In a vase on Monday

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I was SO not going to take part in Cathy’s meme, ‘In a Vase on Monday’, at Rambling in the Garden today.  I promised myself a quick peek at everyone else’s vase this evening and was quite content.

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Then I sprinted at high speed around my weedy plot with a camera and saw three things that pleased me a lot and inspired me to do a vase anyway.

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The first thing I saw, Rose ‘Veilchenblau’, is already a little on her way out. Unappreciated, poor thing. Since I know that we have only limited time in our house here, due to the difficulty of the garden for an older person, I’ve planted some of my favourite roses (50 in all since 2012) here and there amongst the monster weeds.

They will take time to settle. I promise myself that in the next year or so I’ll get on top of the weeds – and then I’ll have 15 odd years to enjoy. The tactic does work, I promise you! Although it’s probably the reverse of what every other gardener does.

‘Veilchenblau’ is a perfect example, struggling with grass, nettles and the virginia creeper that adores our old walls so much. This is the first year (after 4) that she’s really flowering properly. Here she is in her weedy bower!

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The second things I saw were the sweet little spikes of what I believe is short-lived perennial Digitalis lutea. I had a lovely little tray of seedlings from a friend in 2015 and they are settling nicely. Must save seed this year.

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Third pretty thing was Knautia macedonica – mental note to self, be more brutal! It’s a sweetie, but currently making the lower Hornbeam Gardens even more of a mess than should be the case.

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Who is responsible for this mess?

It didn’t do well higher up in the garden, but here it is taking over the shop. At first there was pleasure at the seedlings, now I’m kicking myself.

I also added the first decent flowers I’ve had of Scabiosa caucasica since it, too, was planted in 2015.

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Et voila!

I’ll look forward to enjoying the links to everyone else’s vases at Cathy’s Rambling in the Garden later in the day. Now I’ll get on and do the work that I was supposed to be doing when I got up this morning. (The weeding will, sadly have to wait!)

I hope this week brings some happy moments in your garden!

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35 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday

  1. Sam

    What a pretty bunch – so glad you decided to post a vase. The Knautia is lovely (and I quite like its relaxed spreading around – that doesn’t look a mess to me!).

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks Sam – but when things get swamped, you realise that ‘enough is enough’. I do love it just the same and am always glad that something pretty chooses to ‘like’ me!

      Reply
  2. Noelle

    I too like the knautia…..just think that where you are not weeding there are lots of insects and hopefully you will also have small animals like slowworms etc enjoying the undistrubed habitat, there are advantages in having special patches for the butterflies etc.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I will try hard to think about the slowworms, Noelle. But when I fall asleep at the moment, unfortunately all I can see is bindweed!

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    Yes, that is a refreshing way to look to at one’s garden, in terms of age. It is an easier site here, and theoretically it should just be maintaining it if I don’t create any new projects – but really I don’t want to think about getting older any more than I have to! I love the vase itself, and it’s perfect for things to spill out of, so works well with ‘Veilchenblau’ and the knautia and scabious. Hope you manage to get your other task done – I suspect it is something you are avoiding doing…

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I was avoiding it Cathy, no more. I am fully enslaved to paid work again. I hope the blogging – and particularly the garden – doesn’t suffer too much. Yes, finding the balance between letting our creativity loose and thinking about later is a real balancing act. Although, I have to say, I never notice any lack of ‘projects’ when I read your blog!

      Reply
  4. Chloris

    What a gorgeous arrangement, the colours look wonderful together. I love Veilchenblau. Oh goodness, you have to garden as if you are going to live for ever and keep forever fit and well. I can’ t contemplate leaving here even though neither house or garden are convenient for old age. I’ll just keep on making my garden more and more labour intensive until I drop. And when I can no longer climb my 16th century spiral staircase I’ ll go and live in my shed.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I love ‘Veilchenblau’ too. I had it in my Suffolk garden along with very similar ‘Rose-Marie de Viaud’. I definitely preferred ‘Veilenblau’. Previously it was growing in some shade and here it is in brilliant sunshine, so until this year I’ve always been slightly concerned. I wish I’d been sensible enough to buy a garden I could stay in when I was old. My role model was a dear gardening friend in Dublin who was still doing 5 hours a day in her garden when she was whisked into an old people’s home at the age of 83 after a fall. She lasted one year. And oh, reading on – you have a 16th century spiral staircase as well! So, maybe you are more optimistic than me? I have lots to learn!

