In A Vase on Monday: Winter Beauty

Although just a young shrub, winter flowering honeysuckle Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’, has been flowering generously for a few weeks – but at the back of the shrub border where I can’t catch its fragrance. I had intended to use it last week for my Monday vase, but accessing it in the snow would not have been the easiest task so that decision was postponed until today when it was joined in the vase by a single (indoor grown) white hyacinth stem and late blooms of Salvia ‘Amistad’ from cuttings in the greenhouse, all beauties in their own right. The single prop was my favourite snowdrop book by Freda Cox, always referred to frequently throughout the snowdrop season to check up on various details of these other ubiquitous winter beauties.

Even in the house the fragrance of the lonicera (which I recently learned from Gardeners’ Question Time is pronounced with a soft rather than hard ‘c’) is not strong unless I bury my nose in one of its flowers; strangely, neither is the hyacinth, and I have heard mention recently that the strength of fragrance can vary between colours of the bloom. When I cut the salvia, I caught a distinct whiff of its aromatic leaves so all in all this is a subtly fragrant vase and as such most welcome at this relatively lean time of year.

The weather in different parts of the world is having a big impact on our vases this month, and even the tiniest and sparsest of vases will be welcomed by both participants and viewers: the parameters are wide open so there is plenty of opportunity to think outside the box. Next week, IAVOM falls on Christmas Day for the first time and I plan to post just a picture and perhaps a festive message; feel free to do the same yourself or have a week off, it’s your choice! For those who dip into Rambling in the Garden only on Mondays, just in case you are busy with other things next week I wish you a peaceful and contented Christmas period and all the very best for 2018.


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68 Responses to In A Vase on Monday: Winter Beauty

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – More seasonal decorations – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    That’s a very pretty combination. It is a good job that I decided on another Christmas season decoration as there are very few flowers in a good enough state to bring into the house. Here’s my contribution today:

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The greenhouse affect is shown well here. A very merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year to you too. Grow on…

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks, Lisa. The salvia cuttings were only taken at the end of July and have been flowering for weeks on plants that are still only about 6″ tall

  4. Must get some Winter flowering Honeysuckle – I learn so much from your posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      There are different types, Sandra, so do look around – I have L fragrantissima, Winter Beauty and Budapest. They are all quite scrubby shrubs, and it’s worth making sure they don’t get out of hand as they are not especially pretty at other times of year. If I find some suckers on mine perhaps I can send you one in due course…

  5. Your vase really is a winter beauty Cathy. I have used Salvia ‘Amistad’ this week as well, but mine is the dying off-cuts from my garden, whereas your flowers are quite magical. Merry Christmas and thank you for hosting IAVOM this year. Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Last week’s snow has finished off the Amistad blooms that were outside here – but even so they have done amazingly well. Meanwhile, the cuttings are still going strong! Thanks for your best wishes and for your contributions to IAVOM. All the best to you and your family too

  6. Joanna says:

    Very pretty! I never heard of winter-flowering honeysuckle before, but it must be wonderful to have! Here’s my contribution for the week, although it’s actually in a pot on Monday! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      It’s nothing like the other honeysuckle that we know, with stiff stems and a scrubby habit. Having one at the back of a border is not very sensible though as you catch the fragrance better if you can walk past it

  7. pbmgarden says:

    What beauties! Interesting that the fragrance is muted on the lonicera and hyacinth. The color of the Salvia โ€˜Amistadโ€™ is a perfect counterpoint to their white blooms. Have a good week Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I think the blue hyacinths probably smell stronger, and I have just planted some blue (and pink) ones from my bargain bulb purchase, so I will be able to compare them. I was so pleased to have thissalvia to include too – they just seem to go on and on and hold their flowers for ages too

  8. I can almost smell your Vase from here

  9. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Festive | Words and Herbs

  10. Cathy says:

    How lovely to have winter flowering shrubs – and with scent too! The Lonicera is very pretty, and I think your arrangement looks so delicate and elegant, reflecting the delicate fragrance.
    Here are my vases for this week Cathy (yes, plural – to make up for such a tiny one last week!).

    • Cathy says:

      I have increasingly realised the value of winter flowering plants, Cathy – it’s great to know there will always be something in flower in the garden

  11. I love the color combination and the hue of the Salvia, sometimes subtle scents are better! Winter Honeysuckle is relatively common where I am from, I wonder if they bred some of the scent out by selecting for flowers or form, the shrubs smelled wonderful but were ratty looking. Here is my vase

    • Cathy says:

      My L fragrantissima is definitely fragrant, but I haven’t had Winter Beauty for very long so perhaps I am just comparing the two

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    My first thought is that you’ve managed to have a 3-season vase this week with Salvia (fall), Lonicera (winter) and Hyacinth (spring). A fine way to round out the year. You’ve made me think about in future utilizing my sunspace for more winter bloom. Thanks for hosting the whole year round, Cathy. Happy Holidays!
    My post this week:

  13. A lovely and inspiring combination as always. And a snowdrop book that is new to me so I will have to see if it is available here. My “vase” is here:

    • Cathy says:

      I have 3 or 4 snowdrop books, Linda, but this is by far my favourite, mainly because of the detailed and very helpful descriptions of lots of different varieties – with line drawings which can show more detail than photographs

  14. Peter Herpst says:

    You’ve created a beautiful arrangement full of promise. Happy holidays, Cathy. Today, I cheated and shared a vase made by someone else.

