in a vase on monday: red and purple for the season


Back in the day, when we were designing Christmas gift wrap all year round, I got totally sick of red and green. My solution was to introduce purple into the mix.


A short, chunky vase filled with cranberries holds the stems in place.


A short, mounding Nandina begins to turn red about now, with just a tinge of green remaining. The hips of Rosa ‘Dortmund’ range from orange to red to brown with everything in between. Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ is starting to lose its luster, but I did find one small branch that was still in good shape, giving me the desired hit of purple.


My pink muhley grass has yet to reach critical mass. It nearly disappears in the landscape, but three stems of it offer just the right softening element here.


A dried pomegranate and the cranberries speak to me of the holidays and will add the touch of cheer to get me in the mood until we bring in the living tree next week (it would complain if we kept it in the house much longer than a week).


Now for something a little different. I could not resist a bunch of Gerbera daisies near the checkout stand last week. They had looong stems and were super-elegant in a tall vase. After a few days, they began to droop and bend over near the top of each stem so that they could no longer take up water. I hated to do it, but cut back the stems so that they were just long enough to reach to the bottom of this vase, while the flowers were propped up at the lip. As you can see, I’ve gotten over my aversion to red and green. An unexpected bonus is the way the stems show faintly through the heavy green glass. Now here’s a link to Rambling in the Garden, where Cathy hosts a growing gathering of vases every Monday.

22 thoughts on “in a vase on monday: red and purple for the season

  1. That’s a super idea using the cranberries in the vase – better than pebbles or glass or even gemstones which I use before. They are a great foil for the callicarpa and nandina and those hips – you must be really pleased with the result, rickii, so thanks for sharing it 🙂

    • Susie~I’ve been tempted to cut the rose hips many times, but glad I waited until they turned these deep, rich tones: a lot like Pantone’s color of the year. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Now I’m off to check you out.

  2. The cranberries in the vase add a whole different dimension to the arrangement. I’ll have to try something like that one day. I wonder what effect cut lemons and limes would have on the flowers in the vase?

  3. I love the idea of the cranberries to hold the stems, if only I could buy cranberries here! The whole arrangement is lovely. colourful and festive without being twee. I think this is my favourite vase of the week, thank you for the inspiration.

    • Christina~Glad you like it. I’ve never been quite sure of the definition of “twee”, but I’m guessing it’s not a good thing to be. Is it something akin to “kitsch”?

  4. I’d forgotten that you designed wrapping paper. Staring at even slanted combinations like cerise and chartreuse or lime and vermilion must have gotten a little dreary.

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