In a Vase on Monday: In the Navy

IMG_7148OK, I admit it, I do have some bonkers ideas sometimes, but with four stems of early sweet peas of the variety ‘Navy’ which demanded the simplest of vases such as these test tubes and the stray postcard (HMS Leviathan) shown below which missed being sold with others on eBay a few years back, well you can see the way my mind was working…

IMG_7149It helps that I can say to the Golfer, “Please can you make me the hull of a battleship” and he will immediately go off and come back with the finished article barely 15 minutes later. The hull then just needed a quick lick of grey paint before I inserted the test tubes and masts and then the sweet peas, cut very much shorter.

The sweet peas are the first flowers from my Owl’s Acre Winter Sunshine seeds, sown on October 4th last year and planted out in the greenhouse at the end of January. They have grown into such strong plants and I have been eagerly watching their progress, including that of those sown a month later which I hoped would be in flower for next Saturday’s wedding. Of these four stems, the longest measured 17 inches and it was a shame to have to cut it so much shorter but at least this bodes well for future vases. They do have a fragrance too, although not as strong as some.

IMG_7147IMG_7151Although the variety was called ‘Navy’ the flowers are more of a deep purple even though these photographs suggest they are more blue than they actually are in real life. The pale turquoise background in the first picture, some spare dressmaking fabric, was meant to suggest the sea but in practice does not show the naval battleship off as well as it perhaps could have done.

Will I have need of a customised battleship ‘vase’ in the future? You never know…

I am thrilled to have sweet peas flowering in April, but have had to wait a week or so until there was more than one to pick and share with you in a Monday vase. What will be in your vase today, whether customised or not? I look forward to seeing what you have found in your garden or nearby to pop into it, so please share it with us by leaving the usual links.


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70 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: In the Navy

  1. Pingback: April 25th 2016 In a vase on Monday – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    I’m so envious of these early sweet peas, I will definitely being trying some next year although who knows where in the greenhouse I’ll find space!!! I love the deep colour of yours and as always am in awe of your creativity with titles and props!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for hosting, here’s my offering:

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Christina – all the others are just about there too, but not quite… I do so hope you will be able to grow these Winter Sunshine ones yourself and I am sure Owls Acre would advise you on the timing in your climate – greenhouse space is another issue though! Mine will certainly have to be out before tomatoes can go in!

  3. Pingback: Photo Challenge Round -Up: Reflection | Wild Daffodil

  4. Beautifully bonkers – well done that Golfer!
    Here’s my ‘Vase’ – which is included in the Photo Challenge Round-Up this week:

  5. Pingback: Vintage landscape: flowers amicorum – enclos*ure

  6. Sweet peas in the garden — how wonderful!

    I don’t have a vase today, but I did find this lovely old 1880s watercolor of a bouquet and linked to this meme:

    • Cathy says:

      Well, sweet peas in the greenhouse, Cindy – the strain has been bred to grow and flower at lower light levels. Look forward to seeing your picture – and for thinking out of the box for the meme

  7. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – heaven scent | Duver Diary

  8. jenhumm116 says:

    What a stunning deep colour – and wonderful, bonkers display!
    Strangely, my navy ones haven’t flowered yet, I’ve just got the lilac and cream, which are featuring again today. I noticed on the Owl’s Acre website that the navy does flower slightly later, so I think I still have lovely deep ones to look forward to!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen, and strangely the Navy ones are the shortest and weakest of the plants – perhaps they are putting their efforts into flowering rather than producing stem and leaves! I have Opal as well as the red/white/blue ones – all in bud but unlikely to open before the w/e!

  9. Hannah says:

    What a handyman is the Golfer! It was sweet of him to whip up a battleship for your special tube vase holder. The ‘Navy’ sweet peas are so admirably early, I have some vines growing because of all the inspiration I get on IaVoM, as well as some Freesia bulbs and Anemone coronaria coming up. I hope someday to have some flowers from some of them to plonk into my vase. For this week-

    • Cathy says:

      I think there will be a lot more bloggers growing these early sweet peas next year – it is such a joy to have them. I am so pleased you feel inspired by IAVOM – it has changed the lives of many!

