In a Vase on Monday: Moody Blues

IMG_6084Changing the clocks on Saturday night nearly caught me out yesterday afternoon, realising almost too late that the light was already fading and I hadn’t yet prepared and photographed my vase for today. The distraction of an impromptu visit from Younger Daughter and discussion of her weddings plans could also be blamed but I would rather lay the blame on the clock.

Fortunately I already knew the basis of the vase contents, having been enamoured with the gorgeous moody blue spikes of Salvia ‘Amistad’ for several weeks and rejoicing still over the continued flowering of sweet pea ‘Purple Pimpernel’ and an unknown plain dark one from a mixed pack of blue annual seeds. Having cut back Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’ some weeks ago there were a number of fresh shoots with those lovely blue bracts available to pick to join the other choices. Oxford Blue and Purple Pimpernel have been star performers this year, and I have already sown seeds of the former and a pink equivalent, Pinkย  Sundae, for next year. I have always called this plant by its common name ‘clary sage’, having known it as such since my first proper forays into gardening as a teenager, and this is the name I shall stick with.

To join these blooms I picked stems of Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’, now covered in the tiny purple berries that seem almost unreal and which never appeared when the shrub was growing in a pot but which now smother it in, well, profusion… Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’, a moody beast if ever there was one, was the only foliage picked whilst stems of Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ and Verbena bonariensis were rejected after picking because they veered too much on the side of purple. However, a number of potential vases were also rejected because they were just too ‘blue’ and with time rapidly running out a plain Prinknash Pottery vase was selected instead and the blooms that made the cut quickly positioned.

IMG_6083The background was a piece of blue and gold handmade paper (reminiscent of a starry sky) bought some years ago for a project but not used, and other props were a lapiz lazuli palmstone (called such because it fits in your palm) in a similar colour and three CDs of blues music – my favourite Blues Band album ‘Scratching On My Screen’, ‘The Very Best of the Moody Blues’ (favourite track ‘Question’) and a ‘Blues Legends’ compilation CD featuring a range of blues performers… so excuse me while I just go and put one of these on to play… That’s better – should have had it playing from the start to create the appropriate ambience…

I love the intense colours of this vase, which in reality are a deeper and moodier almost royal purple colour rather than the blues suggested by the photographs, but I am sorry it has been a rush to put it together as it deserved more attention than it got. Nevertheless it got there in time and was photographed before outdoor pictures became impossible, allowing it to make its debut as this week’s Vase on Monday. What will make the final cut for your vase today? Just leave links to and from this post so we can share in your Monday pleasure – and start thinking ahead to a fortnight’s time when it will be the second anniversary of the meme and I will be offering a giveaway draw to celebrate the occasion.


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64 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Moody Blues

  1. Hannah says:

    The Moody Blues theme is fun, Cathy, I like the lapis lazuli with the deep purples, and it must scent the air too with all the lovely sweet peas. I am going to grow some next year for the first time in quite a few years after all the temptation here. The lighter Callicarpa berries look fabulous with the the deeper purples. I have another birthday remembrance on my blog this week-

  2. Christina says:

    Lovely to have so many blues at this time of year Cathy; a perfect little vase. I’ll have to add my vase tomorrow as today is just too busy but I’m looking forward to choosing flowers tomorrow, there is still quite a lot flowering, I was very pleasantly surprised on my return home.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – the dahlias are still gorgeous but will still be there next week and I just had to use these blues before they were no more… Glad your surprises were pleasant!

  3. they are beautiful. I love the color blue. We don’t change our clocks till 1 November down here.

    • Cathy says:

      I now realise in the UK it is the last Sat/Sun in October – after being caught out another year when 1st Nov was a Sunday!

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Love this.

  5. Pingback: Verbena Vase | Wild Daffodil

  6. pbmgarden says:

    Blue does it for me every time Cathy, so I am loving this vase. The vase itself turned out to be perfect to hold these sweet blossoms and the berries add a nice contrast in texture and color. Wedding talk sounds fun!
    Thanks for taking time to host each week. Hard to believe it’s been almost 2 years.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – the remaining blues stand out so much in the garden so I used them while I could! Two years of vases means at least 104 of them – yes, hard to believe!!

