(Not) In a Vase on Monday: One, Two, Three, Four, Five…

… once I caught a fish alive….

In truth, it’s not something I have ever done (but I did once have to unhook a live fish from Elder Daughter’s fishing line and throw it back in the lake when ED was about 10 and suddenly realised she didn’t want to eat the fish for tea after all), but this vintage Dartmouth Pottery fish platter is my (not) vase today; alongside the footed platter is a matching flat one. Five dried gomphrena (‘Strawberry Fields’) blooms were placed on the footed platter to represent the five years that In a Vase on Monday has been going … that’s 260 vases!

Having started to pick blooms and post a vase on Monday each week for my own benefit,ย  inviting others to join in gave me an even greater incentive to keep doing it – and here we all are still! Usually between 20 and 30 bloggers post a vase, some every week and some just as and when, whilst others are happy to enjoy our vases without creating their own. It has never been about ‘showing off’ arranging skills and ‘pick and plonk’ vases are appreciated just as much as grander or more stylistic ones, but we nevertheless learn from each other in terms of sowing, growing and arranging – and My Goodness! we are a supportive bunch! For many of us it has changed the way we think about our gardens too.

It was a joy to look back over my last year of vases in preparation for today, and I have picked out a favourite from each month:

November & December 2017, January 2018

February, March, April 2018

May, June, July 2018

August, September, October 2018

March’s vase, created for the sixth anniversary of this blog, Rambling in the Garden, still sits in the kitchen, constructed from six chunky stems of cornus with blooms cut from card pictures of the blog’s header.

I set a challenge for bloggers to present a (not) vase today, with no limitations on how this was interpreted – I chose to place my blooms on rather than in a receptacle, and the receptacle certainly wasn’t a vase, but who even mentioned a receptacle? Don’t worry if you didn’t get the message or choose to post your usual vase instead, that’s fine. All those who comment or post a vase today will go into a draw to win a ยฃ10 gardening voucher, unfortunately limited to those in the UK or with a UK contact address. Just like every Monday, I look forward to seeing the vases you post (please leave links to and from this post) – and thanks for your support of the meme over the last five years. Mondays have never been the same since!




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82 Responses to (Not) In a Vase on Monday: One, Two, Three, Four, Five…

  1. Pingback: Not in a Vase on Monday | Wild Daffodil

  2. Chloris says:

    Congratulations on your meme anniversary and how successful it has turned out to be, everybody loves it. I think your 5 Strawberry Fields in a Fish is wonderfully creative and surreal. I love your selection of previous vases too.
    My offering is here: https://thebloominggarden.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/not-in-a-vase-on-monday-armistice-day/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – it’s hard to believe it has been so long, but it certainly did the trick and got me into picking posies again!!

  3. Heyjude says:

    Your poor fish looks quite fed up! I am one of those who doesn’t join in, but who loves to see all the vases that appear on a Monday. So many wonderful artistic and talented people out there in blogland, and of course beautiful flowers to start the week with. Congratulations on your 5th anniversary Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t think flat fish ever actually look cheerful, even when they are real and alive! Glad you enjoy sharing our vases – and encouraging us with your positive comments

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Happy Anniversary Cathy! Thanks for building this gathering place each Monday! What an impressive collection of vases you’ve created and fun to see your (not) in a vase today. The fish reminds me of a childhood poem: “Fishy, fishy, in a brook…”

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – I don’t know ‘Fishy Fishy’ in a brook, but do you know our rhyme ‘1,2,3,4,5, once I caught a fish alive’…?! It is hard to believe the way IAVOM has developed sometimes -thanks for your support from early on

      • pbmgarden says:

        Can’t really remember your little rhyme Cathy, but it’s cute. Can see why kids would love it.

        • Cathy says:

          ‘1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive
          6,7,8,9,10 then I let it go again
          Why did you let it go?
          Because it bit my finger so.
          Which finger did it bite?
          This little finger on my right’
          It has an easy little tune to it as well, so good for teaching small children numbers and right/left. Now you know!

