In a Vase on Monday : Fuzz

img_8696I am really pleased to be able to show you today’s fuzzy vase, partly because cutting the tiny side shoots of Jelena was a subtle way of showcasing its fantastically floriferous and fuzzy blooms without denuding it, but also because this is the first time I have used this ‘caterpillar’ vase which Younger Daughter gave me for Christmas in 2014 and which I haven’t managed to use before now.

img_8697You may have already seen in several recent posts just how beautiful (and fuzzy) Hamamelis   ‘Jelena’ has been, possibly her best year ever, and it is a joy to walk past her on my rambles. People always associate witch hazels with fragrance, but the H intermedia varieties appear to less scented than H mollis and H japonica – and all need a degree of warmth for the fragrance to be noticeable, so if Jelena is going to make her presence felt she has more chance indoors than out. Incidentally, I had the first whiff of Sarcococca humilis yesterday, even though the flowers are not yet open – as always, this first time stopped me in my tracks.

Ideally, I would have liked a little collection of fuzzy things to act as props for the vase, but a quick scout around my shelves brought no inspiration (and there were no peaches in the fridge) and instead a pom-pom came to mind; however, just happening to have some nice orange string to hand, I decided a fuzzy tassel would be easier to construct. Actually, I have img_8701Dorris to thank for the string, as I was impressed some months ago by the purple string she had used to tie a Monday posy with and went online immediately to buy some for myself, although I did not stop at purple! I can now co-ordinate all my hand-tied posies although belatedly realised I had neglected to include any blue or green shades, so that needs to be rectified.

I appreciate there may be slim pickings for many regular IAVOMers in the northern hemisphere – but we all know that where there is a will there is a way, and perhaps a few more undercover bulbs will be appearing in vases soon. I have some gifted hyacinth bulbs that may be showing colour by next week although my own are still lagging well behind – what about yours? Anyhow, if you do manage a vase or other container today, whatever the contents, please share it with us today by leaving links to and from this post in the usual way.

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70 Responses to In a Vase on Monday : Fuzz

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Happy New Year! | Words and Herbs

  2. Cathy says:

    That string is a perfect match! Love the fuzziness of the Hamamelis flowers – perfect for the caterpillar vase, as some caterpillars are fuzzy too… 😉 All I could come up with today is my Amaryllis again – it is snowing and freezing cold, so venturing out for a branch of something would probably not have been fruitful anyway! Happy New Year Cathy!

  3. I was so impressed by your collection of different witch hazels Cathy that I am on the look out for Marmalade. I am pleased to read you picked yourself some of those lovely coloured string. I better see if I can find anything for a vase to share. Happy new year to you and yours.

    • Cathy says:

      It is so lovely to watch their progress over the seasons, Dorris, and such a joy to see their blooms when there is little else in flower. After Chloris’s reference to Strawberries and Cream a couple of years back that is the one I am on the lookout for, but I have only tracked it down to one place and will perhaps investigate mail order. I hope 2017 will be a positive year for you too.

  4. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Happy New Year! – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  5. Christina says:

    Happy New Year Cathy; I can’t believe you haven’t found a use for your wonderful caterpillar vase before today; the Hamamelis is definitely a good choice. I love the fluffy effect. Like you I have had difficulty in distinguishing the perfume from many witch hazels but that doesn’t detract from their interesting flowers. Here’s my link:
    Thanks for hosting.

  6. Annette says:

    Just beautiful and as usual you had no trouble finding a suitable title. My hamamelis are timidly pushing out the first petals but I think they’ll soon retreat as there’s a colder spell ahead or at least that’s what they say. Happy new year to you and the golfer 🙂 Here’s my vase: PS: By the way, we’ve done the terrace again in timber, same one we used around the pool so it looks very good now.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – mine are definitely more forward even than last year, although not all in bloom yet. No doubt you will be showing us the revamped terrace in due course.

