In a vase on Monday – A Taste of Autumn

I am joining in for the second time with Cathy’s weekly vase challenge and I am loving looking at my garden from a different perspective.

Helianthus, Iris Sibirica and Ruby Chard

Helianthus, Iris Sibirica and Ruby Chard

We had spent last week walking a small part of the South West Coast Path, in glorious sunshine, arriving back this weekend to a change in the weather a 10 celsius drop, heavy rain on Saturday morning and Autumn was definitely here. Despite the lack of a cutting garden, the long late summer blessed me with lots of choice but the fierce rain bashed the roses I had wanted to use, so decided on some unruly triffid like Helianthus and although the rain had also bashed the Helinathus petals and they look a little windswept, the remaining seed heads were a jolly addition.


Gardeners gift Helianthus, cultivar unknown

They came along in pots of Zebra Grass from a Horticultural college plant sale and now unleashed into a border reach almost 8ft tall. I had briefly thought I had Jerusalem Artickokes, then read about Helianthus giganteus growing to 4m tall. Cultivar unknown and beware gardeners gifts but in the meantime I am enjoying them.

My youngest daughter was home for the weekend, she is a wonderful cook and writes a student food blog Lottie’s Little Kitchen Her visit this weekend to make the 3 generation Christmas puddings with my mum who is another wonderful cook. My talents lie elsewhere, but they allow me to stir the mix. Lottie brought her Kilner jars home to sterilise in the dishwasher too; students do not have such luxuries and she has lots of pickles planned.

The Iris Sibirica tough seed heads are left over winter, I love the frosted seed heads almost as much as the late Spring flowers.

Iris Sibirica in May

Iris Sibirica, from my garden in May

The last plant in my vase is from my Vegetable garden, the Chard, sown earlier this year is running to seed and waste not want not, I have added a little today.

Please take a look at other vases encouraged by Cathy at Rambling in My Garden or join in, its good fun. I picked my flowers with an umbrella early this morning before todays rain does any more damage and now dried off they bring a little sunshine indoors.

35 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – A Taste of Autumn

  1. Love the bright cheerful Helianthus but even more I love the classic blue jug you have used today. what a nice tradition that you all get together to make the Christmas pudding together. I can’t find half the ingredients here so depend on my MIL, who makes a delicious pudding. Perhaps I’ll make Panettone instead.

    • Thanks Christina, it used to be a family joke that dinner was ready when the smoke alarm went off. Luckily my daughter has turned out to be an accomplished cook who loves to turn whatever I grow into something wonderful to eat. 🙂

  2. Lovely Helianthus Julie. Nice touch to add the Iris seed heads, which I think are so attractive. I really like your deep blue pitcher. It’s beautiful in its own right and its color is nice against the yellow. Checked out your daughter’s blog. She’s gorgeous and her blog looks lively and interesting. Have a good week.

    • Thank you Susie, I am blessed to have such a talented and beautiful daughter, her cooking skills did not come from me though it seems they skipped a generation and she takes after my mum. I hope you have a good week too.

  3. Your arrangement really speaks to the season and I love that…plus, the blue jug is as eye-catching as the flowers. Your daughter’s blog is such fun. How clever you are to have such smart children:^)

    • I am very fortunate Marian, I have two daughters both very talented in their own individual ways but neither talent was inherited from me! I love that blue jug too, its too heavy for water but makes a decent flower container. 🙂

  4. The helianthus are great in a vase, aren’t they? I used to have some mammoth ones too but I dug them out – perhaps I should allow them back and keep an eye on them…? It’s great to use seedheads as well, although I have realised I will need to think twice about what I cut back. When I make my Christmas puddings (which I must do soon) I always text my Girls and they give it a ‘virtual’ stir!! It’s great that your daughter is developing this skill 🙂 Thanks for joining in.

    • Thanks so much for hosting Cathy, its really made me look at my garden with fresh eyes in such a positive and uplifting way. Thats lovely to hear your shared Christmas pudding wishes too.

      • A lovely jug. The colour is perfect for the Helianthus. They are invasive but it means you always have plenty for a vase. I am sitting looking at a big jugful right now. I am always giving chunks away too, with a health warning of course.
        I looked at your lovely daughter’ s blog. She is so talented and sounds such fun too.

      • Thanks Chloris, Lottie is good fun, we have two daughters and our favourite times ever are when we are all together. I have been both fascinated and alarmed by the size of the Helianthus but they are so cheerful, they will stay.

  5. Your arrangement is fabulous … I like the natural feel to it and don’t the sunflowers look good in the blue jug. The iris seed heads are just right too! I’ve never made a Christmas pudding – my family just were not keen.

  6. I love our helianthus here as it is a native that flowers and spreads here to the delight of butterflies and birds…and I am glad you are enjoying it…brilliant to add the iris seed heads too. I leave them up too all winter.

    • Close up those seed heads are really intricate and lovely, Its the first time I have grown the Helianthus, although its unruly I love its cheery nature.

  7. Those Helianthus go so very well in your lovely blue vase. The iris seedheads are a great idea and make me wish I hadn’t cut all mine back! I also have a kind of Helianthus that would love to spread but is in the driest and most infertile part of the rockery and thus kept in check. It doesn’t flower well there, but fills a spot with greenery at least!

  8. Hi Julie, Your first picture is simply lovely. Well, all of the post is lovely, but especially that first picture! Every item in the picture belongs there, and helps to tell the story (to me). Dana

    • Thank you so much Dana, I have only just started to join in with Cathy’s meme. Already I can see it will be quite addictive, but most of all I am really enjoying how its making me think differently about my garden. 🙂

  9. A lovely vase with hints of autumn in the setting Julie. This rain has been a bit of a disaster for most of our late summer flowers hasn’t it – good to see that the helianthus stood up well to the weather. I loved your background with the basket and the kilner jars – as I said a hint of autumn! It must be good to know that you have got the Christmas pudding tucked away and that there will be preserves to look forward to – how nice to have a daughter who likes to make such goodies!

    • I spend too much time clearing up and bringing order before starting, my daughter is so relaxed she just gets on with it, oblivious to any mess and achieves far more than me. My children teach me many valuable lessons!

  10. Fabulous arrangement in a lovely vase. I thought it was a professional interior designer photograph at first glance. It’s beautiful and captures the season so well. I like making things with my daughter too, although it is ages since we were making marmalade together. Thank you for sharing your family togetherness.

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