In a Vase on Monday: Marshmallow Fluff

IMG_3899I have been assailed recently by competing scents/fragrances/smells from last week’s Paperwhites and a basket of Christmas present hyacinths, joined at times by the candle from Windin’ the Candle, and it struck me that the flowers reminded me of typical marshmallow colours, hence today’s vase. The Paperwhites looked as if they would IMG_3893continue flowering into Eternity, and the hyacinths had drooped to a point of no return so, confident from cutting the amaryllis a fortnight ago, they went under the surgeon’s knife (aka kitchen scissors) too.

After a milder start to the new year we have gone back to below freezing overnight temperatures again so it was a bonus to be putting this vase together without going outside – although having begun placing the flowers in the vase I quickly realised they needed something else and had to sally forth to look for appropriate greenery. Frosty penstemon foliage from ungenerous (in the flower stakes) ‘Just Jayne’ was snipped and waved about in the warm house to dislodge the melting frost and tied in with the flowers to keep them upright in the vase.

I enjoyed assembling the props for today although for the first time I have to confess to a special purchase. The vase, one of several car boot Caithness glass clear vases with a coloured swirl, this time in shades of pink, was a little too tall to take the flowers so the base was filled with rose quartz although adding the last ones once the stems were in place was like dropping coins into one of those ‘slot machines’ where you try to get the coins to drop in strategic places to maximise their advantage! The perfume bottle is also Caithness glass, but one I have had on display for many years, whereas the marshmallows had to be bought specially – I had visualised a pack of the usual pink and white ones but was not going to spend time on a wild marshmallow hunt so was quite pleased with these unusual IMG_3900ones which combined both colours. As they came from Poundland (where everything costs Β£1) it was not an extravagant outlay and the Golfer is a prolific sweet-eater so they will not go to waste (and having tried one for research purposes I can confirm they are surprisingly OK and have a most untraditional jammy bit in the middle – made by Haribo if anyone is tempted!)

IMG_3896The vase and props were placed on a Durham style quilt, a style of quilting traditionally made in the north of England from a single piece of cloth with the pattern created by handstitching and quilting over the whole surface. As in other places sometimes people would work together on the same quilt and designs may sometimes have involved motifsΒ  to symbolise a long and happy marriage. I found an interesting blog about antique linens which talks about this style of quilt in greater detail so do check it out for more information. Old quilts of different types are one of the things I used to look out for at antique fairs and car boots but the nice ones became very pricey and I am content with those that I have which may well feature as a backdrop to future vases.

Even though today’s vase was created essentially from material already in the house it is still within the spirit of the meme – and the hyacinths definitely give more pleasure when grouped like this. I wonder what thinking out of the box can bring to other vases today? The seasonal constraints make the meme more of a challenge but what great results we have seen – will you be posting a vase today for us to share? Just link it to and from this post if you do.

Oh, and the solution to smelly Paperwhites, I can now categorically state, is to combine them with something equally odoriferous!




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50 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Marshmallow Fluff

  1. Chloris says:

    I love your frothy pink and white. How pretty. The colours are particularly welcome at this time of the year. You are so good at thinking of props and a backdrop. I am afraid that is quite beyond me. But I will go and poke about in the garden and see if I can find anything in bloom for a vase. Maybe just a tiny one today.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – the hyacinths were a pretty pale pink, with a hint of white, much nicer than the more usual dark ones you see, and using them with the narcissi was too good an opportunity to miss. I shall plant the bulbs outside now.

  2. I adore hyacinths but have never tried forcing them…maybe next year. I have never seen those marshmallows before but oh my they look as yummy as your vase. i love all the props and the pink. I am still trying to assemble props and others areas in the house more exciting where I can do some photography if we ever get sun again.

    I took your advice about the odor and am overlooking it so have planted paperwhites and they are sprouting and I expect they will flower in a month or so. And amaryllis may even be ready (at least one plant) for a vase next week. But I had a surprise of forsythias blooming that I forced indoors. Next time I will cut more branches as the one was a bit lonely. Not much greenery here to add to it.

    • Cathy says:

      I was pleased to be able to take the pictures inside this time in the room I use for meditation which is uncluttered and gets the morning sun – will use that again. The vase though, as the others invariably have been, is now in the usual place in the kitchen where I see it for much of the day. These hyacinths were a present but I also have some in hyacinth vases which are nowhere near flowering yet, and two pots in the greenhouse which are even further behind as they were not ‘prepared ones’. Good luck with your bulbs, and particularly those smelly ones!

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  4. Christina says:

    Lovely Cathy, these seem more the colours of early summer rather than winter. Creating a feeling of ‘not winter’ has to be a real plus point! Your marshmallows sound very interesting and what a bargain at only a pound. It is lovely to be back for the vase today, here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      It was too good an opportunity to miss and it’s fascinating watching the hyacinths change colour since they have been cut – they are now streaked with different shades and look even prettier. It’s surprising what you can buy from the UK’s ‘pound shops’, not just the ‘tat’ that you might expect. I guessed you would be looking forward to today! πŸ™‚

  5. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy, what a pretty, girly post – I love it. Strikes a slightly sad note for me as I’m driving my daughter back to college later today and I’ll miss my girly companion!
    My contribution is hardly current, but hope you’ll forgive me.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh sorry you are losing your girly companion, Jen – it’s quite a few years since I lost both mine, although one of them does ring most days, baby permitting πŸ˜‰

  6. pbmgarden says:

    Great way to extend your enjoyment of the hyacinths. I like the addition of the penstemon foliage too. It’s admirable how you develop a theme each week. I’ve never seen marshmallows like those–they look delicious. Interesting to read about the Durham style quilt. Here’s what I found in my garden yesterday:

    • Cathy says:

      Now the bag of marshmallows is open they are disappearing every time the Golfer walks past!! I have neglected props in recent weeks, so I was pleased to be able to offer a full complement this time – and am enjoying seeing the hyacinths in the vase where they definitely look so much better!

