In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Flowers in the Rain

It’s raining.

Or as I like to say, It’s *RAINING*! 

San Jose had the second driest December on record, dating back 124 years. 

I love the rain under any conditions, but today’s January storm feels downright celebratory after such a dry start to our winter. What better day to go out in the garden to clip some blooms while soaking up the negative ions that make us feel good.

I’m joining Cathy and Cathy today for a regular feature they call In a Vase on Monday. Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden and Cathy at Words and Herbs faithfully post a vase of flowers from their garden year round. It’s not always easy, especially when you garden in Bavaria, but these two are an impressive pair.

My vase features something old and something new, pretty fringe and a cat, too.

A year ago I received a bottle of blush wine in this charming, cat-shaped bottle. It sat untouched for a year as I’m not really a fan of pink wine.

Wine bottle turned vase

Wine lovers, please look away now.

I poured the pink wine down the sink, rinsed the bottle, and voila, a pretty glass vase.

Okay, you can look now.

The something old comes from my cherished green asparagus fern. In 1988 I bought a pair of ferns for 79 cents and kept them on my nightstand in my one-bedroom apartment for two years. I moved and the plants moved with me. By the time we bought this house 21 years ago, my sprawling fern could no longer be contained. It’s now growing happily along the back fence.

If that plant could talk, eh?

Cuttings from my asparagus fern

Something new is the fresh-fallen rain drops. Isn’t it amazing how everything looks lush after a decent rain?

Cat vase in the rain

The pretty pink fringe you see comes from a few branches of my Loropetalum chinense or Chinese fringe plant.

Pink and green leaves and small fringe-like blooms

It’s a nice complement to last year’s hydrangea blooms, currently faded to shades of cranberry and pink.

Last season’s hydrangea, faded to cranberry and pink

The cat speaks for itself. =^, , ^=

The cat vase on our dining table (the runner is hand-felted by my friend Randi)

I hope you have a terrific week. If you need me, I’ll be outside enjoying the rain.

72 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Flowers in the Rain

  1. I am so happy you have got some rain at last, and that you went out in it to cut flowers for a Monday vase is wonderful! I have just learned what a Loropetalum is from another Monday vase, but I will have to admire other people’s as I have just read it doesn’t like more than a couple of degrees of frost. Love the fern, and so nice that it has been a long companion! 😉
    I may also have tipped wine or other alcohol down the drain for the use of a pretty bottle, but of course I would never let on… 😉
    Enjoy that rain, and have a good soak while it lasts! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • How nice it would be if we could all share the weather we have in excess with those in need. It’s miserably cold in Canada and the eastern seaboard of the US. Here it’s been dry and unseasonably warm, even for California.

      Are you getting torrents of rain?


  2. Oh you must be so thrilled to have your rain after an even fdrier winter than usual. It certainly makes for a fresh looking vase – and thos ehydrangea have retained such a pretty colour. I didn’t know that loropetalum could have variegated leaves like this, making it an even prettier plant. I am glad you felt you could pour the wine away – the cat vase was certainly too good to waste and it would have been a shame to have waited any longer to use it! Thanks for joining us today, and pehaps we will see you again soon, whatever the weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cathy! You’ve created such a fun meme. I’m going to try and join in more often this year. I too am surprised to see those variegated leaves. I’m wondering if they’ve changed now that the plant has matured (it’s about 12 years old). There is always so much to learn about plants and gardening.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so happy you have rain. We are getting a little but not like we need either. Lots of frost and deep freezes so nothing is blooming outside. Your vase full of color is sign of things to come for us up here. Me, I have often bought wine for the bottle. I’m not picky about wine as long as it has good flavor. I’m more fussy about the little bit of beer I drink. Cannot touch an American beer even if I was dying in the desert. Yuck. They don’t usually come in pretty bottles though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marlene, a deep freeze doesn’t sound like any fun. Brrr. I hope you have lots of cozy projects to keep you engaged indoors. Mike likes craft beers and even took a class many, many years ago to learn how to make beer. He’s with you on the American beer “flavor”. I love gingerade Kombucha, but not beer, even thought they are apparently similar. Funny that. I hope you get some rain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good Morning, Alys. Of course I have plenty to keep me busy indoors. Just need to get to them. And it’s pouring out there! Finally got Christmas all packed away. I’ve had Kombucha before but not gingerade. I rarely drink beer or wine unless it’s an occasion so when I do, I want good taste. Never ambitious enough to craft my own though. 🙂 Go Mike. Off to sewing group this morning, in the rain. 😉 Have a wonderfilled week. Hugs and love,.


