In a Vase on Monday – A Dainty Posy

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It hadn’t occurred to me to use violas in my weekly vase until Saturday’s HPS meeting.  We have a display table on which more confident members than me display various plants or vases of flowers, foliage, berries etc.  These are then used for the morning discussion which is generally led by Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers and is the best part of the meeting.  You certainly learn a lot, the first lesson being that there is more than one way to do or grow most things in the garden.  We are very lucky in having a large membership with many excellent plants people and nurserymen which must be a little intimidating for some of our speakers. One of our older but very knowledgeable members had put together a tiny vase with viola and arabis and talked to us briefly about how to keep violas going and what varieties lasted the best.


I have some Viola cornuta ‘Clouded Yellow’ which I bought from Wildegoose Nursery last May and which have really bulked up and flowered well on and off ever since.  Like Brenda I also added arabis as well as Primula denticulata, a white bell, some Ajuga, a spring of Epimedium ‘Egret’ and also Epimedium ‘Pink Constellation’. I like the pastel colours and they work well with the vase, which was a £1 find at the local flea market.

As as an aside its amazing what you learn via social media and although I have only joined in this meme for a month or so I have already learnt that tulips grow when they are in water – who would have thought.  Compare the following two photos taken a week apart of last week’s vase.
















Look at the Tulip Ballerina and how much taller they are against the picture behind.  I hadn’t moved the vase as you can see from the drop in water level.  I asked about this on Twitter and apparently tulips are known for growing taller even after cutting and they are a nightmare for professional flower arrangers.  I am still wondering why and how they grow taller – any ideas?

For more Vases on Monday’s pop over to Cathy’s Rambling in the Garden – this meme is her bright idea and very good it is to.

25 Comments on “In a Vase on Monday – A Dainty Posy

  1. You always post wonderful information and photo support. Wish I could have attended your meeting with all the knowledgable people showing up. Here in North Carolina we garden all but a few months of the year, and flower arranging is a product of my gardening passion. Thanks for all the work it takes to create this great blog.

    • Hi Stepheney
      I’m glad you like the blog. I write it for myself really but it’s always nice when people appreciate it

  2. If you hadn’t provided the backdrop of foliage behind your vase as perspective, I’d have thought it much taller than it is – my initial thought was “how did she find primula and violas that tall?” I’d never realized that tulips could gain height even after being cut but then, tulips are so difficult to grow in Southern California, I have limited experience with them.

    • Hi Kris
      The vase is quite small probably 4″. I had to take a photo to compare the tulips as I thought I was imagining them getting taller.

  3. How !overly to put little treasures like this in a vase. It is like having a little jewel box to look at. Violas and Epimediums are exquisite but they need to be examined at close quarters.

    • Hi Chloris
      I agree I tried to use flowers which are easily overlooked as so small.

  4. Fascinating about the tulips Helen….love your little posy especially the violas. I grew many from seed and hope to use them in vases. Mine may reseed and come back but with our climate it is unsure.

    • Hi Donna
      I believe you can take cuttings of violas but I haven’t tried yet.

  5. It is lovely to see those tiny beauties at such close quarters Helen and the vase is a real find. I do know that tulips continue to grow in a vase – that has caught me out a few times – but I don’t know why they do. I love having them in a vase in the house and seeing how they change over a week.

    • Hi Julie
      I quite like the novelty of the tulips continuing to grow

  6. Hi Helen – Lovely little vase – I have just planted violas, primulas etc for winter spring.A few pansies but they tend to get damaged with heavy rain. I rarely have cut tulips – prefer to have in pot which lasts weeks! I thought they tended to flop. I buy 5 tulips in a pot from Eden Gardens when they are for sale. Try to limit how many!! $12 a pot and lovely. They have a tulip Festival and best garden display in NZ. A Society and no financial help from City – just volunteers and donations – always something out. Set in an old quarry. Yvonne

    • Hi Yvonne
      My home picked tulips haven’t flopped which makes me wonder if the shop bought ones have been forced which makes them more prone to flopping

  7. That really is such a dainty sight. I have never thought about putting violas in water. I shall give it a go. As to Tulips, I have also heard recently that if you put 2p piece in the vase it stops the tulips from bending over. Another mystery?

    • Hi Dorris
      I suppose the coin must give off some chemical which stops the tulips drooping. The violas don’t seem to last that well

  8. A dainty posy and a dainty little vase!
    Maybe the cells in tulip stalks are particularly elastic lengthwise, and then when the flowers are cut and put in water they expand, as you would expect..?

    • Hi Rachel
      That’s an interesting idea, who knows

  9. It is lovely to put some small treasures into a vase Helen, it is strange about the tulips growing and they do grow a lot. If you don’t want them to grow you can put a cut just below the head with a very sharp, clean knife. I haven’t done it, it seems cruel and I like how the tulips change and grow and often spray out over the edge of the vase too.

    • Hi Christina
      I totally agree with you about the tulips,they are so graceful as they fade and I like the way they twist and bend

  10. This week’s vase is very pretty, especially with the addition of Ajuga which complements the pink so nicely, but I am so impressed with last week’s vase! It looks so fresh still, and really interesting about the tulips! I like Ballerina… in fact I think I have a few in my garden but so many labels have been lost over the years!

    • Hi Cathy
      Last week’s vase is just about to be composted, which I think is pretty good going. This week’s vase is already almost over

  11. Pretty Vase! Very neat point about the tulips and I love the meme idea, keep the lovely pictures coming, you are giving Northern Gardeners hope!

  12. Absolutely wonderful! Such pics! I’m so impressed, and enjoy every photo. Have a nice week.
    Wonderful blog! Lovely post ~ I’m now following ~ Best

    • Hi Calvin
      Welcome, glad you like the blog

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