In a Vase on Monday: the Sweet Shop

There was no fixed plan for today’s vase – it could have been big and blousey or small and sweet and perhaps the end result is somewhere in between. The starting point was the hydrangea, three young heads from this almost lilac hydrangea that I recently mentioned to Pauline was the ‘sink or swim’ one evicted from one of the revamped herbaceous beds and shoved (literally) at the back of the woodland edge border – not being a hydrangea fan (I know, I know) I didn’t mind a jot if it survived or not, but as the Golfer has a different opinion I felt I owed it half a chance of survival.

Gathering complementary material was not difficult after this initial choice – Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’ and orlaya from the cutting beds, everlasting sweet pea Lathyrus latifolia ‘Red Pearl’, ordinary sweet pea ‘Mollie Rilestone’, unopened flowerheads of Sedum ‘Stewed Rhubarb Mountain’ (thanks to one of you who included sedum in their vase lase week), sprigs of spent heuchera flowers and, as a final flourish, a rather larger than I intended head of New Guinea impatiens from one of my pots. Leaves from the peony were snipped but not used – it didn’t seem to need any additional foliage, perhaps because of the few IMG_2730leaves retained on the hydrangea. Once assembled, the colours reminded me of old fashioned sweets like Love Hearts and Swizzles double lollies but although the Golfer is a lolly aficionado he hasn’t any double lollies at the moment so these mini Chupa Chips had to do instead as accompanying props.

The vase was a useful clear glass one which curves inwards slightly towards the rim, the remains of a table decoration from a niece’s wedding when it was filled with roses and astrantia, gratefully taken home afterwards by her auntie. Instead of  a metal IMG_2725pin holder which would be hidden in a ceramic or darker glass vase I used a plastic stem holder acquired some years ago for when I got round to putting flowers in vases – which I have! Although rain looks imminent now, it was still bright when the vase was taken outside for its photo shoot – on a white cast iron chair with foliage from the cornus in pots behind it, now showing early signs of autumnal colour.

Although my wild vase came home with me last week it suffered in the heat of the journey and I have been without a vase for most of the last week – I know, I could have picked a replacement  (and indeed I must keep picking those sweet peas…) but was busy shifting soil and watering tomatoes or other such excuse…. It is therefore a delight to have this fresh confection, and every vase since the meme was started has brought joy in some way and it would be hard to pick out any favourites. If you would like to bring joy into your life on a Monday by filling a vase or container with things from your garden or the equivalent, then do join us – and if you would like others to share in your delight then include a link to this post from yours and leave a comment on this post with a link back to your vase. We are inspiring and nurturing each other as we do so!


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34 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: the Sweet Shop

  1. Cathy I love this sweet confection. My hydrangeas were slim pickings but I hope to get some in a vase too. i love the cosmos too and the addition of the dried heuchera. I also used some dried flower heads and i did use some peony leaves….you will have to scroll through my End of The Month Review to see the vase at the end of the post.

    • Cathy says:

      I certainly didn’t want to use the bigger heads of the hydrangea, but these look quite acceptable in a vase. I conditioned all of the stems in boiling water today as the cosmos drooped last time I used them

  2. Christina says:

    Great title, it describes your pretty vase perfectly. Strangely I’m becoming quite a fan of hydrangeas, having hated them for years and think them unsuitable for Italy even though everyone grows them! they look perfect in a vase. Here’s my link:
    Thanks for hosting Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      I think I am just not a huge shrub fan (ie not a huge fan of shrubs!) – bloggers have talked about theirs drooping in the heat so I would expect them not to do especially well in Italy. You are right though, they do look good in a vase – preferably along with something else!

      • Christina says:

        I do like them dried too, people have them here because they flower in shade and for a long season so even though they need huge amounts of water they are one of the most popular shrubs. They are almost always grown in pots.

  3. Kris P says:

    Although I’m not in love with Hydrangeas either, I find I miss having one in my current garden even though I used to snarl at the space taken up by the one in my former garden. I’m planning some renovations of my garden space too so maybe I’ll find room for one here in the future. Best wishes with your project, thanks for hosting the meme, and here’s my contribution:

    BTW, I finally discovered who it was that was re-blogging my posts (all of them since mid-July). I’ve asked them to stop but I’ve received no reply as yet.

    • Cathy says:

      ALL of your posts? That’s bad – why on earth do they do it? Can you set your blog to prevent any re-blogging at all? I know what you mean about the space taken up by hydrangeas – other shrubs too. I have a lace cap onein one of my other borders, which ‘unfortunately’ has survived a move too 🙂 Enjoy your garden renovations too!

      • Kris P says:

        Yes, all of my posts, including the one this morning. At least they do re-direct back to my site but I’m still uncomfortable with linking my material with other material over which I have no control. I can only hope that there’s been a lag in one person speaking to another and they’ll eventually act on my request. The re-blogger is apparently a student-run site out of Texas and their goals aren’t clear to me. Google Blogger didn’t provide any suggestion other than presenting a request to the site administrator, which is easier said than done as the site itself has no input links. Ugh!

        • Cathy says:

          Did it redirect to your site, Kris? I couldn’t see any connection or any means to comment either. If it’s every post one wonders if it does automatically, and perhaps then unintentionally – or perhaps not? Irksome, whichever way 😦

  4. How delightful Cathy, sweet girl colours remind me of candy floss. Lovely setting on your white chair and it is interesting to see how many people are coming back to Hydrangeas. My effort this week, and I do so love to take part, is a little bit foreign, do take a look and tell me if you know what they are.

