In a Vase on Monday: Light and Dark

December crept up on me and I didn’t even manage to get my Advent decorations up in time for the first Sunday in Advent… shame on me! Some of my neighbours have trees outside decorated with white lights, or lit stars and white fairy lights in their windows. WordPress has also started the snow again. And I haven’t baked a single Christmas cookie yet… I’ve got some catching up to do this week!

However, I DID manage to put this vase together for Sunday afternoon, along with some simple scones…


The photography is appalling I know, but the light levels were low yesterday, and today was not much better. Cathy’s challenge is becoming just that now – a challenge to find materials in my garden for a vase and then get a decent shot of it too!


The close-up above shows the mix of foliage I picked: almost black Mahonia leaves with a tightly closed bud at the centre, some pine needles, Euphorbia, Lamium and the golden Euonymous bringing light to the arrangement. And below you can see on the left a sprig of Buddleia.

(With a flashlamp and flash it looks deceptively like golden sunshine, don’t you think?! πŸ˜‰

Well, I can dream…)


There was also a single rosehip remaining that hadn’t already shriveled up, so I carefully cut that too – ouch. It adds a bit of colour, the sedum being so dark now.


The cones in the foreground are from trees in our garden too – the little Larch cones are so pretty for Christmas decorations, so I will have to hunt for a few more.

Have you started decorating yet?

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme “In a Vase on Monday”… do go over and take a look at what Cathy and many others have arranged in their vases this week. (Cathy’s vase is simply fabulous today!)

Have a great December!


36 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Light and Dark

  1. Not a bit of decorating or anything Cathy…we are away still but I am going for the quiet, minimalistic holiday. I love the light and dark contrasts of your vase…I am finding the light making it very difficult to get a good shot of my vases too.

    • It seemed even gloomier today… but in a month or so we will start noticing the light increasing again. My decorations are very modest too – mostly just candle holders and a couple of stars for the windows. No flashing lights!

  2. Thought there was something wrong with me eyes at first, then realised it was ‘snow’! Your pictures really do look as if they are taken in watery winter sunshine and all the foliage looks great together, offset by that lovely vase. The addition of the rose hip was inspired – we are learning to open our eyes wider aren’t we? Thanks so much for your kind comments and weekly enthusiasm πŸ™‚

  3. This is quite beautiful, it does seem bathed in sunlight! The Euonymous has a nice leaf pattern and color. Thanks for the reminder about worpress snow. My setting was turned off for some reason. Too early for me to decorate but some neighbors already have extensive displays.

  4. Great job with your vase! It looks very seasonal and you must be gratified to find so many fine bits to group together. I’ve been working in spurts on decorating the Christmas tree since Saturday but am still not quite finished. It’s not as much fun when the children are grown and there’s no surprise cookies and eggnog when all is done.

    • Yes, I suppose I am grateful as I didn’t have much hope for December vases, but my garden is being kind to me! I’ve put out just a few decorations now… must get started on the cookies next!

  5. It’s true your vase isn’t quite as colorful as just a few weeks ago, but it’s still beautiful. You found wonderful specimens still giving some life to your vase. I really enjoy seeing how you compose the textures. And the scones look really good, too. We will start our decorating this coming weekend, using this week to get the items out of the attic. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your week, Cathy. We are enjoying a little rain and with the WP snow…very festive!

    • I always feel excited when I unpack my Christmas treasures… favourite candleholders, tiny baubles or stars for the windows. And today I cut a little greenery for my patio containers and a basket on my front steps. I love the smell of them freshly cut. πŸ™‚ Have a good week Debra!

  6. We’ll be away over Christmas so won”t decorate this year which is a real shame as I love doing it. Your vase does look very moody with the black Mahonia leaves, The vase looks really interesting too and a great colour to set off the foliage. I hope you’re going to post some traditional recipes for German Christmas biscuits, I’d love to try making some.

  7. Perfect for the season, Cathy, and it has a warm glow too. I’m a bit late decorating but then November has been like spring and I really have to be in the mood for xmas to come up with something nice. Since yesterday clouds are low and the light gloomy – perfect to go out and get going πŸ˜‰

    • It was mild here in November too, but the last few days have been much colder and darker. Thank goodness for Advent time here, with lights and candles everywhere you look!

  8. I have just discussed with my husband some help in putting up a door wreath, its a two handed job involving fishing wire and dexterity, his response isn’t for repeating. Hoping for colder weather to get the festive sprit and a little decorating going here! Meanwhile, your vase looks lovely Cathy, I really like the green glass you have used too.

    • Thank you! And I hope you have managed to get that wreath up in the meantime Julie! A little sprinkling of snow would be nice before Christmas I agree… makes everything look bright and clean!

    • I love scones, but they are not terribly popular here – an acquired taste perhaps? I suppose when you think about it they are neither sweet, nor buttery, and don’t have any particular flavour. But these were in any case delicious – in my opinion!

  9. I haven’t started decorating yet, either Cathy! We just arrived home last night after being away for 8 days, and one of the items on my to-do list is getting the Advent wreath set up.
    About 9 inches of snow fell one day while we were gone (mostly melted already!), and temperatures have been below freezing, so I will be hard pressed to find anything for a vase! I wish you a blessed Advent season!

    • Thank you Kimberley! I hope you manage to get your wreath set up this week. I have done my little bit of decorating for now, and am sitting with a candle burning on the table. Hope your Advent is peaceful and happy too! πŸ™‚

  10. Snow? is that snow? or is there a virus. lol My IT skills are so basic. great vase full for the time of year and it looks great. I have yet to get started with decorations, loads of time!

  11. I think that extra-long autumn lulled us…suddenly it’s Christmastime! (PS, I missed that first Sunday in Advent, too. Only a handful of deco up but working on it!!!) Happy holidays!

    • Thanks Lori! I’m slowly getting my act together! I’m baking cookies tomorrow or the day after and visiting the Christmas market on Saturday! πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Cathy! Challenge is right! I feel it too! Your arrangement is lovely, though, with texture and colour. I am a bit behind in my Christmas preparations, too. Hopefully this weekend I’ll start to catch up (hopefully!).

    • Have a great weekend decorating, and pondering over the next vase… I may have to do some recycling this coming week as the weather is so wet and cold it does not instil any desire to be out in it longer than necessary!

  13. Sounds like you’re back on path to getting that decorating done! We finished up last week which was early for us but with things so busy at this time of year it’s nice to enjoy it for a while before the shock of January hits.
    Love the vase of course, it has a real winter look to it…. no more autumn 😦

    • Thanks Frank! The decorating AND two batches of cookies are done… no idea what will go in the vase this week though and the weather isn’t very inviting to go on a long hunt…

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