In a Vase on Monday: Fading


The farmer has been muck-spreading. I can’t describe the smell other than to tell you that it catches in the back of the throat and almost makes your eyes water. On the upside, there are insects galore and swallows and martins swooping about, feasting and twittering, building up their strength for migrating to Africa for the winter. There are also flocks of finches in among the seed heads on the clifftops, rising en masse as I approach with the dog, making their tinkling sound, settling again as I walk past. Witnessing these birds going about their age-old business makes me feel all is right with my little part of the world. It’s cooler now – I needed a jumper this morning – but the air is calm and there’s a softness to the light. I found this conker slap bang in the middle of the lane to the farm, it’s shiny burnished skin caught my eye. Not unusual at this time of year apart from the fact that there are no horse chestnut trees there or anywhere nearby. Curious.

The garden is feeling distinctly past its best. We’ve not got on top of making sure there is year-round interest yet. In our previous garden we were all fresh from studying horticulture and keen to ensure the garden looked good all year round. Still, it’s important to take your time and ponder these matters. I’ve picked a rather random selection of slightly imperfect and fading blooms because I think they’re still beautiful – a couple of sunflowers (the yellow one is ‘Valentine’ and the dark one is ‘Claret’), cosmos, Japanese anemone (white and pink, unknown varieties), Ammi visnaga, Perovskia (Russian Sage), Echinops, Verbena bonariensis, lavender, an aster that’s appeared from nowhere, and some tendrils of jasmine foliage.

I’m joining in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden where you’ll find her vase of colourful blooms (her garden flowers are still going strong) and links to others from around the world.

Have an excellent week.

29 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Fading

  1. I wonder if the conker has dropped from someon’e pocket – I would always pick up a nice shiny conker when I saw one and I am sure I am not the only one. Well, I am not – as you did too! Your blooms don’t really look dishevelled, but it’s good to know you have made the most of them just before they turn their toes up. That claret sunflower is really striking. Thanks for sharing


  2. Your vase is very pretty and sings of the end of summer but doesn’t look past its best at all. I know the muck is horrible but at least it isn’t artificial fertilisers and herbicides and pesticides as it is now here – The smell will go, the effects of the chemicals will remain on my own crops!


  3. I can’t detect any fading in your vase – it all looks very lovely and late summery. That sunflower is rather nice! Have a great week Sam, and hope that smell goes away soon… the farmers are only allowed to spread muck here if rain has been forecast. Still smells though!


  4. I do love a claret sunflower. I didn’t grow any at all this year, I usually grow a red one of some sort. I think the conker fell out of a small boy’s pocket, that’s usually where I find most of mine. I know what you mean about things fading, I can feel it here too. CJ xx


  5. Aren’t those Ammi sculptural? They add so much to a lovely vase. I am glad to see that you got some sunflowers passed the slugs. Both lovely choices. I am a big fan of Valentine, because it is so generous with its flowers.


  6. What a lovely September arrangement. I love the sunflower. I see you are using cosmos too. I meant to tell you that the cosmos you sent me has been delighting me all summer. Thank you.


  7. Hah! Now I know what buckeyes are! They were as much a mystery to me as Dr. Pepper (mysterious favovoured drink of The Kids From Fame!). I sent the Small Girl into school the other day with a conker for the nature table. If I were to write a ‘favourite things’ song, conkers would be in the chorus.


  8. I love your description of the birds. Since moving to Maine, my days are bounded by sky and birds. The birds likewise make me feel all is right with my part of the world. Conkers!


  9. If you keep a conker in the house it is supposed to keep spiders away!

    Has the farmer being hauling trailer loads of straw to the farm? Tree leaves, branches and perhaps conkers become broken off when passing underneath, and then drop to the drive as the trailers go along. This theory is of course flawed if the answer is no!


  10. The flowers are still beautiful, I do love those sunflowers. Mine too are fading and the garden is looking tired overall. We haven’t yet had the pleasure of this season’s muck-spreading, but I’m sure it’s soon to come 🙂


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