In a Vase on Monday: Taking Stock


Little did I know when I sowed seeds of the white annual stock Matthiola incana in the middle of June that I would be picking blooms from them in November to put in today’s vase, albeit largely blooms in bud. And little did I know when I started the In a Vase on Monday meme two years ago this week just how addictive and popular it would become. Thank you to every one who has contributed over this time, whether regularly or occasionally, whether you create your own vase or just enjoy seeing and reading about everyone else’s. All are welcome and it has been a joy to share this journey with you.

Taking a small small handful of the young stocks and supplementing them with long lasting blooms of Antirrhinum ‘Twinny White’ the vase was kept simple, the only other additions being a single sprig ofย  Astrantia ‘Buckland’ and bright green young foliage of an aquilegia, probably ‘Green Apples’. The antirrhinum was sown from seed in February and has been flowering since June; The pink version, shown in a vase in July, did not fare as well as the white but both will be grown again next year. The vase was yet another from Caithness Glass, this time a white version, and the background shows a collage of all 52 vases from the last year.


When I put the pictures together for the collage, there were several vases that prompted a double take – vases I had forgotten about since they were posted but which struck me for one reason or another. Some were so (dare I say it?) stunning in their simplicity or their perfection – did I really create those?! Trying to pick out favourites was just too difficult a task and I had to stop at the following six, clockwise from top left: sunflowers from July, late spring blooms and ribbons from May, Mum’s vase from late July, a range of pink and purple blooms from August, classic blue and white from March and the ‘old master’ vase from June.

2ndfaves.gridWhat can you find in your garden or pick locally to put in a vase today? All those who post a vase and link it to this anniversary post will be entered into a draw to win a vase cleaner, most useful for removing sediment from inside even the most compact of vases IMG_6160without scratching, thanks to the soft head at the end of the brush. The draw will be made at 9.00 pm UK time on Wednesday and the winner will be announced in next Monday’s post – do join us.


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75 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Taking Stock

  1. Hannah says:

    Those white and green vases are so refreshing and the vase looks like an icy swirl. So many lovely vases and flowers, I look forward to the next year, I’m especially curious to see what people come up with over the winter. My link is-

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Hannah – a shorter version of this vase would have been better, but it was exactly what I wanted otherwise. It is indeed intriguing to see what is in our winter vases and we tend to look at the garden in a different way when there is less material to choose from

  2. Ann Edwards Photography says:

    I love white stocks (well, all white flowers really) and how lovely to have them in November. Many congratulations on your two year anniversary! Here is my link –

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday โ€“ Autumn tints | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  4. Christina says:

    Congratulations Cathy, as you say “little did you know…..” This was such a wonderful idea and I am not exaggerating when I say that this meme has changed my life. I always knew I loved flowers in the house and also that I was going to start a cuttings bed (beds now) but without your challenge I wonder if I would have actually achieved so many vases so THANK YOU. Here’s today’s vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Christina, that is such a kind thing to say and I know exactly what you mean as Monday is the highlight of my week too and I love challenging myself with plant material and props and titles… I would like to think I would never buy flowers again but sadly when we meet up for my Mum’s 90th next week I shan’t be able to bring flowers with me for table decorations…

  5. Brian Skeys says:

    Creating the collage is a great way to end the year Cathy. I think it is very impressive to create a vase from your garden every week of the year.

  6. Annette says:

    Little did you know that this meme of yours would turn into such a successful event so many of your followers are looking forward to. Well done ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – it certainly seems to have caught people’s imaginations and it is indeed rewarding to know that I have managed to empower people because of it

  7. pbmgarden says:

    An understated bit of loveliness in you vase today. I love your white theme. Nice to revisit some of your vases from the past year. Congratulations on completing a second year of vases. You’ve certainly inspired me with your creations and enthusiasm for enjoying cut flowers. Flowers in a silver goblet for you today dear Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I wanted to keep the vase simple so as not to detract from the overview of the year, and I can’t imagine how long the stock blooms would survive before the frost gets to them if I hadn’t picked them

  8. Hello from Japan! I can’t seem to work out how to do the link.
    Name of the post: In a vase on Monday in Japan

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Sandra in Japan – nearly missed your comment as it wasn’t displayed in my notifications! Thanks for thinking of us from so far away – we shall be able to find your post from your home page, I am sure

  9. Oh I should put together an anniversary vase post of my vases for the whole year. Perhaps this winter. I do love seeing yours again and this simple white vase is perfect to celebrate 2 years. It has been a joy participating.

