In A Vase On Monday-Stormy Weather


“The garden is growth and change and that means loss as well as constant new treasures to make up for a few disasters”  ~May Sarton




Late this past week, we had a series of very strong and damaging storms.  Some of the worst I have seen in a long time.  And when I checked the garden afterward, the saying, ‘when you are given lemons, make lemonade’ came to mind.  Or I should say, ‘when given a garden damaging storm, make vases.’

Just a short taste of one of three storms on the first day after the heat and humidity built.  You can begin to see my prize sunflowers snapping and whipping about.  That’s the pole bean tower hanging on by a pole bean vine, literally.





Here is the aftermath.  On giant stalk left and all the 40 some sunflowers on multiple branches snapped in two.  The good news is this tomato veg bed will have lots more sun to help ripen and grow more okra, peppers, tomatoes and eggplants.





These are some of my ten-foot high sunflowers in the new Cutting Bed, that are now kissing the ground.  I had planned to cut some of the lower sunflowers, I could reach, for vases.  Now nature has brought the tall ones to my level.





To get the idea of the storms strength, you can see our heavy metal patio table was toppled, blown and wedged into the viburnum bush at the edge of the patio.

So we cleaned up after the storm, and I was busy trying to salvage as many sunflowers as I could for vases.




sunflower vase

The huge sunflower plant in the veg bed was first.  I cut off all the flowers that were hanging, and plunked them into a vase.  I like the jumbled look with the petals already falling.  These bedraggled flowers now have time to rest.  I still love them better in the garden being set ablaze by the sun.  You can see some pictures of them days before, in my photo challenge post, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.




yellow sunflower vase

These are the 10 foot tall paler sunflowers, I was planning to use today for a vase.  There were more than I had planned to use, so it took a lot of other flowers to accommodate them. 




yellow sunflower vase collage

I really love how this arrangement finally came out.  I used some Queen Anne’s Lace, some pale purple asters, dark-stemmed sedum and loads of goldenrod.  This is the front of the vase.




yellow sunflower vase back collage

And then here is the back of the vase.  It looks wonderful from all sides and sits by a front window with lots of light streaming in on it.





This was a vase I was already going to highlight as I salvaged all the container sunflowers from previous vases.  They were still blooming, so I added Queen Anne’s Lace to these too.  I loved the effect and how the sunflowers were fading.




qal vase2 collage

A few more views.




QAL vase collage

And a few more.  I loved this vase so much, I also used it in the photo challenge I am participating in at my other blog, Living From Happiness.


I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases:  [email protected]Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by [email protected]An English Girl Rambles and [email protected]Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.  Please check out these wonderful blogs and link ups.



So have you had to make lemonade from lemons recently??



Soon it will be time to celebrate the change of seasons.  I know it is hard to say goodbye to summer as autumn soon will begin.  And even though we may not like to see autumn come so soon, I hope you will join me in the celebration of this new season.  I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of spring to join in too.  You can read the fall Seasonal Celebrations kick-off post on August 31st.

And as always, I will be collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  



Next up on the blog:  

On Wednesday, I will have a profile of a favorite native bush that has finally taken off in the bog garden.  And on the 31st, I will have the kick-off Seasonal Celebrations post for Autumn.


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

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

82 Replies to “In A Vase On Monday-Stormy Weather”

  1. Wow! that was some storm; we often have winds like that too (it’s quite windy this morning, but nothing like yours today). I love the abundance of all the sunflowers; mine are finishing now so I should plant them later if I want a later show. I hope the storms don’t do any more serious damage Donna and have a good week.

    1. Thanks Christina…it was one of the worst wind storms I have ever seen here. My sunflowers just keep coming too so I hope to use them in more vases in coming weeks perhaps.

  2. Hi Donna,

    Sorry to see your sunflowers have been damaged. At least you get to enjoy them indoors instead. We’ve had a few works here too, nothing of your ferocity but enough to send a lot of blooms – roses, dahlias, buddlejas and such.

    Lovely vases, I too had planned on sunflowers in vases this year but it didn’t work out.

    1. Wish I could share some of my blooms with you…I had loads of volunteers this year Liz…glad you enjoyed the vases!

  3. Simple beautiful arrangements! But, wow what a storm! Crazy how the weather has been so extreme this summer. Mother Nature doesn’t seem happy right now. We finally got a really good rain and I am hoping this will take us through fall. Thanks for the heads up about the meme…going to try to get a post in this time. Have a great week and enjoy all those blooms!

  4. I did the same using downed flowers earlier this year with the Delphinium. We too had a monster wind storm – minus the rain though. I heard while I was away the same rain/wind storm hit Niagara Falls too. Some damage, but not as bad a last year when I lost my dining table and umbrella which were destroyed.

