Ina Vase, on Monday – Repurposing

On Mondays, Cathy from Rambling in the Garden encourages us to cut a few stems from our garden, plop or artistically pose them in a container, then photograph and share with others. Inspiration for my first vase started with a heavy and fat bit of a reddish cultivar of Sedum spectabile (now known as Hylotelephium spectabile) that was blocking the path to the side patio.

I needed something equally heavy and fat to put it in and thought of this orange glazed pot. I have three such pots, orange, green and blue-brown. I clearly remember purchasing them when I was in high school and for some reason they have remained and moved with me all these decades. Stamped ‘W. Germany’ on the bottom, with some numbers, I’ve used them mainly to hold smaller plastic pots of various plants. Perfect to repurpose it as an actual vase for this week’s arrangement. In order to hold the Sedum (and Tithonia, Verbena and Zinnia) in place, I folded a piece of repurposed chicken wire into the pot bottom. It worked really well!

Here’s the vase of flowers. As well as the Sedum and Verbena, I ‘repurposed’ a few stems from the previous vase – garlic chives (Allium tuberosum, still going strong, Zinnias, a single gladioli and a few new Tithonia):

My props for this autumn-coloured vase are the last few tomatoes of the year.

A second vase this week is also repurposed, and was inspired by a suggestion from Cathy a few weeks ago, when I used a small glass canning jar with the metal rim as a vase. For this larger pasta sauce jar, I punched nine small holes through the lid, which lets slender stemmed flowers, such as Tithonia and Verbena bonariensis, stand straight and tall. I’ve had it on the back porch for a few weeks now, easily pulling out fading flowers and replacing them as needed; some of the holes are large enough for two stems.

We’re in for a few wet days this week, but then I’ll be pulling up gladiola corms, and prepping the kitchen garden, where I grow many flowers for cutting, for new tulip bulbs. First frost will likely be within the next three weeks, so lots to do in the meantime. Have a great week everyone!

20 Comments

  1. Finally! The mystery is solved. Your Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) has much the same shape of the Verbena I’ve been trying to confuse it with (Verbena rigida) but they are different. Yours certainly suits a vase better; it’s quite attractive — as is your gathering of blossoms as a whole.

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  2. Perfect and apt for the season. Love your still life with the tomatoes πŸ‘. I’ll be planting lots of sedum this autumn, definitely one of the best drought tolerant perennials. Wishing you a happy autumn!

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  3. I love the addition of the tomatoes as a prop for the first arrangement – they complete the autumn theme of the flower arrangement. I’ve used chicken wire to support flowers in arrangements but poking holes in jar’s pot is a clever idea too πŸ™‚

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  4. Oh I am thrilled that it worked so well, Chris, and I suppose one could keep a collection of lids to use on the rims of ordinary vases, perhaps – the possibilities are many… 😊 Your first vase certainly highlights some of this late season’s bounty, but the other two are striking as well. In this first season of tithonia flowers, I find my blooms, although tall, tend to have quite short stems, unless I include a lower bud which would then need to be cut off

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  5. I love your vases this week Chris! The idea of punching holes in the lid to hold stems is brilliant! The autumn colours with Verbena bonariensis added create a lovely jewelled effect, and the tomatoes round it off nicely. What a great harvest you must have had. My last ones simply will not ripen, and I had to cut down my plants at the weekend, so I am rather envious!

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      1. I know that they are ‘supposed’ to be able to bloom this late, but I have never seen it. It seems to me that the bulbs could deteriorate somewhat if not allowed to grow on their normal schedule. I feel obligated to get them into the ground as soon as possible.

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