In a Vase on Monday: Nodding in the Wind

img_8912img_8917I picked up these alder catkins in a car park after Storm Doris had passed by with the intention of using them in a vase and here they are, along with nodding accomplices Hellebore foetidus, the first Tête-à-Tête and dangling catkins of  twisted hazel Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’.

img_8916Ideally, I would have had one of those little toys with a spring in the base which you press and the articulated character standing on the base would nod its head or get up to various contortions depending on how you pressed it – hopefully you know what I mean! But I haven’t, so instead I just have a tiny articulated artist’s model that is temporarily missing a limb – but who sadly doesn’t nod. To make up for this deficiency I have included a book on weather forecasting which will enable me to work out when to expect the next storm, which I believe will be Storm Ewan. In the meantime, a lesser wind got up today just as the vase (Caithness Glass) and props were being arranged under the twisted hazel tree and there were a few rejected photographs of blurry catkins and displaced props.


img_8919I could, of course, have included last week’s parasol ‘blown inside out’ by the wind like a tiny umbrella -but that was a belated afterthought as I dismantled the previous vase where the primroses were surprisingly still going strong, although perhaps they were mere buds last Monday. Will you be including any props if you create a vase today? Do consider it, and don’t forget to leave links to and from this post so that we can see your creation.


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62 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Nodding in the Wind

  1. jolanda says:

    Good morning Cathy,
    Lovely to see catkins included. I have only seen them hanging up [ too ] high as yet. So I am propless this morning. I will look our for suitable props for next week.
    So nice to be back with this inspiring prompt. It cheered me up and made me do good work last summer. Let’s see what you will make me produce this Spring. Thank you and all your visitors. Looking back at their comments from last summer somehow gave me hope in my rather precarious health situation. Long live the internet 😉
    Thank you.
    My post is here https://june–

    • Cathy says:

      The garden blogging community is certainly very supportive and I am glad you were helped through your health difficulties. My twisted hazel is only a small tree, as I too can’t reach the catkins on our ordinary hazels!

  2. I love the wild dancing look of movement in this arrangement! The inside out-turned umbrella is fantastic! Here is my contribution for this week:

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  4. Christina says:

    The catkins are delightful, I must pick some hazel before they finish – I may already be too late! I like Hellebore foetidus as much as all the other more special varieties. Here’s my link (mine to you is in place now.

    • Cathy says:

      These catkins are at eye level on my small twisted tree, but I don’t think to look up at the ones on our ordinary hazels. There have been flowers on H foetidus since January or so and it is always so much earlier than the others. I am hoping the flowers might last longer than the others too

  5. I think this looks fabulous. Love the props too, even the one armed creature.

  6. Linda B. says:

    Love this mix of moving parts! I am ordering a few different varieties of this type of Hellebore for both the leaves and flowers. Looking forward to enjoying them in a vase as well. My offering is here:

    • Cathy says:

      This hellebore is supposedly short lived in the UK but readily self seeds – these are from a plant that was a self-sown seedling

  7. Ian Lumsden says:

    How long do catkins last when cut? And wind is a real problem when taking that perfect shot, particularly when in close-up. Nice arrangement despite everything – we’d not know about the wasted shots.

    • Cathy says:

      My recollection when I have used them before is that they will last well over a week – I will try to remember to feedback on that.

  8. pbmgarden says:

    The catkins and curly stems are lovely despite the history behind them. I’ve been out of touch for a while but the storm must have been quite damaging. Hope things recover quickly. Your hellebores are beautiful. We’ve had a welcome but extremely early spring here.

    • Cathy says:

      Good to hear from you Donna and with a vase again after all this time. Generally the storm has not been too destructive despite winds of up to 90mph and seems to have resulted mostly in only minor damage and a tragic 3 deaths. In our garden there are just twigs and small branches to show for it, and leaves piled up in corners!

  9. Another floral element i love and completely forgot about – alder catkins, my mother always made an Easter egg tree with alder branches and if we were lucky some catkins. Love the Contorted Hazel as well. I could never grow those or the Hellebores when I lived further north. I did have Tete a Tetes which I miss. Your props are superior as always. Here is my vase:

  10. Well at least bad old Doris was good for something, if only to provide you with wares for today’s vase! The shape and texture of the foetidus is just sumptuous. Does it last well in a vase? Love all the props as usual! I am late to the party with my link as I can see you have already found my snowdrops, but here it is anyway!

    • Cathy says:

      I think this hellebore will last longer than the other types, but will certainly age more gracefully – will let you know. On a Monday I try to keep up with posts and comments as I wouldn’t be able to blitz them all in one go – I found your post inbetween swimming and Pilates this morning!

