In a Vase on Monday: Out to Grass

img_8503Today’s vase was quickly put together, the decision already having been taken to use some of the grasses which I have increasingly been coming to appreciate in the last couple of years. I have particularly enjoyed the tactile nature of Pennisetum villosum with its fluffy bunny tails and the plumes of Miscanthus ‘Ferner Osten’, wondering at the gradual change to a delicate lavender of a rescued stem of the latter in a glass on the kitchen window sill.

P villosum was potted up and placed in the greenhouse a few weeks backย  as a winter precaution but there were a few lingering flowering stems which were snipped to join ‘Ferner Osten’, Pennisetum ‘Moudry’, Carex buchananii ‘Red Rooster’, Anemanthele lessoniana, Luzula sylvatica and Ophiopogon planiscapus โ€˜Nigrescens’. I have a number of low growing grasses, mostly at the front of the shrub border where after two years they are becoming well established, but the taller grasses have been in situ little over 12 months and many have not yet made an impact, so by this time next year there may well be new favourites, and perhaps more new grasses too – yes, their shape and form and colour range have certainly won me over!

img_8504Keeping to the very muted palette, the chosen stems were placed in a pleasingly simple brown glass vase, the shape of which demands to be held and cupped in the hands but in practice rarely provides a suitable receptacle as there is little depth to keep the stems upright: today though, the stems were in sufficient enough quantity to hold themselves in place in the narrow opening of the neck. Borrowing from my much-played with 60s collection of Britain’s miniature garden, today’s props wereย  a 1:32 scale lawn mower and roller, and a section of ‘lawn’; after I last aired some of the collection as props for IAVOM I took time to tidy the whole box of pieces, sadly finding that they had been badly mishandled by the last child to have played with them ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Clearing autumn detritus around the garden has revealed early signs of spring bulbs, not just some of the earlier snowdrops but also what I think must be leucojum, but flowering is still a long way off. In the meantime there are witch hazels, winter blooming honeysuckle, sarcococca and Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ to look forward to and to help fill Monday vases – and ‘forced’ indoor bulbs too. Will any of these have made it to your vase yet? Whatever you can find in your garden or scrounge nearby to put in your vases please share it with us by leaving links to and from this post as usual.


This entry was posted in Gardening, Gardens, grasses, In a Vase on Monday and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Out to Grass

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – a simple treasure – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    I love your beautiful grasses Cathy and the interesting shape of your vase. Here’s my link:
    Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – I would have liked to have been more generous with the grasses but the clumps just aren’t big enough yet

  3. Delicate. I love the bunny tails and the miniature garden equipment.

  4. Cath says:

    Wow, I love the different coloured stems, and the way they look through the coloured glass, as well as the fluffy heads. Here is a vase that looks like summer on a cold rainy day.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and I know they will increasingly play a valuable part inthe garden so I wanted to give them the chance to shine on their own in a vase

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Thanks for hosting Cathy. Your vase is a beautiful study in texture and you found a great container to support the grasses. My vase looks ahead to Christmas colors. Too early, I know.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – the vase was another car boot one but I haven’t had the opportunity to use it before because of the shape. The neck is too narrow to insert any pebbles or other support although I could possibly use small gravel – will check that out for future use, perhaps

  6. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Evergreen | acoastalplot

  7. Sam says:

    I adore ornamental grasses, Cathy โ€“ your vase is absolutely lovely. Mine this week is here:
    Thank you. Sam x

  8. Pingback: Surprisingly Summery – On the Potting Bench

  9. I like your frilly grasses in this vase Cathy.
    My contribution to your meme

  10. The vase truly speaks of the season. I love the vase and plant material combination. Interestingly, the Pennisetum will grow here in South Florida, but Miscanthus won’t. I love your gardening minatures, so cute. Here is my wildly tropical vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Interesting to hear that Miscanthus won’t grow for you – here, some pennisetums are not reliably hardy. I had a look on eBay to see what the garden miniatures sell for these days – not cheap – as for nostalgic reasons I have considered adding to my depleted collection…

      • It is actually too hot for Miscanthus here and the large native grasses look like gigantic weeds to me. I do have Muhly Grass which I enjoy and I had Miscanthus strictus in my former garden and loved it.

  11. Beautiful Cathy, this arrangement is so classy and elegant.

    Much like you, I’ve only recently begun to admire ornamental grasses so you’ve given me some good tips on which to buy for next year.

    The weather here is much, much kinder than last week which meant I could have a proper look around the garden, and I was surprised what I found still in flower:

    • Cathy says:

      It was other people’s blogs that introduced me to the taller grasses, most of which I sought out and bought through the internet, but garden centres tend to have a better range of the shorter ones. I certainly look forward to adding more, and growing from seed too

  12. These grasses are just gorgeous, Cathy. I love the simplicity of them, and the subtle colouration, which matches the very well chosen vase. And trust you to always have just the right prop – where do you keep all these little treasures?!
    My vase today is definitely filed under the ‘scrounging’ heading.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Joanna – the miniature garden is in the loft, the vases are in a wardrobe in a downstairs bedroom, and much of the other stuff is kitchenalia which is not surprisingly in the kitchen!

