In a Vase in Monday: More Rug Than Carpet

IMG_4613IMG_4618Tulips were inevitable today, but could easily have been the crème caramel coloured ‘Für Elise’ which are delighting me in a pot which has now been moved to a table near the kitchen window. However, when I realised that tulips in one of the pots containing Persian Pearl had fully opened but were almost over after our warm week I grabbed what was left of those in bud in the second pot and ran!

IMG_4617A closer look at ‘Persian Pearl’ with its contrasting yellow innards and rich pinky purple exterior puts me in mind of one of those exquisitely hand-knotted Persian rugs, so perhaps that is where the name comes from. A similar but darker shade of pink wallflower (bought as a bare root bundle more than two years ago) was flowering generously in adjacent beds so stems were picked to accompany the tulips. Retaining many of the tulip leaves meant  additional greenery was not really necessary but a few dark burgundy leaves of Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’ were snipped just in case and, on a whim, some all-but-spent flowers of Hellebore ‘Double Ellen Picotee’ were selected and those flowers which had lost all their pink were removed, leaving the faded and half-dry pink ones that will  retain their petals in the vase.

IMG_4614A pink vase was selected at first but something wasn’t right and it took a walkabout around the house to reminded me of the first piece of Caithness Glass I ever bought, one of the original ‘moss’ pieces. Mulling over potential titles centred round the notion of a Persian Carpet – not being in possession of one myself we will have to make do with a literary prop, ‘The Phoenix and the Carpet’ and other books by E. Nesbit, which I avidly read as a child and many times since. I would like to think that they would have the same appeal to today’s children as Edwardian life would have been as alien to me in the late 50s and 60s as it would be to anyone reading the books today.

As it happened, and allowing things to fall into place as they often do, just before photographing the vase I remembered a table runner I was given some years ago, probably from a Malaysian source, and with careful cropping (of the photo, not the runner!) it serves as a reasonable Persian carpet substitute – and there is today’s vase. Would you like to join us in juggling material from your garden with suitable vases, titles and props? We can heartily recommend the challenge, whether weekly or occasionally – and please don’t see it as a formal ‘arrangement’ as it is the bringing inside of things from our garden that is at the heart of the meme and all forms of plonking are welcomed. Just leave links to and from this post so that we can see what is bringing you joy this week.



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65 Responses to In a Vase in Monday: More Rug Than Carpet

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday- 1, 2, 3 and 4! | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    You could easily have called your post “in the pink” today but perhaps you’ve already used that! I love the combination today, varying shades of pink look wonderful together. I too loved the books by E. Nesbit although I think today’s children would find the stories very alien to their way of life whereas I didn’t feel things were so very different when I read them. But that might just be me mis-remembering. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      I did toy with a ‘pink’ title, but went down a different line instead. Again the vase wasn’t the line I thought I would probably go down but that’s part of the fun, allowing other things to hijack an idea! I now want to re-read the books – if they can cope with any more wear!!

  3. You are so good at setting scenes for your weekly bouquets! I particularly like the wide open Hellebore this week. Our snow is finally gone here, and things are starting to grow–maybe I’ll be able to feature a Hellebore of my own next Monday!

    • Cathy says:

      I bet you can hardly wait! Thanks for your kind comments – the scenes often end up setting themselves as I often don’t have a clue before I start!

  4. such pretty pinks! How funny that we have both used literary props this week … here is my link:

  5. Very cheerful! Pink is such a happy color.

  6. Really stunning Cathy…the deep pinks against the blue and turquoise is really quite breathtaking….and the addition of the books perfection! I wish my tulips were still around, but I am determined to add some back in some secret spots away from the deer i hope.

    Believe it or not spring is finally and really here…today the temps will soar into the 70s…yesterday 60s with peeper frogs and birds chorusing us. I have a vase of early blooms I hope you will like:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Donna – and I am so glad I suddenly remembered that runner! At least you have had the promise of spring to keep you going in recent months so enjoy it now!

