In a Vase on Monday: A Peace Offering

Only a few sprigs of this and that were peeking out of the snow this morning, but I do love joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with a vase each week, so they made it into a little red tealight holder that a friend gave me at the weekend.

And then a few cookies were added as a peace offering, since the ingredients of the vase are far from wonderful!

Or perhaps you’d prefer a homemade mince pie?

The rosemary went into our pasta and tomato sauce for dinner, and the mint smells lovely if I touch it. 🙂 So bringing a little of the frozen garden indoors does have its benefits!

Other snippets that made it into the container were golden Euonymus, yellowy-green Vinca, Pennisetum, some Erica, the very last Scabiosa and a shy Hellebore flower that insisted on turning away every time I pointed the camera at it!

(The artistic photo bottom right is courtesy of my Man of Many Talents, and a torch! 😉  )

If you have had snow, do take care. It is slippery out there. And if you live in warmer climes, please send me some December sunshine!

In a Vase on Monday: Yippee for Hippee…astrums!

No vase today I’m afraid. I think this picture may explain why…

But not to fear, I have a card up my sleeve and some Hippeastrums (Amaryllis) on my windowsills!

This is Jewel…

Jewel has produced one very tall stem and one very short, both flowering at the same time. I like its simplicity. Just white, no frills.

And this is Lady Jane…

I really like this one, not least because it has flowered at the perfect height of about 20cm, requiring no support whatsoever. And it is a lovely peachy orange colour with pretty markings.

Now go and visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, the host of this weekly meme which encourages us to find things from our gardens to plonk in a vase. (And forgive me for cheating a little this week! 😉 )

In a Vase on Monday: Warm and Spicy

With this Monday meme, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden encourages us to find materials from our gardens every week, all year round. By the end of November pickings are limited, but there are surprisingly still a few blooms to be found, some seedheads saved, and foliage of course too. The colours for my vase this week reminded me of cinnamon and spices, both of which will be used soon in my Christmas baking. 🙂

I decided I could spare one sprig of the Hypericum, which is still looking so very pretty in the rockery. To accompany it there is a sprig of bronze Epimedium foliage, some Clematis seed heads, Briza (saved in the summer), and an oriental poppy seed head, all secured in floral foam inside my shallow dish which also has useful holes in the lid. A Physalis seed head and a maple and oak leaf complete the November scene, along with cinnamon sticks and a wooden mortar and pestle for grinding spices, found at a Christmas market several years ago.

Talking of Christmas markets, some have already opened, but most will open at the end of this week for the first Advent weekend. I am looking forward to the delicious smells of Cinnamon, mulled wine and roasted nuts…

Will you be visiting a market or doing some baking soon? Have a good week and stay warm!

In a Vase on Monday: Taxing Taxonomy

I am once again happy to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden in putting together a Monday vase full of materials from my garden.

Not an easy task in November, but not yet an impossible one!

Apart from some sorry looking roses and almost black sedums, there is not much going on in the garden now. My Hypericum still looks lovely, but I am unwilling to cut any more of that as it can be seen so well from the living room window. So today I picked some Persicaria, still flowering like mad. 🙂

However, I am still confused as to what I should call them…

Persicaria, Poylgonum, Bistorta?

Wikipedia was no help: ‘The generic placement of this species is in flux. While treated here in Persicaria, it has also been placed in Polygonum or Bistorta.’

What has confused me is the continued use of ‘Persicaria’ in the UK while ‘Polygonum’ seems to be the most frequently used name here in Germany. I can see my Persicaria amplexicaulis listed as Polygonum amplexicaule or Bistorta amplexicaulis. But other Persicarias can be Polygonum Bistorta, Persicaria bistorta, Bistorta officinalis, or…. wait for it…. even ‘Aconogonon’.  ??? The online nursery I order from has helpfully explained that due to the constant shuffling of names going on they are continuing to use the name ‘Polygonum’ with a relaxed attitude in case there should be another change of opinion soon!

Maybe we should go back to common names after all…. Some are quite nice, like ‘Mountain Fleece’. Others not so nice, like ‘Knotweed’ or ‘Snakeweed’, and even the German (translated) ‘Toothbrush’!

Well, my vase contains: Polygonum amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’, Polygonum microcephala ‘Red Dragon’, Polygonum amplexicaule ‘Blackfield’ and Polygonum amplexicaule ‘Album’. And should anyone ask I would call them all Persicarias for the sake of simplicity!

What would you call them?



In a Vase on Monday: Fruit and Veg

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden is celebrating today, and I am joining her, as she has been hosting her wonderful meme ‘In a Vase on Monday’ for four years now. Congratulations on the anniversary Cathy!

And to honour this occasion she came up with a wonderful challenge for us all this week – to put our flowers for this week’s arrangement ‘in something other than a vase ‘…

I thought my contribution quite original until googling both receptacles… oh well, it’s been done before, but probably not on a rainy Sunday afternoon in November!!

