In a Vase on Monday: Coded Messages

IMG_2333Resisting the temptation to look further I stuck with the original plan of using these foxgloves today, plants that have popped up out of nowhere between the ‘Danse de Feu’ roses and which have been looking particularly pretty for a couple pf weeks. Determined also to keep it simple, I didn’t venture much further and trialled a stem of Hellebore ‘Harvington White’, after admiring the dried flowers and empty seedpods on recent rambles. Still within a few yards of the back door these pickings were joined by three stems of the increasingly useful Luzula nivea.

Choosing several vases to try (this being a much taller selection than in recent months), ideally I wanted a pink or whitish vase to hold them, but once realising that a narrow neck was better for the overall shape of the arrangement this plain blue glass bottle had to suffice, although with the chosen black background this wasn’t really relevant in the end. Having removed a few of the spent flowers on the foxgloves they were gradually trimmed down until I was happy with their height, before repeating the exercise with the luzula.

IMG_2335The possibility of using one of the old fireplaces as a location for the photographs had occurred to me although this will always be restricted by the height of the arrangement. There were no fireplaces or chimneys left in the house when we bought it, but we have added some that are non-functioning – this one is in our bedroom, a cast iron front which I restored and inset into the wall, with a mock hearth below. Until today it was full of very dusty pine cones! The bedroom faces east so gets the morning sun, but the bed itself was blocking some of the light so the first photograph doesn’t show the colours very well, shown better right and below:

IMG_2337The vase is now back downstairs and looking pleased with itself, as I am too (pleased with the vase, that is). As always, I was eagerly looking forward to filling my vase today, such is the pleasure the planning, picking and creating gives. If you would like to join in, just post your vase or container of pickings from around your home, including a link to this post on your blog, and a link on this blog back to yours – this way we can share what you have found, learning from and supporting each other as we do so. It’s making us look at our gardens and plants in a different way – don’t you just love the shape of those empty seed pods on the hellebore, and if those aren’t coded messages on the foxgloves then what are they?!


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30 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Coded Messages

  1. Annette says:

    I love foxgloves and think your fireplace is the most stylish, suitable spot to display this elegant yet simple bouquet – well done! Here’s what I come up with in a hurry as usual… happy Monday 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – and I am pleased that were all incidental pickings really, as the foxgloves were self-seeded from who-knows-where, the hellebore was ‘over’ and the luzula was dangling over the edge of a wall and needed trimming back! Thank you for making time in your busy schedule to join in too 🙂

  2. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Van Gogh Sunflowers | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  3. Christina says:

    Pretty vase today Cathy, I planted a few foxgloves but I don’t think they’ll flower until next year. My arrangement is a lot less subtle than yours! Here’s the link.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina. I sowed white foxgloves last year and you have reminded to look and see how they are doing since they were planted out. The more I look at today’s vase, the more I like it – for its subtlety, I suppose. No sunflowers here yet, but I do still have healthy plants so I am hopeful! Look forward to seeing yours.

  4. Chloris says:

    Your foxgloves look lovely in your pretty fireplace Cathy. I never thought of using Hellebore seed heads but they are most attractive.You seem to be drawing more and more people into putting flowers in a vase on a Monday.
    I am joining in again today. I’m afraid my offering was put together hastily this week. We have a big weekend coming up and I really shouldn’t be putting flowers in vases today.
    My link is…-mellow-yellow/

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Chloris, thanks for making time when you have your big event to prepare for. Are you involved in the flowers or catering or anything – or ‘just’ being mother of the bride? ED was married in Las Vegas without parents so I did not have to go through this frenzy 😉 Hope it all goes well and you enjoy every minute. I was pleased to have thought of the hellebore seed heads as they do go well with the foxgloves, don’t they?

      • Chloris says:

        My daughter lives nearby so of course I am involved with everything. Helping with catering, flowers and helping her get her garden looking perfect for the big day.

  5. Kris P says:

    Indoor photography is SO difficult but I think you did well – the black background certainly makes the pink of the foxgloves pop. I had to look up Luzula as I’d never heard of it before but, given its moisture requirements, I guess that’s not surprising here in drought-stricken California. My bouquet this week is a surprise choice (for me anyway):

    Thanks for hosting, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      I have switched off the automatic flash, Kris, and didn’t think till later about trying it with the flash this time. hey ho! I have a slightly variegated luzula too, and they both clump up beautifully in just the normal beds here – the nivea stem/leaf is slight hairy which makes it really tactile. Look forward to seeing your surprise!

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  7. Very Clever!! I do not have any of those flowers in my garden. Those foxgloves are HUGE! I have purchased some seeds but I don’t think I will actually have a spot for them until next year. You’ve got me dreaming.
    Here is mine for this week… and I can safely say I am looking forward to the challenge in the coming weeks!

  8. pbmgarden says:

    Great arrangement Cathy. It’s exciting to have such a tall arrangement and your fireplace shows it off perfectly. Thanks again for hosting. My vase is at

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I was a little hesitant about using taller flowers but this simple arrangement made it easy. I still have nothing else ‘tall’ that I could use – my seedling annuals are progressing but seem almost stunted 😦 I would love to have an echinacea – tried several times but with limited success…

  9. Cathy says:

    Yes, I do love those seedpods, and the inside of the foxgloves is amazing! Here’s my vase for this Monday:
    Thanks Cathy!

  10. Anna says:

    Oh the fireplace accentuates those flowers to perfection Cathy. Foxgloves are so fascinating to study at close hand too 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Anna – I suppose if I was a good housewife I would be putting flowers in my fireplaces all the time.. 😉

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  12. Julie says:

    The foxgloves have been fabulous this year – yours look lovely in that old fireplace – an inspired prop! What a great idea to add a fireplace to your bedroom – it must make your room feel cozy even if you can’t use it.

    You can find my contribution this week at:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – and your comment makes me realise that I have been forgetting about additional props in recent weeks. Perhaps now we have more blooms to choose from we don’t need props to accentuate them like we might have done in our winter vases….

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  14. Isn’t it exciting to have unexpected gems turn up? The hellebore seed heads are an inspirational touch – I wouldn’t have thought of that. I’ve taken it on board though – hope you don’t mind if I copy! I still have some stunning black seed heads, still doing their bit in the black border. Your vase is simply beautiful and looks great (grate?!!) in your fireplace. Quite a feature to have !

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thank you – and of course I don’t mind if you ‘copy’ the hellebore idea! Another reason to enjoy hellebores as they are of interest way beyond their flowering season. The fireplaces can be picked up relatively cheaply from outdoor antique fairs or reclamation yards and cleaned up fairly easily

  15. bittster says:

    I’m really enjoying the Monday vases of yours and others, so often it’s something I wouldn’t think of picking such as your hellebore blooms.
    Very nice!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frank – everyone seems to enjoy these vase posts, and hopefully it is encouraging more people to have a go at picking flowers. How about you? 😉

  16. Pingback: In a vase in a fireplace on a Monday | My Aberdeen Garden

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