In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.

Friday it rained, snowed and sleeted Friday with no accumulation. Meanwhile through the window glass I was admiring the way Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ is living up to its name this year, the ruby part at least. Before snow resumed on Saturday afternoon, I ran out to collect a branch of red leaves to feature in today’s vase.

Next I checked and yes, looking unscathed by the wintry weather, Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’ and ‘Sugar Rush Primrose’ were going about their flowery business.  I highlighted these a couple weeks ago when they had just started blooming. This time I could detect a light fragrance.

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’

What made the red leaves so lovely outdoors was the glowing effect of light streaming though them. In the pictures, without the backlit setting, the leaves are less compelling, but in person they are rather winsome. Husker Red penstemon was added at the lip of the vase, continuing the red foliage theme.

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

The design needed more. More flowers. More height. Vertical interest. But the snow had returned and rather than going back into the garden, I made do by incorporating some saved pieces of mossy, lichen-covered wood.

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

These helped a bit, but I lost interest in working on this vase any further. I took it as far as I could.

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

Today’s container is a ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders, with openings near the base to allow water to flow into the tubes easily.


Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Primrose’ (Wallflower)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’ (Wallflower)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Ceramic ikebana vase has 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Primrose’

One more thing: A thoughtful garden club friend, Debbie, recently surprised me with a gift. She is downsizing as she prepares to move to another home and so passed along her Ateco 612 12″ revolving cake stand to use with my flower arranging. The stand is five inches high with a cast iron base and aluminum top. I have seen florists use a similar stand to assist when designing, rotating the arrangement frequently to check all sides. Today I used the stand while photographing my flowers and found it very helpful. Thanks Debbie!

Ateco 612 Revolving Stand

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

28 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

  1. Christina

    Again you have helped us all with our arrangements by guiding us through your thought processes. I’m late with my arrangement today but it will be done! I have a turntable that I used to use in a cupboard, I think I have a new use for it now, thanks for the idea. Mine isn’t a beautiful as your gift (lucky you) but it will work.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Nice, we can compare notes on using our turntables. I used to decorate cakes and it would have been helpful then too. Will look for your vase later. Have a good week.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Linda, can’t tell if my comment to you went through or not, but I love your gold-themed decor and that brass vase is really beautiful. I bought that hydrangea specifically for its foliage and it has been rewarding.

  2. Cathy

    What a useful looking vase that is, Susie – and your turntable should prove pretty useful too. The hydrangea foliage is such an appealing colout and the texture cries out to be touched – shmae we can’t see the light filtering through it as you can. I tried some of these Sugar Rush erysimum from seed last year, but I don’t think any of them flowered but perhaps they are still around to flower this year. The moss really does make difference – but thank you for admitting to us that you had lost interest in developing your vase further, not something all of us would do 😉

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Actually I took apart this arrangement almost immediately and used the erysimum alone with penstemon in a tiny vase. It looked better that way, but the erysimum seems to fade quickly. I didn’t figure out a great way to use the leaves.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I didn’t do justice to the oak leaf hydrangea leaves. They’re so bright in natural light. Still, it was fun to experiment with them. The erysimum make me happy.

  3. Kris P

    What a fun and appropriate gift from your friend! I like the clever Ikebana vase too. ‘Ruby Slippers’ has lovely foliage and the Erysimum complements is beautifully. I hope your weather improves soon and you have a chance to do more than dash through your garden.

  4. Cathy

    Another wonderful arrangement Susie. The ceramic vase was clearly designed by someone who arranges flowers themselves – ingenious! I love the creamy yellow Erysimum as a contrast to the red flowers and foliage.

  5. Noelle

    When challenged you came up an arrangement and post which is a delight. And that turntable is going to be well used…thanks for talking us through the process of this week’s display.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Noelle, glad you enjoyed this. I tried to leave you a comment today but not sure it came through. Learned a new word from your today–Codswallop! Have a good week.

  6. Eliza Waters

    Beautiful color on the hydrangea. I missed the color on mine this year as the temps unexpectedly plummeted to the teens, freezing and turning all the leaves brown on the stems. Yours are nice to see.
    I like your pretty ikebana vase and think your turntable is a nice score – I’m sure it makes arranging much easier.

  7. rickii

    I’d say you took it to a pretty good place. Even with snow, you have more to work with than I do. The turntable and unique vase are certainly good tools.


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