It was a fortnight since I last picked blooms from my own garden for a vase so there was always going to be plenty of choice – caution was therefore thrown to the wind and I picked the boldest and brightest blooms. Snipping with gay abandon, I finished with a worryingly large bunch which was left for a few hours in a bucket of water whilst I searched for a vase big enough to contain such abundance. Jostling for position were Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ (below, top left), Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ (top middle), sweet pea ‘Purple Pimpernel’, Inula hookerii and Scabious ‘Cherry Pie’ (top right), Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’, Dahlia ‘Karma Amanda’, Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and Echinops ritro (bottom left), Sweet William ‘Black Prince’, Crocosmia ‘Canary Bird’, Verbena bonariensis and Dwarf Coreopsis (bottom centre), Dahlia ‘Noordwijk’s Glory’, Dahlia ‘Karma Fuchsiana’, a partial view of Allium sphaerocephalon and more of that gorgeous knautia and the rudbeckia (bottom left). The red Amaranthus caudatus needs no further introduction but is not as striking as the green version I used a fortnight ago. A wide neck vase was essential for this floral extravaganza but the limited length of some stems meant it couldn’t be too tall – nor too bright, to detract from the the blooms. A chunky globular green glass vase that was purchased largely for its decorative value, predating In a Vase on Monday by many years, fitted the bill well. Props were a Mother’s Day gift of the Ed Sheeran CD entitled, for some unknown reason, ‘X’, given to me by Younger Daughter because she thought I might enjoy the music (I did) and an extravagant looking titanium quartz cluster. Titanium quartz is formed by bonding titanium to quartz by a natural electrostatic procedure and combines the properties of both. Amongst other benefits, it is believed to heal the auric field and bring insight, compassion joy and spiritual insight. Even with the titanium coating you can clearly see the quartz’s distinctive hexagonal structure and note how it has grown at different rates over its creation. It is a pleasure to see these blooms across the table from me as I write and no doubt for several more days this week. After last week’s visit, I asked my Mum if she picked blooms for herself as well for her visitors – alas, only rarely it seems, as she prefers to see them in the garden. Many of those who post a vase on a Monday used to feel that way too, but have gradually come to realise that the pleasure of bringing blooms inside can equal the pleasure of seeing them in their natural state, and the joy of creating the vase, however simply put together, just adds to that pleasure – so we can highly recommend the weekly habit. Do join us – leaving links to and from this post so that we can share in your joy.