In a Vase on Monday – The show goes on

I had no idea what was going to be in the vase today as I have been away since Friday celebrating my birthday on the Massa Lubrense peninsula (not far from Sorrento and Positano).

It had rained very heavily while we were away with thunder storms I imagine as the power to some parts of the house had gone off because a fuse had blown; something that seems a regular occurrence here in Italy; but I digress.

Cathy over at Rambling in the garden challenges us each week to find flowers to pick from our own gardens to enjoy in our homes.  Before I even went outside I had decided to just produce one vase today and so to just pick flowers in a colour range that would work together.

There was an abundance of Tithonia, deadheading or picking the flowers of this plant certainly pays dividends as there are masses more flowers to come.  So orange was yet again my starting point; I noticed that the Leonotis leonurus were at last producing lots of colour, I picked 7 long stems several of which had more than one flower stem coming off the main stem, so all of you that told me that this was a late flowering plant were absolutely correct, thank you for telling me as I might have been tempted to just pull them out.



7 Tithonia stems with Asparagus fern

7 Leonotis stems with Asparagus fern

In a vase on Monday

In a vase on Monday

There were also more sunflowers I cut two long stems from one plant with many flower heads, sadly I don’t know which variety this wonderfully prolific sunflower is as it came from a pack of mixed varieties of sunflowers called Van Gogh, a packet of seed which was a gift from an American friend so I don’t know if this is a recognised selection or just the name given by an individual seed company, however if any of my American readers ever see this pack, do buy it, it has proved to have the best sunflowers I’ve ever grown included in the mix.

Oranges and lemons a classic combination

Oranges and lemons a classic combination

I should have called this post that and used props of the fabulous lemons I was given from Sorrento!

Sunflower from the Van Gogh mix

Sunflower from the Van Gogh mix

Bright and cheerful

Bright and cheerful

Apart from a large stem of fern Asparagus that is all that’s included.

I choose a large vase to balance the arrangement, the blue, beige and burnt orange colour of the vase definitely enhance the colours of the flowers.  This is a large arrangement.  The vase is 40 cm high and with the flowers it is 110 cm high and 90 cm wide.

Do visit Cathy to see what she and other addicts of this meme have picked for their vases today.

Have a great week, Christina

48 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday – The show goes on

  1. Happy belated birthday, I hope the weather was good for your trip, even if you had a storm back at home. The new style wordpress reader has made looking at your vases even better Christina, I love the colours you have chosen and the vase. I really like the combination of Leonotis leonurus with Tithona, the forms compliment each other really well.

    • The weather was fine, a little greyer than is usual but I didn’t mind that at all. It is one of my favourite areas in Italy. I remember you were visiting that area when you found my blog, so I must post some of the wild flowers I found there on this trip.

        • We were lucky it didn’t actually rain, and grey was a rather pleasant change from the blazing sun so not a problem. The best of all worlds really as it rained heavily at home on the Fahrenheit but it was pleasant in Nerano.

  2. Hello Chritsina! I just started following your blog. Who can resist the charm of that combination.
    I’m a designer of interiors and gardens from New York City. I also live some of the time in Puglia region and my plan is to buy a trulli in Cisterninio or Ostunia area. I had a very extensive garden in my house in hudson valley, New York and I’m create another..but with different plants..I’ve never designed or gardened in a zone 9-10 garden..and of course my taste of changed over time. Look forward to your posts on your garden!

    • Hello Michael, thank you for deciding to follow My Hesperides Garden; Puglia has summers even longer and hotter than mine in Lazio but the winters can be very cold there so plant choice will be critical. I have been redesigning the front area of my garden if you look back you can read about my thought processes for the design and choice of plants. I’ll be posting about planting this area soon. Cisternino is a wonderful area, we’ve had a couple of fabulous holidays there. Keep in touch and if you have specific questions I’d be very happy to help if I can.

  3. The oranges are super, and the vase picks them up too. My Tithonia was extremely late the year I grew it, but it looks so bright in your vase. The Asparagus fern really weaves a magical spell over it and the lovely sunflowers. Happy Birthday!

    • Thank you for your good wishes, Hannah; Tithonia seems to lap up the heat so maybe your garden is a lot cooler than mine? I started the seed on the 10th February and it germinated in 4 days; the plants were quite thirsty when in pots and when first planted out but don’t seem to need excessive water now they are established in the ground.

