In a vase on Monday: Heads and Tails

IMG_4246My how I dithered this morning – and even found myself thinking about the vase contents when I woke during the night, not something I make a habit of, fortunately! All week I had been considering the little group of Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ which were growing in a pot in the greenhouse and just coming into flower – but only 4 of the 5 bulbs had come through, odd numbers are always best and I didn’t want to cut these as they look so pretty in the pot. The alternative would have been to add extra material to the pot itself – but there again there were Iris reticulata in my vase a couple of weeks back…

Katharine.HodgkinHowever, the neat button-like seedheads from Inula magnifica have been waiting patiently on the parent plant for the opportunity to appear in a vase, as have a clutch of rose hips stems from ‘Parkdirector Riggers’ which were cut when the roses were pruned early in January and had survived untouched in a neat pile near where they originated, so my thoughts were also revolving around a title withย  the words ‘Heads’ in it. When ‘Heads and Tails’ suggested itself whilst I methodically swum up and down on my Monday morning swim, I wondered whether there would be catkins on the twisted hazel, Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ – once home I was able to establish that there were, so we were in business!

heads and tailsIMG_4257Choosing a container can be difficult when there is a lot of choice, but because the first two contenders didn’t need water and the twiggy hazel would be able to survive dry at least for several days I finally chose this vintage ‘frog’ or florist’s cage which I bought when we were at the Lincoln antique fair in December. It wasn’t labelled but to me its purpose was fairly obvious and it was aesthetically pleasing enough to be used on its own with a dry arrangement, but of course it would also fit inside a wide necked vase. It has a neat domed shape and when photographed on the kitchen table in front of me whilst writing this post the light cast pleasing shadows of the contents on the table.

IMG_4245The main photograph was shot outside to take advantage of today’s bright start, but perhaps the muted colours are a little lost against the brickwork, the lack of foliage on the stems meaning there was not enough contrast with the lines of the wall and path – a plain fabric background might have been better. Heads and tails props were easy, with the addition of Victorian and George V pennies from another of the Golfer’s collections. Some of these ‘collections’ may well be gathering dust but they have come in jolly useful on Monday mornings!

So there is today’s vase, a double whammy really because I still showed the irises – perhaps something in the garden will take me by surprise during the week so I can be more decisive again next Monday. Christina was certainly excited about her vase this week, and for good reason, as you will see if you check it out. You don’t need to be excited about your vase though, as the meme just encourages you to find something in your own garden or foraged nearby and bring it inside for your own pleasure – as all contributors have found out it can be an addictive and habit-changing process, but above all it has indeed brought us huge amounts of pleasure, increased by sharing vases with our blogging friends. Do join us, by including links to and from this post – you won’t regret it ๐Ÿ™‚


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

42 Responses to In a vase on Monday: Heads and Tails

  1. Cathy I love that antique floral frog and what a creative way to use it….wonderful heads. I was hoping to use more heads this winter, but nature has played a cruel joke so i will be reusing some I had in prior vases I kept. I adore your irises too…that is a favorite variety of mine!

    I hope you enjoy this week’s Hippeastrum vase until spring shows up here in my garden:

    • Cathy says:

      You will make sure you stock up on hippeastrums as a precaution next year Donna! Last year I used far more twiggy material and seedheads than this year – either because there is more material available or I am just looking at possibilities differently. I have some of these iris outside too, so perhaps they will make it into a vase once they are in flower….

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, you have a constant cache of interesting props and today is no exception. I really admire those rose hips. The Iris reticulate are beautiful, such a sweet color. I managed a quick contribution, assembled yesterday.

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: February Blues? | Words and Herbs

  4. Cathy says:

    I immediately giggled when I saw your creation today, and there is still a broad smile on my face! You are so inventive! You seem to have a wonderful collection of props at your fingertips too. The irises would have been nice, but the arrangement you produced is definitely a winner! Hope you have a good week, Cathy. Here’s my vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Glad to be of giggling service, Cathy!! I like the added challenge of props, where I can come up with something suitable – not that it always works out… The vase look better on the table inside than it did outside – but there is too much in the background for the former!

  5. Anna says:

    Oh I’m glad to read that you didn’t behead those little irises Cathy. Your alternative arrangement is most eye catching – both the heads and the tails. Your post has also jolted my memory. I have a few Victorian pennies stashed away somewhere which I’d completely forgotten about. Must seek them out. I’ve joined in this week at :

  6. johnvic8 says:

    I love your Golfer’s pennies. What a nice collaboration. I am on board this week at

  7. Christina says:

    I wondered what on earth your vase would be from its title. I think it works well and I like the frog that holds it all together. If my tulips hadn’t flowered I would probably have had to resort to an dried arrangement today. Thanks for the mention, and for hosting! Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      I’m sure you would have found an inventive alternative Christina if they hadn’t! I read your post before I was able to put my vase together so I knew what you were so happy and excited about!

