In a Vase on Monday: Stars From Another Galaxy

IMG_3210Mightily pleased that we have finally had some proper rain and look set to have a wet week, I knew that photographing today’s vase would be an issue for the first time in ages because of the low light levels – but in the damp circumstances I can tolerate them, if you can!

IMG_3213Last night I was unsure about the contents, knowing that I could easily stuff a vase with cosmos and Ammi visnaga or even a few roses and that it would look pretty enough, but that would be just TOO easy – so on the lookout for something that hadn’t featured before I made for the big galvanised tank which has been full of flowering fuchsia and petunias for weeks. Unfortunately the rain has left the petunias a little worse for wear, but there were a number of fuchsia flowers that were still dangling happily so they were first to be picked – these are ‘Ballerina’, the hugely successful result of packs from Aldi earlier in the year, 4 for £2.99 or thereabouts. Hopefully I can over-winter them in the greenhouse.

Possibly included once in a vase but otherwise completely but unjustifiably neglected on the blog are two pots with the tender climber Sundaville, which spend their winters inside the sitooterie but sit outside like bookends during the milder months – once they overcome their sense of abandonment they slowly produce more wonderfully glossy green leaves as well as these pretty flowers. Indeed the plants would happier still if they received (ahem!) a little attention over winter. Persicaria ‘Firetail’ has also rarely been mentioned, living as it does in the shadow of P ‘Red Dragon’, and its spiky pink flowers are almost over but nevertheless added a little pink spikiness to the other chosen ones. And the fourth contender? Not a star by any stretch of the imagination, but a pernicious and unwanted intruder, regularly and begrudgingly cut back – I wonder what my neighbour would say if I presented him with all the mile-a-minute (Russian vine, Polygonum baldschuanicu or various unmentionable alternatives) I had hacked off, as in theory one is legally obliged to do….perhaps I should try it….. For once it is doing something useful and adding some pure whiteness to the vase on its stiff but prettily draped stems.

IMG_3212The vase is another little Caithness glass one from a car boot sale, and possibly not the best colour I realised once it was filled although the shape is perfect – I do have the same vase in a different colourway but wasn’t going to change it at this stage. The props are an astronomical book and some lunar looking crystals, stalactitic calcite and apopholyte – if it wasn’t for the book I would have taken the vase outside, but it was still raining so the photo shoot took place on the stove in the living room where reflections from the tile surround are sometimes an issue, and tried with and without flash. I am really pleased with the final effect of this vase and a little disappointed that the photos don’t really do it justice.

More and more people are enjoying this Monday meme, whether just looking or making a vase of their own – it is certainly addictive and I am now beginning to regularly add tiny vases to the bathrooms, often with rejects from the Monday vases. If you would like to join in, just make a vase with your own pickings and then to share it with include a link from your site to this post, and a link back to yours in a comment on this post – the links can be a bit fiddly if you are not used to it, but it gets easier after a while and becomes second nature. As I am not usually able to post my vase until after midday UK time do make sure you add your link to the newest post!


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

47 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Stars From Another Galaxy

  1. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy, I jumped the gun earlier today, the rain although so very welcome had made it challenge to find anything not bashed, I am linking to your new post now. The Russian vine flowers do look lovely, we have a similar neighbour here! I really like the use of the caithness vase and your climber is a new one for me, it looks glorious! My windswept effort is here, thank you again for hosting this meme.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – you were indeed prompt, but as I mentioned it will always be late morning before I can post. Not to worry 😉 There will be rain spattered blooms for many of us today, but such welcome rain!

  2. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – A Taste of Autumn | Gardening Jules

  3. Cathy what fun as you posed your Stars vase and I love the fuschias hanging in the vase. I also was looking for different flowers to put in the vase but flowers are slim pickin’s with the second light frost and cold wet weather. So I had a challenge to find some interesting combos. Hope you enjoy them…they are featured at the end of my Garden Journal long post. It will get interesting now each week to find flowers although the roses may keep blooming and so they may be my go to. Thanks for the continued challenge.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – and that’s another reason to enjoy the meme, rising to the challenge of out of season material. Like you, I will keep using flowers as long as I can, I expect – but perhaps not, who knows?!

  4. Christina says:

    The Russian vine is rather fine as a cut flower, you’ll have to say if it lasts in a vase or just looses all its petals quickly. I stuck to much the same flowers because they are what is looking good and when I look back I will know how long and how profuse various plants are. Here’s my post

    • Cathy says:

      Most of my last vase lasted till nearly the weekend – although I am not happy using the metal pin holders as they go rusty and I don’t know id this affects the flowers. This year I have appreciated for the first time just how useful cosmos is – hopefully next year I will feel the same about dahlias!

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Mother’s Day Harvesting, Part 2 | garden4therapy

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Well I DID take the easy way out again and just stuffed a vase full of cosmos! They make me smile! (Sure wish I could figure out how to shorten that link.)

