Monday, December 30, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Variations on a Theme

There's still no new vase-worthy floral material in my garden so once again I was challenged to try putting new spins on the flowers that have been in bloom for some time.  In the first case, I was aided by a vase I received as a Christmas gift.  I received 2 vases for Christmas but this week will feature just the one.  It's actually not new but rather a vase that's been in my family as long as I can remember.  After my mother passed away, I told my brother to dispose of everything as he saw fit, taking away just a single family memento, a tray my father brought home from his travels during his service in WWII as a gift for my mother.  Last July, while talking to my brother's girlfriend, I mentioned a vase that was stuck in my memory.  She mentioned it to my brother and it arrived in a wrapped package for Christmas.

The vase is very heavy leaded glass with a thick base but it bears no maker's mark.  The front face has the indented form of a daisy and leafy foliage.  The upper portion of the back face has more foliage inlays.


As you can see, the vase has a wide mouth but it isn't particularly deep.  I filled it with glass marbles to support the short-stemmed Rudbeckias still blooming in my cutting garden.

I used a woody stem of the Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) to provide additional support to the arrangement.  The stems are now bare of leaves but still covered in burgundy seedpods.

The Copper Canyon Daisies (Tagetes lemmonii) are a natural companion for the bright yellow and burgundy 'Denver Daisy' (Rudbeckia hirta)

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', seedpods of Cercis occidentalis, and Tagetes lemmonii


Impressed by the pretty green Chrysanthemums Susie of pbmGarden and other IAVOM contributors have used in their vases, I picked up a bouquet of these flowers at my local supermarket last week with an eye to using the flowers to perk up some of my own arrangements.  I removed the pink elements in the smaller of last week's vases, cleaned up the remaining materials, and added a few of the Chrysanthemums, as well as some Campanula stems that had been beaten down by last week's rains.

The snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus), white daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens), and variegated coastal rosemary (Westringia fruticosa) used in last week's vase were still in good shape

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Antirrhinum majus, Argyranthemum frutescens 'Everest', Campanula poscharskyana, noID Chrysanthemums, and Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'


I also added some of the Chrysanthemums, as well as berry-laden stems pruned from an unruly Cotoneaster I cut back last week, to put another spin on the 'Zombie' Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) still producing new blooms in my shade house.

This version looked different from every side so I'm sharing photos from 3 angles

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Hippeastrum 'Zombie', noID Chrysanthemums, berries of noID Cotoneaster, Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', and Leucadendron salignum 'Chief'


As I was preparing this post, I remembered that January December 29th marks the 7th anniversary of my blog.  On the one hand, that feels like a long time ago - I couldn't even remember the subject of my very first post - but, on the other hand, the passage of time seems lightning fast although in that time I've somehow managed to publish 1164 posts and accumulate over 900,000 views.  I appreciate all of you who've chosen to read those posts and those of you who've offered support, encouragement and suggestions both in response to life challenges big and small and my ongoing, never-ending effort to transform the garden acquired 9 years ago into something that's more clearly my own creation.  THANK YOU!

For more of the IAVOM posts that have managed to accomplish the difficult task of energizing Mondays, visit our creative and conscientious host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

32 comments:

  1. How nice you received such a lovely family heirloom this Christmas. It has great color and design and seems versatile. I especially like the last photo of the arrangement you created on your dining room table. Flowers just glow and vase works beautifully. Glad you found green chrysanthemums--I like the way you've used them. That arrangement looks wonderful in the overhead shot (and I'm envious of your white snapdragons.) Happy New Year Kris!

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    1. I wondered how long the Chrysanthemums would last, Susie, especially as there's no way I can use them all in mixed arrangements within a week. I now understand why the flowers are a favorite of florists!

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  2. Lovely. Wonderful. This post stirred a pool of emotions. I cried happiness.

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    1. Thanks for sending the vase, Eric. I have a vague recollection that it originally belonged to our grandmother, and may have been a gift from her last employer, Mrs Gaze.

