In a vase on Monday – the message spreads

Every Monday Cathy from Rambling in the garden asks us to pick flowers from our gardens and bring them into the house to enjoy.  This meme has become completely addictive for many of us and even when we are going away, or there is snow on the ground we find something!

As many of you know I am teaching (with others) a gardening course in a nearby town and I wanted to share my enthusiasm for using home grown flowers with the group; so a couple of weeks ago I picked buckets and buckets of flowers from the cuttings beds, and the group came here armed with vases, jam jars and various other containers and we spent the afternoon arranging the flowers, followed by tea and cake.

Me arranging a bowl with just Philadephus and Roses

Me arranging a bowl with just Philadephus, Antirrhinums and Roses

You can see I also spread the word about using Campari soda bottles!

Had to believe that these roses have almost finished flowering already

Had to believe that these roses have almost finished flowering already

I love the perfume of Philadelphus but it doesn’t last well in a vase, if anyone know how to make it last longer I’d love to know the secret.

A basket with cellophane to hold water

A basket with cellophane to hold water

Another view of the same basket

Another view of the same basket

Simple jar

Simple jar

Alliums and Sweet William

Alliums and Sweet William

A wooden wheel barrow with a couple of very small jars to hold the flowers

A wooden wheel barrow with a couple of very small jars to hold the flowers

A simple jar with Rosemary tied to the outside to hide the jar filled with Sweet William

A simple jar with Rosemary tied to the outside to hide the jar filled with Sweet William

This is a great idea that I saw in the book I had for Christmas, ideally the whole thing could sit in a shallow bowl to give the rosemary some water.  Lavender stems would work well too, I intend trying that when my lavender is flowering.

Some of the group with their flowers

Some of the group with their flowers

A stemmed glass with stems of twiggy Jasmine twined in the glass to hold the flowers in place

A stemmed glass with stems of twiggy Jasmine twined in the glass to hold the flowers in place

Although everyone claimed not to ever arrange flowers I think the results are great.  I helped with some ideas and showed them how to make a hand-tied bouquet (rather a case of the one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind!) and an arrangement in a shallow bowl using stones to hold the flowers in place, something none of them had ever seen before.

Very, very stupidly I failed to notice that the camera was without a memory card so the images were taken by others using their phones and not all are shown in detail.  See what you have done Cathy!

For my vase for this week I picked the first of the Cosmos, I am determined not to allow so many to run to seed this year; they are combined with the last of the dwarf gladioli ‘The Bride’ and Antirrhinum  in a simple cylindrical vase.

today's vase

today’s vase

The dark Cosmos are seed from Sarah Raven

The dark Cosmos are seed from Sarah Raven

White and pink Cosmos with White dwarf gladioli

White and pink Cosmos with White dwarf gladioli

Thank you Cathy for thinking up this meme and spreading the word of using our own flowers to enjoy in our homes.  Do visit Cathy today to see what everyone else has found to include intheir vases today.


50 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – the message spreads

  1. Christina, I love this, so much to share and your students must of been thrilled too. Sounds like the perfect afternoon. You do yourself a disservice, no one eyed man there!

  2. What a lovely idea, I especially like the rosemary stems around the vase, really dramatic.Its such a gentle, creative thing to pick and arrange something you have grown.
    Your roses and philadelphus are beautiful, and the cosmos make me wish I had planted it this year.

    • Rosa ‘Queen of Sweden is lovely as a cut flower, I really recommend it. Last year I had so many Flowers on the Cosmos, so this year I’m growing some really dark ones as well as pale pink and white.

  3. What works for me when I wish to include lilac or Philadelphus in an arrangement is to split the end of the branch after cutting to allow more water to be taken up. I have also simply hit the end of the branch with a hammer on a stone to mash the end a bit for the same effect. Also, remove the leaves from the branch. For greenery use just the leafy branch without flowers and treat the end the same way.

  4. I planted my cosmos seedlings on the allotment yesterday measuring 10 cm tall so a bit of a wait for flowers. Yes I agree philadelphus is very hard to use as a cut flower and I shall probably take mine out in the autumn and plant a repeat flowering rose instead. What a very inspiring collection of cut flowers and vases -thank you for sharing.

  5. My you had a talented group there Christina…and they must have been pinching themselves to be in your garden with so many flowers to choose from….and your incredible skills to learn from. And your vase is perfect. It says warm weather and happiness to me….my cosmos are just emerging as little sprouts so it will be at least another 6 weeks before I see flowers from my cutting garden.

