In a Vase on Monday and a garden catch-up

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Instead of my usual approach to IaVoM (when I pick a bunch of whatever’s flowering well and a few sprigs of greenery and plonk them in a suitable vase), this week I’d like to show you Ammi visnaga ‘White’ in detail – a study from the flowerhead as it fades and goes to seed. Sorry for the dull lighting in the photos – it’s a grey old day today and the light is low. You can see much brighter pictures of the cut flowerheads used in a vase here.

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You can see all the tiny seeds at the end of the curled stems.

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I grew this hardy annual from seed for the first time this year, sowing in March and planting outside in early July. As you know, we live by the sea and it can get a little breezy; it’s also been an incredibly dry summer. Top marks, then, to this plant which has coped with pretty tough growing conditions and provided loads of lovely, domes and plate-like heads of minute white flowers. I know I’ve extolled the virtues of it before but it really has been wonderful for attracting insects and a magnet for bees and hoverflies. It adds a certain drama to a vase of cut flowers but there’s one thing that slightly lets it down: the smell. It’s meant to be unscented but it does have one – it’s hard to describe but let’s just say it’s bordering on unpleasant. You do have to get close to catch a whiff of it, though, so I do allow it in the house 🙂

I’m joining in as usual with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden where you’ll find some gorgeous colourful blooms and links to many other lovely vases.

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I’ve not had much time for gardening lately but I did get outside yesterday to take some photographs, have a proper look at what’s going on and make a mental to-do list.

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This Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ is about three years old and I love the relaxed, airy habit. Not all the flowers are the red-and-white that they should be, quite a few are all-white, which I actually prefer. Salvias seem happy here and I’d like to grow lots more.
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Verbena rigida – another favourite plant. I love this and V. bonariansis.
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A load of Gaura lindheimeri ‘The Bride’ looking rather floppy and wind-blown.
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This unknown penstemon has produced a second flush of flowers after being cut back in mid-August.
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Nasturium ‘Jewel Charry Rose’ has romped away covering a grotty area by the garden tap. There are loads of seed pods, so I’ll collect some for sowing next year. I’m sure it’ll sow itself too.
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I filled several pots with geraniums three summers ago – they’ve survived each winter since and still flower away even though they’re hardly ever watered. I dead-head them occasionally and cut them back each late spring. Brilliant, value-for-money plants.
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Verbena bonariensis close-up – in my opinion, no garden can have too much of this wonderful plant.
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An illustration of why Japanese anemone is a weed in our garden – it’s growing up through the front steps; it’s on the march…
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Cosmos seed – plants for next year for free.
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One of the Anemone coronarias still flowering.
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Cyclamen that we transplanted last year.
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The pink Japanese anemone isn’t as determined to take over the garden as the white one.
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Water lilies now flowering in the pond, thanks to my mother-in-law clearing it out earlier in the summer.

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Have a good week.

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45 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday and a garden catch-up

  1. How beautiful your garden flowers are looking. You have reminded me that I need to plunge my hands into my pond and reduce my waterlily. Ugh, I am NOT looking forward to that. Love the colour of that nasturtium, absolutely gorgeous. I grew ammi down at the plot this year and it’s done pretty well despite a smidgen of neglect. CJ xx

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  2. Is that a wild carrot? We have very similar blooms here at present and our hot lips is also a bit hit-and-miss with the red lips bit! I too need to clear out the water lily which is taking over xx

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  3. All umbellifers are beloved by bees and I think ammi is terrific. You are going to have lots of seed for next year.
    Isn’ t this a lovely time in the garden? Everything is enjoying the warm weather and the show looks set to go on for a while yet. I love your yellow water lily.

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  4. Thank you for sharing the other blooms in your garden as well as your vases – it’s good to see what else yu have growing. And what an original idea to show the different stages of ammi – the first time I grew it I found it most intriguing and the dry heads make such a statement too. Must remember to collect seds from mine – and my cosmos too. I was too rigourous in deadheading my cosmos last year!