      Reply
  5. Eliza Waters

    This is gorgeous, Cathy! Love the blue design on the pedestal vase and the floral combination is so harmonious. Your trials with keeping up with weeds reminds me of a quote I recently read about stop trying to ‘get it all done’ because it never will be done as more will come to replace it. True of life, eh? We need to just relax and enjoy participating in the ‘doing-ness’ of the days we have left. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      It will definitely ‘never be done’! And that’s a philosophy I’m trying to carry forwards in my pleasure in my garden (and life!)

      Reply
  6. Kris P

    Wow, Cathy! I’m glad that you were pushed to pull together a vase. What a beautiful creation and to think you were going to deny us the experience of seeing it! 😉 My own garden was remarkably weed-free during the height of our drought but, after one good winter of rain, I can now fully appreciate the challenge of keeping them under control!

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      How kind, Kris, given that you are quite the expert. Yes – so right! We often get a dry (or very wet) spring. This year the mix has been just right. I am both enjoying the growth and feeling overwhelmed!

      Reply
  7. Alison C

    It’s a pleasure to see the vase you didn’t mean to make. I like your idea of planting then tackling the weeds. I know we will only be here for a limited time for the same reason so it makes sense to do as you say! Unfortunately the vigorous grass swamps things. Knautia is a pretty thug, but I wouldn’t want to be without it, and the foxglove is very delicate.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      In my case the grasses swamp too, but I never give up and it does get easier. There are parts of the garden where (after 6 years) I am no longer struggling.

      Reply
  8. theshrubqueen

    I love your weed concept and have a similar one here. My idea is to get so many plants going the weeds are minimal as well as mulching, which I detest. Jury is still out on this concept. I was wondering what the flower was (the Rose!) lovely as well as the friends that joined in. Blue and white china is a favorite of mine, Blue Willow, so I love your vase as well. Well done.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks so much – I wish I could think that my weeds were a ‘concept’ (how kind that you rationalised me!). When time is limited we just have to get on and plant what we love, don’t we? A garden is about pleasure, nothing else.

      Reply
      1. theshrubqueen

        It is a concept and I love it. So much is written about purifying the site before adding a garden – really not working with what exists at all, just erasing whatever is there. It is interesting to me what you find upon stepping back and thinking about it. Amazing things have just come up in my garden. Pleasant surprises. And if you don;t get around to the weeding. Oh well.

      2. Cathy Post author

        I suppose I like wilder gardens. And you only get that if you ‘step back’, as you say. And I still haven’t done enough weeding!!!

  9. Frogend_dweller

    Lovely flowers and colours and a splendid vase! I used to have digitalis lutea in the garden and your post has reminded me why. (I think that I will send for seeds immediately). The rose ‘Veilchenblau’ is especially lovely and pulls everything together.

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      The digitalis is very lovely – I acquired it by accident (although I had it in the past), from the hands of a dear gardening friend who enjoys things, but pays not a lot of heed to names. I count myself lucky.

      Reply
  10. Cathy

    You must be so pleased you made a vase after all – it’s wonderful! The Knautia and Scabiosa are beautiful. I am hoping to get some blue and red Scabiosa to settle into my rockery, as I currently only have a creamy white one. My Knautia also hasn’t got established yet either, so I rather envy you your mass of flowers!

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      I hope your blue and red scabious settle in ok Cathy – it’s fascinating (if you can be philosophical, I suppose) how a plant can enjoy one position and not another in the same garden. To the gardener it seems like there’s not a huge choice between the two spots – but the plant knows!

      Reply
  11. smallsunnygarden

    I’m so glad you made up the vase after all, and very glad I made it back to your post! This is especially lovely, and your elegant blue and white sets it off beautifully. I’ve begun promising myself that I will eventually make space somewhere for Veilchenblau; I’ve only seen it in photos, but I’m finding it more and more irresistible every time I see it…

    Reply
    1. Cathy Post author

      Hi Amy – see if you can find a little shade for it. It quite enjoys that and the colours look richer (I had it planted in part-day shade where I was before – here it is in sun, so one reason why I am relieved it is finally taking off).

      Reply

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