    • Cathy says:

      And very nice I am sure it looks too, Elizabeth – off to have a look now! ps as long as you are copying and pasting the link, or others are just clicking on it I don’t suppose the length of the link matters too much 🙂

  7. johnvic8 says:

    Delightful and imaginative as always, Cathy. Thanks again for starting this meme. Please see my offering today at

  8. Your fuchsias make me feel the absence of them in my garden, reminding me that I have to find a shady place for some next year. The polygonum is very pretty but I know that dealing with even a pretty pest gets tiring. Despite other intentions, my vase this week ended up in colors reminiscent of last week’s vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Hope you get your fuchsias next year – I didn’t used to be a particular fan, but have realised that in pots and containers they will just go on and on flowering with very little attention. This polygonum is right at the bottom of the garden so is coming over into where my cutting beds are now – when this neighbour watered my tomatoes when we were away in July he realised how much it was spreading and did say he would do something about it….

  9. I do envy your rain, and even the low-light conditions. Your gorgeous flowers are so vibrant and colorful. My garden is looking a little stressed these days, begging for a good drenching! 🙂 I love the fuchsia! Glorious color!

    • Cathy says:

      I am thrilled with the rain – last month has officially been branded the driest September ever recorded in the UK, but it has been pretty dry since June really. Even though the nights are ‘drawing in’ and it is noticeably cooler there is something comforting about the seasonality of it, instinctive I suppose.

  10. I am also envying your rain. Sept. was dry here and not much this month which is always worrying as we head into winter. What an intense colors you have in your vase this week. They really glow! Mine are pretty subdued.

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Linda – and yet I didn’t expect to produce a glowing vase, not after last week’s brights, but I suppose the shininess of the sundaville flowers and leaves lifted the tone. Nothing wrong with sudued though and I am off to look at your gentle pink vase now…

  11. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Cafe Au Lait and a Boiled Egg | Peonies & Posies

  12. Julie says:

    A great collection of flowers this week Cathy – you certainly did not take the easy option when putting this lot together! Your fuchsia flowers are beautiful – they just get better and better at this time of year don’t they. The others I am not so familiar with – I tend to avoid anything that needs overwintering. The Russian vine is a great addition – it looks almost like Lily of the Valley in the vase (what a shame it is such a terror in the garden). It is good that we have all had plenty of rain today – it will make the bulb planting much easier.

    You can find my contribution this week at:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie. Me too re the overwintering – that’s why the sundaville get neglected! I was digging over my new bold border space this afternoon as it had stopped raining, but it showed that the rain had only penetrated the top couple of inches and it was bone dry underneath! What an intriguing title your vase has!!

  13. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Many Merry Marigolds | Cosmos and Cleome

  14. Hi Cathy, Your vase looks very summery today, and I like how you tied everything together with the flowers, props and title. My vase is completely autumnal today–no Cosmos and not a shred of pink!

  15. Cathy says:

    Good to hear you have finally got some rain. I love fuchsias and putting them – and the Sundaville – in a vase would never have occurred to me! They do look good with the white vine. And your vase is lovely too. I definitely need to go on a vase shopping spree!
    Here’s my vase for this week:
    Thanks Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy, and yes, the rain is indeed welcome! I had wondered about using fuchsia before but somehow it was never their turn – so I am pleased with the outcome today. British car boot sales are great for things like vases, and known brands like Caithness can be picked up cheaply if people don’t know what they are, or sometimes if there is a chip in the rim which doesn’t matter if you are using it as a vase and not an ornament. I wouldn’t pay more than £3 for one like this. Do you have anything like boot sales in your area?

      • Cathy says:

        No boot sales, just the odd “flea market”. Sadly they sell mostly modern junk. 😦 We don’t even have charity shops like in the UK so I wonder where all the second-hand stuff goes!

  16. Chloris says:

    Lovely colours. It is interesting how good the dreaded ‘Mile- a- Minute’ vine looks in a vase. My neighbour has one which drives me mad by scrambling over my garage roof, but maybe I should just relax and pick the flowers.
    I love the vibrant colour of your Dipladenia. I had a huge one which I managed to kill last winter, even though I brought it inside.

    • Cathy says:

      After I had cut some of the m-a-m I realised just how shapely it was and I am sure a whole vase of the stuff would look very tasteful with its curves and flounces – perhaps next week…. (or perhaps not!). I am not sure why I haven’t managed to kill my Sundaville(a brand name, I think)/Mandevilla/dipladenia yet, as it has probably scraped through 3 winters of neglect with me!

