In a Vase on Monday: Nearly There

The photo doesn’t really do today’s Monday vase justice as in reality it is rather more striking than it might appear; its height, however, made finding a plain background to photograph it against difficult.

Extending to 60cms or 2 feet in height, this plain blue glass bottle vase (source, IKEA? carboot? not sure) holds 3 stems of unknown and possibly mixed varieties of daffodil and a clutch of wild plum twigs. A number of bloggers have recently been experimenting with twigs in tight bud, and these were cut two days ago, the buds quickly swelling and beginning to open in the warmth of the house. Having not bought any full size daffodil bulbs for the garden, these are some of a number that have come to me as potted plants over the years which have been replanted after flowering. Two of the buds have half-opened since the photographs were taken and both have bright free-range-egg-yolk-yellow coronas but the third one could be something completely different, although it is not bulging the way frilly daffodil buds do so I suspect it will also be a plain trumpet variety.

The vase was photographed on the stove-effect fire in our living room, against the background of the tiled insert of the surrounding fireplace. Chimneys and fireplaces had sadly been removed from our property before we bought it, so the fireplace and mantelpiece are far from original but seem to look the part although looked bizarrely incongruous when they were first installed into an almost empty room with bare vintage plaster and a dusty concrete floor, accompanied only by an old armchair and a metric tonne pile of sand as we worked through our renovations…those were the days! Today, furnishings are a little more salubrious!

A closer look at the ‘prop’ accompanying the opening buds of plum and daffodil show that it is a box which may (or may not) contain a mini ‘Slinky’, one of those bendy springs that can supposedly walk themselves downstairs. The contents have been used as a prop before but today remain in their box because spring is not quite here yet, although it is definitely on its way, with daytime temperatures in double figures for several days during the last week. Signs of spring have appeared in many northern hemisphere vases on IAVOM in recent weeks and yet we hear that some gardens are still under the thumb of winter whilst in the southern hemisphere autumn is knocking at the door. Elsewhere of course, seasons barely exist. Wherever you are, do have a look in your gardens and find something to bring inside and pop into a vase or jamjar: we can almost guarantee that this small act will bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart every time you look at the result. If you like, share it with us as well by leaving links to and from this post.

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71 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Nearly There

  1. Ali says:

    Hi Cathy, not sure if I am breaking the rules by having bought flowers? Will definitely have flowers from garden next week!!

    • Cathy says:

      The original ethos is to search our own gardens or indoors or forage locally, but we do understand that at times ‘needs must’ in some parts of the world when the weather is inclement. Remember it need not actually be flowers though – but you must be so looking forward to seeing them in your own garden again… 🙂

  2. Ali says:

    I love your bottle. And a slinky would make an ingenious prop.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – I never had a slinky as a child and sadly our stairs here are not designed for slinkies to slink down…

  3. Alison C says:

    This looks good now but I’m sure will look stunning in a couple of days. The height will be striking. I must go and scout around for more foliage to cut and bring in. I look forward to seeing the Slinky in few weeks when we can celebrate spring. I always felt deprived never having had a one as a child. I made sure my children got one and I probably played with it more than they did.

    • Cathy says:

      They are such tactile things, aren’t they? This wild plum is in our own hedge and may or not actually be ‘wild’. In fact this sems to be an offshoot or seedling of the original one which we caut down as it was way too tall for its location. We are trying to keep this at a height that we could pick fruit from in the years it successfully fruits

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Your wild plum twigs herald spring’s imminence. The blue of the vase works great with the yellow of the daffodils. Spring has not quite committed to my area–snow possible this afternoon.

  5. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: tulips – enclos*ure

  6. The blue with the yellow buds is perfect. I have tulips today, not from the garden, but the grocery store. Although I am seeing leaves pushing up outside by the front walk.

    • Cathy says:

      Blue and yellow do go together so well. don’t they? Sadly, I have too few blue vases… Hope you are not waiting too long for your own tulips!

  7. Absolutely love the tight buds and the Slinky in your arrangement this week Cathy…..Spring is still in the box here as we are about to get our third winter storm in 10 days…2 feet so far with the last 2 storms, and we could see another foot with this one. Spring will not be here until April…my prediction seems to be commensurate with the long-range weather forecast, and I will just resign myself to it and get on with other indoor projects as I wait. We had a warm spring-like February and are now paying the price.

