In a Vase on Monday: Tea, Anyone? Cake?

With our second open garden afternoon yesterday, I knew I would not be able to squeeze in the creation of a vase for today’s IAVOM, but had the presence of mind to take a few photographs of one of the vases gracing the various tables in our ‘pop-up cafรฉ’, the sitooterie and elsewhere in the garden. Each stoneware ink bottle contained sprigs of sweet peas, astrantia and Euphorbia oblongata, the former two picked prior to our Wednesday opening with the sweet peas replenished yesterday morning.

The fabric for the tablecloths, also used for the cushions on all our benches, came from a serendipitous purchase of a pile of huge tablecloths at a car boot sale, originally used, we guess, to furnish large tables at some self-hosted function. Last year, inspired by tables at a garden we visited, I made a number of tablecloth weights, little bags of glass pebbles suspended from plastic clothes pegs, to prevent the cloths from being lead astray by the wind. It was a bright but breezy day yesterday and they served their purpose well.

Those of you enjoying a more leisurely day yesterday, or today if that’s when you like to create your Monday vase, may have been able to come up with a more elaborate vase than my pick and plonk table accessory, but vases or containers of any sort are equally welcome if you would like to share them by leaving the usual links to and from this post. In the meantime, what cake* would you like with your tea?

* apologies for the price increase, largely due to the increased price of ingredients – and vociferous visitors in February who insisted the cakes were too cheap!

This entry was posted in Gardening, Gardens, In a Vase on Monday, open gardens, Summer and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Tea, Anyone? Cake?

  1. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I love simple arrangements – usually a few blooms in a small jug, drinking glass or jam jar are the most I manage. I hope the open day went well. Your pop up cafe looks lovely and my mouth was watering as I red the menu!

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you – I had 8 of them so it didn’t take long to pick them all and plonk them in the ink wells. Even though we have to move furniture about and empty a room in the house, the pop-up cafe works really well

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Coconut and Lime please? The sweet peas in the ink wells are the perfect touch for making the tables festive and the guests welcome. Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Good choice Susie – it is gluten free as it has ground almonds instead of flour and is deliciously squidgy…yum yum… ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. How delighful it must have looked.
    What a wonderful selection of cakes.
    Are you resting today?
    Love the tablecloth weights – clever.

    • Cathy says:

      I like to think it’s part of the experience for our visitors. Ideally I would have chilled a bit, but I have swimming and Pilates on a Monday morning, then more stuff to pack away from the openings and furniture to move back, a friend was due in the afternoon and then I had to urgently pick some raspberries (still not finished – looks like a bumper crop!), so no… ๐Ÿคฃ

  4. Noelle says:

    I had better get some little vases arranged, like yours for the people coming to view my garden tomorrow. Lovely selection of cakes and drinks and still a bargain. Have a good rest. Here is my Vase and again another book:

    • Cathy says:

      If you have some little containers, which I am sure you do, it doesn’t take long to add a few snippets to them and it adds a nice touch. I don’t think anyone complained about the prices (and I like to keep to a roundish figure to aid our helpers), so it was a worthwhile move

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  6. Cathy says:

    I hope you have your feet up for at least part of today Cathy! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The tables with little vases look very chic and the homemade weights are a brilliant idea. I had some metal ones once that never really worked. I would be very cheeky and ask for two pieces, as cake is such a rare treat for me. Lemon drizzle and gingerbread please! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (And I think the prices are fine!) Here is my summer vase for today. Thanks Cathy!

    In a Vase on Monday: From the Edge of the Meadow

    • Cathy says:

      Chilling hasn’t really happened today, Cathy, but I might squeeze some in tomorrow…! ๐Ÿคฃ I can recommend both your choices of cake, but there again I can recommend all of those on the menu!!

  7. I love those little inkwells. And the flowers. That looks like a wonderful setting for garden touring and a snack. I must look up a bakewell tart. Your menu is quite extensive. Thanks for taking time to host.