On the left, a pineapple – slightly hollowed out with some foil inside to retain a little water. The focal points are the Heuchera leaf with its lovely red veins and the tall zebra grass. I then used the remaining annuals which are huddled up to the house in their pots, but shivering nonetheless: Nemesia, Sanvitalia, Verbena, yellow Lantana and a white Geranium (Pelargonium).

Mmm, I am looking forward to snacking on some more of that pineapple later!

The other vase is a red cabbage… 😀

I managed to photograph it from the dry balcony (it poured all day Sunday) with the remaining golden hazel leaves in the background, but the light conditions were not much better and it is cold… just 4°C today! (Most of the other photos were taken in the kitchen.) The cabbage was hollowed out enough for a tiny schnaps glass to fit in. I used the last of the Snapdragons, more Nemesia, and a tiny white flower sold to me as a Chrysanthemum but which from the foliage seems more like Dianthus family. Whatever it is, it is flowering like mad still, nicely sheltered under the front porch.

The cabbage was rescued later in the day and we had homemade coleslaw for tea! 😉


I wonder how other Monday vase creators will have met Cathy’s challenge. It was great fun again –  thank you Cathy, for motivating me to go out on such a rotten day and find some little treasures to brighten up my Monday!

And here’s to year FIVE!



In a Vase on Monday: Last Dance

November has begun true to its reputation – wet, chilly and grey! All the more reason to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with her weekly meme to brighten up the house with a vase. 🙂

The Persicaria Firetail is still flowering like mad, but apart from that there is not much left now and so the last flowers have been cut before the spoil… hence the title, the last dance – their last chance to shine!

I used a rectangular vase for a change, although I am not a fan of straight lines and angular shapes, but this seemed just the right size to keep the stems upright and create a slightly different effect to my usual vases.

The star at the centre is my Morina longifolia (correction 8th Nov). It has never flowered this late before, so I must have cut it back just in time for it to rejuvenate. It is one of the few prickly plants I really like (those leaves are Really Prickly) and I have never used it in a vase before. I hope the last buds will open too.

The two last buddleia flowers have been included – the dwarf ‘Buzz Velvet’, shown below with Persicaria Red Dragon and Pennisetum…

And the yellow Buddleia weyeriana ‘Sungold’ – I was especially pleased that it finally flowered as I thought it had died last winter. It recovered slowly and this is the only flower it has produced! (Photographed here next to the fascinating Zebra grass).

I also cut the last unspoiled Scabiosa Snowmaiden, one semi-decent Cosmos, the last of the pretty unnamed Asters, Persicaria Red Dragon, some grasses and (of course!) some spiky Persicaria Firetail flowers.

Having chosen this title I just could not get this song out of my head… it’s an old favourite (I loved Donna Summer when I was a teenager!) and here is the video of the Queen of Disco herself singing ‘Last Dance’. (Love the hat!) 😉

Hope your week gets off to a good start and you have some sunny moments!

In a Vase on Monday: Pink and Gold

This time last week I was travelling back from the UK after a wonderful weekend on the North Norfolk coast with my family to celebrate my Mum and Dad’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary. (That is 60 years!) The sky was not quite as stormy as today’s, but a rather strange golden colour, which I later learned was Sahara sand and smoke from forest fires in Portugal, whipped up in the ex-hurricane Ophelia crossing Ireland. But that same storm had sent warm air up the East coast on Saturday and Sunday for us to enjoy views like this…

Aaah, bliss! (With air temperatures above 20°C I even took the plunge – literally – and went for a brief dip in the sea, but the water was coooold!)

Despite grey and showery weather today, I enjoyed returning to my Monday routine of gathering flowers for a vase, albeit from a now very autumnal garden, so that I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden  for her weekly meme. Cathy is travelling this week, but has still posted a vase full of her lovely Cosmos. I hope to catch up soon on all your wonderful vases from last week as well. 😉

I think the dark skies in the background are a good contrast for some colourful flowers!

And below, photographed from a slightly different angle, you can just make out the colourful hills in the background – on the other side of our valley.

The Cosmos are standing up well to wind and rain, and I have also included the last of my Anemones. But the pinky red Persicaria Firetail is the predominant flower in this vase – it makes the garden glow and is still sending up new buds.

Below, the lovely no-name Aster, given to me by my dear blogging friend Annette , is flowering beautifully. I have paired it with the chocolatey leaves and creamy white flowers of Persicaria Red Dragon, and my “Gold Aster” – Chrysopsis speciosa ‘Sunnyshine’ – to highlight the yellow centres.

Also added were a few white Scabiosa and some of the white annual Verbena…

The delicate Persicaria flowers are embracing my Zebra grass seed head – the first it has ever produced! Another looks like it is about to emerge, so I have cut this one to enjoy indoors.

Thanks once again to Cathy for hosting. 🙂

Have a great week!