In a Vase on Monday: Storm in a Teacup

IMG_5058Welcome to this week’s In a vase on Monday where we can get in the habit of picking material from our garden and popping it in a vase to bring inside and give us added pleasure through the week. Regulars will be used to the weekly dilemma of what to pick and what to put it in – sometimes due to limited material, sometimes to an abundance, sometimes a pretty new vase we are anxious to use,ย  sometimes matching the right vase to our chosen material. I am champing at the bit to use the new Uig pottery ‘flowerstone’ I bought when we were away – and to make use of my new Aldi bottle bargains – but it was just not to be. Delighted to have the first of my annuals flowering and thrilled with the flowers (but not the height of the plants) of Centaurea ‘Black Ball’ I had been toying with the idea of using dark blues and purples in a vase this week and ideas and titles had been floating around in my head for a few days. The flash of inspiration came late last night and it all fell into place, just needing to be picked and put together this morning. We have been blessed not to have experienced stormy weather for many months, even though the UK Midlands is more prone to thunderstorms than other parts of the country (due to its distance from the sea, I guess) but these darker colours put me in mind of stormy skies. Sometimes storms appear seemingly out of nowhere and pass over just as quickly, leaving bluer skies and wispy clouds again, so I have included some brighter blues and hints of white to reflect this. IMG_5059In the vase we have the striking Centaurea ‘Black Ball’ and its enthusiastic perennial cousin, Aquilegia ‘Black Barlow’ and ‘William Guinness’, Viola ‘Cool Wave Frost’ and an unnamed ‘pink’ (it isn’t) pansy, both grown from seed, Tulip ‘Victoria’s Secret’ (probably my favourite tulip this year), Ajuga reptans, Luzula nivea and foliage of Persicaria ‘Red IMG_5061Dragon’. A serendipitious afterthought and representing the rain is a sprig of Wisteria floribunda ‘Magenta’. Today’s single prop is ‘The Cloudspotters Guide to Clouds’ by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, reminding me how much I enjoyed climatology when I studied geography, drawing all those diagrams of clouds and different fronts (and sand dunes forming around dead camels…!) Oh, and there is a teacup under there, a vintage blue-and-white one…. The vase was really quickly put together, basically just a bit of prodding stems into florists foam but the overall effect is really pleasing and shows effective a simple and amateurish vase can be. It’s something we can all do and getting into the Monday morning habit is highly recommendedย  – I love being able to sit here in the kitchen and still enjoy bounty from my garden. Do join us, regularly or occasionally, and leave links to and from this post so we can see share in the pleasure your vase brings. IMG_5060

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66 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Storm in a Teacup

  1. Pingback: In a Tiny Tea-cup | Wild Daffodil

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This collection is amazing! Each time I look again, I spot yet another flower that actually grows in my garden. Love that tulip!

  3. Your darkly mysterious ‘storm’ has real atmosphere. And I’m wondering if I have tapped into some extraordinary telepathic stream -‘ Zing’ last week and ‘Teacups’ this week – magic and serendipity!

  4. Pingback: In a vase on Monday โ€“ the message spreads | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  5. Cathy this is splendid….I was drawn right to Red Dragon and the wisteria so unusual and really adding pop to this lovely purple vase…..they all mix together beautifully with that amazing tulip at the center. My garden is shifting from early spring to later purples….with our crazy weather and cool down, my garden was on hold with blooms so I have some flowers blooming unusually late in May. I am celebrating the quintessential May flower, lily of the valley, this week…hope you enjoy the vases.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – I love my red dragon as you may remember! Unfortunately it has gone a little limp now and I now recall conditioning it before I used it in a vase last year – I’ll pick another sprig tomorrow to replace it.

  6. Christina says:

    Perfect moody colours, have you shown us that tulips before, if so I must have missed it somehow, it’s gorgeous! Love the light blue touches for after the storm has passed too, very clever. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – Victoria’s Secret was a WW a few weeks ago, a gorgeous parrot tulip. I wonder if she will come again next year but maybe that is her secret…! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Beautiful colours, I love to see them in my garden, too. And, yes, they can be easily associated with a storm, what a creative idea, thanks for sharing, Cathy! I also like the introduction to your post, so true! This is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anca – and we can learn such a lot from hearing the thought processes of how others put their vases together

  8. hoehoegrow says:

    It doesn’t seem like a Monday, so I was caught unaware! I love the depth of colour in your arrangement and have a made a not to self to grow centaurea ‘Black Ball’ as they are stunning !

    • Cathy says:

      And I have to make sure I know when it is Monday with this meme!! Not that I mind, of course… The depth of colour on Black Ball really is stunning – but the plant is much taller than I thought it would be (mixing them up cornflowers with nigella, I think) and needs the support of other plants. I started this last autumn but I have just made a late sowing this week as I don’t know how long they will flower for.

  9. mjarz says:

    Fantastic! And I like your book selection as well.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – and I have another ‘cloud’ book with colour pictures which I wanted to include but i couldn’t find it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  10. lindachilton says:

    These are lovely moody colours, I especially like that delicious curve of stem with blue buds. See

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Linda – the wisteria worked really well, didn’t it? It will be at its flowering peak in a couple of weeks – lovely!

  11. Beautiful vase – the deep shades of purples and blues are so stunning. We’ve also been blessed and cursed with heavy rains in Texas this month, causing the garden to grow like crazy, but also beating down some blooms. My vase today includes some of my fallen blooms, and is in remembrance of those that fell while fighting for my country, which we celebrate as Memorial Day today in the US.

