Sweetness in a vase on Monday was rudely interrupted

This week, we’re getting a new prime minister (Borish Johnson), and an old one (Tony Bliars) is on the radio explaining how terrible his plans are. I could fling the radio out of the window but instead I’ll blog about flowers.

Hydrangea, hebe, pelargonium, in an unglazed ceramic vase

Here’s a selection of homegrown flowers in a vase on Monday. Taking a little time out to enjoy selecting, cutting and arranging flowers is a wonderful displacement activity, that I’d highly recommend it as a hobby. There may be a war coming soon where men argue about shipping vast tankers of fossil fuels around the world. Here’s some sweet william, in a vase with hebe.

Sweet william and hebe in a Bristol blue glass vase

Sharing pictures of those vases with bloggers around the world is a marvellous way to brighten the day, and enjoy the privileged position of political inaction. This is fine for a while, as you can’t be angry all the time.

Sweetpeas in a Bristol blue bud vase

Whatever political nonsense occurs, the flowers still bloom, and with many varieties the more you pick the more they’ll produce new buds as they try to set seed. Sweetpeas are one such plant. Cheap, cheerful and easy to grow, the ideal sweetpea for flower arranging has perfect long stems. These, however, had wibbly, tiny stems, but still look sweet on the kitchen windowsill.

A famous professor called Jordon Peterson said you must get your own house in order before criticising others. So mop the kitchen floor before you go out to smash the patriarchy and block the roads.

Hydrangea is a classic cottage garden flower, which reacts to its conditions by changing colour. In alkaline conditions, flowers are pink.


In normal circumstances, most people are quite nice, and don’t set out to do evil things. Even the leader of British Petroleum has grandchildren who argue with him about climate catastrophe, although unfortunately his response fell short of what’s needed. Instead of calling an immediate halt to all new extraction, and developing an urgent ecological energy development and sunset programme for all fossil fuels, he made a light-hearted comment at a corporate dinner event.

Pink hydrangea flowers

This hydrangea is under a large pine tree. I’d expect these conditions to be acidic, resulting in blue flowers, but this is definitely pink which goes to show sometimes we  know nowt about owt.

I’m not sure if I should share this blog post with Cathy and her lovely gang of garden bloggers, as it’s gone somewhat off the usual tone of ‘In a vase on Monday’ . 😉

Here’s a lovely little bronze jug of yarrow, pelargonium and pink hydrangea to lighten the mood.

Pelargonium, hydrangea and yarrow in a bronze glazed vase

My political action, such as it is, is to get involved with local groups planting trees and wildflowers. I drive less, I don’t fly, and try to buy responsibly. I used to work a lot and shop a lot, and now I work less and ‘be’ more. It’s an experimental plan to spend less time in the office and more in the garden, and see if its a happier life.  Unlike a webpage, it can’t be A/B tested, so if there is an alternative version of me in an alternate universe still living in London and optimising Vogue’s webpages, I’d like to know how she’s doing. She almost certainly wouldn’t have the time to blog about flowers and BP on a Monday morning, and then go to a really silly dancercise class, although she would have the cash to buy the greenhouse I want.

She’d be more involved in the capitalist construct than I am, and I don’t think she’d like that so much. So while I wish alternate, corporate Jen all the very best, I think, on balance, that I’m happy to be in this timeline with its abundant flowers and forthcoming boogie time.


15 thoughts on “Sweetness in a vase on Monday was rudely interrupted

  1. Lovely blog, Jen, and i couldn’t agree with you more. I love these posts. G and i are doing much the same thing. Except i’m writing the odd pome too. Never would have thought that hebe flowers would go in a vase. But i’ve actually used ground elder — it’s quite nice and structural — before yanking the damn thing out of the ground … xx


    1. Thanks Mandy. I think ground elder makes a nice addition to a vase, and also enjoy a quiet withdrawal from the economic system to spend more time tending to flowers and words.


  2. Ah yes, best not to spoil the momemt, sullying the joys of picking from the garden with more wordly goings-on (can hardly believe what you said about the BP boss…). Thank you for sharing all your floral goodies, wonky stems and all, as well as the newer version of you 😊


  3. I loved your post. Here in the US, I often fall prey to making rude gestures at the TV when our Divider-in-Chief makes an appearance on screen. But you’re right, you can’t let anger and frustration consume you. The garden offers a great outlet.

    Today’s arrangements are very pretty. I especially like the Hebe. I’m always on the look out for new ones. Do you know this one’s name?


  4. Thanks Kris. I don’t know the variety of hebe, it’s from a well established hedge on a house we moved into recently.

    Rude gestures are often called for
    when certain people are on telly. Boris Johnson is one of those people.


  5. Well, I am also in the US and have to stop myself from listening – a lot! I understand your radio flinging desires, it is usually my laptop. I live in the middle of nowhere having semi retired from big city life, love it! My alternate universe girl has funds for brick hardscape!! Back to flowers, I adore the Hebe and occasionally see it around here (South Florida) and can only dream about Sweet Peas. Enjoyed all your vases hope you do as well.


  6. Thank you Shrub Queen! I really enjoy reading your blog and isn’t it marvellous that we can virtually enjoy each other’s garden stories! Despite the distance and difference in climate we seem to have much in common – such as dreaming of flowers that won’t easily grow in our garden 🙂


  7. Dang! Well, your flowers are exquisite anyway! I should have just looked at the pictures and not read anything! I just wrote (about another completely unrelated topic) on another blog that really gets me angry, and makes it difficult to write with the civility that you exhibited, and my topic is not even as important in the big picture as yours. Isn’t writing supposed to be relaxing? Yes, I know it is impossible to relax these days, even with a healthy combination of gardening and writing.


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