In a Vase on Monday: Geode

It is a few weeks since any of the fantasy chrysanthemums from the Coop were picked for a vase or posy, but as you may have seen from my last post they are both still in bloom; however, the flowers are really droopy and it is hard to gauge whether this is because they are past their best or if the plant is deficient in some way. It may of course just be the end of their flowering period – after all, it is almost the end of December! I don’t plan to add any more varieties as they take up space and take such a long time to justify their existence, but nevertheless it might be worth my while reading up on how best to treat them, bearing in mind I grow them for a succession of blooms and not show purposes. Any tips from people who have successfully grown them would be welcome.

Anyway, a bloom of ‘Kiyomi No Meisui’ has been picked for today, partly experimentally to see whether it will perk up in water, which so far is looking unlikely. The slender and wispy stems joining it are windblown twigs of silver birch, complete with catkins, which were plucked from one of the borders on a recent ramble and, keeping with the contrast of light and dark, joined by the purplish-brown foliage of Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’. A dark stoneware pot, probably an ink bottle as it has a pouring lip, seemed the ideal vase.

With no inspiration yet forthcoming for title or prop, I combed my collection of crystals for a suitable stone of light and dark contrasts, but nothing felt right; my attention then turned to this quartz geode, the product of our first ever crystal purchase around ten years ago. Geodes are created over millions of years when dissolved minerals seep into a natural hollow or air bubble in volcanic rock, hardening into an outer shell and creating the geode, whilst the minerals continue to form on the inside walls of the shell, growing towards the centre. A geode would have to be broken open to expose any crystals inside so this is just half of one; the other half is in the garden, no doubt hidden from view by vegetation and in need of being rescued!

I was thinking the stoneware pot might sit inside this half but it was fractionally too big and instead placed next to it. Having been drawn to use the geode for no clear reason, is it far fetched to think the white bloom of the chrysanthemum reflects its sparkly interior and the dark foliage the heavy rock of the shell? If nothing else, its use as a prop has motivated me to look for the other half and tackle the dust accumulating on the rest of my collection…

If you feel motivated or inspired to find material in your garden to bring inside and pop in a vase or jam jar (prop and title optional), readers of IAVOM would be delighted if you chose to share it with us by leaving links to and from this post.

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41 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Geode

  1. croftgarden says:

    I’m amazed that you always find something for your vase even in the depths of winter and produce an interesting arrangement.

    • Cathy says:

      When I first started IAVOM I thought it would be harder than it is, and I am now confident that it will never be a problem. There are always twigs and seedheads to be found, or dried flowers like statice and helichrysum

  2. Noelle says:

    Enjoyed your post, with the arrangement and a view of your ‘winter wonderland’ looking geode. Do you know where it came from?

  3. pbmgarden says:

    I’ve been fascinated by your chrysanthemums Cathy. It’s easy to see the stately elegance of this particular flower. Adding your geode balances the overall tone of the composition too in an effective way. Thanks for hosting our vases each Monday and for sharing your own creative arrangements. Wishing you the best in the upcoming year.

    • Cathy says:

      I nearly ‘trashed’ your comment by mistake, Susie – I must have pressed CTRL T instead of Caps T to start writing ‘Thanks’!! Fortunately I could rescue it 😁 So, thanks!! The chrysanth is still just as droopy and I really would like to find put if that is what happens towards the end of their season – in fact, I bought both as rooted cuttings from a specialist, so I will email them and ask their advice. Pleased to hear you think it works with the geode

  4. There’s an intriguing juxtaposition there – the sharp geode angles and edges vs the floozy soft Chrysanthemum, both with a pale translucency. Hope you have a lovely New Year!

    • Cathy says:

      And tha’s a perceptive comment Chris! Admittedly the chysanth is now a bit sad, and perhaps has been overdoing her flooziness!

    • Cathy says:

      ps Chris, there has been a small discussion about ‘floozy soft’ and we are wondering if it is a particularly Canadian expression…?

  5. I like the colors and the contrast of birch to mum…the geode makes sense to me. Though I am a rock lover and have a fair number around. I wonder if floozy soft is a Canadian term? Happy New Year and thank you for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, we both like our rocks, don’t we?! I just took the ‘soft’ as relating to the droopiness of the bloom and ‘floozy’, as a noun, the still over-the-top chrysanthemum – so your comment sent me off to google…It seems as if floozy and flossy are sometimes used interchangeably in some dialects, often suggesting something soft…but I shall go back and ask Chris…!

  6. Maria says:

    I love the light and dark contrast. So nice. Sadly, there is nothing growing in my garden right now. But now that Christmas is over, I am eagerly waiting and looking forward to spring.

  7. Never derogatory! 😁 Floozy drowziness…wistful memories of grand divaness…perhaps I am making it up…

  8. Kris P says:

    The Wall Street Journal periodically posts photos of flower arrangements that aim to emulate famous paintings. I think you’ve done just as great a job channeling the geode’s aspect! I’ve admired that dark Pittosporum in various photos online and now think I need to hunt one down. Happy new year, Cathy, and thanks as always for hosting. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, thanks Kris! Tom Thumb is certainly very striking and it doesn’t grow huge either (well, perhaps the name is a giveaway!)

  9. Cathy is a magnificent composition. The Chrysanthemum “Kiyomi No Meisui” contrasting with the Pittosporum I love it. The dark stoneware vase that you have used as a vase is ideal with the flowers, I love it. I love the quartz geode, it is fantastic, and it looks great as a complement to flowers: it is the perfect and divine accessory. Cathy my best wishes to you and the golfer for 2021: Happy New Year. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  10. Anna says:

    The geode looks as wintry as the weather has been here today Cathy. Too much snow for me to see what might be lurking underneath in the way of flowers but probably not that much anyway. I wonder if it came down to your part of the world. The chrysanthemum maybe past its best but still most beautiful and such an intricate delicacy about it.

    • Cathy says:

      Ooh – you have snow…brrr! Mind you, it is brrr here too but without snow, although there was ‘heavy’ (3″) snow in the north of Staffs. I really like the chrysanthemum – more than the pink one I think

  11. Cathy says:

    A wintry vase yet with such a beautiful flower. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing your fancy Chrysanthemums this year Cathy. I can understand why you hesitate to grow them again though, as they do take ages to come into flower. I am going to add a couple more hardy ones to my flower beds next year. It is snowing here, and I am tempted to hibernate! Have a lovely week. 😃

  12. tonytomeo says:

    That really is striking. White happens to be my favorite color. I happen to like the few black flowers as well. I sort of think that some of the black flowers would look great with their white counterparts, such as bearded iris. In the garden, pansies would look ‘interesting’ in the winter, and petunias would be just as ‘interesting’ in the summer. I also think that white foliage of the albino redwood would be nice with black flowers.

  13. the running wave says:

    I love this interesting combination Cathy! The colours – or almost non-colours – are great and sit so well with your fascinating geode. Sending all good wishes to you, and all IAVOM bloggers, for a peaceful and healthy 2021. I think it’s going to be another challenging year but we are lucky to have our gardens and love of flowers to keep us positive! Amanda

  14. Lovely contrast and the Tom Thumb Pittosporum has a velvet quality in the photo. I didn’t know those rocks were called geodes, interesting!

    • Cathy says:

      Tom Thumb is lovely foliage plant, and only grows to about a metre. I have a beautiful amrthyst geode too, which appeared in an IAVOM post some years ago

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