In a Vase on Monday: (Quarter) Pint Size

IMG_7315Having spotted three lily of the valley blooms at the edge of the hedge border I decide to celebrate their presence by using them as the basis for today’s vase. Contrary to many other gardeners’ experiences it has been a struggle to get them to establish here at all – so three  blooms can be seen as a small triumph. A similar reluctance to establish is shown by other supposedly rampant growers like pachysandra, ajuga and even forget-me-nots, none of which I am not too unhappy about, but I have hankered after a patch of lily of the valley for a long time and tried on several occasions. Poor things – I bemoan their lack of presence then pluck them as soon as they appear!

IMG_7316Complementing their pristine and diminutive whiteness, the little milk bottle (yes, quarter of a pint) also holds the sparse blooms of slow-to-establish Epimedium x youngianum ‘Niveum’ with a few of its leaves, the whitest flower heads of grown-from-seed Linaria ‘Pretty in Pink’, Aquilegia ‘Variable White Double’ from Touchwood seeds, a single polemonium leaf, white heads of snowy woodrush Luzula nivea and self seeded greater quaking grass, Briza maxima. I am becoming increasingly fond of both these grasses which are pretty, graceful and useful.

IMG_7317Pint size props are the tiny crate of milk bottles and a natural milky quartz crystal point, creating a display that is very different from last week’s glowing embers.

Wherever we are in the world it seems that most of us Monday vase makers are suddenly finding we have plenty of choice again – with apologies to those in the southern hemisphere who are approaching their leaner season. Regardless of the season, most of us have still come up with vases week in, week out, as we have learned how much pleasure there is to be gained by the experience. Do join us if you haven’t already done so, leaving links to and from this post so we can share your pleasure.


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60 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: (Quarter) Pint Size

  1. My lily of the valley are late this year but you can bet I will have some by next Monday. I adore them and they are the birth flower for May. I also had trouble establishing mine and then after a few years they popped up and have been growing in very slowly in a few spots. Don’t give up hope yet Cathy.

    Lovely little white bouquet this week…I finally had a few flowers as well. It has been slow growing here what with the colder weather, but now we are heating up with summer temps so everything will grow at once…here’s my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      I did disturb them last season when I widened the adjacent path, so perhaps they will be happier next year… Glad you feel things are warming up for your blooms!

  2. Hannah says:

    The white flowers are so pretty and crisp together, Cathy, carrying on your milk theme with the cute little milk jugs. I spent a lot of time this spring going after every forget-me-not I could find, even though I still think the blue flowers are so darling. Ajuga does great here and is mostly welcome. Lily of the Valley likes it under a Rhododendron and occupies its space there. I don’t think I’ve seen the white Epimedium flowers, it seems only the basic yellow ones do that well for me.

  3. Christina says:

    Very pretty. White flowers always look cool and elegant, I still don’t seem to have enough white flowers to make a vase with just those. Here’s my link:
    Thanks for hosting.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Lily of the Valley is such a pretty star for today’s vase. I’ve rarely seen them growing here yet a neighbor just offered to let me come dig some from her yard. Hope yours will continue to grow and thrive this time. Your other white-flowered companions are beautiful in their own right too Cathy, in a lovely setting. My vase today is

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Susie – as always seems to happen, it came together very quickly and the setting is just outside the back door and was taken advantage of as it was beginning to rain!

  5. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: tulips and sweet woodruff – enclos*ure

  6. I had a couple of lily of the valley leaves appear under a tree, but no flowers. But I do have white sweet woodruff, which I have combined with tulips today.

  7. Pingback: In a vase on Monday | Garden Dreaming at Châtillon

  8. Cathy says:

    Dainty and tranquil, your vase Cathy – love the way the Briza maxima is echoing the shape of the lily of the valley – and how wonderful to feel free to cut the epimedium! I have some lily of the valley from my mum’s garden in Scotland and very, very slowly they are starting to bulk up a little. I like that they come from her garden. They are much-loved for first of May celebrations here, and sold in small bunches on all street corners. Here is my link for today’s vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it’s always good to have plants sourced from family or friends’ gardens – do the lotv grow wild in your part of France? That’s a good link you have made with the Briza, by the way – I see just what you mean

      • Cathy says:

        They do grow wild here Cathy, in the woods just opposite the house.

        • Amy Myers says:

          Cathy, just a quick note as I can’t seem to reach you via your blog or mine and am hoping this will work… I’ve wanted to let you know I’m looking at the comments problem on my blog but think it’s a Blogger thing right now as they roll out new https settings. I’m still unable to comment on your blog also, though you may find my attempts in your spam bin, judging by previous sad experience! Would love to be able to be in touch as I thoroughly enjoy your blog 🙂 And now, here’s hoping my comment isn’t too late for you to see it… 😉

          • Cathy says:

            You have commented, I have commented – the problem appears to be resolved! Thanks for taking the trouble to look – I was unaware that there was a problem on my blog as well. Will have a look at the comment function here to see if the settings are ok. Thanks – break through!

  9. If the lily of the valley is by the hedge that may be what’s slowing it down. If they do take off they won’t go so crazy being in a location like that. I love snowy wood rush. And I found that Epimedium to be just about the slowest one to establish for me as well. It finally took off to the point where I have a nice big clump and even was able to divide it but it took a long time. The wait is worth it. My post is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Linda – the border replaced a very scruffy bit of hedge and the soil was substantially improved so it’s not that. I think I need to talk to them nicely… Glad it’s not just me with this epimedium!

