In a Vase on Monday: Purple Stars

IMG_2432With a hectic weekend there were limited opportunities for rambling in the garden nor thinking ahead to today’s vase. However, being faced with Clematis ‘Êtoile Violette’ and her dozens of purple stars (climbing through ‘Pink Perpétue’) every time I left and returned to the house I grabbed them as a starting point this morning. I had considered them and heads of Allium christophii for a recent Wordless Wednesday, but am now glad I didn’t as they can form the focus of a vase full of a range of purple stars.

The A cristophii has actually lost most of its purpleness as it changes from flowerhead to seedhead, but like the ‘other’ Cathy with her vase last week it was an opportunity to delay its consignment to the compost heap as the stem was broken. I did wonder, though, once I had collected various purple companions, if it was going to be too supersized to be included, but with the stem cut short, the clematis added, and the others gradually put in their places, I decided it looked far better than might have been expected – almost ‘arranged’, rather than ‘plonked’….. but perhaps I am just getting better at plonking!

The vase was another car boot acquisition, an early Caithness Glass vase in the ‘heather’ colourway, a footed posy bowl – not the same shade of purple as any of the contents in the end but this didn’t seem to matter once it was filled. Still trying to avoid non-recyclable floral foam I placed a glass ‘frog’ in the bottom, using this car boot find (sorry!) for the first time – the only disadvantage being that all the holes were vertical, meaning little option to angle stems.

IMG_2442Having used clematis a few times in these Monday vases, I am confident that they will last more than a few days although one was replaced immediately as it began shedding petals – a good shake of the others produced no more loose petals so they should be OK – and the allium will no doubt outlive all its other companions. Choosing the other blooms was an interesting exercise, all being stars in their own right but in varying degrees of what could be loosely described as ‘purple’ – the unnamed tradescantia and the Veronica spicata ‘Blue Charm’ both came from the blue & white border, the Lavender ‘Hidcote’from the rose garden and the flower spikes of an unnamed hosta from one of the hosta pots. The cerinthe was a last minute addition, the first born of the cutting beds, but were nearly excluded as an unnecessary addition – but having cut them, I decided not to waste them.

IMG_2438As the vase was wider than those of late choosing an appropriate location for photographing it could have posed a problem, but thinking of props and settling on a large amethyst geode it made sense to take the molehill to the mountain as the geode is a little on the heavy side! This room tends to be light for much of the day, so I tried different variations within the room – another good option for future vases if they can tolerate a turquoise background.

I am continually surprised by the results of these Monday’s vases, having been empowered by the process of their creation since the meme was started in November last year – the support from fellow bloggers, with or without their own vases, has been wonderful, and I am now constantly aware of the potential for picking and bringing into the house. I certainly wouldn’t be without a little vase of something at all times now (and having had visitors at the weekend there are several little stoneware pots of sweet peas and astrantia around, as well as a refreshed vase from last week) and have not bought  flowers for gifts since the meme was started, choosing instead to give a posy of something from the garden. If you would like to be similarly empowered then please join in with your own vase or container of ‘things’ from the garden or nearby, posting as usual but with a link back to this post – and leave a link to your vase in a comment on this post so we can share your creation and the joy it brings you 🙂



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38 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Purple Stars

  1. Christina says:

    I love the clematis in the arrangement and it all works very well together, thanks for hosting Cathy, here is my link:

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  3. AnnetteM says:

    Hi Cathy, I love your purple stars against the crystal. I have made an attempt to join in this week. Here is my link – thanks for hosting this interesting meme.

  4. Cathy says:

    Purple is, I believe, supposed to bring luck, and with that pretty crystal I think the whole arrangement looks very happy and “lucky”! I like the turquoise background by the way. I’m still looking for that “perfect” place to take my photos! I agree with you and have a vase or two in the house all week these days! Thanks for mentioning me too Cathy – those seedheads look so effective. Here’s my link for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – I have not heard that about purple before, but if I had to choose I would say that purple was my favourite colour, so does that say something..?! The room with the amethyst geode is barer than all the other rooms and has lots of clear wall space as well as getting lots of light, so it may become a popular location for these Monday photos!

