In a Vase on Monday: Tis the Season…

It may not be a vase this week, but our host Cathy of “Rambling in the Garden” has often reminded us that we can use any material from our gardens to bring indoors, regardless of how it is displayed!


So here is my Advent wreath – homemade for the first time using a straw ring from the local DIY store. My Man of Many Talents braved the rain and wind yesterday to cut some high branches for me from our Douglas Firs and the beautiful Silver Fir (WeiรŸtanne). The Silver Fir has large rounded needles and lasts very well indoors, even in a heated room. The Douglas Fir doesn’t last as well, but it does smell wonderful – orange and spice is what comes to mind, perfect for Advent. The tiny fir cones are from our Larch trees.

Right on time for the first Sunday in Advent one of my Amaryllis/Hippeastrum started flowering:


Amaryllis “Tres Chic” was only planted on November 4th, so has broken all records. I have planted several others, none of which are showing any signs of life yet.

Talking of Advent, I visited a local Christmas market on Saturday as they always open the weekend of the first Sunday in Advent. Sadly there are no photos, as the snow rapidly turned to rain and we were too busy dashing from one stall to the next for cover! But I will describe the lunch I had there, as I don’t know if this typical Southern German dish is well-known elsewhere in the world: “Schupfnudeln mit Sauerkraut“- potato noodles (like elongated gnocchi!) fried up in a big pan with spiced white cabbage, or “sauerkraut”. So warming, and just one of the delicious smells coming from the stands all around us. Mulled wine, roasted almonds, roasted chestnuts and potato pancakes were just some of the other aromatic and traditional specialities on offer. And sausages of course, in all variations, but no vegetarian ones yet… I’m sure that will come too one day!

File:Schupfnudeln mit Sauerkraut-RZ.jpg

Schupfnudeln mit Sauerkraut: Wikimedia

I wonder what smells make you think of Christmas? I shall be starting my Christmas cookie baking this week, and promise to post a recipe soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great week!

41 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Tis the Season…

  1. I can imagine the scent of Douglas fir and mulled vine. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our visit on the local Christmas market endet also in rain. Later at night storm came up and broke branches from tall pines and even the Christmas tree at the market place fall down.

    • Hi Uta. It seems our weather forecaster Mr Sepp Haslinger was not right with his ‘Wetterkerze’! Although they did have quite a bit of snow in Allgau….

      • Someone told me, you can only see how the conditions have been, when the plants set buds and later fruits.
        Lets hope for snow in January or February 2016! ๐Ÿ™‚ (I had to add the year of my wish!)

    • It was actually easier than I had expected, but in retrospect I can see I should have used more greenery as therre are a few bare patches at the base! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • The Christmas markets are quite lovely, and in past years I used to make a point of visiting several. Nowadays I just go to our local one, and although it is always the same stands there the appeal remains! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. It all sounds wonderful – I do love the smells of Christmas! Cinnamon, mulled wine, satsumas, pine/fir indoors, candles, wood burning, mince pies baking. Ooh, lovely. That amaryllis is a fine specimen and I do like your advent arrangement.

  3. Well done for your first Advent wreath – you must be really chuffed with it and will enjoy it throughout the ‘festive’ season. Your amaryllis is amazing to flower in such a short space of time and reminds me I should check up on mine ps I am afraid the potato noodles look rather like giant maggots – or is that just being fanciful?! I am sure they taste lovely though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • It was tempting to buy one of the ready made wreaths at the DIY store while looking for the straw ring… but you are right, I am much happier with my own creation! The noodles are not terribly photogenic I must admit! But they do taste great!

  4. Cathy, what a lovely update. I can picture your market and the two of you dashing in the cold and rain. Your Advent wreath is lovely and so is your Amaryllis bulb.

    Evergreen bows and spiced apple cider are two of my favorite scents this time of year. That and pretty much anything baking in a kitchen. Mmmmmmmm. Have a good week.

  5. Cathy, your wonderful descriptions put me right there with you for a bit. Lovely way to get in the mood for the holiday season. Your advent wreath must smell delicious. The amaryllis looks great. Ginger and cinnamon bring back some favorite memories for me.

  6. I agree with the previous comment ….. your wonderful description made me feel right there too! Lovely for us to get a feel for Christmas in a cold climate…here in Australia the smell of gum leaves remind me that Christmas is coming..

    • That is interesting to hear! I find it hard to imagine Christmas being in the warmest time of year. The smell of gum trees is something I have yet to experience, but I am sure it is lovely!

    • I have planted quite a few Amaryllis in stages, but they will probably all flower at the same time! I think those noodles may be on the weekend menu again…. easy to recreate at home, but not quite the same as eating them at the market with all the hustle and bustle and other nice smells. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I for on think the meal looks delicious, I can almost taste it and it looks like a tasty bit of comfort food. Beautiful advent wreath and even better since it’s all been collected by yourself. This is the first year I’m feeling more comfortable stealing evergreen sprigs for the holidays and it’s fun!
    Love the snow ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Definitely comfort food Frank, and just what we need as the season of colds and sniffles comes upon us! Yes, the wreath may not be perfect, but at least I know it was all material that needed pruning and hasn’t been sprayed with anything odd!

  8. A striking amaryllis Cathy. I love the smell of mulled wine ( but not the taste). I also went to a craft exhibition this weekend and saw a wonderful painting of amaryllis by Christiana Kubrick. Take a look at her website of the same name. Such great plant paintings.

    • Funny you saying that Dorris, as I feel the same way about mulled wine – smells delicious but is usually a disappointment if I drink any. I found an amaryllis painting on that website – lovely!

  9. Beautiful advent wreath, Cathy, I like the small larch cones. We have very few pinecones this year, making me glad I’d saved some from previous years. I’m hoping it is just an off year and not something more serious. Your description of the market had my mouth watering!

    • We also have years with hardly any pine cones – this year I only found a couple while last year I had a huge basketful. The larches are pretty reliable though and stay hanging on the fallen twigs for a couple of years. I am glad they drop down as the larch trees near us are all far too tall to reach!

    • Yes, as popular as ever! I think people visiting local ones have not been deterred at all, but there may be fewer foreign visitors to the bigger ones like in Nuremberg where security has been upped.

  10. Love the wreath! Amaryllis will grow outside here, but not for the holidays! So, I miss those this time of year, yours are beautiful. You have inspired me to think of a South Florida advent wreath, hmmm.

    • Thank you! I love to have Amaryllis indoors around Christmas. A Florida advent wreath sounds exciting – I suppose you would use completely different materials to mine…

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