In a Vase on Monday- in the Pink

We’ve had a few overnight frosts, so these are the very last of my deep red cactus dahlias, Nuit de Ete. Cascading branches of a small plum tree protected flowers from the worst of the weather. But today, the remaining buds are mush. They have served me well over the summer, providing a few flowers every time I’ve run up the plot. The posy this time is for my Mum.

There are a few cosmos left. These are ones that survived my late-summer cull. Plants that got to 6ft with very healthy fern-like foliage – but no sign of flower buds-were chopped down. I wish I had not been so impatient! Friends who kept their monster plants say they are smothered in flowers. A lesson learned for next summer.

From now until Christmas I shall be picking chrysanthemums grown in the poly tunnel, plus alstroemerias in huge pots. Just behind the cosmos you can see one of my favourite chrysanthemums, Lollypop.

These chrysanthemums, pictured below, are called Sound. I love the bright cheery pink flowers, and prominent button-yellow centres.

A favourite white chrysanthemum is called Swan. Such a pretty double flower with a green-white centre. It is well named, I think.

Both chrysanthemums and alstroemerias last a long time in a vase. Such good value plants. The alstroemerias throw up a few flower stems all year round.

Sticking with the pink theme, I’ve added these cerise bedding geraniums. I’ve cut the flower heads back ready to put the plants in a frost free greenhouse for the winter.

At this time of the year, pink nerines look so lovely growing in free draining soil alongside the drive. They are a pretty addition to my November bouquet.

I shall miss the dahlias over the winter. This one came from Wilkinson’s in the spring and cost £1. Great value, in my opinion. I shall wait until the foliage is blackened, and then dig them up and turn them upside down to drain. I plan to store them in the frost- free potting shed in boxes of sand or vermiculite. I’ll keep a check over winter to remove any that have perished, and also to ensure the tubers are dry- but not too desiccated. It’s a delicate balance. They will be started off again in February in the heated greenhouse, and I shall take cuttings to increase my stock.

Looking around – here’s the view from the top paddock gate. Muted autumn tones in surrounding trees and hedges. Today the oak leaves fluttered down in a steady stream, and lay in ribbon stripes across the lane. A beautiful, if transient, scene.

As always, thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden blog for hosting the IAVOM meme. I love seeing what everyone is growing and picking from their plots each week in gardens all over the world. Go over and have a look and join in. It’s a very friendly community of gardeners. I always enjoy taking part.

47 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday- in the Pink

    • Thank you Donna. I’ve got a second hand poly tunnel 20 feet long, unheated, which extends the season to Christmas. I expect we will have snow. We’ve had a few frosts already and the temperatures are dropping. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. Karen

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  1. What a fabulous vase for November. It looks like full summer. I love all the colour and your wonderful Chrysanths. I’ve tried and failed to grow alstromeria. This year I bought plants but they still haven’t flowered. I’ll keep trying but send over any tips you have…

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    • Thank you Alison. Mine are grown in an open poly tunnel in 40- 50 cm pots with rich / free draining compost. I water them like mad all summer and feed with home made comfrey liquid. I dry them off a bit over winter. When you harvest the flowers, pull the stem out of the soil – don’t cut it. It sends instructions to make more flowers. Protect from slugs. I’ve got frogs in my tunnel. I wrote about them last year on the blog somewhere. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. Good luck . Karen

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    • Thank you. I took the money into rainbows today. So happy to be able to hand it over as a lump sum and extra donations made it up to £1,000. Thanks again for coming over 🙂 x

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  2. What a sumptuous and abundant posy for your most deserving Mum (give her my regards)! The dahlias must have been well sheltered to have still provided flowers and I have been interested to see a few alstroemeria in vases this week. Are yours in the ground or a pot? I need to invest in some more I think – and definitely chrysanthemums too. One of the cuttings you gave me (the yellow chrysanth) is a very small plant but too small to flower this year – must repot it. Hope your Mum liks the posy as muchas we all do

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    • Thanks Cathy. Mum is doing really well, thank you. I’ll pass on your messages. She often asks about you. You and your garden made an impression. The plum tree needs a good prune so is providing an umbrella of branches. Trouble is I need the dahlias to turn black now before I can dig them up. They are still green. The alstroemerias came from the postal plants mail order. Viv Marsh. Very good plants. In pots in the poly tunnel. The chrysanthemum might flower at Christmas. Cut back in spring, and take cuttings from all the little shoots and you will have strong healthy new plants. Love karen x

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      • Hmm, so your alstroemeria is always under cover? I had a number of plants from VM some years ago and none of them flourished – but I was more of a novice gardener back then… 😉

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      • I’ve got some outdoors under the plum tree, but they only flower in the summer and then they die down with the dahlias. I’m wavering over digging the dahlias up or just covering them with 6” of straw which will protect the alstroemerias as well. The indoor ones go on right through the winter, although I ease off on the watering. I leave the end poly tunnel doors open to prevent condensation dripping on them. They seem to cope with the cold, but not the winter wet. Also grown in pots they are less susceptible to slug damage. Hope you are having a good week Cathy. I’ve been working in a cold and windy country garden today, but with lovely cheerful gardener and housekeeper who kept us topped up with hot tea. Love karen. x

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  3. It’s hard to pick a favorite among the flowers you assembled, Karen. They all look perfect! I’m very impressed with the Chrysanthemums, partly because the really pretty ones like those you’re growing simply aren’t available here and, unfortunately, what is available is generally offered as a short-lived annual. Getting them through our hot, dry summers is nearly impossible.