  7. Chloris says:

    I managed to get an arrangement together so that I can join with your lovely meme.…january-jewels/

  8. johnvic8 says:

    Very inviting, Cathy. And those marshmallows! Your use of the quilt as a backdrop is inspirational.

  9. Soft pink is my very favorite! And I maintain a child-like affection for marshmallows as well! And that quilt! Such perfection, to my eyes! Not sure yet whether I’ll be able to kluge anything together this week.

  10. Kris P says:

    You are so good with your staging, Cathy. The quartz stone are the perfect addition. As to the marshmallows, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any in a color other than solid white before. They do look tempting just sitting there next to your vase – I wonder how long your display will last? It’s been cold here too (at least by our standards) but my vase didn’t require a trip through snow or ice:

    • Cathy says:

      The display of flowers, or the marshmallows…? πŸ˜‰ In the UK they are invariably a mix of solid pink or solid white but in fact these were an even better match for the flowers! Marshmallows in mine, peppermint in yours….?

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  12. Totally scrumptious! Beautiful colours, which really do convey marshmallows. Your beautiful props make for a completely gorgeous composition. And I’m on the look out for those marshmallows – Poundland, here I come!

  13. Julie says:

    Thats really pretty Cathy, you did very well at the boot sale too, the Caithness vases are perfect for your arrangement. My forced hyacinths are not quite in flower yet, hopefully next week I will have something to contribute with. Meanwhile I am enjoying everyone else’s.

    • Cathy says:

      These hyacinths were probably in bud when I was given them which was about a week before Christmas – my own forced ones in hyacinth vases rarely do well, but I keep trying!

  14. Cathy says:

    Your vase looks so delicious Cathy! I love the whole pink fluffy effect you’ve created! I’m a great fan of marshmallows… and the colour pink too!
    Here’s my vase for today:

    • Cathy says:

      I’m glad the marshmallows went down well – they certainly did for the Golfer! It does seem slightly strange having a pink vase at this time of year though… πŸ˜‰

  15. AnnetteM says:

    Your arrangement is really pretty; yet again you have put everything together so well. I know someone who would love those marshmallows – me, I’m more of a chocolate fan, though if they were in the house I would not be able to resist them either.
    Here is my link – though I did get rather sidetracked talking about the job I was supposed to be doing instead of flower arranging.

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  17. Gillian says:

    I totally agree with Annette, very pretty. I love Hyacinths too and your vase is truly beautiful today. Well done Cathy. Here’s the link to my little vase today.

  18. Julie says:

    I am very late to the party tonight Cathy & without a contribution I am afraid. We are just back from the Alps and I have spent the day on household tasks – not even time for a quick ramble today! I have just been catching up with Alan Titchmarsh’s programs about the Queen’s garden – I was delighted to learn that the Queen has a vase from her garden every Monday too!!

    Well done on your beautiful ultra feminine vase today – I am a northern lass myself and have seen quilts like this although I knew nothing about their heritage. I am looking forward to seeing more of your quilts and promise to be back with a vase next Monday.

    • Cathy says:

      Welcome back Julie – wasn’t sure when you were due but I shall get a package sorted out soon! I am chuffed the Queen joins in our meme too – what an intriguing fact to have learned in the circumstances! I meant to watch AT’s programme but didn’t remember to record them so will see if I can find it on iPlayer. I look forward to your vase next week and will try to keep up with the props!

      • Julie says:

        It is still acailable Cathy but on ITV catch up – not iPlayer. I will sirt out your oarcel as soon as I have caught up a bit!

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  20. rickii says:

    I have a less than purely functional nose, but even so I think the paperweight/hyacinth combo would have to move outside. Very pretty though, and I’m always fascinated by your props and the stories behind them.
    I used one cutting from an indoor plant today too:

    • Cathy says:

      ‘Less than purely functional’ is an interesting way to describe one’s nose and unlikely to be heard very often, particularly if one had less than purely functional ears!! Enough of this frivolity and thanks for your positive comments rickii πŸ™‚

  21. Amy says:

    I am quite late to arrive, I’m afraid, but thoroughly enjoyed the hyacinth/paperwhite combination! I do love the texture of bulb flowers, and your combination brings it out so nicely. And the quilt, perfume bottle, and marshmallows add a wonderful touch, but I MUST stop looking at sugar πŸ˜‰ Though I’m a day late, I again have a vase to share:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy, and not to worry about the ‘lateness’ – it has been hard knowing what day of the week it is recently, but hopefully all back to normal now after Christmas πŸ™‚

  22. Annette says:

    Love it, Cathy, the colours are absolutely divine not to forget the scent…but the marshmallows, I don’t know…have you eaten them since or where they just for decoration πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      πŸ™‚ as far as I was concerned they were just for decoration, and the Golfer has nearly got to the bottom of the bag since then!

  23. Anna says:

    Oh most pretty in pink Cathy although I would definitely have to gaze at such an arrangement from a distance and perhaps with a peg on my nose too. The very thought of marshmallows makes me think that I will add some Tunnock’s teacakes to this weekend’s shopping list.

    • Cathy says:

      Surprisingly neither of them really smell now… πŸ˜‰ ps it bought Tunnock’s teacakes to the Golfer’s mind too!

  24. wellywoman says:

    A Durham style quilt? I’ve never heard of that before which is embarrassing as that’s is where I’m from. I’ll have to look into it as I love all that kind of stuff. Love the colour scheme – a fabulous colour for the start of the year.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, thanks Louise – it was definitely worth grabbing that window of opportunity! I am eyeing up my other amaryllis/hippeastrum now!

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