In a Vase, on Monday – Milk Jug

My vase this week is one of a pair of glass milk jugs I’ve had lying around for a while. I don’t recall how they came into the house; likely they were the spoils of an afternoon spent visiting antique shops here in the County. There is no dairy by this name any longer, and the phone number on the front gives an indication how old the bottle is! I like the logo, and the map of our County is a pretty accurate depiction of its shape! Here’s the entire jug:

black and white photo of an old glass milk jug, with Prince Edward Dairies on the logo

The flowers I chose had to be tall, so I snipped a few Cleome. Did you know the leaves and stalk are seriously sticky? Ugh! I can only guess it’s a defense mechanism to keep crawling, hungry insects off. I added a few Zinnia from the cutting garden and, as an afterthought, a lone spike of Viper’s Bugloss, or Blueweed – Echium vulgare. You may have guessed it’s in the borage family, and I love the blue flowers, but it was growing on a patio area so I needed to pull it out. Usually we see this biennial European native along the gravelly sides of the road.

milk jug, outside,  full of flowers
same milk jug, same flowers

Grey Coneflower, or Prairie Coneflower – Ratibida pinnata – is having a good year, adding tall, cheerful yellowness all over the place, including as a backdrop to the vase, which is sitting atop our well cover.

Speaking of Ratibida – a large stalk growing in the kitchen garden fell over this week, half smothering the beans. I cut it off at the base and then shortened its multitude of flower stalks. Here they are in a jar on the back porch. Yes, that’s all from a single stalk!

jar of yellow Prairie Cone flowers on a patio table; garlic and squash also on the table

And here’s a funky shot of the Zinnia bed:

Zinnia bed

Humid, hot air with not nearly enough rain continues to dominate the weather headlines in this part of the country. No real complaints though – autumn is just a month away, followed, of course, by winter! To see vases of flowers from all over the world (and to see photos of a truly wonderful garden), check out Cathy’s site – Rambling in the Garden.

24 Comments

  1. Love your milk jars! So great to have a set of them from your county. A unique find for sure. Dating myself, I remember when milk was delivered to our home in milk jars like that.
    Your vases are lovely. Love the Ratibida! I’ve never grown that flower before. Is it invasive? I’ve grown some other tall yellow flowers in the sunflower/rudbekia family that took over the garden. I’ve finally eradicated them from the garden after several years of pulling them out, so I’m hesitant to allow anything in that family into the garden.

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    1. Thanks! Ratibida WILL send seed everywhere! Usually not a problem but I frequently find myself pulling it out or, lately, cutting it back in the spring in an attempt to not have them tower over (and flop over) things.

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  2. Oh that zinnia bed is wonderful Chris – thanks for sharing that too! How nice to have that artefact from your local dairy, and you have done it justice with the colourful contents. I must try gain with cleome as I have not grown it successfully before (so I didn’t know it was sticky!)- yours looks gorgeous, as does that simple vase of Ratibida and the matching courgettes/squash/gourds

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    1. Thank you! The squash were grown from spaghetti squash seeds, but I’ve learned that because the vine was near a pumpkin vine there was cross pollination resulting in weird mutations! Have no idea what it looks like on the inside!

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  3. When I was kid, I think milk bottles were probably among the first vases I used, so your arrangement brings me back to those halcyon summer days. I would love to put some ratibida in my fields. I tried once long ago with minimal success. Must try again!

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    1. For some reason, I cannot recall ever seeing glass milk jugs in the house – aside from when watching TV shows (on a small B&W set). They represent a very romantic vision of the 50’s I think.

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      1. We had a milkman until the early 60s who delivered our rural route. We also had bread, ice cream and juice deliveries. With 7 kids in the family, we must have consumed a couple gallons of milk every day!

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  4. I am thinking about milk bottles, not sure we had milk delivered but I remember the local dairy and love those bottles. Wishing I could find some. Your Zinnias look divine! I am just about to start seed for mine and I will have some in February or so. We are at opposite ends of North America.Love the Ratbida, too. What could be better than a casual semi wild arrangement in a vintage milk bottle? More!

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  5. I’d been considering planting Cleome as a summer-fall filler but I’m not at all fond of sticky flowers so thanks for the heads-up. The Ratibida, accented by the squash and garlic, makes me think of fall but then I’m looking for any sign of the change of season even though summer hasn’t been as miserable as usual this year.

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