  5. Congratulations Cathy! In a rush today but just HAD to join in. Will come back later to read properly. Love those dried blooms.
    Looking forward to seeing what others are creating this week.
    Here is a November Mandala for you: https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/not-in-a-vase-on-monday/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sandra – I have had a peek at your offering earlier and I am pleased to see you have given us another flat lay. I was hoping that by phrasing my challenge the way I did some people would choose not to have any container at all

  6. Happy Anniversary! Supercreative non vase and I love the retrospective. IAVOM always frames my week, so thank you for hosting and creating the meme. Here is my non vase http://theshrubqueen.com/2018/11/12/in-a-vase-on-monday-two-challenges/

  7. Cathy, many congratulations on your fifth blogoversary! Quite an achievement. I love the sea green of your fish dish, the perfect backdrop to your Strawberry Fields. I am sorry not to have been joining in with your lovely meme of late, life has been so busy, but hope to be back with some vases soon.

  8. Pingback: (Not in a vase on Monday) Five year anniversary – Wow! – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  9. Christina says:

    Congratulations on five years – it doesn’t seem like five years at all. Thank you for the inspiration to keep picking from the garden and your friendship. I didn’t manage to post my vase last week but it contained stems of the white Leonotis leonurus that you gave me last year. I’ll share that vase later in the week. Here’s my attempt at not a vase: https://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/not-in-a-vase-on-monday-five-year-anniversary-wow/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – the meme is certainly more than just a weekly post, isn’t it? Thanks for your early involvement and continued support – and I look forward to seeing that leonotis in flower, as none of mine have flowered yet. Good to know that it survived the journey home too! Hope things are settling down again for you and that you are heading towards winter in a good frame of mind

  10. Amanda says:

    Happy 5th Birthday for all your lovely vases Cathy! Such a great and happy idea. Here is my offering for this special day! Best wishes Amanda

  11. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Congrats on your long lived meme. I do enjoy seeing everyone’s vases each Monday even if I don’t participate. I think it is amazing all the different flowers. The presentations are always inspiring too.

  12. Pingback: (Not) In a Vase on Monday: leaf fall | acoastalplot

  13. I love the receptacle you chose…the fish platter is perfect with your 5 dried flowers. This has been a fav meme of mine and the one I still participate in because it is such a wonderful community and I love seeing everyone’s creative pieces each week. And I have learned so much….Happy Anniversary Cathy and thank you!

    Here’s my post this week….I have vases from this summer I was unable to show until now and a non-vase as it turns out too!


  14. Sam says:

    Thank you for 5 years of inspiration, Cathy. I love joining in with IAVOM when I can โ€“ it really is a pleasure and long may it continue. I love your fish/five theme here. Mine isn’t quite as inspired but hope it fits the bill: https://acoastalplot.com/2018/11/12/not-in-a-vase-on-monday-leaf-fall/
    Sam x

  15. I remember the first time my husband went trout fishing.I was all excited until I started wondering if I would have to clean what he caught. Luckily he cleaned and cooked them and it was a wonderful meal. Thanks for all your continuing efforts with this meme. I started growing flowers to bring into the house in a vase and looking to see what you and other gardeners have done is now as enjoyable as making my own creation. Your green dishes are lovely and a great contrast with your dried blooms. My offering is here: https://www.lindabrazill.com/each_little_world/2018/11/not-in-a-vase-on-monday.html

  16. tonytomeo says:

    My first fish went back too.. My Uncle told me that my first trout was too small. I was confused and explained that he (or she) was bigger than any of the other fish in the aquarium. My Uncle explained that we were not catching them for the aquarium. When he told me what we were really catching the fish for, I was very anxious to put him (or her) back into the lake!

  17. Pingback: (Not) In A Vase On Monday: November??? | Words and Herbs

  18. Cathy says:

    Congratulations Cathy! And many many thanks for the inspiration you and all the other ‘vasers’ have given me over the past few years. I enjoy joining in as well as seeing all the lovely arrangements from others each week. You always have such wonderful props and those five little flowers really fit the bill for the anniversary. Here’s to the next five years! ๐Ÿ™‚ My link for today: https://wordsandherbs.com/2018/11/12/not-in-a-vase-on-monday-november/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – you have been contributing a long time yourself and it is good to know that it gives you pleasure whether you contribute or not