  7. homeslip says:

    I love the depth of colour in your moody blue vase and how nice it must be to feel the stone in your palm. I can’t believe you’ve been doing this for two years Cathy. I really will have to put my thinking cap on for two weeks’ time. I’ve just realised it will be six months of blogging for me this Thursday. Doesn’t time fly?
    Here’s my link:'s-new/

    • Cathy says:

      Six months of blogging and very much a professional – took me that long to even think of sharing comments and the like ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – What’s new? | homeslip

  9. Anna says:

    A most sumptuous vase Cathy suggestive of starry, velvety night skies. The very first LP I had was ‘Days Of Future Passed’ by the Moody Blues, which is still in a cupboard somewhere although not played for many years. Favourite track – ‘Nights In White Satin’ – oh happy memories. Two years coming up – oh doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun! A little milk bottle vase from me this week over at :

    • Cathy says:

      First LP…? Hmm, probably Dave Dee, Dozy, etc… ๐Ÿ™‚ which of course I will still have somewhere too! Yes, I love this paper and of course it was perfect as a backdrop

  10. I really adored the rich purples this week as these are no longer found in my very autumnish garden at the moment….and the addition of the berries was perfect in the subtle blue jug. We do not change clocks until this weekend…..not looking forward to the earlier darkening skies.

    This week’s vases and a veg garden wrap up:

  11. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: Small is Beautiful | acoastalplot

  12. Blue Monday. Perfect.

  13. Noelle says:

    I love your arrangement, and now I shall have to sort through our CD collection, to find just the right one to play along…
    I wonder whether the wedding plans include flowers and bouquets, and if you are going to be the chief organiser and supplier? I was caught out by the sunshine this morning, and keep checking the time. Here is my ‘antidote’ to winter blues…

  14. Sam says:

    Blue is my favourite colour so your vase really caught my eye this morning Cathy. What rich, deep colours; it is sumptuous. I’m amazed you still have sweet peas going. How brilliant. I’m really enjoying joining in for the second week. Here is my link:

  15. I thought your dahlias were pretty amazing but this bunch of blue takes the cake! Wow. My vase is here:

  16. Peter/Outlaw says:

    You do a wonderful job of creating a theme with your flowers, vases, and backgrounds each week. I’m in awe that you put this together so quickly as it is so beautiful. Autumn certainly can have gardeners singing the blues! My tasteless offering is here:

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Love your Moody Blues theme, Cathy. The clary is the most beautiful shade and the pearly berries are gorgeous. I’ve been missing for a couple of weeks but, as it is time to sort out the garden before winter sets in, I’ve found time to pick a few flowers for today.My link is:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – and look forward to seeing your hollyhocks, not something I have grown myself.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Nothing says English cottage garden more than hollyhocks. I blame the paintings of Helen Allingham for filling my head with romantic notions like that and the ‘Halo’ variety are so lovely. However, growing them is not without it’s problems, especially rust. They also need to be staked – some of mine grew to almost 10 feet this year! I’ll be interested to see whether you decide to grow them too.

        • Cathy says:

          Hmm – 10 feet tall, more than twice my size! On second thoughts, perhaps I will pass on giving them a try… I had forgotten they grew quite so tall!

  18. Kris P says:

    I love the blues, Cathy, particularly that Salvia horminum. I have to find some for my own garden next year. I love S. ‘Amistad’ too but it doesn’t seem to enjoy the relentless heat here – my most successful specimen upped and died a few weeks ago. My own vases this week are on the opposite end of the color spectrum this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – can you easily get seeds of clary in the US? I have actually bought most of my seeds through eBay for the last couple of years. Let me know if you can’t get any and I can send you some. Shame about your Amistad – I have no idea how hardy this and others I had at the same time will be, so this winter will be a test, whatever the weather.