  10. I love the vase, but I really love the setting. The rocks are a perfect contrast. My mother tried to grow Lily of the Valley for years and years and years, finally gave up. I never tried after all that, you must be really enjoying the success and the fragrance. Here is my vase this Monday:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – the setting is just outside the back door where I built this ‘dry stone wall’ to surround a stone trough which has water dripping into it and which is pumped back. The wall looks as if it has always been there now! I could do with a few more lily of the valley to enhance the fragrance but certainly recognise it as being part of one of the perfumes I wear, which was an intersting discovery

  11. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday | acoastalplot

  12. Sam says:

    A gorgeous bottle of flowers Cathy. I do love Lily of the Valley but have failed abysmally to grow any so far. Perhaps I should try again. The Luzula is a fabulous grass, isn’t it? I’m on the look out for some Briza too. Here’s mine:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sam – and if you want some Briza I can either send you some clumps which will readily self seed, or send you some seed later. I didn’t sow any this year as there were already seedlings before last summer was out and I just yank the plants I don’t need. It is such a good do-er and so pretty. Do let me know

  13. Anca Tîrcă says:

    White flowers are always such a delight in a vase, I love them.And what a nice coincidence, today I have posted only white flowers on the Facebook page of my garden. This is my vase, the 100th one.Thanks, Cathy, for such a great idea and inspiration:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anca – I noticed how pristine an all-white vase looked when I did this one. Well done on your 100th vase!

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Loveliness | Words and Herbs

  15. Cathy says:

    What a beautiful collection of white flowers. The milk bottle theme was a brilliant idea too. I have also had trouble getting Lily of the Valley established and decided not to cut any of my three stems today! I am pleased to hear the Briza has self-seeded. I planted my first ones at the weekend and can’t wait to use them in vases!
    Here’s my link for today:
    Thanks Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – I hope cutting my three stems doesn’t slow down their rate of spread!! You may well never be without briza now, as mine is very happy to seed about so it may be the same for you.

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    Love the milky white theme this week, Cathy. Those tiny milk bottles are adorable! You probably won’t be happy with the abundance of lily of the valley in my vase this week, but trust me, after twenty years you will have handfuls yourself!

  17. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Congratulations on you lily-of-the-valley triumph. There’s nothing quite like that sweet fragrance and the flowers are so very delicate looking. Love your milky white arrangement. Your storehouse of props is almost as impressive as the masterful way you combine them with flowers. My offering is here:

  18. johnvic8 says:

    The focus on white this week is marvelous. Quite lovely, and I love your milk bottles…my kind of prop.

  19. Well done persevering with the Lily of the Valley. I too keep trying. Your milky white drops look so pretty and I expect they smell great. I have white flowers all in a froth today.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dorris – I need to stick my nose in them to smell them but I have a jug of my lovely sweet peas nearby which boosts the fragrance!

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  22. Gillian says:

    Lovely white flowers Cathy. There’s just a touch of white in my vase today too.

  23. Loree Bohl says:

    I managed to both bring in and establish Lily of the Valley – and then do the unthinkable and abolish it. I do wish I had kept a small patch, they are such lovely little flowers.

    My vase this week:

  24. Your pint-sized creation has a big presence, Cathy. I love all those delicate white blooms. Lily of the Valley is one of my old favorites too. They grew outside the bedroom window of my childhood but I haven’t a prayer of growing them in my current garden. Thanks for hosting “IAVOM.” Here’s my post:

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  26. So beautiful, Cathy, and so dainty. I love your moist moss and stone backdrop especially. Just for the record, I’ve never had Lily of the Valley establish well in any garden or pot where I’ve planted it. What is the secret? I am joining with you today, but with something in a pot rather than in a vase. Here is our newest moss garden and fairy house:

  27. Anna says:

    Small is definitely beautiful Cathy as well as being most pleasing to the eye. I wonder what it is about lily of the valley as it seems to be one of those hit or miss plants. They are worth perservering with though. I’ve chosen the very same leading lady this week :

  28. Thanks for hosting, Cathy. Interesting: I didn’t realize you were featuring LOVs when I wrote my post, and then when I came over here and discovered it. LOVs quickly filled in a particular area in my garden and have escaped a bit into other parts of the garden. They’re not terrible bullies, and I love them so much. They bring back pleasant childhood memories. Here’s my post:

  29. Amy Myers says:

    It’s fascinating to read all the “I couldn’t grow lily of the valley either” comments as I was always disappointed to have such a poor showing in my earlier garden (won’t be trying it here in the desert, of course!). It is one of my very favorite garden scents to this day 🙂 I love the all-white combination, another of your vases which makes me glad to have more white in the garden now… However, my vase today was very much in a different direction!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – I am so glad I picked my three solitary LOV because it has generated such a lot of useful comments!

  30. joanna says:

    I can’t stop them spreading. In all different parts of the garden, but….all in deep shade.
    They like it cool.
    My flowers are actually in a vase, though the vase doesn’t show up in the picture.
    You made the most of only three flowers. Maybe in a few years you too have too many of them 🙂

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