In a Vase on Monday: A Winter Glow

I have recently agreed to give a talk to a garden group next year, something I have never done before and which I am quite looking forward to in a strange sort of way. The group is one that visited our garden earlier and when the visit was booked the secretary asked then if I would be willing to give a talk or if I knew someone who might be; I said I would think about it, but to my relief at the time nothing more was said. A recent phonecall saw the request reiterated and I decided to take the plunge and agree: my talk, I decided, will have the title ‘How to enjoy your garden’ and today’s vase is the perfect example of how to do so in early December.

Combining colour, fragrance, foliage and pure joy at their existence, this glowing vase exemplifies not only the benefits of gardening for all seasons but also of picking material from our gardens to fill vases to enhance the inside of our homes both guaranteed, we have learned, to enhance enjoyment of our gardens. Today’s vase includes yet more roses, fat buds ofΒ  Lady Emma Hamilton, for which I am indebted to the enthusiasm of Ali the Mindful Gardener who inspired me to add her to my own garden; she has only been here for a few months (Lady Em, not Ali) but already my own enthusiasm for the lady is growing, in part due to her glowing buds, apricot flushed with rosy red, not unlike the crab apples of ‘Evereste’. Joining these jewels is the bronzed foliage of milady (another of her assets), the preciously fragrant blobs of Viburnum bodantense ‘Dawn’ and distinctively patterned leaves of Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’.

Popping these joys into a blue sundae glass, with a little battery operated tea light with a flickering effect as a prop, the vase appears to glow even more than I anticipated when I first chose the constituent parts – December in the garden, and winter generally, may not have the abundance of summer, but it has its own special attractions as well as unexpected joys such as these lingering roses. The notion of creating a garden for all seasons (weather permitting) is just one of the ways I hope to inspire the garden group when I talk to them at the end of February, and the list of ideas is growing.

Creating our vases every Monday has required us to get to know our gardens intimately (‘Get to know your garden’), seeking material every month of the year and looking for inspiration when pickings at first glance appear lean, to enable us to find material to pop into a vase or jamjar (‘Bring the outside in and create a vase’). What have you find to bring you pleasure this Monday? Please share it with us by leaving links to and from this post (‘Dip into a blog’).

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57 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: A Winter Glow

  1. Noelle says:

    Your arrangement this week of those lovely rose buds, with crab apples and foliage is delightful. The leaves of Lady Hamilton too carry the russet colour through. I am sure you will make an excellent speaker and you already have lots of ‘archive’ photographs, and I think there will be many more invitations from clubs to follow. Here is my contribution this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your confidence in me, Noelle – it is not a big group, so a good place to start if I was to branch out and do more…

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Lady Emma Hamilton is a pretty rose and this glowing vase is a fine starting point toward explaining “How to Enjoy Your Garden.” I’d love to be in the audience for your talk Cathy. Good for you for making the decision to share your expertise and experience. Thanks for hosting our vase interest each week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – as long as it is reasonable request and there is a reason for asking me and not just anybody, then I am normally quite happy to rise to a challenge. And this group won’t bite!

  3. Ali, The Mindful Gardener says:

    That is very exciting about your talk, Cathy! I am sure that you will inspire the listeners, and they will be blown away by your plant knowledge. I am so glad that you are enjoying ‘Lady Em’. I think I have just snipped her last bloom, but her stems are still that lovely warm red-brown, and it will not be so long before she is sprouting anew. I have a very small Viburnum bodnatense ‘Dawn’ too – a freebie from one of the big companies, thrown in with some plug plants or bulbs, I think. I just noticed it flowering and it is lovely.

    • Cathy says:

      It is exciting and I am putting bits together in my head all the time – making sure it is long enough whilst allowing time to look at photos will be the main challenge. Ooh – must look at the lady’s stems as I hadn’t noticed their colour as they (2 of them) are still small bushes, not even knee high yet (my knees!). My ‘Dawn’ took a few years to establish but has been wonderful this year – good luck with yours

  4. Hi Cathy, your vase, this week, is a joy.The peaches and pinks are so pretty and look beautifully framed by the foliage too. I like your chosen theme for the talk you are going to give to the garden group. It mirrors my feelings about my own little plot – a garden has to be enjoyed both inside and out. It took me many years to give myself permission to cut flowers and bring them indoors to enjoy. I also take a lot of pleasure from just gazing out of a window at my garden too – especially in winter. I’m stunned that we still have roses in December. However, I’ve left mine where they are and gone for something quite different today – here’s the link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Elizabeth – I too was really pleased when I put the bits together and realised how well they worked as a team. I know many people (but not my blogging friends, unless they live in some snowy parts of the US) don’t venture into the gardens over winter and that is a shame

