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 the result with us by leaving the usual links to and from this post.