In a Vase on Monday: Pierrot and Columbine

IMG_2001With the increasing number of blooms available in the garden there were no specific contenders in my head until last night when I thought about the aquilegia, most of which have popped up unannounced and may have little or no meritΒ  and were therefore potentially for the chop. An unintentional sucker for ‘ear worms’, the Seekers’ ‘Carnival is Over’ popped into my head, giving me the title.

IMG_2008Despite two car boot sales this May Day Bank Holiday morning there were still no appropriate props to support today’s vase, but the fabric remnant I already had fitted the bill quite well on its own. I dithered over the container though, eschewing plain stoneware pots and other brightly coloured mugs in favour of the impractically tall green mug that the flowers had initially been plonked in when I first cut them.

IMG_2002IMG_2003There are sprigs of columbine (aquilegia) from every flowering example in the garden, including my new grown-from-seed ‘Green Apples’ (so perhaps there will be a sneak preview if they open now they are in the house!), plus the very useful Astrantia ‘Buckland’ which will appear again and again if it flowers from March to November like it did last year! Having cut flowering stems from Luzula sylvatica ‘Marginata’ I promptly abandoned them in favour of their white cousin Luzula nivea. It was then just a matter of trimming and plonking them in the mug – easy peasy.

IMG_1998I avoided picking the sprig that this pretty speckled critter was on – no doubt someone can identify it….please?

As always it has been a pleasure to put together this Monday’s post. If you would like to join in, we would love to see what you have found in your garden or thereabouts and brought inside to bring you joy at the start of the week – just add appropriate links to and from this post so we can share what you have found. And please feel free to think out of the box – it doesn’t have to be flowers…or foliage…or a vase…


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34 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Pierrot and Columbine

  1. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Lovely vase; wish I had enough Aquilegias to be able to cut them!

    Your Butterfly is an orange-tip! Probably a female if there were no obvious orange-tips πŸ™‚
    (I saw a female a few days ago, so that’s brilliant news and perhaps more in future for me)

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for the info on the orange-tip – with it having no orange tips I would never have worked it out! The aquilegia are only just starting to flower but as many of them will be coming out I was happy to cut the few flowers that there were πŸ˜‰

  2. Christina says:

    Hi Cathy, you have a very delicate vase this week, I nearly used Aquilegia too, but you’ll see what I chose in the end.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and almost wishy washy too, but adding anything brighter would have dominated it. Look forward to seeing what you have chosen instead….

  3. Chloris says:

    You are endlessly creative with your Monday vases. Aquilegias seem the essence of the May garden. I love them and try to grow a few new ones each year. Green Apples is one I haven’ t tried and I am interested to see it; I can’ t resist green flowers.
    The butterfly is definitely an Orange Tip, I have never had so many in the garden as this year. They love the Honesty and I always leave a little Garlic Mustard for them or Jack by the Hedge as we used to call it when I was a child.

    • Cathy says:

      In terms of creation it requires minimal effort though, Chloris – but in most cases the resultant pleasure far outstrips the effort exerted! I enjoy the challenge every week and now the challenge is in restricting the content when there is so much to choose from. I had to check exactly what ‘garlic mustard’ was, so I have learned something knew – don’t know what was attraction the orange-tip today but I have definitely seen them here before without knowing what they are.

  4. Kris P says:

    I can only wish that Aquilegia would pop up unannounced in my garden – I feel lucky to have the 3 plants I cultivate come back another year. And growing Astrantia here appears to be impossible. My own composition this week is a mix of some final early spring blooms and some new late spring blooms: , Summer has, for all practical purposes, already arrived here in southern California.

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose we all need to learn to accept the conditions of where we are – I would certainly be happy if aquilegia weren’t quite as ready to pop up as they are usually quite insipid specimens when they do, although one of today’s is quite a pretty pink one. Summer at the beginning of May? I suppose it is approaching rapidly here too πŸ™‚ Look forward to seeing your odds and ends!

  5. Helen says:

    I spotted columbine dotted amongst the bluebells down in the wood at the weekend – such pretty intricate flowers. I love your informal display – it has such an informal country feel to it.
    So pleased to be able to link up with you. Here’s my effort! :—bluebells

    • Cathy says:

      I am so glad you have had a ‘flash of inspiration’, Helen (that’s what I enjoy about this meme!) – look forward to seeing what it was! I got the countryside feeling about mine when it was finished too.