  19. Eliza Waters says:

    Congratulations on your 5th anniversary IAVOM, Cathy. It has become a mainstay for many bloggers and definitely has influenced and opened up our garden choices. Long may it continue! My (Not) IAVOM is here: https://wp.me/p3O3z4-2h6

  20. Pingback: In A Vase on Monday: The Last Poppy – Carrots and Calendula

  21. bcparkison says:

    Your cut from their gardens.flowers had me fooled and I have on glasses. lol I do enjoy eveyones beauty

  22. Kris P says:

    You’re right! Mondays haven’t been the same since I found your meme. Like you, I’ve cut flowers on a regular basis for years, well before I even started blogging. I later joined in a couple of short-lived memes featuring floral bouquets but yours has been like no other. You gave this one life and vitality that the others didn’t have, creating a little community in the process – quite a feat! Thanks for keeping it going, Cathy. My (Not) IAVOM post is here: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2018/11/not-in-vase-on-monday-thinking-outside.html

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, thanks Kris – that is such a kind thing to say and I really pleased that you feel I give the meme life and vitality. I know how much it means to a lot of people which is why I work hard to answer all the comments and encourage or challenge contributors when appropriate. It is such a supportive community, isn’t it?

  23. Cathy, congratulations for keeping IAVOM going for 5 years! That is quite an accomplishment. Although I haven’t got the knack for arranging and have not participated in ages, I do stop by most Mondays because I enjoy seeing the creations of others. It’s very inspiring!

  24. Elizabeth W says:

    Hi Cathy, congratulations on the anniversary of this meme. Five years is impressive! I know that, once I’d discovered it, Mondays were no longer the same. It’s given me the courage to try creating arrangements, in the main of the pick and plonk variety, with material I would not have thought of before. Not to mention that I now grow some plants specifically for cutting. Your fishy arrangement is fun. I’m with your daughter – couldn’t possibly eat a fish that wriggled on the end of a hook! I’d already prepared a vase for today when I read of your challenge so there’s a ‘not’ in a vase too: https://silverscrappers.blogspot.com/2018/11/in-vase-on-monday-and-not-in-vase-too.html

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – yes, it has made most of us look at our gardens in a different way to find material to pop in a vase (or not)

  25. Peter Herpst says:

    Dear Cathy, Thank you so much for dreaming up this meme and continuing to host it for the last five years. Like many of your fans and IaVoM participants, I’ve been thinking about bringing the outside in to enjoy in a whole new way. Here’s to many more years of Monday vases (or not vases!) Here’s my contribution: https://outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2018/11/in-not-vase-on-monday.html

    • Cathy says:

      It is a pleasure to have you on board, Peter, especially as you always have such a fresh take on vases when you contribute. Thanks for all your kind comments over the years

  26. Alison C says:

    Happy Anniversary and thank you. Gomphrena is one I’ve discovered through IAVOM and I’ll be trying it next year. (See my note about dried flowers!). Yours look very pretty and the bowl is another clever idea. Good to see your run down of lovely and varied vases. Please don’t include me in the draw as I’d blush if I was picked again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison. Gomphrena wasn’t the fastest growing annual but worth trying. I put mine back in pots in the end as it just wasn’t thriving in the cutting beds. I shall probably try again next year

  27. Pingback: (Not) In a Vase on Monday – Leaf kebab anyone? | Frogend dweller's Blog

  28. Well done on 5 inspiring years of IAVOM, on dealing with the extrication of the live fish from the line (luckily my sons never showed any interest in the sport) and on those pretty gromphrena examples. I grew some last year, but they were very slow to flower, so I’ve not bothered this year.
    Here is my vase: https://wp.me/pM8Y1-7gg

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – she had been so excited about the idea of fishing, unprompted by anyone else, but that was the one and only outing for the fishing rod! My gomphrena was VERY slow to flower too and I don’t know if I will bother either – but the flowers lasted for ages once they started and I still have seed left… Glad to know you find IAVOM inspiring and it’s good to have you contributing today as it has been a little while

  29. Ali says:

    February, July and August are my favourites, but it is incredible how diverse your vases are. This is a brilliant meme and you bring such joy by hosting it. Xxx

