In a Vase on Monday: Going to Town

IMG_7544The Golfer queried the inclusion of buses as a prop for today’s vase, and on being told the title insisted he wouldn’t dream of going to town on the bus (not that red London buses are local to us anyway); neither would I, as the bus goes through half the surrounding villages before it gets to our local town and goes through the other half on the way back. We both agreed we could probably walk the four miles or so more quickly, so our bus passes remain unused whilst we retain the option of driving.

IMG_7546 IMG_7545However, I went to town with the vase after the relative austerity of other recent Monday contributions, picking the sprightliest and in-your-face blooms that I could find and chose one of my few larger vases, another Caithness Glass Ebony one, to contain their abundance. Sadly, I struggled to keep them erect in the bulbous vase and after first reluctantly trying some scraps of florist’s foam, and then pebbles and glass beads but without success from either, removed the blooms and built them up one-by-one into a large posy which was tied together before the stems were shortened and the now self-supporting blooms replaced in the vase. Individual blooms may be less obvious, but look closely and you might see….

Iris ensata No 45, Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’, Astrantia ‘Roma’, Alchemilla mollis, Hydrangea aborescens ‘Annabelle’, Diascia personata ‘Hopleys’, Delphinium ‘Camelot’, Heuchera ‘Neptune’, sweet pea, Knautia ‘Mars Midget’, Allium christophii, Amaranthus caudatus, Antirrhinum ‘Admiral’s Purple’, Clematis durandii, Penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ , Cosmos ‘Candy Stripe’, Verbena bonariensis, Godetia ‘Azalea Flowered, clary sage ‘Oxford Blue’ and an unknown Hemerocallis

IMG_7548 IMG_7549 IMG_7550 IMG_7551 IMG_7553

This is the largest vase I have come up with for some time and although its exuberance takes a little getting used to I shall enjoy its presence during the week. Next week, however, it will be something rather less extravagant – distinctly minimal in fact, as I am setting myself and other Monday vase makers a challenge!

Many of us are in awe of Susie’s Japanese inspired creations such as last week’s ‘Sweet Pea Reduction’ but she assures us that such designs are simpler than they might appear – so who would like to join me in ‘having a go’ at an Ikebana style vase next week? Whether you want to go down a thoroughly traditional route or one with just a token nod at the Ikebana style is up to you – the challenge is in the ‘having a go’ at something outside our comfort zone, and just as we have been empowered to pick blooms for our Monday vases so we can be now empowered to try something a little different. Everyone who does this next week will go into a draw for a packet of seeds, only a token prize, and sadly one which won’t be available to bloggers in certain US states which I understand will not allow imported seeds. No obligation to join in – a regular Monday vase will be just as welcome!


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74 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Going to Town

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – more of what I like best – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    Such a striking vase this week Cathy, I love the use of the Allium, I realised too late that even my drumstick Alliums are already past their best and so not suitable for a vase. I like the idea of the challenge and will see what I can do, but I am one of those in awe of Susie’s creations so I don’t hold out much hope. Here’s this week’s offering:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – I suppose that’s what happens once we have lots of blooms to choose from and sometimes some don’t make the cut and that’s why I went for as many striking blooms as I could this week before I revert to being more selective again! I am going to order more A cristophii for next year as they are more dependable than A hollandicum; my drumsticks are in bud but not open yet. We will all be out of our comfort zone together next weeek…

  3. Pingback: Vase OM and EoMV | Wild Daffodil

  4. Such a wonderful mix of flowers and colours.
    Here’s mine:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sandra – I am enjoying looking at it, and keep remembering other things I put in it which I hadn’t listed!!

  5. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – and now one for the OH | Duver Diary

  6. jenhumm116 says:

    Such wonderful exuberance in your vase this week Cathy!
    Here’s mine, very rosy:

  7. Just popped back in from weeding to read through your post properly, with a cup of coffee. I LOVE the idea of your challenge for next week – what FUN! I’m definitely IN! One of my favourite styles of arrangement – I’m sure you are not surprised to hear that!!!!

  8. Cath says:

    What a beautiful vase! Whether we would take the double decker or not if it existed, the red balances the light lime green ( what is that ? ) and picks up the red in the amaranth so I think it’s good being there ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Joanna says:

    Gorgeous combinations.
    Much to read but I do not have the skill to write much on iPad
    Look forward to the ikeban session next week
    Thanks for hosting.
    Back on a proper pc next week.
    Copy and pasting such a challenge took me all morning to get the picture up ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Joanna – and sorry that your iPad is such a pain. I have occasionally posted from a tablet but would prefer not to!

