In a Vase on Monday. A Book Club Posy.

I think my friends are probably sick of the dahlias which have been filling my vases since July. They are miraculously still blooming away even after a light frost. (The dahlias, not my friends.) But for my Book Club day I chose a little posy of all the little November survivors to put on the table.

In the next picture you can see a self seeded Scabiosa, bottom right and the Dianthus  which was grown from seed and has bloomed all summer long.

On the top left of the next picture there is the dainty lilac Calamintha grandiflora ‘Elfin Purple ‘ which blooms for ages and seeds around abundantly. The fluffy blue flower in the bottom right corner below Salvia ‘Hot lips’ is the tall growing Ageratum corymbosum which is tender so has to come in for the winter. It is easy from cuttings if you forget.

There are four  different salvias here, the lovely velvety Salvia leucantha which comes into bloom late in the season and is now in the greenhouse for safety.

Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’

Salvia greggi ‘Icing Sugar’ is a lovely two tone pink.

Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ looks good with the dark purple of Salvia jamensis ‘Nachtvlinder’ and Plectranthus.
I have used a few sprigs of Liriope  muscari with purple beads. There are two verbenas , the tall Verbena bonariensis which handily seeds itself everywhere and the shorter Verbena hastata.

To match the purples I have used Solanum laxum ‘Creche au Pape’  which has lilac buds and opens to white and lilac flowers. It has been blooming for ages now and doesn’t show any sign of stopping.

Solanum laxum ‘Creche au Pape’.

What else is there?  A couple of asters, Penstemon ‘King George’ which is a bit too red, a knautia, a cleome,  a campanula, a rose,  some bottle brushes of a Pennisetum villosum .  Once we get a proper frost it will be harder to make a posy, but for now there is plenty to chose from.

As this is for a book club, there has to be cake  so my chef made us an apple cake which was much appreciated. I have to admit  to those who think I am rather grand having my own chef; I am referring to my lovely Pianist. These days he does all the cooking in this house and  I am extremely grateful. I prefer to be grubbing outside.

Apple Cake
225g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Half teaspoon almond extract
150g melted butter

250g peeled and cored cooking apples
25g flaked almonds
1 deep 20 cm loose bottomed cake tin.
Preheat oven to 160c or 140c fan or gas 3.

Blend flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, almond essence, melted butter.
Spread half  the mixture in the tin and lay thickly sliced apples on top. Spread the rest of the mixture on top, trying to cover the apples. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds.
Bake for 1 and a quarter to one and a half hours. Serve warm. I reheated it for 1 minute in the microwave.

I’ve never given a recipe before as this is strictly a gardening blog but it is so yummy and goes with my Book Club Posy.

And the book? Meet me at The Museum by Anne Youngson. I read one review which said this is a luminous book about late love which makes it sound like a geriatric chick lit. This is misleading because this is a short book which is multilayered and is about life, death, time, loneliness, friendship, love, children. It makes you question what is the purpose of life and how to lead a meaningful life. It is about the importance of myth, ritual and sacrifice. It is about so much and so beautifully written. We all loved it.

Thanks to Cathy, the queen of the vase for hosting this meme. Do check out Rambling in the Garden to see what Cathy and all  her fellow enthusiasts have been finding to put in their November vases.


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28 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. A Book Club Posy.

  1. Christina says:

    You have so many blooms hanging on in your garden, your posy is lovely and sort of full of hope even if they flowers will be gone soon; it promises that summer will return next year.

    • Chloris says:

      November can be dreary in the garden, I am wondering how to do my Ten November Bloom post once the frost has done its worst. But for now, there are still plenty of lingering flowers.

  2. Ali says:

    I really enjoyed all your photos of your flowers – the photos are beautiful. The cake looks delicious too!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Ali, it is difficult to get good photos inside so I wasn’t terribly happy with them. It didn’t help that I was in a hurry. Still, joining in is the important thing.

  3. Cathy says:

    A ‘little’ posy…?! It’s a bountiful bunch and a half, and a glorious confection of November blooms. And look at all those lovely salvias – I have IS too which has been hanging on by the skin of its teeth for a few years but without flowering, although at least it has got through a few winters. The book you have been reading sounds just up my street so I will be adding it to my increasing e-library (if available as an ebook) where I am building up a bit of a backlog… As for apple cake, I have my own favourite recipe but the Pianist/Chef’s looks yummy too, but in a different way

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. Do you have S. Nachtvlinder? It is such a deep rich purple. I will send you a cutting if you haven’t got it.

