In a Vase on Monday – A Pistou Soup

The whole house smells of basil just now. It’s the pungent odour you get from the leaves of the tougher plants grown, and weathered, outside. It is a wonderful aroma, but it is making me so hungry. I picked the basil as a back drop to the star of my vase: Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’, my only flowering dahlia so far this year.


And while I was in the vegetable patch it seems like a good idea to pick some garlic chives to go with the basil, since they are looking quite stellar!


And even some tomatillo branches, because the potato-like flowers to pick up the yellow tones.


The fat bladders on the branches of the tomatillo, hanging over the edge of the brown jug, were a fun bonus.

OK, so I bet that you can’t quite believe your eyes with this next shot. Yes, what you are looking at here is a curled and laced leaf of kale ‘Nero di Toscana’. I’ve watched, in disgust, the numerous white butterflies flutter round these all summer, but I like the structure that has been left behind. The skeletonised leaf has a nice arching tubular shape and there’s still that great matt olive colour, but now it’s light and airy. Stripped back to basics.


Back to real flowers then: I’ve also picked some Teucrium hircanicum. Unfortunately, this has seeded around the garden for so many years that I can’t remember what kind it is. It sends up so many long lasting purple flower spikes that I forgive its profligacy.


I’ve also gathered the last of the Antirrhinum ‘Libery Classic Crimson’, before I rip it all out to get rid of the rust that seems to be romping through it this year.


So you can see why I’ve titled the post Pistou soup. I only hope that the scent of basil fades soon though, or else I’ll be at the fridge.

I am joining Cathy for her ‘In a Vase on Monday‘ post. Cathy has a few more dahlias than I have! I hope that you enjoy browsing the ever increasing selection of vases on display from around the world.

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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28 Responses to In a Vase on Monday – A Pistou Soup

  1. Kris P says:

    You did an excellent job of foraging in your garden! I love those skeletonized leaves of the kale – they add interest and character to the arrangement. I always forget about the chive flowers in my garden but I did stick some stems of cinnamon basil in my own arrangement this week.

  2. The Kale is genius, I was wondering what in the world that could be. Is the Teucrium a type of Germander?

  3. Cathy says:

    That dahlia really is a shining star! My basil never gets a chance to flower… we eat it all first! Love that smell too though, and the flowers are very pretty.

    • D. ‘Bishop of York’ manages to combine having the single flower form that bees love with a lovely glowing colour against those dark leaves, so it is a favourite. The only reason it survived this year though was because it was in a pot on a table. I hope this winter manages to kill a lot of slugs to make up for last year!

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Love the skeletonized leaves – bold and brilliant of you. They would be great to add to a Halloween arrangement.
    ‘Bishop of York’ is a shining beacon in your pistou!

  5. Cathy says:

    What a wonderful collection of material you have selected – the skeletonised leaves and the tomatillo were inpired additions. Your Bishop looks very similar to my unidentified dahlia but I am guessing it will have dark leaves like the other Bishops, which rules mine out. I grew this teucrium from seed and so far can only see its attractions, but I suspect there is something I need to know… 😉 Thanks for sharing today

    • I think I’ve combined slightly odd things because I try to work the borders and veg plot in a potager style, so unusually plants are often next to each other. Yes, Bishop of York has those lovely glossy dark leaves. It’s my favourite along with LLandaff. My teucrium was from seed too and I find that it flowers long and hard so is very useful.

      • Cathy says:

        And it’s good to combine different things like this too – IAVOM has helped many of us look at our gardens differently and try out unexpected pairings

  6. What an eclectic seasonal vase, I love the skeletonised kale leaf. There really is something irrestistable about the smell of basil, it always piques the appetite.

  7. nexi says:

    Love what you’ve done with the black kale….mine ended up as lace curtains smothered in mint green caterpillars. Good year for cabbage whites this one…!

    • I don’t think that I have ever seen so many white butterflies as this year. The strange thing with the kale was that although it is now completely skeletonised, I never saw any of those horrid green caterpillars!

  8. Sam says:

    Inspired! I love the mixture of flowers and herbs/veg, especially the lacy kale leaves and garlic chives.

    • Thanks. Since I work in the walled garden at Wimpole, I try to make sure my borders contain as many edible things as possible, hence the fairly natural mixing of flowers and veg in arrangements I think. That kale for instance has worked wonderfully amongst the cosmos etc all summer long.

  9. Chloris says:

    Well, you certainly have an interesting collection of plant material here, mixing food and flowers. So pretty and so unusual.

  10. Christina says:

    Lovely ideas in your vases today. I used basil a lot last year in cases but haven’t done yet this year. I’m a bit surprised you’re growing Black Tuscany in summer it is a winter crop here.

    • Thanks Christina. The kale was late to go in last autumn and has lasted right throughout the year, with only one or two running to flower. It looks great in the borders as a surprise focus plant.

  11. pbmgarden says:

    The leaf structures add an interesting form to the arrangement. I like the dahlia a lot.

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