In a Vase on Monday. Brown Study.

I have been away for a few days for sad reasons and doing the tour of the garden on such a dismal, wet day in November does not cheer the soul. But there are still a few summer stragglers and I picked a few to join in with Cathy’s meme and to bring a bit of a cheer to the house.
I used my brown Chesterfield jug and my brown, boxwood, frog netsuke to accompany it. He is clutching a lotus seedhead. Both the frog and the lotus flower seedhead symbolise new beginnings, rebirth and rejuvenation so they are like a promise of spring at the most dismal time of the year.
The keys from Acer hersii and seedheads from Thalictrum delavii  and Clematis  tangutica are brown but give a promise of new plants to come. Everything else gives a nice boost of well needed colour.
By Christmas the birds will probably have eaten all the holly berries but they need them more than I do. Who would have thought there would still be a tassel of Amaranthus caudatus,’Love-lies-Bleeding’ hanging on? And  the white flowers of Solanum jasminoides bloom for months and only stop with the really hard frosts.

I have already written about my favourite Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ and it is still looking lovely. I went to Chelsea Physic garden last week for a fabulous day listening to garden designers such as  lovely Diarmuid Gavin and Arne Maynard talk about their work. Also speaking were Julian and Isobel Bannerman who created the stumpery at Highgrove. I looked for Chrysanthemum  ‘Chelsea Garden’ but couldn’t find it. Unfortunately time was too short for a thorough search. But here is mine.

Chrysanthemum 'Chelsea Physic Garden'

Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’

The daisy flowered Chrysanthemum is the old, reliable ‘Clara Curtis’. I suppose I should give it the correct name. It is now Dendranthema x rubellum ‘Clara Curtis’. What a bore.
On  the right you can see that my Alcalthaea suffrtescens ‘Parkallee’ is still blooming and it is a lovely match for ‘Clara Curtis’. The silky flowers are beginning to look a bit battered but it is amazing how long they keep going for.

There are still a few roses, they usually keep on until December, when as Reginald Farrer said, they begin to take on the appearance of ‘withered moths’. So far they have not been battered too much by frost. I am not sure which I have here as they were already in the garden.

That lovely spike of salvia is from the greenhouse. It is Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’. It has felty flowers and felty willow-shaped leaves. I also used a purple Salvia ‘Amistad’ which is still blooming in the garden.


Other flowers include an orange marigold, Calendula straggler and  a couple of sprigs of Penstemon ‘King George v’ which is a reliable, strong-growing penstemon. The little blue flower on the left in the next photograph is Ceratostigma willmottianum which I like for its gentian-blue flowers and lovely red foliage in autumn.

Here it is growing in the garden with the honey-scented Euphorbia mellifera. I think it looks lovely now. Unfortunately it looks awful in spring because like the shrubby Potentilla fruticosa, it is very late coming into leaf and looks dead. But right now I can overlook that.

Ceratostigma willmottianum with Euphorbia mellifera

Ceratostigma willmottianum with Euphorbia mellifera

So there we have my vase on a Stygian dark day in November. Do go over to Ramblinginthegarden and see what Cathy has in a vase today. It is just what the doctor ordered. And then you can look at vases  created by all her followers. It is interesting to see what people find for a vase at this time of the year. But garden bloggers are a creative lot and you can be sure they will come up with something  lovely.


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39 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. Brown Study.

  1. Christina says:

    You have created a very bright, full vase for a November day; It is surprising what we can find; we’ll have dried seed-heads and grasses for long enough to it is lovely to have some colour now.

  2. AnnetteM says:

    Lovely! I am sure this vase is cheering your house and yourselves. The lovely spike of Salvia really caught my eye. It is beautiful.

    • Chloris says:

      It is lovely to bring a bit of colour inside in November. This is the time we need vases of flowers more than ever. Yes, that is a lovely salvia and very furry and tactile.

  3. Peter Herpst says:

    I’m sorry that you’ve been away for sad reasons but hope that your gorgeous autumnal arrangement brings some cheer. You’ve found some beauties in your garden!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Peter. It would be very sad not to have something to enjoy in the garden and it is a treat to have things to pick for a vase. Yes, it does bring some cheer into the room when it is so dank outside.

  4. What a wonderful arrangement. Loved your description as “Stygian.” And what a lucky gardener you are to have heard such a grouping of well-known gardeners and at the Physic Garden, no less. I treated myself of Arne’s book last year and love it. The Bannerman’s have a book that’s just been published but I have not seen it yet.

    • Chloris says:

      It was a real treat to attend the ‘ Garden Makers’ day at Chelsea Physic Garden. The Bannermann book was for sale but I didn’ t buy it as it was very expensive. Arne was selling his book too but I didn’ t buy that either although I thought it looked wonderful.

