In a Vase on Monday: Alma and Co.

Each Monday I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her meme, which encourages us to find suitable materials from our gardens to put in a vase. This week I am cheating a little…

My first vase is actually from early last week. With a severe storm forecast I picked some of the Aster ‘Alma Pรถtschke’ just as it was beginning to open so that I could enjoy the flowers indoors…

The buds all opened in the warmth of the house and are looking at their best today, five days later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Alma is a tall aster, flowering from the end of September/early October and the bees and butterflies love it on a sunny day. I actually cut some of these back in May, hoping to avoid them getting too leggy, but the shorter ones almost caught up with the ones I didn’t trim.

The second vase contains flowers that are not in my garden, but were picked for me by my Man of Many Talents from a field in the countryside. Sunflowers, Phacelia and various other wild flowers are sometimes sown after the main harvest in August, as food for the bees I assume, and to be ploughed back into the soil in late winter as a natural fertiliser. (Being skeptical as I am, I fear EU subsidies are the motivation for farmers to do this!)

The sunflowers grew so quickly in this field, and flowered in record time.

The Phacelia smells wonderful, filling the room with its sweet scent.

Do you see wild flowers in fields near you so late in the season?

Now go and visit Cathy and see what she and others have found to put in a vase this Monday.

56 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Alma and Co.

  1. Your โ€˜Alma Pรถtschkeโ€™ is gorgeous–really nice strong color and form. Glad you were able to save them and enjoy them indoors (and share with us). Phacelia’s hue combines nicely with the golden sunflowers. Thoughtful of your talented man to pick the sunflowers for you.

  2. Yes, there are some wild flowers at this time of year; mostly Cyclamen in the shady edges of the lanes. I love this Aster and now that I’ve decided to have some Asters in the cut flower bed I shall look out for โ€˜Alma Pรถtschkeโ€™ .

  3. I have enjoyed both your arrangements today Cathy. We don’t see wild flowers or sunflowers in the fields here at this time of year. Most farmers are busy cultivating and replanting for next year’s harvest.

    • There must be a real benefit to ploughing the plant material back into the ground as I have noticed quite a few fields like this ever since we have lived in the countryside.

  4. When I saw that first picture, I immediately thought, “Alma Potschke”! But I have to say if I could only have one of the two, I’d go with the sunflowers. I’ve never seen Phacelia, I wish they grew here.

    • I’m not sure I could choose between the two, but I do always look forward to Alma flowering – that bright splash of colour so late in the year is very welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What a vibrant pink – gorgeous! And lovely to see sunflowers in October too. I bought some phacelia seeds once to grow as green manure but never got round to sowing them! I had forgotten they had a lovely fragrance so will perhaps try to get some sown one year!

    • The fragrance of the Phacelia really is quite amazing Cathy. It fills the whole room for days on end. Definitely worth trying to grow at home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. It’s way too dry for wildflowers here in California! We’re on fire again! I planted my sunflowers late this summer and I can’t wait until they are blooming. Yours are fabulous!

    • Hi Deb. Yes, I just read about your horrible fires in our news. Hope your sunflowers bloom soon for you! ๐Ÿ™‚ And hope your area stays safe, too.

  7. We’ve had the same idea today, Cathy! Alma is a beauty and is certainly blushing nicely for you. I hope the one I sent you is doing well. The sunflowers are late, no more left here. Phacelia is such a peculiar plant, isn’t it. Too late to sow it now but I’ll definitely do it next year. Hope you and Gina are well xx

    • Thanks Annette. The aster you sent me has grown into a lovely bushy plant and is covered in buds that haven’t quite opened yet. Can’t wait to see it flowering! Asters always tend to be a bit later in my garden. I might try growing Phacelia too, not least for the lovely scent. The stems go all soft in a vase though, so don’t know how long they will last. Have a great week Annette!

  8. What a beautiful aster! Your second vase is very cheerful too. I bought a pot of late-blooming Helianthus recently to extend my own enjoyment of those wonderful flowers but apparently the critters are paying me back for leaving my bird feeders empty by treating the potted flowers as a substitute.