      • Cathy says:

        I do, thank you, from a rooted cutting from Anna. It is still small and very spindly but at least it does have a couple of flowers (and a very rich deep purple, as you say – gorgeous). I shall cut it back in the spring to try and encourage more shoots – is that what you would do?

      • Chloris says:

        Yes, they get a bit straggly if you don’t cut them back.

  4. Kris P says:

    Your garden is still very productive, Chloris! I was surprised to find you have an Ageratum corymbosum, which I also grow. Mine only blooms in Spring, however.

    Thanks for the book summary – I’ve added it to my “to read” Pinterest page. My own book club has been pulled apart by various challenges facing its members, although we’re reassembling for a post-election download soon. Whether that’ll be a celebration or a cry-fest remains to be seen but I’m hoping we can get back on a regular reading schedule (not that I ever stop reading on my own).

    • Chloris says:

      Reading is my other great love and I have often thought of creating a book blog but I think it would take up too much time, I often have trouble keeping up with this one. You have a to read pintinterest page? How do I find that? I would love to see it.

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful collection of flowers, Chloris, a bright spot on this cloudy day. What a gift to have a spouse that cooks. When it occasionally happens here, I am thrilled!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Eliza. Yes, I am lucky The Pianist loves to cook and he is brilliant at it. I am delighted to hand it all over to him as I love good food but I can’t be bothered to cook myself.

  6. I never get tired of your dahlias, as I can’t grow them here. Your vase is so pretty and creative with all the different flowers. Quite a few of them I can grow here and Hot Lips are one of my favorite.

    • Chloris says:

      The dahlias have done really well this year. I suppose you haven’t enough water to keep dahlias happy. I have been watering all summer and they have been fabulous.

  7. The Pianist is a certainly a prize! Lucky you. And the vase shows your time “grubbing” is equally well spent. A shameless display of talent, both of you:^)

  8. pbmgarden says:

    It’s always a treat to visit your blog. I learn so much and see great diversity in your plant schemes. Scabiosa are appealing but I’ve not been able to get them to survive. The book club vase turned out lovely, the cake sounds delicious. I will look up that book. My book last read ‘Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill,’ by Sonia Purnell (which I confess I didn’t enjoy much) and soon it is my turn to recommend a title.

  9. tonytomeo says:

    I thought that solanum looked odd until you mentioned that it is not the common potato vine. Now it got my attention. I had to look it up real quick. I sort of like the flowers better because they are more white. They also seem to be more prolific. The common potato vine might be more prolific too if I took better care of it. Our Mexican blue sage is right in the middle of bloom now. It gets quite big here. The biggest ones are about as tall as I am.

  10. That is a beautiful little posy, and I’m very jealous. I have very few flowers still blooming at this point–it’s amazing that there are any at all with repeated frosts and freezes. Your apple cake looks delicious, too!

  11. Peter Herpst says:

    So many gorgeous blooms in your posy! Your book club members must have been as delighted by your flowers and apple cake as they were with the book!

  12. How lovely Chloris and isn’t it amazing how many flowers you have left given the time of year.

  13. Cathy says:

    Love all your little treasures that are hanging on and made it into this pretty posy! I wouldn’t guess it is November, looking at it. 🙂

  14. Not sure what is more yummy the posy or the cake. OK, I am translating the recipe to non metric to try it…Believe it or not my Dahlias are 6″ tall. Annoying though – you can grow Salvia luecanthum and I can’t!

  15. Flowers and cake?! A perfect combination. Lovely.

  16. I love all the blue and purple. The apple cake looks delicious!

  17. snowbird says:

    What a wonderful post!I loved that delicate posy and hearing about that book, certainly sounds fabulous, recipe good too! I’m all for more of that!xxx

  18. gardenfancyblog says:

    You still have so many lovely flowers in your gardens — they’re just about all gone here now. Thanks for sharing your flowers and your beautiful arrangement of them with us! Best -Beth

  19. Oh what a delicious vase and cake too Chloris. I smiled at the thought of the Pianist creating in the kitchen whilst you are having fun outdoors ‘grubbing’ about. What a good man. I’ve made a note of the book title. It might be of interest to my reading group. We meet in a local library, chat and laughter abound but sadly no cake on the premises.

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