  12. johnvic8 says:

    Of course, you have done it again. leading the pack in orginality and beauty. This week I am at

  13. Kris P says:

    Aptly named, Cathy! I love all those intense inky colors and I’m amazed by the number of flowers you managed to squeeze into a teacup. Here’s my contribution this week:

  14. Yummy! This is one of my favourite vases you have done. I especially like the addition of the Wisteria trailing around the cup.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dorris – I had to scribble ‘wisteria’ down on the back of my hand as a reminder while we were on our way to a car boot this morning as it really was an afterthought and the rest of the flowers had been picked before we went out!

  15. Brian Skeys says:

    This weeks arrangement is more ‘Moody Blues’ after last weeks ‘Zingy Jazz’ Cathy!

  16. Anna says:

    Oh that is a fabulous little vase Cathy. Beautiful flowers with that trail of wisteria the perfect finishing touch. When did you sow your centaurea โ€˜Black Ballโ€™? We’ve had stormy skies today but fortunately the rain held off. I have the same book in my bookshelf but alas no Aldi bottles. Our local store either didn’t have any or ran out of supplies! My planned vase did not materialise but its replacement is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – and I am so sorry you didn’t find any bottles. They were due in last Thursday – do you want me to see if they have any left at ours as I am sure our paths will be crossing before the summer is out…? My BB was sown in the autumn (some planted out before winter, some this spring) but I have just done a second sowing to see how quickly they grow at this time of year

      • Anna says:

        Oh will have to try sowing some too Cathy as I’ve a packet lurking in my seed box. Will just try a few for now. Thanks for the kind offer but I think it was just not meant to be. I popped back in last Tuesday and found an empty space where they should have been! I expect that they will stock them again at some point. Will email you soon.

        • Cathy says:

          I had another look for you too, but sadly all gone here too. Like you say, they will reappear at another Bank Holiday probably ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Beauty | Words and Herbs

  18. Cathy says:

    Oh brilliant, Cathy! You really picked some perfect flowers for this theme. I do like your Centaurea, and the trailing Wisteria is a lovely touch. Really inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s my link for today. Thanks Cathy.

  19. homeslip says:

    Perfectly formed in every way, you are so good at this Cathy and the black ball cornflower is stunning, like a miniature dahlia. I’ve struggled this week, but posted nevertheless. Here is my link:!/

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Sarah – but to a degree I think it’s having the confidence to believe that what you have plonked and maybe tweaked slightly looks OK. The cornflower was definitely worth waiting for – which I will need to do again as I used the only 2 open flowers! Lots of buds though ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. pbmgarden says:

    Superlative. This is a well-realized concept from start to finish, with lovely flowers and fabulous colors. Thanks for hosting again Cathy. My vase is

    • Cathy says:

      Oh you flatter me Susie, especially as it was only a vague concept that happily came together well when it was plonked!! I love the colours too – I was itching to use the dark ones… ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Amy says:

    Such a stunning vase (or cup?) today, Cathy! I love your Centaurea, and everything blends so beautifully. I am keeping comments and my post small today – explanation in my post ๐Ÿ˜‰ but here is a link to my vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – I hope the Black Ball will have a long flowering season but I shall certainly grow it again as it is gorgeous!

  22. bittster says:

    The dark moody colors seem to go together perfectly, I like the effect and I like the wisteria sprig around the front for the rain! Nice of you to put all your thoughts down, it really adds to the arrangement.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frank – explaining our vases adds another dimension to it and adds to the learning process as well as throwing up interesting blog conversations!

  23. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: snapped off | Edinburgh Garden Diary

  24. Love it Cathy! The wisteria is an especially elegant touch, a bit like the tail of a chinese dragon. The coppery foliage is providing a very lovely supporting role to all these blues and blacks. Here is mine this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Joanna – I have no idea how long the wisteria will last now it is cut but I think it will probably still look elegant when it droops

  25. What a creative your idea of these beautiful arrangements on Monday with blooms from the arrangers gardens. Love the whole concept. Those I follow who participate always bring me joy. You get a star in your crown for this whole idea and success.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks so much Stepheny – and when I started the Monday post it was for my own benefit, to encourage ME to pick for a vase each week, but it it clearly tapped into a need as I tentatively suggested others could join in if they wanted and there were one or two right from the start. It soon snowballed though! We all learn so much from sharing our vases and the Monday routine is definitely embedded!

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Stunning! A gorgeous vase this week, Cathy. I’ll be looking for the bulbs for that tulip this autumn – the colour is just fabulous. The trail of wisteria is just inspiring.And all that in a teacup ๐Ÿ™‚ My vase could perhaps be described as the polar opposite of yours this week – here’s the link:

  27. rickii says:

    I’ve recently acquired some of those dark beauties. You did them proud in this week’s vase. Here’s mine:

  28. Michele says:

    Simply gorgeous

  29. Annette says:

    Stunning colours, Cathy, I should think a whole border devoted to this colour scheme would be a winner.

  30. Amy Crumbs says:

    A very creative and thoughtfully put together vase! So beautiful.
    Mine is really just cheating, as I didn’t put them together, plus a day late, but anyway..

  31. The right shapes, the right colors, the right vase, and the magic begins…Wonderful job, love your results.

  32. jenhumm116 says:

    Such a fabulous combination – definitely the more you look the more you find!

  33. Pingback: In A Vase: Rooting | Forest Garden

  34. This is a deliciously gorgeous combination! I love your range of colors, and the Wisteria is a lovely finishing touch. No wonder you were excited planning how these flowers would come together! I hope it lasts many days for you. I’m a day late this week, because I finally got around to GBFD yesterday. Our first blush of roses have nearly finished, and the deer found their way in to snack on quite a few. I am still on the “foliage” theme from yesterday, and so kept it simple this week. Best wishes, WG

  35. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday: Dahlias and Friends | Forest Garden

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