Welcome to this weeks In A Vase On Monday when I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to join in with her challenge to find something from the garden to put in a vase every week.
This week I was in the mood to use some of my small bottles which have been tucked away at the back of the cupboard since the early spring bulb season. I have lots of dahlias coming out this week, but I wanted something a bit more delicate.
I seem to have been raving about my greenhouse sweet peas for so long now, that I am in danger of overlooking the lovely varieties growing outside. These beautiful varieties have been flowering since just before we left for America and are producing plenty of blooms at the moment. The problem with my outdoor sweet peas this year, as in previous years, is that they have been covered in pollen beetles which are very difficult to remove. As a result I have been reluctant to bring them indoors, although I do put a large bunch on the garden table fairly regularly. As with runner beans, the more you pick the more flowers you will get and the longer the plants will produce (although the stems do get significantly shorter as the season goes on). Professional growers recommend a six week cropping period, after which the plants are removed, but for domestic use we can keep our sweet peas looking pretty for some time yet!
I have found this week that the pollen beetles seem to be decreasing in number, so perhaps they will not be as prevalent in the late summer. I will keep my eye on this and if they do decrease I might try sowing my outdoor sweet peas later next year, so that flowering will start in August rather than July. That way I might have beautiful long stemmed flowers later in the year, to replace my greenhouse crop which I removed this week.
Although I have been growing cut flowers for a few years now, I still feel as though I am on a steep learning curve. Every season presents different problems, but the advice that I can gleam from available books seems limited when it comes to dealing with these problems.
This lovely frilly rose pink sweet pea with a picotee edge is called Anniversary,
And this very pretty lilac striped sweet pea is called Sir Jimmy Shard. Both sweet peas are Spencer varieties which means you can rely on them to grow on long stems with a lovely sweet pea scent. As I have arranged them in very small vases this week I have cut the stems quite short.
The cake stand was a Christmas present and is a relatively new Spode pattern called Delamere Rural. It is a perfect pattern for my house as the side plates and mugs are decorated with rabbits, pheasants and deer – all regular visitors to my garden!
I included this photo as you can get a glimpse of my hydrangeas in the bed behind the table. As I said last week, I have quite a love affair going on with hydrangeas this summer and plan to increase my collection in this bed next year.
The other flower that has made it into my trio today is this truly beautiful pale blue perennial scabious – possibly my favourite flower in the garden this week. At present I grow this just in the Cutting Garden, but it is looking so lovely that it must be a contender for the borders around the house.
Today has been a very busy day, so I am keeping things brief tonight – I will be back on Wednesday with my August Greenhouse Review.
I hope you have a lovely week to look forward to (I am off for a few days in the sun in Lanzarote later this week so am feeling very lucky!) and that you will pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what she and the others have made this week.