In a Vase on Monday: Fire in the Belly

IMG_2560Eager as I am to fill another vase, Mondays sometimes don’t come round fast enough and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ has been devilishly waiting to take his place as the star in today’s vase, mirroring his starring role in one of the bold borders. I can forgive him his ready ability to spread, such is the impact he has whether in bud, flower or seedhead.

IMG_2558There are numerous other fiery contenders to fill our bellies with, but choosing to keep the height of the crocosmia automatically restricted the choice and a newly opened bud appearing on Hemerocallis fulva yesterday was the deciding factor in the end. Picking mid morning, even with temperatures rising and the sun shining, there are no buds open yet today but let’s be optimistic. Even without opening, the buds will add a certain stylishness and a minimal vase was suggesting itself by now – so what about foliage? Did it need foliage, and was there anything appropriate? Russett or something similar probablyΒ  – and heading back towards the house past the woodland edge border I felt the warm breath of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ and the choice was made for me both by colour and association.

IMG_2559Having already roamed the house last night assessing vases and containers suitable for a fiery theme without any satisfactory conclusion, after this morning’s pickings another quick search suggested an amber hyacinth glass which fitted the bill. The leaves were stripped from the crocosmia and the stems cut to achieve a reasonable balance, then a quick plonk and slight adjustment and the vase was done. Today’s location was around the gas powered (chimneys having being removed by the last resident) woodburner effect stove in our living room.

Phew! Managed to keep it simple and unfussy and minimal – hard to do at this time of year!

It is great fun seeing the different material people find to fill their vases on a Monday and we are learning a lot from each other as the weeks go by. If you would like to join in, just fill a container with material from your garden or nearby and post on your blog as usual, leaving a link to this blog and a include a comment on this post with a link back to yours so we can be inspired by your pickings too. It has been a delight to have a vase of our own pickings in the house week after week and is definitely a habit to be recommended!



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29 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Fire in the Belly

  1. I was so excited that I finally got started Cathy. I agree there is no much inspiration here and I have been following and learning ready to start. Here is my first post which combines a few things. I hope you enjoy my beginning vases.

  2. I had to “like” your post – after all, it is so similar to my latest hurried vase! I needed to do a vase last week but it was teeming down with rain, so I thought “What single stem is dramatic enough to stand alone in a vase?” Crocosmia “Lucifer”. So I dashed out, cut the stem, and while running back in, decided to quickly cut a stem of Cotinus “Grace” and a Heuchera flower spike to complete the composition, and they were then plonked into my amber glass bottle. Great minds think alike! πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      That is indeed a coincidence – and I briefly looked at the heuchera too but am glad I stuck with the minimal selection in the end.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Your fiery minimalist arrangement is very effective Cathy. Isn’t it interesting how allowing one constraint to dictate the nature of the design, such as the height of your featured crocosmia, can help guide you easily through the rest of the design? (Or maybe I’m projecting!)

    I bent the rules a bit today, but hope you’ll enjoy my contribution. Thanks for hosting!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I think it is good to have a constraint of some sort. Not having had a ‘tall’ arrangement for some time I was a little hesitant and was considering a much smaller vase and cutting the stems down but I am glad I didn’t – as soon as I tried the hyacinth vase I knew this was the right one

  4. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Spoilt for choice! | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  5. Christina says:

    A good choice I think Cathy, sometimes simplicity really is best. The Crocosmia is a great plant and I’m sure you’ll use it many time in the future. Here’s my contribution for today’s vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – and I am pleased with the uncluttered result too. I used crocosmia seedheads in one of the very early vases I think, way back in November. How many vases have there been since then…?! πŸ™‚

  6. bittster says:

    Too funny keeping your red hot crocosmia in front of the stove! I gave me a nice chuckle πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      And I even switched the fire on for effect (but was too impatient to wait it for it to be fully glowing) – but it was all for show, Frank, as the vase is now sitting in the kitchen as usual πŸ˜‰

  7. Cathy says:

    Red dragon goes perfectly with Lucifer, and what better place to photograph than the fireplace! A very nice hot combination reflecting summer. I have just published my vase for this week:
    Thank you once again Cathy!

  8. Red Dragon and Lucifer are a match made in horticultural heaven, nice one! My Lucifer has only a single bloom as yet, but I am sure it will feature greatly in years to come. Funnily enough I too went for crocosmia, and at least started off in the fireplace too! Yep, I am joining in again, don’t be too shocked πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      There may come a time when you remember fondly only having one bloom on your Lucifer! Mine moved to its weekly home in the kitchen after the photo shoot was over – I very rarely sit in the living room so would never see it otherwise!

  9. croftgarden says:

    A very stylish minimalist vase.
    Sorry no Monday vase, not only is it bucketing down with rain, but HMRC is demanding my VAT return. Definitely no blogging until the paper work is finished. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Christine – if you could divert some of your rainfall down here I would accept it gratefully! Hope you don’t get swamped in your paperwork…. πŸ˜‰

  10. Kris P says:

    Funny, I was looking at my ‘Red Dragon’ just yesterday and wondering what I could pair with it. I really like Crocosmia and grew it without a problem in my former garden but I’ve hesitated about adding it here due to its reputation for rampant growth. Here’s my contribution this week, Cathy: Thanks for hosting!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, that would be a big decision to make – at least I can pull it out fairly easily here if spreads too much without it actually getting rampant. Lucifer seems to seed as well as spread vegetatively, which I haven’t noticed my other crocosmia doing yet.

  11. AnnetteM says:

    My crocosmia is just coming out – I love it! Will maybe manage a vase with it next week!
    Love your arrangement – I was thinking mine would be in the fireplace, but it might be too tall!

  12. Chloris says:

    A lovely fiery arrangement today. Crocosmia Lucifer is wonderful, now the summer is advancing the strong colours come into their own. Do you find that Persicaria Red Dragon is invasive? I’ m always a bit nervous with knotweeds.
    You have such a lovely selection of vases.
    Sorry I didn’ t have time to do an arrangement today. It was one of those days!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris. The Dragon is bigger than he was and sprawls a bit now, but I wouldn’t say he was invasive, nor Superbum either. I have P Firetail flowering for the first time this year too which I saw at Cambo a couple of years ago – with the Dragon though it’s the foliage that’s the star. Until I started the vase meme I had few ‘real’ vases (and didn’t need them either!), other than some that were bought for their decorative value and have just been gathering dust. There used to be a Caithness seconds shop near where my Mum lives, which is why there are various Caithness Glass bits, but the few car boots we have been to this year have provided several useful additions at negligible cost. I need somewhere to keep them all now though!

  13. Elizabeth W says:

    Hi Cathy, I’m too late to join in proper but I did mean to and, indeed, had a vase all ready to show but just had to post it anyway. Crocosmia Lucifer is one of my favourite plants, and one I certainly intend to plant in my new garden, just as soon as I locate a plant, so I love your arrangement this week. The Persicaria Red Dragon couldn’t be a more appropriate foil for the crocosmia. Coincidentally, I’ve chosen similar colours but completely different ‘stars’ for my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Hardly late at all, Elizabeth – look forward to seeing what you have in your peachy vase πŸ™‚ I am well pleased with my arrangement this week too, particularly as a bud on the day lily has opened!

  14. Pingback: In A Vase on Monday : Sweet Smelling Stocks | Retirement and beyond

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