In a Vase on Monday: Simple Pleasures

img_8833It is such a shame that the simple pleasure of a few snowdrops in a vase is invariably marred by the difficulty of getting an acceptable photograph of them, even with my otherwise half-decent compact camera!

Having the real deal here instead of the slightly fuzzy photograph that you will be viewing on the blog is indeed a simple pleasure, and the clutch of blooms picked in the woodland edge border from several little clumps of the double native snowdrop Galanthus nivalis img_8834‘Flore Pleno’ have welcomed being in a warm house, demonstrating their thanks by flinging their petals out wide. My double nivalis are always in flower before their single cousins which are only just beginning to show a hint of white, and both are way behind my specials which began flowering at the end of December. They are joined in the tiny green crocus vase by three yellow stems of Cornus sanguinea  ’Midwinter Fire’,  not the usual fiery colour seen on  thicker stems.

A half-eaten jar of lemon curd may seem an unlikely prop for a Monday vase – but as another of life’s simple pleasures it is indeed wholly appropriate, for me at least. You can have a really interesting conversation discussing what we each see as simple pleasures, some small thing that for a brief moment satisfies one of our senses whether it be taste, touch, smell, sound or sight or perhaps something even less intangible. Lemon curd is definitely there for me as far as taste (and mouthfeel) goes, along with really dark chocolate (Aldi’s 85%) and a decent black pudding. Touch? The feel of a conker in my pocket. Sound? Certain songs that stop me in my tracks, whatever I am doing, like ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’. And then there are the slightly bizarre simple pleasures, like coloured paper clips…

img_8836But that’s enough of that and back to the simple pleasure of finding things from our garden or nearby to pop in a vase on Monday; please share this pleasure (and other simple pleasures you would like to admit to) by writing about your vase and adding links to and from this post. Perhaps your vase will still be going three weeks later like this kalanchoe and cornus one, which looks just as fresh as it did back then but is now also enhanced by the opened buds. Whatever else I think about kalanchoe, it is definitely a good ‘do-er’!


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42 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Simple Pleasures

  1. Simple pleasures are always bring the most contented smiles! I’m loving the white snowdrops. And lemon curd! YUM!! It has been a recently discovered joy. For my IAVOM submission I have a little something unknown that popped up in an unlikely barren place of the yard. Discovery surprises like this are a great simple pleasure, I think!

    • Cathy says:

      I am glad you agree – and I wonder what your surprise discovery was…?

      • One surprise came when we relocated some grass turf and under/in it were several blue potato bushes that had just been mowed down and overgrown with grass. Not even a year later and they are going on three feet tall. Deep purple flowers bloomed all over with the rains – quite lovely- so I was able to identify them. Discovered they are poisonous. Not lovely. I’m looking at how to manage them with trimming so they are out of any dogs’ path. In the front yard, the rains brought several tufts bulb greenery. Perhaps amaryllis? Or a type of Lily? Maybe that is where my seed pods came from?

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  3. Christina says:

    I love the simple pleasure of your snowdrops in their pretty vase. Lemon curd would be one of my simple pleasures too, doubly so if made from my own lemons; it has to be homemade because it isn’t available here, strangle really as lemons grow! Here’s the link to my vase today:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh it has to be home made, Christina – sorry I didn’t make that clear πŸ˜‰ What would the Italian’s preserve of choice be, I wonder?

  4. One of the tricks I’ve learned for photographing white flowers is to use a light background, such as a pastel or very pale gray, which allows for more detail. Your snowdrops are adorable. I need to remember to plant more; I only have a few clumps and would feel like a thief if I robbed them.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that’s intersting, Marian, as I always assumed a dark background would be better.I can do close ups of individual blooms, but getting a group of them in focus is another matter!

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  6. Cathy says:

    Your snowdrops are lovely Cathy, as is your list of simple pleasures. One of the things on my list would be a fresh pretzel and a cup of coffee – see my post today! :
    Thanks for getting me outdoors looking for sprigs and twigs! πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – and the examples were just for starters as I am easily pleased πŸ˜‰ I am interested to read about your coffee and pretzel …

  7. Well, I like the dark background and have trouble photographing reds and the fine textured grasses. Probably because I use my cell phone. My neighbor has a Rangpur Lime tree and makes curd from that, a simple pleasure. Colored paper clips I need to contemplate! Though, there are some magic markers I love. Here is my post this week:

  8. Linda B. says:

    I agree on all counts: My double snowdrops come first, they are always hard to photograph, lemon curd, dark chocolate and Bridge Over Troubled Waters are wonderful simple pleasures. That song always brings tears to my eyes, along with Let It Be. A good book, a fire on a winter’s day and wool berets in every color! My vase is here:

  9. Annette says:

    You’ve picked some very cheeky snowdrops for your vase, Cathy, you’d be forgiven for thinking they throw you funny looks. In any case they’re far from simple πŸ˜‰ Happy Monday!

