In a vase on Monday – One year on

I’ve been looking back at some of my earlier posts for Cathy’s inspirational meme “In a vase on Monday” and see that last year I was putting roses in vases in December, while I have roses this year I seem to be more reluctant to pick them than last year, that maybe due to the advent of the cutting bed making me want to pick flowers from there if I can.

I didn’t begin the cutting bed because of this meme, I had been planning the bed for a while but the meme has meant that I kept picking and trying to hone my skills at arranging the flowers.  I’m sure without the meme there would have been some days, that might have become weeks, when I wouldn’t have done a vase.  Too much to do, wet weather (its pouring again today and I made sure I picked the flowers before the rain started in earnest), or something would probably have stopped this becoming a fixed habit.  So a big thank you goes to you, Cathy, I really appreciate that you have posted every week without fail, even when you’ve been far from home.

Last week’s vase was my most successful in terms of how long it has lasted, still going strong today, you can see it with the new arrangement below.

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I’ve used more Chrysanthemums; the larger ones again in some Campari bottles this time placed inside another container with other flowers included.  The Antirrhinums needed more time to grow than they had (they needed staking too – but I’ve talked about that failing before; but today there were a few stems worth picking some white and pale yellow.  I have already sown and pricked out seeds for next year, I just hope they don’t grow too quickly or the greenhouse will be stuffed full of plants all jostling for light.

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I included Knautia in my first vase for Cathy so it is fitting it is included again here.I also picked some Zinnias and Cosmos which made a second vase for the kitchen, I’m not pleased with the photographs but the vase itself is pleasing.

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Do visit Cathy’s post today; she has a special post for this one year anniversary.  Why not join in and make it even more special for her!


41 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – One year on

  1. That’s amazing that your vase from last week is still going strong. I especially like the large chrysanthemums. I have been looking for them here for a while, but can’t seem to find them. I’ll have to look online. Do you buy plants online, or do you find everything in Italy? In Toledo, the selection is very limited, so sometimes I shop in Madrid or online from France or the Netherlands. Plus, Spaniards do not use chrysanthemums in the garden – they are strictly cemetery flowers for All Saints’ Day. Does the same hold true in Italy?

    • Yes Chrysanthemums are only for cemeteries here in Italy too, I couldn’t give anyone a bouquet with them in, they would be most offended. I bought these from the supermarket of all places, they were on offer for €3.99 so a real bargain, I’ve already taken some cuttings from the base of the plant and as I cut I can see there will be more. I buy most plants here but the selection is poor for the cuttings garden I grow mostly from seed that I buy when I’m in the UK but you can buy seeds easily online.

  2. Beautiful arrangement again today Christina. Amazing how well yours from last week has held up. I’m growing snapdragons for the first time so will have to pay attention and stake them. Thanks for the tip and thanks for joining in Cathy’s meme–I discovered it through your blog and have enjoyed it.

    • You’ve been very good joining in almost every week. I have learnt so much from your arrangements. Maybe when you have some time you could do a brake down of photographs as you progress especially for one like today’s. My last Monday’s vase looks as good as it did a week ago. I can understand why Chrysanthemums are so popular with florists.

  3. I love all the white flowers, specially the pretty Chrysanthemums with the snapdragons. You have a real talent for flower arranging Christina. Absolutely beautiful!

  4. Thank you for your complementary post, Christina, and your loyalty throughout. I like the way you have managed to include something you included in your first vase! The pure white chrysanths look gorgeous – I am definitely changing my mind about them! And I could do with advice on antirrhinum as I really struggled to get them to germinate this year and mine weren’t tall enough to stake! The pale yellow ones look especially nice and complement those yellow centres. I like your kitchen arrangement as well, regardless of the photo! I too am wondering about the success of a greenhouse stuffed with seedlings over the winter, a new experience for me…

