Ina Vase on Monday: Inky Blue

img_8841Not having read any ramblings for a week, my Mum wondered if I had disappeared off the face of the earth but no, it may have been quiet on this blog but I was still enjoying my daily ramblings and just not writing about them. Admittedly they were very short rambles as it has been a consistently cold and not conducive to outdoor gardening, and I have been otherwise gainfully occupied stripping wallpaper and mopping a streaming nose. However, the forecast is for slight better weather this week, our bedroom is now naked of wallpaper (including the woodchipped ceiling with its two coats of paint) and my cold has virtually gone – AND it’s Monday, when we need no excuse to find something from our gardens or nearby to pop in a vase to give us pleasure in the coming days πŸ™‚

img_8844I did reluctantly think I might pluck a few of my Wordless Wednesday Katharine Hodgkin to brighten the week, but then realised I had these iris in a basket of bulbs given to me last week as a thank you gift – so, thanks to Judith we have five inky blue Iris reticula in vintage ink bottles with an equally vintage pen. Sadly, in real life I can see these are a gloriously deep purply blue and not the much brighter blue that you will be seeing in the pictures. To help them stand upright in the bottles, tiny pebbles were inserted in those with necks wide enough and, not venturing far from the back door, they were photographed on the retaining wall in front of the hedge border.

Meanwhile, further down the garden new shoots continue to push their way upwards, hellebores continue their go slow, witch hazels and special snowdrops still delight and the greenhouses are just as full as they have been all winter. What’s happening in your garden today and what have you found to pop in your vase? Do share it with us by leaving links in the usual way.



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77 Responses to Ina Vase on Monday: Inky Blue

  1. Alison C says:

    Gorgeous irises and a very inventive way to display them, the little bottles are perfect and worthy of display too. You’ll be able to dr’ink’ them in. Very cold here too and I’m having to do decorating as well. I salute you for doing the ceiling, our bedroom ceiling is still dark pink as I couldn’t face it when I did the walls.
    Here is my snowdrop heavy post:
    I’ll be back after work for some visiting. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison – and for the pun! At least the ceiling won’t need to be stripped again now it’s done – and I am almost ready fro the actual decorating bit which seems much more productive πŸ˜‰ Hope you are getting on well with your own decorating

  2. Chloris says:

    i love your blue ink pots Cathy, what an original idea. Aren’t these little irises an absolute joy? They look so delicate and fragile and yet they brighten up the gloomiest winter days.
    I’ve gone with brassicas this week.…o-constance-spry/ β€Ž

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – I will replant these bulbs outside, especially now I know my Katharine Hodgkins have settled in well and come back again. I was going to use some stoneware inkpots I had but they were a little too tall for these stems, but these glass ones still did the trick. Look forward to seeing your brassicas…

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  4. Christina says:

    My Iris reticulata are flowering now too, but many less than last year so not enough to pick. I like your little ink bottles and the post’s title. Here’s my contribution:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – I have heard that they don’t always last many years but I will plant these (the bulbs) outside anyway and see. Nothing to lose, anyway

  5. Hannah says:

    I haven’t succeeded in growing Iris reticulata so it is fun to see yours posed in the ink pots. The flowers have not begun here yet so I have some dried flowers to share, perhaps an unusual one.

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  8. jenhumm116 says:

    Cathy, they’re gorgeous! I’ve only had two iris blooms this year, so certainly none spare for picking!
    Here’s mine:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen, although sometimes there’s stil pleasure to be had in picking the rarer blooms so they can be enjoyed closer up…

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  10. What a welcome shot of colour Cathy (even if not entirely true to real life!). Blue is my favourite colour in the garden and there is not much of it at this time of year. I am sharing yellow (inferior in my opinion) narcissi again this week:

  11. Your blue (purpley) iris are so pretty. to have so many that you can put them in vases is so nice. We had our first Hellebore to bloom this weekend. I plucked it and put it into a vase as soon as I saw it. I was so excited to have a flower blooming. Today if the weather holds and we get as much sun as they predict we will have some yellow crocus pop open. Spring is teasing us for sure with the warmest February I can remember happening. Happy Monday.

    • Cathy says:

      You will have been so pleased to have seen that hellebore! The sun will make such a difference here too – I noticed everything in the greenhouse looked more vibrant because of it

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  13. Irises in February!! and what pretty little bottles. I was on the road all last week until yesterday, so I don’t have an arrangement today. But I do have a glimpse of the flowers at the Ulm, Germany, Saturday farmer’s market:

  14. Oh I just adore Iris reticulata and didn’t plant enough of them this year so how nice to vicariously enjoy yours! I have far too few to bring indoors, though maybe I should anyway as the squirrels just munch them otherwise. Here’s mine for this week:
    Enjoy your ramblings and wrap up warm!

