In a vase on Monday – a bit of zing!

Today is miserable, with rain and dark skies; I had to dodge the showers to pick flowers for today’s vase.  I had intended to include a hand tied bunch of flowers I gave to a friend yesterday who had invited us for a wonderful meal of food from her homeland of Cyprus.  But the rushed photographs looked a complete mess even though I was quite happy with the bouquet itself.  The Zinnia I included had come from my friend so it seemed fitting that she should have the last one in her bouquet.

Lots more Lemon basil flower stems used to give body to this hand tied bouquet

Lots more Lemon basil flower stems used to give body to this hand tied bouquet

Last week I went to the shop where I buy seeds and sometimes plug plants and saw that that were doing a two for one offer on their way ‘past it’ Chrysanthemums; having already seen that their vase life was double that of any other flower I had grown I thought it was worth buying a couple of pots just to take cuttings and have stock plants for next year.  They are a plant that is ONLY available to buy around the time of All Saint’s Day and those that you can buy have been forced so that they produce short stems and that won’t blog the pot over when it is placed on a grave.  I am assuming that when they are grown in the garden they will revert to a more natural form and that the flowers will be produced over a slightly longer period.  In the end the guy didn’t charge me for the two plants I had chosen, I think he felt embarrassed that he was selling them at all.

I now have three white Chrysanthemums of differing flower size and one with deep apricot coloured, medium sized flowers.  The cuttings I took from my first bargain buy are already growing.

The bright coloured vase works well with these cheerful flowers

The bright coloured vase works well with these cheerful flowers

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A few stems of Miscanthus to add to the autumnal nature of this week's vase

A few stems of Miscanthus to add to the autumnal nature of this week’s vase

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Three sizes of white chrysanthemum

Three sizes of white chrysanthemum

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I had picked enough flowers to also fill another small vase and add to last week's vase that is still going strong in the kitchen

I had picked enough flowers to also fill another small vase and add to last week’s vase that is still going strong in the kitchen

I like the two vases together

I like the two vases together

I wanted to use the last of the orange Cosmos from the cuttings bed, which is now looking very sad and empty.

The vases were made by a very creative friend who was for a time, making some interesting ceramics.  They are just the right mix of very bright colours to complement the flowers and cheer up a very dismal day.

So another year of vases for Cathy’s meme In a vase on Monday has begun.  Thank you Cathy for hosting and inspiring us all to enjoy our blooms inside as well as outside in the garden.  Do go to see Cathy’s very sophisticated vase and better still see what you have growing that you could cut and bring indoors and join in.

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39 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – a bit of zing!

  1. What a beautiful arrangements Christina. The colorful vases are the perfect choices to show off your floral mix. The chrysanthemums you found were quite a bargain and you’ve used them to good advantage. The orange Cosmos ties everything together.

  2. Your vases are a real ray of sunshine Christina, and a perfect compliment of flowers and vase, which is beautiful in its own right. I hope I will get to the point where I can pick flowers from my own garden to give as a gift to friends, that must be very satisfying.

  3. Oh wow – definitely zinging! And what a great buy with your chrysanthemums – I too have succumbed and ordered some for next year…. You must be so pleased with the result of these, particularly in those fantastic stripey vases – and your friend will have been thrilled with her bouquet 🙂 Seeing your vases has got me thinking, as always keen to improvise…..

    • I think the vases were intended to hold pencils so I hope that they hold water properly. Where are you buying your Chrysanthemums? Always good to know good sources, but I probably have enough for next year to see how they grow.

      • I have ordered them from Sarah Raven – recently had a catalogue from them with £5 off and free p&p and there were already a couple of things I wanted but had been waiting for a free p&p offer. I jumped jumped at it straight away after seeing Janet/Plantaliscious’s vase last week with some gorgeous green chrysanths, bought from SR.

  4. Very cheerful, Christina! Your friend did a nice job on the vases. I need to accumulate more vases myself as this exercise has shown me that you can’t have enough in different sizes. Your chrysanthemum “purchase” was a good bargain, especially as you can get the plants to grow on – chrysanthemums are generally grown here only as annuals.

