In a Vase on Monday: Chicken Soup in Torquay

Now there’s a title to keep you guessing!

I had seen this garden escapee, Vinca major or greater periwinkle, growing in a local verge on recent walks, and planned to incorporate it in my next Monday vase. Once picked, with no idea of a title I sought a colleague to join it, deciding on a criss-crossing twig of witch hazel Hamamaelis ‘Zuccariniana’ before moving on to a choice of vase. For me, the challenge of including a prop is always there, and once the above vase was selected everything fell into place: contents, props, title.

The vase is a typical example of Torquay ware (intriguingly, the first photo you see on this link could easily have been for IAVOM!), with a cockerel on one side and a motto on the other: ‘Ower mony cooks spoil the broth’, mock-Scottish dialect for ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’. Just in case you have no chicken bones handy to start off your soup, I have included some stock cubes as a back up…

Perhaps the motto could have read ‘Don’t overlook nearby verges’ for vase contenders – so do try and find something from your garden or foraged locally that you could pop into any form of receptacle for a Monday vase (thinking out of the box is always encouraged) and share it with us by leaving the usual links. In the meantime, enjoy your soup!

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38 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Chicken Soup in Torquay

  1. croftgarden says:

    I’m always intrigued by your titles, but this time your lateral thinking had me totally stumped. Very clever and it made me smile. Lovely flowers too!

    • Cathy says:

      Not sure that that’s clever, but if it makes people smile then that’s a good thing! Sadly the vinca is a bit floppy now, but the blooms may have been open for some time I suppose

  2. Noelle M says:

    With a brain like yours, you must relish cryptic crosswords? Enjoyed following your thought process. What a delightful little pop of blue early in the year. Here is my little vase this week:

    • Cathy says:

      I think you might have made that comment about crosswords before, Noelle, but I suppose I have never had a regular supply of them so never got the opportunity and I am sure I would struggle to get going at first, but it is a skill that can be learned, I believe. I thought that about the blue too

      • Noelle M says:

        I tried to learn once, but would rather spend my time reading up about plants, or being out in the garden.

        • Cathy says:

          Well yes, there is that too, but I do enjoy dipping into polygon, codeword and wordoku for the odd half hour or so πŸ˜‰

  3. Love it! still laughing here. i am a keen soup maker and always make my own chicken broth. As much Vinca major as I have seen in my life I did not recognize it at that scale. A wonderful contrast to the Witch Hazel, and a cute little chickeny vase. I have also been foraging this week

  4. the running wave says:

    Well there’s an unexpected combination of two of my favourite things – chicken broth and witch hazel! I do love those spidery flowers of witch hazel. My golden yellow one is out at the moment (can’t remember it’s actual name) and I love the very particularly fragrance. I have a few wild snowdrops in my little vase on Instagram this week. The first wild flower pickings of 2021 found on my walk yesterday afternoon! Best wishes to you Cathy. Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      I wonder if your witch hazel is Arnold Promise – it’s the most readily available of the yellow intermedia ones. Glad to hear you are still posting vases on Instagram. I have worked out how we might be able to liaise about your blog isues on Zoom – we should both be able to screen share as required so let me know if you would like to try and set up a meeting

  5. Kris P says:

    That title was a puzzle! I admire your witch hazels every time I see them but unfortunately they need a climate far different from mine. I went a little off the rails with my choice of a vase this week but the content is probably less surprising:

  6. How spooky Cathy! We had a homemade chicken soup for our tea tonight πŸ˜‚ Just the right weather for it. I love the yellow and blue combination. Just wished that the vinca in my garden remembered to flower.

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – that is a coincidence! I do hope your vinca is not indulging in its thuggish habits at the expense of flowers… πŸ˜‰ ps my order from Andrew’s Snowdrops came today…in the post since Thursday… 😐

  7. Cathy says:

    Haha! Your props are always so clever Cathy! I was very intrigued by the title. πŸ˜‰ But why a Scottish saying on a mug from Torquay? The vinca are a nice reminder that spring is coming.

  8. pbmgarden says:

    Well a day late and a dollar short as the saying here goes! But I managed a vase this morning and wanted to connect it to yours. The delightful Torquayware mug is a fun container for your Witch Hazel. I’m surprised to see Vinca blooming. It’s such a nice color, but sadly is invasive here.

