In a Vase on Monday: a Habit of Decades

The freshness and prettiness of this vase still takes me by surprise as I observe it whilst writing – there is something about the pink of the sweet peas offset by the white and greens that gives the impression of a new and youthful innocence; odd really, as half of the vase is recycled from last week.

The ornithogalum just seemed to get better and better, almost usurping the tulip as the star of the vase, and within a few days I had vowed to buy more of these bulbs as they looked most attractive and almost orchid-like in their appearance – not that I bought this one, which just appeared from nowhere one year, pehaps hitching a ride with the nearby crocus bulbs. Not recognising it at first, it was suggested by some that ornithogalum can become invasive and I briefly considered removing it but am glad now that I didn’t. Saved with it from last week’s vase is Astrantia ‘Buckland’, also still fresh as a daisy; joining these survivors is a small bunch of Winter Sunshine sweet pea ‘Pink’ (such an original name!), Armeria ‘Ballerina White’ (more like Ballerina Hint of Pink), a’Lilliput Lovely’ aquilegia from Touchwood seeds (sadly not of the anticipated Lilliputian proportions) in the most delectable ‘coconut ice’ shades and delicate looking grass Luzula nivea, all tucked up together in pale pink car boot vase purchase.

Scrunched up foil may be an odd prop for a Monday vase, but recycling has been an inbuilt habit of mine for many decades (work it out…), ever since we were encouraged at school to collect used foil ‘for the guide dogs’ in the 60s. The concept of recycling was unknown back then and it didn’t occur to us at the time to question what the guide dogs needed the foil for, but we worked out that it somehow meant the school could provide new guide dogs for blind people and I think over the years we supplied two of them, thanks to our milk bottle tops and a teacher who lived next door to a fish and chip shop. The habit has stuck with me though, and even the smallest scrap of foil is saved or tucked into a pocket if acquired when not at home, and the recent wider recycling opportunities have been welcomed with open arms and embraced wholeheartedly.

Each week brings greater choice of blooms in our UK gardens and those North American gardens emerging from winter, whilst southern hemisphere offerings are becoming more autumnal. Wherever you are, please consider finding something in your garden to plonk in a vase or jar today to bring you pleasure during the week – and to bring the rest of us pleasure as well if you share it with us by leaving the usual links.

Next week when you are posting your Monday vases I shall be in London meeting up with Christina (My Hesperides Garden) and Sandra (Wild Daffodil) so will have to defer the pleasure of reading and replying to comments and seeing your vases – the pleasure of meeting up with these blogging friends for the first time, however, is equally anticipated! If anybody else is able to join us please do get in touch and we can pass on details.



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73 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: a Habit of Decades

  1. Alison C says:

    It’s such a sweet and pretty vase, it certainly doesn’t look as though any of it has been recycled. It’s interesting to see what does well in a vase, not always the things you expect. I too am obsessive about recycling and make frequent trips to our local centre where they will take plastic which can’t go in the collection bin. I hope you have a great time meeting blogging buddies, it sounds lots of fun. My vases this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison – I certainly didn’t think that the ornithogalum would do well, and yet when I looked in one of my bulb catalogues to think ahead to buying more bulbs it does say it is good for cutting. Our County Council is pretty good with what they collect but the depot is an amazing place and make i so easy to recycle. They also have an onsite shop for things that might still be useful to someone

      • Alison C says:

        That is such a good idea and should be rolled out nationally. I’d never heard of Winter Sunshine sweet peas before a couple of days ago. Do you grow them under glass?

        • Cathy says:

          Yes, they need to be inside. You can buy the seed from Owl’s Acre – not sure if there’s anywhere else

  2. Thankyou for cheering up my Monday morning with your beautiful base of flowers. You have soured me on, so I’m now going to pick some aquilegia and Hesperis! Wish I could join you in meeting with fellow likeminded bloggers, hope you have a wonderful time xx

  3. londoncottagegarden says:

    I would love to join you next Monday depending on what time and where. I work from 3pm to 6 pm. would I be able to join you? Julie Quinn

  4. A very sweet vase, Cathy and a lovely reminiscence of school day bottle top drives. Weren’t they fun? Enjoy your get together in London next week!

  5. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – My favourite Blue and White – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  6. Christina says:

    Pretty as a picture! The Sweet peas are lovely; mine are also doing well and are in a vase on their own in the kitchen. I too remember the saving of milk bottle tops and collecting for guide dogs; I remember at the age of 11 organising a jumble sale that the adults then were forced into helping with. Fun, innocent times!! Here’s my link;
    Really looking forward to meeting next week. It will be great if others can join us too.

