In a Vase on Monday: a Candle for the Solstice

At three minutes past midnight the winter solstice occurred here in Germany, and I am glad! This means that the shortest day is behind us and soon we will notice a little more light.


In the meantime we need all the light we can get, so here is my contribution..


That’s Elvin, our house elk, peeping out from behind….


It is not exactly a vase, I know, but the materials are from my garden/ the hedge just outside my garden – rosehips, spindle berries, fir and larch cones and a little greenery. So I am linking in to Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday meme again and would like to thank her and all the other creators of vases who have been such an inspiration to me this past year! Take a look at today’s contributions, including some shocking pink(!) at Rambling in the Garden.

Here are a couple of updates; firstly, last week’s vase looks just as fresh as day one… except for the Amaryllis/Hippeastrum, which barely lasted the week in a vase. If you should decide to cut one for a vase, follow Cathy’s advice and put wire around the stem to stop it splitting or bending.

And now the branches I cut on the 4th of December to bring indoors (see my post here); I gave up on the Elder producing even a leaf, and was not surprised it still shows no signs of life… maybe the German Wikipedia list of possible “Barbara” branches to flower in winter should be updated! I removed the water from the vase to simply use it as decorative twigs. 🙂

The hazel catkins have been opening for several days now and look very effective with their dusty hint of yellow.


And the Forsythia is showing a few flowers, although I think it would need a warmer spot to flower properly at this time of year.


(If anyone else tried this, I’d love to know how your branches did!)

So, now to wish you all a very

Happy Christmas!


“Lighting one candle
from another –
Winter night”

by Yosa Buson (18th century Japanese poet and painter)

Have a wonderful week, stay warm and dry, and take care!




39 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: a Candle for the Solstice

  1. I like the idea of a candle for the Solstice. I try to have some lights in the garden and a Yule log on the fire outside for a Solstice get-together to celebrate the coming of Spring.
    Happy Christmas

  2. I love your photos.

    My buds have not open, but I don’t mind so much, because they look like they are deep in thought. So … we are keeping each other company. Maybe they will open soon. If not… I’m patient!


  3. So lovely Cathy. The warm light spills out and makes this very festive. And everyone should have a house elk like Elvin! Merry Christmas! I’ve enjoyed each of your vases throughout the year.

    • Glad you took in some willow to try. Hope you have some reslts by the new year! My Forsythia is taking its time, but we are going to light the fire in that room tonight which may help it along!

  4. We use the word ‘vase’ very loosely, Cathy – any container or even none will do. Doesn’t it feel good to pick material form your garden and the hedge and make such a pretty display – the pleasure of producing the vases this way each week still takes me by surprise. We clearly just needed encouragement and support to do it regularly – so thanks for all your support this year (and thanks to Elvin the elk for his cameo appearance!) 🙂

    • It does feel good Cathy, and although I have always brought in some greenery for Christmas or Advent your meme does make me give it some extra thought! Thank you and Happy Christmas!

  5. It is definitely a ‘vase’ Cathy. I think a candle for the solstice is even better than for Advent. I think we are all very happy the days will slowly get longer. 2 out of 3 for the branches is great, the catkins are gorgeous, and we both thought the Elder was unlikely to flower. Happy Christmas Cathy, have a great gardening year in 2015!

  6. Cathy, this is lovely. It’s warm and cheery and adorable too with the house elk. I’m glad you mentioned it by name as I wasn’t sure what cuteness was hiding behind the pine cones. The candle adds warmth and a lovely glow. Great camera work by the way, too.

    I’m sorry to hear your Barbara didn’t work out. Everything else is quite lovely, so I hope that makes up for your disappointment.

    The days grow longer now. Happy solstice. Merry Christmas.

  7. I love your candle arrangement, very festive. I have a vase of yellow Forsythia which I picked a while ago. It is just coming out now.
    Have a very happy Christmas Cathy.

  8. Oh now that looks a most tranquil arrangement for these still dark though slightly shorter evenings Cathy. I’m not sure what the definition of a vase is but I’m sure yours it’s allowed. It’s fascinating to see how your Barbara branches have fared. Wishing you and the enchanting Elvin a most Happy Christmas!

  9. That’s a great way to observe the solstice, Cathy. I, too, am looking forward to the lengthening days from here out. I love the catkins and the yellow forsythia (neither of which I’m able to grow).

    Best wishes for a merry Christmas!

    • And that is a lesson to me Kris…. I envy your summer blooms so often, and things i cannot overwinter here flower all year for you, but a garden without catkins would seem very strange to me! I wish you all the best too Kris – Merry Christmas!

  10. Ahhhh. Winter solstice. Most of the winter is still yet to come, but to know the days are lengthening is always such comfort 🙂
    Love the hazelnut branches, and of course the arrangement is perfect. I’ve been lazy this winter and there are next to no Christmas arrangements. Glad to see the pictures of yours!

    • Es ist das erste Mal dass ich eine grüne Kerze habe und ich bin froh. Du hast recht… dieses helles Grün ist die Farbe von Hoffnung. Schönes Fest Uta!

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