Every Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens. I have to say, the flowers I’ve grown for cutting this year are looking better now, with just 10 days left in summer, than they did all of July or August. Maybe we’ve had a titch more rain in September, or maybe the flowers have some sort of genetic trigger that tells them when the end is near, so they better start looking great, attract pollinators and produce seeds for next year. Whatever the reason, I have some seriously huge Zinnias right now, and a veritable forest of Tithonia that needed cutting back before it cut off the path to the back door.
I had to find the right vase, or course, and thought I’d try this Chinese pot I’ve had for many years. If you look closely you’ll see it has more of a veggie/fruit garden motif, not flower garden. I quickly discovered these stems wouldn’t fit well into such a wide mouthed container without some help, and I asked a floral designer friend if she had any of that green foam. She brought some over, and showed me how I needed to squeeze a block of the foam in, leaving a bit sticking above the rim.
My favourite thing about this pot is the inside bottom:
On to the flowers. With no regard to colour design or theory, the Zinnias are pink, seed started in the garden at the end of May and the Tithonia (Mexican sunflowers) are orange, with individual plants reaching about seven feet (more than two metres) high right now. I started seeds indoors and planted five out at the end of May. They’re my biggest success of the year really, thanks to being totally drought tolerant and attracting numerous pollinators. I’ve spent many, many minutes standing very close to this bush-like clump of annuals, entranced by the bumble bees and enthralled by the scores of monarch butterflies dropping onto flower after flower, taking turns, it seemed, with Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, which appeared frequently – both stocking up on nectar before they begin their long migration to spend the winter in Central America.
I added three garlic chive flower heads (Allium tuberosum) to soften the fluorescence a bit, an off colour Zinnia for no good reason, and a mauve Gladiola – it’s the last one of the year, appearing weeks after all the others, and it looked a bit lonely all by itself in the middle of the gladioli patch.
Another thing I learned with this vase is that Tithonia, although looking massive and strong, has very soft and week individual flower stems. The closer to the flower, the weaker it is, and was a bit tricky to both force them into the foam and then to work around them while inserting other flowers, for fear the stem would bend over when barely even touched.
Have a great week everyone!