  7. Pingback: In A Vase on Monday – Narcissus | The Patient Gardener's Weblog

  8. Helen Johnstone says:

    Lovely colours and setting, will check back later when have more time to read properly
    here is my springy vase

  9. I love the old books, the rug, the flowers. Wonderful photos.

  10. Love the rich colors!

  11. Chloris says:

    Oh what lovely rich colours. The Heuchera leaf sets it all off beautifully. I love your ingenuity in coming up with titles. This is a good one, the arrangement has the richness of a Persian carpet. I used to love the Nisbet books too, I can see yours have been enjoyed.
    My link is:…ffadowndillies/

    • Cathy says:

      The wallflowers are fully out now and are outshining the tulips! I loved all these E Nesbit books, which must have followed on after I’d read all the CS Lewis Narnia books which of course I still have too 🙂

  12. Petal & Pins says:

    Just gorgeous Cathy!
    I’ve gone with oriental with mine this week

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you – I am especially pleased with these wallflowers as the plants are actually quite scruffy looking but the flowers are lovely!

  13. The tips of my Persian tulips are just showing, so I am excited by future possibilities after seeing your beautiful bouquet. I don’t have the Nesbit books but I like the sound of them so will have to search my local library. I put something together today but our spring is progressing slowly. It is probably going forward at its usual pace, it’s me that feels like it’s too slow! My post is here:

    • Cathy says:

      I think all tulips are gorgeous in vases – and I can see that some of mine will be flowering while we are away, more’s the pity 😦 The E Nesbit books may look olfd fashioned but I would say that should be considered children’s classics

  14. Creative…putting together all those elements! I so enjoy your arrangements.

  15. Kris P says:

    Those books are well-used! I love the color combinations in this week’s vase and envy you your tulips, which I’ve given up trying to grow (until, a few years down the road, I cave again and throw more money away). The Heuchera leaves add a nice touch too. My composition isn’t nearly as well pulled together:

    Thanks for hosting, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – and it was quite a shock when I realised how long I must have had the books, which would have been new to me 😉 Shame you can’t grow tulips – the species ones last well here, the main ones not quite so

  16. Anna says:

    Oh ‘Persian Pearl’ looks like a gem of a tulip Cathy. What a fabulous rich colour. I read the same books as a child and thoroughly enjoyed them along with the various television adaptations of her books. Some writers never lose their magic even though the children and adults who might read them now live in such a different world. Today I’ve picked the daffies that missed out on last week’s vase :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – and I know my girls enjoyed the television adaptations too, but I think the small print would have put them off reading the books. To me it’s part of the magic, like all my classic literature favourites

  17. hi Cathy a lovely composition by you and all the followers of this meme. Such a cheery idea. Anyway today I am joining you and my selection of blooms is at

  18. Anca Tîrcă says:

    Simply perfect, like an old painting! Thanks for sharing your creative moments with us, Cathy!
    This is my vase:

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

  20. Monica says:

    LOVE your Hellebore!! I have one (yes just one) of a very double fabulous pink and luckily she has a seed pod on her. I have threatened everyone to be careful of her to see if we can get some more. I have Hellebore envy right now for your color 😀
    Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      This one has actually lost some of its pinkness but I love them at this faded stage too. Will you be nurturing any seeds that develop or just allow them to fall and grow naturally?

  21. Pingback: La Frou Frou — Monday vase one & two | Dancing Farmer Flowers

  22. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Rhubarb and Custard? | Words and Herbs

  23. Cathy says:

    That’s lovely Cathy! I think I have that tulip too, but it hasn’t appeared yet. The hellebore is so pretty – a nice reminder that the faded flowers and seedheads last better. You always have such great props – I must make an effort to include some but I usually forget until it’s too late!
    Here’s my vase for today:
    Thanks Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – and my PP were the first of my tulips to open! I can see a vase with just faded hellebores coming up in a few weeks…. 😉

  24. pbmgarden says:

    Hi Cathy. I like the deep rich pink in your vase today–the Heuchera leaves pick up the tones very well. And I don’t remember if I’ve read the Nesbit stories but I love the look of well-worn, well-loved books. Here’s my Monday offering:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – although it was difficult to find perfect heuchera leaves as most of mine die back completely over winter. You can always tell which books have been read the most, can’t you?!

