In a Vase on Monday: Specks and Spikes

The creation of today’s vase was a transitional process, albeit a short one. Another batch of bargain hyacinths coming into flower was always going to produce the main focus, but my original plan was to add other white blooms from early spring bulbs like leucojum and narcissus with maybe just a hint of green foliage for contrast. A shiny dark green arum leaf outside the back door was snipped first and I liked the contrast with the purity of the hyacinth so much that the other bulbs were rejected for this week and a similarly dark sprig of ivy was cut, along with a slender stem of winter flowering honeysuckle Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ to produce a simple and unfussy vase.

The narrow neck of the white Caithness Glass vase that had been mentally allocated for today, however, proved to be challenging even for these four stems and did not allow forย  rearrangement into a pleasing form. In a dramatic change of plan, the Caithness Glass was summarily sidelined in favour of a shallow black glass dish, bought at the Age Concern shop on our recycling site this week to use as a potential ‘ikebana’ vase. I have been searching online for a UK supplier of ikebana vases, like the lovely pottery ones used frequently by blogging friend Susie, but without success; they are available on eBay, but always imported from the USA and I did not expect to be using my ‘make-do’ one quite so soon!

The 4 stems were held in position by a metal pin holder or frog, an irregularly shaped quartz crystal cluster was placed in front of them and the dish filled with glass beads before the water was added. Having intended to use a piece of quartz in the dish, the choice of this particular cluster proved to be serendipitous, with the unplanned bonus of mirroring the spikes of the stems, the points of the quartz pointing every which-way. Quartz is a cleansing and energising crystal, and a cluster like this can radiate energy into a room or bringย  harmony to a group situation.

Those of us who bring elements of our gardens inside every week, whether sharing them on IAVOM or not, appreciate at close quarters the harmony that they too can bring, so if you don’t already do so why not take the plunge today? Many regular contributors were loath to cut from their gardens in the past but have undergone Damascene conversions and will tell you it has ‘changed their lives’ – so give it a try, and then share the result with us if you like by leaving the usual links to and from this post.

ps the ‘specks’ were hail, announcing the end of a lovely sunny morning yesterday and turning later in the day to a light snow shower and a tentative covering of snow before nightfall

This entry was posted in Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Specks and Spikes

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Thin pickings – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    You are clever Cathy, I love your improvised Ikebana vase and I’m sure the Hyacinths must smell very strong. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – I am pleased with how well the dish functions. I also bought another vase there which is a shape I have dmired but hadn’t got so I am looking forward to using it, perthaps for my first tulips which are still some way off.

  3. Joanna says:

    My first impression was that the flowers were sitting in a bowl of ice cubes! It really is a clever vase! I love hyacinths and it is so good to see that spring is coming to some parts of the world! We are still waiting here, and my post would be better titled “In a POT on Monday! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Cathy says:

      The hyacinths were grown inside though – the few outside (from previous indoor plantings) are only just poking their noses through

  4. pbmgarden says:

    This is a treat Cathy to see your your new black glass dish. It makes a perfect Ikebana container. I noticed the arum leaf first, one of my favorite to use in designs for pattern and the shape of the leaf itself. Bet the lovely white hyacinth has a delicious fragrance. I like the quartz and the properties it embodies. My hellebores finally bloomed last week so guess what are in my vase? Thanks for hosting Cathy and for the nice mention!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – the dish has a registration number on it so it has some age (which I could look up, I suppose). You have done some wonderful things with arum leaves in the past so perhaps I could be more adventurous with them in the future! Thanks for all the examples of this style of vase that you have shared with us – it has opened our eyes, I believe, and encouraged us to give it a try

  5. I also thought the stems were in ice….a very ‘cool’ effect! Sorry for the pun. But I loved the white and green….the color scheme of my garden in snow. And you had snow too! I have some dishes that might work nicely to try this in the future so thanks always for the inspiration…

    Here is my link this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Not as much snow as you, though Donna, and we have got off very lightly compared to furtehr north. We all get inspiration from each other, Donna, Donna, and have learned so much from sharing on IAVOM

  6. Hi Cathy, Iโ€™m with you this week.

  7. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: tiny flower love | acoastalplot

  8. Sam says:

    I’m sure your vase smells lovely (again). White and green is very appropriate for the season (we had hail and a sprinkling of snow yesterday, too). Here’s my IAVOM contribution:
    Thank you! Sam x

  9. I like it, the lines speak of Ikebana inspiration and the crystal stem holders reflect the sleety weather and then you can stop and smell the hyacinths. A good winter vase.Here is my total opposite winter vase

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your little arrangement is sweett and such a surprise since the glass pebbles remind me of the ice that rained down on us yesterday. Brrrrrrrr. Makes me cold looking at it.

    • Cathy says:

      It does look icy, doesn’t it? Although it was sunny this morning which melted most of the snow it had been cold overnight and there was ice about, with overshadowed places staying that way all day

  11. Lovely arrangement. The clear beads and crystal really make it shimmer. I always enjoy Susie’s Ikebana creations, so I applaud your inspiration and your version. I think you can really use any container and it is more a matter of floral restraint when it comes to Ikebana. And you have done that beautifully.

