In a Vase on Monday – three years old

Happy Anniversary to In a Vase on Monday!  Cathy at Rambling in the garden started this meme as a prompt to herself to pick flowers from her garden to enjoy in the house.  Who would have imagined that this meme more than any other would change us all fundamentally.

For me I had already decided to begin a cut flower bed for the following year, the bed had already been dug out by the greenhouse; now that one bed has grown into a whole separate area (the Secret Garden), that original bed and another which moves in rotation with the vegetable beds.  Plus I now grow Tulips and other bulbs in pots just to pick.  To say my cut flower beds have changed my life wouldn’t be an underestimate of how important these Monday vases have become.

Today’s ‘vase’ is a basket of Chrysanthemums  with Leonotis leonurus.  The basket is my old mushroom collecting basket and is quite large the size of the arrangement is roughly 1 x 1 metre.  I did think of using Oasis for this arrangement but I actually really dislike using it now so decided to use one tallish vase inside a round shallow dish both filled with pebbles to support the flowers.

All the Chrysanthemums were grown from cuttings taken from pot plants purchased at this time of year.  Last year I left the parent plants in the ground and they all survived the winter so this year I will take cuttings to overwinter in the greenhouse but I’ll hope that all the parent plants survive too so that I have some flexibility about where I’ll plant them all next year.

In a Vase on Monday

In a Vase on Monday

I'm also learning to like the smell of the foliage!

I’m also learning to like the smell of the foliage!

Chrysanthemums, two orange, a large white and the green which has grown very crooked this year for some reason

Chrysanthemums, two orange, a large white and the green which has grown very crooked this year for some reason

A fitting tribute to the season

A fitting tribute to the season

So it is with many, many good wishes I thank Cathy for being such a wonderful host to this meme and I’ll drink a toast to the next three years.

Do visit to see Cathy’s post today and why not join in with a vase of your own.


56 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday – three years old

  1. Just gorgeous and certainly a most fitting tribute not only to the season but also to IAVOAM’s birthday! I’d like to give Leonotis a try – do you live it in the ground? Love those orange shade, very pretty.

  2. A metre by a metre? That is HUGE (and you could collect a lot of mushrooms in that basket)! And such bounty – I really am touched by your words, Christina. The range of colours brings such warmth into the arrangement, butin a setting sun rather than summer sort of way. I am going to order some leonitis seeds and I see that Sarah Raven suggests you can bringing plants inside in the UK to keep them as a perennial

    • I definitely think it would be worth bringing Leonotis inside. The plants that stayed in the ground through last winter really grew so much better and stronger this year. Cuttings are also very easy and work as insurance. If you don’t need them you could always sell them when your garden is open (the following year).

        • I think they might be easier than you expect; a bonus is that if you leave the stems in some water that evaporates slowly the orange flowers dries and retains its colour like an everlasting flower.

  3. Magnificent work Christina! This is splendid and befitting of a tribute to Cathy. The colors work great and shape of design is balanced. So, do you gather your own mushrooms? David had a friend in his younger days who taught him about collecting them, but he’s never done it since I’ve known him.

    • Richard and I used to go on mushroom hunts in the UK as there were quite a lot of mushrooms and hardly anyone collecting them; since we’ve been in Italy Richard’s knees have been too bad for the steep terrain covered with undergrowth but he is saying that next year he would like to start collecting again. There are more mushrooms here but almost everyone collects them so you need to know a secret place!

  4. Being a lover of the fragrance of chrysanthemum foliage, your arrangement packs an extra bit of joy. I’m impressed that you grew the mums from cuttings and that they’ve done so well. A beautiful abundance of autumnal glory!

    • The cuttings were basal so each small piece of stem had some root. They were very easy to strike. I think most of the pots sold at this time of year are in reality a pot filled with numerous cuttings to create that very full over filled look.

    • Thank you Joanna; the Chrysanthemums do tend to flower all together so it seemed fitting to use them to create this arrangement. There are more of all of the colours but I don’t think they will look at their best for much longer.

  5. This is SO beautiful, Christina! Chrysanthemums are generally short-lived annuals here but you’re making me think I should at least add some to my own cutting garden. As to the Leonotis, I just put in 2 more of these plants in the hope that in future years I’ll have some of the abundance you enjoy.