  5. Oh my Donna! We never did get that storm – just a nice downpour. Usually our wind is well, wicked, here. I won’t forget the time it threw our canoe across the lawn! On the sunny side, those vases are wonderful! Is there nothing more cheerful than Sunflowers? Sunflowers in a vase light up any space.

    1. I agree Kathy, there is nothing more cheerful! On Thursday on my new blog, Living From Happiness, I am highlighting your Summer In A Jar recipe! Stop by…we grew all the ingredients and couldn’t wait to make it again….it fit perfectly into the photography challenge I am doing.

  6. Oh wow, the storm must have been a bad one. I love your beautiful sunflowers in the vase. I am not ready to let summer go! Have a happy week!

    1. I am not ready either Eileen, but nature is already giving me signals…I will keep summer front and center even with my seasonal meme looming.

  7. That was a fierce storm. It can be disheartening to see your flowers beaten down by the wind but you’ve rescued them and created such lovely vases this week.

  8. My, that was some wind! It’s good to think of those lemons when you see all the sunflower casuaties – but where are the rest of them?! Have you got a vase of sunflowers in every room?! The yellow blooms with the blue of the asters and the white of the Queen Anne’s Lace are lovely – and look even better with the lovely mosaics you are so good at. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sadly many were ripped apart Cathy and not salvageable for a vase. I managed to get about 20-30 in the big vase and salvaged all the paler yellow ones that had to be rescued. I really do love Queen Anne in vases even as a seedhead. Glad you enjoyed the vases and the mosaics which I love to create.

    1. Oh I actually was not too sad after we cleaned up Anca…it is what it is sometimes so we just make the best of it and make vases!

  9. That’s putting the damage from the storm to good use! I love sunflowers — really one of my favorite flowers and holds out hope to me that Autumn is just around the corner! Lovely vases of flowers. Happy Monday!

  10. Wow! What storms you have endured this year. It broke my heart to see all those sunflowers lying on the ground, but of course, you DID make lemonade. Beautiful arrangement Donna. I also love your shot of the sunflower next to your gazebo. Oh, and I have to tell you that my print book just was proofed and finalized on Friday, so I’ll be sending you your copy! Happy Monday Donna. May it be an easy week for you. I’m working on my next post now and realizing that the smoke from the fires burning here in the Pacific Northwest are the very very difficult conditions that we are facing now. (And of course the bravery of those that are on the front lines is always on my mind…..)

    1. I do hope those fires are done soon and you get some relief…what exciting news about the book. Can’t wait Susan!

  11. Oh, that does look like quite a storm! Whipping about in the video. We had a threat of a storm, but we just got more mild weather (and more heat last week). My daughter literally wanted me to make lemonade this morning, but since she didn’t drink the last time, I said no.

  12. Donna, What a devastating storm. Sunflowers are my favorite to to see them face down was sad. I love the vases you have filled to give them a bit more time to be glorious. Sylvia D.

  13. You’re not kidding about that storm, Donna, but I love what you did with the brow-beaten flowers! The second vase is especially pretty with the touches of purple and burgundy provided by the asters and sedum. As to your question, I cut what may be the last of my own sunflowers following our most recent (but perhaps not last) heatwave. I also gathered about a bushel of lemons dropped by our lemon tree to give to friends – the tree is dropping a lot of its fruit all of a sudden, possibly in response to the drought conditions or maybe just the high winds that blew through here last week.

    1. So you literally could be making lemonade from lemons Kris…our heat wave seems to be over and the weather is cooling again.

  14. That was quite a spate of storms Donna – I loved watching the video – I must learn how to do that for my blog. You have made great use of all those poor sunflowers that found themselves on the floor and I love your glass half full attitude to their demise – as you say your tomatoes will be better for it! Like you I love the last vase – I never would have thought Queen Anne’s Lace and sunflowers would make such great bedfellows.

    1. My point and shoot allows me to make videos too Julie. I am lucky as it is easy with the push of a button. Glad you enjoyed the vases and lemonade! 🙂

  15. What a storm, Donna! The weather is certainly more severe, I hope something will be done. I guess we all need solar panels and solar cars. You have at least done beautiful things with your tragedy. I like the purple framing on the sunflowers with the purple asters, it adds to the color scheme. The poufy sunflowers look so romantic and indolent. I like the ones with the orange around the centers too, and the last group is such a perky soft yellow with the Queen Anne’s Lace, I wouldn’t have thought of that combination. I hope your tomatoes and eggplants do well, I think my eggplants are doing the best ever, but don’t know how to tell when to pick them.

  16. That larger arrangement is really something! So many flowers, such a nice blend, it looks great! Glad to see you’re making the best of the storm, we’ve had a few gully-washers as well.

  17. Your sunflowers are really beautiful and I’m sorry for the storm damage. You did indeed make lemonade, though – gorgeous arrangements!