  4. Happy Birthday to you dear Christina! Glad you had a get-away to celebrate. Your arrangement today is beautiful. I admire your ability to work so large and keep control. Can’t you just imagine Van Gogh himself would be inspired to get right to work?
    [I’m confused now between the Leonotis leonurus and Tithonia, but maybe the labels are switched?]

    • I’ll check the labels Susie and let you know; I like large arrangements and don’t find them more challenging than small ones, it just needs long stems! I had a wonderful weekend, I’ll write a little about it later in the week.

      • I had just recently learned Leonotis after seeing it on your blog and then at the botanical garden. Butterflies were going crazy for it.It looks lovely in the vase at every stage of the design. Just alone with the asparagus fern it was interesting.

  5. I love those hot, vibrant colours and the Asparagus ferns add a delicate touch – I would never have thought of using them, but I will now!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday and lucky you to travel to that area of Italy…a favorite of mine! The lemons we had when we visited nearby Sorrento were amazing…makes me long to come back.

    I adore the vase itself this week…the colors are wonderful. And the flowers you added perfect although I don’t know too much about Leonotus except seeing it here on your blog. And the fern is so wonderful for the texture.

    • I hope you saw my amended post as I had labelled the Leonotis as Tithonia first time around! I should have used more of the asparagus fern during the summer it does give a lightness to what might have been a heavy arrangement. If you do come back to Sorrento, I’ll come down to meet you there, I don’t need much of an excuse and it’s only about a four hour drive so not too bad if you’re staying a couple of nights.

  7. Many happy returns Christina! Yes, we were on the same wavelength today. Your Leonotis and Asparagus provide a lovely base for the sunflowers. I am so glad I have also discovered Tithonia. It has grown extremely well for me in containers against our living room window, making a lovely picture when we look out, but they do need a lot of water when in pots. Are they easy to grow in dry ground?

    • When I first planted out the Tithonia they needed lots of water to establish, since then they have received the same as the other plants in the vegetable and cuttings beds, which is via porous hose and runs for about 40 minutes each night; if your soil is heavier than mine they wouldn’t need as much, I don’t think. I do like them and their stems are strong for a bouquet although just at the ‘neck’ they are delicate so I try to remember to not touch them there.

  8. A belated happy birthday, Christina! I hope you enjoyed your time away and came home thoroughly rested and ready to launch into fall garden activities (weather permitting). Your vase, as usual, is beautiful – I can’t imagine a better pairing for that vase than the flowers you selected.

    • Thank you for your best wishes; this week the weather has cooled down, it was positively cool during the night (which was nice); I’m ready to plant the new area and begin tidying all the beds.

  9. Hope you had a lovely birthday, Christina!
    I love your oranges and lemons look here, and the way it combines with the vase. I, too, admire your ability to create larger arrangements 🙂
    Thanks for the info on Leonotis; it’s on my list of candidates for this garden; and after seeing your vase, I may very well pick one up when available!

  10. Happy birthday! Hope it was a good one.
    I am loving the hot yellows and oranges in your arrangements. I have grown Tithonia for the first time this year and I am really enjoying it.

  11. Another September birthday – my calendar is is chocabloc with them (and I can hardly believe Younger Daughter is 30 tomorrow…)! Hope you a most enjoyable birthday trip. Your vase was lovely at each stage but just got better and better the more you added to it. Thanks for sharing it and for all the useful info about the contents – one of the great joys of this meme.

    • When I was a child I was the only person I knew who had been born in September, now I, too, have many on my calendar. I was really pleased with this vase; I am always more satisfied when I use foliage as well as flowers, I think that’s odd but I now realise that florists don’t use foliage just as fillers.

  12. Happy and majestic are the words that came to mind even before you revealed the scale of your arrangement. I must remember to grow Leonotus again next year, along with Tithonia, which I tried this year for the first time. I can never have too many oranges and love anything that grows nice and tall.

  13. Happy belated birthday, the vase as usual looks great. I love the levels to it with the sunflowers above it all and I should try that sometime! My arrangements all tend to be just the handful I picked, and all are about the same height.

    • It is all about experimenting; and because flowers are ephemeral it doesn’t matter if sometimes you get it wrong. I really liked how this vase worked and looked, plus it last until the weekend which is a bonus.

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