  6. It looks as though you and everyone else thoroughly enjoyed the lesson, Christina. I love your arrangement with roses and philadelphus but I’m also impressed with the vase cloaked in rosemary.

    • The vase covered with rosemary actually looked even better in life than in the image; it is a really good idea for covering a boring container and is something that is available all year.

  7. Oh what a great idea for your group – they must have been thrilled! Your rose and philadelphus and antirrhinum vase is gorgeous and even though were hidden behind a rose stem we can put a face to the name now! The dark cosmos in today’s vase is lovely – I am growing a dark pink pink one called ‘Antiquity’ this year which may be similar. Mine didn’t do well enough to go to seed last year but things are looking more promising this time and I do have some buds now even though the plants are not fully grown. The meme has really changed Mondays, hasn’t it? I love it!

    • Mondays have certainly changed Cathy! The seedlings of the Cosmos from last years plants are much stronger than the ones I have grown this year so I have left many of them where they are as the Ami planted there has pretty much finished flowering anyway and if it does continue and produce more they will look rather nice growing together.

  8. Your pink and white demonstration arrangement is so gorgeous. What a special day you arranged for your students. I can’t get over the abundance of cut flowers you’ve grown. Your Monday vase is lovely too and the dark Cosmos is sumptuous.

    • I have been surprised by the number of flowers that have been produced, something to learn this year is how many of each type of plant will give enough flowers for me to use.

  9. Joy Creek Nursery, near here, did a similar thing last summer. It was the perfect way to bring a diverse bunch of people and get them talking (not that that is ever a problem with gardeners). I think it could be fun for a party for friends too. The flowers themselves are so beautiful that they compensate for any lack of skill of the participants, and make everyone feel like an artist.

    • That’s a good point; if I do it again I would try to have some containers available for them to use. Everyday items they might not have thought of using, like my Campari soda bottles, which they thought a really useful idea.

  10. All those flowers and tea and cake too! What a fantastic get together and nice of you to open up your house like that. I bet the class learned a bunch, and I bet they’ve also taken away a bit of inspiration from the rest of your gardens!
    I had to laugh a bit when I saw you hiding behind a rose stem. I’m self conscious about even having my hand show up in a photo, and something about putting them online makes me even more nervous. I’d have an easier time standing in front of a room full of people!

    • As you’ve noticed, there are never any images of me on the blog. The ‘hiding’ behind the rose was a complete accident not a planned shot so I thought I would include an image of me for once!

  11. So many wonderful ideas and tips for arranging here! I know your friends had a fun afternoon they will remember for a long time to come. The flowers are gorgeous, and I love your bouquet of cosmos. I’d never thought of using cellophane to line a basket for a flower arrangement. What a simple and yet effective idea! Love these!

    • The idea of using cellophane came from using it to hold a hand-tied bouquet when you want to take it to a friend. I’m glad you liked the ideas everyone came up with.

  12. That must have been a lot of fun! I bet your group was glad you spread the word too… Cathy’s meme has certainly expanded my horizons when considering what to plant! Some lovely ideas there… the cellophane and the rosemary/lavender on the outside of a vase are good ways to extend the number of containers I can find for ‘vases’. I am amazed at how many summer flowers you have, and in such abundance! Love those cosmos – such a lovely dark shade of pinky red. Have a good week Christina! 🙂

    • Yes, it was fun. Although it is a practical gardening course many of the participants don’t have a garden, only a balcony or some have land used for vegetables and/or olives.

  13. What a lovely way of spending an afternoon. I bet everyone enjoyed it and learnt a lot. Lots of great ideas there and some lovely arrangements.

  14. I love the white Philadelphus and pink roses with the stones. It is really special. Great idea too, to put the Rosemary around the outside of a vase.

  15. Learning in an outside environment is always more productive. I wish that I could have joined the class Christina. I imagine that much was learned and that your class members left feeling inspired. Tea and cake too! 🙂

  16. Christina, I’ve just consulted my copy of Sara Raven’s “The Cutting Garden’ and she suggests hammering the stem ends of philadelphus to condition them. It’s still to come into flower here.

    • Thanks Anna, I’ll try that; I have another different Philadelphus that is flowering now so I can test it. I feel a bit guilty because I have Sarah’s book but haven’t looked at it for a while.

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