In a Vase on Monday: Anticipation

I am pretty good at delayed gratification and could easily have been one of those children in the famed psychology test who could safely resist the challenge of being left alone with a marshmallow with the promise of a larger reward later – perhaps it wouldn’t have been quite so easy as child a child, but these days I will willingly wait till late on Christmas Day to open presents, will leave the nicest chocolate in the box till last and generally leave the cherry on top of the cake for the final bite (although you would have to bribe me to eat marshmallows these days). This doesn’t just apply to food and presents so cutting this hippeastrum whilst still in bud was easily done, in anticipation of the future benefits of doing so.

The flower spike in question is another from the same ‘Dancing Queen’ bulb that was featured in a vase on 27th November, the bulb still not having produced any leaves but throwing up another flower spike, completely out of the blue. Last time, though, the flowers were fully open when I cut the stem and, despite remembering to insert a cane up the stem like some invasive medical procedure, lasted little longer than a week. The trick, I have now learned, is to cut it whilst still in bud which should ensure it lasts for about 3 weeks; meanwhile, I can anticipate the gradual opening just as easily in the vase, if not more so as it is in front of me as I write. Will the opening be delayed because of the early snipping? I am not sure.

Joining the hippeastrum in what I believe is another bargain car boot Caithness Glass purchase, is an intriguingly shaped stem of Hamamelis ‘Ruby Glow’, very much anticipated this year after glowing in a distinctly amber rather than ruby-like way last year; as with the stem of Jelena I cut last week, this was growing low to the ground and heading out across the path, so was readily spared for the gratification of including it in today’s vase. Its ruby shreds will complement the flashes of red on the Dancing Queen’s frilly dress when she unfurls her petticoats.

I know delayed gratification and anticipation are not the same thing, but they are certainly inextricably linked, with anticipation generally being enhanced by the delay – and thus I am content with my half piece of Aldi’s 85% chocolate alongside my coffee after our evening meal. This bargain priced chocolate comes in five separately wrapped bars, half of one being sufficient to satisfy my anticipation of its deep darkness. A good black pudding and homemade lemon curd join this really dark chocolate as my most anticipated tastes – and dark chocolate is good for the brain too! Today it is a prop for my Monday vase.

Props are not crucial to our Monday vases, but sometimes they add to the story that we tell and often give a little away about ourselves too. Will you be sharing a vase today, with maybe a prop and a story attached, or just a vase? Any combination of these would be welcome, so if you are able to get into your gardens and find something for a vase do share theΒ  result with us by leaving the usual links to and from this post.

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60 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Anticipation

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Yearning for green (or white!) | Words and Herbs

  2. Cathy says:

    The red flowers of Ruby Glow were worth the wait Cathy. Quite magical. I love a piece of dark chocolate in the evenings too, and somehow it complements these rich red colours as well. I have to be strong willed not to eat more than one piece though, and have not learned from experience to resist – as children we had a sweet tin each with a few goodies to last the week and my sister always managed to make hers last while mine were gone within a couple of days! πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      Ah, now we could have 3 sweets from a communal sweet tin after lunch and that must have instilled a sense of discipline into me, and my siblings too I expect… πŸ˜‰

  3. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – a little something to brighten my day – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  4. Christina says:

    My Amaryllis still has its leaves from last summer so who knows when it will flower? It is perhaps a bulb I should buy here when I see them rather than from the UK, maybe there is something about their flowering times. Your email spurred me to post a vase today; so thank you for that as I might not have done without (laziness). Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      I have kept some previous bulbs but apart from the one that flowered randomly in the summer I have had no success with reflowering. The ones I get from PN which are pretty big bulbs nevr get the leaves till well after the flowers, unlike the boxed ones available everywhere around Christmas which get the flowers and leaves simultaneously, so there must be something about the different conditions they are kept in, I expect. I am glad you felt motivated to post a vase today and found something to brighten your day

  5. I’m like you with the chocolate, having one small square of 85% each evening – a treat at the end of the day. I also eat a couple of walnuts with it and at odd times in the day, when needing a snack or treat as they too are said to be good for the brain – and mine needs all the help it can get!

