In a Vase on Monday-February 4th 2019

I’m starting to miss sunshine and warm weather. I’m muffled up with coat, scarves, gloves, two pairs of socks, and still the cold seeps in. There’s been such a cold wind. The ground is frozen and the pond iced over. And yet, mooching about looking for something cheerful, I find chinodoxa- untroubled by the cold, the colour of Mediterranean skies. A little bit of hope.

A circle of silver birch twigs makes a pretty background for spring flowers. I just twist the branches like rope and tie the ends together. I’m trying not to use florists’ foam as it’s currently not recyclable. I’ve found a solution. A friend sent me a box of orchids, each one with a 7cm test tube of water, keeping them fresh. Recycling them, I twist a piece of wire around the necks and stick them in amongst the twiggy coils. Topped with moss, and hidden with ivy, no one will know they are there. I just have to top up the water each morning, and at the same time, add fresh flowers as I please. The wreath here was made on Saturday with wild clematis -old man’s beard- ivy and winter flowering honeysuckle lonicera fragrantissima. It survived high winds, mostly. Silver honesty lasted a day, then blew into the back field hedge where it glistens like a tiny mirror. And the star-like cow-parsley seed heads have gone. It’s an arrangement that changes with the weather. I like that. It’s real life. A reflection of what’s happening in my garden today.

So this morning, I’ve picked some snowdrops and chinodoxa and added them to the arrangement. Chinodoxa known as “glory of the snow” seems untroubled by the cold north wind. Such a delicate flower, and yet so hardy.

To add my own sunshine, I’ve found some aconites, Eranthis hyemalis. We called these gold coins when we were growing up.

Snowdrops nestle amongst the foliage. I bought the single variety , galanthus nivalis, from Easton Walled Gardens. A little bit of history now growing in my wild garden. There’s been a garden at Easton for at least 400 years. A renovation project started almost 20 years ago, has rescued the garden for future generations to enjoy. The double snowdrops came from Hodsock Priory. Another favourite place to visit with my Mum.

My wreath sits above the doors on our 1930s turntable summerhouse. We’ve turned our backs to the wind and swung the summerhouse around to face the wild garden. There’s wild garlic thriving on the right, under the willow. I’m really pleased to see snowdrops I planted three years ago starting to form little clumps. How long, I wonder, before the scene is a sea of white. I shall have to wait and see.

Links :

I’m joining Cathy for her IAVOM meme.



Easton Walled Gardens

Hodsock Priory snowdrops

NGS snowdrop gardens to visit

Lonicera fragrantissima

27 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday-February 4th 2019

  1. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday 11th February 2019 | Bramble Garden

  2. I think the chinodoxa in the first picture is my favorite. I am not familiar with it. Lonicera fragrantissima is something that I can get only online. Loniceras just are not popular here. Japanese honeysuckle is sometimes seen. Burmese honeysuckle and red honeysuckle are quite rare. The others are completely lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a beautiful wreath. At first glance our gardens appear dead at this time of year, but beautiful treasures are there to find for those observant enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! We spent a year renovating the summerhouse. It’s got most of the original timbers. It just needed some new panels at the bottom. A local saw mill got very excited by the project and cut up a whole oak tree for us in slices so we could patch in and match the original wavy edged oak. Thanks for your kind comments xx


  4. This is a lovely arrangement showcasing the best of the season. I once saw a turntable summer house at a a supa dupa garden centre at Burford years ago….and decided if I ever had just the right garden then it would be the one for me. Instead you have a wonderful garden and have positioned your summer house with different views to make the most of the possibilities.

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    • Thank you Noelle. Yes, I saw those Summerhouses at Burford too. We couldn’t afford them, but came home dreaming of building our own. Then one day this one was offered to me for £100. Still feel very lucky to have it. Thanks again. Karen


    • Thank you Kris. I’ve collected some more from along the hedge. Whether it will stay in place or not we shall have to see. It’s very windswept here. The garden is on a ridgeway. Thanks again for reading. Have a good week.


  5. Lots of nice ideas here, thanks. I saved three of those orchid plastic test-tubes on long sticks from a florist’s arrangement a couple of years ago. However, I’ve never felt it right to re-use them in vases, but this is arrangement is perfect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I got the idea from Flowers From the Farm who were using them for their Chelsea flower show display last year. They won gold with their first ever display and didn’t use any foam. It was all tiny test tubes or concealed vases. Must have taken them ages to make. I’m going to have a go at a heart wreath tomorrow, using a glass balloon test tube thingy. It’s large enough for a posy. I’ll hide it with more ivy and sacking.


  6. Oh this is the first time I recall you mentioning that your summerhouse is on a turntable – how exciting! Do you often turn it for a different view? I like the way you vary the contents of your wreath and the wild clematis seedheads are a brilliant staple here. Using those mini test tubes is such a good idea as you certainly wouldn’t guess they were there. I hope your snowdrops continue to spread nicely for you. Thanks for sharing, Karen, and have a good week

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. Yes, we push it round on a metal track. It has like railway wheels underneath. It’s quite heavy, but once you get it started it pushes round quite easily. We use it to follow the sun. Or, if it’s really cold and windy, we turn it to face the sheltered side. It’s amazingly cosy in there, although there’s no heating. And in summer the roof and walls smell of oak and cedar. When we were renovating it, bluetits nested between the wavy-edge oak planks, and we could hear them chirping from inside. Thanks for ridding. Have a lovely week too xx


  7. Karen the photos are magnificent. I already told you that I loved your Crown but today I love it more with the flowers you have put. The Chinese white and very beautiful. Eranthis hyemalis are beautiful and with a lovely yellow color. I like Snowdrops a lot. And all over those little twigs of silver birch rolled up. And the best thing is the flowers tucked into reused glass test bottles of orchids. The Crown is wonderful, I love it, it is divine, placed on top of the Summer House, hoping that over the years the whole meadow turns white because of the snowdrops that you planted years ago. Your dream will eventually be fulfilled. But as it is, it is beautiful. Cover well with the cold that does not go to catch a cold. Thank you very much for the links, I have entered all of them and they are great. Karen for your Mother, your family and for you, a lot of love, health, strength and keeping warm. Take care and rest. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Margarita. I’m enjoying adding little bits of flowers to my wreath each day. Hopefully, the snowdrops will spread. I’m amazed how quickly they are settling in and spreading. It’s a joy to watch. Loving greetings to you and your family. Love from karen xx


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