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  12. jenmac13 says:

    Beautiful arrangements this week! It’s so lovely to see what’s growing around the world. The snowdrops are just starting in Edinburgh, here in Somerset some of the early snowdrops are nearly finished blooming. This is my little vase this week, of daffodils and cyclamen.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thank you Jen (is it Jen?), and welcome. Yes, it is always interesting to compare what’s growing where, including differences across the UK – and I have certainly come to realise that here in the Midlands we are relatively free of most extremes, down to our distance from the sea

  13. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your arrangement this week is a nod to the pluck of those brave winter-flowering beauties. No matter what the weather throws at them, they soldier on, providing us with an early taste of spring. As always your arrangement is a delight! My quickly assembled offering is here:

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  15. Cathy, I do love how your posts capture with such humour not only the flowers that are in season but the other things going on in our gardens- Doris and Ewan being the topic on everyone’s lips this week. It forms such an interesting record on which to look back.
    My floral frog (as discussed last week) arrived and is made of brass, which apparently will not rust. In a Vase on Monday provided a perfect opportunity to share my first use of it.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cathy, it looks as though you had lots of fun setting up your photo shot today – fun props. I like your lovely arrangement of hellebores, catkins and the tiny daffodils. Happily, you’ve missed Storm Ewan which blew in and blew out again – he was downgraded eight hours ago. Here’s the link for my offering this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, Ewan’s been and gone has he?! I don’t think there’s been any week when I didn’t enjoy putting my vase together except perhaps in the earliest days when it really seemed a challenge!

  17. Kris P says:

    I hope the storm caused no serious damage. I think I have that very same weather forecasting book, although I still have difficulties “reading” the cloud formations. As always, you cleverly selected just the right props. No props from me I’m afraid. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      I did some climatology as part of my Geography degree, but that was a very long time ago – still have my notes somewhere though…!

  18. Anna says:

    Oh catkins – how lovely Cathy – spring is definitely on its way! Your little artist’s model is most apt – there were a lot of contorted objects and limbless trees after Doris passed on her way. What a femme fatale! I think that ‘Ewan’ has already been and gone fortunately proving to be a damp squib. My vase has been influenced by Doris too :

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  20. Sam says:

    That’s a gorgeous vase with gorgeous spring blooms, Cathy. I love the catkins. Great props, too. It’s been a few weeks but I’ve managed to do a vase today 🙂
    Thank you. Sam x

  21. Chloris says:

    How pretty and as always with just the right props.I love catkins, they make me think of spring even though they look good in February. They have certainly had plenty of wind to make them dance recently. Alders are wonderful winter trees,

    • Cathy says:

      And catkins will complement all sorts of vases too.I made a point of checking my ordinary hazels this afternoon and can confirm that because of ensuring we keep pruning wayward branches their catkins are not accessiible without a very tall ladder 😉

  22. Alison C says:

    Hooray, spring is coming! Your vase is very cheering, after Doris and all the grey and wet, and I do like the props too. No time for a vase from me this week, which is very disappointing, but I should be able to fit in some visits to others.

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  24. Cathy says:

    I really love those catkins Cathy. They make the vase come alive. 🙂 Your props are great, and yes, I do know what you mean with those little toys. I had a spotty dog one when I was a child!
    Here’s my vase. Better late than never…
    Thanks for hosting! 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I really ought to remedy the absence of a spotty dog or a similar..! I agree about the catkins and it’s so nice to have them in the garden, particularly on the twisty stems of the contorted hazel

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  26. Just lovely Cathy – perfect for the time of year! I tried to get Hellebore foetidus established in my garden last winter without success so I must remember to buy a couple of plants and try again. Sadly Doris was not quite as gentle with me and we had a great tree come crashing down. Fortunately no one was hurt but a lovely mature flower bed is in shreds so I have a bit more work to do! I do remember the twisty toys you are talking about – Father Christmas often left them in my childrens stockings – we probably still have a couple somewhere.

    My vase this week is at:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I am so sorry you lost a tree but thankful no one was hurt. Will you be able to rescue plants from the border once teh tree is moved? That in itself will be a job and a half I expect. Strange how H foetidus has struggled to establish itself in your garden – I’ll look and see if I have any seedlings that I could send you

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  28. mithriluna says:

    What a lovely floral arrangement! It’s still winter here in New Jersey but not for long. My snowdrops are blooming which always gives me hope for spring. Thank you for starting this wonderful garden photo challenge. This week, I decided to participate.
    – Mar

  29. smallsunnygarden says:

    Some lovely textures in this one, Cathy! So glad to see you didn’t get too much damage from Doris. Please pardon my brief comment; it’s after 2 AM here… 😉
    Here is my vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thnaks, but what were you doing up at 2.00am, Amy…? We don’t mind if your vase does not get posted till Tuesday, honest…!

      • smallsunnygarden says:

        Lol… It was all-out warfare with an excruciatingly slow internet connection… very ill-advised, and I did not do the same Tuesday night when the same situation developed! 😉

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