In a Vase on Monday: a Cheat’s Vase

I am calling this a ‘Cheat’s Vase’, whereas in fact as the host of IAVOM I can do what I like – not that I would discourage any contributors from recycling previous vases anyway!

I posted some birthday flowers as a Wordless Wednesday vase the week before last, and many of the blooms were still going strong so it would be a shame not to continue to enjoy them. The roses, freesias and antirrhinums were over (although sadly the latter never fully opened) and removed, whilst the Sweet William, Stock and Lisianthus were retained and trimmed down, along with the ‘green bells’ and the unknown leathery leaves. This is the first time I have had any lisianthus, having failed twice in an attempt to grow them, and they are exceedingly pretty although I do prefer the bolder shades that we have frequently seen on Kris’ blog at Late to the Garden Party. To add a greater sense of ownership, I added three yellow-green stems of Cornus ‘Flaviramea’ now, along with its colourful neighbours, positively glowing in the shrub border. It’s hard to believe that all three plants are cut back to within a few inches of the ground every year.

The prop is a pack of playing cards, each featuring a different wild flower, as I was reminded of the card game ‘Cheat’ as I prepared this post, a game my brother excelled at when we were children. The cheating part involves placing as many cards as you can get away with whilst stating what you want others to think you are placing eg three tens. The first player starts by putting down as many aces as they have, the second player must follow on with twos, and so on; the object is to be the first to get rid of all your cards. If you are caught cheating, you have to pick up all the cards in the stack; if you are incorrectly challenged, the challenger has to pick them up. It’s good fun – or it certainly was, back in the days of wet family holidays when a child!

There have been many seasonally festive vases on offer at IAVOM in recent weeks, and although I have not managed one yet I did finally get a wreath on the front door during the week – perhaps there will be a festive vase here on Christmas Eve. Will you be posting a festive vase today? Whether festive or not, please share it with us by leaving the usual links. In the meantime I have still been enjoying the gradual opening of a bud of Lady Emma Hamilton from last week’s vase, and what a joy she is, with her soft apricot petals flushed with red. Sadly for you, the photo does not do her beauty justice….

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29 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: a Cheat’s Vase

  1. Beautiful and well worth the cheat!
    Gorgeous playing cards. We used to love playing Cheat when I was little.
    Not at all festive, here’s mine:

  2. Not cheating but reloving Cathy πŸ™‚ Those flowers are still looking fabulous. That splash of colour from the dogwoods makes a striking impact. Oh ‘Cheat’ sounds great entertainment but sadly we missed out on that particular game. I suppose that my vase this week is nodding in the direction of the festive season :

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  4. Lovely recycling! I think the leaves are lemon leaves. You reminded me of playing cards with my brothers during vacations. We played Go FIsh on beach vacations. I am not sure I remember exactly how it goes. The Dogwoods are so pretty and what a vibrant counterpoint to a Winter day. Not really a festive vase today from me

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amelia! It’s a shame families don’t play cards the way they used to – and I used to play endless games of patience when I was a teenager, with real cards and not on the computer as people do these days!. I have the instructions for Go Fish if you want them… Interesting to hear you say the leaves may be lemon – each stem had a distinctive ‘kink’ in it and I don’t know if this an attribute of lemon foliage.

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  6. jenhumm116 says:

    That’s a lovely vase Cathy – such a very pretty shade!
    Meanwhile, excited to report I planted my new Lady Emma at the weekend. I’m looking forward to making her acquaintance next year!
    Here’s my vase – more roses and more pink!

    • Cathy says:

      The rose bug has got hold of many of us, Jen, and there is no going back…! I wish you and your Lady Em many happy years together πŸ™‚

  7. Peter Herpst says:

    Such pretty colors, especially at this time of year. This isn’t cheating at all, just celebrating delightfully long-lived cut flowers. Your cards are very special. My vase is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed Peter. The lisianthus has opened over a long period but the stock and Sweet William haven’t really stopped. In the UK you can buy all sorts of special packs of cards. from plants to animals to kings and queens. Well you could, but I suppose as playing card usage has presumably dropped in recent years perhaps you can’t buy them any more…

  8. Kris P says:

    Recycling is a civic duty, isn’t it? Your vase looks great and it would have been a crime to throw those flowers out. If Lisianthus is creeping into local floral arrangements, then perhaps your garden centers will carry the plugs soon as mine do. The seeds are notoriously difficult to germinate, although I recently heard that pelleted seeds are the way to grow. (I still haven’t tried them – I use plugs.) Here’s my post:

    P.S. A belated happy birthday!

