The UK has been having a battering from Storm Ciara, with high winds and, at times, torrential rain, causing all sorts of damage and localised flash flooding (and worse, I hear later, having written the post on Sunday). Our garden is relatively sheltered, unless the wind comes from the north, and damage has fortunately been minimal, involving the loss of twiggy growth from some trees and a couple of artefacts blown from their moorings. We are fortunate, I know – not just because we have escaped anything major, but also, as several people have already said to me, that it was not yesterday that we were opening the garden!
Unlike some, I like hearing the wind, especially in the trees, and there is something magnificent about the power of this force of nature – but hearing it from inside the warmth and comfort of the house is one thing, having to be out in it is another, even in the relative security of a vehicle, and that force then feels anything but benign. As my vase is prepared on a Sunday, there was a point when I thought a pot of crocus or iris might have to act as a stand-in, but the torrential rain didn’t last long and the afternoon dried up as the 40 and 50mph gusts weakened, so not only was I able to cut the planned material but also to photograph it outside.
Flowers at this time of year are precious and some I am reluctant to cut, but the bright pink blooms of Japanese apricot Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’ had just begun opening and there were at least a couple of wayward sprigs that wouldn’t be missed so it was an easy decision. Suiting a minimal arrangement, I had my tiny blue rectangular ikebana vase in mind for them, but even that seemed too big so instead I took the black cap of an aerosol spray and cut it down to a little over an inch in height and popped a metal pin frog inside, adding a little moss once the stems were inserted to hide the gubbins inside.
So many of my Monday vase props seem to be spontaneous and serendipitous, and today was no exception – a tiny Zen garden, a gift from Elder Daughter some years ago and certainly pre-dating this blog and IAVOM so I am surprised I have not used it before. A mere 4 x 3″ in size, it was the ideal partner for Benny not only in terms of its Japanese origins but also as the perfect calming antidote to the storminess of Ciara from which the bloom was plucked.
It would not surprise me if UK Monday vases were small in number today, but I know how much they mean to a lot of people and I am sure every effort will be made to post at least something, even if it is just salvaging some storm-damaged plant and popping it into a jam jar. Do share what you can, when you can, by leaving the usual links.