In a Vase on Monday: Alternative

Some of you might remember this slim rectangular vase and the wild plum twigs from last week , but instead of red roses we have a red Hippeastrum. The alternative contents are, I suppose, a form of humble apology to some Unknown Persons – for there is an addendum to last week’s story…

The roses, you might recall, were found on a verge, seemingly abandoned in despair or anger by an unknown individual, and in true opportunist foraging style I retrieved them for the vase. Your comments, like my post, puzzled over the possible background to the abandonment but, unless you thought it but didn’t want to say it, no-one suggested as a friend did that they might have been left as a tribute… I was aghast, ashamed in fact, that I hadn’t even considered that as an option, so used am I to seeing sad cellophane wrapped bunches left on roadsides following a tragic accident. For someone who had lost a loved one this way, leaving a bunch of red roses close to Valentine’s Day would, of course, be entirely appropriate, and although I wasn’t aware of an accident having happened at that approximate spot this was no excuse for me not having considered it a possibility.

Reader, I went out under cover of darkness and replaced the roses near to where I had found them, leaving with them a reverent and abject apology…

The whole confession is of course added to the original post and in future I will be more circumspect when my vase involves foraging. In the meantime, the wild plum twigs lived on alone in the vase, the buds breaking open to reveal the tiny white flowers, yet another of the signs that spring is trimming its bonnet for a new season. To make up for their lonely week I have retained and added to their number for this week’s vase, adding one of the two stems on Hippeastrum ‘Red Lion’ which have been gracing the Coop for a number of weeks, as you might have read in a recent post. Keeping potted bulbs cool, as this has been in the lean-to greenhouse, adds weeks to their longevity but does require a degree of patience. I was intrigued when I zoomed in on the photographs and could clearly see how the anthers had split open, thus releasing the pollen.

Having retained the full height of the stem and incorporating some relatively tall twigs, creating a suitably bland background for outside photos was not going to be easy, so I trialled shots against a dark green wall in our back sitting room; hmm, still not brilliant… Oh, and the prop, symbolising the alternative, is the travel version of Othello, a simple strategy game with reversible black and white counters – do you know it? Its tagline is ‘A minute to learn…a lifetime to master’. Having ‘rediscovered’ it for this post (and I had forgotten its name, recalling it possibly as Reverso, which may indeed have been its original name), I am itching to play it again! There is a full size version  around somewhere too although I suspect it might be in the ex-marital home…

You don’t need to include any sort of story with your Monday vase, but it can add extra interest and I know there are times when it also adds to our store of knowledge, whether useful or not; just see what you can find in your garden or carefully forage locally and pop the result in a vase or other receptacle or present it naked (ahem, not you), linking to and from this post so we can share in the pleasure it brings. I shall be late responding to your comments and viewing your vases this week, but I shall dutifully catch up during the week, I promise.


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44 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Alternative

  1. Thank you for the introduction to ‘Othello’, I think my grandchildren would like that game.

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  3. Christina says:

    Ah! yes of course; but I didn’t think of that either; well done for returning the bouquet to where you found it. Here the flowers left after accidents are usually PLASTIC so there would be no temptation to pick them up. I much prefer your lovely Hippeastrum to the roses. My link is here:

    • Cathy says:

      These Italians have some odd traditions, don’t they…?! 😉 The vase was put together on Saturday this time and sadly the hippeastrum has not lasted long, as much from being in the warmth as having been cut, I suspect.

  4. Sandra says:

    I’m so pleased to hear you returned the roses. A tribute seems a much more likely explanation to me than them being discarded in anger or rejection. There may not have been an accident on that particular spot but it could have been a place with significant memories for someone. I guess we’ll never know….

    • Cathy says:

      I couldn’t NOT put them back once the possibility arose, as it would just have lingered in my mind until I did… It will remain a mystery though

  5. AlisonC says:

    I confess I never thought of that either but well done for putting them back, I can only imagine how shocked you felt. We will never know the story. My post is along the same lines, planned before I read this.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your understanding, Alison – I really was ashamed that it just had not crossed my mind. But now I am curious about your post….!

  6. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve had quite a week. Your Hippeastrum ‘Red Lion’ is a lovely companion for the wild plum branches. Reflecting on daffodils today, I do have a little story, though one I’ve told before.

    • Cathy says:

      I wasn’t sure if the buds on the twigs would open but now I know they do I will make use of them more often – the buds on the new batch are just beginning to open now, after about 2 days in water

  7. Sam says:

    I’m sure you felt awful when you realised that the roses could have been left on purpose! I confess that I’m not a hippeastrum fan but the flowers pick up the pink hue in the lovely wild plum branches beautifully. I’ve picked a few tiny spring blooms today and am very happy to be joining in with a Monday vase:
    Thank you, as always. Sam x

    • Cathy says:

      It is the long stems of hippeastrum I find offputting although most of mine are shorter this year than others in the past, which may or may not be to do with keeping them cool. I am so glad you have been able to join us today Sam

  8. The rose mystery has deepened. I hadn’t considered the possiblity of tribute or memorial roses, though I frequently see flowers like that by the side of the road. Red LIon is a favorite of mine and it is lovely to see one in your vase. I think I have one that grows outside in my garden, the bulbs came from my father in law and flowered last year nearly on his birthday. Here is my vase

    • Cathy says:

      It does indeed, and I daresay we will never know the real reason for their presence. As you know hippeastrum have to be grown inside in the UK and I have given up trying to get them to reflower as I have never had any success!

