In a Vase on Monday – A touch of sour grapes

I am slightly addicted to Penstemons and I especially love ‘Sour Grapes’. There is something about the flash of sky blue that appears on some of the flowers, their stripey throats and the blushed, soft grape colour that make them exceedingly attractive.


The fact that fat bumblebees frequent the flowers endlessly, also means that I find myself looking at these purple bells more than most. So I used three spikes of this lovely flower as the basis of today’s vase.


The other thing that I am excited about in the garden just now is a grass: Pennisetum thunbergii  (grown from seed) which is flowering for the first time and I love its wonderful maroon tufts with the bristly stigma.


So I’ve cut some of them to add dark spikes to the arrangement. Also Pheasant grass is just starting to flower and I’ve put some of their silky arching plumes to add some airy volume.


The rest of collection are very common flowers: nepeta, lychnis, agrostemma, geranium and a white potentilla, plus a couple of herbs: oregano and feverfew.


For foliage I have cut some nigella seed heads:


and a bit of silver-edged dogwood (possibly Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’).


I think that the vase should last for some time. I am just a bit sad that the bees are missing the penstemon!

I am joining in with Cathy’s ‘In a vase on Monday’. Today’s selection over there shows that other people are much braver in cutting their prize blooms. I may have to start thinking about a cutting border.


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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25 Responses to In a Vase on Monday – A touch of sour grapes

  1. What a fabulous vase especially the flowers you chose…I love Penstemons too but they do not necessarily like my climate…but I have a few.

  2. Cathy says:

    At least we can see your Sour Grapes – mine were virtually hidden by everything else! The grasses are a great addition, something I hope to do more of once mine get established – and aren’t nigella seedheads brilliant! Thanks for sharing today

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Lovely flowers. The penstemon is especially nice and the nigella seedheads add great texture.

  4. Cathy says:

    What a lovely arrangement with the feverfew grabbing our attention centre-stage. Love the shape overall. 🙂

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Lovely and airy, Allison. That is a favorite penstemon for me as well, such a pleasing color.

  6. Tina says:

    What a luscious bunch of photos! Penstemons are such lovely plants. I’m a little sorry for your bees missing the ones in the vase, too, but you’ll appreciate the arrangement all the more.

  7. Sam says:

    All your flowers and foliage come together beautifully – there is so much loveliness here I don’t know where to start! The Pennisetum is fab, as is the penstemon and the bright pink Lychnis adds pops of deeper colour. I planted some penstemons (bought at a plant sale so I don’t know what variety they are) last year and they didn’t do much but this year they’re flowering really well.

    • Glad to hear that your penstemon have settled down and are doing well this year.It’s easy to take cuttings so you can readily bulk up numbers. I love that lychnis with its zingy pink and I love that it seeds around to surprise me each year.

  8. I can see why the bees love the penstemon, it’s such a beautiful mottled colour. Great bee photo too, they are so hard to capture hovering like this.

    • I think foxgloves still win for attracting bumblebees, but penstemon are a close second. Luckily for me the bee in the photo was pretty systematic about visiting the bells so I was able to guess which one was next and lie in wait!

  9. susurrus says:

    That’s a lovely July arrangement. I love penstemon too – they were the flowers that caught my eye most at Kew Gardens this weekend.

  10. What a lovely arrangement. I love Penstemon too but unfortunately I have been unable to keep them growing here in Ireland.

  11. I have the straight species of P. digitalis and the cultivar ‘Husker Red’. Love the look of ‘Sour Grapes’, and also the name.

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