In a Vase on Monday: Use and Ornament

IMG_5661IMG_5660Is ‘neither use nor ornament’ a particularly British phrase, I wonder? Meaning something is a waste of space? That is my general feeling about the tree lily that is still towering statuesquely above my head, albeit not quite as statuesquely since I removed 3 blooms from it for today’s vase – even if I did need a ladder to get to them! In a vase and nearer eye and nose level I can appreciate it a little more than previously, although perhaps the fragrance would be rather less powerful if it wasn’t quite as close to my nose! There’s no pleasing some people…

The size of the blooms meant that the choice of vase would be limited and rather than a plain rose bowl I chose this heather IMG_5665coloured Caithness Glass bowl, a car boot find from a few years ago (the original Caithness Glass landscape colours are harder to find these days). The individual stems of the lily were quite short and needed support so I tried to cover the plastic ‘frog’ with purple glass pebbles but, having recently used someย  for an on-going project, there weren’t enough so the vase was topped up with rose quartz tumble stones which gave a two-layered effect. Already keeping it simple by allowing the lilies their single moment of solo glory, the only props were a Caithness Glass perfume bottle that was a gift and a pair of leaves detached from the stems.

IMG_5663So for today and a few days the lily is briefly of use and ornament, but I am afraid that the bulb will still be finding a home at the back of the woodland edge border, somewhere where it can look down on us lesser mortals and show off its attractive satiny pink petals to the bird population and its enticing stamens to passing bees… In the meantime I feel I am begrudgingly doing it a favour by featuring it in today’s vase and look forward to choosing my real favourites again next week!

What favourite flowers will fleetingly fill your floral flasks today? Roughly translated, what blooms will you find in your gardens today to fill a vase or other container? Just post links to and from this one so we can all share in the pleasure they bring you.




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70 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Use and Ornament

  1. Noelle says:

    What would we gardeners do without our ladders? The lily deserves its posting, and the vase and scent bottles are really pretty. Here is my contribution for this week…I was up with the Lark to post this:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh indeed – and I like this one as you can carry it and unfold it with one hand! Hmm, now how many larks did you see this morning, I wonder…?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Well I learned a new phrase from you today. Your lily is a beautiful and unusual shade of pink. It seems quite deserving of the spotlight today Cathy. Thanks so much for hosting. My vase for today is

    • Cathy says:

      Didn’t think it would crossed the Atlantic! Yes, the lily is a gorgeous shade and texture – now I can see it close up, but TALL!

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  5. Christina says:

    That’s an amazing height Cathy, but as you say perhaps better enjoyed in a vase where you can admire that gorgeous colour close to. Here’s my link today:

  6. This is a stunning display.You really do have skills in flower arranging. ๐Ÿ™‚ Except for container colors which are most reds and whites, the garden is full of yellow, orange, pink and purples. The black eyed susans are in full bloom along with a lot of marigolds, coneflowers and butterfly bushes. Happy Monday. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Now that is a lily especially in the vase where it shines…beautiful color but the height is crazy….much like my sunflowers. Your arrangement and display Cathy is fabulous. The heather colored Caithness Glass bowl is just stunning as is the perfume bottle. Happy Monday and here is my post:

  8. Helen Johnstone says:

    Very elegant and opulent looking. Here is mine less elegant and no opulence

  9. Ann Edwards Photography says:

    I have always loved that phrase! The colour alone is worthy of your endeavour to get to it. Here is my link –

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  11. homeslip says:

    Given today’s rain it was probably just as well you picked those gorgeous lilies to enjoy indoors. The Caithness glass perfume bottle picks up the satiny pink colour of the petals perfectly and I love the heathery colour of the bowl too.
    Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sarah. Not huge amounts of rain here, but at least there is a nice damp smell so it is getting to the places that need it