    • How annoying for you! But fun to watch the antics of the birds perhaps. My Helianthus have collapsed in the wind, but a yellow aster is now in flower so I still have some yellow to enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Your ‘Alma P’ is stunning, mine have all flopped in this recent storm – hoping they’ll resurrect themselves tomorrow, fingers crossed. I never did get a shot of the border filled with them, alas. What a sweet man to bring you a bouquet – I love that! Sunflowers are so cheerful and the phacelia add nice contrast. I grew them this year and am hoping they will self-sow into the field next year.

    • I find it quite endearing how asters flop… sometimes rather gracefully! Most people in our neighbourhood grow them against a fence, which helps a bit! Did it help chopping yours back in spring? I found mine still got rather tall. Hope yours manage to recover!

  10. Sadly no wild flowers here. We are surrounded but stubble from the maize fields which have been cleared in a matter of days. Alma looks brilliant an sunflowers are a wonderful gift. Very smiley.

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ It is lovely seeing fields of them so late. I have often seen Phacelia and other wild flowers sown late summer, but there seem to be more sunflowers this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Cathy the vase with Aster “Alma Pรถtschke” is wonderful with the color it has so beautiful. The Sunflowers, Phacelia and the other wildflowers of the second vase form a beautiful bouquet that smells like field and life .. How lucky to have sunflowers in the field. In the fields that surround me already more than a month ago that they removed the sunflowers and the cereals planted. Due to the great drought that we have in Spain, it has not rained for months, there are no wild flowers: thistles and some strong flowers. I wish I had your abundance. Happy gardening. Greetings from Margarita.

  12. Alma is a looker. The wild flowers are gorgeous. I don’t know if Phacelia even grows around here. I see where it is used as a crop cover. I don’t remember seeing it tho. Farmers here are paid to not plant certain portions of their fields. Mainly they just let them grow with what ever pops up. Nothing like a field full of sunflowers and phacelia. Happy IAVOM.

    • It seems a bit mad really, that the farmers get paid for growing nothing! They do that here too. What a crazy sytem we have created over the past few decades!

  13. ‘Alma’ is a beauty but the wildflower vase (what a considerate man you have ) is my favourite Cathy. I hope that the severe storm didn’t do any damage.

    • Hi Anna. The storm wasn’t too bad here – just a few trees down here and there. But the north of Germany was badly hit and the main train lines around Hamburg and Hannover were down for days as they furiously worked to clear fallen trees and branches!

  14. Alma is such a brilliant shade of pink! I love it! The sunflowers are wonderful, too! All the fields are just brown here, now, but the trees are making up for it!

    • Hi Joanna. I was not convinced the sunflowers would flowercthis year, as they were sown so late. But I was proved wrong! If we are lucky we won’t get frost until November, but damp chilly days will rot the Phacelia stems I fear.

  15. I absolutely love sunflowers, so I enjoyed the bountiful arrangement. But you have me thinking strongly of planting asters next spring. I have been wondering about a cutting flower that would attract bees, and this would be delightful. Thank you for the beautiful vase that serves as inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh yes, asters would be a lovely addition to your garden Debra. Isn’t there one they call the Californian Aster? They are able to cope with dry conditions and the flowers are a magnet for all sorts of pollinators. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Your Alma is gorgeous – elegant and cheerful at the same time! I wish now I had tried harder to grow asters in my earlier garden. I think there is one aster that does grow here, but I’ve never seen it on offer. Your wildflowers are lovely too and such a refreshing blend of yellow and blue! About the only wildflowers I notice right now are the teeny tiny blooms on Eriogonum deflexum, and one has to look closely to see those! Some rain would help immensely… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • And I feel very silly having said that about wildflowers as the rabbitbrush is in brilliant yellow bloom right now…!

      • Hi Amy. Must be lovely to have splashes of yellow around from the rabbitbrush. There must surely be an aster that would grow for you, as there are so many sorts. Perhaps you will find one soon. The sunflowers have sadly faded quite quickly but they were lovely to have indoors!

  17. Your flowers definitely remind me of the beautiful fields of sunflowers that we’ve seen growing in Germany and Austria. Nothing like that in Florida.

    • Hi Karen. We saw lots of fields of sunflowers this autumn too, and the flower fields where you can pick your own have started expanding and selling dahlias, asters and chrysanthemums, as well as more spring flowers. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s a wonderful idea for people without a garden or with restricted space for growing flowers.

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