In a Vase on Monday: Midsummer Glory

On Mondays I usually join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase full of bits and bobs from my garden. Today is no exception and since the summer solstice is just hours away I decided to make a special midsummer arrangement.

The orange day lily is the focal point, surrounded by the slightly burnt, fluffy, caramel-coloured Aruncus flower. These grow side by side in the garden and make a gorgeous combination.

The other star this week is the white Astrantia which seems to have finally established itself, flowering for the second year now.

Another white (well, perhaps creamy white) flower which is attracting the bees this week is the lovely Cephalaria gigantea. This is like a giant Scabiosa, and it really is a giant, swaying at the top of my rockery just asking to be visited by the pollinators. 🙂

The foliage is from Epimediums, both large and small, and the frothy crown around the base of my turquoise vase is of course Alchemilla mollis – a florist’s dream I imagine!

I also added a couple of grasses and, for good luck, some St John’s Wort which is flowering bang on time for St John’s Day on the 24th.

More sunshine is forecast for this week – I hope for you too.

Now go and visit our lovely host to see what she has in her vase this week, and to click on all the links for other vases around the world this Monday!

😀

In a Vase on Monday: Classic

It’s a beautiful day, the birds are singing and it’s Monday! That means I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme, where we plonk things from our gardens into vases to share with the world! 🙂

This week I kept it simple and classic – what could be more elegant and modest than roses and lavender? Add some Alchemilla mollis (not too much) and a few strands of grass and voila! No more fuss and ado.

The light was not quite so harsh and I was able to take the photos on my patio with the top of the south-facing rockery behind.

The grass in the centre is Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and I am in love with this plant. Its feathery flowers opened this week and transformed the rockery.

Here is a picture of it taken from the patio…

The sun was hiding behind a humid haze when I picked these flowers and I took the opportunity to harvest a few bunches of lavender before the flowers get burnt and lose their intensive perfume. When I looked back at these photos I realised the vase completely mirrors what is in the garden behind it!

Oh yes, and the other grass on the left is Melica ciliata, which I first saw growing wild in a nearby deserted stone quarry and knew it would look good in my rockery.

The pale pink rose is ‘The Fairy’, but the deeper pink one was inherited with the garden and is therefore nameless.

The scent of peonies has faded, allowing the lavender to take over, although you have to rub it to notice. The strongest scent out there right now is in fact the wild strawberries. Perhaps I will post about them another day!

What smells good in your garden today?

Have a good week, and don’t forget to visit Cathy and the Monday Vase crowd for some inspiration and smiles!

In a Vase on Monday: Feeling the Heat

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden invites us each Monday to join her in gathering materials from our gardens to put in a vase. As for all the other gardeners who participate, this has become quite a ritual and I do look forward to Mondays like never before!

For this week’s vase I collected some flowers from the garden on Sunday, as the forecast for Monday was even hotter. Well, as I write (at 1pm) it’s 29°C already. Phew!

The Philadelphus has been in flower for a few days now and both the single and the double variety were picked for their cooling effect. They do tend to look as if they are drooping in the heat, but this is purely their growth habit!

A single white Campanula has shown up after all (although not where I scattered the seed!) so I decided to cut that as well.

I added a little pink Spiraea and some Vetch too. (It is so pretty I let it grow here and there).

The frothy white Centranthus looked quite sad after I plucked it from the garden and I wondered how it manages to survive the dry rockery if it is that sensitive. (It perked up an hour or so later). A few hosta leaves were added around the base and the bouquet was tied up with a fern leaf before being placed in a round vase.

It all smells heavenly, although I know we may be moving it away from the dining area soon as we are a bit sensitive to perfumed flowers – except for peonies of course! 😉 Here is a shot of some of the last beauties picked last week. A couple of buds are still hanging on outdoors, so the season has been pretty good in retrospect, and we are just going into the fifth week of them. In even better years the different ones I grow have stretched across six weeks.

If you grow peonies, how long does your peony season last?

Do visit Cathy and all the other vases linked in that are showcasing what gardens around the world have to offer today!

In a Vase on Monday: A Summer Breeze

As it is Monday again (how time flies and what happened to May?!) I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme, where we gather materials from our gardens to arrange in a vase.

It is hot again today, and a breeze would be welcome… instead I shall have to settle for this vase of breezy, summery, lemony flowers and foliage!

A slice of lemon and some lemon thyme at the foot of my carafe will remind me to chill some water and add a sprig/spritzer of each for later in the day.

