In a Vase on Monday: Wanted, Dead or Alive!

Welcome to the 8th anniversary of In a Vase on Monday, a meme inadvertently started when I needed an incentive to pick things from the garden every week, a habit I had got out of some years previously due to time constraints. Suggesting to others they might perhaps like to do the same, a meme was gradually created and we have faithful stalwarts from the early days, posting a vase every week or at least whenever they can. In addition there are a number of people who clearly enjoy the meme and comment regularly, but without creating a vase of their own, and it is a joy to know how much pleasure IAVOM has given us all, one way or another, all these years – in my case, 416 vases of pleasure! Here are my favourites from each of the last 12 months:

I set the challenge for this anniversary post of presenting a vase without fresh blooms, not so much of a challenge really as in the less abundant months of the year we may have to think out of the box (or vase) and look elsewhere for material anyway. My own vase, however, took me by surprise and created itself, not such an unusual event if the truth be known, and I was left with a lot of material I did not use – seedheads from echinops, allium, scabious and others were left unused once I had selected the vase itself, the vase then dictating the contents.

I had always planned to use some orange helichrysum blooms, picked a number of weeks ago before they fully opened, and allow their autumnal brightness to pull together the drabber shades of seedheads and other dried material which I anticipated would be used. It was not to be, however, and when this tall, square profiled glass vase jumped out of my ‘vase cupboard’ it begged for a simple and minimalist filling and I instantly rejected the collected mass of brown stems for a pared back selection of elderly poppy heads and crocosmia stem, with spent stems of Agastache ‘Alabaster’. There is no apology forthcoming for this simplicity, even on this auspicious 8th anniversary.


You may be interested to know that my vase from three weeks ago (which would also qualify for this drier challenge) is still on display in the kitchen and looking just as attractive – perhaps even more so with those glorious fluffy stems of miscanthus. Looking through my own copy of the book I am offering for today’s giveaway, ‘Cut and Dry’ by Carolyn Dunster, I can see there are even more plants that take to cutting and drying than I might have imagined, and the book gives many hints and tips on what to grow and how to dry them, supported by lovely illustrations. The book was reviewed in a recent RHS ‘The Garden’ magazine and, already knowing what challenge I had planned, it seemed the perfect prize for a giveaway and I ordered two copies immediately. Just leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning it.

So, that’s it for another year of In a Vase on Monday and here’s to another twelve months and another 52 vases. Thank you all for your support throughout the last eight years of vases.

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40 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Wanted, Dead or Alive!

  1. Congratulations Cathy! 8 years – wow! πŸ™‚

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Congratulations and many thanks for coming up with the idea of IAVOM and for encouraging us all to play along. It’s been rewarding to be involved both for the practice of floral designing and especially for the friendships established through the years. I”m drawn to the color that came through in your vase this week. The drying vase from 3 weeks ago has a grace about it too-very lovely. Thank you Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Susie for your kind words and your loyalty – as you say, the friendships gained through it add another level to the concept itself

  3. Linda Casper says:

    Happy bloganniversary which always cheers up my Mondays

  4. Congratulations Cathy! Both for eight years and for choosing the crocosmia to perfectly offset the other dried stems in your vase today. I bet this one will also last many weeks without seeming old. As for me…well, I tried…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chris – yes, this one will probably stand until I need the vase for something else! I am fairly sure you are going to have included helichrysum today so am off now to see if I am right!!

  5. I like the sleekness of this one and how the pop of orange sets off the more muted colors. Happy Anniversary and thank you for hosting every week. I always have flowers by my front door thanks to you. Here is my vase

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – these helichrysum were very late flowering as I had cut many of them down already, so I am glad I though to cut off these buds when I did. Good to hear about your front door blooms.

      • So, I planted some strawflowers a couple of weeks ago..cut them in bud to dry beautifully?

        • Cathy says:

          No, no, mine were sown back in Feb, but I had cut most of them back to about half a month or so ago and some had resprouted, surprisingly. They need longer than their three weeks in water to stiffen up though…

  6. Chloris says:

    Well done for keeping this up for so many years, that is a lot of vases. I am always impressed by your sheer inventiveness and your use of quirky props .I love helichrysum and I like the minimalist effect of this week’s vase. I couldn’t let your anniversary go passed without a vase so here is mine.

  7. Chloris says:

    Whoops, I mean ‘past’, not ‘passed’.

  8. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: A November Anniversary 2021 | Words and Herbs

  9. Cathy says:

    Congratulations Cathy! I love the peachy Helichrysum flowers with the poppies and crocosmia. I hadn’t thought of using crocosmia seedheads. They do add a bit of drama. I almost cut some agastache, but decided I had enough material in the end. Like they say, less is more in some cases! I looked back at some of my own vases and couldn’t believe how time has flown by. It has been such a wonderful meme Cathy. Here’s to another 8 years! πŸ˜‰ Here is my link, with many thanks as always. πŸ€—

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – it has always been the highlight of my blogging week, although admittedly it was hard when I first started, but over time I learned to look around more and we have been through 8 winters of vases now!

