In a Vase on Monday: a day late

Hello, hello. I hope you are keeping well. These beautiful Japanese anemones – which although are thugs in our garden, I forgive because they are so elegant and poised – were picked on Sunday, photographed yesterday (Monday) and uploaded today. I picked the pears, too, so they made a cameo appearance. I had full intentions of joining Cathy’s vase gathering yesterday but I hope she won’t mind me being a day late 🙂 Her vase this week is a riot of colourful zinnias in contrast to my very simple offering, so do click on the link to her blog for a blast of colour and to find links to many other beautiful vases from around the world.

My head is a jumble of everything that’s been going on here lately and all the thoughts that pass through a middle-aged mother of offspring who are on the cusp of flying the nest. After six months of having everyone at home (because of you-know-what), the boys will soon be going off to university – Thomas for his third year and Ollie for his first – and because of you-know-what, it is unlikely we will see them again before Christmas. They’re excited and anxious – it’s not going to be the usual uni experience – and I’m anxious and very emotional because I am going to miss them both very much indeed. Harriet is not looking forward to being the only child at home, nor is she particularly looking forward to starting sixth form (but she is happy at the thought of studying three subjects instead of 11). We are all dealing with yoyo-ing emotions on a grand scale.

I’m in the middle of two weeks of holiday (at home) and the heatwave that was bathing the UK in glorious sunshine earlier in August disappeared at the beginning of it. It’s mostly been chilly and wet and windy but I have managed some energetic and therapeutic clearing in the garden (my scratched arms are the scars of a perpetual war with brambles) and cut back the lavender. I’ve picked a load of raspberries and made jam and a raspberry and yoghurt cake (from Diana Henry’s Simple; I used orange zest and juice instead of lemon which was delish) and I’ve roasted loads of plums and greengages which are now tucked into the freezer to use in winter. I’ve stripped all the leaves off my tomato plants in an effort to get them to ripen – they seem very slow this year – and I’ve pulled and roasted the last of the beetroot. I’ve also been perusing the Sarah Raven catalogue and made a list of tulips – I’m going for ‘La Belle Epoque’, ‘Slawa’, more ‘Ballerinas’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ (because you can never have too many of these scented beauties), ‘Copper Image’ and ‘Spring Green’, which are meant to be highly perennial. I still dream of being able to cut armfuls in spring to bring indoors.

It’s back to work on Monday (still working mostly from home) but in the meantime I will be trying to make the most of my remaining holiday, seeing friends, catching up on household chores, as much gardening as I can fit in, shopping with my boys for uni stuff and trying to prepare all my children for their new academic years in this strange and confusing Covid world.
Wish me luck.

6 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: a day late

  1. I think your vase of Japanese anemones is elegant and airy and since I’ve seen a couple of these plants / flowers at this time of year, I think it’s what my garden needs for late summer.

    School is set to begin here next week and oh my, what a mess things are. I just do not know how it’s all going to play out. It’s my last year of teaching and it’s going to be weird and wild. I hope your children do well with the adaptations to you-know-what.

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  2. You summed up the essence of such anemones in your first couple of sentences – they are thuggish but nevertheless elegant and worth tolerating. I agree completely – and love the spent flowers too.

    What a traumatic time for your household, Sam. Everyone has been affected by COVID in different ways but young people with their reduced life experience seem to have come off especially hard, with uncertainty hitting home harder – and there’s you, holding your anxious brood together.. I am sure you will have made a grand job of supporting them, but take care of yourself too, though. Have fun choosing your tulips – SR’s catalogues always look so inviting!


  3. Ah, these Japanese anemones are so exemplary. They do not perform well here. There is a small colony of sickly pale pink Japanese anemones at work, but only a few flowers bloom at the same time. I noticed today that they got roasted by the weather while we were all evacuated. They may not bloom again for another year.


  4. It will be quite an adjustment saying goodbye to two boys. I hope their university experience is good, despite everything. I can’t imagine my youngest will be thrilled to be the only one at home if and when his time comes! My eldest started sixth form yesterday. Not much feedback yet although he did ask for file dividers which I am taking as a positive sign 🙂 He forgot to bring home both of the forms he was given though. Gorgeous Japanese anemones, they really are elegant, even if they are a bit thuggish. We have a mountain of pears here, I’m not quite sure what to do with them all. La Belle Epoque is a lovely tulip, like a peony when it’s in full bloom. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday. CJ xx

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  5. Your vase full of flowers is so pretty! I also love the grey hutch in your dining room. It’s gorgeous! I hope everything goes well for the two going off to university. It has just been a really strange year. Here’s to hoping “normal life” isn’t too far away. The raspberry cake looks delicious by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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