In a Vase, on Monday – Pink and Orange

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!


  1. My favourite colours! My Tithonias didn’t do well this year – just a bit too much sun and wind I think, but they are perking up now. The gladioli is perfect as a final flourish, like the feather on a cap. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, that’s it! A feather on a cap! Although the central stalk of Tithonia seems to be as sturdy as any large sunflower, the individual flower stems are definitely more fragile and you’re right, they likely can’t stand up to continuous strong winds.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here too, my zinnias are looking better than any zinnias before them, and in my first year of tithonias they are reaching new heights too, although not as much as yours. Your ‘vase’ was a challenging pot to fill and it’s a shame the poor fish has been hidden, but the end result clearly demonstrates your late summer bounty and non-one would know the floral foam was there at all. Thanks for sharing, Chris

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Most of the time I use lttle pebbles or glass ‘beads’ which I was given by somebody who was no longer crafting with them, but I do have some biodegradable foam that I use if the the pebbles won’t work

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve tried pebbles before but I don’t think they’d work for Tithonia. Strawflowers, definitely! I’ve also done something you suggested a few weeks ago…to be revealed next Monday!


  3. That vase pulls the flower colors together better than I’d have thought possible – kudos! Interesting to hear that the Tithonia stems are so weak as the flowers do look like they can stand up to anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my! Ain’t that some color! You know, there are a few reasons why white is my favorite color, regardless of how boring it can be alone. Do you remember the old episode of Little House on the Prairie in which Laura Ingalls painted a house pink and purple. (I thought that it was pink and orange, but googled it.) It was the episode ‘The Enchanted Cottage’. Anyway, that is what this reminded me of. It is good to be reminded that some (or most) people are more proficient with color than I am.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Many flowers do that; even flowers that I am not familiar with. The orange color also reminds me of those fondue pots that were so popular in the early 1970s. Some were mustard yellow. Some were that weird turtle green. Some were that bright reddish orange. I think it would be weird if flowers did not remind people of such cool things.

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