In a Vase on Monday: At a Snail’s Pace

Spring is taking its time this year, and despite a mild winter the temperatures have barely risen above about 6 or 7°C in the past weeks, often colder with wintry showers. So there is still not much flowering in my garden apart from Hellebores, Crocuses and Snowdrops. But I enjoy participating in Cathy’s meme every week, where I am challenged to find something for a vase… go and visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for a touch of magic today.

Hellebores last Wednesday…


Yesterday a friend gave me a bunch of Pussy Willow catkins, which I decided to team up with some Hazel catkins, a few twigs of Forsythia (which should eventually open indoors), and a couple of red Cornus twigs.


One reason for my title today is to lament the rate at which Spring is so  s l o w l y  arriving, but another reason is the other gifts my friend gave me yesterday…


Two beautifully hand-painted snail shells that she found at a craft fair…


Aren’t they lovely?!

(Thank you again Elisabeth!)


The Hazel catkins are actually going over now, although they are still dropping some pollen.

Of course, I had to bring in more Hellebores while I was outside this morning, and here are just a few I floated as an “extra” today…


The actual vase itself was a Christmas present from my dear Man of Many Talents, and it is still patiently waiting for some Forsythia flowers to go in it!


I wonder if you have brought any flowers indoors this week…


54 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: At a Snail’s Pace

  1. Lovely, Cathy! The painted shells are beautiful! Here in California, winter has returned. Our garden my get confused after a warm sunny February and now a cold, wet March! But spring is coming!

  2. There is so much spring to feel in your post, I can´t believe it reminds you on a snail. Lovely shells! Lovely painted vase! Maybe the painting bring joy and patience. The catkins open the “arms” for spring. 🙂

    • That’s a lovely way of describing the catkins Uta! It has warmed up just a little the past few days and the garden is waking up at last! 🙂

    • We are probably no later than other years here, but having seen so many spring flowers on other blogs recently I have been getting impatient. Things are starting to shoot and sprout now though after just a couple of wamer days! 🙂

  3. I thought the flowers on the vase were real and that you’d put them on the vase. The stems are a lovely thing in spring and being able to watch the flowers open is lovely. No snow here but there was hail just a couple of km from me.

  4. Those snail shells are precious and a lovely (and unexpected) accompaniment to your vase. I’ve always loved pussywillows – we even has a cat named Pussywillow when I was a kid (named by my brother who didn’t consider how ridiculous we were all going to sound calling “Pussywillow, Pussywillow, Pussywillow” when she periodically went missing). I hope spring finds its way to your door soon. It’s already arrived here, amazingly with a little bit of rain too.

    • 🙂 Glad you have had some much-needed rain at last Kris. We have had a little sunshine and some milder temperatures this week, so spring seems to be coming our way now!

  5. We have very similarly themed posts this week Cathy! Hopefully the temperatures here will be rising later this week as well and spring will get a move on. In the meantime your hellebores are stunning. I love the little snail shells – so delicate.

    • I thought the same when I read your blog last Monday Julie. Winter wasn’t particularly cold, but still it is taking a while for the temperatures to rise. And Easter is quite early too, creeping up on us, which makes it seem as if spring is late. We have had some sunshine this week though and the temperature reached double figures briefly one day – needless to say I was outdoors all that afternoon! 🙂

  6. Brrrrrrr – hope that it starts warming up soon Cathy. Not as much snow as with you although we have had some during the last week. I thought the same as Christina about the painted flowers on the vase until I looked more closely. Do you find that pussy willow is most soothing to stroke and the branches stay looking good for a long, long time?

    • Hi Anna. Yes, I can never resist stroking pussy willow. One of those magic moments every spring when you find it opening up. 🙂 It keeps for ages without water in the vase too. The Forsythia in the vase has now opened to complete the picture!

  7. It has been cold here for a few weeks too but we have had lots of sunshine and blue skies which are both very welcome – like you it is menat to be warming up a bit next week. Your snail shells are a delightful idea – what a lovely gift! – and your vase of stems and catkins is perfect. Mine from last week is still going strong although the witch hazel flowers have shrivelled but still hold their colour. Thanks for sharing

  8. You have similar weather to us Cathy, a mild winter and now in March its cold! The Pussy willow is just starting to open here and its lovely to see you have it in a vase, which is very pretty and a lovely gift. I hope Spring comes soon for you!

    • Thanks Julie. I hope you are getting some milder weather too now. It’s slightly warmer here, and next week should see double figure temperatures at last! 🙂

  9. I thought you had Forsythia stems wrapped inside the base of the vase, until I read Christina’s comment and took a second look. What a pretty vase! The pussy willow stems and hazel catkins look so striking in it. Hope your weather gets better and better! We’re starting to warm up here a bit to my relief.

  10. I love your catkins, Cathy! It even inspires me to go out and see whether desert shrubbery can be used this way — I’ll have to check! The snail shells are exquisite, and how lovely as a gift…

  11. It’s probably going to surprise you, but I honestly think this may be my favorite of your arrangements, Cathy. I really love it. I am familiar with pussy willow catkins, but I’ve never seen the hazel catkins, and the two in combination are just fabulous! This arrangement is entirely unique!

    • I am glad you liked this vase so much Debra. Hazel catkins can be seen all around us at the moment and I suppose I take them for granted. The yellow Forsythia has now opened up in the warmth of the house too. 🙂

  12. I too thought the Forsythia on the vase was real. The Catkins and Pussy Willow look lovely together. And what a good idea to bring the hellebore flowers inside. It is too cold and miserable to enjoy them outside.

    • It has warmed up a bit now Chloris, and I have been able to enjoy some of the first flowers outside as well. And more sunshine is supposed to come our way next week, so hope you get some too!

  13. I missed this on Monday and I am only catching up now. How lovely to see your willow and catkins and if only all snails looked as pretty as those. All dressed up with no where to go? I hope the sun has come out for you this weekend.

    • Now that is a nice thought… snails in fancy shells dancing around my garden! LOL! Yes, we have had a bit of sunshine. Hope you do too Dorris. 🙂

    • The temperatures just about hit 10°C in the sun this week, and I have seen a few bees out and about. Hope you start to see some life awakening in your garden soon too!

  14. On Wednesday I will hit the Boston Flower Show for the 50+ year and bring home pussywillows 🙂 and lots of photos of blooms still 2 months away for us.

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