In a Vase on Monday: In the Bleak Mid-winter

In the bleak mid-winter, Frosty wind made moan

Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen snow on snow, Snow on snow

In the bleak mid-winter, Long ago

(English Christmas carol based on the poem by Christina Rossetti)


Shall we have tea on the patio?


I hope you will forgive me cheating slightly this week, but at still 4 degrees below zero by lunchtime I didn’t think I would stand a chance of finding anything but evergreen cuttings for a Monday vase. The ground is frozen solid and it is snowing again. I will not be beaten though!


Look at the Forsythia I brought in on December 4th… finally flowering properly!


But with the fire glowing and the heating on full blast its days are now numbered…


A Christmas gift on the 23rd included two freshly cut Hippeastrum/Amaryllis flowers. One went into my Advent vase, which has been refreshed with more berries from our hegderow and is going in to its third week now…


And one went into a smaller vase with more greenery. I followed the advice Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) gave after she read an RHS article and I tied the base of the Amaryllis stem with a rubber band – it has definitely helped keep it from splitting.


As winter progresses Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday meme really does become a challenge… I am already thinking ahead to the first vase of 2015!

Take a look at Cathy’s lovely Paperwhites today, and the other vases linked in from around the world.

Have a good week!

38 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: In the Bleak Mid-winter

  1. Wow Cathy you have more snow than I do…we are getting a light dusting as it has been spring like here…and that carol is one of my favorites….I was singing it as I was reading the words. πŸ˜‰

    I am awaiting my first Hippeastrum/Amaryllis and will remember to tie them with a rubber band. And I did bring in my forsythia and it is just beginning to bud up so I expect you will see a similar vase from me next week…thanks for the idea back in early December.

    Love all those vases….beautiful!

    • Hi Donna. Thank you! Yes, loads of white stuff, and today it has snowed even more so it’s almost over my boots now! I was glad I tried the Forsythia again, as it looks so cheerful, so hope yours opens for you soon. I’ve got my own potted Hippeastrum just about to open too, but I don’t think I will cut that for a vase. Next week could be tricky… πŸ˜‰

    • Maybe your winter will be kinder this year Jason. I am enjoying it for now but hope it doesn’t last too long! The forsythia really is a good idea, and although the shrub has little value for the wildlife I could never be without one just for that spring colour!

  2. Isn’t it lovely knowing we are learning from each other all the time on this, Cathy? I certainly won’t have any qualms cutting amaryllis in the future (hmm, and perhaps I could grow some specifically for cutting….). Remind me about your forsythia though – did you condition the stems in any way? Woody stems seem to be quite variable as the sarcococca I cut a few weeks ago in bud looked good for ages but the buds didn’t open. I love the idea of refreshing vases and have kept various ‘remains’ as they were still too good to compost πŸ˜‰ I love the first vase in particular with the berries emphasising the redness of the amaryllis – thanks for sharing them and keep warm! Nearly as cold here but no more snow since the original sprinkling went…

    • That is indeed a thought…. why do I only ever plant ONE Amaryllis and not half a dozen or more staggered over the winter……..??
      I didn’t condition the forsythia stems, as I admit I wouldn’t even know how, but the water does need changing every other day.
      We just measured our snow… 20cm and counting. πŸ™‚

      • 20+ cms…is that what you would expect most winters? Interesting about the forsythia as the stems are quite dry and shrubby I would think – but they clearly didn’t need conditioning like being dipped in boiling water

  3. Brrr! I can only imagine cold like that Cathy. When the skies are clear (i.e. not at the moment), I can see snow on the mountains in the distance to the east but that’s as close as I’ll get to a white Christmas. I think your revamped vases look wonderful. I wish I could grow forsythia.

    Best wishes for a very happy new year!

    • Thanks Kris, you too! The Forsythia really does remind me that spring won’t be far off… a little sunshine indoors, although with all this white stuff around it is at least nice and bright!

  4. Oh dear! All that snow! I hate the stuff. But how enterprising of you to keep up with the vase challenge in such conditions. I too have a vase of Forsythia and very welcome it is in the depths of winter.

    • I love a bit of snow, as long as it doesn’t get too much and freeze…. And we are taking turns on the shovelling at the moment!
      I am determined to keep the vases coming as it gives me something to focus on in the winter! πŸ™‚

  5. Your garden looks like a lovely winter painting. Although it would be nice to have tea outside, that’ll destroy the whole scene and it’ll be (just) a bit chilly πŸ™‚

  6. Oh it looks as if you have had quite a bit of the white stuff Cathy. Here it arrived on Boxing Day evening and we still have patches of it dotted around. Think that I will pass on the offer of a cuppa on the patio. Those branches of forsythia are a most optimistic reminder that spring is not so far away.

  7. Your holiday vases are delightful, and I am especially drawn to the Forsythia. It found a perfect time to bloom and add some promise of spring to your cold day. Happy New Year.

    • Thanks Susie. I was glad to see that a few vases included recycled materials this week. I may have to think out of the box next week though! Happy New Year to you too!

  8. How perfect, afternoon tea in a winter garden.
    Lovely to see the Forsythia in flower, it always reminds me of my mother who was no gardener but always insisted that we had a bush in the garden just so we could have some cut branches for Christmas

    • I am glad there’s some Forsythia in our garden for the splash of colour it provides early in the year – and for bringing indoors too. It certainly does make me think of spring!

  9. I love the amaryllis blooms with the greenery, perfect for the season and quite the antidote for all the snow πŸ™‚
    The forsythia on the other hand is leading the way towards spring. Too bad we just have to get through most if winter first!

  10. Wow! I’ve been away only about two weeks and when I last visited you were still having some warmth! It turned winter overnight–or so it seems. I love this carol. James Taylor performs a beautiful version of it and I played it quite often over the holidays. The patio setting is lovely in its frozen state. It will always be hard for me to really imagine how that lovely spring and summer garden can sleep beneath all that winter snow and awaken so beautifully and unharmed months later. Nature is pretty fabulous! I’m going to be very curious to see what you can find for the first week of 2015. You’ll have to be very creative, I think. Happy New Year, Cathy. ox

    • Yes, Debra, it surprised us all when they started forecasting colder weather. Christmas Eve was 11 degrees and we were thinking of doing a few gardening jobs in the holidays, and then three days later it was 10 degrees below zero! The snow is so deep now that it gets into my boots! A nice excuse to do some relaxing in front of the fire though. Happy New Year Debra!

  11. Ich wΓΌnsche Dir einen schΓΆnen Jahreswechsel, Inspiration und Gelegenheit fΓΌr weitere Vasen am Montag. We had some snow for two or three days, but with the warmth it has gone. I like to see pictures with snow! πŸ™‚ Happy New Year! Uta

    • Our snow is now melting too – it was over 30cm in the end and went over the top of my boots! Haven’t had so much for a few years. Have a very happy 2015 Uta!

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