In a Vase on Monday: For the Record

IMG_7078Before preparing yesterday’s practice buttonholes I had already practised the posy shown above which is now disappearing against the red background.

As with the buttonholes, I wanted to experience the process of seeking out and picking appropriate blooms and foliage, constructing a posy and giving it 24 hours out of water to check how well the constituent parts stand up to acting as a wedding posy rather than a vase of flowers. The red, white and blue blooms included Tulipa linifolia, Narcissus Erlicheer, N Bridal Crown and N Thalia, bluebells, muscari and a few sprigs of autumn sown Cerinthe. Greenery selected for the trial posy was aquilegia, honeysuckle, lamium and Luzula sylvatica stems. This process was especially useful to get a sense of the quantity of material needed to put together a posy that was comfortable to hold.

Selecting and cutting the material, trimming excess foliage and building the posy up stem by stem took less than an hour in total, after which I had to enlist the Golfer’s help to slip a rubber band around the stems to hold them together before an alternative means of restraint could be added, in this case some natural string of which I frayed the ends. Looking at the photos below I realise that the rubber band is still in place under the string which was certainly not the intention!

hand.posyAfter it was constructed it became obvious that care would be needed to ensure the dominant blooms, in this case the red tulips, were equally distributed within the posy, all the more so as most of the narcissi and bluebells were still only in bud and not yet showing their true colours. The size and feel of the posy, however, seemed acceptable.

IMG_7081For the purpose of this post the posy was placed in a vase which coincidentally came to me filled with roses and astrantia following a niece’s wedding at which it graced one of the tables, and was held in placed by some polished pebbles. The red background into which the vase partially disappeared is leftover linen fabric from which my jacket for The Wedding has been made, whilst the adjacent swatch is the cotton/lycra of the dress; taking the task seriously, I also lined the jacket with the same fabric as the dress. The record propped up beside the vase is in fact our wedding invitation (identifiable details obscured), cleverly created by Younger Daughter from an old single record which naturally came in a personalised record sleeve!

I have thoroughly enjoyed these practice pieces and will definitely learn from the process. Indeed, I can already see that the aquilegia foliage is unlikely to make the final cut, having drooped from the start – a shame because I love its grey-green shade – but there are plenty of foliage alternatives that could be used although the blooms are still dependent on what is in flower in the days leading up to the event. In terms of timing the bride and two bridesmaid’s posies can certainly be left till the morning, probably with blooms and foliage cut the night before, but I would like to have prepared the buttonholes and basket for The Poppet prior to this.

It seems highly unlikely that any of your Monday vases will have trial wedding posies in them, but I would still love to see them. Do share with us what you have found in your gardens or foraged nearby to pop in your vases by including links to and from this post – the meme brings pleasure both in the creation and the sharing of our Monday vases so do consider joining us if you haven’t already done so.


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72 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: For the Record

  1. So lovely to see it all coming together for the wedding. Your dress and jacket are sure to be very striking, love the material, so cheerful. Did you get married on red? I think I have a memory of seeing a picture in one of the iaVoMs.

  2. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – from the cuttings garden – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  3. Annette says:

    A charming posy with a retro touch, Cathy. I’m delighted to see Cerinthe among it, they’re so pretty. I’ve seen it in a vase with Euphorbia characias the other day and liked it a lot. May I kindly ask you to dance your way to my vase this week? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy Monday!

  4. Christina says:

    Again, well done Cathy; btw I would definitely recommend cutting the flowers and conditioning them all night before arranging in the morning; it will give them the best chance of lasting the day. I haven’t tried it but have you thought of putting some water retaining gel around the base of the stems, perhaps using foil to wrap them? I might help them stay fresh. Here’s my much less glamorous offing today:
    Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks so much for confirming the advice about cutting them the night before. However much one reads this perceived wisdom there is nothing better than experiencing it oneself, which I haven’t yet done. There is still that nagging thought that surely cutting fresh should be better – but I shall definitely go with what more experienced people have found and cut them in advance ๐Ÿ˜‰ The posy was made yesterday and has now been out of water for about 15 hours and is still looking the same, apart from the aquilegia foliage, so I am feeling more confident about stayability ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Julie says:

        I have just seen your comment here Cathy – you really must condition your flowers overnight in a dark cool space – a shed or a garage is ideal – they will soak up far more water than freshly cut stems have and it gives any creepy crawlies a chance to creep away in the night. Last year for a wedding on 18th April I actually cut the tulips on Monday because the temperatures were so high I was worried they would go over – wrapped in brown paper and stood in buckets of water in an outbuilding they lasted perfectly and for a good week after the wedding as well.

