In a Vase on Monday: Spring in the Step

It would be an understatement to say that I walk around the garden with a spring in my step these days, as it’s more of a skip – or a hop, skip and jump when there are squeals involved, and there have been many of those recently. It was certainly a joy to be able to pluck enough spring blooms to make a proper little posy rather than just plonk a few stems in a vase.

Starting point for the posy were the first stems of the under-glass early Winter Sunshine sweet peas, joined by epimedium (probably E ‘Frohnleiten’, white Anemone blanda, species tulip Tulipa ‘Little Beauty’, Muscari ‘Baby’s Breath’, Clematis alpina ‘Pamela Jackman’, burnished red fresh foliage of Nandina ‘Fire Power’ and a sprig or two of aquilegia foliage to disguise the awkwardness of the main clematis stems, which were at a downward angle of around 45Β° from the flower stems.

It was an absolute joy to put these stems together and arrange them in one of my many Caithness Glass vases (it may look like pottery, but isn’t), a real recognition that spring is here and that the garden will continue to provide an abundance of blooms for six months or more. Representing the spring in my step and, looking at the relative height of these teeny Cindy or Barbie shoes, a recognition that the garden makes me feel perhaps not ten feet tall, but certainly taller and prouder as I ramble through it at times like this. Just to prove I know the garden is far from perfect, I realised as I plucked the shoes from my ‘miniatures’ shelf that they were mismatched, and not an actual pair.

Whatever the season and the availability of blooms, it is always a joy to share vases on a Monday with others in this blogging community. If you would like to join us on IAVOM today or any other Monday please post your vase and leave links to and from this post.

It was also a joy to meet some of this community virtually yesterday for our second Zoom meeting, and I am sure we are already looking forward to the next time. If you would like to join us, just look out for details on this blog in a few months’ time.


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50 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Spring in the Step

  1. Beautiful 😍

  2. dennyho says:

    Our spring flowers are wonderful inside, yours are exceptionally colorful!

  3. What a beautiful collection – spring in a vase! Spring has sprung here as well over the past few days!

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Cathy, this is stunning. The design is strong with the gently arching lines and the dangling clematis draws attention down and back up. The flowers themselves are fresh and lovely and blend so well with each other. Happy to see you on the call yesterday. It’s nice to be part of this warm community.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, that’s avery generous critique, coming from you Susie… 😊 I was really pleased with the overall effect and of course it’s lovely to have the first sweet peas of the year

  5. I love the weeping effect of the arrangement and the shoes! I would not have recognized Firepower Nandina in that color, and was wondering what it was – the color is a perfect foil for the pinks. Happy Monday and thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      I have got a few different nandinas now, Amelia, all shorter varieties, and love the foliage both fresh and more mature – and the rustling sound you get running your hands through them! There wasn’t much of the new foliage yet, but these little snippets were just enough and I feel they enhance the vase

      • Nandinas are very common in the south and beloved. The straight species have gotten a bad rap for being invasive and killing birds (the fruit has cyanide)The cultivars continue to amaze me. The snippets worked perfectly.

        • Cathy says:

          None of my nandina have had berries, but I am not sure if it is the varieties or the conditions. Can’t see any of these ones being invasive either…

          • Right, this is Nandina domestica. It was planted for its beautiful berries. Probably much bigger than what you have.

          • Cathy says:

            All of mine are N domestica too, but they are all small varieties, growing no more than 1 metre (hopefully). I know Obsessed doesn’t produce flowers here, but I will try to remember to check my others at some point

          • Right, they have been breeding Dwarf Nandinas since the early 80s here. The first ones looked like peppers that something bad happened to, but they were fruitless. Today’s plants are much better.

          • Cathy says:

            I suspect mine were part of that breeding programme in that case, but I will check them out – I chose them for the foliage anyway

  6. Donna Donabella says:

    Oh this is a springy vase….so many blooms making my heart flutter. Brings a big spring to my step thinking about it and my garden. And those Barbie shoes. Well let’s just say I love shoes even though I hardly wear more than a few pairs these days and nothing with a heel. But back in the day I had dozens. I only wish my Barbie did too. My Barbies only had those black stiletto heels and I lost them pretty quickly.
    I actually have a bit of my garden in a couple of small vases today.

    Blossom by Blossom

    • Cathy says:

      Thaks Donna, I was thrilled with my vase too. The Barbie shoes still get lost, as most of the handful I have myself have been picked up in the street! I never aspired to a Barbie or Cindy myself… πŸ˜‰

  7. bcparkison says:

    Oh how pretty and yes it is finely Spring.

