In a Vase on Monday: Simples!

IMG_1524For those not in the UK the title might not mean anything, but indeed ‘Simples!’ has officially entered the English language following its use as a catchphrase in a comparison website advert which features either irritating or endearing Russian meerkat characters, depending on your viewpoint. The contents of the vase as well as the title actually came to me just after I had completed last week’s vase and was returning the previous week’s cornus stems to a pot on the windowsill. The pot also contained reusable twisted hazel – and a number of snowdrops inadvertently dug out without the bulbs when I was transplanting clumps. Ahah, I thought – Simples!

And simple it is, a handful of snowdrops and several very useful twigs of twisted hazel in a vintage creamware pot against a background of a piece of blackwork embroidery – no Meerkat Toy as a prop though, but some tactile flint picked up on Skegness beach. The twisted hazel is proving to be a very useful tool for the vases, adding structure and form but also providing useful twists and turns to hold delicate flowers without the use of Oasis or pins – and the ability to be reused over and over again.

So there we have it, a simple arrangement in a vase on Monday – the arrangement may be simple, but finding appropriate props to support the contents adds a twist to the challenge for me. Not a mandatory twist I hasten to add for anyone who wants to join in – that’s just a matter of finding something from your own garden or thereabouts and displaying it in a vase (or not) on a Monday – then leave a link from your post to this and vice versa. Tagging it ‘in a vase on Monday’ will also help others to find you so we can share in the pleasures of bringing the outside in. Indeed, the joys of last week’s hellebores are still with me, all but one of the floating flowers still looking as fresh as the day they were picked.


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25 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Simples!

  1. annette2121 says:

    Lovely combination of snowdrops and hazel. By the way the meerkats started off endearing and are now certainly irritating!

  2. Annette says:

    Simply beautiful! Can’t get over how fresh they look still as ours are about to say bye-bye. The red buds on your hazel are intriguing, Cathy. Can’t say I’ve noticed them anywhere else! My humble vase:

    • Cathy says:

      There are only a few of the ‘commons’ over, Annette and so many still in full bloom that I was quite happy to cut these. Yours will be back next year – hurrah! I showed a picture of the hazel buds on a WW recently – not seen them before this year and googled to find out that they are actually the female flowers (catkins are male). I shall be over to look at your ‘humble’ vase shortly – thanks for joining this week.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, this is a lovely arrangement. Your snowdrops are handsome among the twisted hazel. Nice how the hazel provides support for the other flowers without having to use pins or oasis. I read with interest that your hellebores have kept well for a week. I have had good luck with them sometimes, but more recently mine have lasted only a day or two. Don’t understand the difference. I used some in my vase for today. Thanks for hosting Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      When I have cut them with stems they have only lasted a few days, but with just the heads it has been very different – strange! Thanks for joining in – I shall be popping over soon to see yours

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  5. MCH says:

    The entire package … delightful.

  6. Christina says:

    In gardening terms Simples were the medicinal herbs used in Medieval times or simple wild flowers, species plants or herbs so a very appropriate name for a vase. Here’s my vase, mine’s even more simple!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, that’s interesting Christina – thanks for that, and for joining in. I shall be over to compare the simplicity of our vases shortly!

  7. Thanks to a gardening friend here in the states who has been participating in Monday Vase of Flowers, I have found your interesting blog and all your friends. I can tell already following you is going to be a delightful learning experience. Thank you. Hope you will visit me sometime where you are mentioned because of a simple lovely flower arrangement.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Stepheny – how kind. I will indeed try and pop over every now and then – isn’t the garden blogging community lovely?

  8. Chloris says:

    Lovely snowdrops, they are always a delight, and beautifully presented as usual.

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  10. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy – I have finally got my post up after a very hectic day! I always hold back from looking at your vase until I am ready to hit publish as I like to save it up as a surprise. You will read in my post that my heart is still with snowdrops so I was delighted to see that you have used them this week! My garden is full of snowdrops at the moment but sadly I think they are all just about to go over. I am going to pick some for the kitchen tomorrow and make the most of the last of the season. You have photographed your snowdrops beautifully and I love the twisted hazel.

    You can find my contribution at

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – my post is rarely likely to be up before late morning because of my Monday morning activities and I have come to anticipate yours later in the day anyway! There is life in my snowdrops still, I think, but I suspect they will suddenly start going over before I realise it – so I too am pleased that I used them this week while I could! I was on my 4th location before I was moderately happy with the photos – doesn’t help having the glass of the picture frame, so I shall try and avoid that next time. Off to look at yours now….

  11. Anna says:

    A most pleasing to the eye arrangement Cathy. The contorted hazel is an undersung star. I knew there were pressing reasons to update my dictionary 🙂 Laters!

  12. croftgarden says:

    You have me perplexed on the popular culture, like Christina “simples” are bunches of medicinal herbs or herbal medicines to me. However pedantry aside, your arrangement is lovely.

    • Cathy says:

      I must reassure you that popular cultural terms do not trip off my tongue on a regular basis – but I have learned enough to be on conversational terms if the need arises! 😉

  13. wellywoman says:

    🙂 Oh I do love those meerkats. And I do love your snowdrop arrangement. Isn’t the scent from snowdrops so lovely?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks WW. It’s the only way to smell them really, bringing them inside – not easy sniffing them in situ, is it?

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