In a Vase on Monday: Ain’t No Mountain

IMG_5596Posting a vase on Monday with pickings from our own gardens or foraged nearby, although still a challenge, is not the unscalable mountain it used to be. We are overcoming our reluctance to pick blooms, finding material we might once-upon-a-time have overlooked, learning that plonking informally is as effective as grand arrangements and generally realising just how much pleasure the whole process brings. If you haven’t joined in already please consider doing so and find out for yourselves – just leave a link to and from this post so we can share in your pleasure too.

Today I will make no apology for starting with Dahlia ‘Serena’ again – I am just in complete awe of the number of blooms and the length of their stems that I just had to include them – not that you would realise there were seven of these lovely greenish white blooms in the vase when you look at the photo above! Joining them are heads of Echinops ‘Mount Everest’ ** which triggered the props and the final title of the vase, the white globes making a pleasant change from the usual blue varieties. Maintaining the green and white palette, seedheads from one of the numerous self-seeded poppies which have been so glorious this year were added, along with immature flowers of Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, disappointingly ordinary white heads of Daucus carota ‘Purple Kisses’, supposedly a mix of crimson and white, and sprays of Clematis jouiniana ‘Praecox’.

IMG_5598The jug is one that has been hanging in the kitchen gathering dust for a few years so it was no doubt happy to have wash and be pressed into service, whilst the props just fell into place as if they were meant for each other – sheet music of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ (the newest song we are learning in our barbershop group), a pack of Toblerone in an unusual format and a tiny mountainous piece of apophyllite that I have shown before.

Will your vase and props just fall into place today? Enjoy the challenge even if they don’t!

IMG_5597** alas, a day after posting I remembered that the featured echinops was in fact called ‘Arctic Glow’ and not ‘Mount Everest’ (which is an allium) – thus rendering my mountainous props no longer relevant… Apologies to anyone trying to seek out a non-existent echinops!

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72 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Ain’t No Mountain

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – purple prose | Duver Diary

  2. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – The same but different | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  3. jenhumm116 says:

    A lovely calm, restrained vase this week Cathy, and I love the props. Also thanks for the reminder to use poppy heads, I love them in arrangements.
    I too have suffered with Daucus carota being white when I thought they’d be dark. Very annoying as they’re planted in the dark Mid Century bed!
    Here’s my offering this week
    Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      The wild and wanton self seeded poppies have been amazing this year with so many shades of pink, and the seed heads are so attractive too. My daucus were Sarah Raven seeds so I might let her know as it is interesting that yours are all white too

  4. Christina says:

    What a nice mix of flowers you’ve shared with us today Cathy; I must look for the Echinops, the standard one is about the only thing flowering in the garden at the moment so it would be great to have some others. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      I have clearly had a senior moment Christina as I have only just twigged that the echinops is not Mount Everest (I think that’s an allium!) at all but Arctic Glow – my whole theme has now just fallen apart!!! Must put an addendum on the blog in due course – but today and tomorrow are busy busy busy 😉

  5. A lovely cool calm collection this morning Cathy, I have not thought to use a poppy seed head in a vase and they look great. I plan to pinch that idea. My Cornish mops are at
    Thanks for hosting, have a great day

  6. Brian Skeys says:

    With the vase colouring and the flowers you could be looking at a snow capped mountain, Cathy. The Dahlia and the Toblerone both reach the heights with me.

  7. Wonderful colours, a stunning vase! Thanks for sharing such beauty with us Cathy!
    This is my vase:

  8. Anna says:

    Oh that’s a most serene vase Cathy or should I say ‘Serena’. I could well be tempted to add her to my wish list. The daucus carota still looks most elegant. I grew ‘Dara’ last year and ended up with a very muddy pink. Hope that the singing is going well. I’m back this week with :

  9. Pingback: A Lovely Reminder | Petal & Pins

  10. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday | Susan Rushton

  11. Oh I do love the green and white flowers with seedheads, Cathy…an elegant vase and a fun theme with props. I agree with Anna, serene is a perfect description with ‘Serena’. I hope my dahlias open soon.

    Here is my little vase of what is blooming now…..

  12. Elizabeth W says:

    Hi Cathy, I absolutely love your arrangement today. The combination of white and green is, indeed, serene and the dahlia’s are stunning. I can understand why you are disappointed with the daucus carota, definitely not crimson, but I think it is beautiful, as are the echinops. No props from me, I just haven’t mastered the art yet, but two very different vases to make up for being missing last week:

  13. homeslip says:

    Cool, calm and very collected. I like it a lot. I especially like the white echinops with the grey poppy seed heads, both of which offer a good foil to the dahlia. I am going to be looking very closely at how you and others arrange your dahlias. I have three different varities conditioning in a jug and I just don’t know how to display them. They all have very large heads and are currently competing with each other. Maybe by next week I will have some fresh ideas.
    Here is my link for this week: https:/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – I wouldn’t say I had ‘arranged’ them and I wasn’t sure if I liked the way they splayed out in the jug, but I am getting used to it 😉

  14. Ann Edwards Photography says:

    I love the muted colours in your vase which suggest a vintage-look. I am always on the hunt for props and yours are inspired. Sadly, I failed on the props side this week. Here is my link

  15. Hannah says:

    All of the light colors but very different forms and textures do work admirably together, I like the poppy seedpods for some architectural interest. That is a lovely exuberant Dahlia, mine are still a long way from blooming, but at least are growing. Your props are interesting too, and the frosted vase. My link for this week-

  16. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday | Country Garden UK

  17. Gillian says:

    That’s more like it Cathy! I’ve gone for white this week too.

