In a Vase on Monday: Sticks and Stones

IMG_1205Thinking last night about today’s vase, I was well aware that there was little suitable bloom-wise and guessed I would need to be reliant on twigs or foliage – the post title ‘Sticks and Stones’ then popped into my head and the gauntlet was thrown down….

Although there is plenty of raw material on the twisted hazel I have kept the twigs that were used in previous vases so this morning it was a matter of looking for interesting ‘sticks’ to join them – some cornus had been retained too, but I decided instead to ramble with my eyes open in the search for potential vase contents. The Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ was therefore joined by magnolia twigs from low down on the trunk, with their velvety buds still in a state of hibernation, sloe with their pin-sized thorns, dog rose with a hint of leaf bud opening and three precious stems of Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’, just to be controversial! Having made use of blue slate chippings in the garden these were a useful option for the ‘stones’ as they would hold the sticks in their place in the stoneware pie dish. Props this week were an encyclopaedia of rocks and materials and a chunk of natural tiger’s eye.

IMG_1208Every time I go into Aldi recently I look admiringly at the lovely bunches of tulips in jewel like colours but firmly resist, whereas before I started this meme I might have succumbed. The challenge of finding something from the garden or out-and-about to display in a vase or similar every Monday is too exciting to introduce bought flowers into the house, possibly ever again! I already have plans to grow bulbs specifically for cutting next year, and have seeds on standby for cutting beds this summer, both challenges in themselves as they are new concepts for me.

IMG_1207If you would like to challenge yourself in whatever way you choose by joining in this meme, then please do so. Just post your receptacle as normal  but add a link to this post and a link back to yours in a comment on this post so we can all share in what you have found. It is inevitably a tougher challenge at this time of year, but that seems to make it all the more rewarding – it will be a different scenario come the summer!

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16 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Sticks and Stones

  1. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Iris Time | Peonies & Posies

  2. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy – I love your use of ‘sticks’ this week! It will be interesting to see if the magnolia buds progress to flowers if you keep them indoors. You will see from my post that I have a question that needs answering before I can make my bulb order in the autumn – can anyone identify my Iris reticulata? It is funny to read that you have been musing on the purchase of flowers this week. The very same thoughts have been going around in my head as well. As you know from my blog I do buy flowers from Holland on a weekly basis, but I also love using what I can grow and hope to increase both the amount and choice of blooms available from my garden. Joining in here each week is certainly focusing my mind on planning for next winter!

    You can see my contribution this week at

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – I don’t expect the magnolia buds to open, but as they were short stubby stems they won’t be missed from the tree. The flowers in Aldi are so cheap they would have been tempting in the past – but so are bulbs from Peter Nyssen and with nurturing will last more than one year. I am half-tempted to start a draft list now, while it is on my mind. I will pop over and see your vase and iris now, but don’t s’pose I can help with identification

  3. Sarah says:

    Cathy you are so creative! I love the way you’ve created something very interesting and eye catching out of very little indeed! I like your idea of forward planning for next winter…..perhaps I’d better get a move on too 🙂 Didn’t quite make a vase this week but will be back next week!

  4. pbmgarden says:

    I love the use of your magnolia Cathy. Seems perfect this time of year. I’m a bit late but here is my contribution:
    Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      The magnolia was a completely spontaneous thought – but it certainly worked, didn’t it? Thanks for joining in – I shall pop over and have a look.

  5. Chloris says:

    I love your sticks and stones ,Kathy. What an original idea! I always admire the furry buds of Magnolias and now you will be able to admire them close to. Who knows maybe they will unfurl.
    Thank you for sending Julie from Peonies and Posies to my blog to look at my Irises.

  6. Oh rats, forgot again, sorry, though it would have been a big challenge this week. We’ll be able to swap notes on trying to grow plants for cutting, I have an exciting pile of seed packets, and am trying to work out how many dahlias I can squeeze in to the vege garden without compromising the produce too much. Love the creativity of your sticks and stones display.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Janet – and interestingly I have just decided that I will grow some kale within my cutting beds, so it can work both ways! I started on my Feb seed pile yesterday – exciting times! 🙂

  7. Great stuff. This is really original looking and I have sort of given it a go. Take a look at to see what I mean.D

  8. Christina says:

    Sorry I didn’t manage to join in this week, pressure of work. I’ll try harder for next week.

  9. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Winter Romance | Peonies & Posies

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