I 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 continue 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 ones which combined both colours. As they came from Poundland (where everything costs £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!)
The 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 motifs 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!