  10. johnvic8 says:

    Congratulations, Cathy, for eight years of IAVOM. I have enjoyed being part of the meme over the years (and miss my garden that allowed me to participate). Keep it up, and keep that Golfer fellow off of tall ladders.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you John – I know you are always there looking, even when not commenting, and I will pass your friendly comments on to the Golfer, as I always do. It must be tough, accepting that giving up your garden is the sensible thing to do

  11. Congratulations, Cathy, on the eighth anniversary of In A Vase On Monday! ! I’m one of the many who check out your vase every week even if I’m unable to join in myself. It’s because of you and your meme that I’ve grown flowers and plants I had never tried before, I’m thinking of Orlaya in particular! My garden may be a little neglected at the moment but I’m looking forward to getting back to gardening soon – there’s a packet of Sweet Pea Odorata ‘Sweet Dreams’ and Coleus ‘Wizard Mixes’ waiting to be sown now. Your vase this week is inspiring too … when there’s nothing flowering, seedheads of crocosmia and poppies make a lovely alternative. Here’s to the next eight years. Here’s the link to my offering this week:

    • Cathy says:

      I am so glad you still checked out the IAVOM posts when you were absent from your blog – good to know that they still bring pleasure to people, especially when they have been under the weather

  12. Kris P says:

    Thank YOU, Cathy, for creating this meme and keeping it going (with gusto) for 8 years. I may have mentioned it before but I’d joined 2 other weekly cut flower projects before I found yours, aided by Christina of Creating my own garden of the Hesperides. Those other efforts faded away rather quickly while the enthusiastic and supportive environment you’ve created has created a community. May it continue to prosper! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I see it as a community, Kris, which is why I ensure I post every week and respond to everyone who joins in – definitely a labour of love! You have been with us for most of ths time, haven’t you, for which I thank you.

  13. Anna says:

    Oh a ginormous congratulations on eight years of vases every Monday Cathy and for your gentle encouragement to the rest of this lovely community to also pick and post 🌟🌟🌟 What an achievement! I love the post title, the sepia poster effect and the way that your glowing orange helichrysum brings the other stems back to life. My vase is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Anna – I a a big advocate of gentle encouragement πŸ˜‰ Glad you liked thesepia poster effect – I went down a number of rabbit holes trying to find a template before having the brainwave of just changing the font and colour

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Off with their heads! | Frogend dweller's Blog

  15. Congratulations Cathy! When you spelt out exactly how many vases this means that you’ve created, I was bowled over. Such an amazing achievement, especially combined with the stories, props and snappy titles that make up your posts. Next year I really must grow some everlasting flowers again. Loved your apricot strawflowers here.
    Here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Allison. I recall the props didn’t begin immediately, but were triggered by one of the contributors using them frequently…if I had time I could check back and see who/when it was! The helichrysum need to sit in water for longer than the three weeks since I picked them, so I have had to pop them back into water as they began to droop

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats on your eighth anniversary of IAVOM, Cathy, one of the most fun memes on the internet! I’ve missed joining in this year due to time constraints, but I do enjoy seeing other bloggers contributions. Here’s to many more years of creativity!

  17. Noelle says:

    Happy Anniversary and very well done for this meme Cathy. Yesterday and leading up to that day I was unable to join in, but I may well post my ‘dried’ arrangement next week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks so much Noelle – time and other things so easily get in the way and I had to prepare the photos earlier as we were away at my Mum’s on the day itself and the few days before. Your arrangements woud be welcome any time, of course πŸ‘

  18. CONGRATULATIONS Cathy on your 8th IAVOM anniversary !!!! Mondays are very special thanks to your In a Vase on Monday !!! 416 vases you have made in these eight years, it’s amazing !!! I love your vase today: the helichrysum with its orange touch animates the rest of the vase. I love all the flowers: poppies, crocosmia, agastache, … Cathy your vase of dried flowers from three weeks ago is fantastic and divine. Cathy I am very sorry not to have written in so long, but I am with an “attack” of pain in the hip, lumbar area, back, shoulder, leg, all on the right side of the body that has kept me in bed with painkillers and without being able to move for the pain. I am better, but at rest and still in pain. Cathy I hope that you will continue with IAVOM for another eight years at least maintaining the community of friends that you have created around yourself and the happiness that you bring to all of us with your fabulous vases and comments every Monday. Take good care of the golfer and you. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      You are very kind Margarita, and I am very sorry you have been in such pain again – with winter approaching this is even worse news…

      • Cathy you are very kind for your words of encouragement. Don’t worry, it’s normal that it happens to me, I have a very bad spine and many vertebrae with herniated discs, some have been operated and others have not yet. That’s where these pains come from. But I already have it assimilated. Cathy thank you very much for worrying about my health, you are a friend. Enjoy your 8th IAVOM anniversary! Have a very happy week. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

  19. tonytomeo says:

    Hey, dried flowers and ‘other plant parts’ was my topic for the gardening column for next week.

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