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.