        • Cathy says:

          Thanks for this info too, Julie – this is something I wanted to try out for myself in advance too. Trying out techniques beforehand is such a good confidence booster, and I am very grateful for the support and tips from fellow bloggers which add to my store of knowledge

  5. The red tulips and the muscari are so pretty together. Beautiful arrangement.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lisa – although with most of the narcissi and bluebell buds still being closed I wonder if the tulips are perhaps a little dominant…

  6. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Unseasonal delights | Duver Diary

  7. jenhumm116 says:

    Ooo how exciting! Such a good idea to try things out first. I remember it taking hours to do the arrangements for the golf club!
    Here’s mine this week – I have Cerinthe too, but I think you know what else…

    • Cathy says:

      It is indeed exciting – and even more so now I have been practising, Jen! And I am excited in anticipation of seeing the contents of your vase today!

  8. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful arrangement and such an exciting (and busy) time for you. Wish you could have been with me yesterday at Art In Bloom for a fun presentation called DIY Weddings. Two florists presented a myriad of wedding ideas for tables, bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. No weddings at my house to ponder this week. Here’s my vase:

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed this vase/posy and your process…..and also learning more about the jacket and dress too. Beautiful choices to trial and it is too bad about the aquilegia foliage. But with your ample garden I am sure you will make beautiful choices. Can’t wait to see them all.

    Here is my vase which could serve as a wonderful table decoration at any wedding:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – seeing the fabric is as near as you will get to seeing me in wedding outfit! I really enjoyed my few hours playing with buttonholes and posies – table decorations are not needed for this wedding and the church provides its own blooms…

  10. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: Spring sprigs | homeslip

  11. homeslip says:

    I love everything in this post Cathy. Your dry run wedding posies are perfect and I’m wishing you a fair wind and lots of luck with the posy and button hole material as we get closer to the day. What a very special day it is going to be if the preparations are anything to go by. I love that you’re making your wedding outfit and think that you are going to look absolutely stunning. Thanks for hosting. I’ve enjoyed putting my vase together today. Here is my link: Spring-sprigs/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for all your kind thoughts, Sarah. I am very much a d-i-y sort of person and was originally meant to be making Younger Daughter’s dress too but she saw one she knew her Dad would pay for – mind you, she might be regretting this choice as the dress still hasn’t arrived … ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Absent Gardener

  13. Cath says:

    I think the posies look lovely. Even though tulips get lost on the red, doesn’t it make the Muscari glow. I have Cerinth seeds, I was thinking about putting them in last week but wasn’t sure it would be the right time. Did you sow them in the garden or in flats?
    Here’s my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cath – I sowed my cerinthe inside in cell trays (very rarely direct sow anything) but in the UK they can be sown direct and can self seed although not reliable so. These were sown in October but I have just sown a second batch today.

  14. A lovely posy, I really like the term. I thought you were sewing (buttonhole) at first. I like the red tulips! Cerinth is a new plant to me, I will have to read up on it. Here is my (not quite) vase.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – I think we are lazy in the UK and tend just to refer to a ’boutonniere’ or ‘corsage’ as a ‘buttonhole’! Cerinthe is a very easy annual to grow in the UK and other parts of Europe – don’t know about the US

      • Interesting as always the common names for things. I just planted some Gaura which had not occurred to me would even grow here so I will look into the Cerinthe.

  15. Pingback: Vase on Monday: Hyacinths | Wild Daffodil

  16. I really didn’t think I would make it this week, but here we are – hurray!

  17. johnvic8 says:

    I’m glad you have involved the Golfer in all these practice rounds. Father of the Bride is usually the least important figure at the Wedding (except for the check book). We want to look at the Bride, the Mother of the Brides’ dress, the hats of all the female guests, and that cute little niece spreading the flower petals. My hope is that the Golfer will get an extra hug from the bride and smile with due grace for the family picture. Have a grand wedding.

  18. The matching jacket lining is a lovely touch! It must be getting very exciting for you and the family now.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kate – the lining really does make a difference and also makes the jacket hang better. I have now made a matching bag! To be honest, my involvement with the wedding is pretty minimal as Younger Daughter has organised most of it herself – we just need to turn up and help her enjoy it!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cathy, followed your posts about creating posies and buttonholes for the wedding and love the practice posy. Shame about the aquilegia foliage not being up to the job – I always think they have such pretty fernlike leaves and at this time of year they are so fresh too. You are going to be busy with the preparations but I hope you enjoy both the process and the wedding. I don’t have a vase this week but I do have an alternative which you can see here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – it was a fun afternoon, practising the posy and buttonholes. Looking at the aquilegia foliage now, most has since perked up a little so perhaps some of them had not been far enough into the vase originally. Probably still won’t risk it for the real one though

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Short and Sweet | Words and Herbs

  21. Cathy says:

    It all seems extremely well thought out and is coming together nicely Cathy. The red, white and blue theme is clear in the last photo – love the tulips! Shame about the aquilegia foliage, but as you say there will be something else suitable on the day. Here is my vase for today:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – and it is now only the availability of reds I am slightly troubled by. Certainly not a lack of foliage!!

