In a Vase on Monday: Sugar and Spice

Thanks for keeping IAVOM afloat last week whilst I was away and apologies for not doing my job as a hostess as much as I would have liked. I was able to read all your comments and kind words and managed to see most of your vases but not comment on many of them, and I am sorry for this omission. All is back to normal today.

I was hoping to include tulips today for the first time this year but the ones that were not quite ready a fortnight ago were past their best by today, and we have some sugary pink hyacinths instead. These were evicted from an indoor pot a couple of years back and planted outside and were probably originally a gift as I wouldn’t normally choose pink hyacinths although I do quite like the two-tone petals of these. Sharing the Caithness glass vase with them are unnamed pink hellebores, wallflower Cheiranthus ‘Giant Pink’ and twisted hazel Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’. The wallflowers were grown from seed, don’t flower especially well and are such UGLY plants; their removal is in the offing along with any of their ugly cousins which are around. When conditioning stems for the vase by dunking them in boiling water for 20 seconds or so I made the mistake of including the hyacinths; they did not like it all and sadly their presence in the vase may prove to be short-lived.

You may have realised that I normally don’t include pictures of people on my blog, but whilst creating the vase and mulling over a title I belatedly turned over to April’s page in the calendar Younger Daughter gave us for Christmas and found that the littler PoppetΒ  perfectly encapsulated the essence of little girls: ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’ and the calendar thus became today’s prop. Anyway, it’s a photo of a calendar, not a person!

I am looking forward to my normal Monday routine of reading and replying to comments and viewing your vases; it may take a few hours out of the day but it is time well spent and I know how much IAVOM means to people. It is an exciting time of the year in the garden for many and a change of season for all and observing the changes in different parts of the world, as exemplified in our vases, is a fascinating experience. Please share it with us by leaving links to and from this post. Happy Monday and have a productive week!

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59 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Sugar and Spice

  1. Ali says:

    Hi Cathy! I love your ‘sugar and spice’ theme. I get frustrated with wallflowers too. I have some purple ones to grow from seed this year, but am going to grow them in a raised bed for cut flowers, rather than them messing up my borders!
    Here are mine:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali. There may be a knack to stopping wallflowers from growing lanky and woody, I suppose, otherwise people just wouldn’t bother with them…!

  2. Cathy says:

    Bewitching little vase, Cathy, perfectly accentuated by your twisted hazels stems. I’m with you on the hyacinths – don’t normally like the pink. But they look perfect here, so served the purpose! Hopefully I will eventually rejoin you for IAVOM. Have a splendid week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy and good to hear from you; I am aware that you have posted recently but not had time to read your post yet. Hope all is well

  3. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Blue jug day – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  4. Christina says:

    The addition of the Hellebore lifts the tone of the pink vase, which I like, I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘pink’ person but I don’t dislike the colour, especially in a vase. Here’s my link for today:

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Beautiful arrangement Cathy! All the materials work well together. The willow draws the eye upward and gives it space. And what an adorable little one–she’s precious.

  6. Such a beautiful pink vase of happiness Cathy! It is what I am waiting for in my garden. I especially love the twisted hazel twigs…they really add to the vase’s charm. Here we have endured another week of temps around freezing for a high and lows in the 20s with windchills in the teens and snow daily. But this is the week finally when the temps will warm slowly through the low 40s to the 50s so my garden should begin to take off and flower more… my post says, my garden is anxious for spring and so am I.

    With that said, I do have a wee vase of crocus from the garden for today. They have lasted for weeks in the garden and bloomed when it warm enough for them to open….

    • Cathy says:

      Oh what a chilly week you have had had, Donna, and no wonder you are anxious for spring. I don’t think of using the twisted hazel for often, and yet it is always there, sometimes with catkins too

  7. A lovely vase and contents – I especially love the contorted element. And the baby picture is everything nice! Here is my vase

  8. I always wanted to plant wallflowers. Maybe I should rethink that! I love hyacinths but not so much in the house. Really like how the hazel stems lighten the display. My offering is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Linda. Many people do grow wallflowers so perhaps they just need to be pinched out early on, or something else I have missed πŸ˜‰ I could smell the hyacinths yesterday when I first created the vase, but not today, surprisingly

  9. Peter Herpst says:

    Your arrangement is very pretty and the hazel twigs make it extra special. However, that adorable calendar picture steals the show. What a sweet baby girl, perfect for this sugar and spice and all things nice vase and for this sweet season of spring!

  10. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Violets etc | Words and Herbs

  11. Cathy says:

    Sweet! Your hellebore is very pretty. My red ones got frozen this year! I nearly bought some wallflowers the other day, although they aren’t really hardy enough for here, so glad I didn’t after what you say about them. The hazel with the leaves just showing is a lovely touch. Here is my vase for today. Thanks Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – strangely, it’s the first time I have used hellebores this year. AS for wallflowers, I have never had one that IS a pretty plant so I shall stop bothering with them in the future πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, and I hope your hellebores survive…

  12. Kris P says:

    Your sugar and spice arrangement is sweet. I immediately wondered if the photo was your Poppet (rather some random beautiful baby that happened to be featured in a calendar). She’s darling! Does the rest of the calendar also include family photos? It’s a clever idea.

