In A Vase On Monday—Chow-Chow Rustica

Chow-Chow Rustica

Chow-Chow Rustica

Another week is beginning and once again I am joining Cathy’s challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

My husband kindly did the photo shoot for today’s arrangement, which afforded him naming rights. Inspired by the container, a simple glass jar that once held Ms. Mary’s Mild Chow Chow, he aptly suggested the title, Rustica.

Rustica also appropriately reflects the simplicity, charm and rural quality evoked by this Monday’s flowers. This is a colorful, informal presentation of yellow, pink and red zinnias supported by yellow rudbeckia with green-cone centers.

Chow-Chow Rustica detail

I planted packets of two types of Burpee Zinnia seeds this year. Both the large yellow and red zinnias in the detail to the left are from the “Giant Flowered” mix. These reach 30 inches tall with blooms of 5 inches in diameter.

Materials
Zinnia Cut and Come Again Mix -Burpee- 24” height
Zinnia Giant Flowered -Burpee-30” height  Huge 5” blooms
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

By the way, chow-chow is a colorful relish popular in the South—a tangy, vinegary concoction made of chopped mixed vegetables, sometimes sweet, sometimes hot, sometimes both. I am curious if you are familiar with it and how you use it. There are many variations, but my father enjoyed making chow-chow with his home-grown, coarsely chopped green cabbage, to which he probably added red and green peppers, onions and mustard seeds.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

32 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday—Chow-Chow Rustica

  1. Christina

    I like the Zinnias, they aren’t a plant I am familiar with but I have been reading about them recently; it was suggested they might be prone to mildew, do you find that a problem?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Christina, zinnias are one of the few things I find easy to grow from seed. In very wet years I have noticed some mildew, but not usually a big problem. It has been very dry here this summer until the past week, so I’ll have to start watching for any signs of it. They are nice for a big blast of color and are great for cutting.

      Reply
  2. Donna@GardensEyeView

    I was just about to google chow chow as it did intrigue me and sounded yummy. You and Christina have similar colors this week….perfect for high summer Stunning zinnias. Never got to plant them this year…perhaps next year.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      My husband photographed the flowers this week and chose the formal niche in the foyer as the setting. I thought it made an interesting contrast for the informality of the arrangement.

      Reply
  3. Marian St.Clair

    Zinnias make me smile…such a happy, vibrant flower. When she canned, my mother made chow-chow. I like it on hotdogs. Others in my family also put it on hamburgers and greens, like collards.

    Reply
  4. Annette

    Lovely and very lively, the white paired-down background sets it off to perfection, Susie. I love Zinnias too and have bought a single flowered, orange one the other day.

    Reply
  5. Kris P

    I’m not familiar with Chow-chow but the bottle makes a nice informal vase, Susie. I’m impressed by your Zinnia. Those I planted from seed have been slow to get going – so much so that I resorted to buying some in 6-packs to supplement. How early did you plant your seeds?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I think I planted them in early May, possibly sooner but I forgot to make a note of it. They seemed to take forever to bloom but they love the heat and we have plenty this summer.

      Reply
  6. Cathy

    I am still hopeful of flowers on my second batch of zinnias – the early were some of those seeds that suffered from poor compost – so it is great to see yours in the meantime although I don’t expect to achieve heads as big as these! And how lovely to have your husband joining in and taking an interest – even the Golfer, who has resolutely been against picking or buying flowers all his life, notices and comments on my vases now so this meme has had other unexpected benefits 🙂 The alcove is the perfect place for this arrangement, and as someone who likes a good title I have to say this is top notch! Chow chow sounds a little like the UK (?) piccalilli – is that something you have come across?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I planted zinnias in early May, I think–didn’t record the date. Good luck with yours flowering soon. Glad your husband is getting in on the fun too. Yes, piccalilli is like chow chow.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your kinds words. So sorry you’re missing your own zinnias this year. Slugs are not a problem here much but voles, that’s another story.

      Reply
  7. Stephi

    Beautiful! I’ve grown zinnias for the first time in many years (they’re a staple in my mom’s garden) and they are huge this year, I love looking at them in the garden, so I have trouble cutting them a vase. Tomorrow I think I will. I’m sure I have plenty to cut this year.
    I have no idea what chow-chow is. Sounds interesting. Is it pickled, or more like a slaw? What do you put it on?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Stephi, I have come to think of cutting the zinnias as deadheading them to keep them vigorous (just deadheading them a bit earlier than usual, while they still look nice). Chow-chow is a vinegar-based, finely chopped, pickle of mixed vegetables. I read it is frequently mades using tomatoes. Actually, I had the jar, but it’s something I seldom buy and definitely don’t make, but it’s a nice accompaniment to cold meats or as Marian mentioned above, collards.

      Reply
  8. gardeninacity

    Hmm, chow chow sounds pretty good. Beautiful vase – I’m also growing ‘Cut and Come Again’ zinnias in the new cutting bed – but we haven’t yet cut a single flower!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      This chow chow was tasty. The woman who makes it was handing out samples at a local store, otherwise I might not have thought to buy it. I think cutting the zinnias keeps them growing more vigorously. Most of mine turned out to be pinkish. I would prefer dark oranges and reds.

      Reply
  9. Elizabeth W

    Hi Susie, apologies for the lateness of this visit … life just got in the way!!! Love the hot colours in your rustic arrangement this week and the jar makes the perfect vase too. Your husband did a great job photographing it too. I’ve never tasted chow-chow, I’m not sure it’s available here in Scotland, but as it has vinegar in it I’d avoid it and my husband would probably love it 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      When we were looking for a house, our realtor kept pointing out how we could use that niche for flowers, but my husband’s Th. Jefferson bust usually sits there. I do like the way the flowers brighten it up.

      Reply

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