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  3. Happy blogiversary, Kris! I enjoy your posts very much and look forward to more to come.
    I love your 'new' vase, family heirlooms are so meaningful, aren't they? I have a treasure or two from my mother that are special to me.
    All three vases show great variety, even though you claim that there is 'nothing vase-worthy' in your garden! I think I can claim that more than you, truly. ;)

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    1. I've nothing NEW that's vase-worthy, Eliza! I know I'm lucky to still have a lot more on hand than those of you that actually have real winters.

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  4. What a stroke of luck that your Brother kept the vase. It was certainly a thoughtful gesture prompted by the Girlfriend no doubt. Happy Happy... It is a beautiful vase. Great for your collection. Your flowers are so cheerful looking to me even if you see them as meager.

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    1. Not so much meager as same old-same-old, Lisa. I'm grateful to have the vase.

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  5. I don't mean to ignore your two other lovely bouquets, but the vase, the story and the wonderful brother (and brother's girlfriend) struck deep in my heart. Thank you (and your brother) for sharing.

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    1. Our mother was such a pack-rat, it was difficult to see the gems among the rubble, Barbara. Six years time adds perspective.

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  6. Happy seventh blogaversary!

    Your new vase with its practical sturdy base - has a colour that I would like to name (somewhere between jade and turquoise and ...) - such a good foil for the copper canyon daisies!

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    1. The vase is a beautiful color - and even a nice match with my new kitchen countertops!

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  7. It was very nice of your brother and his girlfriend to find that vase and pass it on to you. I like that you put daisies into it to match the etched design.

    Also -- Happy Blogaversary!

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    1. I remembered where the vase was the last time I was in my mother's house, now my brother's, but his girlfriend knew exactly where it had landed since I was there. She brought it to his attention.

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  8. how lovely....you have such a knack for arranging flowers in little vases!

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  9. That is a beautiful piece of glass and thank goodness it hadn't gone to a thrift shop or garage sale! Lucky that you save material from your last vase to bulk out this one, which works so well. The green chrysanthemums are gorgeous - definitely one for the wishlist! WEll done on the approaching 7th blogging anniversary, just a year or so behind me...what a lot of friends we have made in that time!

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    1. Thanks Cathy. I mistakenly typed January when I meant December 29th was my blog's anniversary. Oops! I guess my mind is firmly fixed on the new year already!

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  10. Beautiful vase, and yes yes green chrysanthemums are dreamy. Tempts me to try to grow some.

    Howling wind here, hope it is not so bad for you.

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    1. A friend in the SF Valley said they also got high winds. We somehow avoided those, at least thus far. I was disappointed that we didn't get the rain predicted for Monday, though. Hopefully there's more of that to come in January.

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  11. Oh your Christmas gift is a most special vase Kris which you will no doubt cherish. Many, many congratulations on seven years of blogging!

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    1. Thanks Anna. The vase makes a great addition to my burgeoning collection.

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  12. Oh, now that is sweet. And the arrangement in your mother's vase is so special--they all are, but that one is my favorite. Happy New Year, and congrats on your blogoversary!

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  13. Beautiful flower arrangements!
    Happy New Year!

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  14. Happy Anniversary! 7 years is quite the accomplishment. If I had more time I would look through your posts to see when I started to comment, and thus figure out how long I've known of your blog. It's hard to believe we only met IRL 3(ish) years ago! I'm glad you got that vase, it's beautiful.

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    1. Out of curiosity, I checked the comments in my early days of blogging. It looks as though you registered your first comment on my first foliage follow-up post in January 2013. I'd followed your blog for awhile before I first commented, sometime around the time I started my own blog.

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  15. I love the vase, how nice to have it. I love all three arrangements. Wonderful to have rudbeckia blooming in December. Congratulations on 7 years blogging. What an achievement.

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    1. Rudbeckia isn't long-lived here but it the R. hirta species will hang on over a year if it receives sufficient water and isn't blasted by one of our occasional over-the-top (105F+) heatwaves.

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  16. Happy (belated) Blogaversary, Kris. I'm always impressed by your flower arrangements, and the vase from your mother is extra special.

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