greentapestry : IAVOM ~ Old Friends

Monday 11 May 2020

IAVOM ~ Old Friends

"Old friends, old friends 
  Sat on their parkbench like bookends"

~ from 'Old Friends' by Simon & Garfunkel.

The the plants 'In A Vase On Monday' are some old friends, who have been favourite May bookends for years. Their numbers are :
  • A sprinkling of a grass in the shape of millium effusum 'Aureum' also known as 'Bowles Golden Grass'. The leaves which are not in the vase are an attractive golden yellow. This plant prefers partial shade or shade as the leaves can be scorched by strong sun. Although it seeds itself gently about every year it has never become a nuisance.
  • Aquilegia - I think that these are self-seeders from aquilegia 'Hensol Harebell'. Although they have a relatively short flowering time I think that they make up for that in other ways.
  • Polemonium caeruleum or to give it it's common name 'Jacob's Ladder', an easy going perennial. This is given to self- seeding but like the millium never to excess.
  • Geranium phaeum - the darker one may have come with a variety name but it is long since forgotten whilst the paler one is a self-seeder I think. It may look white but is in fact a shade of off-white.

All the above apart from the geranium were sown from seed which I obtained from either The Cottage Garden Society or the Hardy Plant Society. I've been a member of both organisations for many years. One of the benefits of membership  of both societies is the opportunity to benefit from an annual distribution scheme where you can find a wide range of seeds at a much reduced cost than from a commercial seed company. All seeds are donated by members of the society. 
The navy vase is another in the set of small vases which my sister gave me as a present. I used the green one in the set last week as a container for lily of the valley. Cathy asked me what the other colours in the set are so I thought that I would use another from the set this week. I thought that there were five in the set but there are in fact four. They come from Sarah Raven and are described as ink bottles. The colours are listed on her website as navy, amethyst, dark green and purple. They can be bought as a set or as individual vases. Mine all came with cork stoppers.

As it is often is on a Monday today has been somewhat breezy albeit the wind is not as cruel as yesterday which felt like a throwback to winter. Panic was almost ensuing last night when it dawned on me that I had forgotten to buy some new fleece covering last autumn. Short of bringing all my seedlings into the house the only option was to rely on the little electric heater to come on to keep the temperature at a few degrees plus. The tomato plants and basil did come in for the night. Luckily we were spared frost and I hope that you were too if you live in the U.K. I've noticed some scorched leaves on astrantias but I daresay that they will recover and I think it was wind damage rather than the cold that got to them.

With thanks as always to Cathy over at 'Rambling In The Garden' for hosting.
Featuring in her vase this week are some more familiar and lovely old Maytime friends.


  1. We have masses of aquilegia that have seeded all over. Colours and flower shapes change from parent plants

  2. Reliable old friends indeed, although I don't have any of the millium - is it a perennial? Good to see you litttle vases getting planty of use - I have seen them in the SR catalogue and they are such pretty colours. It didn't go believe about 3 degrees in the g/hs last night, but it is meant to be colder tonight. I covered the dahlias and things planted out in the cutting beds should be hardy enough to cope (I hope!) although as you say the wind is perhaps the fiercer of the two enemies

  3. I adore that Aquilegia, Anna! I try growing them here periodically but they often fail to come back for a second season. I saw one working on a return visit before last week's second heatwave - your post is a good reminder to see if it's still there or ducked back underground.

  4. That's such a pretty arrangement.

  5. All the flowers have such a soft feel and I am pleased they survived the chilling winds. I also like the way you have been able to capture the light falling on the small lime green flowers of the 'Bowles Golden Grass'. Lovely pictures vase of your Old Friends.

  6. A pretty vase and lovely contents Anna. The white G. phaeum is gorgeous - I had a white one in the old garden too but it will stay there as it likes the shady spot it has. Hope your frosts are now over... bringing things in every evening is rather tedious. We may get one or two more frosty nights this weekend and then I will finally sow some basil too. :-)

  7. Granny's Bonnet - Aquilegia is a fabulous plant.... tough too!
    A study in mauve.


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- Anna.