We went for a walk yesterday morning and I found some comfrey* flowering on our route so decided to pluck it for Monday’s vase along with some nearby arum leaves. Having already passed an escapee branch of mahonia on the verge, I went back later with secateurs and cut some of their blooms too. Despite the potential in the garden itself, it suddenly seemed appropriate to have a ‘needs must’ or ‘make do and mend’ vase, given the far from ideal circumstances we are all finding ourselves in.
Joining the hedgerow offerings is a stem of my own Hellebore ‘Anna’s Red’, a casualty of thoughtless scaffolders who plonked a scaffold pole in the Coop Corner without so much as a ‘by your leave’. Our neighbour is having some roofing work done and such is the odd arrangement of land ownership he had asked us in advance if it was OK for them to have access in the strip of land I call the Shady Courtyard: fine, that wouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think he realised that they would also want to put scaffolding at right angles to this – and it may be that the scaffolders did not realise the Coop Corner was not his land, despite being directly behind his house. Even so, when it was looking as pretty as it was last Saturday, I find it hard to believe that even a non-gardener would put a scaffolding pole in the middle of a flourishing spring border, flattening and breaking plants, without seeking some sort of guidance first. When we looked out of the window and saw a post just to the left of Anna’s Red we flew outside and insisted it was moved. By then, Corydalis ‘GP Baker’ was flattened, several stems of the hellebore broken and the scaffolding base dumped on top of a geranium. Rather than risk further damage I removed some of the at-risk plants, but will replace them now the scaffolders have left – they have not heard the last of it!
The vase contents sat in a small galvanised bucket of water for a number of hours (something that doesn’t always happen, despite the perceived wisdom) before any thought was given to a vase, and liking the chunky proportions I wondered if one of my Caithness Glass ‘Ebony’ vases would suit: as you can see, one did. I love the tactile shape of it but it is rare I would have contents suitable to grace its elegance. I am luck to have all eight vases from this range, art glass that looks more like pottery, bought for their ornamental value rather than for use as vases; there used to be factory shop near where my Mum lives, and they were probably all ‘seconds’. You can see a close-up the typical decoration below, along with that of the citrine crystal point (looking very much like an extracted tooth!) that serves as a prop. Citrine is reputed to promote well-being and abundance, something we might all need for these uncertain times and their associated shortages…
Even if there seems to be nothing in our garden, please look in the hedgerows or on the verges too – a wild flower, a budded twig, a leaf, even the tiniest offering popped into a vase or jar will bring you guaranteed pleasure, a spiritual and mental boost at a time when the world may seem to lie heavy on your shoulders. All being well, IAVOM will continue to be here every week to remind you of this, so do join us and, if you like, please leave links to and from your post so we can see what is helping you through your week.
* My mistake, it has been correctly identified by Amanda as green alkanet, a plant I have not heard of before but will definitely remember in the future, although the piercingly blue flowers and rough green leaves are not dissimilar to comfrey