if it’s monday, it must be ‘in a vase’


I knew, starting out, that the only thing blooming out there would be the Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’.


I also knew that it would have a very short, stout stem so I chose this vase: short, with a bit of a flare to the shape.


Here’s what the blossom looks like on the shrub. By cutting a little below the blossoming truss, I got a few of the stiff, holly-like leaves to include. It’s also suffering from frostbite, so the tips need to be nipped out.


Wandering about, I was drawn to the drooping branches of Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan Sugi’ (would those little cone-like things be considered flowers?).


And because it was getting too monochromatic, the lichen clothed branches of Berbers thunbergii purpurea were added to the mix.


Books on the subject advise stripping stems of all foliage that will be below the water line, but that’s one of those rules that was made to be broken. It just means changing the water more frequently, a decent trade-off for treating it all as part of the arrangement.


It wasn’t a great day for picture taking, but I guess you get the idea. Now it’s time to check out Rambling in the Garden for more vases on this winter Monday.

30 thoughts on “if it’s monday, it must be ‘in a vase’

  1. Oh, I have to agree–I frequently leave interesting foliage on the stems if I use a clear vase. They give the arrangement more visual interest, and all you have to do is change the water more frequently. With some plants, like Cosmos, the feathery foliage doesn’t seem to cause any problems anyway. Nice arrangement, Ricki!

    • Beth~This meme has definitely got me looking at all of the elements in new ways. They say all art is about “seeing”, so I hope my vases will creep in that direction.

  2. Pretty, Ricki! Love the lichen covered Berberis! And I totally think treating all parts as equal players in the arrangement is a much better idea – despite the added water changes.

  3. One of my earliest vases used mahonia – turned out to be a controversial post when I admitted I didn’t like mahonia as a plant! It looks good in a vase though, and the flowers and foliage are most obliging! I love those Cryptomeria fronds as well – what a lovely shade, and a great result with the berberis too. Definitely a good scrounge, rickii!

  4. I like seeing the floral/foliage material below the water line in clear containers – it’s much more interesting than bare stems. I love that Cryptomeria too.

    • Tammy~Coleus cuttings will give you a leg up on fab foliage for next year. They root like crazy in water but I forgot. Will have to spring for new ones as I can’t go without.

  5. Oh, now that is beautiful! I love the idea of treating the under water section as just another part of the arrangement. Though given how bad I am at changing water, I suspect it won’t be something I will be successful with…

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