In a Vase on Monday: Strange Bedfellows

IMG_6491Welcome to the first Monday vase of 2016 – and despite the seemingly endless availability of props around the house I have to admit I surprised even myself today!

IMG_6487The Paperwhite narcissi were in bud before we went away, having been planted in mid October but kept in the greenhouse, and were brought into the house a day or two ago to encourage them to open. Still recalcitrant on Sunday when I usually put my vases together, I cut several budded stems and kept them in the warmth of the kitchen till required, by then at least a little more than just tightly packed buds. Their creamy whiteness suggested softer colours today, and my new (possibly) favourite  rose, The Poet’s Wife, readily obliged with one half-open bloom and several healthy buds. When joined by stems of a bloom I originally forgot to include in my Boxing Day count, Lavender ‘Little Bee Purple’, it then struck me that they were very strange bedfellows for an early January vase.

Strange bedfellows therefore needed a bed, and I ‘just happened to have’ a vintage wicker doll’s rocking crib, so they were soon tucked up in bed in three mini milk bottles with a vintage doll’s quilt to keep them warm. The quilt appeared recently in another vase post IMG_6493but somehow failed to get a mention. Looking back at that post, the little hot water bottle could have contributed to today’s post too – or perhaps it has, but of course is tucked under the quilt at the feet of the vase to keep them warm… Instead, a collection of vintage babies’ teethers is placed on the bed. Very tactile, these teethers are probably made out of bone (unlikely to be ivory) and whilst some are intricately carved others are more naively cut and others may have been adapted from other uses. Whatever their origins, they will be no doubt have been as effective at soothing a baby’s teething discomfort as modern teethers are today.

IMG_6495This larger than usual vase has displaced its predecessor from a fortnight ago, still looking amazingly fresh apart from the poinsettia and the witch hazel and certainly the only positive outcome from my foray into growing chrysanthemums!

What will be displacing earlier vases for you today? What will find in your garden or forage locally to bring inside and pop in a vase or other weird or wonderful container to brighten up your week? Do share the result with us by leaving links to and from your post as usual.


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63 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Strange Bedfellows

  1. Pingback: Vase on Monday: Spring is on its way. | Wild Daffodil

  2. Strange indeed for January! But what a lovely set of props you have – I’ve never knowingly seen baby teethers like that – I wouldn’t have known what they were. Do the narcissi have a scent? I’m optimistically looking forward this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Do the narcissi have a scent…. Yes, I am afraid they do – very strong and almost overwhelming. Some people don’t like it all but it is the strength that knocks your socks off rather than the smell itself I think 😉

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – The year begins | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  4. Christina says:

    PN had sold out of Paperwhites when I placed my order so I bought another forcing Narcissus, but they are very slow so it is lovely to see yours, perhaps I will bring one pot inside to try to hurry the process. I can understand why you like your ‘Poet’s Wife’ rose, she has flowered amazingly well for you. I am always amazed by your props and can only imagine how many cupboards you must have full of such goodies! Here is my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Good to hear from you again, Christina, and hope you enjoyed the festive season amidst your travels. I have some other forcing ones too but forgot about them at the bottom of the fridge until mid December! P’s Wife has such full blowsy flowers and every bloom has been perfect

  5. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Happy New Year! | Duver Diary

  6. jenhumm116 says:

    A lovely vase, but, as you say, unlikely for January. And super props as ever – love the crib and teethers!

    Here’s my vase (or in fact 25…)

  7. Noelle says:

    It is amazing that you could have brought together such blooms…I love the lavender. You have also introduced me to these type of baby teethers…I have seen beautiful coral and ivory teethers in Museums, belonging no doubt to the children of very rich families…but I love these simple ones so much more. I have just the bare bones of a vase!today…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – several of these teethers were probably carved by the baby’s father from bones they had eaten the meat from

  8. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday | acoastalplot

  9. Sam says:

    I love Paperwhites and how amazing to have lavender. My daughter has a crib for her dolls which is very similar to this one. It was my mum’s, then I played with it and now she has it. I have a slightly cheating vase today (not foraged or from the garden – sorry!).

