In a Vase on Monday: Persicaria et al

My vase this Monday includes three of the four Persicarias in my garden, and I intended to stop at three plants…. but as usual I was tempted to add a bit of this and a few of those and in the end it became quite a full vase! The vase is probably not actually a vase, but it caught my eye while I was at the garden centre looking for garlic bulbs. 🙂 I placed a smaller vase inside it.


On the left you can see the leaves and the white flowers of Persicaria Red Dragon. The flowers are tiny, but incredibly beautiful, with little black/deep purple spots on the petals…


In the background of the above picture you can see the Persicaria Firetail, which I have used frequently in vases – it lasts very well. The third Persicaria I used is called Lance Corporal and is quite different to the others as the flowers are barely visible, but their scarlet colour lights up the long stems along which they are placed. Below, one stem is clear on the right, next to the Pennisetum.


Lots of Heuchera flowers, a dried fennel seed head and two cactus Zinnias were also added, along with some Cosmos which is still flowering despite the cool nights and damp weather. (That blue sky we had last week sadly disappeared over the weekend.)


I also cut a few leaves of the Ricinus (on the right in the next photo), which is rebelling at the cooler temperatures… it has withstood cool nights for a couple of weeks now, but doesn’t like the shorter days.


I took a deep breath and snipped off one of the large Crocosmia seed heads too, to complement the orange zinnia.


Well, for the first week of October I am impressed with what my garden still has to offer me. I wonder what you could put in a vase this Monday. Do visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and why not join in too!

45 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Persicaria et al

  1. This is a lovely, abundant arrangement, Cathy. I love the autumnal feel of it. Are those tithonias I spy outside your window in the first photo?! Have a good week. Sam x

  2. This is so lovely Cathy. I don’t grow persicaria so it’s interesting to see the pretty detail on the Persicaria Red Dragon flowers. Your new container looks versatile and enhances this collection of autumnal offerings. I love the juxtaposition of the orange zinnia and Crocosmia seed heads too. Hope you have a wonderful week. Maybe that blue sky wlll return soon.

    • I had been waiting for an opportunity to use a Crocosmia seed head… I shall save the others for as long as possible for later vases! The Zinnias just get better and better, albeit smaller than the first flush of flowers. I will definitely grow some of these again next year.

  3. Spots on The Dragon, Cathy? I have not seen them on mine but I will make a special inspection to check…how intriguing! I haven’t come across Lance Corporal before but the flowers are similar to those on P Painters’s Palette – I am increasingly fond of Persicaria and will no doubt add more next year. I love everything in your vase except possibly the ricinus because I am aware it is poisonous, even though logically I know that I am unlikely to be at risk from it (and I have several aconitum anyway) – the mind is a funny thing, isn’t it?! Thanks for sharing today – oh, and what is the ‘vase’ meant for, if not a vase?

    • I just had another look with my magnifying glass (those flowers are so small) and what I thought I saw on the photo must be the stamens! Whoops! I know what you mean about poisonous plants Cathy – with me it is Aconites and Foxgloves that don’t make it into my garden, but somehow summer pots are different! 😉 I think the vase is meant to be for a tealight or candle, as it is mosaic glass pieces which look lovely when the light shines through. (It actually had a potted plant in it in the shop display!)

      • Well I almost had the magnifying glass out too as your photo clearly looked as if it showed spots and yet I could not see any on mine – except for what looked like a single spot before they opened fully. How curious 😉

    • Oh, thank you Brian. It is such a pleasurable activity snipping flowers and things every week for a vase. Firetail flowers for months in my garden and seems to fit into the whole picture in summer as well as autumn. Wouldn’t want to be without it now!

  4. You do vases in the same way as I do them, a bit of this and a bit of that and this would go so well too… I love abundance in a vase. Yours is beautiful. There are so many gorgeous persicaria hybrids around these days. I love them too.

    • I do love abundance Chloris, but I also envy people who are able to produce gorgeous arrangements using just one or two items! I am definitely not a minimalist myself! 😉

  5. Isn’t it funny how you can step into the garden planning to cut just a few stems only to come in with an armful? It happens to me all the time. All your Persicaria are wonderful – I’d collect them too if they did that well here. I do have a ‘Red Dragon’. It seldom blooms but I’ll be sure now to look at those flowers more closely when it does.

    • I think those spots on the Red Dragon are the stamens actually, after getting my magnifying glass out! They are such tiny flowers, so hard to see the detail. Or maybe I need new glasses?! 😉

  6. Lovely autumnal vase today Cathy. The colours all play off each other beautifully. I like your colourful new vase and like the other Cathy wonder what it would be for if not a vase.

    • Thanks Christina. I think the vase is a candle or tealight holder and was worried it might not be watertight! Works well with another vase inside though.

  7. Such a lovely collection of material from your garden Cathy. You caught the flowers of the Red Dragon really well. I think the ones on mine are much smaller, now I shall have to go and have another look.

    • They are incredibly small flowers Noelle. I got my magnifying glass out just now and think the spots must be the stamens inside the tiny florets!

  8. Oh that’s a most soft and subtle vase Cathy. I bought persicaria ‘Firetail’ at the Malvern Show very recently only to get back home to discover that I already had it 🙂 It has been flowering for ages and is still going strong. Is that tithonia on the other side of the window? It looks quite tall whatever it is?

    • Yes, that’s Tithonia on the keft and the orange zinnia on the right… both are in containers, so they look taller than they actually are, but another tithonia around the corner is much taller than me. 😉

  9. Your ‘vase’ is beautiful, and I would love to see the effect with a candle as I can just see the daylight glowing through in your first photo 🙂 The persicarias are delightful with that wide range of colours and effects too… and you may have just convinced me to try cactus zinnias 😉

    • Thanks Amy! I was very skeptical about zinnias in general before growing them for the first time a couple of years ago. These cactus ones have convinced me to include them in my summer containers every year now, so I do hope you give them a chance too!

  10. Every time you show Persicaria, especially the Firetail, I really fall for it! I don’t know it locally at all, but it is so striking in your arrangements, and I’m sure equally beautiful in the garden. I do enjoy making vases out of old jars or containers. Yours is really pretty! The photos this week are particularly striking, Cathy, and I’m impressed that this late in the season you have the flowers to make such beautiful arrangements. 🙂

    • Hi Debra. That Persicaria is pretty impressive in the rockery. There is still so much out there, despite our cold and damp. But it will soon be all over so I must make the most of it and bring as much as I can indoors! 🙂

  11. That zinnia is such fun! But I am especially impressed with the effect the Persicarias have on the whole arrangement. I am a sucker for this sort of gentle firework shooting out in all directions and have just bought my first Persicaria, which I can’t wait to use next year.

    • Firetail was the first one I grew, and then I saw Red Dragon on Cathy’s blog. I think a few more may make it into my garden at some stage as they do create some lovely effects out there as well as in vases. 🙂

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