    • I would expect the Chrysanthemums to overwinter for you and they should get enough water if they’re in your cut flower beds. They do die right back so you can mulch them to protect them from any cold weather.

  6. Spectacular! and a fitting tribute. Do you collect Porcini mushrooms there, maybe truffles? i love the Leonitis and recently found some growing here, very surprised! I think the Mums have sort of a clean medicinal smell. It is Boxwood I can’t tolerate!

    • I don’t like Box either. We collected Porcini in the UK and our friends find lots of them here which they generously share by inviting everyone to dinner when they have found a lot. We hope to start mushroom hunting again next year when both my husbands knees will be bionic!!

        • Richard had the first one done in March and the second last week. He wonders why he waited so long. Porcini, Boletus edulus grows over much of Europe. In England they’re known as Penny Bun and in France as Cep.

            • Porcini are almost too good for soup. If we find really perfect ones the best way to enjoy them is raw, but I love them as a pasta sauce or the caps roasted in the oven with potatoes – stop, I’m feeling hungry 😋

  7. Christina congratulations for the three years of “a vase on Monday” and that they are another three years at least but Monday would not be the same. The basket of flowers today is a great and wonderful celebration of flowers. Chrysanthemums are precious in all colors and in abundance. 1 m by 1 m: great. Greetings from Margarita.

  8. A wonderful and joyful arrangement Christina! Not at all what many Germans would dream of doing with Chrysanthemums – like in Italy, they are used traditionally for the rather sombre 1st of November holiday. And that is a pretty big basket… did you ever fill it completely with mushrooms?! The season is coming to an end now here, but on our walks in the most remote parts of the forests we have seen so many people with basketsful of various mushrooms that I have vowed to learn something about collecting ‘funghi’!

  9. Glorious! Stunning autumn colours. I’m glad to have recently joined in this meme. I’m enjoying seeing what other gardeners around the world are growing and arranging each week. It’s a fascinating study of climate and conditions, as well as seeing what trends there are in gardening.

  10. What a warm and glowing celebration Christina. I can imagine that wicker basket and its contents nestled in a fireplace. Simply gorgeous. Not sure though about your new appreciation for the aroma of chrysanthemum foliage 🙂

  11. What a wonderful arrangement Christina to celebrate Cathy’ s In a Vase on Monday third anniversary. I love the colours of your chrysanthemums. I have several hardy ones which are a delight at this time of the year.

    • I’m always surprised when things like Chrysanthemums are hardy but I think it is always worth trying to leave them in the ground and mulching as they definitely grow better that way.

  12. Wowza! I guess I’m going to have to rethink the whole chrysanthemum thing after seeing this. Just because they’re all over the grocery store shelves doesn’t make them bad. I should know that.

    • But they don’t flower for very long. The jury is still out as to how long they’ll keep earning their space; it might just be one of those things that I buy a pot or two to cut when they appear. Watering them all summer has a cost (the pump to bring water from 70 metres down isn’t cheap)

  13. Glorious and huge. You must need the stones to counter the weight too. I am not good with chrysanths, only occasionally getting them to overwinter. I did notice £1 pots outside the garden center though and so I might try your tactic.

  14. What a fantastic arrangement! I love those rusty colours you get with Chrysanthemums, they seem so perfect for Autumn, and they look so great in the basket. We have a field nearby where we find mushrooms. My chrysanth plants from the cuttings last year are coming along, and I also bought Chrysanthemum mawii, a tiny little one almost like a ground cover which is flowering now.

    • Hi Cath, I hope you are OK and not close to the earthquake or the tsunami. That was a huge shock, bigger than any of those here so far. Did you feel it where you are? Take care, lots of love Christina

      • Thanks Christina, Although I woke up, I thought it was the moon shining directly in the tiny loft window. We are too far North to have had any damage. It’s lucky that so far the damage has been mostly to roads and not people.

        • It seems that the earth is undergoing some kind of change. We are about a hundred miles from the earthquakes here but we feel them quite strongly. The one in NZ was even stronger than the ones here. I’m glad you are safe.

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