Monday, 1 June 2015

In A Vase On Monday ~ Bluebonnets and Company


The flowers for this vase were mainly picked this morning before the predicted rain and gale force winds had the chance to materialise. It also gave me the opportunity to play about with the creative auto function on my camera.  However the anticipated blurred background has not materialised as I imagined so it's back to the drawing board ..... yet again.


       The contents of the vase are as follows :
  • Astrantia 'Gill Richardson', which is a deep red blood colour and decidedly more vigorous than 'Hadspen Blood' or 'Ruby Wedding' in my experience.
  • An unamed astrantia major that's been in the garden for some considerable time.
  • Aquilegia or 'Granny's Bonnet' - this is a descendant of the one of the very first flowers I grew from seed. If memory serves me well I obtained some seeds of aquilegia 'Hensol Harebell' from The Cottage Garden Society seed exchange. They have reliably reproduced every year since, some with purple rather than blue flowers and some doubles rather than the single form of the original plants.
  • Polemonium caeruleum or 'Jacob's Ladder' which was also obtained from the seed exchange probably around the same time. It's later than usual this year with the flowers still to open properly. Like the aquilegia it seeds itself gently about. I also have a couple of named polemoniums "Lambrook Mauve' and 'Sonia's Bluebell' but this form is my favourite.
  • Cerinthe major purpurescens - a self seeder in this case which appeared in the gravel last autumn just below the flower bed, where one or two plants had flowered in the summer. 
  • The fluffy pink spikes are persicaria bistorta 'superba', formerly known by the slightly naughty but most memorable name of polygonum bistortum 'Superbum'.
  • Anthriscus sylvestris or cow parsley - I picked some errant stems from the gabion border where a couple of plants have seeded themselves. They are due for removal imminently.This plant dominates both sides of the lane leading to where we live in May as well as the uncultivated land behind us. As pretty and ethereal as it is cow parsley is becoming a bit of a thug. This article which describes it as 'a countryside killer' makes for thought provoking reading. 

  • Finally some foliage interest from last week's discarded vase. Foeniculum vulgare or fennel both the green leaved and bronze forms, which were plunged into water did perk up the next day although they still remained on the floppy side. I came to the conclusion that that's perhaps just the nature of the beast. It's one of the most tactile plants I know and emits a delicious aniseedy fragrance when you stroke the leaves.

As usual my vase followed me around the house as I snipped. I'm getting more and more pleasure from this meme as the weeks go on. I will probably remain a 'plonker' rather than an arranger as I'm quite ham fisted and impatient when it comes to completing fiddly tasks with my hands but you never know! Thanks to the lovely Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting so encouragingly each Monday.

16 comments:

  1. This is lovely - soft and natural and very pretty. Like you I've been experimenting with my camera settings, still think I've got a lot to learn.

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  2. It's a delicious combination of blooms. That ruby-colored Astrantia provides a kick but I love that pink Persicaria/polygonum and the blue Polemonium.

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  3. You grow some lovely flowers. I love 'Jacob's Ladder' and haven't been able to establish it in my garden. Must try again.

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  4. I do love the free form of this vase and how it has a cottage feel....I have a stand of superba coming up and was quite surprised and pleased to see them...I hope they last so I can use them in a vase this coming week...My Jacob's Ladder has disappeared I fear and such a lovely flower....Anna you do a wonderful job arranging even if you think of yourself as a plonker.

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  5. Lots of lovely flowers in your vase this week - all in my favourite colours. Next time you are taking photos try using the Av setting and the lowest f stop your camera will allow. That should help to get a blurry background.

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  6. I like Donna's use of the word 'freeform' for what you have said is a plonked vase - mine are definitely all freeform in that case! Apart from the fennel this vase could have been made in my garden so of course I loved it straight away - although thinking about it I don't think I have any aquilegia as perfectly simple and blue as these, and it's only my white polemonium that's flowering so far. I briefly experimented with camera settings, but only briefly!! :) Thanks for sharing today - and for enlightening me about Superbum, which I will struggle not to stick with!

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  7. Your method works nicely, and no need for blurred backdrop as the arrangement stands out nicely, lovely!

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  8. A nice selection there Anna, very pretty - I just can't grow Jacobs Ladder - have tried it several times but it just disappears.

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  9. Very lovely Anna. I do like that dark red Astrantia. I am glad the name of the Persicaria has changed to superba instead - much more decent! The name changes are getting a bit tiresome recently though, don't you think. I have also found the fennel wilts for a few hours but then it lasts and lasts and lasts.... The cow parsley adds a lovely airiness to your vase - I didn't realise it is such a thug, as it isn't so terribly widespread near roadsides here and we still have a lovely mix of wild flowers growing. Interesting to read about that, thanks!

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  10. Lovely colour combination. My cerinthe are just tiny seedlings. Do aquilegias last a long time in water?

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  11. Lovely, a very natural arrangement. Jacob's Ladder is one of those plants which have disappeared in my garden, I must give it another try.

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  12. That's so pretty and spring-like. To achieve the blurry background you need to stop down to about 4 or 4.5 and then stand a few metres away so you are reducing the depth of field; not that I'm an expert, but I'm also learning to use a new camera and the above works for me!

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  13. Beautifully plonked Anna. The aquilegia is a brilliant deep blue.

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  14. Lovely fresh, delicate colours with the pop of Astrantia, I love the smell of fennel foliage too :)

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  15. A lovely summery arrangement. I love the dark Astrantia and the sky- blue Aquiligia. Fennel always flops when I try it in a vase.

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  16. Very pretty, Anna. Your bouquet makes me want to sit outside with a fruity drink and those flowers on the table beside me. I too have some of the pink bottle brush blooming. I had forgotten the name of it, but going forward it shall now be known as "superbum." I suspect my little boy will love that. :)

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.