    My post is reminding me of an ocean visit from the fall to keep me warm. And my vase is a bit of a little gift given to me….not much of a vase but it will have to do.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – I remember reading about your protracted winters in previous years. That’s certainly a lot of snow, but I suppose you come to expect it. I am so curious about your ocean visit…

  8. Cathy says:

    I love this vase, as it shows just how much pleasure can be got out of bringing materials indoors… a few days of anticipation and then the surprise when the final bud opens. And then another week before they start to fade. Aah, wonderful! I am joining you this week Cathy.
    And thanks as always for hosting! 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – the plum stems are indeed an absolute delight. I am pleased you are finally able to join us again, Cathy!

  9. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: the Further Adventures of Princess Hyacinth – Carrots and Calendula

  10. I love your visual pun Cathy! I have included a sprig of plum too this week – although mine is ornamental and in blossom. I think spring has sprung here.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ciar – I am not sure how I will determine that spring has sprung here, but I am sure it will be obvious when it comes!

  11. Love the idea of Spring waiting to spring forward from the box – I too have one of those tiny slinkies – cute!

  12. I enjoy twigs in a vase Cathy and daffodils are a bolt of sunshine after winter weather.

  13. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – one day my prince will come – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  14. Christina says:

    I was thinking of using some Apricot blossom today but in the end it is tulips again:
    I love how your blossom is only just open, very elegant.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, the stems arch so gracefully and the buds start as such rounded little bobbles before bursting open in the wamth of the house – wish I had thought to use them before

  15. Peter Herpst says:

    What an exciting arrangement bringing the hope of the spring almost here into your home! Your prop is perfect! We’ve had some lovely warm and sunny days here as well and it seems that spring is out of the box already. Hurrah! My vase is here

    • Cathy says:

      It definitely feels as if spring is ready to pop out of the box at any time, although it’s cold and wet here today.

  16. What fun to put a vase together and not be totally sure where it will go. Love the slinky prop. Still more snow than open ground in my garden; my vase, such as it is, is here:

  17. Laughing, our time just changed here to spring forward. I love the tracery of the twigs, and the slinky. Also waiting for a bulb to open in my vase. Here is my vase.

  18. FlowerAlley says:

    I really appreciate your IAVOM. I rarely contribute to this, but I always enjoy all the flowers in the arrangements and different vases. It is SNOWING here in NC this morning. I plan a quiet day of writing. My weeds will have to grow in the cold another day. Thank again.

  19. I’m glad spring is at least peering around the corner at you, Cathy! Most people would say that spring is well underway here but winter, in the form of rain, is gracing us at last so I’m reluctant to bounce too far ahead too fast. That didn’t stop daylight savings from turning ahead the clock this weekend, though – I wish we’d adopt daylight savings time year round and be done with these periodic jolts to the body’s time clock! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Cold (well, cool) and wet here today too. Our clocks change in a fortnight and I try to prepare myself by going to bed earlier for a few weeks in advance

  20. Pingback: Adieu Winter, hallo Frühling! / Bye-bye winter, hello spring! – Annettes Garten / Annette's Garden

  21. Annette says:

    It looks beautiful and you know why? Because it’s full of promise, Cathy, finally spring is on our doorstep and it’s more welcome then ever, I think. Glad I’m able to join this week, I’ve been so busy but here you go: Wishing you a fab week and a great start into the new season 🙂 xx

    • Cathy says:

      I think our gardens themselves are always full of promise, don’t you, Annette? Glad to hear you are having a break from being busy, even if only briefly

  22. Alison says:

    It’s so hard to judge the height of your blue vase in your picture, I was very surprised to find it was two feet high. I’m looking forward to having Daffodils to cut in my garden, none open yet. I used a flower from the greenhouse again. I did spend a good part of the weekend working out in the garden, our weather here was finally pretty glorious, but back to rain tomorrow. Here’s my post:

  23. Noelle says:

    That for the post this week…I shall venture forth to see how the wild plum blossom fares in the hedgerows. It may help me gain inspiration and help my psyche

    • Cathy says:

      It’s certainly a sign that spring is on the way but it still so easily gets caught by a frost in March – but no frosts forecast in the next 2 weeks or so thankfully

  24. How graceful and understated this arrangement is! I love the Slinky. I’m excited to shared my second IAVOM

  25. Anna says:

    I wonder if the wild plum twigs will feature in your vase next week Cathy 🙂 A most apt title for your post. Spring was definitely much nearer yesterday than it is today. I should have snipped for a vase then. Instead I have been waiting in vain for a break in the rain all day but the weather gods have not obliged so far.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t think there will have been much gardening done in the UK today! Looking better for tomorrow though and perhaps you can pick a posy for yourself later in the week. I suspect the plum twigs will still be performing next week, so who knows?

