Ina Vase on Monday: Strawberries and Cream on a Sunny Day, a Gentle Breeze Blowing

My, how my mind flitted as I pondered what to put in my vase this week! Should I, for the first time this year, cut a bunch of hellebores as they really are at their best now and Alison of A Blog About Compost has given me a different tip (making a slit in the stem with a scalpel) on how to extend their vase life which an experiment has shown to be moderately successful? Or should I cut some of the teeny-tinies that are just coming into bloom, like violets and Anemone blanda? As is often the case, it was a spur of the moment decision following a flash of inspiration that brought us to this lengthily-titled vase today.

Strawberries and Cream is one of my newer and pricier witch hazel additions, and although in flower last year was neither especially impressive nor very different – in fact, a little (quietly) disappointing. This year, however, she has made up for it and is resplendent in her creamy pale yellow blooms with their red core, vaguely resembling strawberries and cream if you have a good imagination. Joining the single twig are three stems of scented Narcissus ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’ (big golden sun), from The Coop, and dangly catkins of twisted hazel Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ which shiver with the slightest air movement. The stems are held in place in the sky blue dish with a metal frog, discreetly hidden with moss plucked from a wall outside the back door.

For those expecting something a little different, the title is a bit of a misnomer as there are no real strawberries, (writing this on Sunday) it is a grey and damp and mizzly day and Storm Freya is threatening mighty gusts rather than gentle breezes. Even the delightfully handpainted miniature teaset serving as a prop for this cream tea will sadly not be serving up miniature cups of tea…in fact, this vase is a total fraud!

I am sure none of you will have a fraudulent vase to share today but whatever form your vase does take please do share it with us by leaving the usual links to and from this post.

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49 Responses to Ina Vase on Monday: Strawberries and Cream on a Sunny Day, a Gentle Breeze Blowing

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Tulip Blumex Favourite – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Christina says:

    Always lovely to see early daffodils. I love them all, large and small. Here’s my link:

    • Cathy says:

      And the fragrance of these ones is far more pleasant than Cheerfulness. I think I should have cut these even shorter though, for a more balanced result

  3. Noelle says:

    Scones with strawberry jam and cream…just the thing to have for Sunday Tea. Love the little tea set, and the use of the Witch Hazel Strawberries and Cream in the Japanese style arrangement. I can just imagine the beauty in your garden this time of year. A little offering saved from the storm:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – the snowdrops and crocus have both very suddenly given up (apart from a handful of the named snowdrops) but some of the witch hazels are still in full flow as of course are the hellebores

  4. Amanda says:

    Well Cathy, I’ve gone for the teeny-tinies this week! There is a lovely sprinkling of fragrant violets along by the main railway line which is not far from us, and they are just beginning to flower, encouraged, no doubt, by last week’s warmth weather. If they knew, they might be thanking me for bringing these four flowers indoors because now it is a bitterly cold, strong wind although the sun is doing its very best to keep us cheerful! Snow on the Pentland Hills in the distance – thanks Freya! Your vase is delightful and the witch hazel is subtle and pretty! Here are my little beauties! Amanda

  5. Chloris says:

    There you are,I told you ‘Strawberries and Cream’ was gorgeous, I could see last year that you were disappointed. It will go from strength to strength now. I love your little tea set and your spring treats arranged in the lovely vase. Very Japanese.
    I have joined in this week and now comes the tricky bit of doing the link..
    That is the short one as instructed. If that doesn’t work then I will try carrier pigeon as I mentioned last week. Or men with messages in cleft sticks.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris and yes, S&C was very different last year – far more yellow and verging on ‘ordinary’ which of course just wouldn’t do (not at that price!!). And whoohoo – no need for carrier pigeons or men with any sort of stick!

  6. Strawberries are in season here and you made me want some for breakfast! I think your Witch Hazel is yummy and the vase has a very Ikebana feel. Also made me remember I had a tiny tea set at one time, hmmm. Somewhere. I do like yours. Freya sounds dreadful, I hope you stay warm and dry while she blows over. Here is my vase

    • Cathy says:

      Are strawberries always in season with you? I was thinking of the vase as being in the style of ikebana but didn’t want to publicise it as that. It has been a bit gusty around here, but no damage done that I can see

      • No, strawberries come and go. I think there is a big push to have them for Valentine’s Day here and then the leftovers are pretty cheap for a couple of weeks after. Seasons are really skewed here. Ikebana style definitely, the meanings and subtleties are beyond me. Love the Witch Hazel, regardless.

        • Cathy says:

          That’s interesting – in the UK Wimbledon is always linked with strawberries, which fortunately is when UK grown are readily available

          • I am betting the UK strawberries are better – my grandfather grew his and they were small, sweet and wonderful. The ones here nowadays have been bred to be huge and ship well. Taste lost and you have to use sugar on them. I won’t buy the Giant ones, no taste.

  7. Lovely if not yummy. 😉

  8. bcparkison says:

    I wonder…How do they come up with names. I would have given this one” Winter Blush” . For the life of me I can’t see the strawberry. The tea set is wonderful. I had one but sadly only a few pieces are left. The blue is striking.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it’s curious, Beverley. I suppose the flowers are considerably paler than the more common yellow varieties, rather like a very thick clotted cream. I love this tea set which I think was made in France – the detail is wonderful

  9. Peter Herpst says:

    What a sweet little tea set. and a charming arrangement. Our early daffodils are finally showing buds but, because of our colder than usual temperatures, won’t bloom for a while yet. Your vase is a nice reminder that it will happen…eventually. Thanks, as always, for giving us all the gift of this marvelous meme. My offering is here:

    • Cathy says:

      These daffs are ‘prepared’ ones that have been in the greenhouse for a few months, but the outdoor ones are opening now too.

