In a Vase on Monday: Blood in the Snow

img_8642Please excuse the slight gory title, but the symphoricarpos or ‘snowberries’ I foraged from the car park when I went swimming on Friday looked so pure and unsullied when first placed in this tall matte green mug which I often use for conditioning stems cut for a vase as it so deep – with their twiggy stems they really did give the effect of bare winter trees covered in snow. The foraging was planned in advance, as was the addition of home grown rose hips from Parkdirektor Riggers, the pruning of which has been delayed to enable me to use the generous quantity of hips in vases over the winter months; however, the contrast of the red hips against the snowberries’ virginal whiteness was more marked than anticipated and instantly brought to mind drops of red blood in the white snow.

With a title like this I should really be weaving a murder mystery around my vase, especially as Chloris reminds us that Christmas is the time for stories – but on this occasion you will be disappointed and will have to visit her blog for a mystery story without a murder instead. If I were to find five minutes to weave a story, however, I can assure you that in the instance of my vase our friendly Cock Robin would definitely not be the victim…

My mug of murderous berries and hips decorated our Christmas dinner table and is now doubling as a Monday vase. For others who cannot do without their weekly vase fix and are still able to pick and post despite it being Boxing Day, I look forward to seeing what you have found in your own garden or foraged nearby to share with us, but maybe not with not quite such a gory title.



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47 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Blood in the Snow

  1. Chloris says:

    What a lovely combination. How pretty it looks despite its gory title. And how enterprising to go foraging for your snowberries in the carpark. Actually this is the best way to acquire them. Be warned, never, never plant them. This plant may have virginal, snowy white berries, but don’ t be fooled, it is the devil’ s spawn and suckers with such enthusiasm that it is absolutely impossible to eradicate in the garden.
    Thank you for mentioning my Christmas story Cathy.

  2. Alison C says:

    A bit of pretend gore is fine and I’m pleased to hear cock robin is unharmed. Love the contrasting colours. I’m taking a minute away from catering to add my link. I so enjoyed doing this as a break from the busyness.

    • Cathy says:

      The sparrow would have been my first suspect if I had found a red breasted corpse… πŸ˜‰ Hope you didn’t burn the cakes whilst you were creating and posting your vase…

  3. Snowberries are my favourite thing… this looks so Christmasy, Cathy! Here is my contribution…. hope you had a jolly merry Christmas!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Joanna – but I still liked it better without the rose hips when it looked so pure and elegant. A quiet Christmas here; hope yours was all you wanted it to be. Did your Mum come up?

  4. pbmgarden says:

    A perfect seasonal vase in red and white. Nice you have a “source” for your snowberries. The rose hips could almost make me want to try roses again. As always, I appreciate you hosting In A Vase On Monday.
    I was rather long-winded today:

    • Cathy says:

      This rose is the only one that reliably produces hips, but I am hoping the rugossa I added a couple of years ago will be producing hips perhaps by next year, as they should be really big and shapely

  5. I love berries, even gory sounding ones. The Rose Hips are just lovely and we actually have Snowberries here just a completely different plant that grows near the ocean. My Christmas dinner arrangement is also my post today.

  6. Peter Herpst says:

    Yours is a beautiful combination, perfect for the season. Happy Boxing Day. I cheated a bit on this busy Monday and simply plunked a poinsettia into a basket.

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  8. Cathy says:

    That is a very pretty combination and quite cheery with the snow white berries. Here is my brief post for today Cathy. Thanks!

  9. Christina says:

    I love your berries and hips; the simplicity at this time if garish colours is refreshing and inspiring. Foraging may have to be a part of my Monday vases for a while until my bulbs start flowering.

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks Christina – I didn’t add the rose hips till Christmas Day and found the snowberries a real calming presence on their own. I did a Boxing Day count of blooms today and strangely numbers are down despite the non-inclement weather. Will write about them tomorrow

  10. A lot of Christmas drama! I planted a snowberry bush because I remember one in my grandmother’s garden. Mine is not producing many berries; too much shade I think. My bouquet for today is here:

    • Cathy says:

      The scrubby ones that were part of the hedge here were pink, on the very rare occasions they produced any berries at all. I dug them all out, but they are encroaching from our neighbour’s side again πŸ˜‰

  11. Thank goodness you didn’t mix yellow berries with the white…imagine the title then! LOL. I like your red and white for Christmas, and the combo is made perfect with the bow and green jug.

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – yes, indeed, Marian! I Had to scarbble around to find a bit of this wired ribbon for the bow as I had used it all up – so I went onto eBay on Christmas Day and ordered more so I wouldn’t be caught out next year!