  10. Annette says:

    Your golfer seems as charming and handy as Monsieur, Cathy, and I certainly love your ‘bonkers ideas’. To have sweet peas at this time of year is really a treat, so enjoy your boat as long as possible. Best wishes to you both and have a fab spring week 🙂 ….alas, not to forget my vase 😉 :

    • Cathy says:

      Definitely handy…but charming..? 😉 We are certainly on the same wavelength in many things – so of course he didn’t find my request strange! It is indeed a treat to have these sweet peas, but they will definitely be an annual fixture on my seed list.

      • Annette says:

        We’ve just discussed it last night, how much it means to have found someone with the same wavelength, Cathy, someone who shares most of ones own crazy ideas. That’s something to cherish 🙂

  11. pbmgarden says:

    The Navy sweet peas are gorgeous Cathy. You must be excited about the upcoming wedding. Hope the weather will be wonderful with your lovely flowers peaking just in time for the bouquet.
    Thanks for inviting us to share flowers with you and others.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, Susie, it is indeed a real treat to have sweet peas in April even if they will not be blooming properly in time for the wedding! Looking forward to Saturday, even though it is meant to be showery

  12. I absolutely adore your creative ideas Cathy. And to have such a crafty person there to help you too! A perfect vase for these gorgeous dark sweet peas. I planted my seeds a couple of weeks ago and hope to see them starting to grow soon.

    Here’s my vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks you Donna – the Golfer and I make a good team and often bounce ideas off each other. Good luck with your sweet peas!

  13. We can see how happy you are to have such beautiful sweet peas in your garden. Thanks for sharing, I have not seen that great dark blue colour before. I planted some purple and white ones and hope to see them in bloom.

    This is my vase:

  14. What a fun idea and I love the Navy flowers. I didn’t realize Sweet Peas were available in blue and they are lovely. My husband would have enjoyed making the ship as well. Power tools are so fun!
    Here is my vase this Monday:

    • Cathy says:

      For the wedding I was growing some sky blue ones, so yes definitely available in blue although I do think this one is not really ‘blue’!

  15. The Golfer is definitely a keeper. Not many partners would indulge us over-the-top gardeners to create a floral vignette. Well done both of you. I am glad to merely have flowers to put in a vase today!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh indeed Linda – he would indulge any whim but fortunately for him I try not to abuse that desire to please!! Always nice to have ANYthing to put in a vase, I agree

  16. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Grey day Flowers | acoastalplot

  17. Sam says:

    Wow – gorgeous sweet peas. Amazing colour. My vase is another hotpotch! It’s at:
    Thank you, as ever, Cathy. I love taking part in your Monday vases. Sam x

    • Cathy says:

      Glad you are enthusiastic participator now Sam – I feel privileged to be the host. Good to share these early sweet peas with you all too 🙂

  18. Peter Herpst says:

    Wow, the wedding is so close! I can’t wait to see what your arrangements for that event will look like. You’ve put so much thought into preparation. Interesting theme this week with delightful early sweet peas! My swirl of indecision can be found here:

  19. johnvic8 says:

    As a retired Naval Officer, I particularly like your choice of vase. And a hearty thank you to the Golfer. You make a remarkable team. My offering this week:

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: An Artist’s Palette | Words and Herbs

  21. Cathy says:

    You and your “Golfer” are both so talented Cathy! It really does look like a battleship! Love the sweet peas. I just checked when I started sowing seeds last year – April 4th – and with our current cold spell I will be at least a month behind. Still, things always seem to catch up. I’m showing off my tulips this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – sorry to hear you are having another cold spell. Is it not practical to autumn sow sweet peas? Would it be too cold over winter?

      • Cathy says:

        With no greenhouse, yes. It would be too cold in a normal winter, and mostly too damp as we live in a valley which gets a lot of fog and mist in winter. One day I will have a greenhouse, but I must be patient. So many other things need doing first! 😉

        • Cathy says:

          We get to know our own climate, don’t we? It wasn’t till I finished work and had more time to notice things that I realised how much drier the UK Midlands was than many other parts of the UK. Hope it won’t be too long before you are able to have your greenhouse

  22. With the ability to ask for, and then receive, something like that test tube framework I am afraid I’d start to abuse it. Lots of “honey can you…” requests.

