In a Vase on Monday: Not Fade Away

IMG_6950The first hellebores were coming into bloom in December and nearly three months later they are still bringing great pleasure on every ramble. They may not be in the first flush of youth but as the flowers begin to dry out and lose a little colour they are still utterly charming and will continue to be so until they fade away altogether. Meanwhile, the centres of the flowers go through a transitional stage from stigma and full complement of stamens to developing seedpods and from experience I know that stems of hellebore will last much longer when cut at this later stage.

IMG_6954Joining a selection of pink hellebores in the pinky-purple glass vase are some other faded beauties, the first of a motley collection of dried material retained for potential winter vases – red Amaranthus caudatus, still retaining most of its colour, and spent flower stems of a veronica, probably Veronica hastata. I will certainly retain amaranthus blooms again – all of those kept came out of Monday vases and thus proved themselves to be doubly useful.

With its distinctively shabby chic look, the vase was photographed against the backdrop of a handstitched vintage quilt.  The props are various dyes, all colourfast and designed not to fade away – shoe and fabric dyes and a pink version of my favourite outdoor woodwork treatment. Being notably choosy with colours, if I can’t find the colour I want I will dye the article or, in the case of paint, get it specially mixed.

This vase will bring me much joy during the week and allow me to enjoy the hellebores’ swan song both inside and out. What will be going in your vase today to bring added pleasure to your week? See what you can find in your garden or nearby to pop in a vase or other container and if you post photographs of it on your blog then please share it with us by leaving links to and from this post.



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70 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Not Fade Away

  1. Hannah says:

    Your purplish hellebores look so gorgeous in the pink vase on the matching background quilt, what a sweet memento, Cathy. The amaranthus makes me think of elephant trunks hanging down. I have hellebores this week too!

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Hannah – although if I was an elephant I think I would have gone to to the elephant doctor to see about the kinks in my trunk…

  2. Christina says:

    I love the shabby chic look of today’s vase, I wouldn’t have thought of Helebores fitting into this category at all. Good to know about saving the Amaranth, I wouldn’t have thought of that. I’m not at home today so here is a vase I picked last week thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Christina – the red amaranthus didn’t flower especially well this year but the few dried blooms I kept have proved that it is definitely wrth persisting with

  3. Annette says:

    A most beautiful vase and display, I love the colours! True, hellebores are wonderful creatures – mine have delighted me for many weeks now. The Amaranthus suits them well, Hannah’s elephant trunk makes me laugh! Here’s my vase: Happy Monday to you and our fellow bloggers 🙂

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  5. pbmgarden says:

    Hi Cathy! Striking colors of pink throughout your hellebores and Amaranths adds nice interest. We’re on the same wavelength this week. I chose hellebores also–flowers that fade away ever so gracefully. Thanks for hosting.

  6. Cath says:

    I love your Hellebores and the arrangement and vase. So far I’m only really succeeding with Helleborus x sternii, but I will try some more colours this year. Here is my Vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cath – I do hope you manage to get more hellebores to settle in. I would miss them sorely if they did not grow here…

  7. My only pink vase is very tiny and looking at your beautiful combo I think perhaps I need to search one out. I have a number of purplish pink Hellebores but only one single Hellebore flower blooming at the moment. So that means I have time to vase shop! Aren’t Hellebores wonderful for that long period of interest! My arrangement is here:

    • Cathy says:

      And I nearly forgot about this vase, of which I have a pair – just right for the hellebores, as you say. Thanks 🙂

  8. A lovely celebration of pink and the end of Hellebore season. I was wondering what the dried flowers were, not realizing they were dry! Great idea to combine them. Pretty vase, too. Here is my vase:

  9. Sam says:

    I do love the colours of your hellebores, Cathy. They are such good-value plants, aren’t they? My ‘vase’ is here:
    Have a great week.

  10. Noelle says:

    What a great post…I love your description of your hellebores. By coincidence

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  12. Cathy says:

    Those colours are so very pretty Cathy! I love all shades of pinks and purple, and the paler hellebores are gorgeous. Thanks for reminding me hellebores last longer when picked later… my deep red one (used again today) looks lovely for several weeks so I will probably use it again this spring. Here is my vase for today – with a lovely blue sky to go with it! 🙂

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  14. Delightful! I had no idea there were so many different types of hellebore. Love the colours.
    Here’s mine:

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  16. Peter Herpst says:

    Lovely pinks (dusty rose? mauve?) and purples to celebrate this one last vase of winter.2016! Mine is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Probably all those colours apply, Peter. And yes, last vases of winter with the equinox coming up – hadn’t thought of it like that 🙂

  17. This vase is wonderful Cathy! I love shabby chic….and have never seen my hellebores last so long….of course it gets too hot a month or so later once they bloom so they don’t last as long in my garden.

