In a vase on Monday: A–Z

With so much to choose from in the garden this week, I’ve picked just two different flowers – Ammi and Zinnia – for a Monday vase.

All the ammi (Ammi visnaga) are self-seeded from plants I grew from seed last year; they’re over-crowded and some are growing where I don’t want them. Rather than chuck those I’ve pulled up onto the compost heap, I chopped their roots and lower leaves off and plonked them in water.

This is the first year I’ve grown zinnias and I expected them to be rather prima-donna-ish but they seem pretty tough. According to what I’ve read, they hate root disturbance, don’t like overwatering and can’t be planted out until it’s warm enough to sit outside in the evening without wearing a cashmere wrap (I made that last but up). I was quite careful about potting on the seedlings, but not overly so, and there’s not much danger of them being overwatered around here. I was a bit worried about the temperature but I needn’t have as it’s been almost Mediterranean-like here. The major problem has been our slimy foes, the slugs and snails. A fair few pristine zinnias have been toppled and munched, sadly, – I reckon I’ve lost a third of the plants – but the survivors are hitting their stride now and starting to pump out flowers. They’re great for cutting as they last for ages in a vase, the colours are fantastic and they’re like sweet peas – the more flowers you cut, the more you’ll get, so that’s what I’m doing.

How’s life with you? It’s the last week of school before the summer holidays here and everyone is weary; the children are especially weary this afternoon as it was Sports Day today. Despite emails from the school inviting parents along to watch, my three pleaded with me not to go: ‘It would be social suicide, Mum!’. Mortifying our children seems to be something we’re particularly good at but I graciously stayed at home. It seems only five minutes since they were telling me where to stand so they could see me and to shout loudly. How times change.

‘In a Vase on Monday’ is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. I recommend visiting her blog to see what she and other bloggers from around the world have found to put in a vase today; it’s always inspiring.

Wishing you a good week.

14 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday: A–Z

  1. Love the theme of the last days at school and A to Z. Reading about your experience with zinnias is making me consider growing these next year. My new garden catches plenty of sun.


  2. It’s a lovely vase Sam, and a great title too! I only have two zinnias left from a whole seed packet, so I know how you feel! They are obviously tasty for both snails and slugs…


  3. Hurrah for zinnias – I have successful ones this year too, free of slugs in the cutting beds, but a little nibbled elsewhere. Good to have self seeded ammi, even if you have had to hoik many of them out and I love the the A to Z title for your vase of zinnias and ammi. Enjoy your end of term and the gearing up fr the summer holidays


  4. Oh, the trials of keeping up with the wants of children! It seems to me that you’re handling these with grace. I’m glad to find that you’ve had success with zinnias too. It’s funny but here the relative lack of water is usually the reason for their demise but then we’re stingy with the irrigation these days and we usually get zero water courtesy of Mother Nature from May until October. Luckily, though, we can sow our seed directly in the garden so no transplanting is required.


  5. My middle one keeps telling me not to go to stuff, and then ALL the other mums do and I feel all sad and left out. And I think maybe he actually wishes I was there after all too. So I have decided that from now on I shall ignore him and attend everything. I have that same outside table I think, except without the lovely flowers and the stunning view. Just in from watering everything here, should be hot tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the week Sam. CJ xx


  6. I thought that once the children had left primary school, our main role as parents is to be an embarassment.

    It looks as though you’re having good weather – I hope it lasts for the school holidays.


  7. Pretty photos & flowers as usual Sam. This summer I am going to try zinnias for the first time. I have heard they flower well in our hot summer conditions. Time will tell…perhaps they are fussier than I first thought? I (secretly!) don’t really enjoy standing around in what is always freezing cold conditions for our Sports Days. I am sure you would have used this time wisely, minus the shouting! Jane x


  8. The zinnias look lovely nestling in the ammi foliage; they look like they’re taking shade on a hot day. I grew zinnias this year (trying again after a total failure a few years ago) and I too found them to be tougher than expected. Funnily enough they were struggling away being mollycoddled in the greenhouse so I planted them out earlier than is advised, and off they went.


  9. At their age, if your children didn’t consider you an embarrassment, it would be time to worry. It’s a natural progression to independence. You don’t want them living in your house until they are 40, after all! I am trying zinnias, too, this year and have a few plants that are doing well. No flowers yet, though. I’m encouraged to see that you managed to get some all the way to flower-hood.


  10. You are too kind to your children. Being embarrassed by their parents is good for them. Anyway, a lovely vase. I’m crazy about Zinnias myself, especially red and orange ones. They are very tough plants during a hot summer.


  11. You are right about our slimy foes, they have hardly left me any zinnias this year. They are wonderful though and come in such amazing colours. (zinnias, not slugs.) And I am crazy about umbellifers, specially ammi. Lovely choices for your vase.


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