In a vase on Monday: Calmer, Serener

IMG_5406After meagre pickings from my attempts at growing dahlias in the past I now have several plants with numerous buds or flowers, a thrilling position to be in. These ‘Karma Serena’ were the first to bloom and have been crying out to be used in a vase for at least a fortnight and today their time has come.

The dahlia was grown from a tuber from Peter Nyssen (described as white with a greenish yellow centre), potted up in the greenhouse on arrival and then planted out when there was a reasonable amount of leaf and shoot showing, perhaps sometime in May. In future it might be helpful to add this to my record keeping chart along with details of seeds and sowing. I had no doubts about sticking to a white and green palette for the vase contents and quickly snipped some Amaranthus ‘Green Cascade’ and immature Ammi visnaga heads. The dahlias had fairly lengthy stems but to allow the amazing green tassels of amaranthus to dangle to their full advantage the tall black vase I had bought at a car boot sale yesterday was pressed into service – but turned out to be too tall for the dahlias. Filling the base with glass pebbles quickly solved this and a slight rearrangement of the blooms produced a stylish vase in very little time.

The second stem of amaranthus and the ammi flowerhead would have been superfluous so were trimmed shorter and placed in one of the two Holmegaard vases I acquired recently, lovely examples of Danish studio glass designed by Michael Bing. I love the tactile form of these vases which have several holes over the curved body as well as the central hole, but in practice they are not very practical as unless stems are wedged into the surrounding holes they would not stand up – not to mention the fact that the vases can’t hold much water because of these holes! This is the smaller of the pair, and I am pleased to have finally been able to use it!

HolmegaardWhat will you find in your garden to put in a vase today? Will it be calm and serene, or bright and bold? Multicoloured or monochromatic? Do share it with us by leaving links to and from your post – and enjoy the pleasure that comes with the choosing, the making and the observation of your vase over the next few days.

My calm and serene vases were photographed against a background of green felt, although more of a lime green than the ‘mint’ green the photographs suggest. Today’s props were books on mindfulness and meditation, both practices that will bring you calmness and serenity.

May all be well. May all be happy. May all be healthy. May all be free from suffering.


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76 Responses to In a vase on Monday: Calmer, Serener

  1. I have learnt about two new plants, I’m delighted. I have a couple of self sown plants looking like the Ammi visnaga in my gravel patch, it’s good to get to know a possible name for them. And the elegance of the Amaranthus is very tempting, must look out for that one.
    Sadly I’m still feeling too under the weather to take part this week ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but it is going to cheer me up immensely to see all the other contributors who pop in to your place with their vases!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Oh, dear, hope you are soon feeling better and back to your ol’ self. Best wishes! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I am so sorry you are still not well – it has really knocked you about, hasn’t it? I shall send you healing energies to help in your recovery. I prefer the A visnaga to the more usually grown A majus – it’s chunkier but great visually through all stages of flower development and the dried seedheads look good too.

  2. I love your green themed arrangements, very elegant. How hard is the green amaranth us to grow?

  3. Brian Skeys says:

    A very calm and serene vase, all three flowers complement each other with their different shapes. I will put the dahlia on my wish list for next year.

    • Cathy says:

      As successful dahlias are so new to me I am just amazed at how well they look good for so long on the plant too – I get a real thrill seeing them!

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

  5. Christina says:

    I love this Cathy, definitely one of my favourite s of your vases. I especially like the Amaranthus โ€˜Green Cascadeโ€™ ; that’s something I thought about buying last year but decided I had too many things already but seeing yours I think I made a mistake its fabulous. Here’s my link: Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – and it was so easy to do too although I don’t think I could fail with these blooms though! Mind you, they slurped up the water in no time and had begun to droop – I suppose I should let them stand before arranging (like it is recommended)!

  6. Lovely arrangement. I really appreciate Dahlias because I haven’t planted any in several years. Most of what is blooming in my garden right now is pink, red, or orange. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      After 2 or 3 years of trying it is great to finally have success with dahlias, Judy – and looking at the all the buds I am beginning to appreciate just what their flowering potential is

  7. Gina says:

    I love Dahlias but the Under Gardener won’t have them in the garden. He says they attract earwigs and he’s got a phobia about creepy crawlies like those and spiders..
    I’ve gone hot today as that’s what was available in the garden.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s a shame – does he ever go out into the garden at all then…?! I suspect they don’t attract earwigs any more than anything else… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. pbmgarden says:

    This is a fabulous floral design today, truly elegant and sophisticated. The limited color palette and the strong lines really stand out against that back vase. Gorgeous. ‘Karma Serena’ is a beauty too. Coincidentally “calm” plays a part in my vase today as well.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – when we go to a car boot sale these days I always tell the Golfer I don’t intend to but any more vases, but I knew I didn’t have anything black other than a small jug so I thought it might be useful, which it was (and it was only ยฃ1)! I am really looking forward to using more dahlias!

  9. Well Cathy you have done it again, another great vase. I love the dahlias and the contrast with the amaranthus is a great success, especially with the shape of the Holmegaard vase. My vase this week is all over the shop by comparison.

  10. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: from the sunny side | digwithdorris

  11. Cathy, I like your pairing of books and flowers. I meditate too and have taken mindfulness workshops, though I am not as consistent at my practice as I’d like. Being in my little garden is a meditation, too, as you well know. Thanks also for the calendar of gardening blog memes on your sidebar – I haven’t seen that before.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Valorie – and I may not sit in the garden as much as I perhaps ‘should’ but I am certainly very mindful every time I walk through it or work in it. It is very much a symbiotic relationship – as I am sure the relationship you have with your garden is too. The calendar of gardening memes was started fairly recently – I first came across it on the Patient gardener, I think.

