In a Vase on Monday: Vintage Mood

IMG_5639The intention was to focus on dark and moody blooms for this post but by choosing the vintage patchwork as a background instead of the maroon monochrome fabric originally planned the overall effect changes completely – and quickly changed again once photographs were complete and the vase set in position on the dark grey worktop in the kitchen.  The compilation ‘In the Mood’ CD, chocabloc with ‘big band’ classics, will just have to serve as a prompt for you to decide on your own mood – but in retrospect the patchwork brings out the lighter highlights of the vase so perhaps it was a good choice after all. Looking at the different fabrics, which are almost exclusively silk, I suspect the handstitched patchwork is at least Victorian, if not Georgian – and despite the distressed condition of the piece I am fond of it because of the unknown history it hints at.

But back to the vase and its contents…possibly one of the ‘biggest’ vases I have produced. It began with stems of my newest sedum, ‘Jose Aubergine’, dark of stem and leaf and bloom, and like Topsy it just grew! Reflecting the richness of colours in the garden at present, there was just too much choice to be selective – so I wasn’t! Joining the sedum were Dahlias Karma Naomi and Karma Choc, dark stems and buds of the Bishop seedling shown in GBBD, Malva ‘Mystic Merlin’, Allium sphaerocephalon, Sweet William ‘Black Prince’, Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’, sweet pea ‘Purple Pimpernel’, Teucrium ‘Purple Tails’, spent heads of sunflower ‘Earth Walker’ and ripening bunches from ornamental vine Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’. Writing this, I realise that all except the vine have been grown this year from seed or bulb or tuber see if you can spot them in the following photographs!

IMG_5637 IMG_5642IMG_5643I have a confession about last week’s vase – a day after posting I remembered that the featured echinops was called ‘Arctic Glow’ and not ‘Mount Everest’ which is in fact an allium – thus rendering my mountainous props no longer relevant… Apologies to anyone trying to seek out a non-existent echinops! I am pleased to say that apart from the dahlias the remaining contents are still bringing pleasure, shown below along with a midweek vase of sweet peas nestling amidst Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ like a flock of butterflies.

moody.vaseWhat will you be putting in a vase today (or in a jamjar or even a galvanised bucket, which is where my blooms were placed to rest when first picked and where they stayed when I decided I liked the bunched up effect)? See what you can find in your garden to bring inside for added pleasure – and please add two way links so we can share it with you. Monday’s have never been the same since the inception of In a vase on Monday!

IMG_5641ps I obviously didn’t try hard enough to find the plain fabric I had in mind, as it had merely slipped down behind a box of vases where they are stashed under the bed! Here is the vase again, having undergone a complete emotional shift – now in a mystical mood perhaps? Certainly very different.




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78 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Vintage Mood

  1. Gorgeous colours! They compliment the beautiful patchwork quilt perfectly.

  2. Hannah says:

    Your flowers are a riot of color, texture, and forms, so much visual excitement. The Dahlias have such presence, and the Alliums, Sedums, and grapes give a lot of texture. The quilt looks lovely with the flower colors too. So many people (including me) are growing Cherry Brandy this year, it seems very popular. I like it but it is not getting as big as I hoped. My link is-

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Hannah – they are a bit riotous I suppose, but hopefully in a good way. It is the first time I have grown rudbeckia from seed so I am happy with them regardless of their size!

  3. Cathy I love the patchwork quilt effect of the flowers and the actual quilt is stunning. This is quite a collection of this year’s blooms that you have grown from seed, and you gave me an idea for possibles for my vases too. I just wish my dahlias would bloom. Such a strange growing season.

    Well here are a few vases with some of my seed grown flowers! Hope you enjoy….

  4. Gardening and quilting are definitely two of my favorite things and both of these are beautiful. 🙂 Happy Monday.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Judy – and oh to have enough hours in the day to do a bit of patchwork along with all the other craft things I used to do!!

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Daisies | The Patient Gardener's Weblog

  6. Helen Johnstone says:

    Love the quilt. I am returning with a very simple vase

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Helen – I have several vintage quilts that could come out and form the backdrop to a Monday vase… With you being on holiday for a fortnight I wondered if you would have time for a vase

  7. Noelle says:

    All three vases are really pretty. The quilt is charming. Just think of all the different garments make of these fabrics! Here is my ‘little’ contribution this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – that’s what I like about patchwork. Hmm, I am guessing your new vase might be a little on the large size…!

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  9. jenhumm116 says:

    I just love the abundance – and gorgeous colours with the quilt.
    Here’s another one of my ‘on a desk on Monday’ posts:
    And you’re right – life’s never been the same!

