In a Vase on Monday: Between Sweet William’s Two Lips…

IMG_4489…might in the circumstances be a mug of frothy Ovaltine, but in truth is some beautiful foliage from an unknown aquilegia.

I found myself quite excited yesterday in anticipation of today’s vase, partly because the last two week’s were prepared, photographed and written about on the Sunday and scheduled for posting on Monday, and also because I had no real certainty of how things IMG_4495might come together. The tulips were in one of the lead effect planters visible from the kitchen window, from a cheap batch that were literally ‘shoved’ into the pot two or three seasons ago and have reappeared each year since, despite complete neglect – unlike the ones similarly shoved alongside the two Sundaville plants which spend the winter in the sitooterie and are thus even more neglected as they haven’t had the benefit of any rain. Hmm, memo to self – don’t bother with any indoor plants that need even the slightest attention!

The Sweet Williams are from the batch grown from seed, sown at the end of August, and having only just been planted out had begun to flower in their cell trays in the greenhouse. The variety is ‘Black Prince’ and as the packet had no picture I had forgotten what colour they were meant to be – dark red with dark leaves, so I am not absolutely convinced by the aptness of the name but they are attractive enough, and flowering in March! I had noticed the bright green aquilegia leaves with their hint of red on my rambles recently, and when they were cut and added to the tulips and Sweet William I was really taken with how well they combined, deciding instantly they didn’t need any further embellishment.

betweenSWIMG_4490Choosing a suitable vase was not as easy as I had envisaged a plain and simple slim glass one – which I  knew I didn’t have, so had to scout around for alternatives, looking through boxes of newly acquired vases, trawling my kitchenalia and searching through other IMG_4486ornaments. This vintage Ovaltine mixing glass was the best I could find (although ideally I wanted something slimmer and shorter) and the pickings were quickly plonked in and taken outside for photographs. The vase was initially lost amongst the mossy rocks and then the camera’s batteries were exhausted, but a quick recharge and some black felt finally brought acceptable results.

From the moment the tulips were cut and brought inside they began to open their tightly closed petals and will no doubt be fully open before the day is out. Like last week’s vase I am fairly confident that this one will last the whole week, as tulips tend to have a good life in a vase. I can report that the hyacinths have only just ‘gone over’ and the tulip leaves are only now beginning to curl, whilst the euphorbia looks as fresh as ever. It is so exciting to see what appears in a vase on my kitchen table each week, so multiply that by the number of other bloggers posting a vase on Monday….. can we cope with all that excitement?! I am sure there will be other tulips appearing today – will they be in your vase? Flowers, twigs, leaves, vegetables, pebbles – what will you find in your garden today to pop into a vase or other container? Please share your pleasure with us by leaving links to and from this post.


This entry was posted in bulbs, corms and tubers, Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Between Sweet William’s Two Lips…

  1. jenhumm116 says:

    A lovely vase, Cathy – that Aquilegia foliage is really effective.

    Here’s my post – not actually a vase, more a talk about vases, hope that’s allowed!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Jen – and your post sounds really interesting. I have a load of pictures of vases of flowers taken at an NT property recently that I need to find time to post…

  2. a very pretty arrangement, and I think the Ovaltine glass is perfect!

  3. johnvic8 says:

    You have a lot going on right now. Lovely arrangement this week. Mine is at

  4. Pingback: In a vase on Monday — going mauve | Dancing Farmer Flowers

  5. Monica says:

    I concur, the Aquilegia foliage is nice. Mine are not tall enough yet but I will remember that for use as I hadn’t thought of it. And i also agree that finding the right vase can be a challenge sometimes. Great excuse for “collecting” though isn’t it 😀
    Now here is a link for mine:

    • Cathy says:

      Even the more usual foliage is a pleasant shade of green, a bit like the colour I paint our fences and other woodwork in the garden, but this is especially gorgeous, although I remember it rather clashing with the flowers when they came along! 🙂 My vases have increased exponentially since I began this meme, but when you can pick them up for next to nothing it seems daft not to…

  6. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Bounty! | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  7. Christina says:

    Ah!, you’ve beaten me with your Sweet William but mine have been in the garden since October; there are Wall flowers but I didn’t use them today. The foliage of the Aquilegia is gorgeous. Here’s my post

  8. Cathy I am in love with the aquilegia leaves…that bright green with the hint of red is gorgeous and perfect with the Sweet William. As you will see with mine, we are still in winter with a foot of snow still to melt as it has been bitter cold here and snowing…winter rules here still.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna. As Christina has said, you have been very patient with your snow, although presumably this year has been exceptional.

