In a Vase on Monday : One For the Faeries and One For Me

IMG_6920Having spotted fresh blooms on the muscari unearthed below another pot way back in January and used in a previous vase, it would have been a shame not to have used their blueness again. Not wanting to replicate the previous vase, I avoided the out of season spring blooms which accompanied the grape hyacinth in January and instead took inspiration from Cicely Mary Barker’s iconic flower fairies, in this instance the Polyanthus and Grape Hyacinth fairies.

IMG_6921Sharing the good news of the joy of spring in the song of a bird, as described in the poem that accompanies the illustrations, these two would feel very much at home in my garden and I was able to muster up a couple of polyanthus blooms in just the right shade. A small piece of the deep purple-red Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ was added to link the blue of the muscari with the maroon of the polyanthus. The vase is a tradesman’s sample of Bretby Pottery, a pottery studio set up in south Derbyshire, a stone’s throw from here, in the 1880s.

IMG_6924A simple vase with its magical fairy connections needed no further embellishments. Nevertheless, I couldn’t ignore the other signs of spring so snipped a few of them to make a vase for myself – narcissi, crocus, pulmonaria and a sprig of Nandina domestica ‘Obsession’. Within minutes of the crocus being brought inside they had unfolded their furled buds and were soon as laid back as a crocus brought into the warmth could be. I have several of these little crocus vases and could readily and willingly fill several of them to delight me in different rooms of the house – although with last week’s vase still not ready to be dismantled  and Mother’s Day flowers from Stepson I have plenty of blooms to admire already.

What material will you find in your garden or nearby to delight you this week? Do share it with us by adding links to and from this post.

print“How do you do, Grape Hyacinth?
How do you do?”
“Pleased to see you, Polyanthus,
Pleased to see you,
with your stalk so straight and your colours so gay.”
“Thank you , neighbour!
I’ve heard good news today.”

“What is the news, Polyanthus?
What news have you heard?”
“News of the joy of Spring,
In the song of a bird!”
“Yes Polyanthus, yes,
I heard it too;
That’s why I’m here,
with my bells in spires of blue.”

Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973)


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72 Responses to In a Vase on Monday : One For the Faeries and One For Me

  1. Christina says:

    These are absolutely charming Cathy, I’m sure you are very happy to share these. Thanks for hosting here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh definitely – and I just couldn’t resist the second one as well. ‘Charming’ is how I felt about it too – but Nature is a real charmer, isn’t she, giving us all these blooms…

  2. How lovely it is to be so charmingly reminded of the famous flower faeries.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kate – I have a dozen of the plates with different fairies and hadn’t thought of linking them to a vase before. Will have to check what others I might be able to use…

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on a real Monday – Roses and Astrantia – Absent Gardener

  4. Cath says:

    I had just written that I’ve been away with the fairies all day, now I see why, what a pretty place to be. And I have just ordered my crocus and new fragrant daffodils, something to look forward to! Here is my vase,

  5. So cute, love the miniature tea set.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – I didn’t mention the tea set this time as it was an addendum to my ‘extra’ vase, but I love it too.

  6. Hannah says:

    I was not familiar with the flower fairy poems, and the lovely plate is so much fun to duplicate in your vase, Cathy! The other spring flowers are delightful in their vase, too, and I always find Muscari delightful. The tiny tea set is darling!

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Hannah – it was knowing I had a polyanthus that colour that decided me. It was just meant to be!

      • Hannah says:

        I looked at my plant database and the daffodils in that bed are from 2000. The white one with orange small cup matches Barrett Browning. If you meant the pale yellow Daff then I would have to try again. I don’t have good descriptions of the flowers, maybe I thought I could google them, but I tried googling a couple and they didn’t come up at all.

  7. I have grape hyacinths (and tulips) today too (and a walk among the downtown Stuttgart Saturday flower sellers):

    • Cathy says:

      It’s interesting to find out what is blooming in other parts of the world, another of the reasons why I enjoy this meme

  8. Your vase is so sweet. I am not familiar with Polyanthus. I enjoyed the poem too. Happy Monday.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lisa – polyanthus/primula/primrose are names which are often used interchangeably in the UK and I don’t know which is strictly correct

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Both vases are enchanting Cathy! Your rich colors in the first one are perfect matches. That last photo of the second vase is exquisite–very lyrical. My vase heralds spring as well:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – there seems to be something especially bright and fresh about spring blooms, perhaps because they follow a winter where there is a more limited palette

  10. You come up with the most inventive concepts week after week! We’re having warmer temps and rain predicted for the next week, so I am excited about finding something blooming in the garden. My vase for today is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Linda – I definitely didn’t plan this one in advance! So pleased you are expecting warmer temperatures and that you have blooms again!

  11. The garden faeries are inspirational. A pitch perfect rendition of the harbingers of spring. I love the miniature tea set, do you think the faeries come in while you sleep for tea?
    Here is my vase this Monday:

  12. Noelle says:

    Love your link with the garden fairies Cathy…and fairy sized vases are just the thing to display the first blooms of spring. Here is my contribution

  13. homeslip says:

    Lovely Spring vases Cathy, they are both completely in the moment,which I guess is the one of the many pleasures of this meme. We used to love looking at the flower faeries and reading their poems. I must look out for another FF book in the charity shop as I know ours found its way there a few years ago. Here is my link today:'s-ease/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sarah – it gave me such pleasure picking these and now looking at them. I have to confess that my FF book came quite recently from Amazon – Cathy at Words and Herbs showed one on IAVOM last year and I knew I ought to have one!