  10. Cathy this is one of your loveliest glass vases…I adore the color and shape. And what a challenge filling it….I love the flowers you chose especially that iris. And with each view I see more wonderful combinations. I will think long and hard about the challenge…..not sure I have it in me, but who knows!

    Here’s my contribution this week:

    • Cathy says:

      I have half a dozen of the Ebony vases in different shapes – all predating my blog – think I made sure I had one of each design available. This one is probably my favourite and I ought to remember to use them for IAVOM more often. The iris was nearly past its best although there is a bud on the same stem, but they have been gorgeous and quite unexpected as they have never been as lovely as this

  11. pbmgarden says:

    What fresh profusion of blooms Cathy. Each flower is perfection and I love the blue-green combination of the delphinium and alchemilla. Striking design on the Caithness vase. Will look forward to seeing next week’s entries (even more than usual, if that’s possible). I had trouble this week working out a design and ended up with many.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I enjoyed collecting up my bucket of profusive blooms and trying to knock them into shape.

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: July Jewels | acoastalplot

  13. Sam says:

    You’ve managed to pack a lot into your vase โ€“ such a lovely collection (especially the purples) beautifully offset by the Alchemilla mollis. I’ve had time to do a vase this week (hurrah!) โ€“
    Thank you so much, Cathy. Have a good week. x

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Sam – yes, it was quite a bundle of blooms I ended up with when I tied them into a posy! I had wanted to use the delphinium before now but it was never the right time – there are lots of side shoots on it now so they might have to appear again soon!

  14. Joanna says:

    @ Cathy,
    Before next week’s session, you might want to treat yourself to a KENSEN ( spelling…) which is a pricker. thingie. Also buy yourself some see-through drinking straws.
    More when I am back and can do joined-up typing ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Cathy, you really did go to town, I am loving the colors and texture changes in your vase. The Japanese Iris contrasted with the Allium is epic. I realize I have been in the tropics too long when I think all the Alliums are some sort of Agapanthus! Here is my vase for this Monday.

  16. An explosion of blooms much like what will happen here tonight if it stops raining. Beautiful.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Lisa – sorry you have been having a wet time of things… Here the relative warmth and periodic showers have boosted all the plants I have grown from seed – some days you might almost think you can see them growing!

  17. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Such an extravagant and glorious vase today! I love it and appreciate the tip about banding the flowers together before putting them in this type of vase as that’s a struggle that I’ve also had. Your challenge is great and I’ll do my best to have a go at Ikebana-like arranging next week. Here’s my contribution for today:

  18. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Dancing | Words and Herbs

  19. Cathy says:

    That’s gorgeous – so colourful and summery! And the individual elements all coming together so nicely. I shall have a go at the ikebana next week, but having watched a demonstration live in Osaka many years ago I find it a little daunting… let’s see what we all come up with! I’m sure my attempt will make us all laugh at least! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks Cathy, and here is my vase for today:

  20. johnvic8 says:

    I love your use of the Japanese iris in your arrangement. It makes a wonderful focal point. Thanks again for hosting.

  21. Pingback: it’s vase day |

  22. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue! | Cosmos and Cleome

  23. homeslip says:

    I love this tutti frutti collection Cathy, the more the merrier, and the shape and colour of your yellow Caithness vase reminds me of a Crown Devon pot I owned before I passed it on to the charity shop (wish I hadn’t now!). I could not be without A. Christophii, such a striking presence in the border. Although not a minimalist I do have a small Japanese corner in my garden so I will have to rise to the challenge next week and see what I can do. I’m so pleased to be back this week and here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Sarah – I have realised how easy it is to forget how dependable this allium is as it doesn’t flaunt itself the way A hollandicum does. I am going to add more for next year. Great to have you with us today and thank you in advance for taking next week’s challenge on board!

  24. rickii says:

    Exuberence is the perfect word to describe your vase this week. I, on the other hand, went the minimalist route:

  25. What a bright, exuberant, abundant bouquet! I love it! Here is my vase this week; it is themed for our American holiday today:

    Going to read up on Ikebana now!