  9. I had not thought of the roses as a tribute, but it is certainly a possibility. Goodness me, what a mystery! As I know someone who once threw flowers away in anger and spite, this seemed like an all too plausible explanation. But you might very well be right.

  10. bcparkison says:

    Me too…never thought of that.Goodness it would be nice to know but we may never,
    Is Hippeastrum the same as Amaryllis? We grow them at Christmas kinda like Paper whites and I do them in my paper crafting. Red is always good.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes Beverley, hippeastrum and amaryllis are the same – it is ‘officially’ the former but invariably sold as the latter except by bulb specialists. I call them hippeastrum as I can be a bit pedantic about plant names but in my head they will always be amaryllis!

  11. Amanda says:

    Your amaryllis is very glam, especially sitting next to the simple a beautiful wild plum! I have a very simple offering today! Amanda

  12. Kris P says:

    I hadn’t considered that possibility for the salvaged roses. The tributes appear here too but usually as a mass display from multiple sources so I wouldn’t have considered the possibility if I’d tripped over a single bouquet. In any case, even on spec, it was thoughtful of you to return them. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, the roses would have meant a very personal relationship, so perhaps the closeness to Valentine’s Day would explain why it was a single tribute, as multiple bunches tend to appear around the annivesaries of accidents. We won’t ever know, but once the thought was in my head I couldn’t NOT return them

  13. Cathy, nobody thought roses were a tribute … but you acted quickly and put an apology card. Do not feel guilty, nothing bad did. Here in Spain tend to be plastic flowers. Their Hippeastrum “Red Lion” are wonderful, I love them and they are great with the wild plum twigs. It is a lovely vase, divine, I like it very much. Accompanied by Othello to entertain himself. Have a very good week. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t think roadside tributes here would ever be plastic Margarita. Sadly the Red Lion blooms are not lasting well in a vase but the twigs will still look good in it on their own!

  14. Noelle says:

    Well done for redressing your actions…of course we may never know, but at least you will be content with this. Red Lion is very handsome…..

  15. Peter Herpst says:

    The roses being a roadside tribute didn’t cross my mind (seems like lately, not much does go on in there.) Good for you for replacing them just in case they were left in memory of a lost loved one. The hippeastrum is a lovely replacement in the tall vase of plum branches.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Peter, self-effacing as always!! Weook out most of the wild plum as it was very elderly and plums were always way out of reach but we kept a seedling which we though we would try and keep at a manageable height – not that there will be any plums if I keep picking the blossom!

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  17. Like with everyone else Cathy the possibility that the roses were deliberately left as a tribute hadn’t occurred to me either. I envisage such tributes having cards attached to them but perhaps that is not always the case. I can imagine how mortified you must have felt once it had been mooted as a possibility by your friend and you took the only possible course of action in returning them. Your ‘Red Lion’ is a fine beast and ‘Othello’ looks most fiendish. A little vase from me today here :

    • Cathy says:

      Even though we are unlikely ever to know, I am certainly at peace with myself having taken them back ps I am sure you and Greg would enjoy a bit of friendly rivalry playing Othello, Anna… 😉

  18. Cathy says:

    Aah, in a way I am glad you returned them. I did think briefly that they may have fallen out of someone’s biycle basket. I was always losing things when I cycled to work or the market years ago! The red Hippeastrum is a beauty, and such a tall vase is perfect for them. I have another one to show off this week, albeit not in a vase again! 😉 Have a good week Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s a possibility too, I suppose, although they were definitely on the grassy verge rather than on the road. When I was thinking of a vase for them I was hoping I had one like this but couldn’t remember as it would have been a spontaneous car boot purchase.

  19. I’m not familiar with the game, Cathy, but it seems fitting as a companion to your blooms. That was kind of you to return the roses you found to their location. You had kind intentions all around. 🙂 Thanks for hosting this meme!

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  21. karen says:

    Gosh, I hadn’t thought about them being left as a tribute of some kind. Well done for sussing it out and returning them. I’d have done the same thing. I did think it might be one of those posies left as a gift for strangers. I saw those in town one day with a little message saying ‘ take me home.’ I love your Vase this week and the game, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t heard of. Sorry my post is a day late. We’ve changed our broadband with BT and they accidentally cut us off, no phone calls or anything. Not a good start for so-called faster broadband. It isn’t. Sadly. Sigh.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that’s yet another option, Karen – and of course we will never know. I do hope your new broadband does prove to be faster and more reliable. Our fibre service is certainly far better and worth paying extra for

  22. tonytomeo says:

    Oh my! I so missed that. I did not consider it. Actually, one of my pet peeves is the bunches of cut flowers left strewn about town by a crazy person who retrieves them from the trash at the supermarket, and then disperses them about town. He puts the best together to sell out in front of another market, and puts some out on memorial plaques in the Park, but there are a few that he just puts out on the side of the road, still wrapped in cellophane. I do not know why. It is all just coincidental to your finding, but it is the sort of thing that I happen to not think about much. If I do, I get annoyed, and just a few days ago, had to ask friends to clean up a mess of cut flowers and debris left on the edge of the parking lot at the Park.

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