Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, July 30, 2018

In A Vase On Monday

I wasn't going to do this meme this week. Nigel brought a gift home for me from his work -- cold germs. He was sick last weekend, and I came down with it on Friday, and spent the weekend feeling miserable. So I didn't want to be bothered with going out to cut flowers and figuring out what to put together in a vase.

But the garden, especially the cutting garden, is burgeoning with flowers, and I didn't want everything to go over without getting full use of all my work sowing seeds and making that bed last fall and over the winter. That would be a frustrating waste.

So when I woke up this morning feeling a bit better I decided to get out and start cutting a bunch of things to see what went with what. At first I thought I might just plonk everything together in a single big vase and call it a day, but it soon became apparent to me that although I like the look of lots of color in a garden separated by lots of green, I'm not so fond of it all squished together in a vase.

I had quite a lot of one particular Dahlia that opens with a touch of lavender in the center and soon turns to pure white, which went well with the dark blue larkspur, Hosta flowers and blue statice, so they went into a big pitcher and took the place of honor in the kitchen. Although I am still a newbie at this flower arranging lark, I do know that you are supposed to remove all leaves from flower stems before standing them in water in the vase. That makes statice quite a conundrum, since the stems are basically entirely clothed in leaves. I put on some disposable nitrile gloves and ran my thumb nail all along the stems to remove the leaves. It took a bit of working out but I managed to get pretty efficient at it by the last one. I don't know if that was the right thing to do, but we'll see.

Partly open with a touch of lavender

Fully open

The rest got aranged in a somewhat organized manner in a second vase and set out on the back porch beside the chairs where Nigel often sits and reads.

A tall Phlox called 'Starfire,' a dark cactus-type Dahlia and lots more 'Totally Tangerine' Dahlia

I have more 'Totally Tangerine' Dahlia than I can cut reasonably. It's taking up real estate in the cutting garden that I can put to use for something else, either a different Dahlia or for Zinnias next year. So I think I will dig some of them and offer them at the next bloggers' swap.

Dahlia 'Totally Tangerine' very happy in the cutting garden

I also did a third arrangement, if you can call it that. I have some very very very tall lilies in the garden. I think they might be 'Black Beauty,' but I can't remember. At any rate, they are much too tall for any support I have, and as soon as they started to open, they all flopped and bent, so I cut them rather than have to keep seeing them in that state in the garden. All except for one that managed to lean on this six-foot tall birdhouse.

I noticed chickadees living in there earlier this spring

There are three candelabra-like stems in this vase

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts In a Vase on Monday. Check out her post here. Lots of people participate in this meme, so be sure and check out the comments, where other bloggers leave links to their posts too.


  1. Glad to hear that you're feeling a bit better. I adore the first arrangement; the pitcher and combination of that dahlia and hosta blooms is fabulous. The zingy pink one breathes the joy of summer and who wouldn't love the fragrance of those tall lilies? Wow, three vases - You go girl!

  2. You're getting very good at this flower arranging ! I never can get myself to cut anything for arranging . I did buy a book at 'Powells' the other day which you might like 'The easy magic of Japanese flower arrangement' by Lee Early Quinn . it was written in 1964 . It's got very funny illustrations , plus Japanese flower arranging requires so few flowers !

  3. The exuberance of summer flowers is wonderful! Well done, Alison!

  4. I love your arrangements this week Alison ! I'm very taken by that white Dahlia with the hints of lavender--very nice ! That Lily looks more like Scheherazade to me -though Black Beauty is easier to spell.

  5. All 3 arrangements are spectacular, Alison. I'm glad you didn't leave them in the garden to wither without their due of admiring comments. Are all those 'Totally Tangerine' from a single tuber?

    Your newest side-bar photos gave me a good chuckle this evening, particularly the one on voodoo. When I was in HR management, I periodically threatened to use voodoo to resolve certain issues. When I left one company, an employee even gave me a voodoo doll as a going away present. If I'd known what the 2016 election would yield, I'd have held on to it.

  6. Sick in the summer heat sucks! I’m sorry. All your vases are luxurious, those flowers are dreamy. I love the shot of the lilies on the bird house, maybe best of all...

  7. Beautiful lilies. All of mine stopped coming back. I think ground animals got them. I love your arrangements of beautiful flowers. Gorgeous!

  8. love the contrast between the two vases. plus it's not often that Hosta flowers are such a perfect match in a bouquet!

  9. I love your bouquets! I don't have dahlia in my garden anymore (got tired of supporting them), but yours look so good! I love the dark-colored arrangement especially.
    P.S. Noticed your comment on Linda's last post (about your hands). I will write you on Instagram direct mail about it.
    Stay cool!

  10. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite. The white Dahlias tinged with lavender is a gorgeous match for the purple blooms. I think you found the perfect way to stake your tall lilies: you need more 6' bird houses!

  11. Oh I like all of these last-minute vases - so pretty! Intersting to read about the statice as I faced that conundrum too yesterday when I picked some of my everlasting blooms ready to preserve for the winter - I have not grown them before so had to goodle how best to do it. I wasn't as thorough as you with stripping the leaves of the statice though! The actual vase that the second arrangement is on is SO perfect for the blooms, and you can't fail with such pretty lilies. Must must must get some TT dahlias for next year!!


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.