Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.
During summer days a closed-in back porch at my maternal grandmother’s was the hub of activity. The porch separated the kitchen from the main portion of the house. Just inside the back door in other seasons, we would pass by pots of out-of-bloom geraniums and begonias. But in summer those would have been set outside and in their stead would sit a carefully tended vase of gladiolas in mixed colors.
When I was five or six often I stayed overnight with my grandmother. After breakfast, still early, she would get her flower clippers and we would go outside to see if any more of her glads had opened. The mystery of what colors they would be held such excitement for me.
Grandma always wore an apron and would tuck up a corner just so, to hold whatever she was gathering. On these mornings she would come back indoors with an apron full of glads and proceed to groom the flowers already in the vase, removing the spent blooms from the bottom of the stems, making fresh cuts, adding clean water and finally arranging the newest stems into the vase. The rainbow array never failed to delight my young self and must have made her happy as well.
I still adore gladiolas but have drifted toward white ones and deep, intensely rich colors like G. ‘Espresso’. Its silky petals begin as nearly black and open into a sultry crimson.
The bright red glad came without a name but has distinctive inner markers and rich color.
Keeping company with the gladiolas, Beebalm has begun flowering after several years of nearly disappearing. The spot of blue at upper left is bachelor button.
The mophead hydrangea in today’s vase is a pass-along that came from a reader when I first began this blog. She was a volunteer at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC and the hydrangea was one her father grew. My grandmother also had a hydrangea by her back porch step (my cousin still grows it). Hers and everyone’s flowered blue due to the acid soil conditions in our small town. I would much prefer blue to pink but haven’t in all these year taken time to add aluminum sulfate.
Centaurea cyanus ‘Blue Diadem’ (Bachelor’s Buttons)
Gladiolus no-names white and bright red
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery—Seagrove Potters
I hope this lily bud will create a focal point when it opens front and center in a few days.
Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what is blooming in her UK garden and across the globe this week.