    Here is this week’s vase…still surprised by what is left in my garden:

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Donna – I deliberately kept today’s vase very simple but it almost felt like cheating because of this! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: one last hurrah | acoastalplot

  11. Sam says:

    A lovely elegant vase, Cathy, and I do love your collage of a year of vases: such floriferousness. I’m joining in this week at:
    Thank you for hosting such an uplifting weekly blogging event.

  12. Anna says:

    Many, many congratulations of two years worth of vases Cathy and for hosting this meme with such dedication, encouragement and hospitality. I’ve certainly learned much and have had fun from participating and visiting vase posts from far and wide. Your vase this week has provided me with another must have flower for next year’s seed list in the shape of antirrhinum ‘Twinny White’. It’s one of those foul wet and windy days here where the lights have been on all day, so my post has been put together with what I could garner inside the house :

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, thank you so much Anna – but I couldn’t have done it without you and other bloggers. I definitely recommend the Twinny antirrhinums – the seeds come in a wide range of colours and not just the pink and white I grew. They germinated well too.

  13. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Spring in Autumn | Words and Herbs

  14. FlowerAlley says:

    This was a great thing to see on this rainy Monday. Please pass along my admiration to your arranger.

  15. Cathy says:

    Congratulations on this second anniversary Cathy – a beautiful creation again this week and it seems you must also be having a mild November. Sometimes when I look back at my own vases I get that same feeling – did I make that?! It is a wonderful record of the garden and an uplifting boost to one’s confidence.
    My vase this week:
    Thank you so very much for hosting and here’s to another year of lovely vases! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Pingback: In a vase on Monday. Pink Spiders etc.. | The Blooming Garden

  17. Noelle says:

    I love the vase this week…green and white, and your title, and your collage of your vases. I have taken advantage of the tricks the weather and garden have been playing for my 21st posting of In a Vase on Monday:
    Thank you very much Cathy..this meme is such fun.

  18. Your vase looks so spring-like! I grew Astrantia ‘Buckland’ for the first time and it still has one stem of flowers. What a great plant! After seeing your collage of vases, it makes me curious to look back at mine. I so enjoy this meme as I’ve always created bouquets and posted them on my blog but never had a group of like-minded gardeners to share them with and to see theirs. Here’s mine for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Linda – the meme has been such a lot of fun and so inspiring and supportive for all of us. Buckland is definitely the most profusive of my astrantias – I usually cut it back once it gets a bit tatty in summer and it bounces back for another go. So useful in vases too and it lasts well

  19. Happy anniversary for this wonderful meme! Your vases are always so creative. And thanks for encouraging all of us to continue making magic with the raw elements from our gardens. Here’s my link:

  20. Chloris says:

    Well first of all congratulations on two years of hosting this meme. What a popular one it has proved to be. Everyone enjoys bringing their treasures into the house and sharing them. I love your collage, so many beautiful vases. What an achievement. I love your anniversary vase. So simple and so pretty. My link isโ€ฆnk-spiders-etc/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – and I had no expectations at the start as it was a challenge for my own benefit in the first instance. So glad I invited others to join me though!

  21. homeslip says:

    What a fresh and elegant vase for a November day Cathy. Congratulations on two years of making beautiful vases and thank you for hosting, you do both aspects so very well. Here is my pink vase for today:

  22. As you say, little did you know that you would inspire so many flowers lovers. Congratulations! Little did I know that I would keep on arranging a vase every Monday with so much joy for 74 weeks in a row. Thank you for that, Cathy! And your vase is perfect, I also have beautiful pink and purple Matthiola incana in bloom in my garden, I posted photos of them yesterday.
    My vase today is a sad one:

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Anca – and well done for your 74 weeks!! Will your matthiola see through the winter? I didn’t expect mine to flower till next year…

  23. Kris P says:

    My hat’s off to you for hosting this meme for 2 years, Cathy! I love the retrospective feature of today’s post and I’m very impressed with the performance of your Matthiola. It grew well in my former garden but I haven’t been able to make a go of it in this one. Here’s my post, my personal thank you for your hosting role:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh – a bouquet for me! What a kind thought, Kris – I could say the pleasure is all mine but that wouldn’t be true as the meme has a life of its own and has generated a huge amount of pleasure for many people. I could never have foreseen the way it gained momentum but I am thrilled that it has…

  24. Congratulations on two years, I love the collage. A little something different in my vase this Monday.

  25. What a fun idea to make the collage. Out of your favorites selection I am especially taken with the “old master vase” as you call it, and I think it’s fabulous that you caught yourself wondering “did I really create those?” – our blogs are such great records of our past, reminding us of things easily forgotten. Finally I had no idea such a thing as a vase cleaner even existed, I think I could spend a day using that tool.

