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.