  10. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – August colour | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  11. Christina says:

    Love your beautiful vintage quilt, but possibly the flowers would have been easier to see against a plain background. The sweetpeas combined with hydrangea is unusual, and I love it! Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      You are quite right of course Christina, so I had another little search. Do take a look at the updated post and see what you think…

  12. I love the background quilt. It does set the mood for this vase.

  13. johnvic8 says:

    So very, very colorful. You have awakened me this morning. My modest offering:

  14. Christina says:

    Oh yes, I like the new fabric much more.

  15. Eliza Waters says:

    Wow, what a different look is achieved by changing the background. I like the dark fabric better than the quilt, which competes with the gorgeous hues of the arrangement. Love the Vitis, it hints at the ripening summer and autumn just around the corner. I so envy you your dahlias, I’ve given up raising them because the slugs just devastate them. Here’s my vase this week – quite the opposite of your bright blooms!

    • Cathy says:

      It surprised me too Eliza – and I agree that it looks better with the darker fabric. Sadly (well not really) the vitis is no more, as after I had cut the little grapes I was filled with the sudden desire to pull it out and have clematis growing up the support here instead. Today it has all been removed and I shall be choosing what clematis to replace it with soon – certainly makes this corner of this bold border less dark

  16. Hello,

    Oh, what fun! I just stumbled across this marvelous post and absolutely adore your color combination, and oh those textures. You’ve a very keen eye for both, making for an interesting and enlivening arrangement.

    Thank you for sharing the gorgeousness of it all. I just posted about growing and arranging Sweet Peas. I’m convinced there is a color for everyone’s tastes:


  17. Chloris says:

    what gorgeous rich colours, a perfect complement for your vintage quilt. I love it.I am joining in today.…-some-sweeties/

  18. I love this vintage mood, it is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing with us the results of your creativity, Cathy! This is my vase:

  19. Kris P says:

    It’s amazing how different the vase looks with the 2 different backgrounds. Your garden is very bountiful to produce such a diverse assortment of blooms. I especially love the Malva – I’ve been wanting to grow Malva sylvestris since I first saw it on a trip to Alaska of all places but I was never successful with it in my old shady garden and its water needs rule it out now. I put together a few (mostly) small vases this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – the malva were free seeds, germinated so well and despite being thoroughly neglected (definitely no watering!) are looking lovely although a little straggly. Hopefully they will survive the winter and I shall nurture them rather more! They are a lovely colour, aren’t they?

  20. Hi Cathy, I have used a tin for my vase and my colours are a little like yours today. Let me know what you think. I love your quilt backdrop, the colours all blend so well.

  21. The colors are so joyful and amazing, love the quilt as a backdrop to your photos.

  22. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Away From Home | Peonies & Posies

  23. Julie says:

    Beautiful blooms this week Cathy and it is interesting to see how different they look with the contrasting backgrounds. I love your quilt – they always seem so full of history and homely comforts.

    My vase was made last week as we are still away in Lanzarote – the link is

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – and perhaps I will intentionally try different backdrops other times too. I have found fabrics draped over a bench outside such an effective way of getting decent photographs. Hope you are enjoying your week

  24. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: | homeslip

  25. homeslip says:

    Oh I love your hexagon quilt and the colours and contents of your vase. So many lovely textures and forms united in such a pleasing whole. Stangely my vase has 18th century influences too. I’m definitely getting more confident at picking and last week and today I really enjoyed walking around the garden with scissors in hand choosing material for my vase. It is such a great meme to join in with, thank you for hosting every week.
    Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Sarah – I just went for dark colours when I picked them so it was always a surprise to see the overall effect. Like you and no doubt most of us my confidence has grown with every vase and I see opportunities I have missed in the past. Sometimes it’s worth walking round with a completely open mind I think.

  26. I popped back over and see the update. I love the solid background…those flowers do pop with it, but I also love that quilt.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – it’s surprising how different it looks, isn’t it?

      • That’s why I love how you use backgrounds…I need to experiment with that…hope you like my vase this week…finally have a few cutting garden flowers.

        • Cathy says:

          Thanks Donna – I have various large pieces of coloured felt left over from a crafting project and they are proving invaluable for backdrops, but I have numerous other vintage quilts that could be brought into service too.

  27. Anna says:

    Oh as much as that fabulous patchwork picks up on the colours of the flowers the plain background makes it easier to appreciate the form and sumptuous colour of the individual flowers. Their names seem to suggest sultry riches too Cathy. When did you sow the rudbeckia? My vase this week is a bit of a rush job but can be seen here :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – yes, sultry colours describes them well. The rudbeckia were sown (inside) on 22nd Feb, planted out in mid May and started flowering at the end of July. Chim Chiminee (shown on GBBD) were sown about a week earlier but were flowering by mid July.

