In a Vase on Monday: Slow Boat

‘I’d like to get you on a slow boat to China
All to myself alone…’

Inspired by the use of a gravy boat as a vase and the presence of the three Chinese sampans made out of shells, this fragment of a once well-known song popped into my head. Personally, I wouldn’t want to spend time with anyone on a slow boat to China, or even a fast one come to that, and would indeed think carefully about any boat trip… πŸ™„ Coincidentally, a recent conversation with my mother threw up the interesting snippet of how much she enjoyed a slow boat from China back to the UK as a child in the 1930s….

Leaving boats aside, I really enjoyed cutting and arranging blooms for today’s vase. The selection began with stems of hugely dependable Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’, encountered in an open garden only a few years back and one I would now highly recommend. Having the gravy boat already in mind, I continued to focus on blue or blueish blooms and was surprised at my eventual haul: side stems of delphinium, annual clary sage ‘Oxford Blue’, cornflower from ‘Polka Dot Mixed’ and stems of what is labelled as Veronica ‘Schneeriesin’ but is sporting these light blue blooms as well as white, with the addition of obliging semi-herbaceous Clematis ‘Arabella’ which is proving to work really well as a cut bloom.

The end result is most satisfying, especially being the most ambitious of my vases so far this year, and makes a change from simply picking and plonking. If you have blooms or other material from your gardens or garnered nearby that you would like to share with us on IAVOM, then please join in by leaving the usual links to and from this post. Simple or elaborate, arranged or plonked, all are welcome and all will undoubtedly bring pleasure.

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30 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Slow Boat

  1. Horticat says:

    I love this Cathy! Lucky you with so many gorgeous blues and purples in your garden – especially the inky annual clary sage β€˜Oxford Blue’. A slow boat to China in the 1930’s would have been quite the adventure!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – I was surprise how many blueish blloms I could find, although the delphiniums were definitely winding doen and won’t last long in te vase. I particularly like the Oxford Blue clary and it’s sich an easy and reliable annual to grow ps there were no real alternatives to slow boats back in the 1930s, I suppose…!

  2. Oh that is an absolutely beautiful vase Cathy – one of my favourites of all your vases! I am always drawn to blue and what a variety of hues you have in your vessel. I’m half torn as to whether I would like to catch that slow boat – it could be leisurely if the seas were smooth, a chance to read and dream, gaze upon beautiful skies and all sorts of fish along the way but the big downside would be the lack of flowers. I take it that you aren’t keen on traveling on the high seas. My vase this week is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Neither high seas nor low seas, Anna, but will still risk the odd ferry crossing (although wouldn’t return to the Scilly Isles by boat…) if needs must! I am glad you like the vase too 😊 It always seems a luxury having blue blooms in a vase as one feels there are not many of them in the garden to choose from – but including the purplish blues boosts the total (and many would be described in catalogues as ‘blue’ anyway, I suspect)

  3. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Sommersonne | Words and Herbs

  4. Cathy says:

    This is incredibly blue and sooooo lovely! The salvia is everso slightly purply, but everything else looks a true blue. I am always on the look-out for true blues for my Moon Bed, The gravy boat is perfect and I love the theme and story of your Mum coming to England on a slow boat from China… I hope you will elaborate one day! Have a wondrful week in your garden. πŸ˜ƒ
    Here is my vase for today:

    In a Vase on Monday: Sommersonne

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – I have some larkspur now just coming into flower too, but it was too late for the vase (germination is always such a struggle, but any that do germinate grow on really quickly. I think I had 5 seedlings this year) Filling my blue & white border has been difficult but it’s very gradually getting there. Not a lot more to say about my Mum, but my grandparents were missionaries and my Mum and her sister were being sent back to go to school (they had been home schooled up to that point) – and they wore their flower fairy outfits at some event on the boat, which is how the converstion came up actually πŸ˜‰

      • Cathy says:

        What an amazing experience for a child in the 1930s. My Mum was telling me only the other day how her Great Aunt went to the US on the Queen Mary in the 1950s at the age of 80. It was quite an adventure for her. It used to be a wonderful form of travel I think. πŸ˜ƒ

  5. What a great blue vase! The flowers too πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜† I’m not having much success with Salvia this year, the summer has been too dry even for them, so your vase us perfect. I’m in the ‘cut and plonk’ category this week!

    • Cathy says:

      Evebn though I (unusually!) conditioned the stems in water for a few hours, the salvia was still droopy when I put the vase together, but it has perked up now. In the ground, it doesn’t seem to mind therelatively dry summer we have been having

  6. My favorite Blue Willow China with blue flowers! I love it! I have a gravy boat as well, very heirloom, pieced back together by my grandmother, so it won’t hold water…I love the Salvias and want some of both. Here is my vase. Thank you for hosting.

  7. bcparkison says:

    The blues are refreshing.

  8. Kris P says:

    Your arrangement is gorgeous, Cathy. I love the clematis and was surprised to see that there is a blue clary sage (not that the plain old clary sage I planted in my garden is doing at all well). As today is Independence Day in the US, I scavenged some of that color up myself this week:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris. I think clary sage can refer to different things – this is S viridis and I grow white and pink versions too.

  9. alison41 says:

    Your gravy boat was an inspired choice for todays post – perfectly complemented your selection of blues. Really enjoyed the flowers, the vase and the text. I also remember the song, slow boat to China, & like you, have always thought it a dreadful prospect. No thanks! Variety is the spice of life in my world.

  10. hb says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous blues. Great arrangement.

  11. Blue! (My favourite colour). I really like the use of clematis in the arrangement Cathy. Does it hold its flowers up well?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Allison – I have rarely used clematis, but this has done really well in the vase. I suppose the stems of these sprawling ones are stouter and will hold up nbetter than theose that climb – there are certainly others I have looked at since which I think could work well in a vase too

  12. Creative display.

  13. tonytomeo says:

    Blue is the loneliest color. Actually, I can not confirm that. I do know though, that true blue is uncommon. Most blue flowers are somewhat purplish.

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