  19. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Taking a Bow | Words and Herbs

  20. Cathy says:

    This is lovely – the flowers, the background and the props! I love those colours – very ‘moody’ in a positive way!
    Here’s my vase for today Cathy:
    Thanks for hosting, as always!

  21. As you say, the blues deserved a spot on their spot and you Cathy have created the most creative one! What a pleasure to read your post and look at your pictures, thanks!

    My vase is here:

  22. vwgarden says:

    Blue-violet is my favorite color in the garden! Lovely vase. This week I paired violet with the orange of a pumpkin as a Halloween arrangement:

  23. Helen Johnstone says:

    Very moody and blue

  24. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I just love the way you put your vases and props together – so many wonderful links. Those colours are so richly blue.
    Exciting times in your household, preparing for a wedding – my daughter and I had a most glorious year planning her wedding and the day remains a highlight in our lives, still popping into conversations 9 years on.
    Hearty congratulations for your 2 year anniversary! It is such a fabulously simple but just perfect idea.
    I only had time for a quick pingback earlier, but now I have been able to read you post properly and enjoy every detail. Here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for all your kind comments Sandra. I have to say that I am not actually very involved in YD’s wedding – I have always encouraged my girls to do their own thing and not what they think others expect of them. ED was therefore married in Vegas (without family, except YD) but YD’s is at least local and there are bits and pieces she asked me to do towards it, although having been smitten by a dress she saw she has changed her mind about me making that… ๐Ÿ˜‰ She knows I am good for bouncing ideas off but all the planning has been hers really – and I am content with that.

  25. Petal & Pins says:

    Such beautiful colours Cathy! I don’t have much blue in my garden – something I will have to remedy! We have just started daylight saving which means in Tasmania (being so far south) that it is still twilight at 8:30 which is wonderful for being in the garden. I have joined in this week using the pruning so from the banksia rose.

  26. A little bit of blue is a great choice for this time of year, love the vase you chose.

  27. Eliza Waters says:

    I love these deep, rich jewel tones, Cathy! Exquisite!

  28. rickii says:

    Such a pleasant surprise in this season of reds, oranges and bronzes! I’m afraid my entry this week is somewhat disappointing, but here goes:

  29. Chloris says:

    I love your moody blues and I am very impressed that you still have sweet peas in bloom, mine are long gone. An amazing arrangement for late October. And a wedding to talk about and plan? How exciting.

    • Cathy says:

      I am equally amazed at the PP sweet peas as they have been flowering since the end of May (although others planted in a drier spot finished earlier)! Seeds were collected from last year’s flowers and of course I hope to do the same again for next year. Some wedding talk, but not much in the way of planning although some flowers might now be coming into it…

  30. Cath says:

    Yes how have you managed to keep your Sweet Peas going so long? They are an amazing colour and size as well, very lovely.
    Here’s my vase for this week, Blues as well.

  31. hoehoegrow says:

    I am humming ‘Question’ while looking at your photos just to create the right atmosphere! I love all those shades of blue, especially the sweet peas – how clever are you to still having them in flower now, I pulled mine up a couple of weeks ago.

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee ๐Ÿ˜‰ Please be assured that cleverness does not come into still having these sweet peas flowering – just one of things!

  32. Amy says:

    Definitely love the ambiance, Cathy! You and others have ensured that I am starting sweet peas for future vases ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I almost wish now that I had chosen some that were this marvelously blue!
    My vase is sooo late (Monday included motley tasks of planting and putting), but I did manage to create one today – a little less exotic, a little more of the sweetheart look…:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – and I am definitely happy to autumn sow sweet peas and look after them over the winter. It’s been worth the effort.

  33. The depth of colour in your moody blue arrangement is extraordinary for this time of year. It looks wonderful. With wedding plans( how exciting) can we expect to see even more flowers next year? I have missed joining you for the last two Mondays and I feel like I forgot something important! Next week ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Glorious collection of colours Cathy, and the vase sets them off perfectly. Looking forward to seeing what ‘Amistad’ looks like in my garden next year, assuming I can keep the cuttings going through the winter.

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