  12. Christina says:

    Dear Cathy, your vase looks so beautiful! It is quite amazing to me how pretty and faszinting these berries are. I really admire your determination to cut something from your garden or at least locally for a vase each week.
    I hope that next year I will do more of it as well and show it off here at your lovely meme, which is always so inspiring to me. Many thanks for hosting it each week!
    With that being said, wishing you a wonderful 2nd Christmas day!
    Warm regards,

    • Cathy says:

      You are very welcome, Christina – by suggesting others might want to join in it made sure I picked something each week as I rarely thought to pick anything myself. I am so pleased I got into the habit again as I love to see a vase on the table or at the side of me every day. Thank you for your kind words and hopefully we shall be seeing a vase from you soon

  13. Kris P says:

    A dramatic title for a dramatic vase, Cathy! Did you really go swimming on Christmas Eve? Is it warmer than usual there, or is this an annual rite? We’re wimps here – out daytime temperatures are colder than normal for this time of year (low 50sF, 11-12C) so we’re avoiding spending a lot of time outside at the moment. I did take some time to cut a few flowers, though:

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee – don’t worry, it was an indoor swimming pool Kris (although I had clearly got my days mixed up and it was Friday not Saturday I went, so I have changed that in the post)! πŸ˜‰ No gardening here today, I fear, as the temperature is hovering aound 0Β°C

  14. Lindy Le Coq says:

    I love the combination and am not put-off by the title! We must have levity in our berry vases!! Here’s my addition to mark the day.

  15. smallsunnygarden says:

    I love this berries-only vase, Cathy! Your snowberries are lovely – not something I’ve ever gotten to see in person, and with your experiences I don’t suppose I would ever plant it if I had the chance… lovely anyway! I have wanted some reliable, bright rose hips and meant to plant a rugosa last spring, but my supplier was out of Blanc Double (I wanted a large white-blooming rose) at the time. Perhaps next spring? πŸ˜‰
    I feel abashed; I did NOT manage a vase for Christmas Day! Too much cooking! But that left me free to do as I pleased today; and what I pleased turned out to be a bit unusual, but does include berries…:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – I love the way the berries fuse together into a bobbly white mass but will happily pick them from this car park when I need them!

  16. croftgarden says:

    A pretty winter arrangement, you have a talent for finding something for a Monday vase even in the depths of winter.

    • Cathy says:

      More like a stubbornness to stick at things, I think, Christine – but the origin of the meme was to encourage ME to pick and plonk regularly, which it certainly does, knowing there are others waiting for my post so they can link up. And it has also opened my eyes wider and made me look at the garden in a different way, which I am profoundly grateful for

  17. Glad to see you got your snowberries Cathy and I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas. I am a bit late this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Fairly quiet here over the festive weekend; hope all was it you hoped it would be in your part of the county. I couldn’t say that cutting the snowberries was a spontaneous action, Eleanor, as I took secateurs with me πŸ˜‰

  18. Your title Cathy, have you been watching too many Scandi series on bbc4?!

    • Cathy says:

      Not guilty, M’Lud! To be honest, I had no inspiration for a title at all until I looked at the photos and realised that the hips really did take away the purity of the snowberries on their own – and that’s when it came to me πŸ˜‰

  19. johnvic8 says:

    Another creative use of what we can find at this time of year. I’ve been away with family for the long weekend and unable to participate this week. I take solace in seeing your sweet vase and those of others. I promise I will do better in 2017. My Arranger joins me in wishing a Happy New Year to you and the Golfer.

  20. Anna says:

    What a brilliant splash of colour for your seasonal dinner table. I’ve long rued planting a snowberry which has small and sparse pale pink berries. It may be removed this year if I have the strength. Great to have picking access to those fabulous white berries. Hopefully I will back with a vase before long.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna. The ‘wild’ one in the hedge here had (very) sparse pink berries too, but was a real thug and was out on his ear, but I still find evidence of it which needs to be dealt with – hope you can kick yours into touch in due course

  21. [J] Love it! You’re so lucky to find these lovely things!

    • Cathy says:

      The snowberries look really effective planted en masse in the car park, although one stand of them was pruned too low for them to have any berries this year

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  23. Bec says:

    another beautiful vase – I love the contrast of the rosehips and snowberries and that aqua vase is a beauty – and as usual I’m ridiculously late with my vase (and it’s an odd one as lavender was still flowering)
    hoping my timekeeping will be better next year πŸ™‚ but always enjoying reading everyone’s blogs πŸ™‚ and beautiful flowers which lift my sole. Happy Hogmanay Cathy and have a brill 2017. thank you for all your support
    much love Bec xx

    • Cathy says:

      You could always surprise us by scheduling your post for the following Monday – we wouldn’t know the difference… !! πŸ˜€It’s always good to hear from you though, whenever it is

      • Bec says:

        Happy New Year – hope you have a brilliant 2017. I’ll just try to pick, photograph and post a bit more. I reckon that would be cheating a bit if I scheduled them. I’m off to explore the garden for tomorrow’s vase – its either been hurling down here or v icy. ps I have news of Rhs Bridgewater garden too πŸ™‚

        • Cathy says:

          Shhh…, but bear in mind my Monday vase is prepared on Sunday and the post written and scheduled to appear at 9.00am on Monday…;) Actually, it’s no secret, but my I swim and do a Pilates class on Monday morning so my vase would be late appearing otherwise and I know people are waiting for it so they can add their links. Wet all day here so my photos were taking inside 😦 Look forward to hearing your Bridgewater news!

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