  10. Anca Tîrcă says:

    What a surprising, beautiful bouquet for January! You are such a creative person, Cathy! Have a great year, full of amazing Monday vases! Today I have looked back in ….joy:

    • Cathy says:

      It’s a surprise to have them all blooming, Anca, so a shame not to be using them. Have you chosen the top 10 of your vases…?

  11. Winter hit here finally and it is very cold today. So I will be using more dried material in the coming weeks I think, but who knows, winter could warm up again. As soon as I saw the first picture I loved it….what a cute wicker cradle. And the flowers are adorable together…love the overhead shot at the end. I was wondering what all those sticks were until I read they were for teething and made from bone. Those are a perfect adornment to the display.

    I am also using a basket as well with some material I could get to even in the snow….still holiday looking as that is all that is out there right now with the layer of snow….hope you enjoy it!

  12. You have put together a great vase and the props are lovely icing. I have never seen the teethers before and had no clue what they were! Here are my vases:

  13. Ann Edwards Photography says:

    Happy New Year, Cathy! I love Paperwhites with their delicious scent. I have chosen an equally weird container today –

  14. homeslip says:

    Your Monday vases always make me happy Cathy. How weird but wonderful to have roses and lavender in January. I adore your props too. It must be so much fun to give all your treasures an airing on your blog. My paper whites are just pushing up in their pot I noticed today. And in the ground there are so many signs of Spring. I couldn’t resist posting another tiny posy today and here is my link:

  15. johnvic8 says:

    A very creative and imaginative arrangement for the beginning of the year. Delightful. I have never seen teethers like that. Most intriguing. A great New Year for you and your faithful Golfer.

    • Cathy says:

      I am pleased to have been able to show such vintage teethers to a wider audience. Thanks for your kind words John, as always

  16. Kris P says:

    I’ve heard how unusually warm it’s been there and the contents of your vase seems proof of that. I laughed at your description of your props – I previously had a vision of well-stocked shelves but now I have the image of a jam-packed room of props! We’re awaiting rain here (impatiently in my case) but, in the meantime, I gathered a host of exotic-looking blooms:

    • Cathy says:

      It makes the Monday vase seem like a theatre production when you suggest a jam-packed room of props… which In a way I suppose it is I suppose, visual theatre? 😉 We had a touch of frost overnight a couple of days ago but there have been very few nights like that – so far that is!

  17. Such a wonderful way to start the first Monday of 2016; love the complexity and colors in your bouquet…Have a great year.

  18. Our warmer winter weather has ended and now we are looking at colder than normal temps, so I guess that means it is still weird weather. But I did manage to pull together a bouquet. Your closeup photo shows why you like that rose so much. It’s very lovely. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      And here I don’t think there is much of a forecast beyond mild and damp… I need to think about pruning my roses soon – I have only recently had any that aren’t climbers so I need to check out their pruning requirements before they get too lanky. Don’t want to cut all the healthy flower buds off yet though!

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Very special blossoms. They are charming and your rose is wonderful. The teething items are very interesting too, so unusual. My vase is

  20. I am no fan of roses, but that one is a beauty! My contribution today displaced the holiday mantle-scape…which was ready to go!

  21. Cathy says:

    Ha! Because of the season none can decide whether they are settling down in bed for the winter or getting up. Nice to see the narcissus and ‘Poet’s Wife’ is lovely – wish I hadn’t seen it now, it’s so nice …

    • Cathy says:

      That’s such a good analogy, Cathy, as this is exactly what it seems like. I am so pleased with the rose as it was new to David Austin last year when I was looking at other yellow roses but chose her on impulse and have not regretted it one bit

  22. Pingback: Monday Flowers – Winter Roses – Peonies & Posies

  23. Julie says:

    This weeks vase is amazing on so many levels Cathy – roses & lavender in January? I have never been able to pair paper whites with such summery bed fellows. I loved looking at your vintage baby teethers – I have never seen them before – your house is full of so many amazing things!

