In a Vase on Monday: Prewinter Fire

IMG_0632Despite anticipating a struggle to find something appropriate to put in a vase today I did not after all have to resort purely to foliage. The arching stems of bidens protruding stiffly from some hanging baskets were ideal contenders for one of my stoneware ink pots, thus demanding equally small scale compatriots, and the presence of a clutch of crab apples on the adjacent Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ and developing seed pods and remaining flowers on Crocosmia ‘Constance’ and ‘Emily McKenzie’ instantly suggested the muted autumn colours of the final arrangement. A stray ‘Welsh’ poppy flower, hips from climbing rose ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’, seedheads of Rudbeckia fulgens and precious stems of Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ with a handful of recently fallen magnolia leaves added the final touches. I am not one for flower ‘arranging’, but having plonked things in a vase I can rearrange them until I feel happy with them, which I am with these – whew! Another week of having something In a Vase on Monday!

If this is inspiring or encouraging anyone else to get into the habit of finding things to fill a vase (or a thinking-out-of a box) every Monday then please feel free to make a comment on this post with a link to your own Monday vase, and include a linkย  on your post to this one if you like so we can all encourage each other. Thank you to Julie for being the first one to join in last week.

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19 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Prewinter Fire

  1. Christina says:

    Well done Cathy, I’m afraid I’ve let you down today – the wind is strong and icy and I fear anything I picked would be shredded before it made it into the house!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, so sorry the weather has put paid to your vase – hope it has calmed down now. The pressure has just kept rising here and there is a very starry sky with no wind at all so it will be a chilly night. Stay warm!

  2. sueturner31 says:

    Fabulous and it really is surprising what you can find …there are some lovely foliage and fruits about still.

  3. Pingback: In a Vase On Monday | Peonies & Posies

  4. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy,
    Wow – what a great combination of shapes and colours! It is amazing what is still available in the garden in this supposedly ‘dead’ month. Your vase certainly looks like a fire this week. My arrangement has a very different feel, with softer shapes and colours. That is what makes this type of challenge such fun – we will all find different things in our gardens. I have to say a big thank you to you – I would never have had a bunch of flowers like this from my own garden at this time of year if you had not inspired me to try this challenge!.

    See my vase at


  5. Nicely done! My Midwinter Fire would struggle to supply stems for a thimble it is so tiny, but in years to come, hopefully I will be able to nick a few wands and follow your example. I was trying to work out what I had in the garden to form the base for a Christmassy garland, but I am sadly lacking in flexible stems. Am amazed you still have crocosmia flowers.

    • Cathy says:

      My Midwinter Fire is small too, but it had one very long stem which I cut into 3 and i don’t think one would notice it had gone ๐Ÿ™‚ I was pondering my wreath yesterday too, as after pruning our variegated holly quite severely last year there are very few berries on it now. still lots of leaves and lots of ivy around too of course. I too am amazed there are still crocosmia flowers.

  6. Lyn says:

    Oooh, I like that! More like a firework than a fire, to my eye. I have decided to take up your challenge and pick a vase every Monday, but after some thought I’ve decided I’m not going to blog about it. I only post about once a week, and this suits me in terms of available time. I will, however, be visiting you and everyone who joins in, for inspiration.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that’s lovely Lyn, and I am so pleased you feel it is an encouragement.Perhaps you can tell us in a comment what you have found to include – if you want to, that is.

  7. croftgarden says:

    You were obviously inspired and it shows in the arrangement. Sorry I couldn’t contribute I was sitting in Glasgow airport waiting for the fog to lift!

    • Cathy says:

      Was that fog in Glasgow or fog in the Outer Hebrides? Have been visiting/shopping? The vase really just arranged itself – the cornus had no choice but to stand upright like that as the pot was so tiny, and the other bits had a natural shape of their own. Definitely not me!

      • croftgarden says:

        Fog in Glasgow just added to the dreariness of a “not for pleasure” trip. Great to be back in the wind and the rain!
        You’re too modest, when I put things in a vase they just look like things in a vase!

  8. Cathy what a lovely firey mix, I too am a little surprised that you have crocosmia and welsh poppies in flower, it adds to my feeling that you live in a little shangrila in the UK, I’m also interested in your little stoneware inkpot, does it have a pouring lip? I ask because I have 2 in different sizes that look the same and I have wondered what they were for originally, like you I enjoy them as ornaments and sometimes use them as vases, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      Haha! It really only was one poppy (and I have been trying to eradicate them anyway, so this one won’t seed!) and I have already told the crocosmia off for starting to flower so late, so I mustn’t grumble that it is still flowering. Yes they are ink pots, and some of mine (big and small) have pouring lips too – they regularly turn up on Victorian rubbish dumps and as you say they make nice ‘ornaments’ and tiny vases.

  9. Anna says:

    A most attractive and imaginative display Cathy. I’m surprised about the crocosmias too but maybe they are later in flowering than some of the other varieties.

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