  12. I haven’t been contributing to your meme Cathy, but I am an admirer of yours and everyone else’s photos. (I have just finished taking a tour of Helen’s harden and I loved it!) I do arrangements every week in my home, but just don’t blog about them. I guess some of us can be in the audience clapping wildly-:) I loved your Caithness glass perfume bottle. You always introduce me to something new Cathy. Gorgeous shade. Thank you for all you do.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your kind words, as always. It is good that other people can still enjoy looking at other people’s vases – all of those who contribute have learned how much pleasure it brings creating our vases and there will be lots of other bloggers out there who quietly produce vases for their own pleasure

  13. Purple is such a useful colour, and useful as its rarer at this time of year. I’d not come across the saying before, how interesting ….

  14. Hi Cathy, excellent color combo with your blooms and vase, so close yet not exactly matching. I’m joining up today with a nod to the kindness of gardeners:

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  16. johnvic8 says:

    Cathy, that tree lily is absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen nor heard of it. I’m grateful that you climbed the ladder to share it with us. My offering today:

  17. Anna says:

    Oh no that poor maligned tree lily – I feel for it Cathy. Mine has finished flowering now but the stems are definitely not as tall as yours. Perhaps mine have been in the container too long and have lost some of their vigour. I’m just besotted by the scent so forgive my it anything even its lily beetle ravaged leaves. The colour of the perfume bottle and the swirled pattern, the vase and rose quartz tumble stones are the most perfect of companions. My pickings and plonkings from the allotment are here :

    • Cathy says:

      It will no doubt continue to surprise me wherever it ends up – no lily beetle on it all this year, so that’s a surprise for a starter! I can’t say I am besotted by the scent though…

  18. Kris P says:

    Any lily would be worthy of its space in my garden (the bulbs don’t last long here) but I admit that a tree-sized variety would probably look silly looming over most of my borders, which are generally kept low. Your stems look very pretty in their color-coordinated vase, though. My vases are at odds with one another this week, marking the beginning of a seasonal change perhaps:

    • Cathy says:

      I am amazed this one is so tolerant – when I moved to a pot (and a small one at that) I knew I wouldn’t be unhappy if it didn’t survive… ๐Ÿ˜‰ This has been the first week people have started to refer to the beginning of a seasonal change, so there is definitely something in the air – and in fact cooler and damper air here

  19. Hannah says:

    Your flowers are a beautiful color, how splendid that you could find a color echo in the cute little ornament, and the vase color matches well too, the glass beads are a nice touch. This is a very elegant display! My link is-

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  21. Julie says:

    That tree lily is amazing Cathy – I have never seen anything like it! I haven’t been keeping up with blog reading for the last few weeks so I am sure you have already shown it, but it was new to me today! I think you did well to find a way to make the most of it and it looks perfectly at home in your vase today.

    My contribution for this week is at:

    • Cathy says:

      I have referred to it occasionally, but never very positively, Julie – so I am just showing my softer side by allowing it to appear in today’s post ! ps I have ordered some winter flowering Sweet peas from Owl’s Acre today…

  22. Eliza Waters says:

    You must be feeding that lily something special! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a beauty, esp. in that lovely vase. Here’s my arrangement today… As tall as yours is short! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  24. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy, what stunning blooms and so well matched with vase and prop!
    Here’s my vase – looking rather similar to last week’s, but bigger.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen – I hadn’t a clue what vase to use at first so had to go on a search as this one is on a shelf and not in one of my boxes of vases!

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  26. Gillian says:

    Wow! What a plant. You always manage to find something so unusual Cathy. I’ve heard the phrase “He’s neither use nor ornament” used to describe people loafing about and getting in the way of busy people It’s the sort of thing housewives on the Les Dawson show used say about people not plants. We would say that your Lily is a ‘Thing of Purpose’ which is a phrase we use when we’ve absolutely no idea what it is or what to do with it! Well done for taming the plant and finding a nice vase. Thanks for hosting too. I’ve gone for bright colours today too.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Gillian – so this lily would not have fallen into your Thing of Purpose category either if it hadn’t gone into yesterday’s vase!