  26. tonytomeo says:

    What? You put way too much thought into this. Although, the unopened buds are somehow and weirdly more alluring than they would be if open and more colorful. I sort of think that the backdrop is splendid. I do not know if it would have been any more effective if it had been more plain. I mean, the colors are nice and plain enough, even if the texture is not. Well, I am no designer.
    I happen to be fond of flowering twigs. I am a native of the Santa Clara Valley, that had once been filled with vast apricot, prune, cherry and other orchards.
    Pearblossom is a town near Palmdale in the Mojave Desert. Like your plum twig, the name is somehow alluring, yet contrasts with what the environment actually is. There are not many pear orchards there now; but the starkness of the surrounding desert and mountains contrasts so artistically with any vegetation in the area, whether (now uncommon) pearblossoms in spring or the bright yellow cottonwoods in autumn.
    Oops. Sorry to leave such a long comment again.

    • Cathy says:

      Pearblossom is such a delightful name for a town and it seems incongruous that the surrounding area is desert and mountain – not what one might expect for an area of orchards

  27. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – let’s hear it for the girls! | Duver Diary

  28. jenhumm116 says:

    Very elegant and understated today Cathy!
    Here’s mine, rather more blowsy….

    • Cathy says:

      I am thrilled with the effect of the twigs Jen and am pleased to be including them in my repertoire, thanks to other bloggers who have already used them in their vases

  29. Cathy your blue glass vase is just what the three Daffodils need to surprise because it is not known what variety they are, but I like how the three yellow heads are balanced; and the wild plum twigs that announce Spring. It is a magnificent arrangement and very high, it is beautiful. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Margarita; I am pleased with the overall effect too. The third daffodil has opened today and it does not have such a bright trumpet as the other too.

  30. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday ….. er Wednesday. | Bramble Garden

  31. karen says:

    I’m a little late posting this. The garden has been flooded out for days. I can’t walk on the grass and the front borders are under water. So I’m stuck with what’s growing in the greenhouse and potting shed again. The temperatures have been more spring like though and it’s been great to open the greenhouse windows and fling open the potting shed door. I’ve got lots of twigs about to burst into leaf/ bloom. I’m keeping optimistic. Love karen xx

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, so sorry to hear about the flooding, Karen – we are a bit squelchy where we are working on The Project but flooding is never a problem in our garden however much it rains and at least we have paths to take us round the garden which makes a big difference. Here, the automatic vents in the greenhouse have opened several times and there is now a distinctive warm and earthy smell in there no… I love it!

      • karen says:

        Isn’t it lovely in the greenhouse on a sunny day. I love that smell. Lots to do in there. It could easily become a full time job, just pottering about in there and the poly tunnel. So glad you don’t get any flooding. We are lower than the lane, and so we get all the run off from the road. I think we will have to re-instate the ditches. Not a Job I’m looking forward to.

        • Cathy says:

          I love being in the thick of the sowing and pricking out routine – managed to prick out most of my February sowings during this last week (before it got cold again, that is!)

  32. LisaDay says:

    What makes that photo great – other than the beautiful blue vase – is the fact there are buds on those plum branches. Spring.

  33. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday -A Cold, Snowy, Salford Spring? | Views from my garden bench

  34. Bec says:

    These plum branches are lovely – do you let lots of fruit? I’ve got lots of tete a tete in my garden coming through…. more in the vase this week it’s blimming freezing outside again.
    Sorry I’m late this week with the blog (and the photos are from beginning of March). There’s been alot going on but I’m getting there.
    Here’s mine –
    Love Bec

    • Cathy says:

      This is a ‘seedling’ from an aged parent that we cut down and we have had little fruit from it yet but are trying to keep it at picking height in case we do in the future!. Don”t worry about being ‘late’ – getting on with life and looking after yourself are more important, Bec

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  36. Andrea Jones says:

    I’m fascinated by your vases…and intriged at how the challenge might play out in my short-summer, high-altitude home place. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for popping in Andrea. Do have a go at the challenge – since the meme was started in November 2013 many of us have found something to pop in a vase week in and week out, and it has made us look at our gardens in a different way. The joy is in both the seeking and in the admiring at close quarters

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