I have a couple of monsters in my vegetable patch!  One is the ‘Sweet 100’ cherry tomato, which has happily rambled over the fence.  The other is a self-seeded sunflower, a “volunteer” from last year.  016Very early in the summer, I ruthlessly pinched off its first bud, and it rewarded me with over a dozen branches, heavy with buds.  So heavy was it, in fact, that in mid-July, the main branch fell over.  It was broken, but not completely, so I let it lie there on the ground, where it has budded and bloomed.

My first bouquet today, then, is a sextet of these beautiful volunteers:008I chose the same blue vase from last week because I like the combination of blue and yellow, and it has a narrow neck which helps support the floppy flowers well.  010Because the blooms are so heavy and floppy, I gave them a little extra support by wrapping a twist-tie around the stems.012I have no clue what variety of sunflower this is; its flowers are on the small side, about four inches wide, and it blooms prolifically.  I think it’s about to put on quite the show for me!013

The second bouquet I’m sharing today came from our local farm market, and came to me as a result of my own volunteerism:023During the school year, I volunteer weekly for a Kindergarten teacher, giving children who need a little extra help some individual attention.  On Saturday, I ran into this teacher at the market, and reminded her that she can once again call on me.  Several minutes later, she approached me again and handed me this lovely bouquet with a, “Thank you for all you do.”  She is just the sweetest person you could hope to meet!027And what a sweet arrangement this is, with zinnias, dahlias, ageratum, strawflowers, and statice, all tightly bunched together and tied.  029Speaking of volunteers, I’d like to give a shout out to Cathy from Rambling in the Garden for hosting this weekly meme.  Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are featuring in a vase this Monday!