  15. Rona Peddie says:

    Lovely to see so many Iris, a gorgeous blue, especially looking good in the ink pots. Here is my vase for this week.

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    I love the deep blue of your iris and the top-down shot shows the contrast of yellow and white streaks. A cheerful start to this snowy Monday here! My vase this week reflects an equal commitment to spring:

  17. Another lovely Iris I had forgotten existed. Thank you for reminding me. I especially like the overhead view like Eliza and the tiny vases. Here in South Florida my Dwarf Heliconias are in bloom and the Shell Ginger is bursting with promise. Here is my ode to Valentine’s

  18. Peter Herpst says:

    Your iris are cheerful harbingers of spring and their form is allowed to shine when used in this way. Inky blue iris in ink bottles and pen is a very clever idea. You continue to surprise and delight with your creativity and unusual props and containers. So glad that your cold has run it’s course and salute your hard work stripping wallpaper. My vase is here:

  19. Such a great way to show case irises! Love it! Here is my contribution for this week:

  20. johnvic8 says:

    Once again you have shown your creativity and versatility. Well done. Here is my contribution:

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  22. Wood So Wild says:

    Ah — blue iris and vintage writing implements! A kindred spirit!

  23. Your little ink jars are perfect for the small iris. Blue flowers, as you note, are especially hard to photograph. I don’t have any tips there, but I do have some helpful (I hope) ideas for flower arranging at

  24. Blue is an especially hard color to capture on camera, isn’t it? You’ve once again displayed your lovely blooms in the most perfect manner possible – I wish I could develop your eye for vases and props. Congratulations upon finishing the wallpaper job too (I can only imagine how fun that was!).

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris . Oh, and sripping wallpaper from the ceiling is actually quite a good way of spending your time when you have a cold, as they are both pretty mind numbing πŸ˜‰

  25. paintdigi says:

    Good posts, beautiful blog.
    Welcome to see my creations:

  26. I love your blue iris so creatively placed in ink jars, and your first photograph is staged just perfectly! No In a Vase post for me this week but some pretty Hellebores are blooming outside. Soon those beautiful iris will be coming up, so I patiently wait. Thanks for shairing your beautiful blues!

  27. I am still waiting for my little iris’s to flower so how lovely to see yours Cathy! It really does feel like spring is just around the corner when these arrive. It sounds like we are having similar weeks – making the most of the cold weather to get some indoor jobs done before the garden takes over our time!

    I was not very good this week at organising myself this week so I have put together a retrospective rather than miss another week –

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Julie – and tonight I noticed spikes of crocus buds emerging in one of our nearby traffic roundabouts, so spring definitely IS on the way!

  28. D: Wow! Note to selves: more irises – more bulbs!

    • Cathy says:

      I believe irises are less resilient than some bulbs though – there are definitely better do-ers. I have not forgotten the snowdrops I promised – last week the ground was too hard to dig any up and this week I am off visiting Elder Daughter on my usual posting day, but hopefully next week…

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  30. Cathy says:

    Wonderful! An ingenious way to display their inkiness! How lovely to have some colour… I have blatently cheated today Cathy. I hope everyone will forgive me!

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  32. rickii says:

    I have quite a few different kinds of Iris but none of these early ones (must fix that). So clever, on top of being beautiful!

  33. Anna says:

    Oh just the perfect fit for those exquisite little ink bottles Cathy. I hope that you are well and truly on the mend. Today’s sunshine will have been a good tonic for both you and all the flowers in the garden. There were definite stirrings and openings today πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Anna – all well with me but the Golfer has been sneezing today… 😦 The temperature was up to about 30 degrees in the greenhouses today!

  34. Linda B. says:

    A favorite flower of mine and a favorite container: You’ve given me the perfect start to the week and we are having warmer weather. Maybe warm enough to pick up twigs and such that have come down in recent storms. So it feels very Spring-like.

    • Cathy says:

      I am pleased they have given you pleasure too – and that your weather is improving. Even subtle changes are so welcome at this time of year

  35. smallsunnygarden says:

    The irises are wonderful… ❀ I tried growing Harmony the first winter here, but I think it must need some freezing weather to set those fabulous flowers! Love the combination with the ink pots and pen πŸ™‚ And I'm glad your cold and ceiling-stripping job are over – hopefully only your flowers will be blue now!
    I managed to miss last week's IaVoM due a garden catastrophe but here is this week’s:

  36. Ravishing irises and an extremely innovative approach to show them, the little containers are impeccable and deserving of show too.i adore your blue ink pots Cathy, what a unique thought…

  37. hoehoegrow says:

    Lucky you, to have Irises in bloom already, all mine are only just through. Yours look fabulous in the old ink bottles, and lift the spirits very nicely!

    • Cathy says:

      These were grown inside in a gifted basket so I am not really responsible for them, but I do have Katharine Hodgkin in flower outside

  38. I love Irises, they look amazing!

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