    • The Antirrhinum I grew this year were from a very cheap packet of seed from Lidl for 29 cents, they were planted on 14th April and germinated within two days. I use a heated propagating tray (I find bottom heat makes a huge difference to germination). But the plants didn’t grow very quickly after that and I probably planted them too closely as I didn’t have much room in the bed. They are sprawling. I will explain soon how I intend to stake next year. I’ve sown Sara Raven tall white antirrhinums plus some more of the same mixed pack from earlier in the year, I have already pricked out 24 mixed and 15 of the tall white; there are many more mixed ones but what will I do with them if I pick them out? It is interesting that the SR seedlings have larger leaves even at the first true leaf stage so they are obviously from a good variety. I think that quite a few plants need a longer growing season than the seed packets would have us believe so I think it is worth starting early unless (like the sunflowers) we know they grow very quickly. I planted those very early and if the spring hadn’t been so mild I would have had problems keeping them in a pot.

  5. Your vases are always wonderful, Christina! I’m impressed by the shelf-life of your Chrysanthemums. You have me thinking again of using my vegetable garden as a cutting garden (once I get through the trials and tribulations of my front yard renovations).

    • Thank you Kris. I was surprised about the Chrysanthemums too, but florists do use them a lot because they keep well. I didn’t even change the water which I know does help lengthen vase life for some flowers. You always seem to find such lovely and interesting plants from your garden but if like me there are areas that aren’t irrigated, keeping the cutting flowers together means you can water them and keep them flowering for longer.

  6. The idea of pale yellow & white snapdragons has me drooling, and you’ve certainly changed my mind about big chrysanths. They are associated with All Saints in France as well – only for the graveyard. But what a good idea to buy a pot and take cuttings. Very elegant vase, Christina!

    • As I cut the flowers I can see there are lots more cutting (actually they are basil cuttings and already have roots) The ones I potted up almost as soon as I bought the plants are already growing. Check out the video I put on the post a couple of weeks ago. Or check YouTube Sara Raven taking in Chrysanthemums.

  7. Christina such a lovely vase to complement last weeks. And a second vase as well. I have a few foliage vases with cattails still going too. I miss not having snapdragons so I was overjoyed to see yours. I will be starting mine this winter under lights so I can see them in spring. I am trying to work out an area where I might start a cutting garden. I have always wanted one and this meme is driving me to figure it out once and for all.

    • My cuttings garden (bed) has given me such a lot of pleasure this year so I encourage you to try to find space for one. I have to have a separate bed with irrigation otherwise everything would die, but for some of the tulips that I have bought for picking, I will plant them at the back of some of the borders as they don’t need summer irrigation.

  8. I love that arrangement with chrysanths and antirrhinums. It’s so fresh and lemony! Looks lovely next to last week’s vase too. 🙂 It reminded me I still have a few yellow antirrhinums flowering in a pot out the front of the house. If they last till next week I might try and use some.

    • The flowers of the snapdragons seem to drop quite quickly, I’m hoping the ones I grow next year will have long stems and I can pick them almost before they start to flower. I hope your survive another week and you can use them next week.

  9. Thats beautiful Christina, I really love your first arrangement and the way your presented it in the pretty basket, Can you tell me what is a Campari bottle? I had not really appreciated Chrysanthemums before but can see they are really valuable to grow.

    • Ah! the little bottles I use for individual flowers are the bottles that my favourite aperitivo come in – Campari and soda comes ready mixed here iconic triangular-shaped bottles; Luckily I have lots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Lovely lovely vases this week Christina! You are so lucky to still have snapdragons – mine gave up a few weeks ago. You are also lucky to be able to take cuttings and start seedlings off early in your greenhouse – we might get away with it in the UK but if the winter is harsh little will survive. I am so glad that I found you through Cathy – what a lot we have to be grateful to her for! I am really looking forward to following your garden through another annual cycle!

    • I feel I have met so many new friends through blogging. I’m hoping you will come to visit when the peony farm is in full bloom! In past years I haven’t heated the greenhouse; last year the temperature inside only dropped below zero once but it may not be like that this year. As I am producing micro salad leaves and from January will have vegetable seedlings growing I am seriously considering heating it to 3 or 4°C. Do you heat your greenhouse? The snapdragons are probably better now than they were earlier in the year, they have more space and light and have grown more in the last month an in most of the summer.