The yellow day lily always catches me unawares when it opens… whatever made me buy a yellow lily? But as the pastels of the Aquilegias fade and the grasses, poppies and foliage take centre stage I am relieved to find they do actually fit into the picture. Hemerocallis citrina supposedly smells of lemon, although I personally cannot detect any citrussy scent.

The foliage on the left is the Goat’s Beard (Aruncus dioicus), which I love best before it flowers. It is so elegant and makes a beautiful structural feature in the garden for a few weeks. A shame it tends to get frazzled and needs cutting back by the end of June.

The variegated Vinca is also looking fresh still, although it has drooped a little in the photo above after being cut in the strong sun. The flowers have almost all gone over, but as ground cover it will remain attractive for some time I hope.

At the centre I just had to use another of my lovely white peonies – Festiva maxima – even though the pink tinge to the petals doesn’t really fit in with the colour scheme! They are going over rapidly in our heatwave. (30°C forecast for today)

But it is surrounded by the lime green of the Aruncus leaves, some Alchemilla, ferns, and a pretty Euphorbia seguieriana.

Well, May has come and gone and we have had another very hot month… despite some heavy thundery showers it is still dry. I wonder what June will bring?

For certain some roses… 😉

Have a good week!

In a Vase on Monday: A Meadow in May

I love joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden every Monday as she invites us to pick materials from our gardens for a vase.

This weekend has been spent at our country house, so the flowers are wild flowers from the meadows and land around us. A strong breeze on Sunday made the grasses come alive, and the textures tempt you to reach out your hands and stroke them.

I have no idea of the identity of all these wild grasses – a project for a winter evening perhaps! The flowers included are moon daisies, ‘Ragged Robin’ (Silene/Lychnis flos cuculi), white campion (Silene latifolia) and red clover, along with cow parsley of course. There were a few pale mauve campanulas in the meadow too, but I didn’t pick any as most had gone over what with the heat and wind. The Achillea and Scabious will be opening soon as well.

I brought along some peonies from home too, to enjoy their scent indoors – their season is so short this year so I must make the most of them!

 

In fact they started off in the green vase, which I then swapped over and used for the wild flowers…

 

 

 

Have a good week!

🙂

 

In a Vase on Monday: Refreshed

We finally had a short rain shower on Thursday night, and when I got back on Sunday night from a weekend away the garden had changed noticeably. And my surprise Iris had flowered!

As you can guess, it had to go in today’s vase, to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme. 🙂

The contents of the vase on the left were actually in the taller carafe to begin with, but I started fiddling and fussing and eventually the stems were all too short and I started again! It consists of Irises and Moon Daisies, with the addition of Aquilegias and an early deep red peony.

I had no qualms about cutting another iris, as the hot weather is ensuring short lives for everything this spring. So, on the right is another of the lovely surprise irises which rarely flower. It must have been planted in the former water feature before we came here and for some reason only flowers every few years. I was extremely surprised this year as the ground is so dry. And I was also surprised at its scent. Mmmm! It is accompanied by some Siberian Irises, Moon Daisies, Vinca foliage, white Geranium phaeum, some white Dicentra, a few wild grasses, Hosta leaves (still intact before the slugs and snails discover them!) and a couple of sprigs of Aruncus dioicus flower buds – I love them best at this stage!

The bright sunlight and strong wind outside made photography difficult today, so I resorted to indoors in front of our fireplace…

It has just started to pour with rain as I write, with rumbles of thunder all around us, making my chosen title even more suitable! Rain! At last!

In a Vase on Monday: Restraint

I had to exercise restraint when choosing flowers for my vase this week, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme. 🙂  Despite our continued dry spell (no rain apart from one short shower for about four weeks now!) the plants are flowering earlier than usual responding to the sunshine and warmth.

This early peony is a lovely deep pink and five flowers opened all at once on Sunday.

The iris on the left was a broken one – a bird? a cat? – rescued just in time for the vase this morning. And on the right are two Cammassias – they both opened at the end of last week, but the pale blue one seems to have stood up to the heat better.

 The Aquilegias have also started opening over the last few days, so I picked some of the deep purply blues…

… like silky petticoats!

And the vase itself, which some of you may have noticed making a sideline appearance a few weeks ago, now has centre stage.

It was a rather cheap purchase from a furniture store(!) in winter, and I was waiting for taller stems to pick so I could show it off. It is a simple flimsy wooden frame with three extra large ‘test tubes’ inserted. They hold several stems each, and plenty of water for thicker stems too. The butterfly cut-outs were what attracted me and I must say I am rather pleased with it! 🙂 (Although peonies look great in anything! 😉)

 

 

Thanks as always to Cathy for hosting. I shall spend the next few days enjoying not just my own, but also all the other vases posted from around the globe.

😀