    My IAVOM post isn’t really a vase this week, but rather a sharing of a happy occurrence based on previous vases:

    • Cathy says:

      The only downside is that sometimes he goes off to do something I have asked for without waiting for the detail – and then has to remake it 😦

  23. You do come up with the most clever themes! I finally have a few scraggly stems of sweet peas myself. Although nothing like your pretty stems, I’m glad to get at least some blooms after the repeated raccoon onslaughts of my seedlings. (Maybe I DO need a battleship!) Thanks for hosting, Cathy. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – and shame about those raccoons! At least my sweet peas are fairly protected in the greenhouse – and they are far leafier and stronger than any I have ever grown outside

  24. Anna says:

    I’m amazed to see sweet peas in flower so early. I must admit I was rather sceptical about the idea of winter flowering sweet peas but they just about qualify for that description especially given today’s weather. You must be so pleased with them Cathy. The golfer is a man of many talents. I surprised myself and picked not one but two vases today :

    • Cathy says:

      I believe they can be in flower in March, presumably if sown a little earlier than October – the November sown ones have caught up though, so perhaps it doesn’t make much difference. If you have space in your greenhouse do think of giving them a try – they have been completely trouble free so far and I suspect give me far more many blooms than I can cope with, although not in time for the Wedding, sadly! I think we both have such a ‘can do’ attitude – meaning that most things are possible!

  25. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Spring’s Supporting Act | Frogend dweller's Blog

  26. Blimey, what a fantastic idea! Well done on both the sweet peas (impressively long and early) and the creative hull display (obviously not just a golfer).
    My vase today day is:

  27. Pingback: ~ Peony, Rose and Pearls ~ In A Vase On Monday ~ | lindylecoq

  28. Lindy Le Coq says:

    Oooh, navy blue sweat peas! I’ll have to go looking for these. Here’s my humble addition to the lovely bouquets this week.

  29. homeslip says:

    Oh Cathy, the forecast is not good this week for flowers but if you have these and red and white anemone then all will be well. I have never seen or heard of a navy sweet pea and I can see that it has an almost velvety texture, I think many of us will be searching for this beauty next year. Have a good week and I’ll be thinking of you and sending you my best wishes.
    Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you for your best wishes, Sarah – yes, the weather has been very mixed today and this is due to continue, but no heavy or prolonged rain. Already my thoughts on blooms for Saturday are modifying, and I shall write a provisional list on Wednesday of what I intend to pick. I suspect there won’t be any sweet peas on the list though… Early days still, but I think I shall be heartily recommending these Winter Sunshine sweet peas

  30. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Brandy Snap Tulip Collection – Peonies & Posies

  31. Julie says:

    It is so exciting to see your sweet peas Cathy – I cut my first few stems this weekend too. Hopefully we will have plenty more in the weeks to come! You always make me smile with your themes – you have really upped the stakes by getting one custom made this week!

    My vase is at: – as I always end up saying – better late than never!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – we have you to thank for introducing us to this Winter Sunshine strain… I am sure there will be many other bloggers ordering seeds later in the year!

  32. Amy says:

    Love your battleship, Cathy – you and the Golfer certainly go at these projects to good effect! The blue sweet peas are wonderful; I will probably be looking for a good blue myself next time as I’d like to use sweet peas in the South Border in future.
    Hope all goes smoothly with the wedding 🙂
    My vase seems a bit out of season, but none the worse for that as the weather has been doing all sorts of things (except rain) lately:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy, the battleship seems to have gone down well, despite its bonkersness – but perhaps people were just being polite!

  33. Wow that’s fantastic you have your first sweet peas flowering already. I have the navy winter sunshine variety growing as well but not nearly so far on as yours. It’s really interesting to see the pictures of yours and how dark the colour is.

  34. rickii says:

    I get such a kick out of the sories that go with your “vases”.

  35. Cathy says:

    It is a bit bonkers, Cathy, but gorgeous all the same! You people doing the Vase on Monday have so much more imagination than I!

  36. Excellent, I love them. How amazing to have sweet peas this early, clever you.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dorris – but nothing clever about growing them as they have been bred to flower early in the lower light levels – Julie of Peonies and Posies grew them last year and introduced them to us. Both she and Jen of Duver Diary are growing them this year. They are Winter Sunshine strain from Owl’s Acre

      • They are lovely. I always forget to start in the Autumn. And your boat idea was inspired.
        I will look up owls acre

        • Cathy says:

          I sowed Navy and Opal on Oct 4th and red, white and blue for the wedding on Nov 18th – the later sowings have caught up and are at the same stage. I know I put more time and effort into seed sowing these days but all my autumn sown sweet peas have done far better than any later sowings and have been no problem to overwinter in an unheated greenhouse. There were quite a few different colours on their website, I recall

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