In a vase on Monday – ‘dark’ colours

I had forgotten the Japanese Iris, so I was blown away by this one appearing so long after the Dutch Iris have finished. It’s the first year it has flowered, and is growing in what I call the night time garden, not because it’s meant to be seen by night but because it’s a mix of dark colours, dark leaves, bright colours and white. (So it’s night time in the city – not so interesting if it was night time in the country which is Β ‘dark as the inside of a cow’s stomach’ as they say here)



The Lily is a tall scent-free one, which is growing and gradually increasing on a sunny bank. Dark purple Penstemon, Keith Hammet dark leaved Dahlias, Dianthus ‘King of the Blacks’, and the Hydrangea ‘Blue Wave’ are from the night time garden.

roses cut flowers

The Roses are Mr Lincoln, I think, (or Deep Secret, or something else) , Iceberg, and an unknown single Rugosa which is spreading and getting quite big – a little scary since it’s making a dense prickly thicket. I’ve promised to keep Iceberg off the solar panel so it was overdue for a trim.

bouquet summer flowers

Linaria and Lychnis and Penstemon ‘Thorn’ make up the remaining flowers.

hydrangea-lychnis-cut flowerscarnation king of the blackscarnation hydrangea lychnis cut flower

Cathy is featuring the magic of early snowdrops over at Rambling in the Garden so make your way over and post a vase of your own.


25 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – ‘dark’ colours

    1. It’s not long (less than a week!) till we switch around and your days start to get longer and ours get shorter. This time of year is so insanely busy in every way. Soon holidays and hopefully a chance to appreciate the flowers.

  1. Beautiful Cath! Japanese iris are always show-stoppers, aren’t they? My favorites are the double red rose, dark dianthus and lychnis with the white hydrangea – sort of a blood-on-snow Christmas theme I’ve got in my head, I guess! Sounds rather gruesome, I know. Maybe the lack of daylight is getting to me! πŸ˜‰

    1. Ha ha. This time of year is Spring planting plus Christmas plus summer holidays plus lots of pre Christmas deadlines. Blood on snow seems quite apt. πŸ™‚

  2. Such an exuberant is a delight for us northern hemisphere dwellers to see such beauty..and rekindles my anticipation of the coming year. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That red rose is spectacular, although it looks more heavily petaled than the ‘Mr. Lincoln’ I’m familiar with. I echo the other commentators in expressing appreciation for the exuberant collection of late spring flowers – even in Southern California, we don’t have anything that can compete with that display at this time of year.

  4. Fabulous rich colors Cath. Irises are such a treat and that red rose is magnificent. Lychnis is one of my favorite little flowers so I enjoyed seeing them in your vase as well.

  5. The picture of the vase you have used for your header is stunning, Cath – it really shows off the rich colours of the contents. The red rose is stunning, whatever its name, and brings out the colour of the iris. I am curious about the dahlia – as you will know they are a late summer/autumn flower in the UK, but yours is flowering in your spring. Will they now flower during your summer as well? And presumably yours stay in the ground all year, do they? I willlbe winter pruning our wisteria in the next few days – having had to remove a lot of tendrils from around our solar panels during its summer prune… 😦

    1. Thanks Cathy, I was given that vase years ago, and I’ve always liked the colours.
      I’ve only been growing Dahlias for a couple years, and the ones I’ve had for longest are like you say, they are nowhere near blooming yet. The ones flowering now are all new, a mixture of ones bought in pots on special last autumn, and some bought in the normal way and planted only recently. I will report whether they come back later in the summer. Right now they are really covered with flowers, so I think they will need a rest. I do leave them in the ground all year, so maybe next year they will be slower, sitting in the cold ground instead of in a pot or a cardboard box.
      Wisteria is lovely, but a bit of a handful here. I have seen it trained as a sort of standard tree which was nice.

  6. What a beautiful, beautiful shambolic vase. And you working to keep the white Iceberg rose off the solar panel, so I am imagining it climbing up a trellis and all those lovely white flowers tumbling down. We can’t get Iris bulbs here in western India, and I was dying to grow them. Last year I went searching for them at our yearly garden show in January where all the nurseries gather to sell their wares. No one had any. It’s probably for the best as nurseries won’t sell what won’t take to our kind of climate. I came across seeds online, which aren’t strictly Iris. One company has just popped up on our local amazon with Iris bulbs. But I am not really sure if they will grow well in our tropical variety of cold. And this year we have had a bizarre, warm winter probably because of an El Nino.

    1. Thank you! There is a huge variety of Iris, however maybe they need more cold or dryness than you have? I’m curious to know what your climate is like.
      We have difficulty getting new plants here, there’s a lot of protection around what plants and seeds can come into the country.

      1. We alternate between wet and dry, it’s very hot in summer, can get up to 40-42 deg C, wet monsoon between June and September, then a pleasant dry winter from November up to February. Because we are in a valley just off the Western Ghats we do not have much humidity like Bombay, which is close to us on the coast facing the Arabian Sea. And you are right about Irises, it’s perhaps not cold or dry enough here, that’s why our nurseries think best not to sell those bulbs to us. Or is it just that there wasn’t demand? Because, they do sell Gladiolus every year and I have grown Amaryllis lilly successfully in our winter. The Iris I am guessing need a more proper cold spurt than we can manage here. This year has been a strange one, with a droughty monsoon season and a warm winter that feels more like March spring weather. I have heard about New Zealand being strict about alien plants and seeds getting in. I watched a wonderful documentary about the Kakapo and all the care the conservationists are taking to make sure that nothing from outside gets in to destroy its habitat. Our Indian Myna for instance is notorious for doing that in Australia. It takes over tree hollows from native birds and outs native nestlings.

      2. Your climate sounds pleasant to live in, and you must be able to grow a real range of frost free plants.
        I do notice that some of the plants I grow don’t do as well as I think they would with colder weather, bearded Irises for one. We will have to see if there is an Iris which is native to somewhere really warm.
        We have a large number of imported birds including Mynas. I believe a lot of them, like the starlings, were brought in to control insects in agriculture. The magpie is lovely but seems very aggressive to other birds, or maybe just very protective.

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