In 1963, the wonderful American Motown group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas recorded a song called Heat Wave. You’d likely recognize it. It’s a love song, of course, nothing at all to do with temperatures. The first line of the chorus; however, has been running through my brain the past week (“It’s like a heat wave…”) – a real ear worm as I alternated between an hour or so in the garden and an hour or so in the relatively cool indoors. There’s no end in sight to the high temperatures, and also, more troublesome, no rain forecast either.
That said, the first week of July offers, as always, plenty of choice to put together a vase of cut flowers. Cathy, in Rambling in the Garden, hosts this weekly show of vases from around the world.
My vase started last Wednesday, when I noticed that an insect had sawn through the sturdy stem of a Yucca flower stalk. I collected it and plopped in a jar of water. I’m not expecting it to bloom but didn’t want its sacrifice to end in naught, since my Yucca’s do not regularly bloom. I didn’t get a close-up – but hopefully you can spot it here. I added a stem of what I call Echinacea Peter Fuller. Peter is a plant breeder in the area – this variety is the result of a cross between E. purpurea, E. paradoxa and E. tenesiensis. Then I dove my clippers into the lavender, mostly avoiding the bees, for a few long stems and, from the Island Bed, a few stems of Nodding Onion – Allium cernuum. The filler is the wonderfully invasive non-native flower/weed called Bladder campion – Silene vulgaris. It’s all over my un-mown front yard/field right now, as well as in ditches and fields all over the county.
My Ikebana today features Nigella ‘Midnight’ and a pretty little wildflower I think might be called Yellow Rocket – Barbarea vulgaris. I noticed it popping up here and there in the garden last year, and it’s even more prevalent this year. Not sure if I should be pulling it or not, but for now it adds a nice splash of yellow, and it also appears somewhat drought tolerant.