  14. FlowerAlley says:

    Magical selection. I love the props and the flowers. Great blend.

  15. johnvic8 says:

    Both your vases are marvelous, and I love your props. It’s a grand idea to find inspiration in a child’s poem.

  16. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Adorable arrangements. Matching the first with your plate is quite special! I also had whimsical childhood thoughts this day (Great minds think alike.) and my offering can be found here:

  17. Sam says:

    I love your flower fairy tribute and your other little spring vase. (I’m too busy working today to join in this week but am taking a little time out to visit others!)

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Sam – and sorry work has tied you up today but thnaks for making the time to check out some of our vases still

  18. Anca Tîrcă says:

    A spring vase and flower fairies, how nice! Thanks for such a treat, Cathy! This is my vase:

  19. Kris P says:

    What a pretty plate! And you did indeed match it perfectly with your fairy bouquet. I love the beautiful spring blooms too. Spring is well underway here, although the rain (not characteristic of a SoCal spring) hasn’t yet deserted us. We woke early to lightning and thunder and torrents of rain – or what passes for “torrents” here anyway. While you in wetter climes probably wouldn’t be thrilled by that, we are! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, we all see rain differently, depending on the ‘norm’ and our state of mind. Good to know that it was what you wanted! Thanks for your kind comments too

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: At a Snail’s Pace | Words and Herbs

  21. Cathy says:

    That is a perfect match Cathy! Your plate is as lovely as the flowers themselves – I do love the flower fairies and the poems that go with them. Absolutely charming!
    Here is my vase for today:
    We are hoping for some warmer weather at the end of this week, so perhaps spring really will have arrived by next Monday and I can finally get out onto the garden and do some serious tidying up!

  22. It would probably not surprise you (being the foliage lover that I am) but my eye went right to your Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’…it’s so dark! Unlike my Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Atropurpureum’ which turns out rather spotty (and is featured in one of my vases today). Perhaps I need to make a switch.

    • Cathy says:

      Tom Thumb does go through a spotty stage but all the foliage is dark at the moment. I have only had mine about a year but it has made a nice rounded little shrub already

  23. Anna says:

    Such sweet vases Cathy although my favourite is yours which really sings of the “joy of Spring”. I have three of the flower fairies mugs depicting the seasons. Just missing spring which is rather rather remiss. I don’t drink from them but just enjoy looking at them. My vase today was prompted by some long overdue tidying up in the greenhouse :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – they were both SO quick to pick and plonk and it made me feel really joyful doing so. I shall have to look out for the spring mug to plug the gap in your collection…

  24. I used to have one of the fairy plates as a young girl, alas it did not survive various house moves.
    I love your addition of pittosporum Tom Thumb. My vase today is most delicate. https://
    Thanks Cathy

    • Cathy says:

      It was a series of 12 and I still have all 12 of them – probably surviving 3 moves although they might have remained in a box for the first two of the moves!

  25. Pingback: a new vase for spring | sprig to twig

  26. rickii says:

    You keep finding ways to bring fresh ideas to your set-ups. The faeries are adorable. Spring is in the air (and in a vase) here, too:

    • Cathy says:

      I wonder if I will ever get bored of IAVOM, rickii…? Not in the foreseeable future – so lots more fresh ideas to come! 😉

  27. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – The Scent of Spring – Peonies & Posies

  28. Julie says:

    I do love the flower fairies Cathy and your lovely vase is a perfect illustration of their charm! I also love your little tea set – I might take my inspiration for next week from that.
    My contribution is at:

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Julie – this tiny tea set is a real favourite because of the detailing on it. I wonder what you will share with us next week then…

  29. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Primrose heaven | Frogend dweller's Blog

  30. Your fairy vase is perfect and such brilliant inspiration. I remember my Mum showing me those fairy pictures. I love Tom Thumb too.

    I have gathered a primrose posey today:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – strangely, I have only experienced these fairies as an adult, so I have catching up to do! And I am so pleased with Tom Thumb – I had really neglected foliage plants in the garden but with the new shrub border I am beginning to rectify that

  31. Amy Myers says:

    I do love the bits of pottery, of course; how perfect to have something as small as that sample pitcher for a fairy bouquet 🙂 Happy Springtime! It is still spring here, with a return to somewhat cooler temperatures — all to the good, I suppose! It allowed me to mix and match from the seasons today at any rate:

  32. Love the perfect mimicry of the plate illustration, but your second vase is the one that really appealed. Thank you for reminding me that I can bring crocuses indoors to admire, I have some lovely pale yellow ones that I never catch open.

  33. Brian Skeys says:

    A lovely plate and flowers for spring time Cathy.

  34. Hi Cathy, I have been enjoying your floral arrangements from afar. I can take no credit for these big and bold floral arrangements, but I hope you will enjoy them just the same. Lee-Anne

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Lee-Anne. It’s good to know that you are enjoying all our vases. I am off to look at your floral art in Singapore now…

  35. annie_h says:

    I often love these small posy’s as much as I love a big bouquet, they just show the beauty of each flower. I really must start joining in with this challenge its such a great idea

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annie – I agree with you and even more so since posting my Monday vases. I don’t want to sound ungrateful but the flowers my stepson gave me for Mother’s Day were a bit of a nuisance to deal for this reason… 😉

  36. Chloris says:

    I love the Flower Fairy books and have all 4 seasons. What a lovely idea to use the flowers from the illustration. So pretty.

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