Today I am joining Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday that encourages garden bloggers to create fresh arrangements each Monday using materials found in our gardens.
The weekend weather in central North Carolina dropped 15 degrees below normal temperatures for November, reaching down into the mid-20s F. I knew it was coming but I do not think I have ever been so pained to see the garden succumb to freezing. Preparing a vase to share each week will become much harder for many Mondays to come.
My youngest sister surprised me this week with another perfect gift, a sage green glazed ceramic container that I hoped to use today. It is a shallow dish with a leaf shaped top. Three holes in the top are designed to hold short stemmed flowers, such as camellias.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ has been blooming for a few weeks, even before the department stores could fill the aisles with Christmas baubles, but the cold turned its blossoms to mush. Fortunately by sneaking deep inside the heart of the Yuletide shrub I was able to rescue three blossoms that survived the recent blast of cold weather.
When I first entered the garden I noticed the deep red Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in the meditation circle were largely unaffectedly by the severe shift in temperature. I discovered one snapdragon that had opened to reveal decidedly pink flowers, not red.
I had plucked a few side shoots from half a dozen plants to use just in case it was impossible to locate some usable camellias. Then once inside with the camellias in place, it seemed a shame not to use the snapdragons. I combined them with three sprigs of chartreuse sedum and placed them into a turquoise vase.
I used a bright red wooden tray to frame the two arrangements of flowers.
Thanks again to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Perhaps you will be inspired to share your own vase.
I am speechless, Susie, after such harsh conditions I can hardly imagine it being so cold already, you have shared with us such a beautiful arrangement; I think you will put most of the rest of us to shame. I’m going to see if perhaps I have a few snapdragons that I can use today. There has been heavy rain all morning and I haven’t put my nose out of the door yet!
Christina, yes do check out your snapdragons. It’s poured rain here too since last night and looks dark and gloomy. Glad I went out yesterday afternoon to get flowers in advance. I was shocked myself to find camellias. There still are buds but don’t know if they’ll open at this point.
I think using all the red today is my last stand before facing upcoming winter.
I think winter is coming early here too.
I am looking out at a gloomy, dark, rainy day so these beautiful arrangements are a welcome sight. They are both beautiful, but the Camellia in that gorgeous planter is stunning. Your sister has really good taste in gifts. 🙂
Gloomy rain here today also Judy. Found these camellias late yesterday. I love the new container–all three sisters have good taste and are so generous. They know how I love flowers. Sunshine to you!
Lovely, Susie. It looks like it will be challenging to find things for the Monday Vase for a while. We will all have to step up to the challenge.
Thank you John. We sure will–usually there’s a sprig of something but this early cold may force us to be ultra-creative.
I had to google your temperature to centigrade to understand, that is really cold Susie, I can imagine your dismay, incredible that some of your Snapdragons and Camellias survived. Even with only one frost so far, my east facing exposed garden is suffering. I love the connections to your family with the vases and containers they give to you and you have served them well, a lovely combination of colours and shapes.
Thanks Julie and thank goodness for Google! Making the connections to family and friends is a big part of my gardening experience–I have so many plants that were passed along to me and others were inspired by those folks.
Well, if that doesn’t cheer you up! What a beautiful camellia! My “ordinary” sasanqua has been flowering for a few weeks in the garden but I wouldn’t refuse dark red Yuletide. The velvety blossoms of the snapdragons are adorable too. What an unusual vase, perfect for such a special display.
It did cheer me up Annette to find a few valiant survivors. Sasanquas are just amazing, I’ve come to really appreciate them. Lots of people, including my grandmother, in my small hometown used to grow this Yuletide.
Love your new vase and the shallow container with leaf-shaped top. It’s cold here to and the forecast is getting worse…now calling for temp down to 21 F in a few days. Ouch!
Ouch is right Marian! Stay warm. The leaf-vase is the newer one and I think it will be quite versatile.
That is a very unique vase, indeed. I’ve never seen anything like it. Beautiful.
My sister said they use similar ones at a botanical garden where she volunteers for displaying flowers with short-stems. Lucky me she found one a a craft fair recently. It’s perfect.
I thought for a brief moment they were hellebores, Susie – but no matter what they are they are such a gorgeous colour, and wonderful to have them when your temperatures have dropped so much. And the dish is a great asset – I would love one of those (gosh, my brain started ticking immediately as I wondered if I could improvise and make one. See, I have no control over it!). I have recently bought from eBay a less elegant (think kitsch) ‘thing’ but with a similar function – it will appear in a Monday post sometime! Love the overall effect in those last 2 photos – inspirational, as always! Thanks for joining in 🙂
Oh, I looked for hellebores yesterday, but didn’t find any blooming yet. It’s a bit early for mine but I’ll probably use some with that leaf vase. Thanks for hosting Cathy!
Susie this is very festive looking. Love that you still had some survivors with that cold weather…not so lucky here with temps in the 20s for days and snow. But I think I have a few bits that will make a few more vases. I adore your dish…you have a very thoughtful sister.
Thank you Donna! Snow already? Makes our rain today seem not so bad.
Beautiful in its presentation and simplicity, Susie! The glazed ceramic container from your sister is also perfect, as were the water droplets on the tray in the first photo.
Thanks Kris! Those water droplets were genuine spills but I decided to leave them for artistic effect! The new container will be fun to use this winter when there might not be much to fill a larger vase.
Despite the cold you have managed to produce two exquisite arrangements again Susie! The camellias are so pretty, and I do love that new vase! It is so unusual and so useful too. I like the lime green sedum peeping out of the antirrhinums. 🙂 Hope you are keeping warm!
Cathy, thanks so much. That vase will become a favorite I imagine. Isn’t that a great color on the sedum? It’s been spreading itself around a bit the past couple years, but this is the first time I noticed such a strong color. More cold on the way I hear. Hope it’s nice where you are.
That sounds so cold Susie – I am amazed that you could find any flowers at all – my snapdragons collapsed weeks ago. I love your new vase – a very clever way to use short stemmed flowers! You are to be congratulated on making not one but two beautiful vases in such adverse conditions!
These two vases are the last rally before gardening blues set in. Right now there is still plenty of beautiful autumn foliage. I planted these snapdragons just a few weeks ago and they’re just starting to fully bloom. Hope they hang on a while.
I just love that vase from your sister!!! Very unusual and so useful…My snapdragons actually survived even last winter, so we will see how they do this year!
Thanks Libby–isn’t that a great vase. Hope snapdragons do great in this area and make it to spring. I wasn’t sure if the flowers would hold up in this cold but so far they seem tough.
That camellia is just wonderful, Susie, and I wish I had a sister to give me beautiful presents like the ‘leaf vase’! Like Cathy, I thought they were hellebores when first looked on my feed. Your pictures show off the lovely lines of foliage, flower and container perfectly as well!
Thank you Cathy. Having sisters is wonderful and I’m lucky to have three. I think Hellebores might work well in this leaf vase also but mine aren’t usually this early.
Lovely from every direction!
Thanks Beverly! If suitable, I like to show the arrangement from different angles. Photographing the flowers is half the fun and most of the frustration as well.
Lovely! I’m glad that even after the temperature has plummeted to mid 20’s F. you still had lovely flowers to arrange an Ikebana…that’s what it looks like, a classic Ikebana.
Thank you. I appreciate the compliment Pris. The leaf vase will be nice for me to have for experimenting with Ikebana. Are you covered in piles of snow?
Just a little bit on the ground but Buffalo was hit pretty hard.