In a Vase on Monday: Remembering My Grannie

IMG_5941I had no thoughts about a title for today’s vase whilst I was picking the blooms but all sorts of associations can crop up as the process gets underway, sometimes evident in the props some of us add to our vases.

The colchicums having hijacked last week’s slot I guessed I would still make a beeline for the ‘pinks’ in the garden, hard though it may be to ignore the in-your-face colour of the dahlias and rudbeckias, but you would be forgiven for thinking that the result could not possibly be an October vase. I look at it now, with the pale and slightly delicate looking blooms, and see a vase that at first glance could have been posted in May or June and indeed I was surprised at the selection available.

grannie.vasePicked first was a tiny sprig of white stock, sown in June and waiting along with wallflowers to be planted out – it has surprised itself as well as me by flowering so early! Joining it were a handful of Tall Spencer sweet peas from a free packet, Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’, Antirrhinum ‘Twinny Pink’, Californian Poppy ‘Ivory Castle’ and spent heads of Ammi visnaga. Perennials picked to accompany the annuals were Malva ‘Mystic Merlin’ (sown from seed this year), Astrantia ‘Buckland with their hint-of-pink middles, Scabious ‘Raspberry Sorbet’, Diascia ‘Hopleys’, Penstemon ‘Just Jayne’, the first spikes of a pale pink Hesperantha that the label has gone astray from and a couple of sprigs of rose ‘Blush Noisette’. I have been thrilled with the Californian poppies this year, the first time I have grown them, and hope that this one and ‘Red Chief’ seed themselves around; next year they will be joined by ‘Purple Gleam’. I used the antirrhinum in a vase in early July, but the plants in the cutting bed succumbed to what may have been ‘rust’ soon after; elsewhere they continued to flourish and have been flowering since the middle of June – another must for next year.

IMG_5942The flowers were placed in a posy bowl (another acquisition from the boot sale lady who was downsizing), a product of Tantallon Ceramics which was a pottery started in 1962 in North Berwick, a small seaside town about 25 miles east of Edinburgh. This is where memories of my grandmother came in as she had taken me to Tantallon Castle, a little along the coast, on more than one occasion. I visited several castles and historic places with her as a child but, for a reason I cannot remember, without my siblings, although I do recall talking about writing a book about castles! How old was I? Somewhere between 8 and 12 perhaps? At a younger age she taught me about wild flowers whilst on walks down to the River Tyne from her home in Haltwhistle and this may well have sparked my early interest in plants. The delicacy of today’s blooms are a little reminiscent of wild flowers, and I also seem to associate the soft turquoise colour on the vase with her as well.

IMG_5948Props linked to my Grannie and all these memories became a must once the thought process had begun, but I soon realised that I had no photographs of her as I remembered her. What I did have though, was a copy of this photograph of her as a child, perhaps taken when she no more than 4 or 5 which would have been in the mid 1890s; this photograph unexpectedly appeared from a stash of my Mum’s 100 years later and surprised us all by being the spitting image of Younger Daughter at a similar age! Family resemblances are a strange thing, and I often look at this picture now and think it is indeed YD and not my Grannie. The little book is a photo album my Grannie gave me in 1967, most appropriately with pressed wild flowers on the front.

There is such joy to be had from our Monday vases on all sorts of unexpected levels. If you haven’t yet joined this very addictive Monday routine do consider doing so, posting a vase or container with material from your garden or foraged nearby and leaving links to and from this post so we can share in your pleasure. It doesn’t have to be a weekly post, and it’s not about formal arrangements unless that’s what you want to do – picking and plonking is fine by us. If you don’t want to create your own Vase on Monday then please just continue to enjoy everyone else’s vase instead.



This entry was posted in Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday, Visiting gardens & days out and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Remembering My Grannie

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Hidden Scent and Plants for Bees | Gardening Jules

  2. Julie says:

    This is a lovely story Cathy to accompany your very pretty vase of flowers, family resemblances provide a wonderful link to our ancestors, I have some photos here of my grandmother who is the double of my sister at a similar age, although my sister is determined not to be the cuddly lady our grannie eventual became! I have a little vase today to add to your lovely meme, thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – the odd thing is that YD is increasingly looking like me as she gets older and yet there has never been any suggestion that I might resemble my Grannie…!

  3. Ann Edwards Photography says:

    a really stunning vase, Cathy. I am amazed at the variety of flowers you have that are still blooming! A lovely story too – I only have one photograph of my beloved granny and it is all the more special because people have remarked on the family resemblance. Here is my link –

  4. Sam says:

    A really pretty vase of flowers Cathy. It doesn’t look like an autumnal one at all โ€“ more like early summer, as you say. Amazing. And thanks for telling us a bit about your grannie. It’s funny how family resemblances crop up. My brother has the ‘Hobday Nose’ according to my mum. That’s her mum’s side of the family. He’s not too chuffed when she points it out. I am far too disorganised on a Monday morning at the moment but hope to join you all at some point. In the meantime, I take inspiration from all the gorgeous vases. Thank you.