    My vase this week is at:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – and the vase meme makes you look at things from a different perspective I think. It has been fun to find appropriate props about the house as it is a few years since we used to go to antique fairs and the like regularly so I have been rediscovering things I had forgotten about 🙂

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Very strange bedfellows indeed! Who would have thought that you could be picking roses and lavender in January. Love the quirky props you’ve chosen today … I really must try harder in the props department 🙂 The contents of my vase is, in contrast to yours, completely predictable in a Scottish winter, even if it is the strangest winter that I can recall:

  25. Cath says:

    I love Paper Whites, and find them hard to get these days, and I love the scent. Yours look very double, very pretty. The Poet’s Wife looks lovely too, definitely on my list if it does well here. I’m running a bit late – too many mundane things like weeding the tomatoes, but here are my vases:

  26. Anna says:

    Oh what a cosy container that crib makes Cathy. I may have asked this question before so please forgive me if I have but does ‘The Poet’s Wife’ have some orange/bronze tones? My little vase of ‘Anastasia’ is still going strong too. She has some redeeming features.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – they do look a touch cosy there, don’t they? The P’s W buds look peachy/bronze when they are closed and as they open the outer petals retain this flush on their outer sides. Otherwise the petals are most definitely all that soft yellow – she is most fetching, isn’t she?

  27. Hannah says:

    What a cute idea, a cradle for flowers with baby blanket and teethers. I’m envious of having roses at this time of the year, I have some Nandina in the snow with a special horsie-

    • Cathy says:

      I nearly missed your comment Hannah as it didn’t show up in my notifications – grr! And I am not convinced my comment on your vase last week appeared – must check. Generally comments appear OK but this way they can be inadvertantly missed, which would be a shame. There afew other individual roses around here still, but only half-heartedly, so this one has been a real star!

      • Hannah says:

        The notification problem is strange…. I’m so impressed with your mild climate, so delightful.

        • Cathy says:

          I have tried googling but without success – and there is no pattern to it, as it could be a blogger from any of the blogging platforms. Unless it could be if comments arrrive at exactly the same moment in time…although I see no reason why that should be the case

  28. dianackirby says:

    What a creative idea. I’m looking forward to the first bulbs of the year here in Central Texas, but we haven’t even frozen yet at my house, so it will be at least 6 weeks. Here is the vase of blooms I sent home to my mom and dad today.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Diana, and welcome – and it is fascinating to read about the different weather from bloggers in different places, and the different timings of blooms

  29. Renee says:

    So pretty! My forced paperwhites just made a bunch of leaves and about 2 blooms. But like you said, even with only 2 blooms, the whole house smells like them. Thanks for sharing all your vases, i’m always so impressed with what people can pull together!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your kind words Renee, and I do wonder whether some of mine may just be leaves too – not sure whether the pot was deep enough but at least I have had some blooms though!

  30. Amy says:

    What a wonderful combination – paperwhites with roses! (And I thought my vase this week was an odd combination, but only on account of the colours…:
    If I keep looking at the blooms you are getting from The Poet’s Wife, it might end up on an order list pretty soon…
    And I love the cradle and teethers idea; like others, I’ve never seen anything like those old teethers 😉 I would definitely have rocked the water right out of the jars, myself…!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – the vase just had to be! The Poet’s Wife was a new David Austin rose in 2014 and I think she will become very popular

  31. Petal & Pins says:

    Happy New Year Cathy – It’s a lovely rose with a lovely name! You can see my first vase for the year at

  32. Chloris says:

    I don’ t think your flowers need a duvet at the moment and they certainly don’t need a hot water bottle. As ever, an inventive and original idea, I always enjoy coming over to see what improbable props you come up with every week. Lovely flowers, I think it is a good idea to cut your paper whites, I have done the same, they grow so tall and then flop untidily.

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