  25. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Blossom Time & Tulips | Peonies & Posies

  26. Julie says:

    I love your use of those well worn books this week Cathy – I don’t think I have ever read any E. Nesbit stories – something to put right I think. Your flowers are lovely – I have never seen such a pink wallflower and the hellebore is a perfect touch. Tulips always remind me of silks and velvets and your cropped table runner is making a good pretence of being a Persian carpet!! Isn’t it lovely to have a garden full of spring flowers!

    • Cathy says:

      I am really pleased with the colour of the wallflower, Julie – and have been looking out for seeds of this colour to grow fresh plants. I agree this runner was perfect in the absence of the real thing! And you are right about how lovely it is having spring flowers – I am sure I will be dithering most Mondays now over what to choose!

  27. Julie says:

    Sorry – I forgot my link!! You can find my flowers this week at:

  28. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Confessions from Mom (and One final week of Daffodils) | Mom in the Garden

  29. I simply LOVE the colours!!! and I smiled when you wrote “and ran”… who says gardening isn’t a sport? 🙂 Thanks for the meme Cathy! Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dana – and of course it might have just have been a literary tool for effect, but saying that I am pretty speedy around the place! 🙂

  30. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cathy, your arrangement of pinks is a delight and I particularly like the use of the almost done pink hellebore – I’ll be looking at mine with new eyes now. Coincidence being what it is, you’ll find I’ve used a Caithness glass vase for my plonking too. Furthermore, I’ve included one much treasured tulip … couldn’t bring myself to cut any more than that … and almost trimmed a few of my husband’s wallflowers but had second thoughts. They’ll look even better next week 🙂 Here’s the link to my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – I tried a different Caithness vase first, one I bought AS a vase, but the colour wasn’t right. I wonder what yours is today…? I am really pleased with the wallflowers as they opened up really quickly inside.

  31. rickii says:

    I’ve never been overly fond of pink, but I do love it in combination with deep burgundy like the Heuchera leaves. I’ve always been a bookworm, but that author never turned up. The attraction is entering unfamiliar worlds, so I bet they have lost none of their charm. They make nice props for your lovely vignette. R went off with the camera this morning, so I will be back tomorrow with a post and a link.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks rickii – I suppose they are very ‘British’ children’s books, but that’s not a reason for them not to appeal to US children… It’s funny how props just come together sometimes

  32. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday | Forest Garden

  33. Just gorgeous, Cathy! Wonderful to see your many tulips all in bloom. And I love your pink scheme. I went with pink and purple. We are sharing a vibe here 😉 I hope you’ve had a warm and beautiful day, WG

  34. I love all of your vases, props, backdrops and stories that go along with the beautiful arrangements from your garden! I’m still in the elementary phase of my flower arranging and have not yet graduated to props and such. One step at a time. Here are my Texas bouquets for the week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for joining us Rebecca – and please remember that ‘arranging’ is not obligatory…it’s the picking and enjoying inside that counts 😉

  35. Those pinks and burgundies complement each other beautifully, Cathy! The title and props are inspirational…..again! I have been revisiting my childhood recently, and reading old favourite children’s books which I never actually read as a child. (Peter Pan was the starting point – I was ashamed that I hadn’t read the local lad’s best seller!) I must look out some of E. Nesbit.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali -although I think I still have all of my childhood books it doesn’t seem many, but I used to go the library more than once a week so most of the books I read must have come from there! Happy reading!

  36. Helen Johnstone says:

    Thank you for reminding me of the Phoenix and the Carpet, I might have to re-read it. I like the idea of finding props to go with the vase, detracts from my plonking flower arranging!!

  37. Pingback: in a vase on (tuesday) | sprig to twig

  38. rickii says:

    I’m baaack…with the promised link:

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