a new vase for spring


Actually, I’ve had this vase for years but have never before pressed it into service to hold an arrangement. If you look closely, you can see that the candle holders are carved ebony in an oriental style. I don’t know my Asian styles, so it’s probably from some completely different region than the writing on the vase.

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The yellow edging on the tiny leaves of Lonicera nitida ‘Baggsen’s Gold’ picks up the yellow of the Forsythia and daffodils.


It’s nice to have evergreens bulking up to the point where I can snip a few branches here and there.

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Forsythia is one of the few things that will droop like this, so I had to jump on it. There’s more, much more, over at (Rambling in the Garden), where Cathy hosts In a Vase on Monday every week.

33 thoughts on “a new vase for spring

  1. Jumping on your forsythia – whatever next?! And I think you need to get your vase ‘read’ – the columns of writing must be significant in some way, so do let us know if someone can translate it… In the meantime your narcissi, forsythia and foliage perfectly complement each other – thanks for sharing

        • Funny, I always just thought of it as a design element, in which case the overall pattern makes sense. Exposing it to all of you brought up the question of “what does it say?”. If Matthew comes up with the answer to that, I will definitely share it.

  2. Those pretty yellows look fabulous in your oriental vase. Does it have a makers stamp on the base? You may be able find out more about it by googling them 🙂

  3. The Forsythia is THE signal for spring for me, so it’s always lovely to see it in a vase… and what a great vase too! I know a lot of people aren’t keen on Forsythia, but it does light up the gardens everywhere when it flowers. Still waiting for mine!

    • Like so many things, it has its “moment” then recedes into the background. That’s fine with me. There can only be so many stars competing for the spotlight at one time.

  4. I am not so good at ancient Chinese literature or history, but I did find where this paragraph comes from.

    It is from the ???? Siku Quanshu.

    During the height of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century, the Qianlong ?? Emperor commissioned the Siku Quanshu to demonstrate that the Qing dynasty could surpass the Ming dynasty’s 1403 Yongle Encyclopedia ????, which was the world’s largest encyclopedia at the time.

    (Below from Wikipedia)

    The Siku Quanshu collection is divided into four kù (?; meaning: “treasury or repository”) parts, in reference to the imperial library divisions.

    J?ng (? “Classics”) Chinese classic texts
    Sh? (? “Histories”) histories and geographies from Chinese history
    Z? (? “Masters”) philosophy, arts, sciences from Chinese philosophy
    Jí (? “Collections”) anthologies from Chinese literature

    Your vase is verse number 32, called “???? – The Trials of Ling Spring” (repeated several times around the vase from what I could see in the photos), is one of the 114 paragraphs in this long piece of work.

    The verse seems to be about the praises Emperor Qian-long sang for the town of Zhen-jiang ?? in Jiangsu Province, China. (?????)

    Strangely, I could not find other sentences on the vase in this long piece of work…

    See this like for more of the work: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_8d5a595d0102vm80.html

    It’s not the best explanation, but it at least gives you an idea about what it all means.

  5. Interesting about the meaning of the writing on your vase! Your combination of bright golden cuttings in an ikebana like style (yes, I know that’s Japanese and the vase is Chinese) works beautifully together. Love this arrangement. The red and gold remind me of lunar new year.

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