In a Vase on Monday: A Vase for Alys

Last week was grey and damp and I was feeling rather despondent about my vase contents for today.

And then magic happened, and a surprise parcel arrived all the way from sunny California from my dear blogging friend Alys, at Gardening Nirvana.

๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

The package contained a beautiful handmade card displaying a vase full of flowers and the calendar marking Monday…


It is so pretty, and so ‘me’.

And the icing on the cake was a pack of vase arrangers that Alys also sent along – these are soft wire discs/’nets’ that can be bent to shape for any vase and help keep individual stems in place. I have wanted one for ages after seeing them on someone’s blog, but have never seen them here.


This was the inspiration I needed for my vase, and I spent this morning happily playing around with stems and seed heads. One of my favourite vases has quite a wide top and so I was pleased I could use it for fewer stems this week.

A big thank you to you, Alys, for cheering up my week and being so thoughtful! This vase is for you! xxx (I hope you have read my mail Alys!)


The main components are red stems and foliage, with the Mahonia at the centre. The Fennel seeds are a favourite element for Advent vases, as when the seeds drop they leave behind little stars…


I included several different grasses – names forgotten for the moment.


Some Iris sibirica seedheads still look good in the garden and I found some fresh red Cotinusย shoots as well…


To top it all, we had sunshine today – the first for what seems like weeks! (It was very frosty too this morning).


Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme and getting me out searching for vase materials even on a cold and frosty November morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

And thanks again to Alys. ๐Ÿ™‚


Have a great week everyone!

40 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: A Vase for Alys

  1. Oh what a delightfully thoughtful gift – most especially the card with the vase and the Monday marked on the calendar. I have not seen ‘vase arrangers’ like this before – they look like a refined version of humble chicken wire and therefore infinitely more practical! Your collection of foliage and grasses are just perfect for the season – thanks for sharing

  2. Blogging friends are wonderful aren’t they, what a wonderful surprise parcel, Definitely an early Christmas present. Your lovely vase is perfect for the season and glows beautifully in the sunshine.

  3. Oh what treasure your friend has sent Cathy and so thoughtful. That vase arranger is a most natty idea. I don’t recollect seeing one before. I like the way the cotinus echoes the colour on the card and also how those stems make for interest below the waterline as well as above.

    • I have been thinking the same Anna – the stems are nicely spaced out and look pretty in this clear vase under water too. Somehow these colours are like autumn and Christmas at the same time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • The advantage of these arrangers is no sharp edges! ๐Ÿ™‚ This red Cotinus is actually a shoot from a vagabond shrub that I keep chopping down and it keeps trying to reappear… the other Cotinus are still green but these new shoots are all red! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I agree, sharp edges are what kept me from even trying to crush chicken wire. I have a special place in my heart for vagabonds in the garden, you just never know when you might find a prize!

  4. What a lovely card and gift, Cathy. I love the vase arrangers. I haven’t seen them put into use before and they seem such a practical item for anyone, but in particular, a thoughtful and perfect gift for you! It sounds like winter is coming in quickly and the beautiful vases may not be too easily assembled, but you’ve done a beautiful job this week!

  5. How very special ๐Ÿ™‚ And a lovely job using the wire to make a looser bouquet! Love your autumn foliage and grasses…

  6. Cathy, I’m smiling from ear to ear. I did receive your lovely, personal thank you and I’m delighted to read this post as well. I’m so happy the package arrived at a time when you needed a bit of cheer. I’m happy, too, that the card is “so you”. Your vase looks terrific as it always does. And it just started “snowing” on WordPress today, so your pine cones look right at home as the snow falls over your vase.

    Thank you for the ping back, and for your lovely words. It’s been so good getting to know you. xo Alys

    • I am so pleased to hear that the wordpress snow has appeared again (It is apparently disabled for ipads so I haven’t seen it yet – must switch on my pc later to take a peak!) Have a lovely weekend Alys. ๐Ÿ˜€

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