In a Vase on Monday: effervescent

The starter for today’s vase was cow parsley – there is so much of this lacy loveliness billowing along the lanes and some has even crept into the garden. Joining it in the larger vase are several stems of dark purple aquilegia, some nigella, a few fronds of fennel and some long stems of Briza media (quaking grass), a lovely grass that is perfect for vases. This is yet another self seeder which has generously spread itself widely.

In the small green vase are some pink scented pelargonium flowers that I snipped off a couple of leggy plants we bought at a plant sale at the weekend, some more briza, a fennel frond and the very last of the ‘Black Parrot’ tulips I found hiding among the foliage.

There’s a lot going on in the garden – we completely cleared the rampant weeds from one half of the terrace where we grew veg and annuals for cutting last year and we moved five of the Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ to here to add height and rhythm. We didn’t realise quite how chunky they’d be when we planted them last year and several were planted too close together or too near other plants. Hopefully they’ll transplant and settle in well.

It was a weekend of plant sales – a large one at the local National Trust visitor centre and a smaller one in a nearby village – and we bought a load of lovely plants to fill gaps and to go into this newly cleared area. Foxgloves, salvias, ajuga, verbascums, Centaurea nigra, cornflowers, cosmos and more. Lots of beauty to come.

In other news… Study leave has started here. My daughter went into school on her own this morning remarking ‘Well, this is a vision of the future!’. Indeed. Exams for my younger son are scattered throughout the next five weeks; the eldest’s start after half term. I’m doing my best to not stick my oar in but instead stick to tea-making, cake-providing and exuding an air of calm…

Thank you for your comments on my blog in recent weeks, sorry I haven’t responded or visited many blogs recently. It’s all been a bit full-on but I’m hoping to catch up soon. I’m starting with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see her flowers and what others have found to put in a vase this fine Monday.

Wishing you a very good week. Bye for now.

[By the way, there’s been some good news for Agnes recently (for those of you who’ve been cheering it on; thank you). The website appeared in The Guardian Weekend magazine last weekend in Annalisa Barbieri’s advice column and an education guru tweeted about it a couple of days ago; the stats have since rocketed. Sixteen months after launching, Agnes seems to be gaining traction and hopefully it will become more widely known and inform and inspire more girls.]


14 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: effervescent

  1. Beautifully photographed Sam! I adore cow parsley and after trying some cultivated ammi flowers last year I have decided there is no beating the wild flower! Later we get Queen Ann’s Lace (Carota daucus) in the hedgerows too. 🙂


  2. I appreciate the airy look of both vases, Sam. Cow parsley is wonderful! I know it’s common in the UK but I wish I could grow it here. I’m making do with bolting cilantro (Coriandrum) to create that effect. Best wishes managing the exam nerves.


  3. Oh that’s such good news about Agnes, Sam – that’s all it needed, publicity in the national press or other media. How many visits is the site getting on an average day now? Your big jug in particular certainly makes a statement – isn’t it nice to have lots to choose from now? Good luck with keeping a low profile during the next few weeks – you will all enjoy the summer even more once all the exams are over!


  4. Suddenly everywhere has exploded into colour! I adore cow parsley though it never lasts long in a vase for me – perhaps I should be plunging the stems into boiling water or somesuch. Beautiful flowers Sam.


  5. Great news about Agnes, well done you, I’m glad it’s doing so well. Gorgeous flowers. I have stolen lilacs here, I snaffle them every year from bushes in the back lane. Well done on all the gardening, everything is suddenly rocketing away isn’t it. Have a great week Sam. CJ xx


  6. Lovely photos. Good luck to everyone taking exams and fantastic news about Agnes. Onwards and upwards. X


  7. Sam, that’s wonderful news about Agnes. Well done you.

    As always gorgeous flowers. You have nigella already?? A lot of my perennials haven’t made it through winter this time. I am looking forward to buying some new ones after meandering among garden centres and plant sales.

    Very best of luck to the exam takers xx


  8. I’m thrilled to hear that Agnes is getting the attention it deserves. All that work is paying off. You are way, way ahead of us in flowering this year. My Nigella are just little sproutlings–but seem to be coming up everywhere this year. Best of luck to your boys on their exams. It must suck the life out of all of you having to deal with weeks of stress. Eat lots of goodies, enjoy some good wine, and put your feet up occasionally.


  9. I love the blue Nigella. It doesn’t grow well for me which is funny because elsewhere I have seen it grow like a weed. Good luck exuding your air of calm, and congratulations on your blog Agnes.


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