In A Vase On Monday – Summer Sun

IMG_4424Seeing Cathy’s (Words and Herbs) sunflower vase last week, I was reminded that I hadn’t used my sunflower pocket vase this year.  So, here it is, hand-painted in Ecuador by Artesa.

IMG_4428The large flowers are, of course, sunflowers (Helianthus annuus). I love the coppery blush on the largest one. No ID as it is from the CSA farm where we have we have a weekly share pick-up.

IMG_4427The yellow daisies are woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatusand the grass is yellow fox-tail (Setaria pumila).

IMG_4423I recently learned that certain foxtail grasses create a problem with livestock and pets, because the barbed seed heads can embed in flesh, entering through ears and nose, where they can fester. Like in a horror film, some cases have resulted in death when the barb migrates to the heart or brain. The particularly troublesome species to watch for is Foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum). Here is a short video to help identify it. Another is Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis). If you have a dog that runs free in fields, click here to learn more.

Even though Setaria isn’t on the really bad list, I’ve been on a campaign to pull and trash the seed heads ever since. They’ve been increasing in my yard over the past decade, probably brought in via an animal or hay bale. I found them attractive to look at both in the garden and in arrangements. However, I can forego the pleasure if it means avoiding a costly vet bill. I’d rather be safe than sorry. It may take a few years before I can get most of them out of the yard, it’s a work in progress.

IMG_4425Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase what is blooming in our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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76 Responses to In A Vase On Monday – Summer Sun

  1. Cathy says:

    That’s gorgeous Eliza. The absolute perfect vase! I often read ‘CSA’ farm on American/Canadian blogs… can you enlighten me what it stands for? Oh, and wise words about that grass; when I was little we had a Cocker Spaniel and he had terrible trouble with those seeds working their way into his ears. It must have been very painful for him and cost us a fortune in vet bills too. We checked his ears constantly and avoided grassy areas, but still he got them almost every year.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cathy. CSA stands for Community Sustained Agriculture. It’s where members buy a ‘share’ of the future harvest to support the farmers ahead of time. So good year or bad, the farmers get to continue to practice their trade. Ours is horse-powered, so it is particularly special in our eyes. Here’s a post about the farm: http://wp.me/p3O3z4-wR
      Your poor dog, I read that sporting dogs are particularly prone to getting them as they are often in fields.

  2. Christina says:

    The grasses add a special touch to the vase, it’s not easy to mix sunflowers with other flowers I find; and by picking the grasses you’re stopping them from seeding so very worthwhile. A good warning to us all about the hidden dangers for pets in our gardens and the countryside.

  3. Perfect vase and tablecloth for this delightful arrangement

  4. Ann @Suffolk Pebbles says:

    sunshine in a vase!

  5. I had no idea about those grasses, thanks for alerting us.
    Those flowers and that vase are perfect partners and so cheery. Thanks Eliza

  6. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Another vase of sunshine!

  7. Jim Ruebush says:

    My sunflowers are in bloom. I had to tie them up being so top heavy.

    Dad often complained about the foxtail and giant foxtail weeds. Not because of livestock issues. He grew corn and soybeans. He liked ‘neat’ fields.

  8. Beautywhizz says:

    Beautiful arrangement, the vase is good to show off on its own. I like the addition of grasses, shame they cause so much trouble.

  9. Laurie Graves says:

    That arrangement has quite the face, especially in the first photo! Yes, a shame about the grasses, but we must look out for our dog buddies.

  10. I agree with all the comments, Eliza. The vase contributed so nicely to this arrangement.

  11. InfiniteZip says:

    What a gorgeous happy looking vase….should be used every day, even in winter (indoors of course) so pretty.

  12. Perfect name for this beautiful arrangement! I tried to grow some sunflowers and a ground squirrel ate all the tops off … except for the one in a pot on the deck.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Denise. Squirrels can really ruin a garden. Once they discovered my stand of sunflower heads, the birds didn’t get another seed. They trashed the lot. Thugs!

  13. I love the sunflowers – and the grass is a very nice (and unexpected) touch!

  14. Beautiful but dangerous things growing out there.

  15. It’s a beauty, Eliza!

  16. livblumer says:

    You might even have more vases than flowers!

  17. Kathy Sturr says:

    Oh, one of my favorites! I love the grass blossoms but yikes yes, better safe than sorry.

  18. Anca Tîrcă says:

    So beautiful, both the hand painted vase and the flowers in it!And thanks a lot for the info about fox tail and dogs, I did not know!

  19. Kris P says:

    That’s a absolutely wonderful vase, made even more so by the flowers you put in it!

  20. Very nice combination, love the flowers and the vase. Blue and yellow make wonderful partners, I like the grass as an accent, but, it is nasty business. We have a similar barbed grass here, ugh, and a vast collection of nut grass. The spurs here can cut through tires.

  21. joanna says:

    Splendid combination – even the cloth joins in 🙂
    Such robust flowers, but in no way do they overpower the container or vice versa.

  22. Val Boyko says:

    Makes me want to samba!!! 🎉
    Thats a party going on right there in that vase 💛

  23. Just gorgeous! What a wonderful collection of vases you have. You should line them up together one day and show us…

  24. dorannrule says:

    That’s what I call a happy arrangement! The vase is spectacular and even more so with the flowers in it. And yes, thank you for the info on fox tails and the danger to dogs. We were just pet sitting with a golden retriever who glories in running free around our property. Hope he missed any of those nasty foxtails.

  25. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    What a very happy arrangement. Oh, haha, I see that dorannrule just said that. The whole arrangement makes me happy. Beautiful, Eliza!

  26. The flowers were meant for that vase, beautiful!

  27. pbmgarden says:

    Eliza, what a terrific arrangement. The flowers suit the vase perfectly.

  28. Well, now, that certainly is a show stopper. I can’t decide which one is more beautiful – the vase or the flowers. I guess I’ll just enjoy them both because they are gorgeous. 🙂

  29. karen says:

    I really love that vase. And the flowers are so cheerful. Just gorgeous.

  30. Maria F. says:

    I like all these studies Eliza!

  31. MK says:

    I really like this one, Eliza. Such a happy looking arrangement.

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