    Oh, and my contribution – inspired by Kris P:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and memes are such a good way of keeping records over a period of time, whether it’s weekly vases, or monthly changes in the garden

  26. rusty duck says:

    Many congratulations on two years Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jessica – it has been such a pleasure hosting it, even if it does take a lot of work responding to comments and checking out other vases on a Monday. Definitely worth it though ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – The 2nd Anniversary | Peonies & Posies

  28. Julie says:

    Congratulations Cathy on reaching your 2nd anniversary of such a popular meme – you have been an inspiration and have turned us all into small scale farmer florists!! Its lovely to see all your photographs – do you print them out as you go or just make it an annual task? The antirrhinums are lovely and go so well in that vase – I still have some in flower as well which is amazing for November. I have a few that were sown late that I planted in my greenhouse bed – they are just coming into flower now and it will be interesting to see how long they flower for under cover.

    My contribution this week is a review rather than a new vase -

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Julie – and I am thrilled that so many people have been inspired to get involved too (and you were there almost from the start). I used Picasa to create the collage but had to manually put a copy of each week’s vase into a folder – as I did so I thought I ought to make it easier for myself and add a copy to a folder week by week, ready for the 3rd anniversary! Look forward to seeing your review

  29. rickii says:

    I had kind of lost sight of the the original impetus for beginning to garden: to bring flowers into the house to enjoy. Then I came across your meme and the rest is history…so thank you’s and congratulations are in order.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and yet it can be difficult making that initial transition and allowing yourself to start picking the flowers in the first place – but what a joy when you do!

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  31. sultanabun says:

    What a wonderful idea. I love it!

  32. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – last hurrah? | Duver Diary

  33. jenhumm116 says:

    Many congratulations Cathy – here’s to decades more IaVoM!

    I love your vase and wish I’d known if I’d planted Matthiola I’d be picking now. I’m still clinging on to my rather leggy two year old plants which are showing absolutely no sign of flowering.

    Here’s my vase, resolutely clinging on to summer…

    • Cathy says:

      Decades, Jen? That might be pushing it! I have never grown stocks before so didn’t know what to expect, but they germinated well and I planted them out ready to flower next year, or so I thought! I have recently sown some pink ones too.

  34. Congratulations on the anniversary Cathy, and here’s to many more to come. I liked your collage… you deserve to feel proud of yourself! Here’s mine for today:

  35. Amy says:

    An impressive feat, Cathy ๐Ÿ™‚ Your selection of six is wonderful and shows the wide range that can be achieved from a single garden. And this week’s stock and antirrhinum blend so perfectly, especially in the Caithness glass!
    I was unable to post for last week as we were entirely offline for a couple of days – not a technical failing but a determined (and successful) attempt to avoid running over the data cap for our billing month – one awkward feature of living outside normal internet services! In any case, I am back now with something like autumn for this week:
    A big thank you for hosting this wonderful meme – I don’t know WHEN I would ever have started making up vases if not for this inspiration ๐Ÿ˜€

  36. Eliza Waters says:

    Sweet vase of whites and greens. Loved your collage of past vases, I think my favorite was the polka dot vase with the sunflowers. Congrats on your 2-yr. anniversary. Where does the time go?
    I didn’t scrounge up a vase this week, but made a harvest wreath, which made me very happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Congratulations on two years of in a vase on Monday! I love participating because I would seldom bring things in to enjoy but now that you’ve got me hooked as it’s a pleasure to walk by the arrangements each week. You have put together some amazing arrangements and your carefully-chosen backgrounds and props are an inspiration. My IAVOM post can be found here:

  38. Cath says:

    Congratulations on 2 years! Your vase is lovely and I bet it smells gorgeous and spicy. I love the astrantia peaking over the top. I’m working on growing Astrantia but they are not happy at my place as yet. I really appreciate that this meme inspires me to bring flowers back to the city to enjoy all week. Here is this week’s posy:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cath – and it’s interesting about the astrantia as they tend to be pretty trouble free in the OK although possibly some are more tolerant than others. Buckland is certainly the most obliging for me

      • Cath says:

        I haven’t been able to find Buckland here. I have found a couple others and have put in an order last night ๐Ÿ™‚ We are putting on a lot more compost this year and there is more shade as the trees grow up, so that should make a big difference for those things which like moisture.

  39. Pingback: In a Vase on…Ok! It’s Tuesday | A Walk in the Garden

  40. johnvic8 says:

    Very well done for two years, Cathy. As usual your vase is a delight. Thanks for your persistence over these two years…and for the inspiration.

  41. bittster says:

    Congratulations on two years… I can’t believe it’s been so long! I’ve enjoyed the weekly vases, and it’s always fun to see what people can pull together each week.

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