  7. Jelena is new to me and I love the color as well as the flower. The vase is a great one for short stemmed flowers, I am on the lookout for something similar.
    Happy New Year and here is my, container:

  8. Christina says:

    Hi, Cathy, what a clever and unusual way to showcase a witch hazel! Love that caterpillar vase!
    I am happy to be able to participate in your meme after a long time, again, presenting a vase of roses. Yep, that is life in Southern California :-)! Here is my link:

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, Cathy!
    Warm regards,

    • Cathy says:

      I had been considering a single longer spike but then remembered this vase and used the shortest stems which will barely be missed

  9. I only have the native witch hazels but have noticed a bit of fragrance outdoors with the autumn bloomer on warm days. I’ve never cut any flowers so I will have to see if your technique works as I would love to see them up close indoors. Your vase is terrific; your daughter clearly knows what will appeal to her mother! I do have an offering today, though you are right: it is pretty slim pickings for us Northern gardeners. This is the moment when I always wonder why I didn’t pot up any bulbs last fall.

    • Cathy says:

      Actually the vase was a suggestion I made to her, which I am pleased to say she took up! 😉 Although I have a number of witch hazels none of them are fully mature so I will only ever cut them sparingly – and I conditioned the stems of mine in boiling water so I hope they will last a week or so.

  10. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: A New Hope | acoastalplot

  11. Sam says:

    Happy New Year to you, Cathy. I love your little row of gorgeous witch hazel flowers and can imagine the scent. My vase is here:
    Thank you, as ever, for hosting. Sam x

  12. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Winter Bear – The Patient Gardener

  13. Helen Johnstone says:

    Hi Cathy
    Heres mine – dont know how often will remember to participate but I am going to try and be frequent(ish)

  14. Peter Herpst says:

    Your caterpillar vase is a delightful way to showcase Jelena’s charms. My contribution this week appeared on my porch.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Peter, it works well in the caterpillar vase, doesn’t it? I can’t imagine what has appeared on your doostep…!

  15. Alison C says:

    How gorgeous and your vase is perfect for them. I hope you get the scent wafting around. Little winter blooms and their scent are so precious. I bought a Hamamelis last year so I am interesed in what you say about scent as I couldn’t discern any. Now I’ll need to check the variety. Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison – the only one of my witch hazels that you can reliably smell is ‘Arnold Promise’. Mind you, I love them even without any fragrance. Do let me know what variety you have

      • Alison C says:

        Ha, I found the label. It’s an intermdia ‘Orange Beauty’. It didn’t have much scent last year and hasn’t even got buds now so I don’t hold out much hope. Should have done my research before I went shopping!

        • Cathy says:

          The blooms would make up for the lack of scent, but if there are no buds… 😦 The buds form during the previous summer and autumn so it’s always a reassuring sign to see them although some of mine have skipped skip a year or even two – sometimes if it has been a bit dry…?

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cathy, back at last. The caterpillar vase is lovely and perfect for showcasing the fuzzy witch hazel blooms. Short stemmed items can be the most difficult to make an arrangement from. It should be interesting to not whether the scent does improve indoors. The contents of my vase includes a very welcome scented flower this week, I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you and yours all that is good for 2017. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth. Anything in bloom is welcome in the garden now, but scented blooms are even better. I wonder what yours is?

      • Elizabeth says:

        The jasmine has the most delicate scent unlike the stronger perfume of the summer flowering variety but I do notice it in the hall when I stop to sniff. I checked the label to see if it was a special variety but it’s just the ordinary jasmine as you would expect so the only thing I can think that is different is that I have a great sense of smell – not always a good thing!

  17. Kris P says:

    I adore witch hazels but they don’t grow here so I appreciate the opportunity to admire your fuzzy specimen. Fortunately, coastal Southern California presents a comfortable environment for many other flowering plants, even in winter. The first Calla Lillies are opening now but for this week I picked a bloom that surprised even me:

    Happy new year and thanks for hosting, Cathy!

  18. Chloris says:

    Happy New Year, dear Cathy. I love your furry, witch hazel caterpillar. How lovely to pick it for the house. I am looking forward to doing that when mine are a bit bigger.
    My vase is here

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris. I am trying to rememember if you had to introduce all your witch hazels to this garden. They do take time to establish, of course, although now that mine are established I am glad they are slow growing and not in a rush to outgrow their positions!

