In a vase on Monday – Happy New Year!

It is fitting that it is Cathy at Rambling in the Garden‘s Monday meme that has lifted me from my inaction to post again after the passing of my beloved MIL.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who took time to send their condolences and good wishes to me; it is difficult for me to express the help and strength your kinds words gave me at this very difficult time.

It was June, my MIL, who first encourages me to begin flower arranging.  She had been accomplished with vases for many years and had also taken some classes.  For many years she was on the rota for supplying her Church with flowers and also participated in flower festivals.  Her inspiration, valued tips and presents of books and materials have  and will continue to be the foundation of my arrangements.

In a vase on Monday 2nd January

In a vase on Monday 2nd January

There are few flowers in the garden, temperatures have dipped below zero degrees Centigrade at night for the last couple of weeks but amazingly there was a small posy of Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ to pick.  Evergreens are at there most verdant at this time of year and Arbutus unedo has the added interest of its fruit.  Sadly the flowers of Elaeagnus have finished now but a few sprigs have been included.

Just a few white flowers lift make the arrangement more alive

Just a few white flowers lift make the arrangement more alive

Prostrate Rosemary has been flowering for at least two months but the flowers at the top of the stems are still fresh; I especially wanted to include Rosemary as it denotes remembrance in the language of flowers.

The red and yellow fruits of the Arbutus also add a lot of interest

The red and yellow fruits of the Arbutus also add a lot of interest

Do visit Cathy to see her colourful creation today and last but by no means least I wish you all, my dear friends (if I may be so bold) A Very Happy New Year.  May 2017 give you peace and joy and of course “Good Gardening”. Christina


60 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday – Happy New Year!

  1. Welcome back, Christina, hope you’re well. Your vase is ever so pretty and the Arbutus fruit just add the proper sparkle. Wishing you all the best for 2017, may the inspiration never leave you.

  2. I’m sorry for your loss and welcome back. Your arrangements are always lovely especially compared to my plonking in a vase approach, now I understand why as you have benefited from a generous guiding hand.

    • It is true that I have often thought of my MIL when arranging my flowers and I’m sure I will often remember her in the future too. A very Happy 2017 to you Helen.

    • Thank you Denzil, it has surprised me how much the words or ‘virtual’ strangers or blogging friends as I prefer to think of them have meant to me over the last couple of weeks when I could read but not write a post.

  3. Christina, I have a feeling the lessons and joy passed along to you by your dear June will be ever-present, especially in your creative flower arrangements. Including rosemary was a thoughtful gesture. This is a very strong design. Admire those Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’ very much. Good wishes for the new year!

  4. So very sorry to hear of the sad passing of your MIL Christina. It sounds as though she has been a wonderful inspiration to you.
    I have been out of action for a good number of weeks now, thanks to Talk Talk, but everything seems back to normal now.

    • I’m sorry that in the rush to change our flights to get to the U.K., I didn’t pack the Euphorbia I promised you. But I have potted up masses of seedlings so when we next visit (which I think will have to be quite soon) I’ll bring some to post to you. June was a very special woman and will be missed by many people.

  5. It is good to have you back Christina, even though we knew you were still in the background reading our posts when you could. There will be so many things that remind you of June and inevitably IAVOM will no doubt be one of them – the inspiration she instilled in you will live on and I am sure she will have been delighted to have shared the common bond that you head. Despite the paucity of blooms your basket still appears bounteous, with all the greenery to add substance – and how lovely to have the anemone blooms. Some of those I grew for YD’s wedding are coming through again here but I won’t know which colour they are for a while yet. I like the way you have hincluded rosemary, especially for rembrance. Thanks so much for sharing and best wishes for 2017, despite the unsettled start

    • June was a very gentle person but underneath she was very strong; like so many of her generation she had lived through many difficulties; I think the future is going to hold many new difficulties for all of us, I hope we will be able to be as strong.

  6. Your arrangement once again proves the importance of a variety of foliage in the garden! You are lucky you had a family member to share gardening with. No one on either side of my family is really that interested in gardening. And you are also so correct in hoping that we will have the strength of the previous generation to deal with what ever is coming our way. I think we are going to need it.

    • Rosemary is ever present in my garden as June’s memory will be. The memories are very good so there is no need to be sad for long. Thank you for your good wishes. A very happy 2017 to you and I very much hope to be able to meet you and your garden.

  7. Dear Christina, I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved MIL, please accept my sincere condolences.
    How wonderful that you shared the love of flower arranging with her and your bouquet today is a lovely tribute to that.
    Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year 2017! Hopefully, it will be a great garden year as well.
    Warm regards,

  8. So sorry to hear about your lovely MIL Christina. Your flowers are beautiful as usual and FlowerAlley is quite right… fresh and tasteful. A lovely tribute.

    • thank you Gillian; luckily your seeds had already arrived and I have them safely at home ready to sow. Do you think now would be a good time to try them? Light levels are quite high even though I still have shade netting on the greenhouse. Thank you so much for sending them.

  9. A lovely basket, Christina. One would think it is spring with all the abundance, not January. Hope this year brings you continued hope and healing. Looking forward to sharing another gardening year with you.

  10. I’m glad to see you back, Christina. I know that managing grief is a slow process but I think you’ve found an excellent way to connect with your feelings and your memories of your MIL in flower arranging. This week’s arrangement is beautiful. I’ve never used the fruit of Arbutus in a vase – you’ll have to let us know how it holds up.

