In A Vase On Monday-Autumn’s Last Colors



It is commonly believed that gardeners are eternal optimists; why else would they bother with an occupation so full of promise, which often remains unfulfilled?  ~Ursula Buchan



The past week was spectacular.  A picture perfect autumn where the warmth of the sun is cooled by the breeze carrying the crispy leaves to the ground.  The plants were still pumping out flowers (like this miniature rose) even though the foliage all around was bedraggled and fading.  Strange to see flowers blooming on browning plants.  Or at least they did until the freezing temps last night.

And with the first big rains (2 inches) last Thursday, followed by a cold wave slated for this week, the garden has faded quickly replaced by blackened seedheads, drenched and disheveled foliage of different autumn hues of red, orange, yellow, green and brown.  All the colors of autumn I love. 



DSCN6218The first autumn color that made a standout last week, was this incredible sunrise on Thursday before the drenching rain.  These colors ushered in a major change in our weather that will likely stay now.  Later October weather.  Low 50s in day and high 30s at night.  Brrrrr!!  (they are calling for a frozen mix all week….sorry I had to whisper this as I didn’t want to actually say the words out loud)





And as the sun rose higher that morning, the garden was washed with an orange hue.  It made the yellow and orange foliage an even brighter orange against the greens still hanging on.  This is what the garden actually looked like…no Photoshopping this picture for effect…none needed.

As I do every Monday (or before Monday sometimes), I wander the garden looking for what plants might make for a lovely vase to bring indoors.  [email protected]Rambling in the Garden hosts this wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday.   And I also love to link in with Today’s Flowers hosted by [email protected]An English Girl Rambles, and [email protected]Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday

So within the entire garden, there must be some interesting plants to find for a vase wouldn’t you think?  As most blooms are gone now, it will be a challenge to create a vase.  But I love the challenge.

Yes I could have put together a cute little nosegay with small left-over blossoms of hardy geranium, fairy roses and coreopsis, but I thought it would be good to use the true bounty of the fall garden.





As the garden fades and gets colder, we turn the waterfall pump off in the pond.  And we cut back the cattails before they go to seed.  This year, I was determined to use these in a few vases in fall.  But what else could stand up to these huge cattails?





And then I remembered this standout hydrangea…the oak-leaf hydrangea.  The foliage turns a brilliant red while the flowers continue to grow white to dusky rose.  I love the contrast.  So I cut the 4 remaining decent looking flowers with some foliage for the vase.





Lastly I needed something dainty, colorful and plentiful to fill out the arrangement.  I continued to see dozens and dozens of these coral pink miniature roses (pictured at the top of the post too) blooming even after a light frost pictured here.  I have used these roses for a few vases this summer and fall, but I never get tired of them.  So they were a must for this vase too.

And here is the finished vase…..





Simple really….I love the autumn garden colors of the vase and the complementing garden foliage behind it.





Here is a close up of the vase with the creamy hydrangea flowers turning that dusky pink that goes beautifully with the brown cattails and roses.




autumn color vase vi

Some additional views in this fun collage I created with




autumn colors

And one final collage also created with  I really love this autumn’s last colors vase.  And I have many more cattails waiting for next week’s vase too.  That will be an even greater challenge as I don’t think there will be many flowers left, if any, in the garden.


I really am adoring creating vases, and I think autumn is the most creative time to look around the garden to see what can be combined for an arrangement in a vase.  As always, I will be taking lots of cues from nature as she provides some of the most stunning arrangements in my garden.



Next up on the blog:  

Monday will be time for another Vase post combined with a Garden Book review.  And next Wednesday I will have fun garden post for the spooky holiday ahead.

sharetheloveI am also joining in I Heart Macro with [email protected]Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.   

79 Replies to “In A Vase On Monday-Autumn’s Last Colors”

  1. Your vase does a great job of capturing the mood of autumn. As a child I adored seeing cattails growing along the roadside and I will have to look more closely for some around here. Hope the frozen mix forecast is way off base this week!

    1. They backed off with the frozen mix forecast after the Sunday/Monday night temp stayed warmer than they thought…so far we are out of the woods…thanks Susie!!

  2. Your miniature rose is lovely and perfect with the Hydrangea which is also gorgeous; I picked some cattails (I think we call them bulrushes) last year and they burst their seeds almost within hours of being picked. I like to use them in a dried arrangement for their strength any tips for how to stop them bursting. We were both inspired by sunsets this week but created very different vases.

