In a Vase, on Monday – Dry Season

Happy September! Cooler temperatures, fewer tourists at the beach and, finally, a bit of rain overnight! I think most people prefer August. They’re always chattering on about summer vacations, weekend getaways, ripening tomatoes… I’m ambivalent. As much as I love the hot temperatures (and the tomatoes), I know that it comes with price: a distinct lack of rain clouds. This year has been no exception and my garden, until this morning, was looking very droopy and very brown. We’re conserving our well water like crazy as we hear about more and more of our neighbours going dry, having to purchase bulk water to fill cisterns. We don’t have a cistern (yet), and we don’t risk using the well to water plants. I rely on a few rain barrels and the mulch I liberally applied throughout the kitchen and cutting gardens in the spring. Thank you, rotting Basswood Tree, for giving your life so that my shrubs, perennials and tomatoes may live!

Today’s vase started with a colour – blue – because I wanted to showcase the deep blue flowers of Nigella ‘Midnight’ – I started it from seed in May and it now looks like a small shrub with both intriguing flowers and alien looking seedheads. Bonus: it’s surprisingly drought tolerant! Hardly any supplementary watering after they sprouted! I wanted a blue vase and brought out this glass Hyacinth jar. Then I thought I needed something white or creamy to offset the blue and chose a few Zinnias that are often overlooked. Nothing showy or flashy.

My Nigella shrub – looking forward to see how hardy it is.

And then I spotted the yellow rose – ‘Friesia,’ a floribunda from Kordes. It was planted in the early spring two years ago in what I thought was a perfect spot. Alas, several perennials in the general vicinity also think it’s perfect and now it’s hemmed in too closely by Hemerocallis and Sedum spectabile. I’ve only glimpsed a few blooms this year. It will be moved! So it wouldn’t be lonely, I also snipped a late flowering ‘Crimson Bouquet bloom – also from Kordes.

‘Friesia’ has a delicate fragrance, bringing cobwebby memories of…Freesia.
I guess the Zinnias have too much stem, or someting. As a whole I’m not too happy with the effect, although I like the individual components.

That’s my last vase from a dry, August, Canadian garden. Next week I imagine it’ll be autumnal Goldenrod and Asters! Thanks, as always, to Cathy, who hosts this weekly cut flower meme on her blog, Rambling in the Garden.


  1. I fully feel your pain of a dry summer and the effect it has on our beloved gardens. I do water my gardens, but at the price of a shocking water bill. It’s either that or lose everything I’ve planted over the years.
    Your vase is lovely and I am taken with your roses which I must say look very good for such a dry time of the year. Here’s hoping you get some rain. We finally got a real soaker last night, but I’m sure most of it ran off as hard as it came down. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like that Nigella is on steroids! Mine are such wispy things comparatively. I expect it will self sow well. I haven’t bought seed in years, as they always come back.
    Glad you got some rain… that storm should blow in here in the next few hours. Bring it on! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You pick them before they age … I see many that are ready now. Cut down to the first leaf axil to spare the flowers yet to come, wrap stems with elastic and hang to dry. If you want to save some seed, leave some heads on the plant to mature and crack open when brown.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Buying water? That’s not an option in the UK but I guess generally we have a wetter climate than you. Some people do opt to have water meters but we haven’t although I do only water with tap water if all the water butts are empty (we have 9!) and it is very dry. Your patch of nigella is gorgeous and what a right addition the roses are – is Kordes a rose specialist? I know what you mean about the zinnias, and if anything agree the vase might be better without them – pop them in a vase on their own, maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s quite ironic that many people in Prince Edward County, itself an island on the shores of one of the Great Lakes, have to buy water to get thru a dry summer. We have a deep drilled well so with careful use we should be OK. Should….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Every drop of rain is valuable so congrats on getting a touch of it. We’re normally dry from April through October. I collect rainwater too but my supply is long gone. But I’ve got city water to fall back on – I can’t imagine the stress of managing well water. The crop of pink flowers behind today’s arrangement (Sedum?) looks happy, however. I was surprised to see you’ve still got Nigella, which is a spring bloomer here in Southern California.

    Liked by 1 person

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