  10. Sam says:

    I agree with you about snowdrops, lemon curd and chocolate but not about black pudding πŸ™‚ I’m afraid I don’t have a vase to share this week (last week’s is still going strong!) as I’m a little under the weather. Hopefully back next week.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I do hope you perk up soon (and I trust it is not second hand glandular fever…) – so sorry you are not at your best. I am glad you at least have last week’s vase to continue giving pleasure. I have two and half vases with the snowdrops, kalanchoe and the white quince from last week so am well blessed πŸ˜‰

  11. Peter Herpst says:

    We share some of the same simple pleasures although I’ve never tried black pudding. Thank you for continuing to host the weekly vase party! It’s become one of my simple pleasures to participate! My vase is here:

  12. Anna says:

    A vase full of snowdrops of whatever variety would be high up on my list of simple pleasures too Cathy along with seashells and pine cones. Thanks muchly for the choccie recommendation. I will be making a beeline in the direction of a certain supermarket later this week. It’s snowdrops from me too this week :

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I would have guessed that, Anna. Thanks for the lovely long email which will be replied to in due course. The 85% chocolate from a certain supermarket does tend to get snapped up although it is a regular line, so I tend to buy a few at a time which keeps me going for while – I only have half a piece (it comes in 5 mini bars) a day, so am very restrained πŸ˜‰

  13. I admire your pretty snowdrops, especially the sight of them en masse, and I wish I could grow them here. We don’t get cold enough in winter to give the plants what they need. Your vase posts have become one of my own simple pleasures and I greatly appreciate your commitment to hosting this weekly event. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      And I suppose you just have to accept that it is not cold enough for them 😦 My ‘native’ ones are naturalising in the woodland edge border and I split every clump each year to help them spread. Thank you for your kind words about IAVOM – it certainly does seem to bring pleasure to a lot of people

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Simple pleasures indeed, Cathy, though I haven’t had the pleasure of Aldi’s dark chocolate – yet! Your snowdrops are so fresh and pretty in their tiny vase. With so few snowdrops still, I can’t bring myself to pick any but luckily there are plenty other pretties for me to plunder. My problem was finding a ‘vase’ small enough to hold my posy this week. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      These crocus vases are perfect for tiny posies – and certainly no good for growing crocuses in πŸ™‚ – I am sure you could find some at a car boot sale. Perhaps you could start splitting some of your own clumps to help them spread?

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  16. Great post. I love the association of lemon curd and snowdrops. Enjoy those pure drop of joy!
    I’ve got some snowdrops in my vase too:

  17. Ian Lumsden says:

    I grow many snowdrops in pots. One advantage is to do with photography. For starters I don’t need to lie in the cold to photograph them and another advantage is that I am able to take them into a warm room for a short time so that the petals open out fully – for the camera. Then it’s back in the cold.

    • Cathy says:

      That is certainly an advantage Ian, as outside mine have been very reluctant to open up because of the relatively low temperatures and lack of sun

  18. Alison C says:

    They are so pretty and so welcome after the winter, or should I say during the winter. How do you find they last in a vase? I don’t find it’s very long. Someone suggested placing the vase on a mirror, then you can see inside. Simple pleasure? Feeling the warmth of the sun in February.
    Here is my humble offering.

    • Cathy says:

      They should last a few days at least. These ones were not fully open when I picked them although very quickly opened inside – and I suppose would keep longer in a cool place. Interesting idea to have a mirror below them. Warmth in the sun on a February day will always be pleasurable – and it’s this time of year when the light starts to look and feel different too

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, your snowdrops are a breath of fresh air, full of charm. I’ve a hurried post for today but wanted to join you for Monday vase time.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – and they changed from barely opening bud to fully open within minutes of coming into the house! A bit of warmth and sunshine outside would have done the trick as well πŸ˜‰

  20. rickii says:

    Colored paper clips…YES! You have introduced us to many simple pleasures, so here’s a big THANK YOU!

  21. Chloris says:

    Beautiful I can’ t get enough of them. I suppose you could say snowdrops are a simple pleasure, but the price of some of them is not so simple.Do you ever check them out on ebay? Eye -watering and quite mad, some of the prices.

    • Cathy says:

      In 2012 when I started getting properly garden obsessed I bought Wasp and Walrus on eBay for more than I should have done, not realising I could buy them from a catalogue for much less. I learned my lesson and only buy at fixed prices if I buy from eBay now πŸ˜‰

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