In a Vase on Monday. Tyrian Purple.

Last week I celebrated autumn in my arrangement, but today is October and I feel I need  to recapture the memories of summer with some lush shades of  purple, mauve and violet.  Tyrian purple was a costly imperial colour made from thousands of tiny snails. No snails were involved in my arrangement.

Asters are reigning in the garden at the moment and I love the small starry ones which are true to their name. I used my favourites; ‘Le Vasterival’, ‘Little Carlow’, Aster cordifolius ‘Ideal’ and Aster cordifolius ‘Photograph’. These are all actually now symphyotrichums but today I am sticking with the name asters.

There are a couple of salvias; Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’ and Salvia ‘Amistad’ which is a true purple  and looks as if it could be made from crushed snails, unlike the rest of my blooms today.

I also used the lovely white and lilac coloured Solanum laxum ‘Crèche ar Pape’ which I thought must be a misprint when  first I saw its name  because it doesn’t make sense, but ‘Crèche ar Pape‘ is actually the name of a garden in Brittany. I notice a lot of people are listing it as ‘Crèche du Pape’ now which sounds grammatically correct,  but bizarre. Being celibate, I don’t suppose the pope has much need of a crib.

Other flowers are a dahlia seedling,  which is cheating because it’s pink,  a few late sprigs of lavender, Verbena bonariensis and Geranium ‘Rosanne’ which blooms all summer long.  I have featured  the fluffy heads of Ageratum ‘Blue Horizon’ before and I will certainly grow it next year as it blooms for ages and is a wonderful cut flower. Ok, I know these are blue but they go quite well with the purple and lilac.

Geranium ‘Rosanne’.

I also used fluffy heads of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’ which is a fabulous grass which has obligingly seeded itself about. The campanula is the invasive Campanula rapunculoides which is a pest and I am always trying to eliminate it. Its common name is ‘Creeping Campanula’ and that is a good name for it.

As it really is autumn now I used a purple fruit as a prop.

It is a fruit of the Akebia quinata and this is the first time I have seen fruit on my plant.

There are plenty of seeds which I shall be sowing.

After I had taken the photos for this post I suddenly thought:  ‘Silly Cow!’

Passiflora ‘Silly Cow’

Passiflora ‘Silly Cow’ with its huge exotic blooms is just the thing to finish off the arrangement and rescue it from being too airy fairy.

I arranged the flowers, (well plonked them actually,) in my black Victorian mourning vase which is appropriate as today I am in mourning for summer.


Cathy who hosts this meme, ‘In a Vase on Monday’ has featured some of her lovely collection of knotweeds today, which are are actually not weeds at all. They are called persicaria these days and very pretty they are too. Do go and see.

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49 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. Tyrian Purple.

  1. Peter Herpst says:

    Tyrian Purple or not, this arrangement is fit for royalty! I love the beautiful colors you’ve used and the akebia fruit is a perfect prop, reflecting the colors of the arrangement and representing the fullness of autumn. I join you in mourning for summer.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Peter and where has the summer gone? In the words of the bard: ‘Summer’s lease hath all too short a date’. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  2. Lavinia Ross says:

    A beautiful arrangement, Chloris!

  3. Cathy says:

    What a full and interesting vase, Chloris, desribed in your usual inimitable style – I have made a note of some the contents, especially the ageratum whuch I have nevered considered growing before. Love all the ‘purples’ – and that akebia fruit. Dare I ask if it is edible?

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. This ageratum has long stems and so is perfect for picking, it is very long lasting in a vase.
      I just looked it up and the akebia fruit is edible, it is grown as a food crop in Japan. It doesn’t look very tempting though. Maybe I will try a nibble.

      • Cathy says:

        I wouldn’t have thought that ageratum would have long stems, which is why I was surprised to see it in your vases – definitely one for next year now I know! Don’t forget to feed back on your nibble!!

