In a Vase on Monday: Glorious Globes

This Monday, after a week off, I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden again for her weekly vase meme. And I decided to choose a global theme today – literally!

Globes.

After all the hot and harsh winds over the past few weeks, with no rain in sight, the flower beds are literally disintegrating. But this has meant structure is playing more of a role, and I have noticed a lot of round shapes in both flowers and seedheads.

Firstly an Allium seedhead and the fresh Allium ‘Millenium’ which is the latest flowering one I have found. I also added a Nigella seedhead (slightly oval), and a sedum – also much rounder in form before actually flowering.

And the Echinops of course – a perfect globe. The orange seed heads of Gaillardia too.

Then the Succisella inflexa ‘Frosted Pearl’ (which is very drought tolerant) and the seedhead of Scabiosa perfecta.

(The grass I added is my current favourite: Deschampsia ‘Schottland’. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but have slowly fallen in love with it!)

The Scabiosa close up is quite remarkable…

Naturally I used a globe shaped vase and found a prop to match too….

This ‘marble’ came from the Kugelmühle (‘Marble Mill’) near Berchtesgaden in the German Alps, right on the border to Austria. Founded in the seventeenth century, this mill ground stones to perfect globes, which were sold as marbles – toys for children – exported via Rotterdam and London to all over the world. There were in fact many such mills in the region in past centuries. This particular mill is still working, and is a lovely spot for a walk in a shady ravine on a hot summer’s day. And there is of course a beer garden for a refreshing drink too! Aah, nice memories of holidays in the mountains!

Have a good week, and stay cool! 😎

In a Vase on Monday: Water off a Duck’s Back

The Dog Days are here and the garden is now taking on its shabby look for high summer. But a few stars have been shining on regardless of the hot winds and strong sun, taking it all like the proverbial ‘water off a duck’s back’! So I decided to highlight these in my vase this week. If you are new to this blog, I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden every Monday for this lovely meme, where we all find something from our gardens to share in a vase.

My little duck was given to me some years ago by a sales lady in a gift card shop, from her window display… such a kind gesture. 😃

First off, the Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ which has appeared a couple of times recently on my blog. It is so blue, such a tough little plant and the bees love it. 😃

Perovskia. It doesn’t matter what the weather, this shrub comes back stronger by the year. The only thing you can do to hurt it here is to cut it back too hard before it has started showing new shoots in spring. (Or give it too much water and shade perhaps!) I used the stalwart P. ‘Blue Spire’.

Euphorbias. The tall Euphorbia seguieriana tends to flop, but I forgive it for the citrusy zing it adds to the garden. It refreshes and energizes just by looking at it. 😃 One stem I used here is Euphorbia cornigera ‘Goldener Turm’ which is still standing tall.

Gaura. The sun may singe flowers, but since they open new flowers on their long flower stalks daily this isn’t a problem. And they look lovely waving in a breeze/strong wind!

Echinacea. The only thing that might stop these flowering is the slugs in spring. But some of mine seem resistant to them too. The white one is ‘Fragrant Angel’ and is my tallest, at about a meter high. I also added a small pink E. ‘Pica Bella’.

Scabiosa. I cut them back after the initial flowering and they carry on flowering intermittently through the summer. Another bee magnet.

The grasses. I added a few stems of Calamagrostis, one of my favourite grasses at this time of year. With its defiant upright stance it faces the wind and sun like a real warrior. This one is C. Waldenbuch which has slightly paler seedheads than others.

Finally, I added some Daucus carota/Queen Anne’s Lace, which is growing wild absolutely everywhere this year, clearly enjoying the sunny weather.

Which plants take the summer heat or drought like water off a duck’s back in your garden? Do share!

And have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday: There’s No Smoke Without Fire

I was busy today, and left it rather late in the day to find something for my Monday vase so that I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. But I was determined to cut some flowers! even though it is hot. And windy. And dry. There have been warnings for forest fires in our region for a couple of weeks now so as I rounded the corner of the house and saw smoke I was somehow not surprised, but also rather afraid. It was only about a kilometre away from us, with a lot of dry woodland between us…

No sooner had I called my Man of Many Talents than we heard sirens in all directions. Nonetheless he got his emergency watering vehicle ready just in case; a trailer with 600 liters of water, a pump and a fireman’s hose, hooked up to his ATV. Thankfully the excitement was soon over, and the smoke subsided. Phew! I don’t need that sort of excitement too often! Only ten days ago a freshly harvested wheat field went up in smoke, a little farther away from us. Local farmers assisted with putting the fire out… they all have their tanks filled with water at the ready.

I still wanted to cut some flowers, but my thoughts had turned from sunshine and shade to fire and smoke! I cut lots of Heliopsis ‘Sommersonne’ as originally intended, but it is accompanied by the remains of the single flower on my young Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) and some Euphorbias, which are the only plants that seem entirely happy in the extremely dry Sunshine Bed right now.

The sunflower vase is a summer favourite. 😃

 The wind has died down for now, but it has scorched and frazzled a lot of plants. Still, we had cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and garlic from our own garden yesterday, so I mustn’t grumble! 😉

Have a great week and stay cool!

😎🍉🍹

In a Vase on Monday: Complex Simplicity

It was harder than I imagined, reducing the number of flower stems to a minimum this week for the ‘minimalist’ vase I wanted to try and had failed to produce last Monday. So I basically just rushed round the garden on Sunday morning and picked a few stems before I had a chance to be distracted! 😉

I used a shallow Japanese bowl given to us a few years ago, with a florist’s frog at the base to secure the stems.

A fluffy pinky purple Pennisetum was the first stem I picked, so then Verbena bonariensis and the lovely Echinacea ‘Green Envy’ seemed to go well.

This Echinacea has been the most successful of the more unusual varieties I have planted over the years and is in its third year now. 😃

My Allium seedheads were all uprooted by the hot dry wind we had last week, and were waiting to be stored to dry a bit further, so one was cut short. But I still needed material for the base… the Geranium leaves are looking fresh again after I cut some of the old ones back a few days ago, so they fit the bill.

The crowning glory was a stem of the lovely Stipa capillata,  now in full flower and looking gorgeous.

Finding the right spot to take a photo was difficult… the vase was tall, and far too delicate to move outdoors once assembled! I tried in various spots, with and without lighting. I liked the addition of the blue mat as it matched my Japanese fan which I thought would make an appropriate prop; temperatures are set to soar again this week in much of Europe.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. If you are feeling the heat, do go and visit as her vase today has a lovely cooling effect. 😃

Have a great week. And I hope you have a nice cool and shady spot in your garden to enjoy the summer weather!

🍉🍦🍹