  8. Kris P says:

    I’m not sure it’s possible to say “SPRING” better than you’ve done with this arrangement, Cathy. Everything about it is delicate and very pretty. I most envy you the Clematis and the sweet peas. I gave my own sweet peas a side-eye look this morning as they’re taking their time blooming, along with almost everything else in my cutting garden. I’m blaming the persistence of cooler temperatures here. Of course , there are plenty of flowers elsewhere in the garden:

    I’m sorry I wasn’t able to make yesterday’s meet-up!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris. I don’t often think to use clematis in my vases, and although these were awkward to put in the vase I was pleased with the effect they made hanging over the edge. When would you expect for sweet peas to begin flowering? Although these are grown in the greenhouse, I have turned the heater off, so sometimes this month it has dipped to nearly freezing, but mine have been fine with that and this is their usual sort of time to begin

      • Kris P says:

        I usually expect the sweet peas to bloom beginning in early April. Our morning marine layer, which generally kicks off in June encourages them to develop mildew, which hurries them out-the-door. Occasionally, the marine layer gets started in May but this year it’s already made an appearance. The phenomenon is known by various names – June Gloom, May Gray and, under unusual circumstances, No-Sky July and Fogust. But there’s not even a name for it in April! I’m afraid the sweet peas may be doomed before they even get started 😦

  9. What a lovely array of colorful flowers, truly representing spring and all its glory. Spring always makes us all step a little more lively.

    this week’s bouquet

  10. Noelle says:

    Those shoes are definitely the type to wear sitting down to admire the posy, rather than skipping down the garden. I love the softness of your spring blooms and the vase is the perfect colour to set off the blues and pinks. How special to see Sweet Peas in April and well worth all the effort and skill you put into growing these. You have a great touch and thanks again for the weekly meme and the zoom get togethers. Here is my vase today:

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t know how people can wear full-size shoes of a relative height – the wedges or platforms I wore in the early 70s were nowhere near that, and I have wojn only flat shoes for several decades now. The only effort with the sweet peas really is making sure I have the correct seed – I was a bit concerned when I had an email from them a few days ago saying they were retiring frion the business, but t=on reading it I learned someone was taking it over, thankfully! Not surprisingly it was through blogging I first heard about them – from Jenny of Duver Diary, if you remember her.

      • Noelle says:

        Well Cathy, it would be quite easy for you to fertilise the flowers is they are not self fertile and make that way make new crosses and develop your own seed strain. I did that years ago when I was growing sweet peas on my lotti.

        • Cathy says:

          That’s a good idea Noelle, and I briefly considered it some years ago as the seed is not cheap, but with them being specially bred to grow in lower light conditions I wasn’t sure if they would revert to one of the original crosses if I did – how would the science work, I wonder? Being in the greenhouse and flowering in an earlier season than other sweet peas they would at least not be cross pollinated by any other sweet peas than their near neighbours

  11. Anna says:

    A most pretty and delicate spring confectionary Cathy πŸ˜€ Such a pretty clematis and I must investigate that epimedium. I always do a double take when I see sweet peas in April as I always associate them with summer. I’m envious that you can pick such treasures now. Sadly Sindy and Barbie were missing from my small doll’s collection but I think that my sister had one or the other. I must ask her. My vase for this week is here :

    • Cathy says:

      Personally, I never hankered after a Sindy or Barbie! πŸ˜‰ I am so pleased I discovered these early sweet peas, not surprisingly through blogging, as it is indeed a joy to have them blooming from April

  12. tonytomeo says:

    Ah, I had to look up Epimedium. I looked up another species recently for the same reason. I am unfamiliar with the genus. Yours looks almost leguminous, like a Laburnum.

  13. Cathy says:

    Ooh, some squeals from me too Cathy! Sweet peas and clematis alone are wonderful, but with Epimediums and tulips (my favourite one too) this is simply gorgeous. And the shoes are sweet and remind me of my dolls when I was little. I didn’t have a Cindy or a Barbie, but I did have a Pippa doll and she had some great outfits. ☺️ Here is my vase for today. Thanks as always!

    In a Vase on Monday: Favourites

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t recall Pippa, Cathy…must Google her to see if it rings any bells! Glad you liked the posy – it was such a pleasure to make after the relative austerity of the last few months

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    What a lovely combination, Cathy! ❀

  15. Pingback: In A (Tiny) Vase on Monday:Where Fairies Alight – Gardening Nirvana

  16. Your vase is stunning! I can feel your joy all the way over here (California). I didn’t know you had a miniature shelf. What fun, Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Well, I have various miniature nick-nacks on various shelves, but I have a vintage typesetters tray on the wall, which is perfect for teeny things

  17. Annette says:

    This is a particularly pretty bouquet, Cathy, so airy and harmonious. Glad that I don’t have to wear those shoes though! πŸ˜… So good to see you Sunday and I was most impressed that you actually read The garden in the clouds, kind of took me by surprise. Wishing you both a sunny week!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette. It was another heartwarming session on Sunday and it is lovely to know how much people enjoy it – I am very grateful for your contribution and hope we can always get a willing (relatively!) speaker πŸ‘ Reading the book definitely followed a blogger’s recommendation, so it could well have been you. I meant to check in the yellow book and see if they are actually listed now,,, AND I must reread the book one of these days. I was toying with Beverley Nicholls as my choice, actually…

      • Annette says:

        Me too, I love his books, one of the few that make me giggle in bed much to Monsieur’s amusement πŸ˜‰

        • Cathy says:

          And I enjoyed rereading it over this last weekend – and amogst other things it reminded me how similar it was to the Morville Hours book, combining local history and geography with family dynamics and creating a ‘garden’ I am looking out his other books now!

          • Annette says:

            Maybe I should check out the Morville Hours too – kind of hesitated as some say it’s not an “easy” read.

          • Cathy says:

            Hmm, I can’t remember it being a difficult read, but perhaps some parts were ‘drier’ than others? Something else for me to reread…!

  18. TRAILBLAZER says:

    Keep walking in your garden regularly and enjoy the beauty of nature.

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