  5. Kris P says:

    I love purple in all its incarnations and I wish I could grow Allium christophii. The geode is a wonderful accent to your arrangement. My contribution this week can be found here: . Last week’s creation didn’t hold up especially well, although the daylily stems did produce successive blooms.

  6. ricki grady says:

    Nice bit of “plonking” you’ve done there.

  7. Chloris says:

    I love your starry arrangement. The purple is really striking. Those Allium seed heads are amazing. Are you going to grow on the seeds when you have finished with it?

    • Cathy says:

      I think those in the garden will set enough seeds if they are happy there – although perhaps I should give it a go anyway…. 😉

  8. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Lovely vase, and much jealous of your Etoile Violette. Mine’s never done much – think I’ve managed one bloom in years and even then it was a very light blue/purple rather than a deep purple.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Liz. I have some at the back as well but they are more shaded and don’t flower as well, or haven’t done up to now and they are newer. I remember first seeing it trained on chicken wire on the top of a retaining wall and flowering profusely. Thinking about it now though, the one at the front took a few years to get going so perhaps there is hope for yours yet….

  9. Those purples look delightful and the fact that the Allium has lost its colour does not matter. A great arrangement and certainly not looking at all ‘plonked’. My effort is
    Thanks for getting us doing this meme, i love it and I know lots of my non blogging friends do too. D

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Doris – it has certainly exceeded any expectations I might have had and I am so pleased that people are being empowered by it.. It’s interesting that it appeals to your non-blogging friends too.

  10. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, I adore this arrangement with its strong colors and personality. You chose a number of flowers with varied shapes that all work together nicely. It is fun to use flowers from our gardens isn’t it? My contribution is

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I quite like this one too and it was a good challenge looking for different purples in the garden once I had my starting point.

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  12. Very nice.
    I am new to flower arranging – so everything I create that doesn’t look horrible is a small triumph. The day I combined deep burgundy clematis flowers with that lovely chartreuse shade of foamy flowers from the Lady’s mantle – alchemilla mollis – it looked so good I was shocked!

    • Cathy says:

      This is why the meme has been such fun, Cynthia, as almost all of us are new to ‘flower arranging’, just ‘plonking’ if we ever picked flowers before. It really is a voyage of discovery for us and we are learning by experience and from each other’s support

  13. kristin says:

    Gorgeous!! Love the purple.

    This is my FIRST time doing a link up. Here’s my arrangement. Cheers!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Kristin and well done for learning how to link-up so you can join in – look forward to seeing your daisies!

  14. bittster says:

    Nice arrangement! I’m interested in seeing how the clematis work, they have a great color and are in no short supply for experimenting with!
    Always interesting to see what you and others do each week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frank – these clematis don’t seem as if they will last as well as the C montana, but I suppose where there is plenty it will be easy to replace them if the rest of the vase lasts

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  16. Elizabeth says:

    I really like all the variety in your arrangement – I’ve never thought to use spiderwort in an arrangement, but why not! It looks spectacular! And clematis! I’ve had thoughts of using it as an indoor plant in my garden window, so why not use it in an arrangement inside.

    My first submission ( includes my newest perennial – a creamy yellow calla lily. I love seeing them grow in the garden, and now I have a beautiful arrangement starring them for my dining room! Thanks for hosting this challenge, and inspiring garden beauty indoors!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – the tradescantia/spiderwort is almost thuggish but is so reliable and I am thrilled with how well it looks in a vase – I hadn’t noticed the foliage under the flowerheads before so once again blogging is making me aware of new things! Thanks for joining us – I look forward to seeing your calla.

  17. Too right! All stars! It’s amazing what you can achieve, with a bit of imagination. Clematis and seed heads in a flower arrangement? Who would have thought it! It’s brilliant!

  18. I love your amethyst geode and the flowers you selected. Tell me more about the spiderwort? It’s a much deeper tone than what I’m familiar with and I absolutely LOVE IT!
    Thanks for inspiring me to bring some flowers inside and participate in the challenge, which I’m linking here:

    • Cathy says:

      You can buy different named varieties in the UK, although I have never found that these do as well as this one which presumably was named when I first had it. It’s quite tall – perhaps 3ft or so. I have seen lighter blue and also pink ones, but always much shorter.

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