In a Vase on Monday: Chartreuse

IMG_2528Reading between the lines over the last week would have given you a good clue to what was going to appear in today’s vase – in particular Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, its flowers not yet fully open and still appearing as greeny white sprays before each individual floret opens to fully blousy whiteness.

IMG_2529The search was on for similar accompaniments, with Alchemilla mollis a perfect choice, and something I have forgotten to use in the vases up to now. Despite their ‘poisonous’ label stems of a white aconitum (monkshood) were also cut, the buds still possessing a luminous shade before opening. The Filipendula ulmaria ‘Flore Pleno’ I have been admiring recently quickly tend to get that ‘browned off’ look once they are fully open, so sprigs of that were included before the opportunity was lost, and more of the thalictrum flowerheads were cut too before they were fully flattened (I suppose staking would help…). A leaf of Heuchera ‘Electric Lime’ was picked but then excluded as too large, so the only added foliage was some lime green ivy. The vase was yet another car boot find, green glass with a useful fluted edge – I bought a pair, but there were 5 or 6 so at 50p each perhaps I should have had them all!

IMG_2519Another fireplace was chosen as a location, this one in a kind of hallway at the foot of the stairs where I built a false chimney breast from plasterboard into which the fireplace was inserted, before building in shelves on either side which hold another of the Golfer’s collections. The top picture was taken with the flash switched on, which seems to bring out the green of the contents in an unplanned way – I am not sure whether I prefer it this way or ‘au naturel’:

IMG_2520Neither can I decide whether the vase would have looked better if it was more minimal – perhaps with just the hydrangea and aconitum. Somehow the frothiness of the alchemilla detracts from the hydrangea’s attributes, and perhaps the reasons for including the thalictrum and filipendula were flawed – I think a postscript is called for….

In the meantime, do keep your own vases coming, linking from your post to this and vice versa if you would like to share them with others – definitely to be recommended, as it is proving to be such an empowering experience for all those involved.

Definitely better without the thalictrum, but the filipendula seems to link the shade of the aconitum with that of the alchemilla and hydrangea, so it can stay – and it also looks better without the flash here:



This entry was posted in Being Creative, Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Chartreuse

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Changing my mind! | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. pbmgarden says:

    You had me at “chartreuse” and then you sealed it with hydrangea and monkshood–all favorites of mine. What a lovely combination Cathy. The draping ivy adds a nice element to this fresh design as well. Glad you came up with the Monday Vase idea. I look forward to seeing everyone’s arrangements each week. Here’s mine for today:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks you Susie, and you can see how I tweaked it later in the postscript…Two stems and a leaf in yours? Sounds a minimal vase today….

  3. Christina says:

    Yes, I agree, the last image is lovely. I thought you might use the hydrangea and have to admit that I am warming to them in a shady area, The period of flowering is so long and the flowers are lovely! Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      It’s the only hydrangea I would really admit to liking, Christine, although I can grudgingly admit that there are others that are attractive. There are so many options for the vases and I can see how easy it would be to change direction – and there were several other things I thought I might have included but I am glad I stopped when I did! 😉

  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Tiny & Pink |

  5. I love this colour combination. Such a sophisticated arrangement. I LOVE hydrangeas too, they are just coming into bloom here.

    My Link:

    • Cathy says:

      The thalictrum needed to be removed before it looked anything like sophisticated, I think! Off to see your tiny pinks…

  6. Well I still have not put my flowers in a vase but maybe soon. I really do adore this meme and your arrangements…this one in particular with the hydrangea as mine are not blooming and limping along after our harsh winter.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I do hope your garden is beginning to pick up, Donna – has the winter done a lot of damage? I think we are all enjoying each others’ vases!

  7. Pingback: rusty duck – Head First Into The Penstemons..

  8. rusty duck says:

    The monkshood really does add interest, although I thought on first glance that you’d nipped off the fingers from some rubber gloves! It’s an inspired arrangement. I like the muted colour scheme too.
    Well, my first entry is prompted by a freak accident and a detached penstemon stem or two..
    but actually I’ve rather enjoyed it, I may have got the bug.

    • Cathy says:

      Doh – the rubber glove trick didn’t work 😉 It’s great cutting our losses from accidents and putting them in a vase instead – most of us have done that a few times! Looking forward to reading about your accident…. 🙂

  9. Kris P says:

    There’s something about chartreuse that always gets my attention. Your combination is beautiful, although a have to say I prefer the 2nd version yoo. Isn’t it funny how we fuss over these vases? Actually, my vase today is one of the few I didn’t fuss over (much):

    Thanks for hosting, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      And interestingly when I put the revised vase in the kitchen it looked completely different with the light shining through the green glass – it really brought out the colour of the blooms… I like it even more in this position 😉 I think we are learning to be more self-critical but in a good way, recognising what does and doesn’t work, and certainly knowing when we have produced a vase that we can be satisfied with.

