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!