In a Vase on Monday

Rosa Harlow Carr flower posy

I picked this small posy of flowers from Mum’s garden. She grows plants on heavy clay soil she’s worked hard to amend over the years. Her garden, shaded for part of the day, supports a selection of fruit, roses and other cottage garden flowers.

I overstuffed a tiny milk jug with flowers of the right scale to fit: ‘Harlow Carr’ roses, a sprig or two of lavender, two forms of geranium, bellis, viola and some campanula. I’ll never make a florist, but  it looked (and smelled) sweet. I only needed to raid the back garden, leaving the fine foliage plants and shrubs at the front for another day.

As so often in a private garden, there’s a little story behind each plant. Some arrived as presents from family or friends: others were grown from seed or acquired on a trip to her favourite garden centre, Bents

Mum crops her lavender, binds the flowers into bunches, and hangs them up to dry each year so she has scented posies to share.

One of several beloved dogs she’s treasured down the years was the reason she brought a division of the creeping campanula over from her previous home. Moss, a bearded collie and a wise kind of dog, liked to graze on it when he took the fancy. The campanula still grows in nooks and crannies as a living keepsake of him – it only seems to need the tiniest expanse of soil to thrive.

I did a quick search to see if there was any science behind dogs appearing to self-medicate with plants and found several articles, including an extract from plantsman Christopher Lloyd on the Great Dixter website (which has sadly since been removed).

Mum is having a birthday later this month (I’ll spare her blushes by not telling you the number). I’m celebrating her gardening talents a little early by showing you just a few of the flowers she grows – and I’m sending lots of love!

I thought I’d also submit it to In a Vase on Monday which is a great way for bloggers to celebrate seasonal blooms. I’m sure the host Cathy is used to turning a blind eye to a little rule-breaking: I should confess that today, the pink geranium is just a mass of picturesque seeds and leaves, but everything else is still in flower here in North West England.

22 Replies to “In a Vase on Monday”

    1. I’m sure dogs work out more than we’d perhaps expect by some strange combination of instinct, trial and error and memory. Another of Mum’s dogs, Terry, found his way across town from her parent’s home to her new one soon after she moved out, even though he’d only been on the bus before. He was just sitting outside her bedroom window one morning when she woke up.

    1. It is. There are hydrangeas, shrub and rambling roses, polemoniums and honeysuckle in flower at the moment too, and lots of poppy seed heads, but I couldn’t fit anything else in the vase!

  1. What a lovely garden posy you have made from your mothers garden. I love the way that you can associate plants in her garden with stories and memories – particularly memories of a special dog. Wish your mother a happy birthday – I hope you both enjoy your celebrations!

  2. Glorious colours, Susan – Harlow Carr looks great against those blues, doesn’t it? Great to hear memories behind the plants – I met up with my sisters today and we were saying the same sort of thing about plants we had passed round the family over the years. Thanks for joining us today 🙂

    1. Harlow Carr is a dainty little rose – one of my favourites – but English roses of all colours work well with lavenders and blues. Thanks for being such a great host!

    1. Thanks for Mum’s birthday wishes! I’m glad you liked the article. I discovered quite a lot of strange-but-true information by searching for zoopharmacognosy, a word I stumbled upon when putting the post together.

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