Cathy who hosts the meme: ‘In a vase on Monday’ has inspired many of us to create a cutting garden so that we always have plenty of cut flowers without spoiling the effect in other parts of the garden. I have turned over one of my raised vegetable beds to cut flowers this year and I have enjoyed vases full of flowers all summer. I don’t miss the brassicas that would have been here because apart from the problem of the ubiquitous pigeons, I detest eating boiled caterpillers along with my cauliflowers.
My vases today are both fluffy. The first has a flower that I have never grown before. It is an annual knapweed with huge, cream fluffy heads and straggly whiskers. It is called Centuarea americana ‘Aloha Blanca’.
The description in the seed catalogue was ‘ivory white’ but it is more cream and so I used some biscuit-coloured heads of Stipa gigantea and fluffy, cream bunny tails from Pennisetum villosum to accompany it.
Pennisetum villosum has lovely buff coloured flowers and is not supposed to be hardy but I have had mine for years. Pennisetum orientale is more reliably hardy and has slightly pinkish seedheads in great abundance.
You can get Centaurea americana in pale pink too, it is called ‘Aloha Rosa’, and perhaps I will try it next year. It would look pretty in a vase with Pennisetum orientale. The seed packet says that Centaurea americana is good as a dried flower but I am disappointed with the ones I have dried as they have shrivelled and lost the lovely fluffy effect.
The second vase is a dear little jug given to me by lovely Anne who knows about my weakness for jugs. I have used the fluffy little powder puffs of a tall growing annual Ageratum houstonianum ‘Blue Horizon’.
I love these powder blue flowers and I have a tall, bushy perennial ageratum too, Ageratum corymbosum which has the lovely common name, Butterfly Mist. It is slightly tender and has to overwinter in the greenhouse. It would make a good conservatory plant. It grows quite tall although here it is dwarfed by the tall stems of Nicotiana mutabilis.
My fluffy flowers today are my contribution to Cathy’s meme, In a Vase on Monday. Do pop over to Ramblinginthegarden and see Cathy’s Asteroid Explosion.