  17. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Roses & Ivy with a helping of Blackberries | Mom in the Garden

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cathy, you choice of pickings for your vase this week is fun … and it is providing me with more much needed horticulture education. I’d never seen a Sundaville plant before, the flower is beautiful and I love the glossy leaves. I’ve got a newly planted Russian Vine way down at the bottom of the back garden; it’s there to hide an eyesore and do I’m sure my neighbour will not object to it… he can’t stand the eyesore either! I do like the way you stage your vases and your attention to detail … must try harder myself! Anyway, mine can be seen here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth. I was presumably tempted by the Sundaville in a T&M catalogue sometime, probably when I was thinking of growing half hardy things in the sitooterie – I would be more strong willed now and resist! I am intrigued to read you have bought a Russian vine as everyone else seems to deny any responsibility for having them – and if you can keep it away from anything other than the eyesore then I am sure it will do the job of hiding it without being a nuisance. There was another one wrapped round the mahonia that we have just taken out and its main root was massive! Staging of vases is optional – it’s a personal challenge!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Hi again Cathy, I got the idea for the Russian vine from a friend who has one planted to disguise a very strange stack of branches and shrub prunings he has created to provide habitat for the birds he likes to attract into his garden. It’s huge and could have been an eyesore too but he planted honeysuckle, clematis and the Russian vine at the base and left them to grow up, over and through and now it is a thing of beauty. I have done much the same with my eyesore by planting the vine, a clematis Polish Spirit and a Pyracantha… hopefully it will also become a thing of beauty as they mature. And, yes, what a coincidence that we chose very similar vases this week 🙂

  19. Hi Cathy! I so enjoyed reading your post while I was at work (lunch break, of course!), but I’ve had to wait until now to finish my post!
    I think your vase is perfect, colour and all. It had been so dry for August and September for us, that it is appreciated when the rain comes! props? Are you adding props too? or maybe you always have? more challenges ahead! 😉 Have a good week! Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      When we started the meme last November, adding some props made up for the limited material available, but as pickings became more varied I tended to forget about them. It just adds to the challenge – but is entirely optional!

  20. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, you always have such an abundance of choices. I love the fuchsia against the Caithness glass vase–such a lovely pairing. I had fun today with my vase (of course, I usually do). Thanks so much for hosting. My contribution is

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – and it was good to use something different today as the number of available blooms will be winding down soon, so it was a bit of a personal challenge not to go for the obvious. I love the shape and feel of these Caithness glass vases and always look out for them at car boot sales in the different colourways.

  21. At last, something useful to do with ‘mile a minute’! I keep meeting neighbours who rave about it, and not in the same way I do, as a waste of planting opportunity unless there is a large outbuilding to hide… Anyhow, I think your vase is stellar (!), hope you get to keep your bargain fuchsias. Now, don’t keel over in shock, but I have actually managed another contribution, on a Monday no less! 😉

    • Cathy says:

      That’s exactly how I see it, Janet – a waste of a planting opportunity. It could easily be something pretty but less thuggish like C montana, surely? I have kept some fuschias going for 2 or 3 years now, which I would never have bothered with before but isn’t very onerous. Aldi plants are always a great buy and generally named varieties, which I like. I will refrain from commenting about the frequency and promptness of your vase posts…. ps hope to post some cyclamen tomorrow.

  22. ricki grady says:

    Your vase looks almost spring-like, while mine is definitely autumnal. I’m learning from you and others to include props in the photos. Thanks for the tips, and for getting this fun party going.

  23. Your plant combinations are such fun…I love the color contrasts and textural detail..

  24. AnnetteM says:

    Hi Cathy,
    I was wondering where your posts had got to when I realised you had disappeared from my reader. WordPress is terrible the way it just does this for no apparent reason. I lost a few others at the same time, so will now have some catching up to do of previous posts. You are doing so well keeping up with your vases – I’m afraid flowers in my garden are too sparse now to be picking them, but maybe I will manage an evergreen vase shortly. I love your fuschias.

    • Cathy says:

      All very odd, Annette, but thanks for wanting to catch up!! I must admit I get all the ones I follow by email and don’t use the reader – I don’t think I have lost any of the blogs this way but that may just be coincidence as I know other people have had to re-follow too. I am sure in my list of followers there are people listed more than once, perhaps because of this. My flowers are generally quite sparse too, which is why I wanted to try and use something different while the opportunity was there!

  25. Anna says:

    What a fabulous fuschia Cathy and a bargain buy to boot! Aldi and Lidl sometimes cone up trumps. The latter has some very healthy amarallyis bulbs this week and quite a variety too. The crystals are intriguing – would be interested in hearing more about them.

    • Cathy says:

      Even though Lidl is about 100 yards from Aldi I don’t go in very often (usually only when it’s just milk that I need, as our Lidl is not very busy – because of the above!) – but I will make a point of checking out the amaryllis as I would like something a bit different from ‘Red Lion’ this year! I have a lot (understatement) of crystals (although the calcite is the Golfer’s) and use them in holistic therapies so do ask if you want any more info about them.

Comments are closed.