In a Vase on Monday

I always seem to be wandering about in the gloom. I rush home from work just in time to check over the greenhouse and poly tunnel. It’s always a delight to see what’s burst into flower while I’ve been away. So today, I’m sorry to say, my flower arrangements are a little dark- again.

Luckily, there’s just enough light to pick a few stems of Paperwhite narcissi. The scent is such a joy in winter. It’s a little overwhelming indoors, but three stems in a posy are just right.

I’ve partnered the Paperwhites with a chocolate hellebore. I bought this last spring at Ashwood Nurseries where the owner John Massey very kindly gave our group a tour of his private gardens, as well as delicious lunch in his cosy kitchen. It’s a memory I will always treasure, thanks to John’s kindness and generosity.

My little posy came on an outing with me to Leicester for the gardening phone-in programme at Radio Leicester. After answering listeners’ questions on everything from sowing seed to pruning, I set off for my Mum’s house. The posy looks just perfect on her sunny kitchen window.

Pittosporum has a purple wavy picottee edge in winter. I’m cutting back my eucalyptus gunii this spring as it’s got to about 8ft. Trimmings make a lovely background for any flower. I’m also cutting back a giant white jasmine. The foliage is almost every green, and there are a few purple-tinged seed heads that look very pretty.

By the time I finish messing about with flowers and foliage, the trees in the back field are charcoal outlines. I stand and marvel. Is there anything more beautiful than a native oak. The farmer who planted this has long gone, and his son also. We live next to the farm. No doubt, this tree will outlive me. Meanwhile I’ll stand and gaze, and make a promise to protect it, should anything ever come along to threaten it.

I’m joining Cathy again this week for her IAVOM meme. Here’s the link to join in and read about what the others are growing and putting in their vases this week.



Ashwood Nursery black hellebores :

I wrote about my visit to Ashwood here

I wrote about growing Paperwhites here

Visit Ashwood

24 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday

    • Thank you Gill. I didn’t notice the purple edge until I’d picked the pittosporum. I must use it more often. It has tiny weeny little purple flowers too. Much love, karen xx


  1. The chocolate hellebore is an asset to your posy whereas, as you say, it can be lost within a garden setting. The varied foliage works really well too – must remember to use pittosporum in my vases! I would love a visit to John’s gardens one of these days and it is years since I have been to the nurseries too so both these need to be remedied. It always seems such a long trek to the other side of the conurbation, but would be worth it I guess. Thanks for sharing, as always – and the afternoons are definitely getting longer, so hold on in there and it won’t be long!

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  2. Off for my second visit to Ashwood’s this Sunday with gardening friend Sally Gregson. We too are to have John’s company. Your arrangement taken in natural light outside is delighful. I also like you, enjoy the outline of the trees this time of year.

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  3. As an arborist, I am more inclined to notice the big English oak, Quercus robur (or whatever it is). My colleague just had a big and very expensive English oak DIE in one of his most important landscapes in a courtyard in a restaurant in Hollywood (in the Los Angeles region)! He is totally bummed about it.
    Well, the paperwhites are rad too, and so is the eucalyptus foliage. Is that Eucalyptus gunii too? I was not clear on that. The leaves do not look like the juvenile foliage that I am familiar with.

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  4. Karen magnificent arrangement, I love it! Paperwhite Narcissus are divine with their whiteness and their perfume, I love them. The dark Hellebores with cream center are really beautiful. The foliage, almost all green, contrasts beautifully with the flowers. The few leaves of Pittosporum in the front part of the arrangement are very beautiful. I love the heart of branches and the false kokedama: it is fairy tale. It’s a traveling bouquet: from the shed to the radio and from there to your beloved Mother’s house where she stays to live. The best place to be. When I finish with the mail I’ll listen to you on the radio and if today I can not because I’m late, tomorrow I’ll do it without fail. So they are cutting the Eucalyptus gunni and the white jasmine: they will serve you to make some arrangement, I am sure. What a beautiful promise to protect native oak. It is a tree wonder that deserves all the best. And it has a large nest on top, which makes it even more special. Thank you very much for the links, I have visited all of them and I have loved them. Karen memories and love for your Mother from me. For your family love and health. For you love, health, strength and rest my dear friend. Take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you dear friend. Your enthusiastic commentary is always appreciated. I enjoy reading your comments as much as I do writing my blog. It’s wonderful to see my garden and flowers though your eyes. So grateful for your support. Loving greetings in return. Karen xx


      • Karen today I listened to your radio program on the BBC radio Leicester Ben Jackson on the time slot 1.38.00 hours. If I did not understand, with the noise of the sea in the background, was it a replacement for the Summer? Karen you have spoken (and I have learned very well) of the containers for plants and I love plants (me too). I loved hearing your program. A question is daily or weekly? I say it because in the mornings I can not hear it but I hear it in the afternoon or the next day. I’m going to see if I can use English again, even a little bit, to understand something else. Thank you very much Karen for your program. Take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita.


    • Thank you Christina. The hellebores lasted longer than I expected too. I plunged the tips into hot water and that seemed to make a difference. I’ve only three pots of Paperwhites left. They have lasted well this year due to the sudden cold weather holding them back. Have a good week. xx

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  5. A lovely posy – that hellebore is such a rich colour. Very nice. I agree about oaks. There are loads near our new home and the shape of them in winter is so striking. The days will be getting noticeably longer now, so you will have more daylight for photos. We have noticed it on afternoon dog walks already! 🙂

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    • Thank you Cathy. I do hope so. I seem to be dashing about all over the place. I get home about an hour before dusk, but we always go for a walk round the fields. It’s the best time to see all the birds of prey that live around here. A good light in the potting shed would help. I’m working on it. Have a lovely week. xx

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