    • Cathy says:

      And good to have you of course, Susie – hope all was well yesterday. The vinca is invasive here too, Susie – and I have noticed some encroaching into our garden too 😐 Don’t know why it there are flowers in Jan/Feb though!

  9. Cathy your piece of pottery from Torquay is magnificent. I did not know her, thanks for the link, I have loved meeting her, knowing her history and seeing pieces. Your “Gallo” is a wonderful home to Vinca major with its flowers and Hamamelis “Zuccaniniana” with its divine flowers: the whole is magnificent, very special, I love it and I love it. The accessory you have put on is great: a box of bouillon cubes to make soup; just what is needed for the “Owen many cooks …” vase inscription, I love it and I love it! By the way, I like chicken soup a lot and when it’s cold it feels great for dinner. Cathy is a magnificent blog and super well carried by the words that are chained from the beginning to the end to show the blog: it has been super fun, I have laughed a lot. Take good care of yourself and the golfer and keep yourself safe. Happy week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      I am so glad the blog gives you pleasure, Margarita, and has perhaps helped you get through a difficult time

      • Cathy, you know me well, my dear friend. Yes, I am going through a bump and your blogs help me overcome it, especially this one that has made me laugh so much. Thanks for worrying about me. I hope that writing it has also helped you overcome your sadness. A hug. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

        • Cathy says:

          Yes, always find writing a good way of expressing my thoughts and feelings – perps even more important npw we are in lockdown

          • Cathy be strong. We were locked up at home last year from March 14 to May 10, and you could only go out to buy food, go to the pharmacy, the doctor or work, but all the offices sent their workers to telework from their homes. houses and most continue like this, with one meeting in the office a week and others not even that. So I understand how you feel about being locked up at home. Cathy you have your wonderful garden to entertain you and be outdoors and walk safely. I was in my apartment with my dear Mother: all I had was the terrace. You are very good at expressing your feelings and thoughts by writing: it is very good therapy. I do that too. Cathy do not stop doing it, it is a way to let off steam and not keep things inside that all they do is make you worse, much worse. I also like your way of writing very much and I ask you please not to stop writing your wonderful blogs with which I really enjoy and learn a lot about gardening. Thanks for write. If you want anything you have my email. A hug. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

          • Cathy says:

            I know I am fortunate in not havingfound lockdown difficult, Margarita – I have the garden, I have exercise classes and walks and a range of people to keep in touch with, but it’s a shame not to be able to see some of my family. For many others it is very different – how has your Mum found it?

          • It was hard for my dear mother not to see my sister and her husband who lives five minutes by car from my house. My brother and his wife, living on the island of Majorca at the time, took it better, although they often came by plane to see us. I think I was her salvation: being together the two of them all the time must have been a relief for her. We always support each other, apart from being my mother, she is my best friend: we have many hobbies in common and she is the best travel companion: we have the same cultural tastes, destinations and seeing places when traveling. Since I had a work accident in 2002 and I can no longer work, my Father and my Mother have been my “crutches” in life, the best parents and my best friends who I love and love me very much. I think that’s why my mother didn’t have such a bad time during the confinement because she was with me. Every day we do videoconferences on WhatsApp since my dear Father passed away and we continue to do them, and seeing each other, even virtually, helped us all a lot in confinement, especially my Mother. Cathy do with your relatives, especially those you miss the most, videoconferences, you’ll see how you will feel better. Test it! A hug. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

          • Cathy says:

            Yes, there are so many effective ways of keeping in touch these days – although I remember a time when people balked at the very idea of being ‘seen’ when making a telephone call…how times have changed!!

          • And how mobile phones have changed !!! I remember the first giant and antennaed Motorola. Then the 1G that already started to get smaller. The 2G that could already send messages and evolved to the classic Nokia with a camera. The BlackBerry with keyboard to send messages and multimedia content. And finally 3G, the first iPhone of small size that later have also evolved into Smartphones of all kinds of sizes, programs and Apps. And the first videoconferences seemed magical to us! And we already have 5G !!!! Cathy is amazing for all the mobiles we’ve been through. Take care. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Vinca major is terribly invasive in redwood forests. There is some right outside. It is pretty though. I could get rid of it in my own garden, but will likely always leave a small bit of it about. It is not nearly so invasive in the Santa Clara Valley. I would have no concern about growing it in unrefined parts of the garden there.

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