In a Vase on Monday: Shifting Focus

Today’s flower arrangement for In a Vase on Monday came together beautifully…in my head.  My plan was to arrange Hydrangea in my artsy glass vase. The Hydrangea are fading, turning from pink to pale green to a creamy white. Their blooms are magnificent, even when dried. Yes, I thought, they’d be perfect.

fading hydrangeas

Pink and fading hydrangeas

I just couldn’t get it to work. The glass vase is long and quite narrow so a bit of a challenge. It’s beautiful though, so I really wanted to use it. After several attempts, I knew my mojo was off. Time to reach for my standby: a pitcher/vase from my friends Doug and Laura.

Since the stems were originally cut on the shorter side to accommodate the glass vase I had to improvise. I put a small, square jar on its side in the bottom of the pitcher, then added a second jar on top. Now I had the height needed,and could use less water to fill the jar.

hydrangeas in a vase with book

In a Vase on Monday and The Sweet Life

A few sprigs of fern added volume and softened the edges. At last it all came together. The vase is on the deck, resting on my tie-dyed tablecloth, a project from a couple of summers ago.

Hydrangeas and Asparagus Plumosus

Hydrangea and Asparagus Plumosus

I added a ‘prop’ as Cathy often does, a special volume of quotes and charming illustrations called The Sweet Life: Reflections on Home and Garden by Laura Stoddart. This charming book makes me smile whenever I open it.  Thank you, Nichole.

pink hydrangeas

Here’s the quote from a randomly opened page:

GWENDOLEN  Quite a well-kept garden this is, Miss Cardew.

CECILY So glad you like it, Miss Fairfax.

GWENDOLEN I had no idea there were any flowers in the country.

CECILY Oh, flowers are as common here, Miss Fairfax, as people are in London.

Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) The Importance of Being Earnest

I constructed costumes for The Importance of Being Earnest many years ago, so lots of Serendipity here.

Special thanks to the Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for creating In a Blog on Monday. Thanks as well to Cathy at Words and Herbs for introducing me to the idea.

In a Vase on Monday creativity from around the world:

If I missed your vase, please post your link in the comments below.

28 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Shifting Focus

  1. Alys, these hydrangea are beautiful colors and your arrangement came together well. The pitcher complements the flowers well and I love your tie-dyed tablecloth. Susie


  2. Gosh Alys – the pitcher of flowers, the book and the tablecloth – what a perfect combination of colours and scene………… That really warms my heart! I nodded knowingly at your struggle – me and vases of flowers are generally a recipe for disaster – I mostly stick with fake [gasp! NO!!!!] these days. ‘Fraid so! But you can’t beat real! When they are in the garden I pick when I can. I have grown to love hydrangeas. I planted a miniature blue when I first moved in here, but it didn’t do well and eventually died. That book looks pretty good – I shall wander into my on-line bookshop and see if I can get me a copy 🙂


    • (((Pauline))) You made me feel warm inside, too. Thank you.

      I struggled with that arrangement for a long time, and then just gave up. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. I finally realized I had beautiful flowers, some lush green ferns, and a pitcher that I love…and that was enough.

      I’m sorry to hear your hydrangea didn’t do well. I’ve learned over the years, that not everything does well in my garden. Things don’t get a lot of second chances. I planted a pretty flower called Stock many years ago after buying some cut flowers at the local farmer’s market. Within two nights, the snails had eaten them to the quick. I realized that, pretty as it was, it would never survive in my garden.

      The book is delightful. The artist’s drawings make me smile, and I would venture to guess you would enjoy them too. I hope the book is still in print, or that you might find a used copy. It’s a delight.


      • The book is in the ‘currently unavailable’ list – so I shall just keep it on my shopping list and keep an eye open.

        I am trying the DE in my garden for the slugs and snails who seem to be wintering over quite happily. Also just for the goodness it will add to the soil.:-)


        • I’ll be anxious to hear how the DE works out. Sorry to hear the book is unavailable. I hope a copy turns up somewhere.

          I turned part of my compost today, and out spilled wonderful, red worms. All that organic material makes me happy.