  12. I thought at first that might be Clematis flowers. Beautiful take on the theme of meditation. I finally posted again after a break:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Linda – and it was only after I filled the vase that the thought of using some of these books came to mind as an appropriate prop. As you say, they fitted in perfectly with the theme of the vase.

  13. Chloris says:

    a lovely vase, so simple and yet pleasing. The dahlia is gorgeous and the Amaranthus is lovely, I thought at first it was Itea ilicifolia. I love yor new vase. I am joining in this week.

  14. Cathy these are stunning vases. The dahlia is perfection and then adding the cascading Amaranthus sent it over the top…..and I love how you curled it in the second vase. I do have to grow Amaranthus next year. A very serene vase especially with the props.

    So here is my link to a couple of fun vases. Hope you like them:

  15. Eliza Waters says:

    Our palettes are opposite and complimentary today, Cathy! I loved seeing your arrangement, the amaranthus perfectly suits the dahlias, so cool and calm, after posting my fiery one! The little Danish vase is quite attractive and how unusual with the additional holes. Many thanks for hosting!

  16. Your stunning Monday flowers in a vase has really captured my imagination. I shall be looking into the fab green amaranthus, such a graceful compliment to the other lovely blooms you’ve chosen to present.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kate – I was really happy with the result of this, but it’s the blooms that should take all the credit really ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. Noelle says:

    Calm, thoughtful, and wonderful blooms. I have entered into the ‘Spirit’ of this , so be afraid:

  18. Pingback: Malva and Mint | Country Garden UK

  19. Gillian says:

    I love your Dahlias Cathy and thanks for your good wishes at the end of your post. I’ve kept it simple today too. Just Malva and Mint in my vase. Here’s the link

  20. Kris P says:

    I could feel myself breathe more deeply as soon as I saw your vase. My outlook – and my vase – is especially sunny this week, even if the skies are still laden with rain. We’ve had the wettest July on record here, all from a single tropical storm. Here’s my post:

  21. Anna says:

    I’m so pleased that you’ve finally cracked dahlias and you must be too ๐Ÿ™‚ Both your arrangements are indeed calm and soothing this week Cathy and look decidedly elegant. The Holmegaard vases are beautiful to look at. I’ve departed from my usual inclination towards pastels this week and opted for “bright and bold”. My post is here :

  22. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: Scenting liberation | homeslip

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  24. homeslip says:

    Dahlias are clearly the flower of the week! Love the restrained ‘less is more’ nature of your vases today. And the vases themselves are beautiful too. Thank you too for the note about growing amaranthus, definitely one to add to next year’s list which is growing longer every week. My contribution is a bit random, but I don’t like to leave anything out.
    Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, there have been a lot of them about – perhaps not so much that I have cracked growing them this year but more that it is a good year for them…?! The green amaranthus is definitely more of a statement maker than the red version

  25. rickii says:

    Elegant perfection! I can’t decide which of the two vases I prefer. My vase this week is sort of country/rustic:

  26. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Lavatera, Campion, Margarite | Views from my garden bench

  27. Elizabeth W says:

    This is beautiful. White dahlias are simply lovely and look perfect with the Amaranthus in the black vase – love the shape of that – calm and serene indeed. I’m hearing a lot about mindfulness at the moment, and being in ‘the now’. Where else can you do this better than in a garden ๐Ÿ™‚ Late again, but with good reason as you will see from my post which is here:

  28. Amy says:

    I just love this one, Cathy ๐Ÿ™‚ The amaranthus makes me smile every time I look at it cascading along the side of the pot, and the dahlias are so special – quite a lovely white! The small vase is lovely too with the ammi and that wonderful curl of amaranthus. I went simple – after a fashion – today because my vase is mostly foliage with a little touch of flowers…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy, and Nature produces some amazing blooms, doesn’t she? I can’t believe how long some of these tassels are!

  29. Pingback: Mondays vase – a stir-fry in a vase | gardening hands

  30. Bec says:

    That’s a really lovely vase Cathy – as you say very restful. the dahlia is beautiful. I’ve had mixed results with mine. I had some big ones overwintering in garage which were fine in previous years but no sign this year of any growth… ho hum….
    I’ve been doing some mindfulness meditations recently which seem to be helping me (that and pottering in the garden).
    Here’s my vase posted yesterday (on time two weeks running :-)…)
    hope you like it
    love bec xx

    • Cathy says:

      I am glad that both gardening and meditation are proving to be a support….
      Re dahlias – I had very little success with Sarah Raven tubers last year but my new ones from Peter Nyssen are all doing well this year – could have been the result of the rubbish compost I used early last year rather than the tubers though.

  31. Sam says:

    Hi Cathy, I’ve just hopped over here after reading Sarah at homeslip and Chloris at The Blooming Garden. Lovely idea to show a weekly vase. I started my blog in March and discovering all these wonderful blogs and fellow gardeners has been a complete revelation to me. I shall enjoy reading about your garden. Best wishes, Sam

    • Cathy says:

      Welcome Sam – blogging can add a whole new dimension to Life. It has been a huge pleasure to make contact with other garden bloggers – so friendly, supportive and knowledgeable. And of course it is a great way of keeping a record of the garden, which is the main reason I started it, but it also makes you far more observant of it.

  32. Really nice textures in the vase with the Ammi and Amaranthus (with a cute curl of the tail).

  33. Simply beautiful ๐Ÿ˜‰ congratulations on the lovely Dahlias and spectacular Amaranthus.

  34. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Late but Lovely | Rambling in the Garden

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