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.
When I opened the kitchen door this morning I knew that autumn had finally arrived. The temperature had dropped and the air felt chilly – for once I knew exactly which clothes would be right for the day ahead! Whilst I waited for my son to finish getting ready for school I threw on a coat and took the dogs outside in search of material for today’s vase. Somehow on a grey morning like this the delicate pastel dahlias and pretty annuals had lost their appeal – what my flower soul needed today was chrysanthemums!
And chrysanthemums I found!! These are the flowers of just one plant, which were all lying sadly collapsed on the grass. A combination of neglect (I should have staked them) and rain (the wet heads are very heavy) had brought these beauties to their knees so I had no qualms about cutting all these stems – they would only rot if left in the garden. I snipped all the stems and quickly brought them inside. A quick strip of the leaves and they were plonked in a jug of water before we left for school.
On my return I had intended to arrange these beauties tightly in a bowl to make the most of the stunning heads, but when I walked back into the kitchen I rather liked the way the bent stems had arranged themselves in casual abandon, so I decided to leave them like this for a day or two at least.
This chrysanthemum is called Allouise Orange, just one of a series of colours in the Allouise series. This is a good chrysanthemum for the beginner(me!), as it is quite easy to grow, without some of the many technicalities associated with chrysanthemum growing. I buy my cuttings from Chrysanthemum Direct around Chelsea week – it was at the Chelsea Flower Show a couple of years ago that my eyes were first opened to the beauty of chrysanthemums.
They are a lavish flower – along with velvet fabrics and log fires they encapsulate autumn for me. I grow them in various shades – pink, purple, lemon, cream, white and this beautiful orange. The scent takes me right back to Christmas at my grandmother’s house.
I also added a mini pumpkin and three of the last pears of this season to my tray, along with a few candles that seemed to be asking to be used on such a dank day.
I have written about my penchant for chrysanthemums before so apologise if I am repeating myself today. I love to grow a selection of chrysanthemums in my greenhouse every autumn to make sure that I have flowers for cutting for as long as possible. Long after the dahlias have succumbed to the frost, I should have some beautiful chrysanthemum blooms still flowering in the greenhouse.
As it is best to grow greenhouse varieties from new cuttings every year I decided to try planting out last years chrysanthemum plants in the garden this spring. I have ignored these plants all summer – no watering, feeding or cutting back the stems to encourage branching. Although they have all grown too tall and collapsed in a heap each plant has rewarded me with a huge number of blooms in a variety of sizes and colours – an amazing crop to be harvesting in November!
As I said at the beginning, this jug is filled with the flowers of just one plant! Whether the plant will survive the winter remains to be seen but if not I will have my greenhouse plants, which are just starting to flower, to be planted out next spring (and next year I will remember to lavish them with the same care my indoor chrysanthemums benefit from).
Next week I will be away on a little holiday in Lancashire with my mother, so will not be here on Monday. As we are celebrating Cathy’s first birthday of this lovely meme I am planning to put together a post looking back at my favourite vases from the past year, which I will post at the weekend. I have to say a big thank you to Cathy for orchestrating this lovely meme, which has brought community and friendship to our blogging lives as well as regular flowery fun!!