  22. Oh so much to learn and you’re smart to practice! I love the idea of a wedding invite via old 45rpm record. Creativity abounds!

    My contribution this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Loree – I tend not to get fazed by things but i certainly feel more confident for having had a practice! Younger Daughter bought a job lot of singles from eBay and printed her own labels – of course people keep asking her what their actual record is, but they would have to peel the label off to find out. The wedding theme is very much a ‘Mod’ one, hence the red, white and blue

  23. Kris P says:

    I can see how much effort is going into these preparations, Cathy. A florist’s job used to seem like a dream to me but now I can see its challenges! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose if one was buying in the blooms it would be a different matter, but the challenge for me is to use what I have in the garden – and personally I think it will make the whole process more enjoyable, even if it is harder!

  24. Hannah says:

    Your posy is very cute, Cathy, I wonder what flowers you will find when the wedding comes. The double daffodils look wonderful, little pompoms. T. linifolia managed to stay in my garden for many years, I’m not sure about whether it will still come up now, such an intense red. The record is such a clever and unique wedding invitation! I like the colors of your dress, they are close to the colors I selected for my youngest daughter’s childhood wardrobe so I could mix and match her clothes.

    My link is-

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Hannah – the ‘pom pom’ daffodils are ‘Erlicheer’ and I shall defitely grow them again. I was trying to find a fabric that was subtly red, white and blue and although I would have preferred a little less white it was fairly acceptable, and the red jacket does set it off well

  25. Noelle says:

    Lovely posy…such rich colours at this early time of the year.

  26. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Blossom Time – Peonies & Posies

  27. Julie says:

    What an interesting post today Cathy – I have just had a quick look back through your other recent posts and can see that you have been very busy preparing for the wedding! It is such a good idea to have a practice run with flowers for an event – and leaving button holes and bouquets out of water is really sensible – it would be awful to find things flopping on the day. It sounds like you have everything very well under control – my only advise would be to think about preparing all the flowers the day before. In my limited experience of weddings mothers of the bride are always very busy on the day of the wedding and everyone will need your attention – leave yourself as free as possible so that you don’t get stressed. Also do you know about a product called Chrysal – it is a spray which will help keep your flowers fresh if you give the bouquets a good spritz – you can buy it on line from floristry suppliers.

    You can find my flowers this week at: I will not be here next week as we a little break in Barcelona planned.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for the practical support, Julie – I have never heard of Chrysal so will look into that ASAP. Perhaps I am fortunate in that as far as I know I am not required to do anything else on the morning of the wedding as Younger Daughter has sorted everything herself – but now that you have mentioned it I will just check! Knowing how well my practice posy has stood up to being left out of water I would now feel more confident of doing it the night before

  28. Eliza Waters says:

    Bold and beautiful!

  29. Peter/Outlaw says:

    The excitement is building as the day draws closer! Your practice posy is cheerful and fun! My much less exciting contribution can be found here:

  30. Lindy Le Coq says:

    What an inspiration!

  31. Amy Myers says:

    You’re certainly rising to the occasion! I’m fascinated by the details of working with the cut flowers; I know so little about conditioning them, for instance, so it’s great to read your experiences ๐Ÿ™‚
    Here is my wispy posy for this week – the first showing from one of two desert-growing Aquilegias:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – it has been fun trying them out ๐Ÿ™‚ Look forward to seeing your aquilegias – I have buds on some of mine but they are not quite there yet!

  32. I am loving your experiments. Thanks for sharing and including all the details like the aquilegia foliage. We all learn so much!

  33. Anna says:

    Oh that’s a pretty and unique posy Cathy. You must be learning a lot in the process. Thanks for sharing the information with us. I can see you in those fabrics – they will really suit you. What colour will your hair be on the day? Love the record invite – younger daughter has obviously inherited your creative and imaginative genes.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – I have learned such a lot from these practices and now have a good idea of what I will actually chose for the real things. Oh, and it will be red for my hair

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  35. rickii says:

    Creativity obviously runs in the family. This should be a wedding to remember. Here’s my belated post:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks rickii, and it is good to see YD being creative as she been busy growing up and hasn’t shown the urge to be creative for a long time! Sorry to be late answering this and getting to see your vase

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