In a Vase: A September Rose

the Monday Vase

The heat has finally broken here in the Sonoran Desert. Yesterday afternoon a slow rain moved in on cool air. Today it continues to drizzle, a luscious moisture refreshing the soil, the plants, the garden creatures, and the people. 

The garden is changing almost as I watch, leaves greening and flowers brightening the borders. The native plants in particular are beginning to bloom more.  Calliandra californica is misting the Central Bed with a froth of bright red.  Leucophyllum frutescens - sometimes called barometer bush because of its uncanny capacity for flowering several days in advance of rainfall - predicted this rain a couple of days ago, when the skies were still only lightly cloudy.
And the roses are coming to life again too. Today's vase centers on the arrival of a lovely bloom on Crown Princess Margareta.
the Monday Vase

I included some stems of Leucophyllum as well, though the flowers drop very quickly.  And there are the brilliant blue dots of Salvia reptans 'Sapphire Skies'.

Salvia reptans and Leucophyllum frutescens in the Monday Vase

Smaller still are these pops of intense pink from an unidentified wildflower that has sprawled its way onto the patio.  If it were any less graceful, it would be a weed, but it is pretty and bright and unassuming, so I am slow to remove it.  In any case, like most desert annuals it removes itself very quickly and completely when it is done flowering.

wildflower in the Monday Vase

Even Catharanthus roseus is all the better for the cooler weather...

Catharanthus roseus in the Monday Vase is the miniature rose 'Kordes' Lavender'.

miniature rose kordes lavender in the Monday Vase

I have used my recently made vase again.  The exterior is unglazed red clay such as I make my flower pots with, while the inside is lined with a dark glaze.  The glaze is still in experimental stage, and I'm hoping to run some more tests this week.  The goal is to have a glaze that does not craze (crackle) quite so much.  Some crazing is to be expected, as this is a borax-based recipe, but I would prefer to reduce it a little!  Higher temperatures in firing will help, but I will be tweaking the recipe too!  Such are the cogitations of a potter who can't resist engineering her own clays and glazes...

the Monday Vase

A big thank you to Cathy for hosting In a Vase on Monday each week!  There are autumn flowers in her vase as well - just a different set!  


Happy new week!


Ed. I think - at any rate I have to hope - that this post contains more obvious and egregious errors than any others I have published to date.  To refer to a current tropical storm as Flora instead of Rosa might be a natural slip for a gardener.  But to get one's months entirely mixed demands a little more explanation.  So, to explain...  While posting, I was still fretting over my failure to complete and publish another post - one to be entitled something like 'Blue in September' or 'September Blues' - about Salvia reptans, to my mind a most fascinating and arguably underused member of its genus.  And somehow the 'September' got mixed into this post despite the successful recent arrival of October.  The rest of the tale lies in too much stress and too little sleep lately.  I still intend to get the other post up, but will most certainly be changing the title!


I would change the title of this post rather than have my bleary mistake blazoned in 24 pt, or whatever it is, across the top of the page; but I suspect that would mess up all the links, so I will simply leave this note for the patient reader...  Cheers!

the Monday Vase

Weather Diary: Cloudy with rain; High: 83 F (28 C)/Low: 76 F (24 C); Humidity: 47%-89%  We are expecting heavy rain tonight; this is after all the remains of Hurricane Flora, so flash flood watches are in place.  Fortunately I just stocked up on horse feed, as our neighborhood does get cut off by flowing water during major storms.

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Comments: 14
  • #1

    Kris P (Monday, 01 October 2018 23:37)

    Your wildflower looks a little like Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy', Amy. Your roses are utterly remarkable. I'm envious of the rain and I hope Tropical Storm Rosa has some precipitation left to drop on us in SoCal later this week.

  • #2

    Derek Grant (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 01:13)

    A brilliant, informative, visually stunning post...... just like you previous posts. Congrats.

  • #3

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 01:27)

    Kris - It's actually much smaller than Itsy Bitsy lol! But it does have that tiny pom pom look. And at least the rabbits don't seem to bother this stuff; sadly I can't keep them out of gomphrena. I definitely hope the rain makes it all the way out to you! From the forecast here, I would think there might be enough to go around for once. And... that 'Flora' mistake... ouch! I've left a note at the end of the post! ;-)

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 01:33)

    Thank you so much, Derek! Hopefully all the important information is correct - I didn't have this posted for more than an hour when I realized the crazy errors I'd made. Oh well...
    It's nice being able to photograph the vases in the softer autumn light now!

  • #5

    Marcelo (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 02:47)

    Amy, I love that moment when fall bring relief to the garden and plants come back to life, it's a second spring for us in warm climates. I love the Crown princess Margareta rose, I wanted David Austin roses for decades but never found a nusery that sold them here untill this year, I bought 15 or 16 varieties but they didn't have CPM. Have a wonderful - and cool - week!

  • #6

    Cathy (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 05:59)

    Your rose is beautiful - perfect for your lovely vase - and I thought nothing of the title as I just assumed it had been picked a day earlier! (Your postscript made me laugh!)
    I am glad you have some cooler rainy weather coming your way now. Enjoy!

  • #7

    Diana Studer (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 16:26)

    My head is still in September, as I write my 'September' garden post.

  • #8

    Jane (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 16:38)

    Hi Amy, how observant am I? I didn’t even think twice about the September title! Well, you could have picked the rose in September, it’s only the beginning of October! The rose looks gorgeous in your vase which looks like the kind of object I would like to pick up and run my hands over. I’m so glad you’ve received rain. I expect it’s like here: when it happens, I can’t stop looking out of the window at it.

  • #9

    Bec Jones (Tuesday, 02 October 2018 17:29)

    your rose is lovely, as is your vase :-) I've got lavender in my vase this week :-) and my wedding flowers from a year ago.
    love Bec :-)

  • #10

    Noelle (Wednesday, 03 October 2018 03:54)

    Such an interesting post...and what a stunner: Kordes Lavender.

  • #11

    Cathy (Wednesday, 03 October 2018 14:49)

    Luscious moisture....I can imagine just how much the ground welcome it....! And I was wrong about the rose - but CPM is lovely and a great centre piece, set off again by the gorgeous colour of your clay pot. I am sorry to learn that you are stressed and suffering from lack of sleep. Hope you are not fretting about your new venture but whatever it is I do so hope things improve soon. Take care Amy

  • #12

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 08 October 2018 21:37)

    Marcelo - Yes, I think the start of autumn is almost better than spring for those of us in very hot climates! I do hope you can eventually find Crown Princess Margareta, as I have found it to be very reliable in the heat - perhaps it is a different matter with humidity, but I would highly recommend it! So sorry for my very late reply! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  • #13

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 08 October 2018 21:46)

    Cathy@Words and Herbs - Thank you kindly, Cathy :) We have had yet more rain; it is turning into one of the prettiest autumns since I began the garden! I really need to get into the borders and thin them out as some of the plants are getting very rambunctious!

  • #14

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 08 October 2018 21:59)

    Diana - My head certainly was still in the month before too! ;-) October is turning into a very pretty month; this is the nicest autumn in several years at least!