Welcome to ‘In A Vase On Monday’ when I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to share a vase of flowers picked from my garden every Monday.

Today has been a truly awful day for picking flowers! As torrential rain was predicted for the whole day I have been on a shopping trip to Cambridge with my son to ‘refresh his wardrobe’ before he starts at his new college next week. The dogs and I just made it to the Cutting Garden this morning before the rain became more than a shower and I grabbed a handful of flowers which I left drying in the kitchen whilst we were out.

I had intended to make a hand tied bouquet out of these blooms for tonight’s post but, feeling jaded from the shopping, I have decided that they look fine as they are! At this time of the year the flowers do their own talking!


My bunch today includes my very first flower from dahlia Cafe Au Lait. Cafe Au Lait is to dahlias what Kate Moss is to the catwalk. She must be the most talked about, desired and photographed dahlia of the summer – a star of many a wedding bouquet. This is the first time I have tried to grow Cafe Au Lait and, as I had read that she is shy to flower, I have not been concerned by her late appearance. I generally find that the first flower on a dahlia tends to be quite small so I expect she will get bigger and more blowsy as she gets into her stride. I am so proud to have my very own Cafe Au Lait that I had to show her off immediately!


Along with Cafe Au Lait I have picked a few blooms of the David Austin rose Gentle Hermione, quite a few blooms of my current favourite aster the pale peach Tower Chamois, cosmos Purity and a few white snapdragons.


Gentle Hermione is a new rose to me, planted in the Cutting Garden early in the spring. Despite this being her first year she has flowered well repeatedly throughout the summer. The blooms seem to be quite weather resistant which is always a plus in a cutting garden rose.


Above is the lovely dahlia Cafe Au Lait again. This pale coffee colour is very unusual – although the asters are peach coloured they appear slightly pink against Cafe Au Lait.


My cosmos is really getting going now. I grow both single and double whites and the zingy orange ‘Bright Lights’. I plant cosmos anywhere in the garden where I see a gap, as it seems to thrive in all kinds of conditions and can be relied upon to fill a space with its light airy stems from August until the first frosts.


Finally a close up of the pale peach aster Tower Chamois. Annual asters do not seem to feature in the flower wish list very often but I love them. They can be grown in all shades and with these incurved petals they look so much like a chrysanthemum. They are the flowers most often commented upon when I use them in a bouquet. These have come from a late sowing in May, but seed started under cover in February will be in flower in June and they repeat well as long as you dead head regularly.

On this, the last Monday of the summer holidays, my thoughts are now turning to September with the promise of a new gardening year to plan for. With a sharpened pencil and a new notebook the first job on my list is to finalise my bulb plans and get the order placed. I will start planting narcissi and bulbs for indoor pots in the second half of September. Next on the list is to order some early flowering sweet pea seeds and to review my stock of annual seeds and fill any gaps. I will be sowing hardy annuals direct in the Cutting Garden and in the greenhouse later in September and sowing sweet peas to grow in the greenhouse in October. I also have lots of biennials sown in June which are ready to plant out as space becomes available.

My aim is to try and have flowers to cut for as many months of the year as possible. At the moment the Cutting garden is producing buckets of blooms and this should continue until well into October. I will be bringing my chrysanthemum cuttings into the greenhouse soon and hope to have these in flower for October and November. If I plan my bulb planting correctly the first batch of Paperwhites should be flowering in December to follow on from the last chrysanthemums. I am also busy drying hydrangea heads and collecting poppy seed heads and alliums to store for winter vases.

Before you head off to make lists of all the jobs needed in your gardens I hope you will find the time to pop over to Cathy’s blog and see what she and the others have produced this week.