    1. I have my cattails in water so perhaps that keeps them from bursting right now. I have had them in water now for 4 days now and I am crossing my fingers they last through next week for another vase. So glad you enjoyed the vase Christina!!

  3. I love your transition into Autumn Donna and always love how you end your posts with these very beautiful bouquets. Have a great week 🙂

  4. I love the light on fall mornings just as the sun rises. It seems to light the autumn leaves right on fire! You’ve captured it beautifully!

    Your vase is very pretty, too. I love the hydrangea and coral roses especially, and the cattails give it nice structure.

  5. Cattails! How awesome those are. I love them in your arrangement. I always admire them at our local parks. Also, the Oakleaf Hydrangea – missing mine but just too cold here. I would hate to loose another one. It is cold here too, Donna, but not freezing – not quite just yet – you know we have that river buffer but boy, once that river freezes all is unleashed! I still need to plant my bulbs – it just seemed too warm last week. I did plant them all at TI Park where I work. These next two weeks will be the time, because I think after this, it’s Winter, baby! Such wonderful colors in your bouquet – have to soak them up and in to last.

    1. I think we have these next 2 weeks as well and then all hell usually breaks loose…so I am finally getting out in the garden to weed a bit, trim back and pull all the crazy volunteers. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a long fall Kathy.

  6. We had some rain and a brief cold spell but now we are back to beautiful weather with lows in the 40s. Your bouquet is beautiful especially pictured out in the garden itself. It will be interesting to see how many more arrangements I can create before they become dried flowers!

    1. You and me both Linda…I plan to keep going as long as I can…we are also back to nights in the low 40s but still lots of rain.

  7. That’s lovely. I brought one cat tail home from the country with me. Should have risked getting all wet and brought more…lol. The last garden roses are so precious, aren’t they? I brought mine inside last week. Loved the roses this year.

  8. I have not visited your blog before and I must say that I have missed out. Your flowers are so pretty and the cattails make a wonderful fall arrangement. I think I’ll be back. Have a good week.

  9. Such a pretty sunrise, Donna! Much as I complain about our drought, I’m a Californian born and bred and I don’t know that I could handle your current temperatures, much less the ones that winter will bring – you should hear us whine when the nighttime temperatures drop into the 50s! Your cattails add a very autumnal element to flowers I’d normally associate with summer but the mix is striking. Best wishes for a great week.

    1. Thanks Kris for the lovely compliment about the vase…my sister and BIL complain when it gets to the 60s and 70s as they live in AZ…I need to visit CA in the winter as your temps would be bliss for me!!

  10. Some fun collages this week Donna. I have faux cattails in a silk arrangement I made. When I was looking after the wellness centre in town, I made a tall arrangement inside the office with cattails (that I sprayed with hairspray) and other fall plants. We came in after the weekend one Monday morning and they had blown and the fluff was everywhere. The owner was not amused…
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

    1. Oh no Judith. I am watching my cattails for any sign they will pop. I have them in water as I hope that will keep them going for at least another week….glad you enjoyed the collages.

  11. The colours in your garden are so lovely, and that is reflected beautifully in your vase. Gorgeous photos! I think your weather is very similar to ours…. we have had some heavy rain recently and a cold spell forecast, although no frost yet.

  12. Beautiful photos! It’s wonderful how the summer flowers are still holding on isn’t it. We had a sunset sky just like yours last week. It was so pretty. I love the beautiful bouquet you made with the cattails and the roses. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Pamela

  13. I love your photos.Having grown up in WNY(Niagara Falls),and now living in Florida,this is the time of year I get a little homesick.Thank you for rminding me just a little of home.

  14. Donna, your sunrises are worth getting up early for! This is a wonderful vase, and, as always, your collages are a fabulous way to show off the flowers. It looks like the hydrangea is a Snowflake hydrangea. Forgive me if you already know its history, but there is a very interesting story that goes with this hydrangea.