  10. Pingback: sprig to twig » Blog Archive » in a vase (er, pitcher) on Monday

  11. ricki grady says:

    Mmm…the whites and greens are yummy. A limited palette always strikes me as quite sophisticated. I’m going with diminutive this week, and there’s another surprise or two, if you’d care to check:

  12. Elizabeth W says:

    Hello Cathy, I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and really look forward to seeing your weekly flower arrangement. Love the greens and whites of this week’s. Much of the planting in my garden is a mystery to me … we only moved in about 7 months ago … but now that summer I’m finding plenty of material to fill a vase so I’d love to join in with your challenge this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Elizabeth – and I hope you have an exciting voyage of discovery in your new garden. There was almost nothing to discover here as it was almost all grass and trees when we came 🙂 I am amazed at how popular the vase meme has become so thank you for joining in this week

  13. This is always fun. I took my inspiration from Garden Sunshine this week and used one of my own miniature teapots:

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: 7/7/14 | small house/BIG GARDEN

  15. You’re killing me! We had those exact antique log holders in our fireplaces in Massachusetts. (It was a Victorian with the original fixtures…I assume yours is an older home too?)
    I loved putting flower arrangements in those fireplaces…along with candles whenever we ate in the dining room. Such a pretty touch!

    I love all iterations of your chartreuse arrangement and think using a mainly unopened hydrangea was brilliant!.

    I’m really enjoying this new weekly challenge:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your kind comments. It is an older house but the chimney and all the fireplaces were removed before we bought it, hence the addition of some false fireplaces for effect – sorry to keep bringing back memories! This arrangement definitely looked better OUT of the fireplace, where the light could shine through the green of the glass

  16. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Sweet Peas & Roses | Peonies & Posies

  17. Julie says:

    Beautiful choices this week Cathy – I love both your arrangement and the fireplace you have put it in. And your chicken and cockerel are deserve a post all to themselves – maybe with a little floral necklace of their own!

    You can find my hasty contribution at I am very sorry but I will be out of the game for a couple of weeks whilst we enjoy a family holiday.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – and I could find plenty of chickens to include in my post as there are many in one form or another!

  18. Chloris says:

    You have chosen a similar colour scheme to me this week Cathy, except yours is more chartreuse than mine. I love it. I couldn’t t bring myself to pick my Annabelle. Have you come across Hydrangea Emile Mouillere? It is not out yet but it persists all through the last months of summer with snowy white flowers. Maybe I will sacrifice a bit for a future vase to show you.
    Rubbber glove fingers indeed! They are gorgeous as long as you don’ t nibble them in an absent minded moment.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – and I look forward to seeing your white foam. I have googled your hydrangea and yes, it is very white, but the heads don’t appeal like the way Annabelle’s do. I love the luminous colours of the aconitum buds – is it all parts of the plant that are poisonous?

      • Chloris says:

        Yes very, specially the roots and seeds. But I love it. I have tried several times with Stainless Steel but I can’ t get it to grow. . I love my dark one and your white one is lovely.

        • Cathy says:

          I wish I knew what variety mine was – I don’t remember buying it (but obviously did) and didn’t recognise it until another blogger told me what it was, even before it flowered

  19. kristin says:

    Your color scheme is gorgeous and I love how you placed the arrangement inside the fireplace and next to the chickens. So creative. Thank you AGAIN for hosting such a fun link up. Great way to start the week! Cheers!

  20. Cathy says:

    That’s a lovely cooling colour combination Cathy… it looks so professional and I really Iike the ivy trying to escape! I wouldn’t dare attempt an arrangement like this, so well done as it has worked so well! Here’s my link for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Cathy, they really are just plonked and then adjusted a little – honest!- but that is one of the joys of this meme, finding out that basic plonking and adjusting easily produce something that looks good, and maybe even professional (if you say so). This is why it has been such an empowering experience – and given so much pleasure 🙂

  21. wellywoman says:

    Lovely cooling feel to your arrangement, Cathy. I’m eyeing up my Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ as it comes into flower but it’s in quite a prominent spot in the garden so I’m reluctant to pick it. I need to get some hydrangeas on my cutting patch next year.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks WW. I don’t think you would notice that these sprigs had been cut from mine, even though it’s not a huge plant – might not be able to include them again though!

  22. I agree with your final decision! I’ve long been a fan if Alchemilla mollis in floral arrangements, but I am now also a total fan of Hydrangea “Annabelle” as a cut flower, as well as in the border. And up until last year, I didn’t think I liked hydrangeas! I’ve taken note, too, of the Ivy – it works so well with the lime green.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – the ivy was a last minute thought but it really does work well with it, doesn’t it? Now, do you think I will begin to like other hydrangeas too….? 🙂

Comments are closed.