  3. They are so pretty! Adding the fern was a nice idea and the jug suits those romantic candyfloss colours. I love your tablecloth by the way! Thanks for mentioning me… I am so glad the vase bug has got you too! It is catching… and addictive! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very Pretty ! I like how you MacGyver’d your way there too. I think found objects are more stylish really than a glass vase. It’s all perfect on your tie-dyed cloth. I accidentally tie-dyed an aqua tank top yesterday when it somehow got into a bleach filled white wash, but now it looks like clouds and goes nicely with a skirt I have with birds on it (bought in San Jose). I sure wish the Hydrangea grew better here. I think I told you before how pricey they are in arrangements, but so worth it. Asparagus Fern is also one of my favourite fillers too. The funeral home in Leduc where Adele and Kenny live don’t care for it because it sheds if not really fresh. I like the airiness of it. It’s just a little whisper of green but makes a difference. Do you just grow that in the garden too? I fell asleep on the sofa early last night, now on my way to bed xox nighty night sweetie!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Boomdee! I agree with you on the vase. It’s much more fun finding something interesting to put them in. A friend gave me a great idea for the art vase though: bulbs. The shape will work well.

      Oops on the tie-dyed tank, but hey, turns out it was a happy accident. I remember that awesome skirt. Now you have a customized top to go with it. Who knew? 😉

      I wish you could grow hydrangeas, too. They’re just amazing flowers and pretty dried as well as fresh. I love all to color transformations, too.

      Yes, I am growing the fern in the garden, and thank you for the inspiration to write about it.

      On the subject of falling asleep, I had a migraine (neck related) most of yesterday afternoon. I slept early and well, but put in five hours on my feet at my clients today which knocked me out. I ended up napping, with my shoes still one!!!) for two hours.


      • LOL, shoes on!! You must have really needed to close your eyes. I figure, catch the zzzz’s when you need them. Prescribed sleep times (i.e. 11 pm – 6 am) seem quite elusive to me right now. So I just sleep when I can and feel like it. It’s better than no sleep I guess.


        • I did! Undoing buckles seemed like too much effort. I was *that* tired.

          I’m sorry to hear that sleep has been elusive. I’ve had a few odd days as well. I’ve been up since 4 this morning so imagine it will hit me soon.


  5. I love hydrangeas more everyday. They are beautiful. I love your pink ones, The kind you have I find difficult to get to flower. I love everything about what you have done, the setting in which you took the photo. The table cloth and the back drop make it just beautiful. I will be over shortly to sit and read a book. 🙂


  6. I get just a few moments to sit in the morning before hitting the hard work. I’m glad I was able to sit with you. I love the pitcher vase! I have always loved hydrangea and need to take the time to look up what they need for care. I have one, maybe 2 in the yard. Haven’t had a chance to really look at the outside. The entire carpet is now coming out which entails repacking things to move stuff out of rooms so I can seal the floors. It’s more than I bargained for but will be worth it when complete. Thanks for the inspiration. Hugs, M


    • Marlene, I’m impressed that you’ve stuck with your blogging and commenting in the middle of all you have going on. I’m also happy and grateful, as I always enjoy your comments.

      I think you posted a photo of a white hydrangea in one of your moving posts, so hurray for you! You’ll have to celebrate one of your renovation milestones by bringing one of the blooms indoors. Ours are starting to fade now but still so pretty.

      Oh boy…out with the carpet, eh? It’s a lot of work, but in the end you’ll be glad you did it. We have solid floors throughout the house now. It’s the best with animals and gardeners. 😉

      It does sound like more than you were promised, actually, but good for you for going with it. We don’t miss our wall to wall carpet at all.


  7. So, so beautiful–what a touch you have with all things blushing and blossoming, Alys!
    And it’s funny, when I peered closer to the table with the book on it, I thought I recognized it, but then reading further down, realized that no, it wasn’t what I thought it was. And then I glanced at my bookshelf and saw the identical author–just a different title. Stoddart has also written a wonderful book called: All for Love. A Romantic Anthology. Quotes from some spectacularly clever folks.
    And now I shall hunt down another of her delightful reads. Cheers!


    • Thank you! I enjoy gardening and arranging and count my lucky stars that I can do both. How cool that you too have a book of Stoddart art and quotes on your shelf. Kismet! I’ll add your title to my Goodreads list before I forget it. I love having a place to log books (those that I want to read, those that I will read and those and the rest that may have to wait till my retirement years.) I hope I can still see by then.


  8. That arrangement brings grace and beauty to your porch. Yet another talent … it’s the artist in you, Alys. The photos are lovely, too!


    • Awwwww…thanks so much, Laurie. It’s been eight days now and the vase is still there. The greens are as fresh as the day I cut them, but the blooms are fading. They’ve shrunk and dried and now create a different beauty.


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