leaves in a vase? yes, but flowers in another


I started out with something in mind, but it changed on me, as is often the case.


My first priority was to use some of these short purple irises. With the heat spell upon us, I’m pretty sure they will have played out by next week.


Some red wallflowers grow nearby. Red and purple being one of my fave combos, some of those were a natural choice. They are looking a little leggy, so I got three lower growing Erysium ‘Constant Cheer’ to fill in around them. I’m hoping this bed will be looking better once they do.

Acer pseudoplatanus 'Puget Pink'

Hmmm…a little coral for transition? Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Puget Pink’ could be just the ticket.

Hypericum inodorum</em> 'Asbury Purple

I couldn’t pass by Hypericum inodorum ‘Asbury Purple’ without plucking a few stems.


But when I started putting things together, it became obvious that simplicity was the key. The slate vase complements the place mats that were already on the table and the needle frog that is embedded in it holds the iris in an almost Ikibana-like way. I wanted to cover the hole of the vase, and I did want to include the red, but the leafy materials were just “plonked” (Cathy’s term) in a tiny vase that already held some leftovers from past arrangements: a sprig of Archostaphylos and one of privet.


It’s not that I am displeased with the arrangement I set out to make. It does dress up an otherwise drab table setting. But it is the accidental little bouquet of leaves at the top of this post that feels like the success of the day. How about you? Do you often find that the offhand, unstudied (dare I say slap-dash) efforts please you more than the ones you sweat over? Pop on over to Rambling in the Garden, where Cathy gathers some things from her garden to feature in a vase every Monday. She also gathers a growing bunch of bloggers who are inspired to follow suit. Be forewarned: it’s as addictive as all other horticultural enterprizes, so partake at your own risk.

11 thoughts on “leaves in a vase? yes, but flowers in another

  1. I like both arrangements but it’s interesting how good the leftovers vase looks. Often the things that I don’t worry about come out much better than those that I sweat over!

  2. Oh rickii – it seems such a bold move to have a vase with just foliage at this time of year, but why ever not? Fresh foliage is gorgeous so it would be a shame to ignore it and yours is so pretty. But your slate vase …hmm… I see another project coming up. Our kitchen floor has this slate and I am sure I could find some broken pieces and liaise with the Golfer…. Your blooms look just right in it of course, but you will have to pardon me for getting more excited about the container!!

    • Cathy~That’s a good project. What I have learned from using this vase is that it would be better if the pin frog remained unattached. As it is, it’s difficult to clean around it. I guess the theory is that it forms a stronger base for taller, heavier plant material.

  3. Beth~Everything is early this year. These short guys are always ahead of the tall bearded iris, but I’m already seeing a few swelling buds on those too…usually not until mid-May.

  4. Great leaf and flower combos! I had irises in one of my vases this year. The good and the bad is that the blooms are beautiful and if you pick a large enough stem, you can have several irises bloom in succession. The bad is that the blooms only last about a day in a vase. Oh well, even if it doesn’t last long, it is a beauty to behold.

    • I usually just cut one or two, but one year the rain beat them down and I rescued them for a huge, dramatic bouquet. It was glorious and by snapping off spent blooms each day, it lasted a surprisingly long time.

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