    Thanks, as always, for hosting, Cathy! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – all the photos in the calendar are of this Poppet as it was her first Christmas and her parents were (of course!) besotted! I usually order a calendar of family photos for the Golfer for Christmas too – it is so easy to do these days with digital photography and not in any way expensive

  13. I have been tempted by wallflowers at a local nursery, blooming in shades of orange and vibrant pink, but the plants themselves often look ragged and ugly (as you say) so I’ve managed to pass them by.

    I’ve neglected IAVOM for weeks now, time to get back in the grove…

  14. Alison says:

    Hi Cathy, What a pretty vase! I love the pink colors. And the cutie on the calendar page too. I agree on how unkempt and ugly wallflower plants themselves usually are, but the flowers are so fantastic and smell so wonderful! My IaVoM is here:

  15. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Foxglove, Rosemary and Heuchera – T's Southern Garden Blog

  16. Hi Cathy! Very pretty vase today. The twisted hazel is the perfect way to “spice up” the sugary pink hyacinth. I don’t know anything about wallflowers, but I most certainly will not be bothering with in–thanks for the heads up. My cat Manny photobombed my IAVOM post this week, which you can find at

  17. Chloris says:

    I love your arrangement so pretty in pink and what an adorable baby. You lucky Granny.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you. Not sure how lucky a Granny I will feel once I start having her every Thursday from next week when Mummy goes back to work…! It’s certainly good to have a local Poppet though as the other one is ‘down south’

  18. Alison C says:

    I love all the pink, it’s so pretty and cheerful. I must say I’ve never got on very will with wallflowers. They flowers can be lovely or awful but I don’t find they last well in water. They do smell good though. I’ve got some coming into flower so I may be testing them out in a week or two – anything flowering just now is good. I’m back with a vase this week after failing to post it last week.

    • Cathy says:

      Good to kno w it’s not just me with the wallflowers!! It always seems strange for me on the odd Mondays when I can only provide a platform for vases without my usual involvement so I am pleased to be back today too πŸ™‚

  19. Cathy I love the motto that has chosen “sugar and spices” The vase is beautiful and the flowers beautiful. Here in Spain, wallflowers are usually found on terraces, especially older people or in villages in Andalusia, along with carnations. The Hellebore roses are beautiful, Cheiranthus “Giant Pink” in very pretty and pink Hyacinths are fine. What I really like is the twisted hazelnut branch. The accompaniment of the calendar with the picture of the baby goes very well with the motto that you have chosen for this magnificent vase. Take care. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Margarita – it is interesting to hear about the wallflowers in Spain. Do you have the saying in Spanish ‘Sugar and Spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of’?

      • No, Cathy, as far as I know we do not have that saying in Spain. And I know many sayings, but that does not sound to me. There is one that starts with “Agua, azucarillos y aguardiente.” but it is not a saying is the title of a Zarzuela, the small genre of opera in Spain. I’m sorry I could not have helped you. Greetings from Margarita.

  20. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – 9th April 2018 | Bramble Garden

  21. karen says:

    How beautiful. I love your flowers- and your calendar. Lucky you :). Here’s my IAVOM Last week I was defeated by the internet again, and posted my IAVOM on instagram remembering to add the right # and a link to your meme. All the best- karen x

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Karen . I don’t ‘do’ Instagram myself but I know it’s very popular and other people do add IAVOM links to it as well

  22. Anna says:

    And all things nice ….. Oh that must be a pleasantly scented vase Cathy as will as pleasing on the eye. Personalised calendars are most thoughtful presents especially ones with featuring a beautiful little girl. I was slightly sidetracked today so no vase from me. Hope that you have a good week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – yes, this kind of calendar is such a nice thing to receive, and give too. Hope you were distracted by something interesting and/or useful – certainly easily done in the garden at the moment!

  23. Noelle says:

    That’s a sweet vase and a sweet little grand daughter. I am sure that you will be passing on your IAVOM skills to that little one. I am going for simple again:

    • Cathy says:

      I must admit I am looking forward beyond the baby stage to when I can bake and garden with her, Noelle – much more fun than musical baby toys!

  24. johnvic8 says:

    I love your little Poppet. We are hoping that our grandchildren will begin to provide a few of those sweeties for the next generation…and soon!

  25. LisaDay says:

    Just beautiful. I quite like pink and purple flowers, although they are not my favourite colours outside of the garden.

  26. rickii says:

    So sweet…in every way!

  27. Annette says:

    Lovely arrangement as usual, Cathy, glad all went well on your trip. No doubt you’re very busy now that spring has sprung…or should have sprung, or I don’t know πŸ˜‰ . I’m behind with everything, waiting for the ground to dry up once more as I hate to work in the garden when everything’s soggy. Have a good week(end) xx

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette. Yes, busy with the Project, but also planting out all the autumn sown stuff and some plants from cuttings. I desperately need to blitz weeds though. Hope your soil dries out soon – never really a problem here as we are well drained

  28. I lovely the muted yet soft tones of this arrangement. Hellebores are a flower that is intriguing me this year, and I am thinking of adding to my growing list for the next,

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