  19. My only Hamamelis, H. x intermedia ‘Early Bright’, is just about ready to open its buds. I bought it because it was the first Hamamelis EVER that I could actually smell. That vase is a great way to display small flowers like these.

    My WV, as often is the case, includes a mix of purchased and homegrown stems:

    • Cathy says:

      I haven’t come across Early Bright and must look it up (just googled it, and bizarrley it came up with a photograph of yours!!)

  20. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Loving Lichen – Peonies & Posies

  21. Your Jelena always flowers before mine Cathy – it must be in a sunnier position. I keep walking past and taking a look but nothing yet. I have the same caterpillar vase – what an inspired way to to use it – I would never have thought to cut the flowers off like that.

    I am happy to be back here and my vase is at:

    • Cathy says:

      Good to have you back, Julie. I have read recently that witch hazels flower better in a sunnier position – so much for the received wisdom that they prefer dappled shade 😉

  22. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy – what a fabulous way to display Jelena’s beauty! And you know what a fan I am of orangey/bronzey colours….

  23. Pingback: Prunings – The Warwickshire Gardener

  24. Happy new year Cathy. Thank you for the introduction to a new (to me) and very striking plant! And that vase is perfect for the little heads. I am back to foliage again this week:

    • Cathy says:

      All witch hazels have their special attraction at this time of year Eleanor, and in themselves they vary from year to year too and Jelena is particularly densely covered in blomms this time round

  25. What sweet vases full of blooms. This is one of my favs prop or no prop.

  26. Pingback: a vase, a fave & a happy new year! |

  27. Lindy Le Coq says:

    What a clever idea — and your daughter will be pleased! I noticed the Sarcococca humilis in my garden too — not the fragrance — but that the blossoms are beginning to show. Here’s my effort for today!

    • Cathy says:

      I might text her a picture of it as, unlike Elder Daughter, I don’t think she ever looks at my blog. Hope you catch that frgarance soon!

  28. rickii says:

    Brilliant use of an ingenious vase. I had my eye on Jelena at work but then it bloomed in the wrong color and we couldn’t figure out what, in fact, it was. Every once in a while, that happens with things brought in from out side growers. I have a new appreciation for how hard it is to keep track when you are handling hundreds of plants.

    • Cathy says:

      I found my witch hazel Ruby Glow had yellow flowers on it last year which it never had done before – back to red again this year, so perhaps your imposter was Jelena after all but having a temporary identity crisis!

  29. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, the color is fabulous on this witch hazel. I’m late in learning about the virtues of these interesting plants but in recent years have come to appreciate the fragrance and winter interest. The vase will become a favorite. Looks very handy and attractive. I’m late getting a vase ready today but finally was able to get one together.

    • Cathy says:

      I will need to experiment with the vase I think, but I guess it will probably only suit shorter stems. I am confident that all my witch hazels are established and happy in their locations now, as I lost the first 2 or 3 and they are not the cheapest of plants!

  30. Pingback: In a vase on Tuesday: winter daffodils – enclos*ure

  31. This reminds me that it may not be too early to start keeping an eye on the grove of witch hazels at the arboretum near me. I am a bit late with my vase today, but I’m still happy to be joining in for the first time since my foot surgery in September.

  32. What an interesting vase! And perfect for your witch hazel blooms. Isn’t Jelena amazing? I have something similar at

  33. Anna says:

    Oh your creation has given me some welcome warm fuzzies Cathy. I must confess to polishing my ‘Jelena’ off some time ago, so must make use of some garden gift vouchers asap to replace. I would be interested to hear whether her scent is enhanced in the warmth of the house.

  34. smallsunnygarden says:

    Your caterpillar vase might have been made just for the witch hazel blooms, with their short stems 😉 The question of the scent and temperature is intriguing; for myself I’m sure that a warm nose would help as well as warm air, though of course warmer air releases the scent too…!
    Today’s (or rather yesterday’s as I couldn’t get my pictures to load last night!) vase is one I’ve been waiting for weeks to make…:

  35. Wonderful. How beautiful and creative

  36. Pingback: Aspirations for 2017 – The Patient Gardener

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