In a Vase on Monday: Helianthus tuberosus

Helianthus tuberosus is making a statement in our garden at the moment. 😃

In winter, my Man of Many Talents decided to try this plant as an alternative to potatoes (which did not do well last year due to the wet and the mice). The two long strips of ground used for potatoes last year were tilled once more and he planted the tubers in early spring.

 

The tubers are edible, and are known as Topinambur or Jerusalem Artichoke. I must be honest, the flavour does not appeal to me much – earthy, nutty, and rather strong, they overpower other flavours if added to a dish. But sliced thinly and fried or baked they are a nice accompaniment to a meal. If you have eaten them and have any good ideas of how to enjoy them, please do let me know.

So the tubers are not a big hit, but the flowers ARE! They were slow to get started but by August the plants were enormous, and about two weeks ago they started flowering….

The tallest must be about three metres, at least.

So my vase today is jam-packed with these gorgeous perennial sunflowers. They create the wonderful effect of a burst of sunshine indoors on a cloudy day. 😃

The tubers can stay in the ground over winter and be harvested as we want them, or simply left to produce flowers again next summer. They were watered once in the middle of the drought, but I think you could definitely label them as very drought-tolerant. But be warned. Given ideal conditions they can take over, so should only be planted where they can spread happily. 😃

 

I do actually have two more vases to share today as well. This one is leftovers from last week – annual sunflowers, Chrysopsis and some Golden Rod.

And my last vase is rather an incredible one. Back in August (the 8th to be precise) I posted this photo of a vase full of globe-shaped flowers and seedheads.

Well, after about ten days I removed the water and a couple of wilted pieces, and let the contents simply dry in the vase. And this is how it looks now…

I haven’t dared move it, and just dust around it, as the grasses and Echinops are very fragile. I am impressed with how well everything has lasted.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. Do go and visit her to see what gardeners are picking from their gardens today! 😃

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In A Vase on Monday: Fit for a Queen

On this momentous day in history I am joining the weekly meme with a nod to Queen Elizabeth.

The perennial sunflower ‘Lemon Queen’ and annual sunflower ‘Velvet Queen’ feature – along with an enormous yellow self-seeded sunflower – in my glorious vase today. They are partly a little washed out, as it has rained almost non-stop all week. I am not complaining, and neither is the garden! However, I do hope it remains dry in London for the thousands of people assembled there to watch the funeral procession today.

 

Not many of my sunflowers survived the summer, but as some of the flowers were bent to the ground, heavy with raindrops, I decided to cut them anyway.

 

I added a deep red Gaillardia at the centre, some of the last unspoilt stems of Golden Rod, Verbena bonariensis, the royal red Persicaria ‘Blackfield’ (my current favourite for withstanding the drought best 😃) and some Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’.

Do visit our meme host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. She has a lovely red, white and blue arrangement in tribute to the occasion.

In a Vase on Monday: A September Sigh

Along with some recent rain showers (some of which have been quite decent), cool nights and misty mornings are reviving the garden. So my vase today is simply a big sigh of September loveliness. 😃

Japanese Anemone ‘Serenade’, with a mix of asters, some Calamagrostis and a few strands of Gaura.

Thanks to Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, for hosting this meme.

Have a lovely week, and happy gardening!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Relief

I am back to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with her lovely meme after a couple of weeks off.

The summer was a trying one, but the lower night time temperatures recently plus two whole days of light rain have provided some relief. I wouldn’t exactly say the garden has sprung back to life, but after chopping back the plants that suffered most I can at least bare to look at it again, and as you can see from my vases, I do have some flowers to pick still! 😃

First the pastels:

Perennial sweet pea, Cosmos, Echinacea, Verbena, Agastache, Sedum, Scabiosa, Miscanthus and Asters along with a lovely creamy white Heuchera flower which gets ten out of ten for surviving the heat!

Then a few hotter colours in my newest vase – a cheapie red glass bottle found at my local supermarket for a song. 😉

Orange Cosmos, Tithonia, Calamagrostis, Gaillardia, Persicaria, Plumbago, a red and a blue Salvia,  and a poppy seedhead.

I must admit the apples are also from the supermarket – we will have a few to harvest soon, but not as many as last year. But the vegetables should make up for that; the beans and zucchini were wonderful and I still have over twenty butternut squash to harvest!

Hope you have had a good summer and are looking forward to autumn as much as I am – my favourite time of year. 😃

In a Vase on Monday: Pink Serenade

Anemone ‘Serenade’ is flowering, so before it gets spoilt by the rain (Ha Ha! Note the sarcasm!) I picked a couple of them for today’s vase.

I decided to stay with the pink theme. Pink vase, pink Scabiosa, pink Cosmos and pink Knapweed.

Along with the Knapweed, the only thing growing in the open ‘grass’ is the Queen Anne’s Lace, so I added some of that and some Calamagrostis, Deschampsia and Stipa.

 

The upturned log I have placed the vase on is cracking and will probably fall apart soon, but it has made the yard look rustic over the past two years. 😃

I am linking in to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Cathy invites us to join her in sharing a vase of flowers from in or around our gardens each Monday. So pop over for an idea of what is flowering around the globe. 😃

Have a good week, and if you are waiting for rain I do hope you see some.

☔️😃☔️

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!