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

  7. Annette says:

    I absolutely agree with you, Cathy, delayed gratification and anticipation evoke a sweet, delicious sensation. I’m the same, often keeping the best for last. It’s important though not to wait too long! πŸ˜‰ Ruby Glow is a beauty and would be a serious contender if I’d space left. Having said that I have already 3 (red, yellow and orange) so shan’t complain. Have a great week! Here’s my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      there are so many lovely witch hazels around, aren’t there? I do like the red and orange ones best, but in full flower theyellow ones are still lovely – and seem to smell sweeter. Have a good week yourself, with lots of hygge!

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Much anticipation and chocolate too. A good way to start the week. Happy IAVOM.

  9. Noelle says:

    I love the story this week Cathy, and of course the arrangement. Blackpudding: snap; lemon curd: snap..sadly chocolate now has an adverse effect…but I am similar to you on the delayed gratification and anticipation, which I think enhances appreciation. I like ‘slow’ gardening..watching, observing, is it that we have patience too? Here is my vase this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I guess patience is a pre-requisite for delayed gratification πŸ˜‰ On the spur of the moment I suggested (Stornoway) black pudding to Younger Daughter as a possible birthday present for me, so I am still working through a weekly or so lunch of it from the freezer! Yum yum! And I made lemon curd for gifts for neighbours for Christmas but it doesn’t go far and there was none left for me… 😦

  10. pbmgarden says:

    This time of year anticipation is very much the mood at my house, wondering as I am how what is going on underneath the earth with little bulbs and perennials. Thanks for the tip about cutting the hippeastrum early. I’ve used one in my vase today but cut it as it is about to fade–don’t think it will last long.

    • Cathy says:

      I will keep you posted on how long it takes mine to open – and I guess I will need to keep the water fresh and topped up. here there are new shoots on some of the clematis which seems s bit of risky tactic for them, but I suppose any hint of mildness and things will be spurred into action. As gardeners, we can certainly anticipate that spring will be along before we know it!

  11. Pingback: The front garden bunch – Carrots and Calendula

  12. I just love the colour of your Hamamelis Cathy. I have never tried growing hippeastrums – are they difficult? Here is my vase for this week

    • Cathy says:

      My hippeastrum (amaryllis) are just bog standard indoor ones and a doddle to grow, getting to flowering stage within 6 or 7 weeks. I haven’t been able to get any to reflower another year though

  13. I was late planting my hippeastrum and paperwhites, but I hope to use them soon. I do love how you cut yours in bud and made such a beautiful, different vase. It will evolve weekly into something very different and lovely. And a perfect prompt too.

    I am offering a vase I have had since late November. It has some wonderful prompts that are also still around making for a wonderful after Christmas and almost in between season feel. I hope to keep it going and add some live blooms to some of the elements as I have to be creative this winter with so much snow on the ground.

    • Cathy says:

      I am glad you managed to get some hippeastrum and paperwhites planted, Donna, even if it was later than you would have liked – something to anticipate…

  14. I am dreaming of that Aldi chocolate already! Anticipating the flower as well. The Witch Hazel is lovely and will set off the Dancing Queen when she appears. Here is my vase

  15. I remember when we were newly married and wanted to get a duvet for winter. I clipped the newspaper ad showing what we wanted and kept it for a year, waiting to save up the money until the sale came round again. Looking back, it was not really that expensive but we were on a tight budget. Still have it all these years later. But now I am willing and enjoy splurging, especially for the garden, though I have never been able to make myself cut one of those flowers in bud for a vase!. I do have a new vase for my post however:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it was certainly different in teh old days. We are getting better at spurging having saved ‘for retirement’ but then not really spending any of it – I certainly don’t feel any guilt splurging it on the garden which is my main sourse of pleasure

  16. Peter says:

    Delicious anticipation is sometimes even better than the desired object itself. I’m eager to hear how long this stem survives in your vase. My offering is here:

    • Cathy says:

      A few years of giving certain things up ‘for Lent’ has made me even more disciplined thes days, Peter, and made the anticipation even more pleasurable

  17. LisaDay says:

    I would eat the entire chocolate bar and then look for more. Interesting bulb though.