  28. jesh stg says:

    Love the darker accents in your bouguet. Are there any “rules” to your challenge? Also, I did a permalink for the oleanders in a vase, but I wonder why the link didn’t come out blue? Please let me know – I’m a-technical!

    • Cathy says:

      Hi and welcome! The idea is that you find something to pick from your own garden or forage in the wild to put in your ‘vase’ on a Monday – essentially for our own pleasure. Some people also like to include appropriate ‘props’ as well. Plonking or arranging is up to you – it’s not competitive in any way and everyone is very supportive. Your link has come up as blue now!

  29. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    A very bright and interesting vase Cathy! Puts mine to shame. I guess one could claim I was going for the understated. But in fact I was just so excited to finally have sweet peas that’s all I aimed for.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Liz, every vase we can produce with contents from our own gardens is going to be lovely – and especially when long awaited like your sweet peas!

  30. So beautiful in all its many guises. Love the butterflies too.

  31. Linda from Each little World says:

    Great bouquet, but even better lesson on the effect surroundings have on our floral creations. I like the moodiness created with the solid fabric.

  32. Elizabeth W says:

    What a sumptuous arrangement, Cathy, and I just love your vintage theme. The quilt is beautiful, a real work of art – I love traditional English paper piecing but don’t have the patience to do any myself. My vase has a mid-twentieth century theme today – here’s the link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – and there is still paper (or the remains of it) between the fabrics but far too brittle to extract and see if I can find any hint of dates…

  33. Amy says:

    The flowers show up very well against the plain fabric, but I do love the mood of them with that quilt 🙂 It’s quite special somehow seeing those grapes show up in the grouping; it reminds me that summer is getting along. Ours will, I’m afraid, last awhile longer before cooler temps allow the plants to enjoy life again, but I still managed to round up just enough for a… well, not quite a vase…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy. It has been been cooler here now, but still a fairly dry summer although we did have one wet day last week, the first for nearly a month… I wonder what your ‘not quite a vase’ is…

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  36. rickii says:

    What a difference a background makes, even reflecting onto the tin bucket and, You’re right: changing the mood entirely. Including the grapes is inspired. Here’s mine…late, and at the end of a Bloom Day post:

  37. Bec says:

    Lovely flowers as usual Cathy – that sunflower is a stunning colour and a lovely combination of colours/flowers in your vase (making a note about what to plant next year) as I love purple. I can’t believe the difference with different cloth backgrounds. Love the sweetpea and hydrangea vase too 🙂
    Here’s my vase but you’ve been super efficient and commented already – thank you xx have a lovely week 🙂
    love bec xx

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Bec – what you thought was a sunflower might be the rudbeckia, as I only included the spent ‘boss’ of the sunflowers. I am really pleased with the effect of malva in the vase and shall definitely use that again. Oh, and I had noticed your link but thought you might have forgotten about commenting, or that I had missed a comment… 😉

  38. pbmgarden says:

    Hi Cathy, as you predicted color is certainly back in vogue this week. Beautiful flowers. I love the quilt but like the plainer background for viewing the details of the arrangement. Fun to compare how the background affects the vase. I’m a day late joining late this week but didn’t want to miss out.

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  40. Your garden must be absolutely scrumptious this week judging by the luscious flowers you’ve featured in your vase. NOW I envy you your perfect climate for growing flowers. Your arrangement is lovely. I love both backdrops, and each brings out the flowers a little differently. I’m also a day late joining this week, but still want to send you a link.
    Best wishes, WG

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks WG – and I will never complain about the UK’s temperate climate and unpredictable weather! August has certainly been more floriferous than other years mainly because of the annuals I have grown and the dahlias too – but there are other things that are flowering well which haven’t done before, like penstemons.

      • It has always been fun to feel as though one had a flower shop in one’s own garden. Your’s certainly epitomizes that. And you can grow these lovely things with some confidence they will enjoy their full life span unmolested by miscreant creatures. I’ve had to temper my desire with a realistic expectation of what can grow in our forest garden, but not disappear in the night to hungry forest creatures 😉 Your sweet peas look nearly as large as our butterflies 😉 I enjoy soaking them in from your photos ❤

  41. Rebecca says:

    Wow – so much going on, but it all…works. I love how full your vases are, and how many different types of flowers and foliage you were able to piece together into one cohesive vase. And I especially love all the shades of purple. Completely unlike you, I have practically no blooms in my garden right now, so had to keep this week’s vase quite simple. I’m just glad that I finally had a couple blooms this week to do something with.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Rebecca, and it is only recently that I have felt brave enough to have a ‘full’ vase, although it would be a shame to have ignored such abundance if I didn’t!

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