    • Cathy says:

      The Hobday Nose…hmm, it doesn’t sound very flattering, does it…? When I taught on supply I used to size up the children in assemblies and match them up into sibling groups – some features are so distinctive, aren’t they? Glad you are enjoying other people’s vases even if you can’t manage one of your own

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Happy Monday Cathy! This is beautiful. Great range of pink colors and variety of flowers in your vase. That last overhead shot really shows off the design. Very much enjoyed reading your memories of your grandmother.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I like to include an overhead shot where I can as sometimes I look at the pictures I have taken and realise you can’t see some of the blooms that are included.

  6. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Autumn Shades of Pink | Words and Herbs

  7. Cathy says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how flowers and their scents can bring memories flooding back! I did in fact think your posy looked very much like May, with all those delicate pastelly pinks and lilacs. Really pretty and rather unexpected for October.
    I am also in the pink today Cathy:
    Thanks, and have a good week!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, the memories rather took me by surprise – but it’s interesting to see where our vases take us, often somewhere unexpected!

  8. I lovely vase and even lovelier story. And quite definitely a spring color theme. I have a photo of my grandmother from 1884 at a similar age that I treasure. My vase is here:

  9. Oh Cathy be still my heart!! That is one of the most beautiful vases of pinks….so many flowers I cannot even imagine many of them growing here that late. And that posy vase is just delightful! Your story and props are of the sweetest memories….thank you for sharing them.

  10. Pingback: Dahlias Top Flowers for Autumn | Country Garden UK

  11. Gillian says:

    You are quite right about flowers and your blogging event being a joy Cathy. Your blooms are beautiful today. Cosmos and Scabious are amazing aren’t they? Mine are still flowering their heads off too but I’ve gone for Dahlias today.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Gillian – I have been been especially pleased with the scabious which came as tiny plants from Hayloft earlier this year but have flowered well despite not having bulked up yet. I just hope they survive the winter OK

  12. homeslip says:

    Such a pretty vase filled with pretty summery blooms and a lovely story too. But just think of the laundering and starching and ironing of that pretty dress. Your Grannie’s face looks timeless, how special to be able to see your daughter’s face in the features of her great-grandmother.
    Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sarah – I rather suspect my GG would not have to have done the laundering and starching and ironing herself…. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Until that photo emerged we couldn’t see any family resemblances in YD and yet the similarity was scarily uncanny!

  13. Chloris says:

    What a pretty little grannie you had! I love your pink arrangement this week Cathy, and the lovely vase. And great minds think alike, because I am in the pink today.โ€ฆay-in-the-pink/

    • Cathy says:

      She wasn’t quite as little when I knew her and I actually remember has being quite tall, which would be most unusual for our family – must ask my Mum how tall she was.

  14. Thanks, Cathy, for sharing with us great memories and a stunning vase! My vase is not with flowers from my garden, I hope you still like it:

    • Cathy says:

      I seem to have missed some of my comments on this post Anca, so apologies for a late reply and thanks you for kind words

  15. Peter/Outlaw says:

    What a sweet story of remembrance and a beautiful vase of delicate pinks. Although I’m not able to participate every Monday, I do so love seeing the arrangements of others! My bouquet ended up being fairly autumnal in color scheme:

  16. Kris P says:

    The vase is lovely, Cathy, as is the story that came with it. I can identify with the amazement at discovery of family resemblances. However, it comes as rather a shock to find that you have California poppies at bloom this time of year – how different our climates are! Here’s my post:

  17. Eliza Waters says:

    I LOVE this arrangement, Cathy. The colours are so beautiful, and the rose is delicate and an old-fashioned single to go with your grandmother’s vintage photo. You’ve outdone yourself! ๐Ÿ™‚
    My vase today:

  18. Pingback: Vase on Monday – pink and green | Wild Daffodil

  19. So lovely to link with your Grannie – such a special relationship. A beautiful tribute.
    My vase has been waiting all day to join the party – here it is:

  20. Brian Skeys says:

    Hello Cathy, I have been inspired to have a second go joining ‘A Vase on Monday’.
    There does seem to be a pink theme running through the vases today.
    I think gardeners are often inspired and influenced by grandparents, I certainly have been.
    The link to my vase is:

  21. Lovely, Cathy, both story and vase. Your Grannie looks like a ‘poppet’.

  22. Noelle says:

    I agree Grannies are great….I was Grandma teaching a young one about In a Vase on Monday:

  23. Hannah says:

    Your flowers are so lovely and exuberant, such a gorgeous rounded ball spilling over. I like all the different colors and shapes, so harmonious. I like your Granny theme too, I love spending time with my grandkids. I have some sweet memories of some time spent with my Grandmas as well, but no childhood photos of them, that is very special. It’s amazing how those genes can spring up in the grandkids, one of my grandsons looks just like the baby photo of his great-grandma, and I discovered when I saw a photo of my grandfather as a young man that one of my sisters looks like him. My link for today is-

  24. Julie says:

    Your vase really does feel as those it belongs in early summer Cathy – it is so delicate & fresh looking! I am impressed that you still have sweet peas – mine came out a few weeks ago. It is so nice to see a photo of your grannie – what a shame there are none of her in later life – you have some very special memories of her from your childhood.