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: The Fair Maids | Words and Herbs

  13. Cathy says:

    That Arum leaf is beautiful and really eye-catching… the lovely Hyacinth has strong competition there! I like the use of the glass pebbles and crystal to hide the frog and I suppose add additional support too. I have never seen an ikebana ‘vase’ here either, and even had to order my frog online. I finally have enough snodrops to pick today, so I can join you again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Peter Herpst says:

    I like the turn of events that your vase took. Like the quartz crystal, this time of year can point in a variety of directions. After a mild winter and fairly warm temperatures, we were sure that spring was arriving early but then the forecast changed and it’s supposed to be 27 degrees (-2c) tomorrow morning. Not all last minute changes are as lovely as your arrangement which suggests to me spring bursting forth from the ice of winter.

  15. FlowerAlley says:

    The quartz and glass gave an icy touch. Good job.

  16. Anna says:

    Oh that’s a most stunning, elegant and effective arrangement Cathy. Good luck with your search of an ikebana vase. Years ago there was a Japanese shop in Birmingham which might be worth popping into if a) you are passing and b) if it’s still there ๐Ÿ™‚ It was very near to New Street Station. A little believe it or not snowdropless vase from me this week :

    • Cathy says:

      Ah, I will Google and see if I can find out ny more info on that shop, Anna. Thanks – and abandoning snowdrops for your vase…? Tut! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Kris P says:

    I thought you’d used ice at the base of your arrangement at first, Cathy. Nicely done and so appropriate for a wintry day. There’s still little to indicate winter here but we’re holding out hope for a little rain this week, if Mother Nature doesn’t allow it to evaporate or get hijacked en route. Meanwhile, I jumped into a celebration of Valentine’s Day:

  18. Chloris says:

    We have had snow and hail the last few days so your icy base is just right. Well done on finding your Ikebana type bowl..How pretty it looks. Susie is going to get us all trying it. Mind you, I am not very good at the necessary restraint and discipline. I usually end up bunging in a few more flowers, as indeed I did today.โ€ฆ-and-fat-flowers/

  19. Cathy fooled me into thinking they were ice cubes. He has made a magnificent arrangement. The pure white hyacinth and that should have a heady perfume as it is beautiful with the deep green of the leaf of Arum and the branch of Ivy. The sprig of Madreselva is beautiful. The vase a black plate with glass pearls and a quartz crystal: I love them. Greetings from Margarita.

  20. Alison C says:

    Very impressive and a clever way to get your material to behave. Lovely fragrance again too. I found an arum like this growing recently. Do you find they are less invasive than the plain leafed ones. I don’t know whether to remove it while I still can. My link:

    • Cathy says:

      I haven’t found this one invasive, Alison, but it is growing in quite a scrubby part of the garden. I didn’t know plain leaved ones could be invasive?

      • Alison C says:

        Yes they can be and are difficult to eradicate. They are one of those things which are quite deep rooted and break off at bulb when you try to dig them up. Also the berriesare poisonous.

        • Cathy says:

          Hmm, yes I I believe the berries are on this one too; I now feel relieved mine are not growing in a particularly fertile place!!

  21. Pingback: spring sampler in a vase |

  22. rickii says:

    I, too, am an admirer of Susie’s simple, elegant approach. It is especially appealing when there is a scarcity of vase material. Have been on the lookout for an appropriate vase to try my hand. Leave it to you to come up with an ingenious substitute.

  23. A striking arrangement, Cathy, and a very effective way of displaying materials when they are limited, as they are at this time of year. Like some of the others, I thought that was ice cubes keeping the stems in place. I have a small container suitable for Ikebana inspired arrangements but I have not had the courage yet to try it out. My much more modest attempt can be seen here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth, and do try an ikebana style vase one of these weeks. I would say it’s easier than you might think and essentially only tweaking a few stems until you are satisfied. Of course it can be hugely more sophisticated than that, but ‘in the style of’ need not be ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Very elegant and dignified today, Cathy! I too thought you had used ice for a moment. That arum leaf is really quite something, isn’t it.
    Mine is here today:
    I’ve just noticed what a cheesy title I gave it – I think I came up with it at 11pm last night. Sometimes blog post titles write themselves, but other times coming up with something – anything – decent is the hardest thing. This is definitely one of those latter occasions.

    • Cathy says:

      Ice might certainly have been appropriate with the temperatures we have had recently but the practicalities would be another matter! Cheesy or not, your title was nothing if not apt – but I know what you mean about post titles, which as you know are important for me. Sometimes I will start with one but find myself changing it by the time I have written the post – and there have been a few where inspiration was completely lacking and they have been (in my eyes) sub standard…hey ho!

  25. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – three flowers, birthdays (some third), Hope and Kindness | Views from my garden bench

  26. Great vase for ikebana will we be seeing it again I wonder. Hopefully the specks have gone now

  27. Bec says:

    Hi cathy – loved your Ikebana style vase – It all looks very elegant and I bet the hyacinth smells amazing. It’s been a rough few weeks but I’m back with a vase (and it’s my blog’s third birthday today). Here’s my link – hope you have a good week.
    Love bec xx

  28. Brian Skeys says:

    Instantly recognisable as ikebana Cathy. You have achieved the style there, I do like itโ€™s simplicity.

  29. Noelle says:

    A very seasonal arrangement the icy effects.

  30. I do love the simplicity of the Ikebana vase. It really shows off each item to be admired individually and as a group. Your use of the crystals and glass beads really do look like ice cubes too- a perfect nod to the season you are. I’m imagining how lovely the hyacinth smells. The only thing I keep bringing in from my garden is dust and thorns, but the rains have started and things are greening up. Hoping for blossoms soon! I’d like to try for one more vase from my African garden before I leave.

  31. My favourite style of plant arrangement.

Comments are closed.