  13. karen says:

    I love those fluffy grasses. So pretty. And what a joy- your miniature garden props. They made me smile. Here’s my Vase this week. Very hopeful of the winter flowering shrubs you mentioned. They have buds, but no flowers yet. It’s the scent I particularly look forward to in the winter. All the best- Karen.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Karen – the viburnum buds are definitely swelling here, and the sarcococca has had buds for ages, but yes, the fragrance is definitely something to anticipate…

  14. Peter Herpst says:

    Your grass arrangement is beautiful and the props are perfect. I can just see you holding this vase in your palm, a gardener’s royal orb, as you survey your kingdom. Viburnum bodnantense โ€˜Dawnโ€™ has been blooming in my garden for quite a while now and because of our mild autumn, some of the camellia japonicas are blooming early. Yesterday, I noticed a small sprinkling of flowers on the Lonicera fragrantissima which is still in full leaf. Unfortunately none of those made it into my silly arrangement this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, definitely orb-shaped, Peter and I am trying to visualise what you had in mind… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Need to have a closer look at my winter flowerers but yours are definintely ahead of mine

  15. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: Blue dusk | homeslip

  16. homeslip says:

    I love the variety of soft tufty grasses you have and all the different stem colours show up so well against the ink blue backdrop. Absolutely gorgeous. And the way you have fanned them so they echo the shape of the vase is so pleasing to the eye too. ( I must try to do better than just plonk mine and hope the sun comes out … next week!)
    Here is my link today:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sarah – the tightness of the neck made fanning them any more than this difficult, otherwise I would have done…but essentially I am a Plonker too!

  17. Your grasses look lovely all on their own. I keep thinking I should use more of mine before they’re spent but then my garden wandering takes me elsewhere. We got wet again this past weekend so perhaps I’ll have more winter blooms in coming weeks. As to bulbs, the Freesia foliage is up but there’s no sign of flowers yet. Thanks for hosting, Cathy, and here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris, as my plumes were not yet plentiful I wanted to strike a balance betweeen picking some and leaving some to enjoy in the garden

  18. Love your grassy vase! I wonder how well the seedheads will hold up? I’ve had mixed results, with some disintegrating within hours. Of course that didn’t keep me from including a few in this week’s vase…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Loree – I have had a stem of both the miscanthus and the pennisetum in a glass in the kitchen for a few weeks and both have been fine

  19. Oh, fabulous idea–one that could take us through the winter even! Here’s my link: Thanks for hosting!

  20. Alison C says:

    I too am growing to appreciate grasses more and have added some this autumn. They are wonderfully tactile. Very pretty tucked into your little vase.
    Here is my link, a few grasses are included.

  21. I wish I had more grasses in my garden, but unfortunately they seem not to like my soil. Lovely combination! My vase:

  22. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: A Vase for Alys | Words and Herbs

  23. Cathy says:

    Those grasses simply shine Cathy – like those handheld sparklers on Bonfire Night! Love the delicate pinky shades too. The minature lawnmower and roller are ingenious props! Here is my offering for this week:
    Thank you Cathy!

  24. I love the idea of tiny garden implements. They are a good example of how differently our countries view gardening. Alas, cold and rainy here and I had nothing as intetesting or elegant as your grasses to put in a vase this week.

    • Cathy says:

      These were the plastic version of the original lead ones from earlier in the 20thC; you could be little flower beds and packs of different plants which you pushed into little holes. They certainly wouldn’t be allowed these days as the pieces were tiny and perfect for chidren to swallow!

  25. johnvic8 says:

    I admire the creativity in your vase this week. Thanks again for sharing, and I do hope the lawnmower and roller won’t put too much strain on the Golfer’s back.

  26. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – bronze cup? | Duver Diary

  27. jenhumm116 says:

    ‘I am a plonker too’. Oh Cathy, what would Del Boy say ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Such a beautiful, airy creation.
    Here’s mine, better late than never!

  28. Pingback: iavom |

  29. rickii says:

    The grasses look great in that vase. I even like the way the stems look through the glass.

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed – and it’s funny how the vase doesn’t look brown at all from a distance, barely coloured even. I wouldn’t have expected to have seen the stems

  30. Barbara says:

    Grasses – gorgeous.

  31. Chloris says:

    Your grasses look great in the lovely glass vase, such a simple but elegant arrangement. I love grasses too. Yet more ingenious props. You are never at a loss.

  32. Anna says:

    I wish that my hands could go through the screen to stroke those grasses . They look as if they are dancing to a gentle breeze. Sorry to hear about the damage to your miniature garden props Cathy. I wish that I had hung on to my childhood set which was one of my most favourite toys ever.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – their tactile nature is but one of the traits that make grasses so endearing. I was really surprised to find my garden bits such a jumble as I used to take care of them and found it hard to believe that my Girls would have left like them like that. Perhaps it was a friend of theirs who was the guilty party – don’t suppose they would remember if I quizzed them though… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s a nice thought to think of you playing with yours too…

  33. smallsunnygarden says:

    It’s delightful to see what can be done with just the grasses! I’ve found mine so rewarding, which is a big change for me! I keep expecting to find (and purchase, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) some Miscanthus, but it has been eluding me at the GCs. I did use some grasses in this week’s vase, but the inspiration came from an entirely new arrival… one I am very glad to see as it helps to flesh out the bulbs in this garden:
    And I love your small rollers and turf ๐Ÿ˜€
    Sorry to be late with my vase this week; it was upstaged by a rescheduled farrier’s visit – life in the country… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – and I look forward to an even fuller vase of grasses next year as mine get more established ๐Ÿ™‚ I amd now curious to see what your new arrival is…

  34. Brian Skeys says:

    The colour of the grasses is wonderful, I love the shape of the vase. They go together well.

  35. Eliza Waters says:

    Grasses really do shine in the late fall garden. I love your fluffy bunny ones and they look great in that vase. The miniature mowing props are most charming!
    My post this week:

Comments are closed.