In a Vase on Monday – A Summer Salad


The cephalaria had to go! I’ve two large plants at the back of the border, but as giant scabious is a prolific self-seeder I also have slightly smaller samples all along the edge of the driveway, in the gravel. I’d been leaving them to flower before pulling them up, but after last week’s horizontal westerlies the plants have re-orientated themselves to a sideways position and they are now drumming the cars each time we leave! So in a vase today we have several of the cut down primrose yellow flowers of Cephalaria gigantea, together with a smorgasbord of other summer staples.


Our opium poppies have been lovely this year, but are getting to the stage where there are more seed heads than flowers, so I’ve cut a few of those too. I love their carousel tops and pumpkin-like bodies.


Adding a bit of colourful zing (always important in making salads!) are some cornflowers and lychnis. Sadly, my Penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ is a bit muted here. It was brighter and more interesting a couple of weeks ago. Maybe the heat and dryness are bleaching the colours from it? They still provide such wonderful bells though and it’s fun to look inside at the rib-cage like anthers:


Looking inside a penstemon bell

Filling out the rest of the vase are some stems of long flowering staples feverfew, linaria and nepeta. It certainly feels like summer now (OK obviously, ‘cos the solstice is only two days away) and with melting temperatures of 31+ degrees today I am lucky to have got away with picking the flowers for the vase in the afternoon heat.


I’ve retreated indoors for the time being and brought the vase with me. It hasn’t stopped the bumblebees coming in to visit the cephalaria though. They sure love those blooms!

Hope that you are enjoying the sunshine! I am joining in with Cathy’s unstoppable In a Vase on Monday meme. Many beautiful flowers are on display there if you fancy a visit.



About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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21 Responses to In a Vase on Monday – A Summer Salad

  1. Cathy says:

    What a crammed full vase you have – and what a warning you have given me as the cephalaria I grew from seed is just coming into bud for the first time…!!! No penstemon here for me as my exisiting ones have not got through the winter and my cuttings all failed too… 😦

    • What a shame about your penstemon! My cuttings have been a bit touch and go, but cutting them back and letting them come again has helped. The cephalaria are easy to remove if you find them whilst they are young, but they have pretty chunky root systems once established, so be ruthless.

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    This is lovely and lively, Allison! I esp. like the pinwheels of green poppy pods contrasting with the hot pink lychnis. Thanks for pointing out the penstemon anthers – very cool!

    • I love poppies in all their stages, but especially the seedpods. I did pottery for a while and I still have a couple of the hand-coiled pots that were suppose to be poppy seedheads!

  3. Mrs. Brown says:

    The variety of texture is so beautiful. Just lovely.

  4. Volpinablu-Antonella says:

    Si beautiful!!!!

  5. Cathy says:

    Wonderful! Cephalaria and poppy seed heads are so bold and striking in a colourful vase – love it!

  6. Hasn’t the weather been glorious? Your vase is a lovely way to celebrate a taste of summer.

    • Well, the weather has finally broken. There are now a lot of beaten flower heads in the mud. I am glad to see the rain though and it is finally enough to make a difference to the garden.

  7. Alison C says:

    Pretty things and your poppy heads remind me that I have some of those. I do like the Cephalaria, I used to have some but have seen them in my mum’s garden so I must beg some seeds. Giants but lovely ones. Lovely view of the penstemon too. I’m sure the bees love them.

    • Thanks. I’ve been cutting and bunching up the poppy seedpods as I strip them out of the vegetable patch. I will dry them for the winter. We had bumblebees flying into the kitchen for three days after I gathered the vase. They were all heading straight for the cephalaria!

  8. Robbie says:

    I never would of thought to use a poppy head in a summer flower arrangement, great idea! Beautiful vase!!!!

  9. Chloris says:

    I love the poppy seed heads what a great idea. The cephalaria is gorgeous too.

  10. A gorgeous mix. I am still waiting for my cephalaria to flower. I love them

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