In a Vase on Monday: Winter Dreams

It’s cold and icy outside, so in order to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase this week I am using some dried flowers again.

These Echinops were picked last summer while still in their prime and have stood in this old maple syrup bottle ever since.
In the search for good (well, still not brilliant!) lighting I stood the jar in front of the book rest I have on my desk. I always have a page of one of my garden books open here, for inspiration. This picture is of a Piet Oudolf garden – I love the choice of plants and the focus on late summer flowers and grasses.

This week I have been reading about one of Oudolf’s most recent gardens, created just within Germany at the Vitra Campus, on the border to Switzerland and France. You can read about it here. It would be a 5 or 6 hour car drive for me, but one day I will have to visit.

In the meantime, I can dream!

Have a great week (and sweet gardening dreams). 😉

In a Vase on Monday: Dormancy

Dormancy: a period in an organism’s life cycle when growth, development, and (in animals) physical activity are temporarily stopped

The seedheads in my vase today are a reminder of the plants in the garden that I picked them from, snoozing under a thin layer of snow.

The low light and the dark contents seem fitting to the season, but I wanted to show off the beauty of these seedheads too, so here is another photo with artificial light. (My Man of Many Talents kindly stood behind me shining two torches on it! 😃)

The golden fluffy bits are Chrysopsis, the spikes Agastache and Sage, and the brown pods are Iris. On the right is some Pycnanthemum at the back, and some Fennel at the front. I had bought this vase with allium seedheads in mind….

…. but the ones I saved are so fragile that I decided to go with Fennel instead.

I myself may not exactly be dormant, but I am certainly not active in the garden yet. And strangely enough I am still not yearning for the seasons to change, happily using the time indoors to do some reading and crocheting. I may not have flowers outside right now, but I can read about and create some inside!

I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme. Pop over to admire her lovely vase and see if anyone else is finding something to share from their winter gardens.

And have a good week!


In a Vase on Monday: A Conversation Piece

This week I was inspired by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden not only to find something in my winter garden for a Monday vase… Earlier this month Cathy shared a photo of her ammonite garden decoration. Well, it left quite an impression on me, and since I have been playing with yarn a lot on these chilly winter days I decided to try something out….


The Forsythia was picked in bud last Monday and opened just in time for today’s vase. It doesn’t take long once the buds have fully formed.

The ammonite is crocheted in chunky acrylic wool – nice and stable for standing a glass in to show off some flowers. I couldn’t find a free pattern, so followed a video tutorial instead. (I had the choice of Turkish, Spanish or French, so I went for the French! )

It is an unusual object that I probably won’t use very often, but it was fun making it and I hope it will make you all smile! 😃

Do pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what she has found for a vase this week. And have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday: Sweet and Spicy

The scent of wintersweet flowers is warm and spicy, which is perfect for a chilly winter’s day. A few flowers are just opening on my shrub, so I pruned a couple of wayward sprigs to bring indoors. Hopefully the numerous buds will start to open up in the warm house over the next few days.

In the meantime my vase needs something for interest, so I added some grasses and the fluffy seedheads of Japanese Anemones, as well as some rather wild looking Crocosmia seedheads.

I managed to capture some sunshine and blue skies in my photos this morning, before it turned grey and overcast again. My gardening diary tells me we have 18 minutes more daylight today than last Monday. 😃

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts this Monday meme, where she invites us to pop anything we can find in a vase to share. We were on the same wavelength today as she has used wintersweet as her title, so do click on the link and pay her a visit too.

Have a good week, with plenty of sunshine!



In a Vase on Monday: Good Timing

There are only a few winter-flowering shrubs I can grow in my garden and it is always a gamble if they will get caught by frost or the harsh north winds we get late winter. This year however, the severe frosts we had mid-December have given way to some very mild days, thus allowing my Viburnum ‘Dawn’ to make the most of this window in the weather and unfold its petals, emitting a delicious scent. It is at the top of the drive, and I detected the smell as soon as I got out of my car to open the gate the other day.

This is the only Viburnum I have that flowers so early. Other winter bloomers are the Witch Hazel ‘Diane’, which may flower by February, and the Winter Sweet (Chimonanthus praecox) which has lots of fat buds.

My title today comes from the metronome in the background which we rarely use these days but looks nice on the sideboard!

Although it is still a small shrub, I convinced myself that this twig was growing at a strange angle too near to the ground. 😉 I must resist the urge to cut any more though, and will instead be sure to visit it regularly for a sniff. In the meantime this indoor sprig smells lovely.

I am happy to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme, where she invites us to find something we have grown or foraged to pop in a vase and share. Do visit her today and you may be in for a surprise what she has used for her Monday vase this week…

Have a good week!

In a Vase on Monday: Happy Hellebore

The new year has started of mild and sunny, and today I actually found myself doing some gardening. What a great way to begin 2023!
I did some chopping of mouldy and flopped foliage, and then cut most of the leaves off my hellebores, which are starting to flower beautifully. In a few weeks I should have enough to float a whole bowlful, but for today I am more than happy with just one. 😃

I chose a small porcelain bowl my sister gave me a few years ago – just right for a single flower.

The intricacy of the flowers can be seen so well when floating them. This is one of the Ice ‘n’ Roses Gold Collection, I think ‘Early Red’, although I have ‘Early Rose’ too and they are practically identical. (Or wrongly labelled, which does happen!) I have raved about this collection before – they are all wonderful and very hardy, mostly flowering early and for a long time. And I believe there are now over a dozen sorts. I will be keeping my eye out for another one this spring. 😉

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. And here’s to hellebores and happy gardening days! And a Happy New Year to you all!