    The world didn’t know about these wonderful shrubs until the 1970’s when Eddie Aldridge and his father, Loren, patented them and began propagation, using a single cutting from a dying shrub discovered in Libscomb, Alabama. Originally there were three cuttings, but a nursery worker mistook them for weeds and threw them into the dumpster! Eddie discovered the mistake later that day and sent the unfortunate worker headfirst into the dumpster to retrieve them. The original shrub had died, and only one of the cuttings survived. Now Snowflake hydrangeas are sold worldwide, and since these popular hydrangeas do not reproduce through seeds, every Snowflake hydrangea can be traced back to that single cutting that survived its trip into the dumpster.

    By the way, Eddie Aldridge has become a dear friend of mine. He is responsible for the establishment of Aldridge Gardens, a beautiful public garden near where I live. He patented the hydrangea because he loved it and wanted to share it with the world, not for profit, and has never received money from its sale.

    1. Deb I love this story about my hydrangea. Tell your friend Eddie thank you from me for saving this incredible hydrangea.

  15. Just beautiful, Donna. I love that soft, dusky pink. Such a lovely way to usher in spring. I can’t believe you’ve had a frost already. I guess this is normal but it seems too soon. It’s raining here but it’s typical for this time of year and kind of comforting, like your pretty bouquet. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Lots of rain here too Grace which is keeping the hard frost at bay for now…soft soothing rain. Hope your garden week is wonderful!

  16. Oh, and I thought I had miniature roses in my garden, but yours are mini-miniatures –how beautiful they are! Do you know what it is called? I loved your vase, and the non-Photoshopped photo is frame worthy 🙂

    I am sitting here tonight and waiting for the tail end of storm Gonzalo to hit our shores, not sure how bad it will be but it will certainly be felt! Britain gets battered by a lot of these storms, and with leaves still on the trees there will be a lot of damage. Autumn is lovely, but this is another side of autumn over here.

    1. How lovely of you to say so about the photo of the orangy morning in the garden….I am hoping to find the tag on the rose…I have had it for a long time. I hope the storm passes by without much damage..keeping good thoughts for you there Helene.

    1. Beth that is a special comment coming from you as I have long admired your stunning arrangements…thank you!! I love watching nature for her cues for arrangements.

  17. I like your vase, Donna! How unique and COOL to have cattails in your yard! We are putting in a pond; maybe I will have to plant some there. 🙂
    You have such gorgeous gardens, Donna! You inspire me! Love the quote, too.

    1. Oh Beth how lovely of you to say so….be careful with cattails as they will take the whole pond. We have to keep ours under control by pulling some in spring.

  18. Isn’t it great how the flowers are lasting so late in the fall? (My Mosaic Monday post was on the same subject..) I have lots of “pink” in my garden right now… Love your little roses- they are so precious! You did a fine job on the bouquet! I’ve never brought cattails in, as I’m always afraid of them “exploding” as only they can do… 😉

    1. So far no exploding but I am watching them…I could not get over all the pink still in your garden…I have loads of fairy pink roses which make me smile.

  19. Beautiful sunrise photos, Donna, and lovely vase to reflect those colours. In the UK we call those cattails ‘bullrushes’, as Christina said – they work brilliantly with your miniature roses and the contrasts of the hydrangea, a great interpretation of the season. In one of the gardens we visited whilst we were away there was a bed full of miniature roses, absolutely smothered in flowers.

    1. I think I am loving the miniature roses even more these days as they bloom their hearts out…so glad you enjoyed the post and vase Cathy!!

  20. A lovely sunrise and what a gorgeous colour combination ; I love the rosebuds with the bulrushes, I never would have thought of that.

  21. Oh what beautiful photo’s. I love the pussy willows! I have never seen a real one. I love your vase! Actually I think they are all Fabulous and perfect for the Fabulous Fall linky party. I am about to reset if for next week. Come by tonight or tomorrow and link up!
    Have a wonderful week.

  22. Love your post. Thanks for linking! Feel free to come back and link any Fall post. Old or new! And if it has a pumpkin I’ll enter you in the drawing!
    Have a great week!

  23. I’m so impressed that you still had enough flowers left to create an arrangement in a vase. Great use of the cattails for that feeling of fall. The weather has turned into November here (no one’s favorite month in Maine!). Thanks for providing that shot of loveliness from your garden in a dreary week.

  24. Hello Donna, I love your pretty mini roses. The sunrise is gorgeous, a beautiful start to your day! The arrangement in a vase is lovely too. Beautiful post, enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Thanks Eileen…I am happy you really enjoyed the post…those roses have become a favorite this year as they keep blooming away.

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