Flowers, basically

As spring turned to early summer, and early summer flourished into late, I’ve enjoyed making thorough use of the growing abundance of flowers that come at these wonderful times for Cathy at Rambling in the Garden‘s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ challenge. My arrangements have got bigger, grander, more experimental and more confident with every passing week, a far cry from the simple posies that represented my earliest attempts. However, as often happens when getting a vague handle on a new skill, I got over-confident and last week I produced a vase that I wasn’t happy with at all. The individual flowers in this vase were all quite beautiful in themselves; it was the confluence of these flowers that was the failure. They just didn’t go together.

So this week I thought I’d go back to basics. I put away all my beautiful vases, and took out five or six clean, empty jam jars. I filled them with water and set them out on the garden table. Then I went around the garden with my scissors and started to fill the jars; but this week, I gave myself a rule, which was that each jam jar could contain no more than three different flower types. Oh, I did have fun. I might continue to set myself this challenge from time to time in the future.

Then I placed my jars in various spots around the house. A big, grand vase of flowers is a very fine thing indeed, but a wee jar of simple flowers in every nook and cranny is a different delight altogether.

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Sweetpea ‘Red Arrow’, D. ‘Totally Tangerine’, and Dryopteris erythrosora (I think), guarded valiantly by Bismarck the Nutcracker on the shelf above the fireplace
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Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Sweetpea ‘White Supreme’, and Verbena rigida on the bedstead.
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Sweetpeas ‘White Supreme’ and ‘Eclipse’, Thalictrum (meadow-rue), and lavender on the rocking chair
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Echinops, Sweetpea ‘White Supreme’ and dill rescued from last week’s disastrous vase on the shelf above the fireplace in the Brazilian’s office, along with a few of his favourite things. (Actually, he deplores Nietzsche. I don’t know how those got in there.)
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Three sweetpeas: ‘Mollie Rilstone’, ‘Dark Passion’ and ‘White Supreme’ beside an empty silver photo frame on my chest-of-drawers. The frame was a wedding gift and I still haven’t got round to printing out one of our wedding photos to go inside it. I suppose I’ve been too busy gardening, as represented here by brown garden string.

15 Comments

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  1. You sound like me, I get bogged down with odd numbers of plants and types. All are lovely, but I especially like the versions with Sweet Peas.

  2. What a charming idea! I like Bismarck’s fiery posy best (except for using Great Expectations as a mat) and then the luscious bunch of purple, pink and white sweet peas. The pot with meadow rue is light and airy, the meadow rue foliage is so pretty.
    I agree with the Brazilian about Nietzsche, but what do the flowers make of Simone Weil?

    • Dickens wouldn’t have minded. The jar was clean and dry on the bottom. You gave me that meadow rue. It was in a bucket by your potting shed. I am still waiting for it to self-seed.
      The flowers agree about the Need for Roots wholeheartedly, but like me they also like Nietzsche and are therefore very pragmatic about their lot.

  3. Your experiment to give yourself some rules is a good exercise Joanna. Each of these vases is gorgeous and you’ve staged the photographs in interesting ways. I was away last week and didn’t see your previous vase until now. I find it quite lovely as well.

  4. Genius – I love them!
    They remind me of those recent Hockney portraits – same idea and yet completely different.

  5. Nice! I also use simple jars to make arrangements, they look great filled with flowers. Your sweet peas are stunning, how do you manage to grow such beauties?

  6. Echinops sweet pea and dill is my fave.

  7. Ditto, I love the dill with the sweet pea and echinops. All of the others are lovely too though.

  8. I love them all, but especially those with white. The second one is gorgeous, and the one with Echinops is also delightful! 🙂

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