cuttings Calender for 2014!!

Here’s to 2015’s!

The Cuttings Calender – October

image

The star of the month!

Yes, you have seen this before. This was the vase I prepared before going off on our hols, in “Sun, Sea and Sand“. I was looking for a vase that would still be going strong – or, at least, strongish! – when we came home. And it did what I had hoped! Choosing berries, seed heads and grasses, that would die gracefully, rather than collapse, certainly worked. I do confess that part of me wanted a repeat of the red berry vase I did in September. I did love that, but the simple white roses with hydrangea, pipped it at the post.

image

This, my little experiment, you’ve also seen. This little vase was a sample of a cyclamen and viola flower, from my trip to the nursery, to see how they would perform in a vase. The viola flopped – literally! – but the cyclamen lasted well. Sadly the stems are a bit on the short side for its use as anything other than “posies” for example.

image

Now this was me trying to be clever! I’d salvaged these three jars, which had once contained some chilli relishes – a Christmas present to “Mr. Chef”. They have such a lovely chunky shape. They stack as well! I had long envisaged them, with flowers, being used together as a table display. The Grass Garden was producing a prolific patch of Aster frikartii “Monch”, which would give me plenty of lilac flowers for cutting, so these jars seemed the ideal receptacle. The table, at this time, is out of action, so I had to make do with a window ledge. I used the golden foliage from a Euonymus as a contrast to the lilac, in the two outer jars, and the silvery grass, Miscanthus “Morning Light”, in the central jar, giving a bit of height and softness. It would look better on our new table, though!

image The surprise, late flowering Jasmine, was a must for a vase!

I feel October was not my most productive month, vase wise. But who’d be without a holiday in the sun! Despite so few vases to show, my stream of displays is still continuous. Perhaps the longevity of the “holiday” vase is to blame! Next month, I hope will be more productive. Let’s wait and see!

In a Vase on Monday – Here’s One I Prepared Earlier!

image

Congratulations to Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, for one year of her most enjoyable meme, ‘ In a Vase on Monday”. Her posts are so informative and encouraging – not forgetting beautiful, too!

I, too, strive to have a continuous stream of cut material in the house, having set myself a target of achieving this for one year, at least. Unfortunately, I have rarely taken part in the meme myself, mainly due to working on a Monday, and now coming home in the dark, but I really wanted to join in this week to celebrate Cathy’s achievement. So, I have to spill the beans! As in good old Blue Peter style, “Here’s one I prepared earlier”! My thinking is, that, even though my vase was collected yesterday, it is still in a vase on Monday! Do you agree? I do hope so!

As most of you who join in will probably agree, material is starting to get scarce. I could also name this post as “The Last of the Summer Flowers”, as that was my starting point. I scoured the garden for blooming stragglers, and came up with some Astrantia “Buckland” and a surprise spray of Alchemilla mollis. So they started it off and dictated the colour sceme. Foliage was needed to pad it out and I chose some variegated Ivy to pick up the lemon, and some silvery leaves of Phlomis fruticosa. Our long flowering Coronilla “Citrina” has just started again, (definitely not a summer flower!), so their lemony flowers added scent as well as colour. All that was needed now, was a touch of blue, courtesy of a campanula which is happily self-seeding itself around the garden, and blooming well just now. They add contrast and a trailing element to the composition. Oh, and a solitary Ox-eye daisy, just ready to flower, was added in the centre for good measure.

All that’s left now, is to thank Cathy for her inspiration, and encouragement. Well done on 1 year!

Sun, Sea and Sand

image

We have spent the last week enjoying a well earned holiday, lapping up some late summer sun in the south of Spain. Beautiful as you can see! The cobbled streets here, take on a whole new dimension.

Despite all this warm sunshine and relaxation, the “little green cells” were still working. Having been here before and taken albums full of the obligatory holiday snaps, I was still snap happy, on the look out for a horticultural gem, or an unusual slant. Most of these photos have yet to be downloaded (or should it be uploaded? I never know!) Some have led me to have fun with some puzzles!

SPOT THE BALL

image

This was intended to be a “Wordless Wednesday”, while away, but a wonderful day spent far away from Wi-fi connections in the fascinating city of Córdoba, meant it was not to be be. This old city of narrow streets, keeps its horticulture a closely guarded secret, in beautiful courtyards, hidden from view. We did get a sneaky peak – citrus trees, fountains and walls covered in pots trailing with brightly coloured flowers. Apparently, once year in early summer, these courtyards are thrown open to the public. Make a date in your diary!

Have you spotted the ball? (Or is it a fallen orange?)

DID YOU KNOW….

….what La Biznaga is?

Well, for one, it is the tapas bar we were frequenting while there.

image

As we perused the menu on so many occasions, it became obvious that the bar’s logo resembled a flower or seed head, so it led me to wonder what La Biznaga meant. Ah, the wonders of Google!

Biznaga

Biznaga

This is one. It is, in essence, a scented posy of Jasmine, which is a speciality of the Malaga region. The name comes from the Moorish, meaning “Gift from God”.
The starting point is what they term as a wild thistle, but was named as being Ammi visnaga, familiar to us as Bishops Weed, or Khella. They collect these early in summer, leave them to dry and then strip off the flowers, leaving only the skeleton. Later, jasmine flowers are picked early in the morning, before they open, and stuck on to each prong, giving a head of scented jasmine flowers. Each of these “posies” are stuck into the body of a cactus, which has been stripped of its prickles, to be carried through the streets by the sellers, or biznagueros.

image

Sounds like a painstaking process! But what a perfume they must emit!
They feature strongly in Malaga’s culture, depicted in art and poetry, and they comprise an integral part of the city’s annual festival in August.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

image

Home now, and time to assess the vase I did just before we left.
I was determined that a week away, would not be an excuse to forego a vase of flowers. I put a lot of thought into what I could use that would either last the week or die gracefully. My thinking was that the evergreen Mahonia leaves as a background, with their splashes of red, should last well, as would the Skimmia buds and Sedum flowers. The rosehips should dry out, the Persicaria create seed heads and the grass flowers fade beautifully.

One week on and what’s the verdict? I think it’s worked exactly as I’d hoped!

AND ONE I PREPARED EARLIER….

image

…. the viola was the only casualty!