  27. bittster says:

    What a beautiful color, but I much prefer it in your vase than in the open garden. Perhaps it will look less stiff in the woodland, right now it’s not much of a pot plant. I’m also not a big fan of the scent of lilies. I make sure to place them far away from any open windows or seating areas!

    • Cathy says:

      I tried to keep it smaller by putting it in the pot but that didn’t work – consigning it to the woodland edge border is getting it out of the way… poor thing ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  29. I do love how you play with the Queen’s English, Cathy ๐Ÿ˜‰ Floral flasks? That phrase has me thinking of emptying out the stones, water, and stems and reusing these erstwhile flagons for something tasty like mead or Absinthe. I do love the glorious concentrated color of your lily. I learned early that deer consider Lily petals a delectable offering on the garden buffet. So I will admire yours, thus giving them a higher purpose, perhaps. My offering today is built around two flowers from our new Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’. I was thrilled to find the plants locally and have finally cut the flowers for a vase. I hope your lily bulb finds a fertile and happy spot to multiply ๐Ÿ˜‰ WG

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – the first part of the alliteration tripped off my tongue easily but I had to search for a suitable synonym for vase and container and this was the the only one apart from flagon which conjures up something much larger – I couldn’t cope with a vase in a flagon, I don’t think. But multiply? More of them ? Not sure if I could cope with that!

      • Your glass ‘flask’ is truly lovely. I love its delicate color and it pairs beautifully with the lily. Perhaps you’ve noticed I also love colored, or stained, glass in all of its manifestations. I’ve not heard of Caithness glass before your post, but now will learn something about it.

        • Cathy says:

          Caithness Glass began in 1961 in Wick in NE Scotland where my father was born, originally in the colours of the landscape – peat, loch, moss and heather. My parents had many pieces in the original colours but designs moved on as did the company which has been taken over since then and is no longer in Scotland.

          • Thank you for this. The piece you showed is lovely. I was in Dumphries in 1963 and 1964 and my family has kept many souvenirs of Scotland. My parents are probably aware of Caithness Glass, but this is the first I’ve learned of it. Now I’ll watch for it ๐Ÿ˜‰ Does your mother still have her pieces?

  30. Elizabeth W says:

    Hi Cathy, I’ve never seen such a tall lily before, and what a gorgeous colour! I have a white one that is tall, just not that tall. My Scottish mother used that same expression, usually referring to something we’d left lying around where it ought not to be. Love your string of ‘f’ words. ‘Floral flasks’ … makes me think of picnics – I love a picnic – but my husband, a retired chemist, would think science ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t late, well I did post late yesterday, but I did run out of time to comment on your lovely vase. My offering today is a combination of amber roses and white sweet peas. Here’s my link at last:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – ‘flask’ was the only remotely appropriate word beginning with f that could contain blooms ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s always intriguing to hear thoughts triggered by blog posts so thanks for sharing yours…

  31. Amy says:

    Oh but I adore tall lilies, Cathy ๐Ÿ˜‰ I admit that I’ve never had any get high enough to require picking with a ladder though! “Not use or ornament” is a phrase to remember… Love the colouring of the flowers with the Caithness glass – just perfect!
    I put a vase together rather late yesterday and finally got the post up this morning so here is my last for August:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – the lily has certainly aroused a lot of interest although I am not sure how many people would want to find a space for it in their gardens! Last vases in August? Hard to believe – oh, but there is indeed another Monday to come, the 31st!!

  32. Chloris says:

    You are a bit hard on that lovely lily growing so tall and elegant. It has beautiful flowers, such a lovely colour. What a perfect match your little perfume bottle is.

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  34. I’ve never heard the phrase before, but I may adopt it for a few things I can think of!

    You certainly have a statuesque lily there.:-)

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