  5. Beautiful! Roses in December again and all aglow! I wish we had smellovision again. I like the blue glass vase as well. I gave a talk to the Garden Club here last year about container gardening, enjoyed the work and made some new friends. Here is my holidayish vase

  6. Alison C says:

    Showing that flowers can be used in all their stages to enhance our homes and our lives. It’s lovely to see colour on these grey days. Good luck with your talk, I’m sure you will be enthusiastic and therefore interesting. I’ve also agreed to talk to a Floral Art group in February. Goodness knows how that will go! Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh well done for rising to your own challenge, Alison! February will come quick enough for both of us… I think if we are enthusiastic about what we do and say then the talks should go well

      • Alison C says:

        Unfortunately the worst time of year for being able to take anything to show. I’m hoping to be able to show photographs but it’s clearly not something they always do. Technology. Should be easy but probably won’t be.

        • Cathy says:

          I was offered Feb or March, Feb when they wouldn’t have IT facilities – and I chose the latter, to make the challenge more challenging (and because it is on a singing night and we have a performance in March!). I shall have to use printed photos

  7. Peter Herpst says:

    What a joy to have roses in December. The garden has charms year round and I’m certain that your talk will inspire others to find their garden’s beauty in every season. . In a Vase on Monday certainly has given me the gift of finding treasures each week. Alas my post today contains only a poinsettia found on my desk at work but before resorting to that, I did find some special things that will surely make it into next week’s vase.

    • Cathy says:

      It is indeed, Peter, even if the buds don’t open. And a poinsettia in your vase today…? No comment… well, I shall at least be polite about it!

  8. Oh Cathy I’m sure that your talk will be both informative and inspirational. Our garden club members always enjoy the speakers who bring cuttings from their own gardens and nurseries, so that they can be handed round the room and appreciated at close quarters πŸ™‚ I almost ordered ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ a few weeks ago as she looks like the full works – fabulous flower, foliage and scent all rolled into one package. The more I read about her the more I’m tempted. The fact that she goes on so late is another selling point πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      If you read Ali’s post from earlier in the year about her extensive collection of roses she talks about the attributes of all of them in practice, not necessarily what the catalogues say – I chose Lady Em instead of Summer Song because of this. My talk will be in February so there are unlikely to be any cuttings being passed around, but saying that a February vase would certainly illustrate one of my points…

  9. Kris P says:

    I wish I could be there for your talk! I’m sure it will go well. As to ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ I wish she liked Southern California as well as she likes your area. I fell in love with the flower after seeing it in various UK blogs and, when I won a raffle for a David Austin rose, it was my selection. But maybe she just needs more time to get settled (and probably more water than she usually gets – roses are thirsty creatures). My post contains a vase and (not) a vase this week:

  10. Amanda says:

    There is something really special about a rose blooming in winter! Lady Emma Hamilton is a beauty indeed! Thank you Cathy for a lovely vase. My contribution is the last from my visit to Australia, as my post will explain! Amanda

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  12. Christina says:

    I’m sure you will inspire your audience with your talk – it is a great title. You’re still resisting the Christmas theme, I’m afraid I am slowly filling the house with foliage.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – I thought the title would be a bit of a teaser as the audience will all be gardeners and presumably already enjoy their gardens. I haven’t even thought about a Christmas theme yet (although I have been distracted by unexpected roses!), but not being able to reach any holly berries since the tree was crown lifted doesn’t help, as I haven’t even done a wreath for the front door yet, which is something I always do

  13. Alas no vase from me this week but I am excited to hear more about your talk. When a gardener talks to other gardeners they are always happy and excited with whatever we say. I know from having given many presentations, including one similar to your topic. Other ways to enjoy the garden that I suggested are cooking/baking with garden herbs and produce, photographing the garden esp. the same location monthly, using the garden as inspiration to draw or write etc. You will have fun with this topic!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your enthusiasm, Linda – it is boosting my confidence knowing all my blogging frinds are behind me. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking to our visitors when we have opened the garden – an easy thing to do when passionate about something, as I am about my garden and gardens generally

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  15. Julie says:

    You have some of my favourites here Cathy – Lady Emma Hamilton is a beautiful rose and what a treat to have some buds so late in the year! Crab apples are stunning right now – I have Red Sentinel and Golden Hornet to pick from and the scent of Viburnum bodantese Dawn is delicious – I am still waiting for mine to flower, but I will probably cut a couple of branches this week to speed things up. My post this week is starting to feel a little festive – it is not long to go now!

