In a vase on Monday – Happy May Day

May day falls on a Monday this year (in Italy holidays are always on the actual day not a close-by Monday as in the UK.  But although it is a holiday I am busy trying to plant out as much as possible now that the sub-zero nighttime temperatures seem to have passed.  I have known for a few days what would be the predominant flower in my vase today.

Antirrhinums (last year’s sowing and planted last spring) are the only flower in the cutting beds at the moment with a few larkspur that will be ready in a few days after I picked a huge quantity for last week’s vase.


In a vase on Monday – photographed inside with my point and shoot camera

Sixteen stems of pink Antirrhinums are joined my three bearded Iris, one is pink and as I have no ID for it it will be Raspberry Ripple as it was described by Eliza when I showed it the other day.

No ID Iris (I call it Beaujolais – as the friends who gave it to me do)

No ID Iris (Beaujolais)

Iris Rustic Jewel

For foliage I used a flowering stem of Cotinus Royal Purple.

Iris Rustic Jewel

In a vase on Monday

I added a frill of silver Senecio to add balance to the composition.

With thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who gallantly carried tulips to her mother’s house in Edinburgh for her vase today.

I hope you have a lovely May Day and that it is sunny and warm as it is here in Italy today.

45 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – Happy May Day

  1. Oh, we have the same title today! Lovely irises with the antirrhinums… the Cotinus matches perfectly as a filler. I like the way the iris colour tones down the pinks making them more earthy. No time for gardening for me today, but hope to be sowing some seeds at last this week. We had frost yesterday morning, but that should be the last I think! Have a great May Day!

  2. The combination of dusky pinks work so well together – and what long straight stems the antirrhinum have. I am sure mine last year were quite stunted compared to these! It must be good to be starting to plant things out now and I am certainly itching to do the same myself ps Mum is on the other coast, facing Mull, Edinburgh where we have had recent family get togethers being our childhood city 😉

  3. Beautiful irises Christina. The colors are so rich and the improvised names, befitting. They work well with the lovely soft pinks of the snapdragons. Hope you have a wonderful May Day.

    • I have so many no ID Irises I need a way to describe them. Some came from friends who had given them names which I thought were the correct ones only to discover later that they had been made up. On the basis of if you can’t beat them join them I’m going to say in future “no ID (made up name).

  4. That Iris ‘Rustic Jewel’ is super – and your photographs of it really enhance, allowing us to enjoy it all the more. Lovely to see all your antirrhinums too – mine haven’t even germinated yet. But I think the Cotinus was the real master stroke in your lovely vase, Christina. Thanks!

    • I would like to use the Cotinus foliage more in vases but it grows so slowly here, I feel I can’t take too much. Frustrating as I know that in the UK it grows so fast it can be a problem.

      • Still beautiful, the Cotinus, and you used it very well – as you once said to me about Rose ‘Veilchenblau’ – be patient. You were so right. It has taken twice or even three times as long to get going here, but it is finally there.

          • I certainly will, Christina. Although your comment made me think hard about the rather magnificent clump of nettles growing close to it!

            • But think of the compost you can make from nettles or nettle tea – Bob Flowerdew says nettles are the BEST weed in his garden and he’d be lost without them – I see them in a whole new light now.

            • Thanks for the encouragement! I have a plan to make two compost makers out of drainpipes on the side of the shed. A friend did this in England. Comfrey down one (squashed tight in at the top) and nettles down the other. Takes up little space – you have a small tap to take the liquid out at the bottom. Nettles are also the food plant of a butterfly caterpillar, aren’t they? Can’t remember which. Tortoiseshell?

  5. I love this mix, Christina. The Iris made a great jumping off point for your color choices. I was a surprised that you still have snapdragons in bloom but I suppose that there the cooler (cold!) temperatures were a help. My own snapdragons are long gone – taken out early by rust – and my bearded Iris are still no-shows.

    • I’m really surprised that the bearded iris are so difficult for you, they are one of the mainstays in my dry garden. The snapdragons are beginning to get rust. This their best flowering season here (from last year’s plants). It is still cold in the evenings, I think we’ll light a fire tonight! – crazy for May

  6. Christina that most beautiful vase. The effect so magnificent that makes the rose of the Iris with that of the Antirrhinums mixed with Cotinus. And as a colophon the silvery foliage of Senecio. I love the Iris they are wonderful. Thank you for your bouquets, they give me a smile and make my day. Greetings from Margarita.

  7. Beautifully elegant in pink and grey. The vase and the shape of the arrangement are lovely. Quite warm and sunny here but with brief hailstorm. What is going on?

    • I can admire even colours I’m not immediately drawn to, if the arrangement is interesting or unusual. I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘pink’ person either but there is what there is in the garden.

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