    • Cathy says:

      The cakes are all well tried-favourites of mine, mostly things I have been making for years. Bakewell tart is supposedly a traditional delicacy from the town of Bakewell, but the original is nothing like what is made these days – basically an almond sponge mixture on a layer of jam in a pastry case

      • Bakewell sounds delicious. I have been trying vegan desserts as we are having chlorestoral issues. Surprisingly good, although vegan buttery sticks (faux butter for baking) are kind of weird.

  8. Heyjude says:

    Oh, my, I wish I lived closer to you! All those cakes sound delicious though I will pass on the coconut ones. Hope you had a good turnout.

    • Cathy says:

      You don’t like coconut? What a shame… ๐Ÿ™„ If you are ever anywhere in the vicinity please do pop in and I will supply you with a slice of something (and a tour of the garden!) but you would need to remind me about the coconut…!

  9. bcparkison says:

    I’m still in awe that you offer all of the special treats along with the garden duties.

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose it’s all part of the ‘experience’ Beverley – not just the garden, but the ambience, the conversations and the refreshments. It brings pleasure all round

  10. Kris P says:

    I am amazed by your menu. I don’t offer choices that extensive when my closest friends come to visit! I hope the open garden events have gone well and that you’ve had time to breathe and enjoy them. Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, when friends come here they wouldn’t get a choice – it would be whatever I had on hand in the freezer. When I make a cake, I slice it and put it in the freezer, taking out just what I need, but I do lie to keep a selection in there (which there is now, from the leftovers)

  11. Oh what sweet little vases for your visitors to gaze upon Cathy whilst they were enjoying their refreshments. Those weights must have really paid off in yesterday’s wind as without I imagine that vases and contents could have gone for a cropper. I think that your cake prices are most reasonable indeed. For me it would have either been a slice of your excellent Bakewell Tart or Carrot Cake, followed by the coconut flavours or in fact any variation of cake at all ๐Ÿ˜‚ I hope that you had a good turn out and that you are relaxing today. Here’s my vase :

    • Cathy says:

      Haha, you are easily pleased Anna, but I remember your fondness for the Bakewell tart. Not a lot of relaxing done today – too busy but nothing too taxing, but I do intend to ease off a bit this week…let’s see if that happens… ๐Ÿคฃ

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  13. Oh Cathy youโ€™re making me hungry just reading that cake list! In haste, here is my vase, if we can call this a vase and I look forward to catching up with everyoneโ€™s IAVOM posts later this evening when I stop for a cup of tea! I hope all your visitors have been appreciative, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      I can safely say (I think!) that all our visitors enjoyed their visit – including the lady who went round on 2 sticks who felt the effort was well worth it!

  14. tonytomeo says:

    Yes, the simplicity is exemplary. I do enjoy sweet pea, but so rarely see them. They do not bloom for long in arid climates, . . . although they are grown as a cut flower crop in the foggier climate on the coast. I have not grown them in many years.
    What is with the tea and cakes though? Do guests visit only your garden, or only a few? When I attend garden tours, I must get to many gardens within a limited time. As much as I like to eat, I do not think I would want to eat sweet goodies at every garden I visit.

    • Cathy says:

      Sometimes a small group of gardens open, or several gardens in a village, perhaps with one or two offering refreshments or else refreshments in a central location. Although part of the National Garden Scheme I am the only local garden opening on those days, so it’s just refreshments here if people want them (and there are aways some who say they come just for the cakes!)

  15. Horticat says:

    Hope your open garden was a success, Cathy. Love your simple arrangement – the blooms speak for themselves and those sweet peas look like the old original variety – I bet they smell beautiful. Lucky garden visitors with such an array of cakes available – your post gave me a hankering for something sweet!

    Life got in the way of my contribution this week, but I’ll endeavour to create a bunch next week – I do enjoy it! Thanks for hosting ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you, yes all went well and I will report in due course! When I picked these sweet peas which were indeed a basic Spencer mix I realised how much smaller they were than the King Edward VII and Gwendoline I grow on the other support. All the cakes I make are favourite bakes of mine and any excess go back in the freezer and keep the Golfer and I supplied for a few weeks! I suspect I do offer more variety than others migh… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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