    I am glad to be back this week & am sorry I let a little thing like a sore knee get in the way of making my vases – I have felt quite a wuss these last couple of weeks, but it did shake me up a bit. I am out and about again now so here is my link this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – I am well pleased with the sweet peas which have been in flower for 4 months, all autumn sown. There will be other photos of my Grannie within the family – but I hadn’t realised I had none myself and will need to remedy. You have clearly been shaken up by your knee and no one should think you are a wuss – glad you are nearly yourself again.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful flowers this week – so many that I now recognise after all the months of joining in with your meme – and I did enjoy reading about your memories of your grandmother. You’ve reminded me that North Berwick was one of our favourite Sunday trips out when I was a child growing up in Edinburgh. You are so right about the joy to be had from our Monday vase … I get so much pleasure from nipping out to pick pretty blooms on a weekly basis. My pick today is looking pretty unseasonal too – here’s the link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – and I was born in Edinburgh and had my earlier childhood there too… I actively look forward to my Monday vase – so exciting!

  26. So sweet to hear about your grannie and to see her photo. It is amazing how long a season some flowers are having this year, really pleasing. I have a vase to join you today www.
    Thanks for hosting Cathy

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dorris, although some of the things I haven’t grown before I don’t know how ‘normal’ it is, like the Californian poppies

  27. Pingback: this week’s vase is a basket | sprig to twig

  28. rickii says:

    Love the vase and the reminiscences. Grandmothers are very special and leave their mark on us in many ways. Here’s my vase (sort of):

    • Cathy says:

      For some reason this comment and a couple of others are being ‘hidden’ on my blog but I can’t work out how (not in spam) – I could find them if I searched through the dashboard but not the easier way I usually read them. Very strange – but concerning too as if I don’t specifically look for a comment I may not know it is there…

  29. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – dahlias and happiness | Views from my garden bench

  30. I don’t remember my fall garden ever being this full of color, I find myself walking through the garden every day to take a look and do a bit of work. I do love the color in your bouquet and the vase is a bit special.

  31. germac4 says:

    I enjoyed your post, the flowers are lovely and your memories of your grandmother reminded me of how special my memories of my mother are (I didn’t know my grandmother sadly)

  32. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Autumn! | Cosmos and Cleome

  33. I love all the pink, even if it is more reminiscent of spring! And I love the story of how it brought your grandmother to mind. It’s funny how the mind works and makes associations, isn’t it?
    Here is my vase this week:

  34. Cath says:

    That’s very soft and beautiful. My flowers for the week are both soft and angular.

  35. Pingback: In a vase on Monday -late | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  36. Bec says:

    pretty posie and vase Cathy – my favourite colours too. Lovely to hear about your grannie, bought back lots of lovely memories about my gran (not a gardener tho!). Here’s my vase – a mini dahlia
    it’s good to be back ๐Ÿ™‚ love bec xx

  37. Maggy says:

    I loved the memories evoked today, the colour combinations and a special thank you for naming the flowers and what had been grown from seed. Gave me something to look forward to next year and a plan to get sowing seed!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Maggie – and I have had so much joy from seed sowing and raising this season, my first really successful season since I started making an effort with seeds a couple of years ago. I can really recommend it – and it definitely prolongs the flowering season in the garden.

  38. Amy says:

    That’s a darling picture of your grandmother, and isn’t it funny how family resemblences crop up over a person’s lifetime?
    And it’s lovely to see such a fresh, springlike selection in your vase this time of year. We always think of autumn as the time when the year winds down, but it is a time of new beginnings in the garden, too. (And not just here, where we are having beautiful weather now – cool with a light rain – and the plants are ecstatic.)
    I got my vase up on time yesterday and then forgot to link from your post – I must have been pretty tired! Here it is, celebrating the beginning of autumn planting:

    • Cathy says:

      I got both your comments Amy but one wasn’t visible from my toolbar shortcut which has happened with some random posts recently – don’t know why. Thanks for your kind comments, partially duplicated! Here it is damper but mild – so plants are enjoying those conditions rather than the cooler wetter ones after your heat ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Amy says:

    I’m trying to leave a second comment, just in case my first was lost by my changing the page too soon though it probably just ended up being eaten by the cyber monster and you can find it later ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just love your vase this week with the fresh, soft colours and also the mementos of your granny!
    Here is my post:

  40. What a beautiful arrangement, and wonderful memories you have of time with your Grannie. Now you’ve got me remembering, thank you for that.

  41. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Wet Pickings | Rambling in the Garden

Comments are closed.