        • I’ve tried a variety of brands and flavors, but the GT’s Gingerade Kombucha is my favorite. Sharon loves Guava Goddess so I always have some on hand. It’s nice getting Christmas put away. It usually launches me into cleaning and organizing other areas, too, like my desk and crafts. They need taming on a regular basis. Lots of moving parts. 😉

          What did you work on in sewing group? Our rain stopped for now. It will apparently be back a week from Thursday. Sadly, the mudslides in SoCal were deadly. It makes me feel bad for celebrating the rain.



  4. Oh, hoooorayyyyy! What a huge relief it is to hear that the long dry spell has finally ended, Alys … you can almost hear the plants breathing a big sigh of gratitude and relief, can’t you? And how clever of you to “repurpose” that adorable wine bottle by disposing of its unpalatable pink contents! I would have done the same. 🙂 Well, enjoy those negative ions and I’ll keep my fingers crossed you will have a more moderate spring and summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Heidebee! The rain started in the middle of the night and has continued steadily throughout the day. Tessa is quite annoyed. She’s gone in and out the back door at least twenty times. We adopted her at the end of May, so the whole concept of rain is new to her. It makes me smile watching her puzzle it out.

      It does seem that the plants are breathing a sigh of gratitude. I certainly am. Thank you for your well wishes for the season ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

      • How magical it must have been to awaken to the sound of rain! Poor Tessa, though … isn’t it sad to see a pet so confounded by an unfamiliar new world, and to not be able to explain it to them?


        • It is, and yet I catch myself saying things like “well, what do you think of that, Tessa?” and “I guess we’ll have to stay inside today.” [snort] I’m a goofball.

          The hardest part is taking them to the vet. If a genie could grant me three wishes, the first would be a way to communicate with animals.


  5. Oh my gosh, I was going to comment on the mural too. It’s fabulous and looks like a WPA mural. As for your flower arrangement, it too is lovely and I am a fan of pinks. So glad it’s raining out there now! It bodes well for the future pumpkins…If you don’t know Eliza Waters, you should go to her blog–she’s another participant of In a Vase on Monday and can be found here: for wreath making, flower arranging and a fabulous flower garden. It looks as though all is well in the world of Alys! Hurrah!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Welcome to the cadre of IAVOM contributors! I’m joining in your rain celebration as the storm has at last made its way to Los Angeles County too. Our seasonal total is now up to 0.42/inch but the forecasters say we’re due for more and I’m counting on it.

    The wine bottle turned vase is a great find and you dressed it up well with the pretty pink Hydrangeas. I love that Loropetalum foliage too. I killed the Loropetalums I tried to grow during the early drought years but perhaps I need to try it again…


    • Hi Kris, Thanks for stopping by. I’ll pop over to see your post after I comment here. Sadly, the rain caused devastating mudslides near Santa Barbara. What a terrible shock. The fire season went impossibly late, and then the rains came before the land could recover. I hardly know what to say. I hope you are out of harm’s way.


  7. I can’t believe that I’m visiting WP (finally) on the day that you posted!
    and I have to say that I laughed out loud when you asked the wine lovers to turn away 🙂
    Your vase of flowers is beautiful and YAY for rain! I know you are thrilled!
    That first image, of the oh so wet greenery, is lovely!


  8. Rain! How wonderful! I hope it is still raining as you are reading this ☔️☔️☔️ and that Tessa has worked out what rain is. It is a lovely vase of flowers, and doing this “challenge” is a lovely way to remember to have a new bouquet each Monday. My Mum always has a small sprig, usually geranium, in a small vase in the bathroom.
    By the way, I love the poem at the top of your post. It is perfect.


    • Thank you, Anne. It rained all day and into the night. We had a trace of it this morning, but now the storm has passed and we’ll have to wait another week for the next one. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

      I love that you Mum always had a little something in a vase. This exercise has taught me that anything from the garden can go in a vase. I love geraniums. They remind me of my time touring Europe.

      I’m glad you liked the poem as well!