  8. Kris P says:

    Now that IS thinking outside the box. I need to try some late night ruminating myself. My composition is of a sunny disposition as we got rain (at last!) last night, which puts me in a happy frame of mind:

    • Cathy says:

      And I bet it wasn’t cold rain, as it would be here at the moment! Look forward to seeing the results of your happy state of mind… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Beautiful selections today, Cathy. I like your pairing of the antique coins with the antique frog and the seed heads from last summer’s garden. Very nostalgic and comforting to see them all still useful and beautiful ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here is my meager offering from an ice covered garden: Warmest wishes ๐Ÿ˜‰ WG

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks WG – these seed heads have stood tall and straight for months and in perfect condition, surprisingly so – and their turn finally came today! The Golfer has all sorts of coins in his collections but I thought the pennies would be the most easily recognisable

  10. Pingback: am i blue? no, just my vase on monday | sprig to twig

  11. rickii says:

    I love the stories you tell with your titles, carried out in words and pictures and props. This one is especially inventive.
    Here’s mine:

  12. What an imaginative title and vase (can we call it a vase?) I’m so taken with the frog! I must have a closer look at the stand at Malvern show this year. They have some wonderful old garden objects on sale there. The Inula seed heads are very impressive, and look so tactile!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali. I have not noticed any of these domed flower holders before at any of the fairs and boots we have gone to, but then again I haven’t always had an ‘In a Vase on Monday’ hat! The inula heads are amazing and show no sign of disintegrating as some seadheads do

  13. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday | Gwirrel's Garden

  14. Amy says:

    I certainly couldn’t guess from the title ๐Ÿ™‚ How wonderful that you had such interesting material to work with – especially rose hips still available! And the props too – I suppose this wasn’t what the Golfer had in mind when collecting, but what a good use for them ๐Ÿ˜‰
    This week’s vase was one I had had in mind for days, but it proved a little problematic when the time came! Still, I think the colours were worth it today…

    • Cathy says:

      The rose hips were cut about 6 weeks ago Amy and have just been lying in a little pile outside – but surprisingly look just as fresh as they did when they were on the rose. And I think it’s better use for the Golfer’s coins than being stuffed away in a cupboard! Sorry your vase proved problematic…

  15. bittster says:

    heh heh, I also got a nice laugh out of your ‘vase without a vase’ this Monday. It could almost be a Halloween arrangement since to me the rose hips are round enough to pass as eyes! Very creative and a nice surprise.

    • Cathy says:

      Teehee – I never even thought of it being ‘without’ a vase! But I do encourage people to think out of the box when they display their material so at least I am following my own recommendation!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Derek Yarnell says:

    Thanks again for hosting. This week my husband gave me flowers for our anniversary and vice versa:

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee – that wouldn’t happen here as the Golfer doesn’t like ‘cut’ flowers, although he is learning to accept the benefits of cutting from the garden with my weekly vases ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. You did find a little inspiration in the middle of the night…A little sleep lost seems to have been well worth it.

  18. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Spring Bulbs | Peonies & Posies

  19. Chloris says:

    What fun, I always like your titles. The vintage frog is great. Very enterprising. I love your little irises, I am enjoying several pots of them at the moment, they are a delight.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – I haven’t had any little irises in the garden for some time, but I am certainly appreciating their beauty close up in pots this year. No sign of the the KH planted outside yet….

      • Chloris says:

        Your reply prompted me to go and look for my KH in the garden, and there she was, so I photographed her for my Wordless Wednesday. The other irises were grown in pots but not Katharine.

  20. Julie says:

    I must be the last this week Cathy – so sorry to be so late! Your vintage florists cage is amazing Cathy – I can imagine it appearing in lots of posts throughout this year and what an inventive use you made of it this week – a great take on thinking outside of the box!

    My late contribution this week is at:

    • Cathy says:

      I was aware you hadn’t posted, Julie and wondered if you were away – hope all is OK. The florist’s cage thingy is really intriguing – I wonder if it has a proper name? It would be helpful for me to sort out which vases it would actually fit in! There are several newer acquisitions that I am desperate to use on Monday but the materials available haven’t suited them yet!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cathy, I thought at first that you’d found a miniature lobster pot in which to arrange your contribution this week … the antique frog (another new flower arranging term for me) is very effective and I do like your choice of material. I’m afraid I’m very late and with a bit of cheat this week but I’ve been unwell again and so I’m banned from gardening in the damp atmosphere … I really can’t wait for the drier weather! The last time I contributed with a bone fide vase I also wrote about the seeds I had just received from the Cottage Garden Society. This item sparked a few questions from contributors to your meme about the seed exchange and how it works which I’ve tried to answer today in this post:

    • Cathy says:

      So sorry you are still not well, Elizabeth – so many people seem to be affected this year but to be kept out of your garden because of it is such a shame for you.

Comments are closed.