  4. Stunning and inspirational. I may give flower arranging a try sometime.

  5. Wow this is amazing….I love asters and this is definitely a perfect vase to keep the season going….and what an amazing purple fruit. Fabulous display and arrangement.

  6. Kris P says:

    You have a wonderful collection of purple blooms, not to speak of the fruit, which I find fascinating. How I’d love to walk through your garden!

  7. Christina says:

    I know how you feel, I feel the same when spring is over. That seems like the end to me. Autumn is spring again even my Cercis is fully in flower again

  8. penpaperandpetals says:

    Such a brilliant color and the collection is outstanding! The fruit is fascinating, like mentioned above.

  9. Perfect. I like everything about it–from your reason for creating it, to the colors, to the flowers and props you chose. I’ve always preferred these gentle shades of “Asters,” although I’m starting to truly appreciate the darker purple of N.E. Asters, as well. But, wow, yeah … the finishing touches here are magic, too. 🙂

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    So many surprises today! The solanum is new to me, as are the aster hybrids. The akebia has such an unusual color of fruit, quite lovely, and adding the passionflower really set the bar – gorgeous!

    • Chloris says:

      This solanum is so much prettier and delicate than the mauve or white ones you usually see. Passiflora ‘Silly Cow’ is gorgeous despite its awful name. It is covered in huge flowers.

  11. tonytomeo says:

    There are not many blue flowers to choose from.

  12. Sam says:

    What a gorgeous collection of beautiful colours and forms, and the Akebia fruit is amazing. (I wonder how that passion flower got its name…)

    • Chloris says:

      The Passion flower was found in Peru and the Spanish Jesuits named it after the Crucification. They found all sorts of symbolism there which I can never remember because it is all so silly and tedious and I resent how Christians took so many flowers and claimed them for their own didactic purposes.

  13. Such a magnificent collection of purples. Silly cow is a great addition to your Vase. Still looks like summer in your Vase 🙂

  14. Cathy says:

    Fabulous! The asters are gorgeous and the whole arrangement looks even lovelier with the addition of the passion flowers. It certainly looks like summer is hanging on in your garden!

  15. Lovely and airy, purple and blue are favorites of mine. Did the Passionflower last? Mine close at night. I use Ageratum too, as it grows wild here and I pull it! The Akebias would fruit where I am from and seedlings would come up under. I love the fruit. I would use the mourning vase for winter!

  16. Chloris says:

    No, you are right the Passion flower didn’t last. What a pity, I love the idea of a vase full of them. Have you ever tasted the Akebia fruit? I gather it is edible but I can’t bring myself to taste it.

  17. mrsdaffodil says:

    Gorgeous bouquet – relaxed, natural, celebratory!

  18. Joanna says:

    Just lovely! The passion flower is amazing! Since I live way up njorth, I’ve only seen them in pictures.

  19. pbmgarden says:

    The colors and variation of flowers is enchanting. The Akebia quinata fruit is remarkable.

  20. snowbird says:

    How artistic! Beautifully arranged, not plonked for sure! I loved all the purples,especially the salvia, and as for that purple fruit, just

  21. I do love the ageratum, such friendly flowers and as you say bloom for ages. Another lovely vase with some of my favourites in, love the salvias and the potato vine and of course the asters (I’m not playing either). Look forward to next time.

  22. So glad no snails were harmed in the creation of your arrangement. I love purple flowers, especially the lighter ones that have some blue in them.

  23. Beautiful arrangement and perfect choice of vase, which really makes the flowers glow. Interesting note on Solanum laxum ‘Crèche ar Pape’. I’ve seen it before, perhaps G Dixter? Winter is so beautiful here (most of the time), but summers can be horrid. Makes a nice time to travel:^)

  24. Chloris says:

    Thank you Marian. Yes, I think I’ve seen ‘Creche ar Pape’ at Great Dixter. I bought mine from Beth Chatto, she has it growing up the wall of the sales area. It looks wonderful.

  25. Pingback: 12 fabulous flower-growing bloggers | Blog at Thompson & Morgan

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