  9. Bazinga! Rain! or *RAIN* ;D
    How absolutely awesome is a refreshing rain? I sure wish I could feel it on my face too. I like how rain feels on a warm evening. I like how it sounds, plinking off everything around and I love how it smells. I think bumble bees like it too, they can often be seen buzzing about just after.
    I didn’t look away…….so you’re more into flowers than you are wine, tell me something I didn’t know…LOL. It’s a wonder you can get all that in your back garden in January! It turned out so pretty in your cat ‘vase’, especially those hydrangea! Yummy. I should have saved your lovely green post for tomorrow AM, as we are under a weather watch for a winter storm overnight…gak! Love and Hugs, xo kpb 😀 ❤


    • Yes, yes, and yes: the way if feels on your face, the sound of the drops, the smell…all of it. The storm has already passed, but we’ll have another one in a week, if the weather predictors are right.

      LOL on not looking away at the wine comment. I’ve never seen you drink rose either, so I don’t think you would be too sad.

      So, did the winter storm blow in our blow past? I’m hoping the latter. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, there wasn’t as much percipitation but the temperature took a big plunge. One of those, “could’ve been worse” situations.
        Re: California rain. I saw a news report tonight about Burbank and La mud floods. I just can’t believe what’s going on in CA this year. Fires now floods! Hoping for the safety of all in natures way. xK


  10. I don’t know anyone who loves rain like you do!! But I get it–you’ve been through a lot out there and the rain must seem like a blessing and a baptism. But now people have to worry about mudslides–that’s terrifying! Your vase and your flowers have wonderful backstories and, yes, it would be fun if that fern could talk! Go enjoy the drizzle, Alys!


    • Hi Kerry, When I wrote this the mudslides were only a possibility. I’m devastated at the damage and loss of life in Southern California. They issued mandatory evacuation orders, but only about 15% of people left. Now I’m reading that 17 people have died and another 17 remain missing. It happened so fast. The fires burned through the end of the year, once unheard of, so the land didn’t have a second of time to recover before the rains. I’m feeling a bit guilty for celebrating our rain, but of course we need it nonetheless. It’s heartbreaking.


  11. So pleased you had some rain….just as l was pleased to have a few hours of sunshine on Sunday. Is that vanille framed? Your hydrangea is similar to mine…so we each may have two similar plants… welcome to IAVOM.


    • Thanks for your warm welcome, Noelle. I’m glad you got some warm sunshine. I had to look up the term Vanilla Fraise. I see that it’s a type of hydrangea. What a stunning plant. I can’t recall the genus of our hydrangea, but though the color is similar to yours, our blooms are less conical and more round. Aren’t they gorgeous plants?


  12. Oh, what joy those raindrops must be to you – I wish I could say the same! Rosé wine might possibly be the only alcohol that would get poured down the sink in this house, too. The bottle has been re-purposed to much greater effect:)


    • I know that everyone else is usually sick of the rain, but we get so little and it has been a long time coming. Sadly, it had the opposite affect in Southern California with deadly mudslides. I feel terrible for all concerned. I don’t think Rosé is hugely popular. I don’t drink a lot of wine, but when I do I prefer chardonnay or red.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You’ve made a beautiful and elegant arrangement in an intriguing vase. You had to keep that bottle. I had various asparagus ferns as house plants many years ago and they certainly are lovely but. I had no garden but a house full of plants and a window box. I suppose the ferns died off but I quite fancy one in the garden now. Enjoy the rain, it sounds wonderful for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alison, I hope you’ll treat yourself to some ferns now that you have more space. I gardened indoors for years as an apartment dweller, venturing out onto the patio with potted this and that. It’s been nice have a small plot of land for planting these past 21 years.


  14. I would welcome any colour wine at the moment as I’m having an alcohol free January and I do actually like rosé wine if it’s a good one although I am generally suspicious of any wine in a novelty bottle. I missed your comment about the bottle being cat shaped and scoured your photos for any sign of one of your cats – I thought I was going mad 😉


    • Lynn, I don’t think you missed a thing. I’m with you: the greater the novelty, the lesser the wine, or chocolate or most things actually. I would probably be looking for a real cat too. I should have been clearer. Actually, Tessa almost made it into the post. She walked right up to the vase when I first had it on the kitchen counter, but then she backed away. I didn’t want to tempt fate. xo



  15. Reminds me of the song ‘My Favourite Things’ – which starts raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens – which always makes me smile 🙂 In this case, it’s raindrops, rosé and the whiskers are on your cat-shaped bottle 🙂


  16. Great blog, Alys. We have things in common: blogging, gardening and cats, but not organizing (I wish 😉 ). Your hydrangea and cat vase are lovely, as is your felted table runner. You’ve got me curious about the wall mural!


  17. Pingback: Our Beloved Village Mural – Gardening Nirvana

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