In a Vase, on Monday- Bendy

Two gladiola bulbs have proven either hardy enough or buried enough to survive our below zero snow covered winters for the past two years and produced flower stalks with delicious looking, velvety purple blooms. I had, to be honest, forgotten all about them until there they were, poking up through my overgrown jungle of San Marzano tomatoes in the kitchen garden which, two years ago, also doubled as a cutting garden. The stalks persistently found their way through the green canopy but wound up being very bendy – impossible to place in a vase without severe knee chopping.

And that’s the story behind this week’s vase of flowers cut fresh from my garden. Every Monday, Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase – be sure to visit her site to see vases from around the world.

Joining these two glads are several sprays of Rudbeckia fulgida, likely ‘Goldstrum,’ – one variety of Black Eyed Susan. I call them ‘sprays’ because from one central stem a dozen or more side shoots may appear, each bearing one or more flowers. This variety is not as drought tolerant as the more common R. hirta and have suffered greatly this summer. I cut them Saturday night so that the foliage and petals could be revived overnight in a jar of water before they joined the photo-shoot yesterday morning. Also in the vase are Zinnias – the stalwart if many August vases. Plants grown from seeds I sowed in early June are finally of a size both to produce lovely cutting flowers and also a toughness to make them unappealing to all but the hungriest garden munchers.

I decided to load up the little Ikebana vase this week with five different flower types: Zinnia (of course!), a lone re-blooming Ox Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), an unknown variety of annual Salvia, Canadian burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis) and, hiding in the back, a sprig of a tall red Sedum, just starting to bloom.

I’ll be enjoying these vases around this house this week – Zinnia in particular is very long lasting. Stay safe everyone and enjoy the rest of summer!


  1. I do enjoy zinnias. They were a part of my grandmother’s cutting garden, and at a farm where I buy seasonal produce, the proprietor sells them as well. She does provide scissors, and we can cut them ourselves, so we get at least part of the old-fashioned experience.

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  2. The purples look great with the yellow rudbeckias, Chris, and the zinnias are gorgeous! And great in a vase, as you say. I have never been successful with perennial rudbeckias here and R hirta which grows readily from seed rarely lives more than a year or two

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    1. I must be lucky since both R. hirta and fulgido come back, albeit somewhat grudgingly after a drought year! With the R. hirta, it may be they are setting seed since I’m usually too lazy to do much of a fall cleanup.


  3. You’re really getting good at the Ikebana thing! I love your vibrant pinky-purple and gold arrangement. I’m growing the tall gladiolas for the first time this year and was initially daunted by their size but a heatwave quickly took a lot of the lower flowers last week, leaving me with more manageable stems to work with.

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  4. Wow, I’m amazed your glads have proven hardy. They are a lovely colour and mix well with the zinnias and the bold yellow daisies.
    I used my ikebana vase this week, too. They make it easy to create something quickly!

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  5. Your Zinnias are gorgeous and I rarely get any that look half as good. Goldstrum Rude Yeah with a E nearly took over my garden in Atlanta and I got rid of it. Though R. hirta here is a wimp. Still searching for the wonder flowers…love the Ikebana and I hope the Glads last forever.

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  6. Love the way you do an ikebana vase each week… looks so lovely again today, and highlights just a handful of flowers. Great zinnias too. Can‘t believe I have only recently discovered how pretty they can be. 😃

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