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  5. The japanese anemones I planted three years ago are just getting into their stride, not to mention tentatively sizing up their surroundings with a view to expansion. I have a feeling it may be war next year.

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  6. I so enjoyed seeing your photos today Sam, what a great idea for a vase post. I must try again with ammi, I’m afraid I’ve never been able to get it to maturity either here or at the allotment. Your late September garden looks gorgeous too. I keep my white Japanese anemone in check by growing it in the same bed as Cornus Midwinter Fire, which seems to work. Erigeron and V. bonariensis are some of the hardest working plants in my garden and you’ve reminded me to take cuttings from Salvia Nachtvlinder which is currently being smothered by a euphorbia.

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    1. That’s interesting about the Cornus, Sarah. I haven’t heard of that before. I love Midwinter Fire (had some in our old garden). I spotted that Salvia on another blog (think it was Chloris’s but could be wrong) and made a note – it’s very pretty. Hope all’s well x

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  7. Your garden is so pretty Sam. I love your study of Ammi visnaga, beautifully displayed and captured. I wonder if this would be available in my part of the world? Many plants that cope with coastal conditions tend to cope with our dry climatic conditions also. Interesting. Happy gardening!

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  8. I love the idea of your vase – fading away… I’ve got a couple of stems of an achillea in my vase this week which fades from bright yellow and pink to cream. Ah you’ve got such a lot of plants still flowering – looks glorious – I’ve got two big pink and white geraniums followering away (over wintered three times in soggy Manchester) – and my cosmos are flowering still – and slug munched dahlias… Autumn is on it’s way here… have a lovely week – love bec xx

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  9. Like Karen above, I let some of my purple carrots go to seed and they look remarkably like your Ammis. We have so many carrot-related wild and vegetable plants here, that I don’t need to plant any, but, like you, I love their evolution.

    Have you ever pickled nasturtium seeds? I just learned about it, apparently they turn out a bit like capers.

    Finally, what’s your advice on Japanese Anemones? Are they too invasive?

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    1. I had heard that all parts of the nasturtium are edible – leaves, flowers and seeds – I’ve eaten the flowers but not the seeds. I may give them a go… Hmm, J. anemones… They’re hugely invasive here and seem to grow in concrete. I’d steer well clear but they are pretty and the pink ones seem less brutish. Perhaps give them a go but keep a careful eye on them?

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  10. A lovely post Sam, jam-packed with flowers! I have never grown Ammi but I love watching Queen Ann’s Lace which curls up in the same way and this is a beautiful way to showcase the flower in all its wonderful stages. Very lovely! 🙂

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  11. I love your botanical photos, it is so interesting to see the transformations.
    I have also had success with geraniums, so long as we have a mildish winter they make it through. Sometimes I snip off cuttings and keep them inside in a jam jar and by the spring they have each grown roots ready to be planted outside again. If only other plants were so easy 🙂

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  12. I have to share your praise of Ammi visnaga ‘White. I too grew it this year for the first time and it has been wonderful, I hadn’t noticed the smell even though I have been bringing it as a cut flower! I too was amazed how the seed head curled up! Let’s hope we both have lots of plants of it next year. Sarah x

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  13. Boy, I wish I had thought of In A Vase On Monday. Given I didn’t, I’m glad you did, and I can enjoy it too. Thank you!

    Nothing (exc my children) makes me happier than arranging flowers in a vase, especially if I have grown them myself. I recently moved from a home with an enormous garden which I transformed over 12 years from piles of builders’ rubble to my pride and joy. Now I have a tiny North facing plot which had nothing in it at all when I arrived last year but a bald lawn. No flowers to harvest as yet. And most of my many vases had to go when I moved, too…. Still, I am enjoying the work and today went to a garden centre and came back with some ground cover, a couple of climbers and some seeds. Happy day.

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    1. I can’t take credit for the In a Vase on Monday meme – it’s Cathy’s at Rambling in the Garden – but I do love taking part. I know what you mean about vases of flowers. Enjoy your new garden.

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