In A Vase: Celebrating Lammas

August 1, 2016 Lamas 010


Our days remain muggy and hot; yet signs of the changing season surround us.  Dried leaves blow out of the trees on the winds heralding summer thunderstorms.  A red cast overshadows leaves on the Dogwood tree and Sumac.  Corn is ripening and local veggie stands overflow with the season’s bounty.


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This is Lammas, a traditional Celtic celebration of summer’s harvest.  It is a holiday, celebrated as July melts into August each year, to feast on the season’s bounty, share meals with loved ones and bake bread with the first of the season’s harvest of grain.

We have a full month of summer stretching ahead of us, hot days washed clean with summer storms.  Crickets, locusts and frogs compete to sing loudest and longest.  Their music fills the air night and day.

Herbs in the garden have covered themselves with flowers, hoping to lure me out into the heat and humidity to cut them back.


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And yet change is in the air.  We can see, smell, hear and feel the approach of autumn as each day grows imperceptibly shorter.

The sun bakes our garden, and many perennials and new shrubs have drooping leaves.  No amount of rain or watering will re-hydrate them for long in the parched Earth where the sun beats down all day.

The first Black Eyed Susans, Rudbeckia hirta, bloom where they’ve seeded themselves around the garden; miniature golden yellow suns shining happily amidst the deeper green of herbs and shrubs.

~August 1, 2016 Lamas 001


I’ve cut herbs and summer flowers for a vase today to honor the festival of Lammas.  There are the bright yellow fireworks flowers of Fennel and tall cool violet spires of Thai Basil exploding from a base of Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’ and Pelargonium ‘Gray Lady Plymouth.’


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The remaining fresh stems of Crocosmia sparkle with deep reddish orange hues, colors of this ancient summer holiday.  All colors of the sun and fertile Earth come into play at Lamas, and this arrangement is sprinkled with new golden Black Eyed Susans.  But there are also sprigs of pink blooming Oregano and stems of purple Verbena ‘lollipop’ tucked into the vase today for contrast.


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Our friend, potter Denis Orton, made the porcelain vase and glazed it with one of his unique crystalline glazes.  The metallic crystals form as the piece cools.  We admire his glazes and collect pieces now and again as we can.

This one was found when we visited him at a local arts festival on Mother’s Day this year.

~August 1, 2016 Lamas 008


The loose arrangement in our vase today looks a bit droopy in the day’s heat.  It is an echo of a similar one I gathered on Friday to take as a welcome gift to a new neighbor family.  I felt inspired to gather another for us to enjoy this week.


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The heat index went over 100F here again today.  It has become normal for the temperature to rise several degrees above the forecast before evening storms blow through, cooling things off again as darkness gathers.  Thunder echoes in the distance again this evening…..

Appreciation, always, to Cathy of ‘Rambling In the Garden”  for hosting ‘In A Vase On Monday’ each week.  I admire the dedication of flower gardeners all over the world who faithfully clip, arrange, and photograph their garden’s bounty each Monday.  Cathy is in the pink today, showcasing some of the stunning Zinnias she has grown this summer.

I hope you will click through to Cathy’s post and follow some of the links to enjoy today’s beautiful arrangements.


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“At Lammas, sometimes called Lughnasadh,

it’s time to celebrate the first harvest of the year,

and recognize that the hot summer days will soon come to an end.   

The plants of spring wither and drop seeds to ensure future crops.

Grains are ready to be harvested and the fruits are ripe for picking.  

We can give thanks for the food on our tables.”




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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

11 responses to “In A Vase: Celebrating Lammas

  1. Such a lovely celebratory arrangement, WG. I love the sunny yellows of the Black Eyed Susans. I think I prefer that our hot days of summer are very much cooler than yours … oh that heat! I think I would be wilting too!

  2. You always serve up a generous dose of inspiration and information to go with your vases. Those fab leaves are what catch my eye.

  3. The dryness of your part of the world comes across so vividly in your post – thank you for your choice of words which made it a pleasure to read. Although it has been a fairly dry summer here we have not been entrely without rain and a couple of heavy bursts in July made all the difference. Today we have a light and refreshing rain which the garden is happily soaking up – and I am pleased to say that here we can’t yet see, smell, hear or feel the approach of autumn even though we can see each day getting imperceptibly shorter 😉

    • Cathy, you make summer in your little corner of the world sound so joyous! Surrounded by flowers, a ‘light and refreshing rain’; how fortunate your choice of home 😉 Truthfully, every single one of us living in peace and surrounded by a garden is truly blessed. Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments on the vase today. Happy August! ❤ ❤ ❤

  4. A very beautifully worded post, and your lovely vase of flowers reflect the height of summer.

  5. Beautiful arrangement, E. I esp. love the variegated pelargonium. And what a gorgeous vase!

    • Thank you, Eliza. that means so much coming from you. Denis’s work is simply amazing. He took the highest prize in his division at the juried show where we bought this vase, and we are so honored to count him as a friend. The Pelargonium has a lovely rose scent. This is the first year I’ve found this particular one and now I’m plotting for how to keep it over the winter…. ❤

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