In a Vase on Monday: Spike Revisited

In the very early days of IAVOM I posted a vase entitled ‘Spike’, which I described as the ‘simplest and easiest and somehow the most satisfying of vases on a Monday so far’; since then I have put together many other simple, easy and satisfying vases but not one exclusively based on the seedheads of Japanese anemone as that one was.

Looking around an increasingly spartan garden I was drawn once more to the anemones, their demise delayed not only by a lack of time to tidy the borders but also an already overfull compost heap. Now staking a prominent claim on the winter garden, the striking cornus in the shrub border were sufficiently spiky to join the anemones for today’s vase, with green, red and fiery stems of C sericea ‘Flaviramea’alba ‘Sibirica’ and sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ respectively.

The spiky stems were inserted into a small piece of biodegradable floral foam cut to fit the opening of a rectangular blue ikebana dish, the anemones’ remaining foliage clustered around the joints of their stems attractively covering the base of the arrangement and the foam insert. In the absence of a hedgehog in any form, the spiky prop is my pincushion, bought from a Chinese import shop in the mid 70s because it reminded me of one which my Mum used to have (and probably still has), although having lived in China as a child  hers is likely not to have been made for export, unlike mine. The pins and needles residing in mine have been inserted into the mock seams, idly rearranged during a phonecall when the pincushion was to hand.

Winter vases can be a challenge, but sometimes the often limited material can be an advantage in focussing the mind and this is the case today: I am just as happy with this simple spiky vase as I would be with a big and blowsy summer confection. Will you be doing ‘simple’ today too? If you would like to share your Monday vases with the wider IAVOM community, just leave the usual links to and from this post.

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34 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Spike Revisited

  1. the running wave says:

    That is great fun Cathy! I had forgotten that the Japanese anemone has those lovely bobbly seedheads. We had them in our garden when I was a child and I have tried to establish them in my own gardens, but never quite managed it! The colours of the other stems are vibrant and lovely! My vase this week is a restrained affair too! Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      I wonder why they don’t ‘do’ for you now? Mind you, they are hard to get rid of once you have them so perhaps yu are better off without!!

  2. Alisonc says:

    I’m using a similar idea this week. These make a pleasing shape and there is a lovely variety in colour in your vase. We will be forced to be inventive from now on. I think I’ve dried those heads before with gives another dimension. Thanks for sharing and encouraging.

    • Cathy says:

      Well, this is the seventh winter I have been able to fill vases for IAVOM so I can be confident there will be SOMETHING to put in them!

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Spike works! Lots of energy in your design with the anemones dancing among the colorful stems. How do you like floral foam? I used some today also. Thanks for hosting Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – this is the first time I have used the biodegradable foam so I am keeping an open mind. It’s so easy to cut to shape and I am reasonably happy with its eco-credentials so I will probably use it more often than the original version (which I haven’t used for years)

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Amazing how bright those stems look in this vase. Very nice. Happy IAVOM.

    • Cathy says:

      The three plants I have look great throughout the winter – once the leaves have dropped and the stems are visble they give a good 3 or 4 months of colour. They then need to be cut down almost to ground level to allow for fresh growth for the next year’s stems

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  6. Cathy says:

    I love it Cathy – and you have all the imagination that I sometimes feel I lack. Yes! I’m not looking at seedheads enough (although I do admire them in the garden). My own vase has a few echoes in yours today. Here it is

  7. Fun and colorful, I love the Dogwood stems and this may be the first time I have seen Anemone seedheads. Seems seedheads might be the theme today, I have some as well. Happy Monday.

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  9. Cathy says:

    A lovely spiky creation Cathy! Love the different colours of the stems. I’m back with a vase for today after a very cold week last week. Amazing what has survived!

    • Cathy says:

      Glad to hear that things are not quite as chilly now! Here we have been blessed with some milder days and even sunshine and blue sies occasionally! Colder and wetter weather on its way now though

  10. Kris P says:

    It looks like an art piece, Cathy. And I knew when I saw the title that you’d also have the perfect prop. Here’s my vase:

  11. Cathy I love your ikebana arrangement with the Japanese anemone seed heads as protagonists and surrounded by pointed multicolored branches. It is wonderful and fun. I really like your pincushion as a complement: nobody would have thought of putting it on. You are an artist! Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      AW, thanks for your kind words, Margarita – the ideas for props almost always just seem to pop into my head!

      • Cathy your accessories are unique and wonderful. They leave your thoughts always getting the vase and the flowers right and having a relationship with them that is sometimes seen with the naked eye and sometimes it is harder to see but has it. Your accessories are very special. Greetings from Margarita.

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  13. karen says:

    I love dogwoods and seed heads. And your little ikebana arrangement is so pretty. I’m taking hardwood cuttings of dogwoods today, as I need lots more free plants for the paddock. Lots of bramble clearing is going on this winter as things have got out of hand. And I’ll be replacing them with dogwoods, viburnum and winter flowering honeysuckle. Here’s my slide show of flowers for Christmas flower arranging ideas. Hopefully it will inspire someone to use natural materials that can be simply composted after Christmas. And it shows you don’t need to spend a fortune making Christmas arrangements. Natural is best.

    • Cathy says:

      Your revamped hedge should be lovely – hope your cuttings take wwll. I took some of cornus to try and haave some plants to sell at our Feb opening but think only one took. Will try again though. Have varely looked at blog things this week but am off to look at your sludeshow now!

  14. Oh, I love those anemone heads. They look much bigger than mine though. What are you feeding them?!

  15. Anna says:

    Oh that’s a most eye-catching, elegant and colourful arrangement Cathy. I’ve seen that pincushion somewhere else and will not be able to rest until I remember where 😄

  16. tonytomeo says:

    Cornus sericea is supposedly the same as Cornus stolonifera that is native here. I still find the two identified a separate species. I do not know what to think. The garden varieties are certainly more colorful than what grows wild.

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