The rapid progress of a gifted
amaryllis hippeastrum had me on tenterhooks – how soon could I snip its bloom for a vase on Monday? It clearly wasn’t going to be fully open in time for today, but hopefully cutting it as it opens will give at least a complete week of bloom in the vase. This one, the ubiquitous ‘Red Lion’, was the first of my hippeastrum to get to this stage despite being the last planted, although I was excited for a few weeks by the embryonic flower stem of ‘Neon’, one of last year’s bulbs and the first time I had managed to keep one going for another season. Sadly, however, it suddenly gave up and shrivelled to nothingness 😦
As always, the rest of the vase came together of its own accord. A couple of hours at the weekend spent cutting dead stems and removing redundant canes drew my attention to the unpruned climbing rose ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’. Armed with thick gloves for protection from its exceedingly thorny thorns I set too and was soon rewarded by a neater rose and a large pile of brightly hipped prunings. Too good to waste, I noted how well the orange red hips would complement the hippeastrum, and the vase was born.
The vase itself is the bigger brother of the Caithness Glass one used a few weeks ago and was reminiscent, I thought, of the African plains where lions roam. As many rose stems as possible were crammed into the vase around the Red Lion, having been dipped into boiling water to prolong vase life and some of the thorns removed to make the job easier. Joining them on the plain was a small herd of elephants and a natural piece of ‘tiger’s eye’ rock, usually seen highly polished to accentuate its chatoyancy. Surely a lion as hip as this has never before roamed the great plains of Africa?
It is such a joy to seek out something to pop in a vase every Monday, and for me choosing props and an appropriate title are part of the fun. Neither props nor punchy title are obligatory though – nor a vase, nor contents even, as we have seen empty vases and material without a receptacle of any sort. Thinking ‘out of the vase’ is both welcomed and encouraged, so do consider giving it a go if you haven’t already done so – the basic challenge is to find something in your garden or foraged nearby to pop in a vase and bring inside to give you joy during the week. If you like you can leave links to and from this post so we can share in your joy and be inspired by what you have done.