In a Vase on Monday. Plants for Free.

May seems to be the month when the garden is full of carpets of colour made up of self -seeded plants. The gardener can sit back and enjoy the show without having to do anything at all to create it. I didn’t even have to introduce many of the self-seeders here. Sheets of blue are provided by forgetmenots, camassias, brunnera and bluebells.

The Spanish bluebells in one part of my garden are a strain with enormous flowers which are more like hyacinths.

Scilla hispanica

Mysotis and Brunnera

Yellow looks wonderful with the blue and comes in the form of  Welsh poppies, cowslips and acid- yellow Smyrnium perfoliatum .


I did start off with a few plants of Smyrnium perfoliatum a few years ago and now I can just sit back and enjoy them. They always put themselves just in the right place.

Smyrniium perfoliatum

The delicate flowers of the Welsh poppy, Meconopsis cambrica seem to find the most charming places to bloom too.

Meconopsis cambrica

The double orange poppy, Papaver rupifragum comes up everywhere.

Papaver rupifragum

Tellima grandiflora has spikes of small green bell shaped flowers and it comes up everywhere but it looks very elegant.

Tellima grandiflora

Yellow Archangel is very invasive too but quite useful for shady corners where not much else grows.

Lamium galobdolon

And of course, May sees the start of the aquilegias and if you start off with a few packet of seeds in different colours you are never without them.

Aquilegia vulgaris

Honesty runs around everywhere and is always welcome, especially in the white form, or better still the white variegated form. An added bonus is the number of orange tip butterflies it attracts.

Lunaria annua

White Lunaria annua

Lunaria annua ‘Alba variegata’

The starry white flowers of Star of Bethelehem, Ornithogalum umbellatum put themselves everywhere too and they can become an awful nuisance, but the flowers are very pretty.

Ornithogalum umbellatum

So my vase today is made up of these willing and sometimes over -enthusiastic volunteers in the garden.

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts our Monday meme and today she is sultry and sophisticated. Do go and see.

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44 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. Plants for Free.

  1. Cathy says:

    You are so lucky to have so many self-seeders (or maybe not – I know the time you’ve spent ‘working away’!). I treasure my self-seeders because these are plants telling me they like me and my garden. My garden will just slowly get worse, through the summer, without them, because I’m finding it very hard to establish later flowering herbaceous perennials. Alexanders is a thing I would love to introduce here. I have copied instructions for getting it to seed from a blog (can’t buy, so will have to have fresh seed). When I have a prepared place for it, I daresay getting it to start off will occupy 2-3 more years of my gardening life! When established, I think it would be happy. I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to welsh poppy now, either. Such a cheerful spring vase!

    • Chloris says:

      Alexanders grows on lots of the lanes round here. I am told that you find it where Romans settled as they used it as a pot herb. I have plenty of Angelica which is a bit similar but much larger of course.

      • Cathy says:

        I came to love it when I worked at Kew. So many wonderful plants, but in the spring the Alexanders and the yellow archangel (and magnolias and bluebells) were always my favourite things! How strange is that? Of course the soil is very sandy at Kew, so perhaps that’s why I have found it so difficult to establish (I will keep trying). Angelica is doing much better – although I only had a worrying 2 plants this year.

  2. Anna says:

    Oh that’s a glorious medley of spring self-seeders Chloris. Not only colourful but easy going, a bit of perfume thrown in and potential festive decorations too. What’s not to like? 😄

  3. Martha says:

    Fabulous arrangement! My favorite—every color of the rainbow and elegantly arranged!

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Cathy says:

    Hmm, I think we might disagree on which of these are welcome, Chloris – like the Welsh poppy and the lamium, but at least the latter is easy to pull out when it overstays its welcome. I have spent a little while removing (white) honesty seedlings today but there would be a thicket otherwise – might have removed too many though… 😦 What a gloriously vibrant vase you have finished up with – definitely no holds barred there. What a joyous creation to sit and admire when you allow yourself time away from the garden – thanks for sharing it with us. Oh, and the tellima self-seeds does it? I have this in the Coop Corner but it has been very well behaved so far, apart from a bit of flopping last year

    • Chloris says:

      These self seeders create sheets of colour in the May garden and if they are a little over -enthusiastic they can be pulled out before they go to seed. The Tellima grandiflora seeds around everywhere, I cut it back before it becomes a nuisance.