    • Cathy says:

      For some reason I only ordered pastel varieties of the sweet peas, despite enjoying the Navy Blue ones last year – will need to remedy that next year!

  7. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Jugful of Sunshine – Absent Gardener

  8. Cath says:

    Wonderful the way the ornithogalum and astrantia still look beautiful, and the sweet peas and columbine are so soft and frilly. I wish I could come join you next week, I hope you have a great time! Here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cath. Yes, they are definitely soft and frilly – those intricate ruffles of certain columbines always fascinate me

  9. I am also an ardent recycler, currently reusing old cardboard in the garden to cut down on weeds. The vase is lovely and I especially like the container, car boot sales can be so wonderful. The pastel pinks are perfect for spring and I envy those Pink Sweetpeas, so pretty. Here is my vase Have fun meeting the fellow bloggers, wish I was nearby.

    • Cathy says:

      The sweet peas I picked were the only blooms on this plant so far, but hopefully they will come thick and fast. These are the ones I have to grow in the greenhouse but because I have grown them in pots this year I might move them outside once I need the space for tomatoes!

  10. Your pink vase reflects the innocence of spring. The flowers in the vase this week meet that spirit as well. Sweet. I know you will have a good time meeting with blog friends. It is always fun. Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures. Happy IAVOM.

  11. pbmgarden says:

    Pretty pinks Cathy. I like the aquilegia especially. I’m happy you’re getting together with Christina and Sandra. Have a wonderful time. Meanwhile, thanks for hosting Monday vases. Mine is

    • Cathy says:

      You never quite know what you are going to get with aquilegia seed, Susie! This one looks so delicate, doesn’t it?

  12. A really pretty vase, and an equally pretty arrangement, Cathy. Sweet peas already! Ours are but a promise yet to come and I don’t expect blooms for quite a few weeks. Ditto the astrantia. However, I do have aquilegia springing up all over the garden. Your Lilliput Lovely is just that, lovely, even if you are disappointed with it’s proportions. Here’s the link to my vase for this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Theses sweet peas are bred to be grown in the greenhouse and they develop at lower light levels, which is why they are flowering now. Saying that, I do very nearly have buds on some outdoor ones. These aquilegia were meant to be short – which they are not, although perhaps a little shorter than most

  13. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Sweet pea plethora! | Duver Diary

  14. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy
    Such a pretty vase full! I too am featuring ‘Pink’ sweet peas this week.
    I’m absolutely gutted not to be joining up with you in London next week. And bearing in mind it turns out the average day’s walk on our ‘holiday’ seems to be around 9 miles, I’m starting to wish I could stay at home – in which case I’d be meeting you like a shot! 😉

    • Cathy says:

      Oh you will be well walked out on your holiday then!! Sorry you can’t join us. I wonder why they didn’t come up with a ‘real’ name for the sweet peas – it must be such fun naming plants!

  15. Peter/Outlaw says:

    It’s wonderful how the sweet vase color echoes that of the sweet peas. The sweet innocence of this arrangement is delightful. Recycling can indeed be beautiful! I hope you have fun next Monday meeting with blogging friends! My (cheat) offering this week is all props. The blooms are glass and were easier to scavenge than flowers during Sunday’s downpours.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Peter, I am sure you never ‘cheat’ 😉 Surpringly the vase looked more pale purple than pink when I filled it, but at least it looks reasonably pink in the photos!

  16. I am growing Buckland Astrantia and love it, though mine has no flowers yet. Have a lovely visit in London with the other bloggers. My offering for this week is here:

  17. Pingback: In a vase on Monday 5.15.17 | Hilltop Flower Power

  18. Eliza Waters says:

    Truly lovely, Cathy! I esp. love the unusual ornithogalum’s white and green next to the sweet pea Pink. All the flowers combine well to match your pretty little vase.
    My vase:

  19. Cathy says:

    A very pretty vase Cathy. I really like that Ornithogalum, and the Armeria too. And the Aquilegia is a beautiful shade of pink! I’ll have to post my link later as I am having problems loading photos…

  20. Mrs. Brown says:

    Oh the sweetness of the pink and shapes of the blossoms. Them seem like they are floating. The fragrance of sweet peas is so heady. I don’t always get them planted timely, but when I do, the aroma of the vases is super! My vase this week:

    • Cathy says:

      I have found that sowing sweet peas in the autumn gives better and stronger plants – which will of course always flower earlier too

