In a vase on Monday – Rich and Sumptuous

Last week Cathy at Rambling in the Garden sent out a challenge to create a Japanese style flower arrangement this week; I have to tell you I failed!  I’m sorry Cathy but there are just too many flowers demanding to be picked to fill vase upon vase with home grown blooms.  I will try in the future, I promise but for today restraint has not been my watchword. 

Here are three of the vases I’ve put together for today’s post.

Rich purples and tones of orange give a sumptuous rich velvet coloured vase

Rich purples and tones of orange give a sumptuous rich velvet coloured vase

The effect is a little bottom heavy, but I had no more time to start again. I love how the rich colours play off each other.

Cream rather than white this week for my monotone offering

Cream rather than white this week for my monotone offering

Green and cream - sits in the kitchen

Green and cream – sits in the kitchen


Zinnia ‘Green Envy’, a green carnation and Phlox drummondii Creme Brulèe.  I have to admit being a little disappointed by the Phlox, I thought it would be tall (it isn’t) and perfumed (which it’s not); it is also a difficult colour to mix with out flowers as it has a tendency to look dirty if mixed with the wrong colours.

Same vase as before (it's the only one suitable) filled with a mix of sunflowers

Same vase as before (it’s the only one suitable) filled with a mix of sunflowers

Last week’s sunflowers were so large and heavy headed they only lasted a couple of days in the vase before their heads were so bent over they looked positively sad.

I have decided to leave the other couple of very large headed flowers to make seed (I like sunflower seeds in bread); I hope these slightly smaller varieties will last longer; I like seeing them jockeying for a place.

Several varieties of sunflowers look good together

Several varieties of sunflowers look good together

This year I grew sunflower:  ‘Giant Single’, ‘Velvet Queen’,  ‘Moon Walker’ and ‘Vanilla Ice’; I also grew Earthwalker which I particularly liked last year but from 2 sowings not one germinated.

As much as I like sunflowers in a vase, they take up quite a lot of space in the cut flower borders.  I will have to assess how many blooms are produced over the season before deciding if I will include them again; it may be the case that I’ll grow them every other year rather than each year.

Do you grow sunflowers, if so, which ones do you grow?

With my thanks to Cathy as usual for hosting.  Do visit to see how everybody else has responded to her challenge.

34 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – Rich and Sumptuous

  1. No wonder you couldn’t limit yourself, blessed with so many blooms. A flower named Creme Brulèe sounds like it should work smoothly anywhere. It’s lovely with the green zinnia I think. Your sunflower arrangement is perfect. Great proportion and balance.

  2. After seeing your vases, I can just imagine your garden bursting at its seams with flowers, Christina! I’m especially envious of those sunflowers. Like much of my garden this summer, my sunflowers have been a terrific disappointment. The only ones to bloom from seed are the ‘Lemon Queen’. They’re a bit on the short side but I did cut a couple for one of my vases this week.

    • The garden itself is now parched, with little flowering; the cut flower beds that are irrigated on the other hand are brimming over with flowers; I think they will make summer easier to cope with. It makes me think that perhaps I should have one bed that is irrigated, still with drought tolerant plants but as you know even these don’t also look great or flower while they are dealing with a drought. If I decided not to use the new Secret garden for cut flowers it could be a small oasis of flowering plants – maybe.

  3. Such lovely abundance! You must have so much fun gathering armloads of these beauties. Maybe in the fall when there are fewer blossoms to pick, ikebana will make more sense. I see one of your gorgeous dahlias at the base… 😉

  4. What an abundance Christina. I adore sunflowers, though don’t grow them myself. Perhaps I should, since I scatter sunflower (and pumpkin) seeds on everything though… porridge, salads, rice, toast. Do you ever keep some of your sunflower seeds to sow them the following year?

  5. Christina maravillosa abundancia de flores en sus tres jarrones. Los tres preciosos. La Zinnia me encanta y los Girasoles son hermosos. Tiene que tener el jardín rebosante de flores bellas. Gracias por alegrarnos con estas bonitas flores. Saludos de Margarita.

  6. And seeing my own garden again this evening after our few days away I might have had the same dilemma if I hadn’t already done my vase on Friday 😉 All of your vases are delectable, Christina, and the vase for your sunflowers is the perfect choice. How did you feel the cream vase compared to the white ones you enjoy so much? If you are unsure of space for your sunflowers have you thought of growing the dwarf ones? I am growing Choc Sun this year but have successfully grown Topolino before, both dwarf ones, and the former can supposedly be grown in pots

    • Thanks for understanding about the lack of an Ikebana arrangement; Donna also mentioned growing dwarf varieties of sunflowers. This week’s vase already looks like it will last longer than last’s so the sunflowers may get a reprieve. I probably won’t grow the Single Giant or Russian Mammoth again but I do like the colours of the others and as everyone says they are such happy looking flowers. The Phlox are keeping their petals but I still think they are more difficult to mix than other tones of white, if they manage to grow taller now I’ve cut them right back I may try them again next year; they were some of the seedlings that seemed to be worst affected by the bad compost as their was good germination and then most died.

  7. Christina I adore the colors in the first one, and the monotone of the second….so many unique flowers used in both. But I am a sunflower girl. I grow mixes instead of one kind. And most of mine self-seed as I leave flowers go to seed. The birds and squirrels eat many of the seed and drop several. I have about 8 large sunflowers now growing all self-seeded. Most grow around the garden so as not to take up room in my small cutting garden…although this year 2 big ones self seeded there. I also grow 2 small varieties for containers so I can cut them for vases and they take up little room. One is ‘Junior’.

    • Self seeding isn’t a reliable option in beds that have porous hose irrigation Donna, they are just as likely to germinate where there won’t be any water delivered! I have grown mixed seeds, I loved the Van Gogh mix some Smerican friends bought me. Some dwarf varieties are certainly an option.

    • With so many flowers to choose from (I actually put together another two vases in the afternoon) I really couldn’t bring myself to use perhaps one flower and a single stem of foliage.

  8. Ha I can see why you picked your flowers. Abundant. I love the sunflowers and forgot to get some growing this year. I prefer the smaller coloured ones in shades of white and burgendy rather than the yellow.Such wonderful arrangements your home must look lovely

  9. Lots of stunning flowers which shout Summer to me – my chap loves Sunflower’s but we’ve had real trouble growing the. Will try again next year. I’m having enough trouble getting the sweetpeas going (they’re in my vase this week)… I didn’t do an ikebana either – some reading first I think – have a lovely week love bec

    • Sweetpeas are more difficult than sunflowers! Sweetpeas need good rich soil and plenty of water which is why I can’t grow them although I’ll probably try the new varieties that Cathy has been writing about that flower early.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.