  5. Chloris says:

    I’ m not a great fan of Hydrangeas but perhaps we should grow them for vases. I do like them when they take on antiquey shades in autumn. I have just bought one for my son called Limelight which is rather lovely too. I seem to be rethinking Hydrangeas and your sweetie vase looks very pretty.

    • Cathy says:

      They are certainly different in the context of a vase – and I suppose (acting as the Devil’s advocate) if we have cutting beds for other flowers then why not a hydrangea purely for cutting….? Assuming Limelight is green it sounds very lovely – will look it up. I do like the green hue that Annabelle has before she fully opens

  6. Cathy says:

    Happiness in a vase Cathy! I t really is candy pink and sugary sweet! 😉 Love the contrast with pale and deeper shades of pink, and the cosmos brings those together beautifully. The chair is a good idea for the photo. Here’s my post for today:
    Have a good week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks, Cathy – the bizzie lizzie hasn’t lasted though 😦 although I suppose I didn’t really expect it to. Might replace it with the same again – but perhaps not on a daily basis!

  7. ricki grady says:

    The ice cream parlor chair and the candies are the perfect props for your sweet bouquet.
    I went to the other extreme this time:

    • Cathy says:

      I had written a reply to this but it seemed to have disappeared – or perhaps you will get two! I was saying that the chair was an accidental prop, but it did seem to add to it. Look forward to seeing your ‘extreme’ vase!

  8. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, I love hydrangeas and you’ve used this one to create a charming design. I almost used the word “blousey” today too. Almost didn’t have a vase today but hated to miss the fun (and it was fun):

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie. And it could have been ‘blousey’ with phlox today as well as hydrangea, so I look forward to seeing your phlox! I too look forward to posting each Monday and would hate to miss it, even if I wasn’t hosting the meme 😉

  9. Dorothy says:

    Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers although they are not suited to my Mediterranean like climate. But I have not been able to give them up even though we are in the middle of a terible drought. It was lovely to see your beautiful arrangement. August is a rough month for flowers here, but I wanted to join in after seeing so many beautiful and creative arrangements!

    • Cathy says:

      Welcome Dorothy – we have had a very dry summer in many parts of the UK too as you may have heard and I look forward to finding out where you are. Having started this meme in November last year and posted through the winter I quickly learned to look beyond flowers for many of the vases and really noticed things I might have overlooked before – seedheads, twigs, foliage, etc. That’s why it has proved such an enjoyable challenge so thanks for joining us!

  10. Elizabeth W says:

    Hi Cathy, I’m not all that fond of hydrangeas either but they do look stunning in your arrangement today. And what a sweet confection it is … all those pinks and white remind me of sugar almonds. I nearly didn’t make it too but after a disaster of a day picking a posy cheered me up immensely:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Elizabeth, I am so sorry you had such an awful day but pleased that the process of picking a posy lifted your spirits. This meme does indeed prove to to bring many benefits….. And thanks for reminding me of sugar almonds – that is almost a better analogy although I would have had to change the title!

  11. bittster says:

    Sedum and impatients, I would never have thought to use either and they look great in there! The lollipops made me laugh, they’re the perfect compliment to this sugary arrangement.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frank. We have been learning from each other in this meme and I probably wouldn’t otherwise have thought of using sedum in ‘bud’ like this

  12. croftgarden says:

    A sweet confection.

  13. Lovely mix of colour and texture Cathy, I like the use of the spent heucheras flowers. Not sure whether to wish your hydrangea well or I’ll!

  14. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Oops – It’s Tuesday! | Peonies & Posies

  15. Julie says:

    I love your sweet shop bouquet Cathy – it looks so fresh and appetising!

    I have looked through the discussions on hydrangeas this week, so would like to add my thoughts – I need to say now that I am a huge fan of hydrangeas! I know that they are not popular as a garden shrub and that they can be difficult with their demand for regular watering and their tendency to frost damage in the spring. As a focus flower in a vase however, as you have shown, they are beautiful and certainly worth growing for drying for winter use if nothing else. You can even spray paint the winter blooms to add to Christmas arrangements with great effect. I still have a few of the dried heads from last autumn displayed on shelves in my dining room and a large Christmas wreath of dried hydrangea heads will last for years. I even used the brown heads from the garden last winter in one of my Monday vases. I am certainly going to vote in favour of the hydrangea!!

    One last thought – perhaps on the anniversary of starting this meme we should all post a selection of our favourite vases over the last year?

    You can find my very late contribution ( with apologies & much grovelling) at

    • Cathy says:

      You have certainly encouraged me to save some of the flowerheads of hydrangea, Julie – and I suspect it won’t be the only thing, enthused as I am by this meme! When I was organising all my vase photos on Monday I did think I would probably post my favourites come the anniversary, so I am glad you are already thinking along those lines too. Won’t be an easy task though! No need to grovel for the late(ish) Monday vase – but your absence was noted…! 🙂

  16. Anna says:

    A most attractive confectionary concoction Cathy. I think that as far as hydrangeas go it’s the foliage that I don’t like rather than the flowers. Hope that you returned those lollies to the golfer.

    • Cathy says:

      The lollies were safe, Anna, as I am not a lolly sucker – and I think you are right about the hydrangea foliage, although with me I think their shrubby nature comes into it too.

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