There are several vases or receptacles that I have been eagerly awaiting the chance to use, this crate of mini milkbottles being one of them. I had coveted (in the nicest possible way of course) this very useable set ever since I spotted it on Gwirrel’s blog ages ago but hadn’t been able to source one until late last year when I found it in the Handpicked Collection catalogue. With Christmas looming, Younger Daughter was happy to oblige…. Since then it has waited patiently in the wings until now, when it welcomed 6 different hellebore flowers, the stems cut as short as possible to reduce potential flop and conditioned in boiling water for 20 seconds or so.
On a whim I added a couple of drops of pink colouring to the water – I might have used green if there was some in the cupboard, but not using food colouring very frequently I had recently disposed of several little bottles of the stuff many many years past their sell-by date! I really like the subtle effect this pale pink water gives, seemingly linking the individual bottles and their contents together into a cohesive whole. I am prepared for the hellebores not lasting long, but in the meantime I shall enjoy the soft and gentle energies they appear to emit – and remembering school experiments with the capillary action of plants I shall also be closely observing to see if they turn a different shade of pink! For anyone who has never seen that in action do try it, ideally with a white flower like a carnation but a white tulip or narcissus would be OK too – just place it in a glass or bottle with coloured water and wait for the transition….
The crate was placed on mossy rocks in front of the trough outside the kitchen window for its photo shoot, but looks a little lop-sided as I didn’t quite adjust the angle of the camera enough to disguise the angle of the rock! The soft green of the mossy rocks really sets off the pastel shades of the hellebores, and the light is always so much better for photos outside, particularly on a grey day. Temporary props were provided by relics from the various Britain’s farm and garden figures and features I used to play with as a child – a milkman and milk churns and the box from the dairy cart, sadly empty. I have vague memories of one of the shafts on the cart breaking and the same fate befalling a leg of the horse!
Last week’s Tête-a-Tête lasted almost the full week – definitely worth picking some early like this to prolong the period of their spring-like cheeriness. After Saturday’s sunshine the ones in the tiny raised bed at the front of the house are in full bloom as they soon recognise the onset of milder days when they see them. The hellebores won’t last as long, but I have some Paperwhites in flower in the greenhouse which can replace them if necessary. I wonder what you could find in your garden or forage locally to pop into vase or other container this Monday? You may surprise yourself with the inspiration you get and will be sure to gain pleasure from observing the result during the week. You would be most welcome to join us – just leave links to and from this post so we can share what you have found too.