In a vase on Monday – Grey or silver?

The weather for the last week has been horrible!  Cold, windy freezing at night and grey or hailing during the day.  This morning when I looked out of the window there was blue sky and sunshine.  It was surprising therefore when I discovered that 5 miles away in Viterbo it had snowed; and it had snowed enough to stop the buses running early in the morning and that the traffic had been chaos.

It being Monday it is time to join Cathy at Rambling in the garden for the weekly challenge of finding something from the garden to put in a vase.  Frankly I thought it would be more dried material this week, the garden has been bleak under the dark skies.  But of course the sun makes all the difference and I decided to search hard for some living material that might be a bit different to the usual evergreens I have been using.

Teucrium has been flowering in its modest way since November, not a very showy flower but at least it is a start.  Rosemary has also been flowering for ages and gives a nice scent in the kitchen.  But what could I add to these to give a little movement and life?


As I wandered around I noticed that Phlomis suffruticosa had woolly buds just waiting for a little warmth to open, I don’t think I have ever used these before as flowers, only as seed heads.

Early buds on Phlomis suffruticosa

Early buds on Phlomis suffruticosa

Another plant about to flower is Euphorbia rigida, interestingly all the different -self-seeded plants around the garden have slight different coloured inflorescences.  These I treated in boiling water to try and stop the milky sap from leaking out into the vase.

Euphorbia rigida

Euphorbia rigida

I was unsure of which vase to use and am not entirely happy with my choice, a dark green or pewter colour might have been better.  My title refers to the fact that some of today’s foliage looks grey on a dark day but sparkles silver on a sunny day.

The stairs have the best light for photographing my vases

The stairs have the best light for photographing my vases

Rosemary, reliable flowers for the winter

Rosemary, reliable flowers for the winter

Today's vase is now in the kitchen

Today’s vase is now in the kitchen

Do visit Cathy to see what she and others have found to put into a vase today.  Thank you Cathy, as usual for hosting.

32 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – Grey or silver?

    • The Phlomis is very happy in my garden, it self-seeds everywhere, I picked these buds from a small plant that was in the wrong place and I will pull it out, but nice to be able to use its buds today.

  1. I think the blue vase and silver foliage shows the positive light you want for your vase so I think it works wonderfully….We are being hit by another huge storm and we expect at least 2 ft of snow maybe more with drifts already at 4 ft….so finding flowers indoors has been a blessing….I love the flowering rosemary and am intrigued by Phlomis suffruticosa.

    • The sky here looks like snow, but I don’t suppose it will. I can’t imagine getting 2 ft of snow on top of what you have already. Keep warm, and keep thinking of spring even if we are kidding ourselves, it does help.

  2. Nice collection from the winter garden, I think the blue sets of the silver well!
    Glad most of the bad weather missed you. Just keep thinking about the warm sun and spring flowers which are only a few weeks away 🙂

  3. The blue vase is a nice accompaniment to the plant material, Christina – it adds just the right amount of weight and color to ground the silvery arrangement. I was out yesterday tidying up my Phlomis fruticosa and noticed lots of buds there as well – we’ll both have flowers soon!

  4. Pingback: Candlemas Monday Vase | Forest Garden

    • It was a very different colour palette to the one I am used to using. It seemed that the Euphorbia wasn’t dripping milk but I’ll let you know next week what the water in the vase is like after a couple of days.

  5. I like to see silvery foliage with blue, so think your vase was the right choice today Christina. The Phlomis bud is a nice addition, as well as the Euphorbia. Glad the snow missed you!

  6. It’s still a lovely jug though, Christina – and the contents showcase the different textures and shades of green. You must have been so pleased to see that sun today! Interestingly I noticed a self -seeded euphorbia today and although it was too big for today’s vase I made a mental note of it for the future.

  7. A very mediterranean feel this week Christina – it makes such a difference to have some buds and flowers amongst the foliage! I love the vase – I think it works really well with the silver. I hope the temperatures improve soon for you – it is quite a contrast to last winter isn’t it!

    • Last year was abnormally mild and wet. This year is more typical of the winters we’ve had since being here. Yesterday was wonderful with warm sun all day, today its raining but not too cold.

      • I am just heading out in the snow this morning! It is our first of the year & not much more than a dusting – very pretty but probably gone by the time I get home.

    • The difference in our gardens is exemplified by the rosemary; here it is my most reliable plant along with the Teucrium. Not surprising we can’t grow the same things and why my grasses are short when yours reach for the sky! difference is great isn’t it?

  8. It’s amazing what you can find, despite the cold and dreary weather. They all set each other off beautifully. I’ve noticed some of our Rosemary is starting to flower here, too. Seems so early! But definitely no buds on our Phlomis yet.

    • When I lived in the south of England my rosemary usually flowered from mid-February, my the soil was very free draining there and was south facing, so ideal conditions. Many herbs from the Mediterranean flower early because in summer they are almost dormant.

  9. I love teucrium, Christina, although it may be understated. Personally I think the blue vase was a lovely choice for the greys you’ve used. And interesting what you say about the different colours of the Euphorbia rigida flowers.

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