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    • Thank you Kris. Well, the chrysanthemums sort of went out of fashion in this country. I can remember my father in law turning over half his garden to growing exhibition chrysanthemums for shows in the 1960s. They were the size of cabbages. Then a few years ago Mum and I went to a show and saw these delicate beauties and bought some cuttings. I particularly love the white one called Swan. I’m very fond of the yellow one I’ve been given by my FIL to keep going, as it’s a family heirloom. Thanks again for reading and getting in touch. All the best. Karen

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    • Thank you Peter. It’s a really useful space to grow, and also gives me somewhere dry to work when it’s raining. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. All the best. Karen

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  4. This is so very pretty and I can hardly believe it is November looking at it! Gorgeous white Chrysanths, and all that cheerful pink. Lovely! I know what you mean about the Cosmos and I have decided to treat mine as autumn flowers as they rarely get going before September!

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    • Thank you Cathy. It’s been so mild here the flowers are just keeping on going. It is 13C just now at 11pm at night, when normally it’s 2 or 3C. Even Rome is 11C at the moment. Fancy that, we are warmer than Rome. And Madeira is 8C. I shall try to be more patient with the cosmos, but honestly they grew like triffids! Thanks for reading xx

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  5. Wow, that’s gorgeous and spectacular for all being home grown. I haven’t grown alstroemerias myself and hadn’t realised that they flowered for such a long time. Well worth investigating! Interesting to read of your cosmos, a plot neighbour has a huge stand of cosmos absolutely covered in flowers at the moment, despite a slight frost the other night. Lovely to appreciate them while they last!

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    • Thank you Caro. If you are going to the GMG awards, please report back. I cannot go as both mum and daughter have been ill and although all’s going well, I don’t like to leave them just yet. It was lovely to gather such a selection of flowers for my Mum from my own garden. Picking and arranging the flowers was a kind of therapy during a bit of a worrying time. Flowers do have such a calming effect, don’t they. Thanks for reading. See you soon I hope. Love karen x

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    • Thank you Noelle. I’m really fond of those alstroemerias. They last for nearly two weeks in a vase. I’ve just been to take my MIL some fresh flowers only to find last week’s vase still going strong. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. All the best. Karen

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  6. Karen that abundance of beautiful flowers in a magnificent vase! It does not seem like the time we are in! The White Swan Chrysanthemum is beautiful as the Chrysanthemums Sound with its bright pink color, the pink Cosmos and Asltroemeria that I love. It is a very beautiful bouquet and it is special because it is for your Mother: it is even more beautiful. Memories for your Mother 🙂 Karen I spent a very good week. Greetings with much love from Margarita.

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  7. Such a gorgeous vase for this time of year – quite amazing! I love your Asltroemerias; I managed to find one plant here at a plant sale but I really must get some more, I love them and they flower for so long and last well in a vase. Do you have a supplier you recommend?

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    • Thank you Christina. The warm weather seems to be keeping the flowers going outdoors and the poly tunnel flowers are earlier than usual. I buy the alstroemerias from Viv Marsh postal plants. They are expensive, but well grown. They specialise in long stem varieties suitable for flower arranging. Here’s a link http://www.postalplants.co.uk/ I’ve got Rome on my weather ap on the I-phone and Leicestershire was warmer than Rome last night. Today it’s 14C here but very windswept. Thanks for reading and for your kind comments. Karen

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  8. That’s a really summery vibrant vase – thank you 🙂 it really lifted my spirits. and reminded me I need to dig up my dahlias and store them. It’s been wet and cold in Manchester but I found a pelargonium still flowering which went in my vase 🙂 have a lovely week Love Bec

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    • Thank you Bec. We still have pelargoniums in flower here too. Amazing really as it’s mid November. Very windy tonight, even though it’s mild. I expect that will be the end of the autumn leaves. We have relatives in Cheshire who have a herb farm RPG Herbs at Hulme Walfield. Have a lovely week. Karen x

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      • it’s been really windy and wet today here too – aye alot of leaves. I looked your relatives up 🙂 Very old friends of mine live near Congleton – it’s lovely round there 🙂 have a lovely (and hopefully dry) week. love Bec xx

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      • Yes it’s lovely around there, my friend’s parents live on the side of Boseley Cloud – it has stunning views over Cheshire and Jodrell Bank. I bet you bring lots home – I would 🙂 love bec xx

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  9. Oh what an attractive posy for your mum Karen but also for us all to enjoy. I’ve made a note of the name of that beautiful white dahlia. I’ve come to the conclusion that cosmos does that some years. Some off mine didn’t really get flowering until August but then more than made up for it 🙂

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