      • Thank you Christina – we are hoping to visit you next year – you will have to let me know when you think it would be best to visit the peonies and then we can start to make a plan. Re the greenhouse I try not to heat it as it is so expensive – I use extra layers of fleece to protect the few tender things I have sheltering for the winter and I do have a heated propagator to germinate my seeds, which will be on throughout the cold months. Once germinated I tend to be quite hard on my seedlings though and just resow if something does not make it.

        • Excellent, I’ll let you know when they peonies should be at their best. They have shrub and herbaceous peonies so the overall season is quite long and there are so many varieties so they tend to overlap. I haven’t heated my greenhouse in other years either, and I have several heated propagating trays for the seeds when germinating. I just think that we have have a few colder nights this year and it would be a shame to lose things to just a few nights of sub zero temperatures. The heater I am looking at also has a strong fan that could be useful in summer to try to help keep it cool.

          • Sorry Christina – I didn’t realise you were looking at buying a heater – I do have 2 electric fan heaters with thermostats which I use occasionally – i think they operate as fans as well but I have mot needed that function yet. My greenhouse has blinds on the south side which seem to work well at keeping the temperature diwn. I will look forward to hearing from you about the peonies!

            • I have shade netting on almost all year, I only pulled one side back a little today to let a bit more light in. Really in summer it needs the shading to be on the outside. In mid-summer it is close to 40°C all day and doesn’t drop that much at night. I would if funds allowed put a solar panel on the roof which would act as part of the shading and could run a fan in summer and just a little heat in winter. Even on a winter’s day the sun is very strong through the glass.

      • My book says only that antirrhinum comes from the Greek anti (like a) and rhinum (nose). This doesn’t explain the “rr”. I didn’t realize that the prefix anti meant “like a”. This introduces whole new waves of confusion.

        • Sometimes it is just best not to know. Usually anti means opposite or outside as in antechamber but that’s with and “e”. Thanks for checking, it is fun to know and I have always thought that they look like rabbits noses.

  11. How lovely to have last week’s arrangement still going strong, this week’s complements it beautifully, you really have grown in confidence and competence as the year has progressed, I have enjoyed watching you even as I have struggled to join in most weeks. Mind you, I certainly picked more flowers for the house than I would have done without Cathy’s meme! Your kitchen arrangement is lovely, that is what I am missing at the moment, enough material to make vases for more than one room that please me. I am reluctant to start in with the bare branches and drying seedheads so soon, there are months of winter to come…

    • Every week for the last month I have felt that the flowers were at an end but like you I am unwilling as yet to move onto the ‘dry stuff’. If I hadn’t bought the Chrysanthemums I would have been very lacking in material. I’m still not keen to pick from the garden. I am hoping that with more knowledge and organisation the flowering period can be extended next year, at both ends of the season. I haven’t even finished planting the tulips and they are what I’m most looking forward to next!

  12. I discovered Cathy’s meme through you, so thank you. It’s been fun, and i look forward to the challenge of the winter months. Your arrangements are always inspiring.

    • I suppose that is one benefit of memes – that we discover new bloggers that we might not find otherwise. As you say the next few months will be challenging if there aren’t just foliage or dried arrangements, not that there is anything wrong with those, I love that kind of arrangement. I suspect we will all be amazed and inspired by what others do, all part of the learning process.

  13. Oh I do like those shades of cream, white, yellows and greys Christina – so pleasing to the eye. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your vases over the year. I wonder now just how many Campari bottles have been hidden inside them:) When did you sow next year’s snapdragons?

    • Usually the Campari bottles are in full view, I think this is the first time they have been hidden. I haven’t been as efficient in logging my autumn sowing but I know it was after the Ami major and that was 7th September, I think the beginning of October because I needed to refrigerate the seed before sowing them. I pricked them out last week.

  14. This might be my new favorite vase, I love the snapdragons and the chrysanthemums too of course! The mellow yellows and white really seem to blend so well, and your right that it does have a springtime look to it. Not the worst look to brighten up a cold November night!

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