In a Vase on Monday: Cold Stone Tea

There are still some very fine blooms on the fantasy chrysanthemums in the Coop, but something different was called for this week, gleaned from leaner borders. I say different, but it still involves chrysanthemums, this time of the hardy variety and probably C ‘Mary Stoker’, which came to me by way of an unnamed cutting from blogging friend Chloris a couple of years back – it wasn’t mentioned in her recent post on the (questionable?) joy of chrysanthemums though, so perhaps it’s a different variety altogether.

After producing a crop of very late buds, Maybe Mary is now sporting some bright and not unattractive open blooms of which three have been cut for today’s vase. Keeping it simple, they are joined by a couple of oh-so-useful arum leaves (these are smaller than those on my A italicum ‘Marmoratum’, so I assume it is a different variety, another longly-labelless plant, and a stem of ‘barbed-wire bush’ Corokia cotoneaster. The latter came to me recently as a bargain extra with something else I was ordering and is being kept it in a pot which will probably be brought into the Coop over winter as, being a native of Australasia, it can be a little tender.

Having an ikebana style presentation in mind, I often feel hampered by the apparent difficulty in finding attractive ikebana vases or dishes (but it has occurred to me that Etsy would be somewhee else to look) – how I envy Susie of pbmgarden blog who has several beautiful examples from a pottery in the USA… Still, one has to make do, and this week I made do with a teapot from one of my miniature teasets, this Japanese-style one from IKEA, who do children’s playthings so well. Despite placing a metal frog in the bottom of the teapot the stems required more support, so it was filled with small pebbles, also added to the tea bowl which accompanies it.

Do you know the tale of nail soup, or stone soup as some variations have it, a moral tale of Northern European origin about the value of sharing? The story revolves round a hungry tramp or equivalent, who boils up his nail or stone and offers to share it with the cottager or villagers but persuades them it needs a little seasoning to improve it, and then some carrots, then onions and so on, till there is a big pot of nutritious nail or stone soup that they can all share.

Well, today’s vase contains stone tea, and you are welcome to share it with me; however, if you would rather find something in your garden or foraged locally that you could share with all of us instead, then please do so, leaving links to and from this post.

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33 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Cold Stone Tea

  1. jenanita01 says:

    I thought I recognised a little Ikebana in your display, but it’s a really lovely combination!

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Your teapot proved to be a wonderful container for the Ikebana-style design, Cathy! And chrysanthemums are valued in that style I think. I’m always wishing I had more and different Ikebana vases. I remember the reading the stone soup version of the story to my daughter. Hope you have a pleasant week. Thanks so much for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – and I have had a quick look on Etsy and there are a number on there, so I will look into more when I have a bit of time

  3. Chloris says:

    I am sorry that I didn’t label the chrysanthemum. I took several cuttings and got them muddled up. I think ‘Mary Stoker’ is a bit more of a biscuit colour and this is more likely to be another old chrysanthemum called ”Clara Curtis’. Anyway, whatever her name, she looks very pretty in your ikebana -style arrangement.
    And here is my contribution on this dismal, late November day day.

    • Cathy says:

      No apology needed – and looking at another picture of Clara Curtis you are probably right. She certainly looks better in this arrangement than on the ungainly plant she came from!

  4. Love your style, and the Arum. Another plant I wish I could grow. There is nothing quite like it. I remember the stone soup story as well. I have a marble jewelry box I use for Ikebana, never feeling sure it will hold water! Thank you for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amelia. The arum is very much a native in the UK so should do well. I have been moving spare clumps into the woodland to border the new path. I did a quick scout around the house looking for ikebana alternatives, and I’m sure I could find more – no jewellery boxes though!

  5. bcparkison says:

    Finely a plant I do have . Arum….my lawn mowing person cut it down ,by mistake, but it is back. And It has bloomed in the past. I’m not a complete failure at gardening.

  6. Kris P says:

    I think you “made do” very well, Cathy! I do love those fancy Chrysanthemums and will have to make an effort to find a plant or two next year through mail order nurseries. Here’s my post:

  7. Anna says:

    A beautiful chrysanthemum no matter what her name is Cathy πŸ˜„ Such a soft shade of pink. I had not heard the lovely tale of nail or stone soup before so thank you for sharing it with us. I would cast my extreme aversion to tea aside, even cold stone tea and accept your invitation to share a pot with you gladly. Hope that you have a good week. Just a few snippings from me today here :

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  9. Annette says:

    You’ve done very well with your Ikebana vase, Cathy, it looks very well balanced. I’ve heard about the tale but prefer to have proper tea with you πŸ˜‰ . Arum are amazing little plants – in winter they’re often shock-frozen and flat on the ground but as soon as temperatures go up, the leaves stand upright as if nothing ever happened. One can only admire such resilience. Here’s my contribution: Wishing you and the Golfer a happy December xx

    • Cathy says:

      It would be lovely to have a tea party for all my blogger friends, Annette. I really miss the arum leaves when they are out of season – when meeting up with people was permissable, arum leaves invariably made it into any posy I might be taking with me

  10. the running wave says:

    The arum leaves are great aren’t they! I have some in a pot which has been going for several years now and they are in leaf now too. Such wonderful decoration. I do love single versions of flowers – chrysanthemums, dahlias etc. Mary is a very pretty colour! I don’t have a vase on my Instagram feed this week but a golden quince and a handful of windfall crabapples. They are sitting in a bowl in late afternoon Saturday sunshine. Currently they are now cooked and hanging in a muslin to extract the juices to make a little quince and crabapple jelly!! Have a good week Cathy. Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      A friend of mine has evicted several clumps of arum from her garden so I have been able to plant more around my own, paricularly in the woodland. Your Instagram picture sounds lovely – can I view it without signing up? What colour will your jelly be – a pale pink?

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  12. I love that story. I was planning on getting a copy (the variant by Tony Ross) for my granddaughter for Christmas!
    Lovely arrangement too. The chrysanthemums are nice and light and airy. I am going to have to start growing them you know, even if I do hate the smell.
    My vase is less refined, but ended up being bright and cheerful:

    • Cathy says:

      Ha – that’s a coincidence! 😁 These fantasy ones don’t seem to smell, and I haven’t noticed anything unpleasant about the few hardy ones I have – could be my nose πŸ‘ƒ of course!

  13. Cathy I love your Ikebana style arrangement on the little teapot. Chrysanthemums are divine like arum leaves – I love them. The tea bowl that accompanies the tiny teapot is lovely. The Ikea have things for children that make me want to buy for myself because they are wonderful, I love them. I remember the story of the stone soup pot and I really like it. Cathy take good care of yourself and the golfer. Have a good week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

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  15. Cathy says:

    I think in that last photo the Chrysanthemum and Arum leaf look as if they were made for each other! Hasn’t this pretty Chrysanth won you over Cathy? πŸ˜‰ I’ll pass on the stone soup thank you… I had forgotten that story so nice to be reminded of it. I think I remember a Ladybird book with it in.
    My garden surprised me despite very icy temperatures, so here is my contribution. Thanks Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      I agree Cathy, and yes, I really like this one – more than the pink Salhouse Joy even… but it’s still not a pretty plant! Sorry to be late looking at your vase – it has been a busy week!

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    So nice that you are still able to find things in your garden, Cathy… that is a pretty colour of mum and the arum adds a nice balance to the arrangement.

  17. tonytomeo says:

    Ah, Stone Soup! I remember that one. It is so applicable nowadays, with so many lacking so much.

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