In a Vase on Monday: Measure for Measure

I was determined to have sprigs of my pink pussy willow, Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’, in a vase today, and ventured forth to find suitable accompaniments. Scorning the emerging blooms on Iris reticulata for being ‘too blue’, I chose different shades of Crocus tommasinianus instead as an alternative, plucking a stem of Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch to join them, and adding deep purple foliage of Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ for further contrast. To emphasise the glorious late winter days we have enjoyed recently, blooms of double snowdrop Galanthus flore pleno, bobbing about in the near-warmth, and witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’, filling the woodland edge borders with fragrance, were also added, together making a pretty spring posy.

Acting as a vase is a little vintage measuring cup, joined by the smallest of a set of magnetic measuring spoons, ranging in size from one tablespoon down to this ¼ teaspoon. I have several sets of measuring cups and spoons but this is my favourite, not only for the convenience of them nesting together and affixed to my magnetic knife rack but because of their double-ended nature, both with deep bowls, one of which is slim enough to fit into any spice jar,  and both easily levelled for a perfect measurement. Small, but immensely practical.

A friend turned up unexpectedly on the doorstep on Saturday with two bunches of tulips for me, a pleasant surprise. Long gone are the days (since IAVOM!) when I would treat myself to the first daffodils and tulips appearing in supermarkets, but these two make a pretty combination of dark pink and blush pink and look very fine (despite their impossibly long stems) in the denim blue stoneware vase that began life as my only vase. Thank you Tracey.

This blogging community experiences a range of weather, but if your weather and your garden and your inclination tempt you to find something to pop into a vase today, then why not share it with us by leaving links to and from this post?


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31 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Measure for Measure

  1. the running wave says:

    What a glorious collection of colours Cathy! I love them! The pussy willow is just lovely – such a rich colour. Here is my offering – at last! Thank you again for all your help in bring therunningwave to life again! Amanda

    • Cathy says:

      Hurrah! So glad you have finally made it and hopefully we can iron out the other problems soon (I have emailed again). The pink pussy willow is indeed gorgeous and will become a firm favourite of mine

  2. pbmgarden says:

    So cheerful! Someday, perhaps over a cup of tea, we could have a talk and you could explain how a flower could ever be too blue! Meanwhile, I commend you for the heartwarming assortment filling up your measuring cup vase this morning. The pink pussy willow is a standout and your crocus are lovely, lovely. Choices here are tightly limited but I managed a vase this week. Thanks for hosting Cathy and have a great week.

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – well let’s have that cup of tea anyway, but I meant too blue for the pink pussy willow…sorry it wasn’t clear, and I love to see blue in a vase as I don’t have enough of it.! It was so nice to be able to create a harbinger of spring sort of vase, as it really reflected what the garden feels like at the moment. As for the crocuses, they make an instant impact once the temperature rises – and multiply readily

  3. The tulip vase photo is wonderful, I love the setting. I have a favorite set of measuring spoons as well – because they fit in the spice jars! I love blue flowers and was wondering the same as Susie. Did the Crocus last as a cut flower? Here is my vase, Happy Monday and thank you for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Too blue for the pussy willow but definitely not to be for me, Amy! Good to know you appreciate the pleasure of the perfect measuring spoons too! The crocus all seem to be bearing up so far, more than 24 hours after being picked – I don’t expect them to last long, but it has been lovely to have them at closer quarters for the time being

      • I didn’t realize good spoons until I could get them in the spice jars! A revelation. I have some flowers i like to cut even though I know they won’t last. It would be nice to see Crocus up close, I think.

  4. Kris P says:

    I adore the crocus, yet another genus that doesn’t like my part of the world. I’m fond of tulips too but the same applies to them; however, a mail order supplier sent me tulip bulbs by mistake last November so I tucked them in the fridge for 3 months and finally planted them this weekend (just as our temperatures here are poised to climb). We shall see if I’m luck enough to get any blooms in the coming months. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, crocus seem very ephemeral, opening up with the first hint of warmth, but then anything warmer would floor them. I do hope you get blooms from your tulips (nice to have some unexpected freebies though!) – where have you planted them?

      • Kris P says:

        The tulips were a mistake on the seller’s part rather than a freebie – I’d ordered Triteleia, which will grow in my climate and they sent the tulips instead. Because they both start with “T” perhaps?! Anyway, after 3 months of chilling, I put them into a large pot that I can keep well watered. The foliage should come up – the issue is usually that our warm-to-hot dry winds shrivel the buds before they open.

        • Cathy says:

          Oh, that’s a shame, but I hope they refunded you for the tritelia…? Is there somewhere shady you can keep them out of the wind?

