In a Vase on Monday: Take a Chance, Take a Chance, Take a Chance on Me

img_8941With more than half a dozen buds on Camellia japonica ‘Nobilissima’ swelling nicely and following the success of other shrubby buds opening in vases, I decided to take a chance and try the camellia in today’s vase. This sprig with its trio of buds was picked early on Saturday and the above photo was taken on Sunday afternoon, by which time the buds were distinctly fatter – so I am hopeful, although bizarrely one of the buds still on the plant has half-opened since its friends were picked.

img_8942Knowing I was taking a chance when I cut the sprig, the Abba song ‘Take a Chance’ was already swirling around in my head (especially as the Abba Medley in the background of the photo is our barbershop group’s current pièce de résistance) so I thought I would take a further chance and enjoy a fully open flower of Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’. All winter this has displayed a number of half-open buds, none of which have opened fully, but this last week with no frost for a fortnight or so the remaining buds have opened up for the first time ever. I hadn’t realised Dawn was so dependent on the weather, as this seems to be the case, and I have finally been able to fully appreciate her fragrance.

img_8943Keeping to a largely shrubby vase, stems of winter honeysuckle Lonicera standishii ‘Budapest’ were also included, seemingly appreciating the more clement weather too as there has been a new flush of blooms, this time with the hint of pink that had been absent previously. The fragrant flowers of sarcococca are over, but its green shiny leaves supported the camellia foliage and provided a good foil for the stems of Narcissus ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’, chance blooms from last year’s forced bulbs, which had been tucked away in the fruit cage, festering in their pot.

img_8944Alder catkins from last week’s dismantled vase were tucked in as an afterthought and, not wanting to clutter the strong straight stems, my sole ikebana vase used to display them. Joining the Abba Medley sheet music as a prop were dice and a score sheet from the simple but easily addictive game of Yahtzee, where coincidentally the randomly placed dice might have been best scored as a ‘chance’ (17 points, in this case.

I will update you on the progress of the camellia next week (and as requested, I can tell you that the twisted hazel catkins from last week’s vase are still looking good, albeit a little less yellow due to depositing pollen when they were transferred from the vase to a pot of leftovers on the kitchen window sill). In the meantime, what is bringing you pleasure in your Monday vase today? Do share it with us by leaving links in the usual way.


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68 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Take a Chance, Take a Chance, Take a Chance on Me

  1. Steve says:

    Hi Cathy, Viburnum bodnantense is one of the flowers that never fails at this time of year. Camellia has never done well here. Too cold and winds I guess.

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  3. Eliza Waters says:

    I wish I could smell the viburnum and N. ‘Grand Soleil d’Or,’ one of my favorite narcissi. I hope your camellia buds come through a winner, Cathy!
    While spring has yet to arrive here, I am remembering past seasons:

  4. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Through a vase, darkly | Duver Diary

  5. jenhumm116 says:

    What a lovely arrangement – and Eliza’s right, it must smell divine!
    Meanwhile, I expect it will take all day to get that song out of my head, thanks for that 😉
    Here’s mine

  6. A very sweet arrangement to enjoy throughout the week! I love how the vase all sets them off to be appreciated both as individuals and as a harmonizing group. Kinda like a music ensemble of their own! Here is my wild mess for Monday — matches my week, but I like how it came out:

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – a wild mess, what a geat description… off to see it now! ps thanks for your kind comments about my own vase 😉

  7. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – all together now! – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  8. Christina says:

    The Ikebana vase makes arrangements very elegant Cathy; it and your flowers this week are lovely. More tulips from me I’m afraid:

  9. G.F. says:

    Lovely pink and you are lucky to sniff the viburnum – I missed mine as it was hiding behind a conifer. Have to wait a year now – hopefully I will still be around by then. My pink spot is taken up by Bergenia which is better than ever this year. masses of it all over the place.
    Thank you for the Monday morning treat, Cathy.


    • Cathy says:

      I am still getting used to the habits of my viburnum but as it is in the shrub border I can see it from the house and keep up with what it’s doing 😉

  10. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Pink Dahlias – Absent Gardener

  11. Cath says:

    That must be a divine mix of scents! There doesn’t seem to be quite the variety of scent in my late Summer garden as in Spring. Today I’m going pink as well with Dahlias.

  12. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve included some lovely specimens today and in an Ikebana vase–beautiful! I like the flowing curve of the branch of sarcococca, the scent of which I still don’t know. Hope the camellias open for you-should be gorgeous along with that special Viburnum. Perhaps I once knew “clement” but can’t be sure. Only remember hearing “inclement weather policy” for so many years at work, when what was needed was a “clement weather policy” for when I had spring fever.
    Thanks for hosting Cathy.
    My vase is

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I had another look on eBay and there were some interesting ones avaialble, but SO expensive. I would expect to pay mare than the 99p this one cost me a little while ago but thought that in the meantime I could look at what things I had around the house and perhaps improvise… Interesting how we rarely hear the word ‘clement’ used…

  13. What a delicate looking arrangement and with a shot of color. The scent must be enchanting for this time of year. Happy Monday.

