In a vase on Monday – Late Spring

 

I was inspired by a couple of beautiful feeds on Instagram (@simplybyarrangement @kreettakreetta and @derletztewolf) to pick some late spring flowers from the garden and to attempt to arrange them artistically. I use the term ‘attempt’ as flower arranging is not my forte.  I’ve never been taught and to be honest I really like the bunch in a vase look.

The thing that really appealed to me about the 3 IG feeds is the Dutch Still Life feel many of their photos had.  I love Dutch Still Life.  I like the darkness of the backgrounds, the richness of the colours used and also the strangeness of some of the arrangements.  Obviously tulips lend themselves to this style given their history which is inextricably entwined with that period of Dutch art.

But my tulips are more or less over so my vases have a selection of what was looking lovely in the garden yesterday morning after the rain.  The large bunch is a mix of Deutzia, Aquilegias, Alliums, Geraniums, and some other bits and pieces.  Then there is a little charity shop vase with Lily of the Valley in it. I have loads of Lily of the Valley its becoming a bit of a weed in my garden.  ‘Chatting’ with @simplybyarrangement I have discovered that you are meant to pull Lily of the Valley rather than cut it i.e you pull the flower stem and it comes away from the supporting leaf which is sort of wrapped around it.  I will try that if I pick any more.  This vase is currently in my bedroom and the perfume is wonderful.  That leaves the Rhododendron ‘Happy’.  Every year I think I must pick some Rhodo flowers as they are up the garden and I never look at them much but life gets in the way.  Now as life is generally on hold I have sufficient head space to enact that thought and a beautiful flower is sitting on my coffee table for me to admire up close every evening.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting ‘ In a Vase on Monday’ meme – its hard work hosting a meme.

 

In a vase on Monday: Epimediums

This week’s vase is a simple one.  The ‘vase’ was made for me by my eldest son today.  It is essentially a log which he has carved out and filled with an old spice jar.  It is a prototype for something he is exploring doing for a friend’s wedding reception.

It seemed to me that the obvious flowers to put in the vase were epimediums which are so delicate that it is difficult to show them off well in a vase.  They really sparkle in the late afternoon summer and have brought a little bit of the remaining shady garden into the house.

Thank you to Cathy for hosting this weekly meme.

 

 

In a Vase on Monday – Daffodils

Well it was only a matter of time before daffodils were the subject of the In a Vase on Monday post.  Many of these were blown over in the winds at the end of last week and some had to be rescued from under shrubs and perennials which have grown larger than I expected! I have had to make a note to dig up the bulbs and move them into a more open location.

I think the selection demonstrates just how diverse narcissus are.  I prefer the lighter coloured flowers as I find the brighter yellows a bit brash.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly meme.

In a Vase on Monday: Yellow

I’ve never cut Forsythia for the house before and I really pleased I have chosen it for this week’s Monday Vase post.

My forsythia bush is to be pitied.  It grows right up against the fence and has struggled for years in the shadow of a large sycamore in my neighbour’s garden.  With their clearing of the boundary more light has flooded in and with the removal of the sycamore the competition for moisture has diminished. Just as the shrub is flexing its muscles with the improved environment so I too want it to grow and expand to soften the fence line and break up the view.  I remembered reading Christopher Lloyd, probably in the Well Tempered Gardener, saying that when you prune forsythia you shouldn’t prune it into a mound but you should remove the odd stem to keep the shrub within its boundaries.  This is the approach I decided to take as well as taking into account the lessons learnt last week at Ashwoods about thinning the canopy of shrubs.

The vase is a Poole pottery one bought from the local flea market a few years ago and this is the first time I have used it for flowers. For some reason I just thought the blue grey of the glaze would work with the yellow flowers.  I’m not 100% sure if I am right but I quite like the effect.

As for photographing the vase – well the fact that instead of the usual backdrop I have been using this year the vase is plonked on the dining room table demonstrates just how difficult it was to photograph the stems well. However, I think the simplicity of the setting fits the simplicity of the stems well.

Thank you Cathy for hosting this meme every week which is making me think a little laterally about what I can bring indoors.  Check our her blog for more Monday vase posts.