    • Cathy says:

      Here Dawn is just about over now, and it is strange it is so much earlier than yours – this is the first year it has flowered fully and has been an absolute delight πŸ™‚ Evereste had few fruits this year, having felt the brunt of the Beast from the East. It’s fruit is such a gorgeous colour and doesn’t rot the way Golden Hornet does

  16. Cathy I would love to be in your talk. It will be magnificent. Your Rosa Lady Emma Hamilton has some half-opened buds with a wonderful color. It is divine. And have roses in December. The crab apples are beautiful. I like the leaves of Arum. Choosing a glass of blue ice cream as a vase is fantastic. It is a vase full of magnificent and beautiful flowers, I like it very much. The light of tea with batteries accompanies the vase with its light, I like it. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Margarita – I was really pleased with the result of the vase, and it is glorious to still have a few roses in December!

  17. jenhumm116 says:

    Ooh how exciting – I just bought Lady Em yesterday! So glad you think she’s a lovely girl.
    And good luck with your talk – shame you can’t video it for all your IaVoM fans!

    • Cathy says:

      That’s a coincidence about Lady Em – have you bought just one, or a group? Mine are a pair for either side of a bench and I bought them as container roses in August having decided I realy MUST have more roses! ps my face has not been seen on this blog and that’s how I intend it to stay!

  18. So lovely – I love the scent of viburnum at this time of year.
    I had hoped to join in today but after a rather hectic weekend I had an early morning SOS call from my son who has a horrid case of flu and two poorly boys of his own – Nurse Granny was on her way! Back on duty 7.30am tomorrow morning.
    Fingers crossed for a vase next week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sandra – the fragrance still hits me as soon as I walk into the kitchen. Please make sure Grannie doesn’t ctatch the flu from her three poorly boys…

      • Thank you Cathy. I’m dosing myself up with Vitamin C, Echinacea and ‘Airborne’ which a freind gets me from US. So far this concoction has saved me from nasty bugs over the last few years – plus those magic crystals you sent me of course! πŸ˜‰ ❀

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  20. rickii says:

    Could someone make a video of your talk? I’m sure we would all love to experience it. I am convinced that knowing and loving your subject is the key to dynamic presentations (& a great cure for any lingering shyness about public speaking).

  21. tonytomeo says:

    There are actually cultivars of Arum italicum? Wow, I learn something all the time. Did you feature the arum earlier? I have been noticing a bit of it. It is giving me a new appreciation for something that I consider to be a weed.

  22. Annette says:

    How exciting, Cathy, you don’t cease to amaze me and to be honest they couldn’t have chosen a more suitable and kind person. Love the title of your lecture, go for it πŸ™‚ I was planning to contribute a vase but didn’t make it, hopefully next week. Love yours, it’s just right for this month. Had our first frost which will probably have dampened the joyful spirit of my roses a bit.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks, Annette- it is indeed an exciting challenge, albeit the talk is to a fairly small group (about 15 visited ny garden). I have several facets of enjoying the garden that I plan to develop, so hopefully there will be enough for a 45 minute talk with pictures and questions too. We had 3 frosts in November, but so far December is fairly amenable

  23. Cathy says:

    They really do glow Cathy. How exciting to be invited to give a talk! It got me thinking about what I would talk about too… Not sure I’ll manage another vase this year as everything is frozen solid out there! But then our gardens do sometimes surprise us, as you have shown. Have a lovely 3rd Advent Sunday. πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      It wasn’t that they especially wanted Me, Cathy, more that they struggle to get speakers who won’t charge the earth plus travel expenses on top. The dilemma for me is then how much to ask for – I suggested Β£25-30. I do hope you have a lull or two in your big freeze and get to see your garden again before spring

  24. im sure your talk will be fabulous – youre right the picking the vases helps me focus and really look what’s happening in my garden and on my wanderings around the neighbourhood πŸ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your confidence in me, Bec – it is only a month or so away so I could do with beginning to put something together and preparing some photos too

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