  18. johnvic8 says:

    Another lovely arrangement. Back in the day I did a bit of barbershopping myself singing baritone parts. It was fun then, and I hope you are enjoying it now. My link this weekd:

  19. Kris P says:

    Those dahlias deserves another round of attention – they’re perfect, as are the companions and vase you selected to accompany them. I sailed into my garden and just started clipping everything in sight without a clear plan and once everything was sorted out, came up with more vases than I’d expected (again):

  20. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Posts like this remind me I really need more white in the garden, even after purposefully adding white blooms a few years ago I think most are spring flowering and I have few white summer flowers.

    Here’s my offering this week, also using Dahlias.

  21. Chloris says:

    Very pretty with the cool colour scheme like a mountain stream. I like the Daucus even if it isn’ t quite what you were expecting. The lovely Serena is good value.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – so many more buds on this and other dahlias too. It’s so exciting! Strangely this year we have lots of wild carrot appearing in the garden, not something it has done before, so with the ammi I have enough umbellifers!

  22. Noelle Mace says:

    It was lovely to meet you today. Hope you liked the gardens at the Castle.
    Your flowers are so ‘cool’…love the very round poppy seeds heads, and the white dahlia, which I am adding to my ‘wish list’. With the props and the back sheet, this one looks like a dutch still life. I tripped down the garden, picking some of the flowers you noticed.

  23. Beautiful. I like the understated colours. They actually make the white pop. My vase is quite informal with zinnias from the farmer’s market and beach pebbles for a vase frog.

  24. Actually posted a vase this week and then went out and gardened until now — when I realized I’d never stopped by your site to make a link. Are those flowers that almost look like an allium the clematis you referred to? I love them. My vase is here:

  25. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, your restricted palette works well, focusing attention on the beautiful dahlia and the forms of the other flowers and seed heads. Very nice arrangement. Thanks for hosting! My flowers are still pink, though I long for other colors–

  26. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – sunny yarrow, oranges and reds | Views from my garden bench

  27. Bec says:

    These flowers are so restful and calm – thank you. The dahlia and hydrangea are lovely (I’ve got a white one in my garden too). I’ve got orange, red and yellow today as we had monsoon rains and dark skies this morning in Manchester. Here’s my vase:
    have a lovely week – love bec xx

  28. Eliza Waters says:

    Love the colours and textures of your vase today, the lacy and more solid play well off each other. I think using poppy seedheads is a nice accent, such a pretty gray-green.
    Here’s my vase this week:
    Thanks again for hosting, Cathy!

  29. Julie says:

    I love your theme this week Cathy – I can just imagine your group practicing the song with bars of my favourite mountain chocolate waiting to be eaten when you have finished (have you tried using Toblerone as a fondue – it is great for dipping fruit or marshmallows into). I love the sound of the white ecinops – mine are only blue.

    I have a big thank you for you & your lovely golfer tonight – I have been making apricot jam from my broken tree today! If it had not been for your timely visit I would have just removed the tree, but it has been propped and bound up and is looking good. The fruit is ripening and the leaves look healthy, so I will keep my fingers crossed for blossom next spring!

    My vase this week is at:

  30. Pingback: In A Vase: Abysinnian Lily | Forest Garden

  31. Your vase today is simply delicious in every way! I love your staging with the Toblerone wrapper, and your cool flowers. Please keep the Dahlias coming as long as you are able! No apologies needed. They are perfect with the Echinops and other white flowers. Here is my cutting for today (also white flowers):
    Best wishes WG

  32. Pingback: reds in white and blue vases | sprig to twig

  33. rickii says:

    Is the Daucus carrota the same thing as Queen Anne’s Lace? I used some of that in my vases today too:
    Your background cloth is perfect with the subtle tones in your elegant bouquet.

  34. Sam says:

    V stylish. Love that dahlia.

  35. Amy says:

    The Dahlias are fabulous, Cathy; and I’m loving your Echinops though I’ll be looking for a plain blue one myself as I need more blue in the South Border. So glad to see the music out 🙂
    With two Crape Myrtles now, I clipped some for today’s vase, and I took your advice for conditioning it and… it works 😀 My post is up at

  36. jesh stg says:

    Beautiful pickings for this week!

  37. Annette says:

    What an elegant vase, I love the muted, cool colours, Cathy. They certainly cool me down. You know I’ve planted all those dahlias for the vase but I still enjoy them more in situ but sooner or later there’ll be another vase, I’m sure 😉

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