    I am back from break and have a surprise vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna and good to have you back – I must check last year’s blog because I too feel as if they as well as the snowdrops have had a much longer season than ‘usual’

  18. More and more creative every week! Thanks for inspiring us, Cathy!
    My vase is here:

  19. Kris P says:

    The hellebores are beautiful, Cathy. I briefly considered cutting some stems of ‘Anna’s Red’ but as it’s the only one of my hellebores to bloom, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Maybe next year there will be more to chose from. The dried amaranth is intriguing too – I’ve only grown it once and didn’t realize the flowers were so pretty when dried. My vase is another riotous spring creation:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – I am not surprised you would have been reluctant to cut your Anna’s Red! I didn’t know about amaranthus keeping so well either and discovered it by accident after recycling it from one of my vases

  20. FlowerAlley says:

    Oh, purple! Love this!

  21. Monochromatic done well! Mine features just a few more colors but not many:

  22. Eliza Waters says:

    Such a beautiful display of delicious colour, Cathy. Gorgeous!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Eliza – I was pleased with the shabby chic appearance although it wasn’t in my mind when I first put the vase together

  23. Anna says:

    Oh I’ll be singing for the rest of the evening now Cathy 🙂 The hellebores have really excelled themselves this season. I’m very tempted to try amaranthus but have concerns about them self seeding with reckless abandon. Have you noticed this?

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee – sorry… 😉 You may be interested to know that I was singing Rolling Stones but the Golfer would be singong Buddy Holly – what about you…? I have not heard that amaranthus self seeds but dare I say I wouldn’t mind if it self-seeded gently? Especially the green version I grew…

      • Anna says:

        The Stones here too. I didn’t know that Buddy got there first. I will have to do some more research about amaranthus as it would be heading for the allotment if I grow it. In the meantime if you notice zillions of little seedlings appearing please let me know 🙂

        • Cathy says:

          I don’t think the BH version was ever a single, but in fact he co-wrote it! Will keep an close eye on potential seedlings… 😉

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Gorgeous arrangement, Cathy! The faded pink of the amaranthus compliments your dusty pink/mauve hellebores beautifully, especially in that pretty vase. The antique quilt makes the perfect backdrop. My vase is here: .

    • Cathy says:

      You made it on a Monday!
      Thanks Elizabeth – I am pleased I had the plain quilt as the patterned ones would have been a bit distracting

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  26. Julie says:

    Another lovely collection Cathy – I have never kept amaranthus but will be doing so this year – did you do anything special when drying it? I also love the hellebores as they start to age and they certainly last longer in a vase now – it has been a great season for hellebores haven’t it.

    Inspired by your miniature tea set last week you can find my contribution this week at:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks and yes, the hellebores have just gone on and on. The amaranthus was retrieved from a spent vase and popped in a vase of leftovers on the kitchen window sill as it still looked so fresh – and there it has stayed ever since till now. Although I am now thinking I cut some straight from the plant at the end of the season as well – which must have dried on the plant. Certainly worth keeping – and I have tassels from Green Cascade as well

  27. Sorry not to join in today but thanks for showing your lovely mauves. I did not know about the time in the vase altering once seeds form. Interesting.

  28. Hi Cathy: I’ve followed you and several of your Monday regular bloggers for ages now, and decided to finally participate here! I’ve done a post and will have it live in a little while. I love this idea, and every week look forward to the creative and wonderful ways everyone works this! Thank you so much! I can’t leave a link now, but check back in a little while.

  29. Amy Myers says:

    What a luscious vase! Your post reminds me that I bought amaranthus seeds – inspired by your vases last year! – and still need to plant them… Not sure but what this particular vase may be my favorite so far – the colours and textures are just so perfect. Long may it remain unfaded! 😉
    My own won’t last nearly as long; though in fact I don’t know how long it will last as I am using some new varieties in it!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – it is always hard to choose a favourite Monday vase, whether it is our own or other peoples, as they are so very different 😉

  30. Renee says:

    What a pretty vase! You seem to have such a great collection, complementing all your beautiful flowers.

  31. My colours, they are so inspirational

  32. Chloris says:

    I did a double take when I saw the Amaranthus. It looks so fresh as if you have just picked it. Hellebores are amazing, they just go on and on and look wonderful at every stage. I love your arrangement.

  33. That’s wonderfully girly, in a grown-up sort of way! I love hellebores, they work so hard in the garden. I never quite get around to bringing them indoors though…

    • Cathy says:

      As my hellebores have biulked up I feel I can spare a few blooms for inside although unless you are going to float the heads on water it is certainly better to leave them till they are almost over

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