  10. Kris P says:

    That witch hazel is beautiful and I can see why it grabbed your attention. You created a fanciful vignette with it, nothing fraudulent about it. The thought of strawberries and cream isn’t at all a bad image to start the morning – in fact, it’s making me hungry for breakfast. I’ve just one vase this week and here it is:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris. Our supermarkets sell imported strawberries throughout the winter and I somtimes I have them on my breakfast too.

  11. Heyjude says:

    If I did a vase it would probably hold my lovely white Tete a tete narcissus that have just opened, but I leave the flowers in the garden as we have underfloor heating and flowers in vases just don’t last. I do enjoy yours though and I love this little vase.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that is a shame – do you not have any cool spots in your house, Jude? Good to hear your little narcissi are opening – I love the white ones

  12. AlisonC says:

    What a sweet little collection, though I am sorry not to find real strawberries and cream. The little Witch Hazel is very pretty and I’m glad it is earning it’s keep this year. Sometimes plants need a talking too. How well do you think a witch hazel would move? It’s quite a few years old and probably 3 or 4 feet tall. Here is my link to some colour:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison and sorry to disappoint you with the lack of real strawberries 😉 I am a great one for moving things that I feel are in the wrong place and I think if you dig it up with as big a rootball as possible it should be OK but I wouldn’t leave it any later unless you wanted to wait till late Autumn. They need to be quite shallowly planted and the specialist tree nursery I got my two expensive ones from recommend mounded planting, whereby you dig a shallower hole and place the rootball in it, leaving a mound like an upturned saucer. It makes for less digging that way too!

  13. Island Time says:

    That is a lovely arrangement, thank you, and i enjoyed your description as well. I am interested in joining the “In a Vase on Monday” meme… that what it is? Today my vase would have to feature a little bunch of brave snowdrops, the only surviving growing thing since the Big Freeze descended upon us about a month ago. Looking forward to spring!

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you, and yes this is the ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme, which I started to encourage myself to pick something from the garden on a regular basis, bringing the pleasure of the garden inside. It is not about ‘arranging’ as picking and plonking is encouraged, anything to encourage us to find something to pop in a vase or other receptacle. Some people will do ‘real’ arrangements, but we have all learned from our own and others’ vases over the years and you will find that it is a very supportive meme too. It has been going since Nov 2013 and many of us have created a vase of sorts every week since then – it has certainly changed the face of our Mondays 🙂

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: rule breakers | acoastalplot

  15. Sam says:

    Lovely ikebana arrangment here, Cathy! Here’s my very simple offering this week: Funnily enough, I mention Japanese gardens. Thank you for hosting. Hope you have a good week. Sam x

  16. Cathy magnificent Ikebana vase. The flowers of the hammamelis are jewels. The “Grand Soleil d’Or” daffodils are wonderful. The twisted hazelnut catkins Corylus avellana “Contorta” are very beautiful. The moss is the brooch. They form an Epicurean set. The little tea set is lovely. Have a good week. Greetings from Margarita.

  17. Oh I’m so glad that your witch hazel has lived up to your expectations this year Cathy. You must be delighted. You have transported me to a summer picnic scene with the sweet tea set which echoes your vase and flowers. The tablecloth is the perfect finishing touch. Hard to believe on a day like today but it won’t be that long until we can pick our own strawberries 🙂 A late in the day vase from me – I had a long wait for a dry interval :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – yea, I am really pleased with S&C. and hope that this year’s addition (which had finished flowering when it arrived) proves to be equally acceptable. I am still unsure whether we can say it is actually ‘spring’ now.and always feel as if the shortness of February as a month hurries the year along

  18. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Narcisscircle | Duver Diary

  19. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy That’s a stunner of a new witch hazel. Next stop National Collection? 😉
    Here’s mine – very simple but cheering. Don’t you just love spring?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jen – it is so different from others which is what appealed. I am not sure I have room for any more (I bought another this year…) although I daresay if the right opportunity came about I would make sure that I could!! So, can we start saying that spring has arrived then…?! 😉

  20. smallsunnygarden says:

    It’s a lovely grouping, and of course I’m taken by your tiny tea set! 😉 So glad the witch hazel came through in her second year, if not the first; I always find it’s a great relief when something doubtful finally takes hold and thrives!
    My vase is again full dried material from the fenceline, as we once more have snow on the ground and I can’t begin growing things yet… It’s hard to wait while seeing an early spring on your side of the world! Here is mine: Hint: there are rose stems…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – and I too love the tiny tea set! Hope you can get to appreciate your plot without a snow covering soon 🙂

  21. tonytomeo says:

    The storms name is Freya? That sounds like ‘fresa’, which translates from Spanish to ‘strawberry’.

  22. Cathy says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your witch hazel and reading your post today Cathy! (I’m a bit behind this week). I succumbed to some Spanish strawberries in the supermarket today – I rarely buy them out of season, but that smell was so tempting! I am still considering which Hamamelis to get and I like the idea of a later one, and yellow too. Do you have a favourite?

    • Cathy says:

      My favourites are not yellow, Cathy! I find that Arnold Promise is later than most of mine and it has a discernable fragrance outside, unlike the others I have, wafting on a milder day. It is certainly one of the most widely available in the UK but I don’t know about your region of course

  23. Brian Skeys says:

    Very ikebana Cathy.

  24. Pingback: Ina Vase on Monday: Strawberries and Cream on a Sunny Day, a Gentle Breeze Blowing — Rambling in the Garden – Ellustar Fashion

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