  9. messmelissa says:

    Beautiful foliage, very creative. Thank you for hosting! I kept it simple this go-around

  10. Kris P says:

    I love those Aquilegia leaves – sadly, it’s not a plant that does particularly well in my climate. Tulips are impossible, a fact I seem to find necessary to confirm every 5 years or so when I fall prey to the pretty pictures on bulb packages. Despite our untimely bout of heat last week, or perhaps because of it, I’ve got a lot going in the garden right now and, as another heatwave is forecast to begin tomorrow, I went crazy cutting flowers for today’s vase – or a should say, vases:

    Thanks for hosting Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – you have obviously learned over the years not to be envious of all the plants you know you wouldn’t be able to grow 🙂 Look forward to seeing your ‘florapalooza’! 🙂

  11. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Floating Saucers | The Patient Gardener's Weblog

  12. Helen Johnstone says:

    Hi Cathy
    Here a link to mine
    My aquilegia leaves are all grey/green but I have seen one with yellow leaves somewhere though I’m not sure if I like the yellow leaves!
    Thinking cap on for next week

  13. A Vintage Ovaltine Glass! Wow. I’ve never seen a mixer for Ovaltine–what a crack up. Also, I’d love to have one. There is nothing I like better than Ovaltine on a cold night with my jammies on a a great book. Don’t you just love Sweet Williams? The perfect cottage garden flower and great in the front of the garden for the low color. Such fun Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susan. I have an Ovaltine mug too (but repro) – but haven’t drunk Ovaltine in years…. 😉 It’s the first time I have had Sweet Williams and I am thrilled to have grown them so successfully from seed. Shame it’s not as easy to get seed of a single colour as I prefer that to mixed colours – for virtually all plants, really.

  14. Anna says:

    Oh Sweet Williams in March – now that takes some doing Cathy! As Susan says the “perfect cottage garden” flower. The red markings on that vivid aquilegia foliage picks up so nicely on the flower colour. It’s been a while since I’ve had any Ovaltine. I must remedy that. A little offering from me this week over at :

  15. Lovely arrangement but the Ovaltine mixing jar is wonderful. Never saw one. At first I thought it was an old drugstore container for straws. Great display.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Judy – it probably dates back to the 40s or 50s, but I could have checked that out before I posted I suppose 😉

  16. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Dawn Chorus | Words and Herbs

  17. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful. Sweet William are a favorite of mine. These look lovely with your lime green columbine foliage and tulips. Thanks for hosting Cathy.
    My vase is

  18. Cathy says:

    Awww, how sweet – Sweet Williams in March! The Aquilegia foliage is also lovely and a refreshing colour. I like your Ovaltine glass – nostalgia through and through!
    Here’s my vase for today:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – and considering the Ovaltine glass wasn’t my ideal container it worked well and has proved to be popular!

  19. Amy says:

    I just love Sweet William! Your combination of the aquilegia foliage with the red flowers is great – it’s amazing what one begins to notice 😉 Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve had Ovaltine unless when quite small… Would love the see the tulips fully open (hint, hint!)
    My vase for this week almost made itself… with a very little help:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy, and that’s what makes this meme such fun. I will make sure I take a photo when they are fully open 😉

  20. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – With Daffodils & Hyacinths | Peonies & Posies

  21. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: In like a Lion and out like a Lamb | Mom in the Garden

  22. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: yellow and purple in bottles | Views from my garden bench

  23. What beautiful choices today! I hope you’ll photograph your vase once again once the tulips open and add a closing photo of them. My fingers were itching to cut some of our lacy Columbine foliage for my vase today- and I resisted the urge as there isn’t much which has emerged yet. But yours works in this arrangement to great effect. Happy spring! I have flowers, finally 😉

  24. Julie says:

    Your garden is well ahead of mine Cathy – no tulips, no sweet williams and very little foliage on my aquilegias! That foliage is stunning!! I love your Ovaltine vase – it must all look lovely on your kitchen table.

    My contribution this week is at:

    • Cathy says:

      I bear no responsibilty for the aquilegia but the SW were in the greenhouse and the tulips were in a pot – a few buds on some of the species tulips but nowhere near budding on the the other tulips planted in the ground. I am sure you have lots of lovelies that i haven’t got, Julie!