  18. Kris P says:

    I really need to make the rounds of some car boot sales, the equivalent of which I expect would be called garage sales here – you’ve made great finds in vases! I’m impressed by your ‘Dancing Queen’ throwing up another bloom spike. My own Hippeastrum, planted outside, are making slow progress but you may think spring has already arrived here when you see my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Here in the UK they are fertile grounds for finding vases! They will start up again in spring although there are some indoor ‘table top’ sales in winter instead. I wonder what you have in your vase then… πŸ˜‰

  19. I had to sneak back to November and take a look at what β€˜Dancing Queen’ will become, wow! She’s a beauty. Here’s my IAVOM post this week:

  20. Pingback: Elegant leftovers in a vase on Monday – Doing The Plan

  21. jenmac13 says:

    Hi everyone, Happy Monday!

    I really admire those with the patience to eat a chocolate bar piece by piece, it’s not easy for everyone, especially those of us with zero patience and precious little self control. πŸ˜‰

    This week’s vases look great – there’s such variety and so much creativity in the winter months!

    My contribution this week is of ‘elegant leftovers’

    Thanks Cathy, for hosting this lovely and addictive meme. πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I hope we don’t sound priggish, Jen!! πŸ™‚ Yes, it has been lovely seeing what people can find at this lean time of year, and reading how much pleasure even a minimal offering can bring

  22. Alison C says:

    You are clearly very patient but I think anticipation is all part of gardening otherwise why would we buy a shrub which won’t flower for a year? Your witch Hazels look lovely and I hope we can see the flower when it opens. The chocloate sounds good too. Here is my link:

  23. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Flowers in the Rain – Gardening Nirvana

  24. Anna says:

    Oh ‘Ruby Glow’ is really most deserving of the name Cathy and looks like a perfect partner for ‘Dancing Queen’ when she unfurls her colours. I’ve noticed that over the years that the Christmas presents get opened later and later but I usually have to have a chocolate before darkness falls on Christmas Day. Aldi’s chocolate is really rather good. I must visit and stock up soon πŸ™‚

  25. tonytomeo says:

    Hamamelis rok; but I miss them here. We no longer grow them. There just was not a good market for them.

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose with your native variety perhaps they just seemed too ordinary? I believe most of the H intermedia are grafted onto H virginiana

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh no, they are not ordinary at all. Our native species is not much to look at. I just planted Hamamelis virginiana last winter to see how they do here. I know they are not as impressive as the cultivars, but it sounds intriguing nonetheless.

  26. Dark chocolate from Aldi I shall have to look for. I hope your stem lasts three weeks, that will be fantastic. My Amaryllis is staying attached to its bulb but maybe I shall cut one of its stems to compare.

  27. Pingback: Happy blogoversary to me! – Carrots and Calendula

  28. Pingback: In A Vase on Monday –Β old rose, new year? | Views from my garden bench

  29. Bec says:

    Lovely choice for the vase – I went away to look at the flower from the vase in November. What a stunner πŸ™‚ and the caithness vase is beautiful too πŸ™‚ I’ve got a rose in my vase today…(which really shouldn’t be flowering) and some thoughts on last year and 2018. love bec xx

    • Cathy says:

      I was especially pleased with how much the shaped witch hazel stem enhanced it, Bec. And a rose from you! Occasionally I have had a rose in winter, but not ths year

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