  26. Eliza Waters says:

    This is absolutely beautiful, Cathy. Each and every bloom, I am exclaiming over! The dark sweet peas, lovely bluish penstemon, clematis, Japanese iris – all swoon worthy. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Here’s my vase this week:
    I’ll give the ikebana challenge some thought this week. We’ll see!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Eliza – I am really pleased with the clematis which is a herbaceous one and has really stiff stems so was perfect for cutting. It seems to have done especially well this year. Look forward to seeing you rise to the challenge next week!!

  27. You did go to town on this arrangement, Cathy! I love that Iris and I wish I could find that Alstroemeria for my own garden. The vase is also lovely, although I can see how its narrow top presented a challenge. Thanks, as always for hosting! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – I have not had any success with alstroemeria for many years but this one has slowly gained strength and is looking pretty good now. And the iris have been nothing special up till this year – definitely something magical going on!

  28. Lindy Le Coq says:

    Beautiful! I’ll consider the challenge for next Monday, too. Must do some research first! Here is my today vase. Simple, but vibrant.

  29. Noelle says:

    We were on the buses today…..but being in unfamiliar territory, we could both enjoy the views together. What a lovely range of flowers…..and tying a post is often a good solution.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – and I am intrigued as to where you have moved to…are you still in Kenilworth or somewhere completely different?

  30. Wow…you really know how to pack a lot of flowers into a vase! And yet it still looks lovely and cohesive. As for the challenge that sounds like fun! Here’s mine for this week:

  31. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – A touch of sour grapes | Frogend dweller's Blog

  32. That’s a fine selection of stunning blooms. I love the Alstroemeria โ€˜Indian Summerโ€™, that is like a party all by itself!
    My mixed vase includes Penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ too and is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Allison – I am chuffed with both the alstroemeria and the penstemon as they are both plants that haven’t always done well for me

  33. Christina says:

    Hi Cathy, your beautiful bouquets says summer, abundance and England to me. I just love it! I also like the vase itself quite a bit.
    I am very excited today since I am following your blog and your “In a Vase on Monday” meme for quite a while now, but will participate for the very first time. Phew!
    Here is my link:
    One disclaimer I have to make though: My flowers are cut on Thursday last week, since because of work related reasons I am never able to do a post in one day. I hope you and other participants of this wonderful meme don’t mind. At least I am showing “actual flowers” cut from my garden, that are still in the vase today!
    If you do mind, no worries, just let me know and I won’t do another entry!
    Thanks for hosting this great meme, I have enjoyed it very much!
    Warm regards from Southern California,

    • Cathy says:

      You are so welcome Christina; it is good to know that you have been following the blog and the meme and are now joining in for yourself. Don’t worry about having cut your blooms on Thursday – I invariably do mine on Sunday as I am generally out on a Monday morning and I know bloggers are waiting for me to post so they can link theirs, so I schedule mine to appear promptly on Monday. It needs to fit in with your life, and you will be enjoying the vase whatever day you made it, which is one of the purposes of the meme.

      • Christina says:

        Cathy, thank so much for being generous and allowing me “to make my vase” earlier than Monday, which enables me to take part in your lovely meme in the future. I am really looking forward to it!

  34. smallsunnygarden says:

    I’m thoroughly enjoying your exuberance, Cathy – and especially that glorious iris, which is quite exuberant all by itself! I’m still trying to spy the Godetia – is it at the back in the second pic of the series? – as it is said to grow well here. I’ve never tried it so any info on growing it would be appreciated!
    I’ll look forward to trying your Ikebana challenge next week! Meantime… it was the roses’ fault…:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – buds were only just beginning to colour up on the godetia and I have checked through the photographs and I don’t think they are visible although one is now fully out! It is the first time I have grown them and I think I had them as they were free with any two packs of seeds – they germinated really quickly and easily but are not in a rush to flower!

  35. Well Cathy I joined you today not Monday as I ran out of time.
    I love the abundance of your huge vase and I will make an attempt at ikebana next week. Should be interesting to see what we all come up with

  36. Anna says:

    Now that’s a jam packed and colourful vase Cathy. Although I am a bus user it’s been years since I’ve been on a red bus. The buses in this neck of the woods rarely go directly from A to B which sadly does put people off from using them. Unable to join in this week as away from garden and allotment. I’m off to find out more about Ikebana ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose one would get used to the circuitous routes if one needed to… Hope you have had a pleasurable time away and that the allotment and garden survived your absence ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. Patsi says:

    You’re very creative. The colors are to kill for. I’d like to give your meme a try but don’t think a few posts would do it. Will come back. Thanks.

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