    • rickii says:

      Julie~My comments do not seem to be showing up on your blog, so here is what I said: You seem to be avoiding the stress that would surely knock me for a loop: the uncertainty of what you will have to work with for a big event. The hyacinth treatment is charm personified and would make a wonderful garland for a flower girl’s hair, don’t you think?
      Perhaps I have somehow landed in your spam?

  25. Tulips in the garden already?! Lucky you! (mine won’t be up for ages!) As for growing flowers from seed, maybe some day I will master this, but for now I will enjoy seeing yours. The sweet William is very pretty Cathy. Thanks so much for hosting my favourite meme! 🙂 Here is the link to my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dana – these tulips did take me by surprise but I have seen buds on some of my little species ones which are usually earlier than the other varieties. Glad you enjoy the meme – I do too!

  26. karengimson says:

    That’s brought back happy memories. We used to have an Ovaltine glass and frother at home when I was a teenager. Mum used to make me the bedtime drink when I’d got exams. Lovely idea to use it for flowers.

  27. sally says:

    Your arrangement screams, “Spring!”. I can hardly wait to see the Sweet William and Columbine coming up! Happy Gardening!

    • Cathy says:

      Hopefully you won’t be waiting too long… I have several aquilegia grown from seed which should be flowering for the first time this year and am looking forward to seeing those!

  28. Sweet Sweet Williams, thanks for sharing, Cathy!

  29. Pingback: ode to spring in a vase on monday | sprig to twig

  30. rickii says:

    Sweet William…why have you deserted me? Thanks for this reminder. I will not fail to add some soon. And why have I never viewed the beautiful foliage of columbines as a featured player? So many questions I didn’t even think to ask.
    here’s my vase(es) for the week:

    • Cathy says:

      Strangely, SW are not something I have grown before, but they were certainly easy enough to grow from seed. I also have some mixed ones. Oh, and I had notification of your comment to Julie so perhaps you clicked to reply to my comment rather than comment directly to her….

  31. Luckily I put my arrangement together on Sunday as the garden is buried under snow today. I stopped by before your vase post was up and so did not leave a link. That Aquilega is stunning and the perfect the spring color.

    • Cathy says:

      I am usually busy for the first part of Monday morning and then had a phone call while I was trying to write the post so I was later than usual posting 🙂 I am conscious that people are waiting to add a link so I do try to post as early as I can!

  32. Hi Cathy – what a lovely and whimsical bouquet. I’ve loved following your In a Vase on Monday posts for awhile now, and finally feel like my garden is ready to start providing decent bouquets for me from time to time – so I’m taking part in my first In a Vase today! Thanks for hosting and I look forward to the challenge to keep finding new potential for beautiful bouquets from my garden. Here is my vase for the week:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, how lovely to hear from you and thanks for following the vase posts and now filling a vase on Monday yourself. I am sure you will enjoy the challenge as much as all the rest of us!

  33. Brian Skeys says:

    It is nice to see someone growing Sweet Williams, they seem to of gone out of fashion.(Like me!)
    I have grown a variety called Sooty which had dark leaves, the seed was sold by Chiltern seeds.
    Lovely arrangement.

    • Cathy says:

      Out of fashion? Were you ‘in fashion’ at some time….? 😉 Thanks for the ref to ‘Sooty’ – will look out for that one (and it would make for a good post title…!)

  34. hoehoegrow says:

    The fresh green aquilegia leaves go so well with the red of the Sweet Williams! Very impressed that those Sweet Williams are blooming already. I can almost smell them …

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks. I know SW are meant to be fragrant, but I haven’t detected it in these yet. I have another variety grown from seed called ‘Cottage Perfumed’ or something like that so I hope they don’t disappoint – no buds on them yet…

  35. Bec says:

    This is lovely – I really like the shade of Sweet William and it looks great with the aquilegia foliage. I’ve got lots of different aquilegia growing in my garden – mostly self seeded. Always look forward to seeing what grows each year. I must have a go at growing sweet William from seed. Here’s my vase in a monday effort – daffodils and pansy. I was inspired by your mini milk bottles too.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Bec. I really like this vase too, and surprisingly the tulips still haven’t opened (Tues night). I have several ‘named’ aquilegia seedlings which should flower this year, so I am looking forward to seeing them too.

Comments are closed.