  21. Kris P says:

    When I saw the scrunched foil, my first thought was that they were candy wrappers, befitting the sugary pink and white blooms in your vase. I remain covetous of the Astrantia and I’m a bit wistful over the sweet peas as I yanked all mine out here last week – sweet peas bloom early here but they also exit swiftly. Thanks, as always, for hosting IaVoM. I’ve combined my vase and Bloom Day posts this week, which you can find here:

  22. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Happy Weeds | Frogend dweller's Blog

  23. Anna says:

    Oh Cathy that’s such a pretty and spring fresh vase. The ornithogalum and astrantia look as if they were destined to be companions. Do the ‘Winter Sunshine’ sweet peas have much in the way of scent? There will be space in my greenhouse at the allotment this coming winter following the death of a grape vine – no sign of green for two years now. Hope that you all have a great time next Monday – still checking train fares but not optimistic. My vase is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna and yes, the WS sweet peas are delightfully fragrant. I will let you know how mine have done in pots at the end of the season, compared to last year in the greenhouse bed

  24. How delicate and demure. I think the ornithogalum is a striking contribution with its two-tone green and white. The green looks very tactile like suede somehow. Ha, I’d forgotten about collecting milk bottle tops, but that has reminded me of carrying sacks of them into school (and that warm milk smell that was alway part of them, in spite of the washing).
    I am offering you weeds in return, but they are very cheerful looking:-

    • Cathy says:

      Gosh yes, that warm milk smell… 😦 That’s an interesting observation about the tactile look of ornithogalum – I see what you mean

  25. Good recycling Cathy and such a pretty delicate arrangement today. I have joined you with some shots of colour, as the sparaxis are in bloom.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dorris. There was some striking sparaxis in the Scilly Isles, tempting me to consider ordering some for next year but they were all in mixed colours which I don’t fancy myself

      • Yes mine were a mixed bunch of bulbs from Aldi last year. I put them in amongst my herbs as I knew they would be brash

        • Cathy says:

          When I read up on them after seeing tehm in the Scilly Isles it sounds as if they are not reliably hardy, but even so it would be worth picking out the colours you liked and putting them in a border perhaps?

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  27. Cathy her vase is wonderful. Light pink tones in contracting with white and green in very pretty. The pink vase is a special touch. I love the sweet peas in that beautiful rose. The aquilegia is divine and its that sweet pink is magnificent. I wish my aquilegias had that color. It’s a bouquet that says it’s SPRING. Have a great time in London with Christina and Sandra. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Margarita and welcome to IAVOM. I have grown quite a few aquilegia from seed but now pull out any which do not have a pleasing appearance 😉

  28. Lovely to see your pretty pink & white collection Cathy – my winter sunshine sweet peas are in full flower too. Reading your post brought back a really strong memory of saving milk bottle tops – I remember they were always in the washing up bowl – but what we were saving them for I have no idea – maybe guide dogs? I am sorry I am being a rubbish blogger at the moment – hopefully I will get back into my stride one day. I am looking at a lovely jug of anemones from my greenhouse that I planned to photograph but the day just ran away again. When are you meeting in London? I am going to Chelsea on Tuesday so planning to travel up on Monday and stay overnight with a friend.

    • Cathy says:

      We are meeting on Monday – Christina and Sandra are both going to Chelsea on the Tuesday but I am just coming down for the day (going to Chatsworth in June though). We all know that sometimes life can get in the way of blogging (and so it should) and you have had a lot happen in yours recently so it is understandable. I am sure I speak for many in sying that I hope you are in a good place at the moment and that you are family are well – are your offspring still here, there and everywhere? Has the flower arranging been and gone?

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  30. This is just too pretty Cathy! I love aquilegias, and the way they come out in all sorts of surprising colours. Mine, quick as ever, is here: I will need to come back and change the title. I have no imagination at 11.30pm!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, always some new aquilegia popping up – there are 2 large flowered ones here that I am sure were not there last year! Not surprised about an ‘uninispired’ title at 11.30 – that’s way past my bedtime!!

  31. Cathy says:

    Wish I could join you Cathy! Your vase this week is breathtaking! Those Ornithagalums get better and better- especially if you are drearily sitting in an airport waiting. Thanks for cheering my morning and have a wonderful week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – and hope you have a restful break, wherever you are off to. Pethaps you will still be able to dip into blogs while you are away?

      • Cathy says:

        I shall certainly try, although my internet connection is currently ‘tethered’ to my mobile! Long story . Currently in Scotland sorting out my mother’s house (without BT’s help! They are disastrous.)

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  33. rickii says:

    We’re on the same track with the idea of recycling. My vases are into their second week of life so I guess that qualifies as recycling, sort of. Lucky you, to be meeting up with fellow bloggers: what a joy that is. Here’s my belated post:

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