Regular readers may remember when I declared war on the scrubby plant threatening to take over a patch of garden outside the back door and next to the hedge – a naturalised occasional pink-berried variety of symphocarpus, known thereafter as the Devil’s or, more familiarly, D****’s Plant. No sooner were all those spreading roots and suckers removed and the new ‘hedge border’ created then our neighbour began introducing new suckers of the same lineage along the hedgeline….grrr!
Today’s rather prettier cousin, loaded with berries, was foraged this morning from the car park at the place where I swim and generally keep reasonably fit, and have been at the back of my mind for inclusion in a vase ever since I noticed them a few weeks ago. Having also been monitoring the second batch of Paperwhites, planted at the end of October, I felt the two would make a suitable match and the pot was brought from the greenhouse on Saturday to give the buds a little nudge. There were five stems of reasonable length with some shorter ones to come later, so the five were cut and a similar number of symphocarpus selected and trimmed to size before being placed in a green glazed pottery jug, one of the many bits and bobs displayed and gathering dust in the kitchen:
Once in the jug it was clear that some foliage was required too, and after briefly considering using those stylish epimedium leaves again decided to give the unloved spotted laurel the chance to show that it does have some redeeming features (although admittedly it does make a bright statement amongst the more rustic colours of the woodland, where it was unceremoniously shoved on a do or die basis). It does indeed pick out the green of the narcissi stems and the yellow at the heart of the blooms so has a thumbs up today!
With no suitable inspiration for props the vase was photographed alone, outside against a large piece of black felt and having been through the medium, slightly larger, slightly larger again pieces of felt before the change in perspective of the camera provided shots that did not include any of the bench the felt was draped on – fortunately there is a lot of black felt to spare as it was sent to me by mistake. A pleasing result, although I don’t want to be creating vases with narcissi every few weeks and next year will not be planting them at two week intervals but double the quantity on a monthly basis.
The amaryllis in last week’s vase easily lasted 7 days and of course if had been cut in bud would have lasted longer. I had to replace the epimedium after a couple of days as they had shrivelled up but I conditioned the second batch in boiling water (as has today’s material) and they would have been good enough to use again today. The arum have largely drained of their shiny greenness but also lasted the week.
Would you like to join in the meme? Everyone is welcome on a regular or intermittent basis but it is easy to get hooked on the challenge of finding material in the garden or foraged nearby to bring into the house to give pleasure during the week – slight bending of the concept is acceptable and thinking out of the box is encouraged! It’s a personal challenge, so we see anything from simple picking and plonking to more formal arranging and although most of us are towards the simple end of the spectrum we have learned such a lot from this sharing and caring meme. Just leave links to and from this post so we can share the vases that will be bringing you joy this week.