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!


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

  1. I’ve been reading about the heat wave you’ve been having. It mirrors most of the US as well. Such times we are in. The forecast doesn’t look like things will be changing for some time. I never want to wish the summer away, but one can’t help casting our eyes on Sept.
    A lovely sunny bouquet and that is a perfect vase for them! Keep cool. 🙂

  2. Oh I like how you put together your fire and smoke vase to match the drama of the forest fire, and I am relieved for you that it was quickly put out. Good to hear that the locals are so community minded. Such a summery vase in your lovely sunflower jug. I planned to use a circular phot for the final shot of a scabious bloom in my post today, but I could only get a huge size, despite clicking ,medium and then thumbnail… do you know anything different?

    • Hi Cathy. I just experimented with the circles… if you change the number of columns it also affects the size of the circles. If you choose 3 columns and medium for example, you can put three circles on each row. You need to have at least three photos in your gallery to see that though. If you have four in your gallery, and three columns, one photo will be a large circle and three medium in a row. 🙄 But medium and thumbnails seem to be the same… 🤔 Weird!

  3. As someone who loves in a high fire risk area, I understand the anxiety you felt when you saw smoke like that. I’ve been very sorry to hear the news about the wildfires in Europe. Some politicians blamed California’s prior massive wildfires on poor management on the part of our forest service rather than recognizing that the world in general has a problem with climate change. I’m glad your nearby fire was quickly brought under control and that you were able to focus on the beauty your garden provides.

    • It was reassuring to see how quickly the fire brigade was there, and that they even found our lane too… we are difficult to find as not on many navigation sytems! (Someone who called them thought it was on our property. ) Also a good exercise to see how quickly our own emergency tank is ready for use. (2 minutes. 👍)

  4. Oh how scary that must have been Cathy! There are amazingly high temperatures in Europe at the moment even including my neck of the woods in north west England and so many fires breaking out 🥲 I’m so glad that the fire was contained and didn’t get any nearer to you. Roll on some cooler weather soon and rain too. I love your sunflower vase filled with sunny yellow shades.

  5. A beautiful vase full of beautiful flowers. Glad that you are safe. Mainland Europe seems to have been having these soaring temperatures for a while now.

  6. Scary that the fire came so close, Cathy. So lucky that it was put out before it got even closer. You definitely don’t need that kind of excitement in your life!
    Your vase is pure summer happiness this week 🙂

  7. How frightening that must have been. Glad you are safe and hope you get some good rains soon. we’re dry here as well and temps are increasing every day this week. The flowers look cool as a cucumber, perfectly at home in that vase.

  8. Definitely a fiery, lovely arrangement! I’m glad the fire went out and you are safe and OK. The heat is crazy over most of the temperate zone. We’re warm, but we’re being spared the worst of it, here in the upper Midwest. We’ve had plenty of hotter days and hotter summers, so I understand. Take care!

    • Thanks Beth. Last summer was not so hot and very damp, so another dry year was inevitable really. I have been gardening for over 20 years here and it is mostly hot and dry in summer!

  9. Oh my! After seeing the smoke, the flowers are not as interesting as they should be. (This is California after all.) Well, the flowers are exquisite. I could do without the smoke bush though.

  10. I hope that as the week wore on the fire was contained without too much loss? The high heat certainly fuels these fires. Your beautiful little sunflower vase is perfect for your yellow arrangement. So cheery!

    • I suppose your comment has put this into perspective… our fire was tiny in comparison to some of your wild fires, and was put out within a couple of hours completely. It was a field where they had been harvesting wheat and I suspect the machines had overheated and produced a spark enough to start the fire. The area was probably only a few football pitches in size, but it was the proximity of it to the woods and our home that was the worrying bit, along with the strong wind. I am grateful the fire services are so quick. 😃

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