  5. Cathy says:

    You couldn’t be bothered with your summer stragglers for GBBD but you have made good use of them there, Chloris – what a pretty and motley collection you have and I like the addition of such an appropriate netsuke. Why are ‘they’ renaming chrysyanthemums, or is it just daisy flowered ones? And is Salvia leucantha not hardy at all?

    • Chloris says:

      By this time of the month I am grateful for the summer stragglers.
      They have been chopping and changing and regrouping chrysanthemum names for years now. They have decided that Dendranthema is the name for hardy garden mums. Chrysanthemum is still used for florists’ mums. And then there is the rest which we won’ t bother with here. Anyway, that is for now, until they change again.
      I don’ t know if Salvia leucantha is hardy, I was only given it recently, it was a gift from a gardening friend. I think she keeps it in the greenhouse.
      I stiil haven’ t sent you your salvia cuttings, I am so sorry, things have been a bit hectic lately. Have faith, they will arrive eventually.

      • Cathy says:

        If we are not sure we shall just ask you Chloris as you always seem to have your ear to the ground. Do catch up on your own garden tasks before you think of supplying any cuttings though – we need to take advantage of any let-ups in the rain when we can!

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Impressive amount of flowers still blooming in your garden, Chloris. You’ve created a beautiful arrangement to cheer us up on this gray November day!

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Your late fall medley is a reminder that the garden gives and gives and gives. Sending sunny hugs and thoughts of peace your way.

  8. What a sweet little frog. I hope that these beauties of the garden lift your spirits.

  9. I hope this week brings days filled with light. I love the netsuke frog and his prize, as well as the blooms rescued from your fall garden. I’m envious of your lecture series at Chelsea. I admire Diarmuid Gavin but since real garden shows have virtually disappeared from US television (the “G” should be excised from “HGTV”) I’ve heard nothing of him – I’ll have to trawl through youtube listings for UK features.

  10. I love the mixture, especially the berries and the Clematis seedheads, love the swirlyness. The jug must be bigger than it looks to get all those flowers in it! My mother had one like that and it made me wonder if I have it.
    Like Kris above, I trawl for Monty Don on youtube and wish I could go look for Chrysanthemums in Chelsea Garden.

    • Chloris says:

      The jug comes from Chesterfield near where I grew up so it is special to me. You can’t beat a little brown jug. If you come to England again the Chelsea Physic Garden is fascinating.

  11. Bodger says:

    Thank you for the antidote to stormy Monday jugged flowers. The names I’ve learned are all being threatened by those botanist bean counters, who change things just to keep busy, I think. Sorry for the sad, feel better soon.

  12. How amazing that you have such an extensive selection of flowers at this time of the year. That in itself should help to cheer you and raise your spirits Chloris. The weather has been exceptionally revolting today, testing for any mood.

  13. homeslip says:

    Oh, this is such a beautiful collection in your Chesterfield jug. (The magazine I worked on for years was printed in Chesterfield and I would occasionally visit to see a particularly crazy issue through the hot press. How times have changed.) A day at Chelsea Physic Garden lsounds delightful. I always learn ssomerhing new when visiting here – thank you Chloris. Wishing you sunnier and uplifting days ahead.

    • Chloris says:

      I grew up not far from Chesterfield and so it is special to me. The Chelsea Physic Garden day was terrific. I wondered whether you might be there as it is the sort of thing you would love. But then I don’t suppose I would have recognised you even if you had been there.

  14. snowbird says:

    What a colourful vase! The only thing I seem to have flowering are limp roses and solanum. I’m amazed at the variety you have here, and I just love your sweet little frog.
    Sorry to hear you have had sad

    • Chloris says:

      They are nearly all gone now Dina,it is dismal out there. But some lucky girls are having December adventures in Budapest. I’m looking forward to reading all about it.

  15. Cathy says:

    You have certainly come up with something lovely this week, and I am amazed how many hangers on your garden has! Your vase is a reason to feel better but I do hope you get some sunshine soon too. November sunshine works wonders. 😉

  16. Bec says:

    I’m so sorry to hear it’s been a sad time for you (and wet, cold weather doesn’t help either – it’s lovely to see all the different flowers you’ve picked from the garden (and green house too). The salvia is beautiful – but then I really love purple flowered plants 🙂 hope you have a dry week. take care love bec xx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Bec, you are kind. The November garden does produce quite a bit to enjoy, specially with all the Chrysanthemums. There’s not much now though.

  17. I do like how the Amaranthus is mixed in.

    • Chloris says:

      I love the traily Bleeding Heart. I sowed quite a lot and then forgot to plant it out. This poor thing was still in the seed box valiantly flowering away.

  18. Sorry to hear there has been sadness in your life. You have done well to bring us such a lovely display. x

  19. Chloris says:

    Thank you Gill. Novemeber is still quite floriferous. It’s mostly gone now though after quite hard frosts.

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