In a Vase on Monday: A Bowl of Hellebores

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It seems inevitable that hellebores would feature this week especially after seeing so many at Ashwood Nurseries on Saturday.

I have realised that I have quite a few hellebores in the garden particularly as I seem to be in the habit of going to Ashwoods at this time of year. This weekend I was looking at yellow hellebores but ended up buying a very dark one, which was good as today when cutting the flowers I realised that I had more than one yellow hellebore already.

I have a plain clear glass dish that I normally use for hellebores but it is quite small and couldn’t accommodate all my blooms. Then I noticed the pale green dish in the dining room table which lives there day in and day out. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to me to use it for flowers. The dish was a present from a work colleague to thank me for some work I had done for her.

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Thank you Cathy for hosting this interesting meme

In A Vase on Monday – Camellia

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The vase this week is a simple one which doesn’t really require me to say much.  The camellia flower is from a small camellia I have growing in a pot.  It is a plant I rescued from one of those ‘bargain’ areas in a nursery and planted out in the garden.  However, it was apparently unhappy as the leaves were very yellow, despite me having another very healthy camellia near by.  So like many a good gardener before me I dug it up and put it in a pot with lots of ericaceous compost and I have been rewarded with healthy glossy leaves and half a dozen or so of these sumptuous pink blooms.

For more Monday vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden

In a vase on Monday: White Beauty

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Continuing with the stuck in the sofa theme of the last post my Vase On Monday isn’t a vase but a potted Hippeastrum.

I love Hippeastrums, or Amaryllis as we used to call them. They remind me of my aunt’s mother who always had a very tall leggy red one by her chair by the fire. They always had a knitting needle or two stuck in the post to support the flower heads with lengths of wool holding everything together.

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To be honest my supports haven’t progressed much. The knitting needles are now garden canes and the wool twine.

The cards are from my sons birthday on Valentines Day – not a great day to have a birthday if you want to go out for a family meal to celebrate.

Thank you Cathy for hosting this meme which I am trying, very hard, to do each week although I missed last weeks ☹️

 

In a Vase on Monday – Indecision

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This week was a real struggle so I almost didn’t bother to write this post but in life we have to go with the rough as well as the smooth so here’s this week’s vase.

I wanted to do something with my witch hazel but the flowers are only just opening and they are so tiny.  I also thought about snowdrops as I have quite a number now but that was last week’s theme so I think I should let at least one week pass with no snowdrops.  Instead I found a hellebore which was full of blooms opening and lots of buds to follow  so I decided to take three stems for the post.

What to put with them was the next struggle and I thought some woodlandy foliage would work well, so I  used some epimedium foliage and fern fronds to give a background and I took photos …

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…and then I thought No I really don’t like that its too fussy and not me at all.  So I ditched the foliage and the pink pashmina – too much pink and went for one of the random bottles I have in my cupboard.  As background I have gone for the grey velvety pashmina as I thought it was an interesting contrast to the second hand everyday bottle.

Anyway, there you go two for one – choose which you prefer!

For more Monday Vases pop over to Cathy’s.

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In A Vase on Monday – Snowdrops

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Finally the first snowdrops are flowering so I thought I would feature some in this week’s Monday vase, plus it means I get to enjoy them in the evening when I get home from work rather than only at weekends.

There are three varieties in the vase.  The two small ones at the front with the more yellow ovaries are Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’ which although it has been in flower for a good week is still late as it normally flowers around Christmas, hence the name. The two to the right of the photo and central are Galanthus ‘Mrs McNamara’, another early which again has been flowering for a few weeks.  This is one of the Galanthus whose name has eluded me until I spent some time tracking back through the blog and plant labels.  On my to do list this month is to make sure any special snowdrops without labels are indeed labelled.  The last snowdrop at the back on the left is Galanthus ‘Galatea’ which has an arching pedicel, thats the thin bit that connects the flower to the stem.  You can see that it’s flowers and Mrs McNamara are larger than Ding Dong.

The vase has been on this meme before, a flea market find, and the backdrop is a pashmina I have had for years.  For someone who doesn’t really wear scarves or pashmina I seem to have quite a few!

Thank you to Cathy for hosting this meme which I am really enjoying.

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