    • Cathy says:

      I would certainly buy plugs if they were available – mind you, it makes me feel better hearing you say they are notriously difficult to germinate as I have tried and ‘failed’ twice! And thanks for the belated birthday wishes πŸ™‚

  9. Cathy her vase looks colorful and full of beauty with those beautiful and long-lived flowers. It’s magnificent, I love it. The cards, each with a different wild flower, are divine. I really like the story of the card game “Cheat”, it is a story of his wonderful childhood. What beauty of Lady Emma Hamilton. I’m going to publish something, it’s not flowers, it’s my Bethlehem at Christina’s request. I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a lovely Christmas Eve with their families. And if we do not have more blogs, a prosperous New Year. Cathy thank you for hosting my Bethlehem and I wish you the best for Christmas. Greetings from Margarita.

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  11. Julie says:

    A beautiful vase Cathy and what fabulous cards!! I have never played Cheat – my family were not card players, but my husband is allegedly an expert at Cheat. I have not posted a festive vase either today – I had a festive plan but best laid plans & all that. I really can’t believe it is Christmas next week – even with a big tree taking up all the space in the hall I still have to keep reminding myself that food must be bought and presents wrapped asap – hopefully all will be done by the big day!!

    • Cathy says:

      It sort of creeps up on you, doesn’t it? We will be hanging our stocking sup this time next week, won’t we…?! I think it might have been my Grannie who introduced me to cards although I am sure she wouldn’t have taught us Cheat!

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  13. Annette says:

    Oh, did I miss your birthday? If so I’m sorry and I wish you all the best! I wish you all the best anyway, birthday or not. πŸ˜€ Your vase looks pretty and I’m a tad envious of the Cornus. Mine are taking their time but I think I’ll be brave and chop them down in spring. Maybe a shock treatment will get some sense into them πŸ˜‰ . Here’s my last vase for the year: I wish you and the Golfer a peaceful christmas and look forward to seeing you again in the new year. Keep up the good work, Cathy xx

    • Cathy says:

      It was only because of the flowers that I referred to a birthday, as no-one would have known otherwise! Thank you for your good wishes, for both birthday and Christmas, and our very best wishes to you and Monsieur as well. My cornus were quite young when I first cut them back but that was nearly 4 years ago and they really respond to it – but it was a scarey thing to do the first time!

  14. Alison C says:

    I remember playing Cheat. It can get quite raucous and someone ends up in tears or is that only Monopoly? As you say you can make up the rules for Mondays. It’s sad when flowers die but extending their vase life like this is a good idea. I don’t have enough Cornus. I think I should get some more! I had meant to make a table centre but this is a wreath instead. Perhaps tomorrow.

    • Cathy says:

      I think any game can end like that if any of the players are so inclined – I think as a family we were all fairly reasonable though and I don’t recall any tears, even when my brother kept winning! It made sense to hang onto whatever blooms I could for as long as possible. Cornus is wonderful and ofcourse enjpys being cut back so there is plenty of scope for vases over the winter. I added a dark stemmed one in the new shady border earlier in the year but it is still struggling so I probably won’t cut it back for another year

  15. Noelle says:

    Recycling, upusing, as green as you can be….well on trend. As I am on the tail end I have also enjoyed all the comments and chat….what a wonderful thing this IAVOM. Thanks Cathy xxxxx

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, thanks Noelle – I sometimes still find it hard to believe how IAVOM has developed the way it has, and how much the participants get out of it. Thanks for all your support

  16. tonytomeo says:

    Is the leather foliage salal? I never grew it, but I know that other cut flower growers do so. It was popularized in the Northwest a very long time ago, probably because it is native there. It has been very popular and a standard cut foliage here for a long time, although I do not remember seeing it before about 1990.
    I just wrote about a different sort of recycling for my Six on Saturday post. I do not considere it to be cheating. It just made sense.

  17. Chloris says:

    I have never had much luck growing Lisianthus, I am always envious of the gorgeous ones Kris uses in her vases. What a good idea to recycle them, they are lovely.

  18. Cathy says:

    Gorgeous colours. I always envy Kris’s Lisianthus too. Tried growing them from seed once and nothing germinated!

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