(Almost) In a Vase on Monday

This afternoon I dutifully plucked my choices, prepared to plunk them in a vase, and was told in no uncertain terms to remove the flowers from the house.  Who is this woman I married who cannot tolerate the scent of garden phlox!?  Allergies and a lack of any thoughtfulness were brought up but by that time I had already scurried back outside.  So with camera in one hand and bouquet in the other, my vase is quite open to interpretation this week.

tall phlox seedlings

Late blooming garden phlox, all seedlings found scattered here and there throughout the garden beds.

I hope it’s not considered offensive to have a Monday vase without a vase, but Cathy over at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this weekly effort seems to be all for stepping outside the box now and then, so I don’t think there will be any hard feelings.  Plus, when you consider my arranging efforts are usually not far removed from throwing everything down on a table anyway, even with a vase it’s not likely things would have improved much!

self sown phlox

I actually ripped out the two plants on the right a year ago, but apparently they came back from the roots. I’m glad they did, and I should show them a little more respect from now on.

Hopefully the flowers speak for themselves.  These are all unnamed garden phlox seedlings (phlox paniculata) that were looking nice scattered around the garden.  So often I read the repeated advice that phlox should be deadheaded, don’t allow seedlings to grow, and if you do all sorts of chaos will ensue… but I suspect this is yet another bit of garden advice regurgitated yet never tested by the speaker.   Sure if you grow your own phlox seedlings, the plants may not be as excellent as the parents, but I just want to say mine have reseeded, the original plants are fine, many of the seedlings are attractive, and no zombie apocalypse has descended down upon my garden.  If you only have room for one phlox, by all means get a guaranteed color, but if you have a little room to experiment, give it a go.  The surprise can be nice and if not there’s always the compost pile.

Have a great week, and if you’re interested in seeing what other gardeners are doing with real vases give Cathy a visit over at her blog!

28 comments on “(Almost) In a Vase on Monday

  1. I wholeheartedly agree that non-deadheaded phlox are not even going to put you in horticultural purgatory. In some circles, there is fear of the Dreaded Magenta, and that is where this advice came from. Heavens to Betsy, if you forget to deadhead, your phlox might Revert. I just love driving by old country homes and seeing huge stands of Phlox paniculata, well grown. And take a look here: http://perennialpleasures.net/all-about-phlox

    • bittster says:

      I think one of the reasons I like phlox as much as I do is because it reminds me of summers at my aunt’s century plus home in Maine. There was a large clump right outside the door and I always think of it when I get a good breeze filled with phlox.
      But I’m never sure what the bad magenta is! Maybe my colors are off because one minute I think it’s pink, then someone calls it magenta, then it’s purple…. I just don’t worry about it.
      -and I did dip into the perennial pleasures website this spring and might revisit again this fall, just for another one or two new ones, you know?

  2. Christina says:

    What a shame you can’t enjoy your Phlox indoors but they do have a very strong perfume so I can imagine they might cause a problem to someone with allergies, never mind, I like the ‘almost’ selffy . of your bouquet. the colour mix looks great so I agree about not pulling out the seedlings, one day you might discover an amazing new colour that will make your fortune (we can always dream!) Christina

    • bittster says:

      Yes! I do like to dream 🙂
      I’m in danger of clearing a new bed just to fill it with phlox. Several are still blooming or reblooming and I’m again back to my early summer phlox love affair!
      -I glanced at your vase this morning, I love the annual asters and need to try them again. They’re just not very common around here.

      • Christina says:

        I found the seed very easily in the UK so I imagine you could get the seed, they aren’t really Asters, I’ll put their Latin name next time.

  3. Cathy says:

    Who needs a vase?! They are lovely and i imagine the scent is wonderful. I can sympathise with others who have sensitive noses though, and think they probably smell a whole lot better outdoors. 😉

    • bittster says:

      I’m just as happy enjoying them outdoors! For as much as I like bringing blooms inside they do tend to sit and die without much attention being paid to their decline. Messy is a word which my mother in law likes to throw around….. I prefer to call it busy 🙂
      I noticed you and Christina both featured asters this week. They look fantastic and I’m a big fan of the ostrich feather look!

  4. Annette says:

    Put it on the verandah table – it’s delightful and the scent will be somewhat diluted 😉

    • bittster says:

      Yes, that’s a great compromise. I should have known better, there are plenty of safe things to bring indoors, but this was not one of them. My daughter happily brought the flowers over to grandma’s house…. And I believe she received a cookie covered icecream in return, so all was not lost!

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Creative vase alternative!

  6. I love phlox, but, as an allergy sufferer myself, I can relate to your wife’s issue with them in the house. I’ve tried to grow them here, but it seems they are a favorite of the woodchucks.

    I agree with Annette–have you a table outside where you could put a vase of phlox?

    • bittster says:

      Extra flowers always find homes around the neighborhood. No one ever wants plant divisions, but send a 6 year old girl around with a few flowers and she’s guaranteed to return with a chocolatey face or a few coins in her pocket!
      I am so glad the woodchucks have never moved in permanently here. I feel spoiled when I see the damage they can do….

  7. Chloris says:

    Lovely, I should be thrilled if I got Phlox self seeding in my garden. Lovely colours.

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Chloris, I’m lucky to have them since often I think my garden is too dry for them. But I keep my mouth shut and hope ignorance remains bliss for them!

  8. Cathy says:

    Oh Frank – yes please, think out of the box every week. Flowers plunked in your hand are worth two not plunked at all! And what an interesting conversation about phlox – I was ignorant of all this and like Chloris would be more than happy to have phlox self-seeding, whatever the colour, although of course I may live to regret that statement! Please do drop in and amuse us next Monday too!! 🙂

    • bittster says:

      I would be more than happy to keep joining in. It’s nice to go out there and just put something nice together rather than get caught up in the weeding, color clashes, and insect damage!
      Thanks for hosting 🙂

  9. AnnetteM says:

    Beautiful flowers- inside or out.

  10. One of my garden dreams if I ever have time, ha ha, is to make a bed filled with every phlox cultivar in existence. That bed would eventually revert to all pink because the pink plants are a lot stronger.

    • bittster says:

      Hmmmm. I voiced that same thought not too long ago. An entire bed filled with phlox would be a nice way to over-do any phlox love. This is how I get in trouble, and that’s why most of the vegetable garden is filled with flowers! It all just starts with a little overindulgence and before you know it you can’t plant tomatoes because of all the tulips and dahlias!

  11. I love Phlox! Have never had a spreading problem with them- they stay in a clump for me. Allergies really blow! What a bummer 😦 At least you tried to be sweet.

    • bittster says:

      First I don’t think I would ever call too many phlox a ‘spreading problem’ LOL, and second most of the phlox clump up nicely, but I’ve noticed a few which do send out runners. Still not a problem for me, but interesting to observe.

  12. When we lived in Wisconsin we had a back border full of self-sown phlox. I used to rip them out, then grew to like them.

  13. Frank, I agree on Phlox. I have had white (some David) for twenty years and they never seeded themselves excessively. I have many pink varieties too and the whites have never “turned pink”. I also have a blue, which is a very weak cultivar. I comes back every year, but never is much of a showing. Also not a very strong blue either.

    • bittster says:

      My opinion on the blue phlox is still out. It had a nice bloom this year but is infested with mildew, kind of a surprise for one advertised as resistant.
      White seedlings come up frequently around my garden and some are very nice…. there are actually only a few I’m not crazy about 🙂

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