Welcome to ‘In A Vase On Monday’ when I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to join her challenge to fill a vase for the house from the garden every week.
This week’s flowers very nearly did not happen. I was engrossed with household chores this morning, confident that I could leave collecting and photographing my planned flowers until the afternoon. After a late lunch I had some administration to attend too and suddenly realised as I worked that the sky had grown very dark. I only just managed to retrieve the laundry from the washing line before the rain started and we were then treated to a thunder storm. I often collect flowers in the rain, but draw the line at thunder and lightening.
Having decided that a vase was just not going to happen today, I remembered a couple of roses that I had thrown into a jam jar in the greenhouse after accidentally chopping them yesterday whilst dead heading. Together with a few sprigs of lavender that I had sitting in the kitchen they made a very small vase and I searched for a few props to pad out the arrangement. This is the floral equivalent of creating a meal Nigel Slater style – from a few leftovers in the fridge and some store cupboard staples!
The props that I used are yet another lace table cloth and the old book of music that I mentioned a week or two ago. I came across it in a charity shop and it is one of my favourite ‘finds’. It is called Orpheus Score and contains a number of pieces of music – I really need to find out more about what this is. Although it has a beautiful binding all the pages have come loose, so I have to be very careful when handling it.
The rose is William Shakespeare by David Austin, hence my reference to the Bard in the title this week. This rose is one of my all time favourites, which I plant in every garden that we move to. It is described in the David Austin catalogue as having ‘exquisite blooms of the richest velvety crimson, gradually changing to an equally rich crimson’. It really is a truly stunning colour, although it does not cope well with very hot or very wet weather – all the more reason to cut it for bouquets! Its growth can be a bit soft so I have placed an obelisk in the middle of my three bushes and I poke the long stems through it for loose support. In my main borders I tend to plant roses in threes as recommended by David Austin – they have much more impact flowering as one very large bush.
You will remember that I am taking an online photography course with Kim Klassen called Be Still 52. For week 5 of the course we are looking at using side lighting in our photography, so today I placed my vase in front of a west facing window and instead of shooting into the window as I usually do I stood side on to the window. I am impressed by how much detail this lighting angle has picked up in the rose above – you can literally count the petals.
As ever I like to play with focus when I am photographing my flowers, so above I have focused on the music leaving the blooms looking blurred.
In the next shot I focused on just one of the flowers, which has thrown the other details out of focus.
As I have explained before, remember that when I am playing with focus in this way I have my camera set with a very low f-stop (f2.2 today). It is the low f stop that gives the blurry background.
In the end I was quite pleased with my small vase and I have placed it on my piano to remind me of its musical connections. I have recently started to learn to play and I have to say that learning to read music is the hardest thing I have tried to do for a very long time!
Next Monday we will be in Durham for our eldest daughter’s graduation ceremony, so I will be taking a little break from making a Monday vase – I will still be checking in to see what Cathy and the others have made though!