    • I will put the plants into larger pots and take basal cuttings in spring, I have already taken some cuttings I need to see how well they survive the winter. I did have a plant ijn the garden for a while and it was drought rather than cold that killed it.

  5. Christina, I really enjoy how you find the most beautiful flowers and combine them…then add the vase or container. The 2 are perfect together and complement each other…you have a talented friend making ceramics.

    I do not grow mums in fall but they would look lovely in a vase if I were to plant a few again. They seem to die out in my wet garden in fall. I have just the sunny spot for them now. I also loved the first bouquet you gave your friend. Now I will be thinking about what plant material will still be available to use in the coming weeks. It will be fun slogging through the mud, snow and ice to get to the garden…but I love the idea of this creative challenge even in winter.

    • The mums are a bit of a cheat in the sense that they aren’t growing in the garden at this minute but they will be so I think it is OK. I think it will become more interesting to see what everyone manages to produce during winter; we can learn and be inspired by the more creative ones – then we can copy their ideas hopefully with new twists.

  6. Beautiful arrangements Christina. Your new chrysanthemums are lovely and I look forward to finding out whether your theory about them reverting to nature is correct – I rather think they will. The brightly striped vases are just perfect. Elizabeth

  7. A lovely vase Christina – it is so nice to have enough flowers to use as gifts – they make a great present. I really like the combination of the grasses with the chrysanthemums – I have not had any luck establishing grasses here but will try again next year – I really love the airy way they complement autumnal flowers!

    • You also can’t beat Miscanthus in a dried arrangement, and the movement they add to a garden is wonderful. Have you seen Blooms garden near Diss, they show the way grasses can be combined with many other plants.

    • I think the problem with the ‘mums is the way they’re grown so that you get this great big blob of flowers, so close together they go rotten. As I said I’m hoping that when they grow in the garden they will be taller and the flowers won’t all come at once.

  8. I really like those apricot chrysanths in your arrangement this week. And the vases are great, full of zing! I do hope your weather cheers up soon. We have heard in the news how much rain northern Italy has been having. Good luck with the cuttings.

    • The rain hasn’t been as bad here as in the north but yesterday was dreadful, today I’ve woken up to sunshine, blue sky, but it is cold! You can’t seem to have the blue skies without it being cold just at the moment.

  9. I’m going to be keeping an eye on the future of your chrysanthemums as well, Christina. I remember the last time you mentioned that you were buying All Saints mums. I might try it too … because I’ve enjoyed your flowers so much recently (particularly the white). This week’s vase is as pretty – and yes, hasn’t your ceramics friend got a talent!

  10. Your lemon basil has proved really useful for arrangements. I love it The Chrysanthemums are so cheery in the lovely vase. They are so useful at this time of the year and go on and on flowering.
    My absolute favourites for November are ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ for flowers that are a lovely dusky orange with bronze backs and the silver rose flowers of the ‘Emperor of China ‘. Some Chrysanths bloom in October but these 2 are November bloomers and absolutely gorgeous.

    • I will be growing some of the basil just for arranging next year. When it dries it is also good so I’ll try to dry a lot for winter arrangements. I have to buy what I can find here and the ‘mums don’t have names, but if I buy any in the UK I’ll look out for these; you always know the best cultivars. Late ones would really extend the season.

  11. Both are beautiful evoking completely different moods. The first one is rather sparkling and the lemon basil continues to fascinate me! Nothing beats a home-made bouquet as a gift.

  12. Oh that vase is so cheerful Christina and would lend itself nicely to other colours of flowers too. Lemon basil never does that well with me – it’s probably not warm or sunny enough to suit it but I do like its aroma.

    • I grew the lemon and lime basils for the first time this year and with the extra rain this year they did better than the Italian basil. They need bright light but not necessarily direct sunlight, always difficult to achieve.

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