Well, any blooms appearing in winter or a low season are, of course, magic – but my witch hazels have been absolutely bloomin’ lovely this year, with ‘Magic Fire’ proving to be a real star. Only purchased last year, she is smothered in fiery blooms, clustering tightly on the shortest little side stems and thus restricting what could be cut for a vase – but having been made to feel really daring by cutting witch hazel last year I was more than prepared to throw down the gauntlet yet again.
Pressing my nose against its shreds, I am half-convinced I can detect a slight fragrance, but the warmth of the house will soon bring it out if there is one – no such issues though for the accompanying winter flowering honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, which is now beginning to waft around as I pass the shed. Searching my store of little vases it was easy to pick out a Caithness Glass one I have used before, with its russet and white stripes picking out the colours of the witch hazel and honeysuckle perfectly. For the first time in ages floral foam was used to hold the stems in place, with sphagnum moss recycled from the basket which provided last week’s hyacinths pushed down between the glass and the foam to disguise the latter.
Now, the props – thinking along the ‘magic’ line, rabbits in hats come to mind, and failing rabbits in any other shape or form we have what is probably Barbie’s lost slipper, picked up from a pavement years ago and kept with other miniature ‘objet trouvés’. No hats (a Monopoly top hat would have been perfect!), so the classic 3 cups (vintage thimbles) were included instead (I’ll leave you to guess which one had the ball under it…). The magician’s ubiquitous black sheet was pressed into service for a backdrop and of course his handkerchief too – not silk, but one I found tucked in a drawer and probably (with its thistle and heather) given to me by my Grannie 50 years or more ago.
So, Abracadabra! we have this week’s vase, and I have enjoyed putting it together – thinking about appropriate props just adds that little extra spice to the challenge. Will you join us this week? Just post a vase or container with pickings from your garden or something you have foraged and share it with us by leaving a link to this post and a link in a comment on this post back to yours. Look forward to seeing you!