  15. johnvic8 says:

    Once again you have shared with us a marvelous and creative vase. Thank you. I am sharing my iris experiment this week.

  16. I could almost smell those pretty stems! I have an orange flowering Lonicera that, much to my dismay, refuses to flower. It keeps growing but no flowers! My IAVOM post today includes a little bit of everything…

  17. Array says:

    Lonisera / Lonikera ? I never heard it with a ‘k’ before. That is a genus we could use more of. We have only ‘Hall’s’ Japanese honeysuckle, which is nice, but we could use more variety. Burmese honeysuckle is rare, and for good reason. It lacks fragrance. I can only read about the other honeysuckles, but I never see them here.

  18. Kris P says:

    I’m impressed that you have so much to offer after your snowfall a week ago, Cathy! Subtle fragrance may be best when windows are closed against the cold weather. For my part, I gave up on flowers this week (!!!) and resorted to succulents, as these can better handle the very dry conditions we still have in effect here:

  19. Cathy I love your vase. The contrast of the deep blue of the Salvia “Friendship” with the white of the lonicera and the hyacinth is marvellous. All the flowers are beautiful and their fragrance must be wonderful. I wish you a Merry Christmas with your family. Happy Holidays! Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Well Margarita – I never knew that Amistad was a Spanish word meaning friendship until you said. I shall look at the blooms even more favourably now ๐Ÿ™‚ Best wishes to you and your family as well. Keep warm and safe

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on a Monday: Stars | Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  21. Annette says:

    We didn’t get snow but plenty of rain. No sign of flowers on my Lonicera yet. Such a welcome shrub at this time of year. A delightful little still life, Cathy. Thanks for being such an inspiration! Have a wonderful christmas and well deserved break. Looking forward to accompanying your on your ramblings in the new year! Here’s my last vase for 2017: ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Alison C says:

    How pretty and I’m imagining all the fragrance. It’s lovely to have hyacinth so early and it looks wonderful with the blue. Sometimes I wonder if fragrance grows as flowers mature. I have climbed into a bed to sniff Lonicera but couldn’t discern very much, I’m hoping the scent will come. Even in the depths of winter there is plenty to see and look forward to. Thanks for encouraging us to share and anticipate. I found some colour, here it its:

  23. Noelle says:

    That a fresh looking arrangement….thanks for a year of vases and encouragement to go out and appreciate our gardens. Your lead and all the vases from near and far bring gardeners together. Wishing you and the golfer a Happy Christmas. Xx N

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Noelle and you are most welcome – the meme has brought so much joy and friendship along with the vases, so it has been a real pleasure to host it. The very best to both you and Mr Noelle for the festive period

  24. Pingback: In a vase on Monday | Garden Dreaming at Chรขtillon

  25. Cathy says:

    And a very merry Christmas to you as well, Cathy! What an inspiration you are … The lonicera is one of my all time favourites. I was going to cut some myself today, but two shrubs are not big enough to sacrifice (flowering all the same!). Looking at your pictures, however, I can smell it without going outdoors. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family! Here is my minimal, last-minute, vase.

  26. Anca Tirca says:

    Happy Christmas, Cathy !

  27. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday -Christmas flowers and foliage from the garden | Bramble Garden

  28. karen says:

    Thatโ€™s a very pretty combination. I can just imagine the scent. Iโ€™ve got a lonicera that has never ever flowered. Iโ€™m giving it one last chance and then Iโ€™m going to dig it up and plant another one. I shall buy it in flower this time to be certain. Now youโ€™ve got me thinking, I always pronounce is as lon-i-sera. I shall have to listen in. Hereโ€™s my late, as ever, IAVOM. Happy Christmas Cathy. Xx

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t thin I had ever had an in-person converation about before so in my ignorance I pronounced it Lon-i-kerra. Good to keep on learning ๐Ÿ™‚ I was going to take out my original L fragrantissima because it didn’t flower well and was an ugly plant – since then it has flowered well every year so it has stayed!

  29. Summer meets winter! I remember going to see Alan Shipp’s national collection of hyacinths on an open day one year and wondering why there was no scent. A couple of years later I returned and was bowled over by the strength of the smell. I think that the scents we smell are very condition based. Maybe you’ll find your vase changes too.

  30. LisaDay says:

    Simple, but lovely. I love how there are only a few sticks of flowers, but they are beautiful.

  31. Anna says:

    Oh that’s a simple but elegant vase Cathy. I must have a peek at the lonicera purpusii cutting that I bought from the plant sale on your open day. On the subject of snowdrops thanks for your email. I will study the snowdrop list very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Pingback: (A wreath not) A vase on Monday – deck the halls | Views from my garden bench

  33. Bec says:

    I’m ridiculously late even for me…. but Happy Christmas Eve hope you like the wreath I made. I’ve got a vase for tomorrow too xx lots of love Bec xx xx

    • Cathy says:

      I was so thrilled to read this comment, Bec, which I did read when it came in even if I am not replying till now – well done you!

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