  14. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: March Marvels | Words and Herbs

  15. Cathy says:

    The viburnum flower is so pretty. And I really love the use of your ikebana vase to oreserve those tall slim stalks. Spring finally seems to be gathering momentum here, and I have a few spring flowers to share this week:

  16. I would really like to catch the fragrance of your arrangement. It sounds heavenly. I will be playing ABBA in my head all day as well…The weather here is clement but windy. I like the Ikebana style and the bulbs, my experience with Camellias in bud was they wouldn’t open, but they were not the same kind. A good gardening experiment is always fun. Here is my vase, this Monday, Thank you for hosting.

  17. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Fingers crossed that the chance you’ve taken pays off in beautifully opened flowers. Even without them, your vase is a delight! I’ve cheated this week and used someone else’s arrangements.

  18. It’s a lovely arrangement and clear proof that spring is at your door. I’ve never cut a Camellia in bud so I’ll be interested to hear whether it opens for you. And Yahtzee! I used to love that game (although now I’d be hard-pressed to even recall how it works). Here’s my post:

    Thanks for hosting, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris, and yes, spring is definitely knocking! Do check out the rules for Yahtzee again and as long as you have 5 dice you can do without the official score sheets

  19. Chloris says:

    I love your ikebana vase. My Viburnum has bloomed all winter long so I am surprised that yours has only just come out. I find that a severe frost will burn the petals brown but otherwise it is very long lasting. Such a pretty arrangement and as usual very inventive props.
    I would have loved a little trumpet as a prop this week, but I don’t have one and the Pianist’s banjolele doesn’t quite fit the bill.…eralds-of-spring/

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I presumed it was the regular frosts over winter that had affected the flowers on mine as they were only ever half open until this last week. I hadn’t realised they were so susceptible. Of course you could source a tiny trumpet for future use as I did with tiny bagpipes when you considered their potential as props some time ago – not that I have used them yet, but I will. Only a pound or two from eBay – and they play a tune as well 🙂

  20. And now that ABBA song will be on repeat in my head all day! Heck maybe I’ll dig out my ABBA cd and really have some fun. Lovely vase you’ve made, of course I hope your buds open, but even if they don’t it’s beautiful.

    My vase:

  21. Linda B. says:

    Nothing for vases here this week, but maybe soon? It’s always worth taking a chance with our vases so I applaud you.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, I do hope your camellia opens fully soon for you Cathy. Your arrangement is lovely. I like the way you have kept the stems long and straight too. I have, as seems usual, quite a different vase for you today :

  23. Anna says:

    I’m sure that flowers sometime sulk when you snip them off Cathy and imagine that your camellia will open now that it has had it’s photo taken. Would like to see its face when it’s fully out. I’ve only come to appreciate the music of ‘Abba’ with advancing years and realise now that some of their songs are really challenging to sing well. Another quick plonking from me this week :

  24. Anca Tîrcă says:

    What a creative arrangement, Cathy! My Monday….basket today:

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  26. Sam says:

    I’m sure your lovely selection smells beautiful as well, Cathy. It will be interesting to see if the camellia opens fully indoors. I have happy memories of a sing-along-Abba with some old friends at a party – we thought we were fabulous but I’m not sure anyone else did! My offering is here: Thank you, as ever, for hosting. Sam x

  27. Alison C says:

    We’re all singing now. I hope this will get a stupid song from the radio out of my head. I hope your camellias open for you but the vase is full of interest anyway. It’s so good to have a choice of things to pick.I don’t think the buds on my camellias are swelling yet but I’ll have to go and have another look. I’m just adding that viburnum to my wish list… Here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      The camellia is not in the best of positions, so I am grateful for any buds I get – but open flowers would be better!

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  29. I have plenty of fat camellia buds Cathy, but very few flowers yet so I will be very interested to see how your buds go on inside. A couple of years ago I did bring 2 small potted camellias inside to enjoy the opening of their flowers, but all my plants are too big now to move inside. I am sure we have Yahtzee tucked away somewhere – it used to be a favourite.

    My vase is at:

    • Cathy says:

      I remember when you brought those camellias inside – that would ahve been a good way to enjoy them and avoid the frosts. I shall be having a few solo games of Yahtzee before I put the props away at the end of the week, I can assure you 😉

  30. smallsunnygarden says:

    A lovely combination – I’m enjoying the texture of the Viburnum flowers with the paperwhite. And I love the graceful display of stems in your Ikebana vase 🙂 My vase this week is crammed rather full – the natural result of being gifted plenty of nasturtiums…:

  31. petal & pins says:

    Japonica is good to pick in bud and let open slowly inside too. I love this time of year when I see glimpses of spring appearing in your garden just as mine is moving into autumn…

  32. dunelight says:

    Very interesting mix, I should be braver with my garden gleanings!

  33. LisaDay says:

    What a beautiful arrangement.

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