      • Cathy says:

        Yes, I am very fond of the herb Robert and red campion here, and am pleased that forget me not is now a regular visitor too. I will remember that with the tellima

  5. susurrus says:

    I love your colourful vase of flowers.

  6. What a beautiful spectrum of color you have arranged and it is so cheerful – just what we need during these difficult days. I love how your flowers spread and take care of themselves. I’ll have to check into getting more varieties like that to fill the bare spots in the garden. Everything looks so lush and full.

  7. Kris Peterson says:

    Your enthusiastic May bloomers are all charming. While Spanish bluebells did well in my former garden, they’ve been unimpressive in my current one. (They’re already done for the season here and I was never even tempted to cut any of them for a vase, which should tell you something.) I’m giving them another year and, if they fail to improve, I’m pulling them all out. I’m enamored with your Smyrnium perfoliatum but, as the genus didn’t even make inclusion in my regional plant guide, I’m guessing it wouldn’t be happy here.

    • Chloris says:

      Good luck with getting rid of the Spanish bluebells, I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for years. They are unwelcome because they endanger our pretty native ones by hybridising with them. I like them but I wish I didn’t have so many. I think Smyrnium perfoliatum likes a damp shady spot which would be difficult in your garden.

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Stunning bouquet, Liz! Most uplifting and appreciated.

  9. Oh my goodness: Those of fields of blues and golds are just stunning! Thanks for brightening my day. And that double Aquilegia is stunning! How can a person not be happy after viewing your colorful, full, beautiful floral arrangement?!

  10. Noelle says:

    To have the walk round the garden was lovely, and then to view a bouquet made with your volunteers to top the tour, a nice distraction from what is happening outside in the wide world. Many thanks.

  11. bittster says:

    The garden tour was excellent, but then the arrangement you brought indoors is even better!
    I believe I started a few seeds of the Smyrnium but don’t recall seeing anything come up. I hope it wasn’t my imagination and wishful thinking.
    I’d appreciate if you could come up with a common name for it though. I’m fine with most botanical latin but Smyrnium just doesn’t appeal to me.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Frank. I am not keen on common names for plants as they vary from region to region and country to country so they can be confusing I don’t even know if there is a common name for Smyrnium, sorry. But whatever its name it brightens up the garden and looks wonderul with blue.

  12. snowbird says:

    What a glorious vase! You are lucky to have so many self-seeded beauties, especially the aquilegias. xxx

  13. pbmgarden says:

    Thanks for the uplifting vase and walk around. I love self seeders that are easy to pull out when necessary.

    • Chloris says:

      I agree, they are so welcome and easy to pull up if you don’t want them. Apart from the Spanish bluebells, they are impossible to eradicate.

  14. Oh, so pretty. I love the self seeders in my garden, most of them anyway. I have never seen the Smyrmium until today – love the color. One of my favorites. And the vase is a vision of spring.

  15. Cathy says:

    Wow, how wonderful! All those gorgeous colours in one vase. I have flowers self-seeding in my new garden, which is a novelty as in the old garden seedlings of any description were always devoured by slugs and snails. 😃

  16. Love those sheets of blue! We grow the Brunnera, but not the Myosotis.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, you can’t beat blue. Forgetmenots are very easy, once you have them you are never rid of them. I grew some white ones this year which look lovely with pink tulips.

  17. tonytomeo says:

    Most of my self sown vegetation is weeds. We have been off work for a month, so there is a lot of it. Some is Lunaria annua, although it is finished blooming a while ago. It looks great in white. Mine is just naturalized, so I take what I get.

    • Chloris says:

      I love the variegated white honesty, it grows quite tall and makes a lovely foliage plant. It comes true from seed.

      • tonytomeo says:

        True to type?! I was not aware of that. I collect seed for one of the neighbors to toss about while walking to work. It is too late to sow more. Nonetheless, it is useful to know that variegated white honesty is true to type, just in case I want to add some in autumn. I had been wanting to add white, and could go all the way and get variegated white. If so, they would be sown in a more refined area initially, until they make seed to disperse more randomly like the others.

  18. What a treat for sore eyes, Chloris. All of it. I especially like blue colours as a contrast to brighter ones in my garden and yours look lovely — though I have always failed at growing bluebells of any kind. Hope you’re staying safe and well.

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Cynthia, lovely to hear from you. We are staying well thank you and I am enjoying my garden this year as it has never had so much attention and everthing looks fabulous. I just wish I could share it with my family and friends. I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well too.

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