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – it was difficult to choose monthly favourites and looking back always surprises me with the variety, and how effective even the simplest vase can be. I am pleased to be able to facilitate this opportunity for weekly vases which I know bring a lot of people (including me, of course!) a lot of pleasure

  30. Oh many, many congratulations Cathy on five years of hosting ‘In A Vase On Monday’! It’s always a pleasure to participate and I have learned much along the way as well as meeting some lovely bloggers. Sending you a big virtual bouquet and hugs. Time constraints and the weather conspired against me today but hopefully I will post a not in a vase later this week xxx

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks, Anna – it has indeed been a wonderful journey, made all the better by my travelling companions. Look forward to seeing a vase from you soon (or not!)

  31. karen says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary Cathy. Yours is the only meme I join in with and I thoroughly enjoy seeing what everyone posts each week. Thank goodness you donโ€™t mind the pick and plonk posts,as thatโ€™s what most of my posts are really. Like you say, Mondayโ€™s have never been the same since. I always look forward to IAVOM. Karen x https://bramblegarden.com/2018/11/12/in-a-vase-on-monday-autumn-jewels/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Karen. I think we all accept now that Pick and Plonk is just as pretty as anything more formal – but there was never any intention for it to be a flower ‘arranging’ thing anyway, just an encouragement to pick and enjoy

  32. karen says:

    Pressed go before I had finished my comments…. I love the little fish dishes and the gom-thingy plants. Very pretty. Iโ€™ve used a pottery jug instead of a vase today, in sea green stripes to set off the autumn flowers.

  33. Noelle says:

    Congratulations Cathy….and thank you so much for keeping us all together. I had been thinking all week about this meme, and have yet to see what others will have thought about. I felt calmer just thinking about what I would have posted….virtual vase, and virtual flowers. But I shall post something and give a link to yours over the next few days.

  34. The weather has obliged today Cathy so here is my not in a vase : https://greentapestry.blogspot.com/2018/11/not-in-vase-on-monday-high-five.html
    I forgot to say that I enjoyed your retrospective collages of your twelve favourite vases – it must have been fun revisiting them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Glad you had some good weather Anna – we did here too. Hope you are feeling more up to things again too. Yes, it is always a pleasant surprise looking back at previous vases ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Cathy Congratulations for your five years of IAVOM !!! At least another five years! Since I discovered In A Vase On Monday I have enjoyed and learned many things about bouquets, although I did not publish bouquets except once this year at the beginning of summer. Cathy, please, Monday is for me a wonderful day waiting for your meme and enjoying with a smile so many bouquets of flowers. Today it was pure imagination to make the non-vase of flowers. His has been magnificent. A beautiful fish-shaped fountain and five beauties of Gomphrena “Strawberry Fields”. I loved it and what imagination hers. Have a happy week. Greetings from Margarita.

  36. happy fifth birthday to this wonderful meme – Love the overview of the year I think it gives a good idea of the diversity of posts/flowers – the dahlias look awesome. I wanted to say thank you so much for hosting this meme – you’re ace.
    As usual, I’m late but life got in the way this week but here’s mine. 5 fuchsias ๐Ÿ™‚ and magical pals and kindness.
    Thank you for all your support and advice over the years, it’s meant so much to me. here’s to many more years of vases .. and I’ll try to answer comments (I read everything).
    lots lots love Bec ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks, Bec – I am so pleased that IAVOM and blogging has proved beneficial to you. Fostering a caring ethos amongst our blogging community is very important to me. Take care and thanks for your kind comments

  37. Annette says:

    Oh Cathy, can’t get over this! I almost missed this important birthday and I’m so ashamed that I didn’t contribute anything to celebrate it. But I’ll make up for it next week if that is possible, I promise! Mind you, it came as a sort of a shock to me to see it’s been 5 years already. Wish we could meet up to celebrate it with a cup of tea ๐Ÿ™‚ . In any case it’s been a huge inspiration to me, so thank you very much and here’s to another 5!!! xx

    • Cathy says:

      Hard to believe it is 5 years Annette! I am pleased to hear that you have found it an inspiration – your photographs are always inspiring to the rest of us too! I do hope we can meet up sometime as well – let me know when you are next in the UK ( we are going to Hampton Court next year)

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