  6. Just so lovely! I’ve all of these growing in my garden, so I’ve no excuse! As for your butterfly, I had a couple of those in my garden last week, though I wouldn’t have recognised them from your photo. Mine were “exactly what it said on the tin” – orange tipped. Their undersides look so different.

    • Cathy says:

      I have seen them like this in the garden before but not with the orange tips – so either they are always female or they always have their wings closed! And, Ali, if you have no excuse then we can anticipate a vase from you sometime perhaps….?! πŸ˜‰

  7. Anna says:

    I’ve occasionally picked astrantias Cathy and bought them in to the house but have not found their perfume or should I say pong to my liking – a touch of left to linger whist still damp face flannel aroma pervades 😦 They make a lovely combination though with astrantias but strictly outdoors for me.

  8. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Welcome May! | Words and Herbs

  9. Cathy says:

    I love all your aquilegia! Such a great mix of colours and shapes. I have quite a few in my rockery, albeit mostly the same colour, and some of the first went into my vase this week too!
    Thanks Cathy, and have a great week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks! I have a tiny one in an old sink – the petite ones are gorgeous, aren’t they? Look forward to seeing your vase πŸ™‚

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  11. Julie says:

    We have both chosen aquilegia this week – although with different partners. I know what you mean about needing to restrict the choices – it would be so easy to have a little bit of everything! As ever I really enjoyed myself – it is so nice to have an excuse to pick flowers on a Monday and have a play with arranging and my camera! Your butterfly is lovely – I have not seen one like that yet this year but I will be on the look out now. Also I really like your background fabric – fabric is another prop I need to build up stocks of!

    My contribution this week is at Thank you again for hosting this Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      The fabric was just a happy coincidence, Julie, but I suppose I will have odd bits tucked away that would make a different colour background if need be. I changed the container of mine later in the day and put them in a green hyacinth vase which I had forgotten about. I don’t think I will ever tire of this challenge!

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, your aquilegia are so delicate and pretty. I grow a very different one that is native to eastern US, but think I’d like to add some like yours. Thanks for hosting the vase party. Mine for the week is susie

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Susie – I’m playing catch up 😦 There should be some bigger and better aquilegia to come as the self seeded ones tend to pretty nondescript – later I wonder what those US ones are like? I am enjoying hosting the vase party so thanks for coming!

  13. Mostly daffs still as spring is late so I hope to join in soon as the buds are appearing here and there getting ready…I love all the aquilegia that has seeded around my garden and look forward to it blooming soon. I think everything is going to be blooming at once because of our delay.

  14. Aquilegias are a promiscuous bunch, aren’t they, but I am nevertheless a great fan. I was stopped in my tracks mid weed when I saw the Aquilegia chrysantha that I grew from seed last year flowering away, lovely pale yellow with swept back spurs… Anyway, lovely vase, very casually spring time! I failed again to post on Monday, so rather than duck out altogether I picked and arranged a vase, photographed the result, and put it up on flickr,, just to prove I am trying!

    • Cathy says:

      Your case is beautiful Janet – and you could have saved it till NEXT Monday and we would have been none the wiser! The green of the alexanders is a brilliant addition. Is that Aquilegia chrysantha in your Flikr photos too? Some of the ‘Green Apples’ in my vase are opening but they are a poor relation so far, not the frilly doubles I am hoping for… πŸ˜‰

  15. wellywoman says:

    Lovely! I’m eyeing up my aquilegia for a birthday posy I’ll be making on Saturday for a friend. Loving being able to choose from so much more for pickings. Have a lovely weekend.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Louise – and the aquilegia seem to be lasting well in the vase, which is always a good thing. Hope your friend enjoys hers! πŸ™‚

  16. A lovely arrangement Cathy, again! I do like the aquilegia and have them all around my garden. It is interesting to read in the comments above that not everyone finds them spreading, perhaps the seedlings get weeded out? I have never tried them in a vase so shall have to give it a go. Thanks for hosting this, it is such a nice thing to do. My vase can be found at

    • Cathy says:

      And I think one would have to be quite disciplined to cut all the heads off before the seeds ripened. I have actually pulled out several of the self-seeded ones as I have trays of named varieties grown from seed which will be planted out later in the year. But Dorris, somehow you have managed to comment and add your link to a previous Monday vase, so I am not sure if everyone will find it…. πŸ˜‰

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