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The dreaded “f-word” was prominent in last weekend’s weather forecast, so I spent a fair amount of my Saturday catching up on some much procrastinated chores: bringing the last few houseplants indoors, taking cuttings of coleus for winter rooting, and harvesting the window box full of basil.  The most fun task, however, was cutting as many annual flowers as I could and arranging them in vases all over the house.  016This vase of self-seeded ‘Pink Sensation’ Cosmos wound up on the roll top desk in our entryway.  023I mixed a few more Cosmos with some ‘Jaguar’ Marigolds, and put it on the corner of the same desk.024The Cosmos didn’t last long in the vase.  By Tuesday evening (three full days), most had shriveled and withered and found their way to the compost bin.

I put another bouquet of ‘Jaguars’ in the family room.  I really like the look of yellow flowers in this denim-blue pottery vase.  My best friend gave it to me a few years ago, and she happened to be visiting this weekend, so I was happy to show her that I like it and use it!051

I grew these marigolds from seed I had collected from plants the year before, then direct sowed them into the garden in mid-July.  The first flower opened about six weeks after sowing.  I wasn’t sure what I would get, since ‘Jaguar’ is a hybrid, and was pleased when it bloomed true.  Its longer stems and loose growing habit (less mounded than many marigolds) makes it a great cut flower.  They last well in a vase, too–after five days, I’ve had to remove only a few droopy blooms.050I even put a small vase full of them in the bathroom!047

Two Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun’ made their way into a tiny vase on the kitchen windowsill.  One was a barely open bud which has opened widely over its days in the house.  This Blanket Flower has been a powerhouse bloomer in the garden all summer, taking no breaks in flowering since mid-June.  I like it so much that I purchased and planted two more this fall!027

Here’s one of my favorite vases, full of “Zowie! Yellow Flame” Zinnias.  They closely resemble the Blanket Flower, don’t you think?010These sit on a kitchen counter.  Normally, I have a hard time keeping my counters clear of paper and other “stuff”, but when there’s a bouquet of fresh flowers to highlight, I make that clutter disappear!057Such a bright, cheerful flower!  These are lasting a long time in the vase as well.  They do suck up a LOT of water each day, so I’ve been vigilant about refilling the vase.

Finally, here is a mixed vase on the dining room table.  It includes a few ‘State Fair Mix’ Zinnias, one very mature ‘Zowie!’ Zinnia, some self-seeded Cleome, ‘Jaguar’ Marigolds, and three plumes of Zebra Grass from my neighbor’s yard:031The Cleome has dropped a few petals on the table, but otherwise, this vase is holding up well.  Of all the vases I made on Saturday, this is my favorite.  I really like the combination of colors and textures it holds.  039We did indeed get a hard frost on Saturday night, followed by snow squalls during the day Sunday and even lower temperatures Sunday night.  A couple of times this week, I’ve caught myself thinking, “Hmm . . . I should go out and cut a few more marigolds or Cleomes to fill in the empty spots,” and then I am sad when I realize that they’re all gone until next year!  At least I still have some mums and asters blooming outside, and some well-budded Christmas cacti and African violets in the house!

Even though it’s well past Monday, I am linking to Cathy’s weekly In a Vase on Monday blog party.  It’s a great place to meet other bloggers and get inspired to create your own arrangements from whatever may be blooming around your garden each week!

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