    • I think every death of a loved one affects us differently and our grieving is different too; I feel happy that my MIL died peacefully in her sleep, at home where she was still able to look after herself reasonably well and she was, I believe, looking forward to seeing us in just a few days; of course I feel her loss but her inspiration will live on and I have so many happy memories of her here in the my garden as well as in her own. I actually picked some Arbutus fruit before Christmas (beginning of December I think) which are still in a dried up vase, the fruits still look OK although the foliage is completely desiccated; I’ll let you know how the ones today fare.

  11. What a joy to see Christina again. A beautiful bouquet of flowers and a wonderful detail with the Romero. Your MIL will always accompany you and give you much inspiration. Happy Year with my best wishes for love, health and peace. May it be very happy this 2017. Greetings from Margarita.

  12. I was glad to read your comment about not being sad for long. Those happy memories are a gift that last a lifetime. Your lovely basket is the perfect tribute and first baby step back into the light.

    • A nice simile Rickii, yes baby steps towards the future. I have so many happy memories and my MIL was 90 and had a good and happy life, I feel that she was ready for her death, however sad that seems at the moment.

  13. I hope that everything went well with your MIL’s funeral Christina – I know only too well how sad you will both be feeling and how hard it has been to contemplate Christmas and New Year at such a time. I think we will all be glad for the normality of January and a chance to gather ourselves and try to come to terms with our losses. Everyone keeps telling me that the happy memories will come to the forefront and I know they are right but just now the sadness of my mothers loss dominates. Your flowers are beautiful today and it is so nice to know that your MIL inspired you to start this journey – she must of been very proud of your achievements.

    • Thank you yes, the funeral went very well, did you receive my email? I’ve been thinking of you over the festive period when I think it is even harder to bear the loss of a loved one. I’m sure you will slowly remember good times more than your loss. The pain doesn’t disappear but it doesn’t becomes easier to bear. My mother died 24 years ago this month and in some ways it seems like only yesterday. I hope you will find peace in your garden and in your life. Thank you so much for your help with my ideas for the floral tribute for June, you helped me enormously. With my good wishes, Christina.

  14. A loving tribute to June and a bit of Rosemary for her is a lovely touch in the arrangement. She sounds like she led a wonderful life and continuing the vases will honor her memory.
    I love the Arbutus and have not seen it before, so amazing what one finds when looking hard enough! Hope you will take some time to process and rest well.

    • Arbutus is a wonderful Mediterranean tree that flowers and fruits in the autumn, I’ve written about it several times if you are interested in finding out more about it.

  15. I am so sorry to hear about your MIL. How special that she passed on the art of flower arranging to you. You were a good student! She must have been very proud of you and your accomplishments in the garden. I love, love this week’s arrangement! Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2017!

    • Thank you Deb; it was wonderful to share my interests with my MIL, my own mother wasn’t interested in the garden at all so my relationship with my MIL after my own mother’s death was even more special. A very happy 2017 to you too.

  16. You would have been proud to see me today, Christina. I spent several hours pruning bushes and pulling weeds in our new garden in California. I think of you constantly as I look at this garden that would so benefit from your suggestions. It was lovely to come in this evening and read your post and see your tribute to your beloved MIL. We have a large rosemary finally — something we could never grow in Nevada — and I am happy now to think of it as a symbol of remembrance. Thank you for sharing your post, your flowers and your garden wisdom.

    • I would love to be with you and sharing ideas; who knows maybe it will happen this year. On a more practical note the book I bought when I was with you and the one your mum bought for me would both help with practical ideas about what plants to choose and where to plant them; I’ll check their titles but I’m sure Scott will know them. Good Gardening as they say on the BBC radio 4 garden questions program that has been running for nearly 70 years (can you believe that?)!

      • That’s a good idea about the books and I will check out the BBC program.. Thank you! I’ve been watching YouTube videos on how to prune various plants. It’s an amazing resource too. Gardeners love to share. ; )

        • That’s very true about gardeners but sometimes the ones who want to video themselves aren’t necessarily the best gardeners! Check out the site they are a wonderful resource. the bloggers I follow are in Southern California so have quite a different climate to you, but if you check what is growing well in neighbours gardens, that’s always a good place to begin.

  17. I was terribly sorry to hear about your MIL. One of the greatest comforts to me in the loss of my mother earlier this year has been carrying on traditions, like the country ham for New Year’s. I can see you will find the same type of solace in flowers. Certainly, your vases will always do her proud.

  18. I love the addition of the fruit to your arrangement Christina, and it has all come together so nicely with the foliage and spring flowers. My best wishes to you too for a happy new year and many wonderful hours in your beautiful garden! 🙂

    • Thank you for the lovely enthusiasm Cathy. I’m going to try to be more positive about the ‘dead time’ in the garden in August. I might even water a bit more! My good wishes to you for 2017 too Cathy!

  19. Lovely to see the fruits of arbutus add such vibrancy to your vase. Sadly I haven’t see any fruits on the ones round here for a few years. Best wishes for 2017. I hope that each vase you create will be a lovely reminder of a special lady.

  20. I was so sorry to see the news about your MIL… It’s special that you can carry on something that you and she had shared over the years, and I hope it will help with the sense of loss. Wishing you a lovely 2017 despite the sad start; I look forward to continuing to follow your wonderful posts!

  21. Lovely to have you back doing a vase on Monday after your sad time. Your Mother in !aw would love this beautiful arrangement and what a nice touch to include some Rosemary for remembrance.

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