In a Vase on Monday: Canny

Unlike elsewhere, lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) has not become an entrenched and borderline nuisance here; quite the opposite, it has not been easy to establish, but now I finally have a few (just a few) plants that have actually flowered this year. Despite not having any blooms before, I knew what to expect from the fragrance and was not disappointed.

I cut the small handful of stems for today’s vase, and padded out the contents by including Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff, which more than makes up for lily-of-the-valley’s reluctance to establish) and Tiarella ‘Pink Bouquet’ with its subtly pink frothy spikes. Numerous vases were tried and rejected and on impulse I tried the blooms in this teeny (non-functioning) toy watering can, and was pleased with the asymmetric result, which was most definitely ‘canny’. ‘Canny’ is a northern and Scottish dialect word that means nice or pretty, and is particularly common in north east England, especially around Newcastle and the surrounding areas. The dialect here is known as ‘Geordie’, as are the locals, and today’s prop is an amusing little book designed to teach the lingo, or ‘Larn Yersel’ Geordie’.

Small, simple, but sweet, and bringing as much pleasure as a larger or more elaborate vase. Would you like to pick something from your garden, either simple or elaborate or something in between, and share it with us today? To join us, just leave links to and from this post.

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31 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Canny

  1. I have tried and failed to grow Lily of the Valley 😦
    I love your canny post – that book looks like a treasure.
    Delightful vase. πŸ™‚

  2. Rosie Amber says:

    ‘Canny’! This made me smile, thank you.

  3. Heyjude says:

    I’m also trying to get lily of the valley to establish, I get leaves but no flowers. Maybe I should remove it and plant it where the sweet woodruff romps away!

  4. I think your vase is very canny! I love those watering cans big or small and wish I could smell the Lily of the Valley. Thank you for hosting.

  5. pbmgarden says:

    How very lovely! I don’t think I’ve actually ever smelled lily of the valley but it must be delightful. Fun to read about β€˜Canny’. As always thanks for hosting Cathy and have a good week.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t think I had either, but I was aware of the small from perfumes I have used or smelled. So ‘canny’ is not a word you have ever come across?

      • pbmgarden says:

        “Canny” was new to me. My husband’s vocabulary is much stronger than mine and he didn’t recognize it either. We’ve both only heard “uncanny.”

        • Cathy says:

          And I would say there is no connection between uncanny and the Geordie ‘canny’, which is a regional dialect

  6. When I saw your first photo I wondered what sort of mutant Leucojum has so many flowers? Then I read it’s actually a tiny can. Beautiful, and I know how lovely the fragrance is!

    • Cathy says:

      I have so many bits and bobs around the house sometimes it pays to think out of the box when choosing a vase – I needed something small with a fairly narrow opening and this worked really well

  7. Donna Donabella says:

    My birth month flower and a favorite for scent as well. I have several in containers that I hope will flower this year. I am between blooms I can cut so have a sort of vase today. Have a lovely day!

  8. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: The Might of May | Words and Herbs

  9. Cathy says:

    How lovely Cathy. I have never managed to grow any myself, and wish I could smell yours! As always, you have a clever prop and title. Here is my vase for today, also scented. πŸ˜ƒ

  10. Kris P says:

    I love this! The touch of pale pink is just right. Lily-of-the-valley grew outside the window of my bedroom in my childhood home but I’ve seldom seen it since – and I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t grow in my current location. Here’ my contribution:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris, the tiarella is really the very palest of pinks and I am pleased I thought to include it as well. I agree that it would probably be too hot and dry for lily of the valley to grow for you

  11. It’s interesting how lily-of-the valley can be such a tricky customer to establish – my pips came from my parent’s garden and took off well at the bottom of a north facing wall bur my sister’s from the same source never got going after several attempts. Such beautiful little flowers Cathy and they look at home in that dinky watering can. I lived in Newcastle for four years so became familiar with the dialect and have fond memories of being addressed as a ‘canny lassie’ πŸ˜‚ Here is my vase for this May Monday:

    • Cathy says:

      Lovely to have those bulbs from your parents’ house, and I am glad they have done well for you πŸ‘ Your years in Newcastle are a part of history I had not heard before, Anna… πŸ˜‰ My ex-husband was a Geordie (Seaham) so I was regular visitor for a time.

  12. Noelle says:

    I too admire Lilly of the Valley, and had it in my previous garden. Here I have a few green bits lurking along the side, but I think I need to move it to richer soil. I love your Canny Post, and now have that lovely song ‘When the Boat comes in’ floating into my head. Here is my post today first posted very early:

  13. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I tried to grow lily of the valley too – it was my mother’s favourite flower – but it refuses. Goerdie sounds lovely but is impenetrable to the rest of us!

    • Cathy says:

      I suspect it prefers a dampish location – in fact I should really move it a different part of the garden if I want it to do any better!

  14. tonytomeo says:

    Lily of the valley is SO pretty! I tried growing it a few times for my mother. It dislikes the aridity. A colleague who gave me pups on several occasions pulls it out because it is invasive in her coastal garden.

    • Cathy says:

      Interesting to read that it is invasive in a coastal garden – which presumably must also have been damper?

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, it is both naturally damper and irrigated. It is difficult to imagine such a docile and even difficult to grow plant being invasive.

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