  18. Well there nothing I like any better than seeing sunflowers in a beautiful vase…your arrangement is just stunning! I am sorry about that nasty storm damage though. The sunflowers I had this year have long been gone…I planted mine in pots as an experiment and they were quite spindly!

    1. Oh that is too bad Debby. I had smaller sunflowers specifically for containers which did nicely. But I have never grown the larger ones in vases.

  19. You had big storms! We’ve had lots of humidity here and some rain, but not violent storms.
    You’ve been reading May Sarton — which book(s)? If I had to guess, my first choice would be The House by the Sea (my own favorite), but maybe Journal of a Solitude?

    1. I actually had been reading about her and some of her quotes Jean and did order these 2 books to read. I am looking forward to reading them.

  20. So sorry about those damaging winds! Hope nothing or no one was harmed. Lovely shots of the sunflowers. I can never seem to grow them.

  21. So sorry about all your sunflowers, Donna, but you certainly turned these “lemons” into beautiful arrangements. It looks like you certainly had some scary storms!

  22. That was some storm 🙁 I remember a few years ago one blowing through like that and many sunflowers, tall zinnias, etc. were ruined. They all look lovely in your beautiful vases and arrangements, though 🙂

    I suppose when you are done with them indoors that you could pile them up somewhere where the finches could get at the seeds. I know they love mine, though yesterday I saw a little goldfinch chomping away at my cosmos…not the petals but the buds! Learn something new every day!

    Well let’s hope that is your last bad storm of the summer

    1. That is my plan Deb. I am looking for the right spot to pile the spent seedheads for the critters as the squirrels and birds will want the seeds.

  23. Wow, strong winds are the worst for the gardener I think. Drought and heat one can plan for to an extent but strong winds often come out of the blue. Lots of ideas from you Donna, the combination of sunflowers, asters and Queen Anne’s lace is so fresh and pretty.

  24. It’s very sad to see the damages caused by the storm, but the vases you created afterwards look wonderful.
    Love the bright happy sunflowers, but then the paler ones are so very elegant!
    I hope it’s going better with your health!

    1. It is better with my health Sara….thank you for asking. I love the pale sunflowers too. I agree they are elegant.

  25. I really like sunflowers, Donna! I’m sad to see you lost some in the bad storms that came through your area!

    I belong to a Colorado photographers facebook group and many of them have been having a wonderful time photographing large commercial sunflower farms located near the Denver airport–miles and miles of sunflowers! The farmers have been fortunate that no bad hail storms destroyed their sunflower fields this summer!

    1. Oh that sounds amazing Pat. Too bad I will miss them. I am flying in to Denver in mid-October for my niece’s wedding.

  26. I’m glad you were able to salvage and photograph…especially the one with the heart center stood out, for me…beautiful and I’m sorry they got battered so much by the storms. ♥

    1. It is amazing how we can make beauty out of some of the worst things….glad you enjoyed the photos of the vases Hannah!

  27. Oh my I had no idea you’d had such a storm. Your arrangements .. In vases and in mosaics … Are stunning as always! And I am in awe of your ability to ” live from happiness” even in the aftermath of a bad storm!

  28. Thanks Sallie…I have learned there isn’t much I can do when these things happen. As the storm hit and I knew we were going to have some damage I just looked for the best case scenario…vases!

  29. I am sorry the storm damaged your lovely sunflowers, but now your house is filled with sunshine! I hope the rest of your garden fared better than the sunflowers. The photo at the top of the post is gorgeous. I assume this was taken prior to the storm. Like you, I have learned there is lots of lemonade to be made out there!

    1. Actually that top pick was just as the storm started with only rain before the wind hit. There were some other plants knocked down that we have staked but that was it Deb.

  30. What a terrible storm, how awful. I loathe windy weather, I worry so about the my trees and plants. It is a shame about your lovely sunflowers but they do look wonderful in vases.

    1. I too worry when the wind whips especially about the trees as they are old and some not in such good shape…glad you enjoyed the vases.

    1. Being in a prime spot off the great lake here we do get many mighty winds too which is why I think my plants seldom succumb, but this was a fierce storm. I was glad the damage was minor and it could have been worse… making sunflower vases was a treat for me too!

  31. The same thing happens to me every year with my sunflowers no matter what precautions I take. Love how you took them and made such wonderful floral arrangements! So inspiring that you made a garden tragedy into something beautiful. I feel as though that is what gardening is all about. When I first started, I thought everything had to be perfect. Mother nature usually has something else in mind though. I’ve learned to enjoy my garden daily and take it in stride! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Exactly Angie Rose….it is best to work with Mother Nature, enjoy the garden and not get too upset about what might happen!

  32. Oh no Donna – that was some wind out there! The weather gods were most cruel. What a travesty to befall those glorious sunflowers but you’ve certainly made the most of the situation. Both are fabulous vases!

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