  5. Noelle M says:

    Another inspired title and props Cathy. You pipped it to the post with your Aso. I have rushed to get my vases arranged and posted, without time to play around. I was using the measuring spoons in the kitchen this morning, and this afternoon have been out for a walk, where we saw primroses growing the middle of hedges. Here is my contribution:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle. It’s aways lovely to see primroses in the wild, and they often flower surprisingly early. I am trying to develop a bank of them next to my new woodland walk, moving them from elsewhere in the woodland

  6. Anna says:

    Both lovely vases Cathy. I love those fuzzy pink catkins – my salix ‘Asao’ seems a tad shy this year. Too few fuzzies for me to contemplate snipping. I’ve never picked a crocus for a vase before. Just wonder how long they would last? An inspired use of your measuring vase. A little vase from me this week here :

    • Cathy says:

      I was just reading in the Sunday Times this morning that it is good to cut back Mt Aso, partly to stop it from getting too vigorous but also to encourage the new shoots. I snipped mine very judiciously, where the the stems wouldn’t be missed. I don’t expect the crocus to last long, but they are still fine after more than 24 hours

  7. I love pink willow, it’s lovely like crocuses. The witch hazel “Arnold Promise” with its wonderful fragrance and how divine it is with its yellow color I love it. Galanthus bloom full is very special and wonderful, I love it. The vase is special: a little old measuring cup. It looks great with the magnificent flowers and is a lovely and wonderful arrangement – I love it. We thank your friend very much for giving you these wonderful and divine pink and white tulips that are magnificent and splendid in the first vase you had and that is gorgeous, I love it. Cathy you have two vases that are magnificent and wonderful, I love them. Take good care of yourself and the golfer, and keep yourself safe. Have a good week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you – it is not often people give me flowers, Margarita, so the tulips were a pleasant surprise although my own little posy brings just as much pleasure. Do you have any flowers in your house at the moment?

      • You’ve read my mind. I had planned to go to the florist tomorrow to get some white daisies: they enchant my dear Mother and I as they are in a glass vase that she has and that they are lovely. I only have plants that do not have flowers now: a Saintpaulia rescued from a flower basket that is beginning to put out small leaves, and a spathiphyllum that has stopped flowering and is with the tips of the leaves brown from lack of humidity. Enjoy the flowers in your garden. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

        • Cathy says:

          I tend to neglect any indoor plants I have these days, but do have 2 large foliage plants which do get regular attention!

          • I have neglected my plants for a season, especially the Spathiphyllum !! I have to cut off all the bad leaves and trim off the small brown pieces from the good leaves, but now I am not in the mood. I’ll wait a week. March 1 is the 27th anniversary of the death of my dear older brother and this year it is affecting me much more, although throughout the year it is in my mind, in my mouth and in my heart, always remembering him. Cathy apologizes for my words. Before, my Spathiphyllum was divine, but little by little I have stopped taking care of it and the poor man needs to go to the infirmary and that they take care of him every day as he deserves. Cathy, I’m glad you have two large foliage plants and that you take good care of them: they will be beautiful, they will stay that way forever. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  8. Cathy says:

    Ooh! Lovely spring flowers! Pulmonaria is one of my favourite spring flowers and I can’t wait for mine to flower, but our ground is still partially frozen. Love the measuring spoon too… such nice clear lettering on it so it can be read easily. And I have never seen a measuring cup with spoon measurements marked in it. You always manage to find such treasures. 😉

    • Cathy says:

      I am very fond of pulmonaria too and mean to build up more of a collection of them – many of the ones I have are not named. I had some lovely big clumps in the woodland edge border but they seem to have sufferered in recent years…wonder if it they were just swamped by geranium and epimedium?

  9. tonytomeo says:

    Like nasturtium, the dutch crocus seem to be too small for cutting. I am not very adventurous with selection of cut flowers, so would be inclined to leave the small sorts in the garden (especially since there are so few of them). They sure are pretty up close.

    • Cathy says:

      Mine are tommasinianus though, Tony, so probably even smaller than ‘Dutch’ crocus – and they were looking so pretty, I felt I needed to share them!

      • tonytomeo says:

        Crocus tomassianus is smaller? Dang! Dutch crocus are dinky! Perhaps Dutch crocus are dinkier here than elsewhere. They do not get much chill here. Your crocus seem to be about the same or slightly bigger, but because I am not familiar with the other flowers, I can not be certain. Only the willow looks familiar.

  10. bittster says:

    Nice! Your arrangements sing spring, and I love to hear it :). Glad things are sprouting for you, I’m glad to see how many treasures you already have in the new garden.

    • Cathy says:

      The pace of growth accelerates from here onwards – such an exciting time! It’s not a ‘new’ garden though, although it doesn’t seem long since there was virtually nothing in it, such is the apparent speed of the passage of time!

  11. That is a beautiful little arrangement, and the cheeriest thing I have seen today. Thank you! I am just starting to see blooms again on my indoor plants. Unless I break down and get some fresh flowers from the store, I will be joining again in the months ahead when my garden begins to bloom. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Beth – the crocus and snowdrop might not last long in a vase, but I still wanted to share them. I have enjoyed seeing the gifted tulips, but they remind me that I will have plenty of my own in a little over a month or so!

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