in a vase on monday


I like using annuals to fill out new beds while waiting for the shrubs and perennials to fill in. It’s as close as I have come, so far, to planting a cutting bed. The snapdragons have been a disappointment (shorter and less full than expected) but they do their job in a vase. These dark red, velvety Anthirrum are augmented by a couple of stems of Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’. The color of the purple glass pitcher doesn’t show up very well here, but it bridges the deep red and the pale blue of one Hydrangea and the fading pink of the other.

Anthirrum & Lavender

Here’s the snapdragon in situ in the herb bed. I had visions of tall, elegant spires, but oh well…


My experience with Hydrangeas as cut flowers has been that as they age, they become more durable. You can see signs of aging on the lower one (it begins to take on an antique, slightly rusty look). I suspect it will last longer in the vase than the fresher one above.

Click through to see what Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) has in store this week.

24 thoughts on “in a vase on monday

  1. Oh how lovely–great combination of colors. I’m envious of your hydrangeas. I grew a dark red snapdragon last fall and it overwintered nicely. The heat here is too much for it though at this time of year.

  2. What an attractive hydrangea. It’s fascinating to watch the colours change as they first mature and then age. My snapdragons are only really just getting going now. Here they will sometimes overwinter and go on to produce for another year or two but they become woody and do not flower much.

  3. I always enjoy your post. I liked the color and flower combinations, so decided to go pick some flowers and copy you, but of course I didn’t have the lovely purple glass pitcher. My snapdragons are not blooming very well either this summer, I live in Salem, Oregon. Must be the heat! They are one annual I always plant, I had one snapdragon survive from last year, must have been the warm winter. It is pink and that one is blooming the best. The dark red ones are only getting a few flowers on each stalk.

  4. I would plant snapdragons, they seem to handle both cold and shade pretty well. For some reason Judy doesn’t like them, though. Your velvety red one looks very good, though.

    • I have childhood associations with the snaps, so I gotta love ’em. Richard and I have different taste in plants, but enough space that we can both indulge ourselves. Sometimes, I must admit, the areas where we work together and compromise turn out the best. Hmmm…there might be a lesson in there somewhere.

  5. Gorgeous! My Hydrangeas seem to bloom profusely every other year, and sparsely during the off year. Is that common? I’ll have to research it. I love them, though, and Snapdragons make great companions.

    • Could have something to do with the way you prune. I cut back no more than a third of the branches each year and just the flower trusses on the remainder.

  6. You do make good use of shadows in your photographs! I love snapdragons but they don’t do well here for me at all – they’re rust magnets even when I’m careful to water them only at soil level. However, what surprised me most is that your snaps are still blooming as they’re long gone in my area of SoCal.

  7. Nice arrangement! I’ve decided to use annuals like you do for my future projects, mainly reseeders like Nigella and California poppies. Better weeds I want than weeds I don’t.

  8. My snapdragons overwintered last year but I’m not sure it will be worth trying to get them through another winter. Interesting observation about the hydrangeas, do let us know if your assumption is correct.

    • My snaps will get a nice blanket of mulch, along with everything else, but beyond that they’re on their own. I can tell you from past experience that the fresher Hydrangea will begin to curl after a few days, while her elder sister is more likely to dry in place, losing some color but not form.

  9. Ricki, I’ve always wanted to grow some velvety red Snapdragons, so I’m envious, they look grand with the Hydrangeas. Hydrangeas always look like they were cut out of paper to me, and I like the various colors they change into, and they are such a long-lasting flower.

  10. I was admiring the shadows too – it makes a great background. The taller antirrhinums I grew did not flower till their second year but the lovely short pink ones have flowered profusely in this their first year. Thanks for sharing.

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