In a Vase on Monday – Not quite Cotehele!

Some of you may remember my enthusiastic post after I visited Cotehele in December 2015.  I was so inspired that I wanted to grow everlasting flowers to make a small swag of my own.  My seed order for growing in 2016 from Chiltern Seeds failed for some reason so I only grew a few everlasting flowers that I obtained seed of locally.  Spurred on by the seemingly large number of blooms produced in a very small area I determined to try again this year.  The order worked perfectly (as it usually does) and the seeds were duly sown and planted out into one of the cut flower beds this year.  I have to admit that they need picking and preparing a couple of times a week if the plants are to produce optimally – needless to say I didn’t achieve that but I thought I had probably harvested enough for a small swag.The weekend was unpleasant weather wise with  strong winds and low temperatures so I was happy to spend Saturday preparing the flowers, creating small bunches of similar coloured flowers by wrapping their stems together with florists tape.

Tray of prepared dried flowers

The tray is 75 cm by 40 cm; as you will realise there weren’t as many flowers as I had imagined so a swag, even a small one was unlikely to be possible!

I still wanted to use the dried flowers on the mantel shelf of the fire as anything else is likely to dry to a crisp as the fire is used every evening.  I searched the internet for inspiration and looked for ideas in my flower arranging books.  Nothing seemed quite right but I did get the idea for a tall slim vase with flowers at the top.

In a vase on Monday

I had wanted to fill the vase, which is about 60 cm tall in its stand, with floating crab apples but my nerve failed as they look so lovely on the tree I couldn’t bring myself to pick them; I then tried with small red, silver and gold glass balls but the finished result didn’t look quite right with the colours of the dried flowers.  If you look carefully you can see that one ball remains trapped in the bottom of the vase.

The flowers

The flowers include: Helipterum roseum ‘Pierrot’, Helichrisum, Limonium suworowii Rat Tail Statice Pink Pokers, Limonium sinuatum ‘Purple Attraction’ and dried Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’.  I also included a few of the gold-sprayed garlic chive seed-heads I also used in the Advent Crown last week.

The pink trailing tails of Limonium suworowii Rat Tail statice Pink Pokers were one of the flowers I remembered most from Cotehele

The slim white candle is attached to the Oasis using cocktail sticks and Florists tape.

I used a florist’s frog to attach Oasis to a candle holder inserted into the top of the tall vase held in a wrought iron support

There will be other candles and decoration added to the mantle shelf in the next few days

It is hard to justify the time taken to put together this vase but it was fun trying something completely new to me.  It will also be suitable in the cold dark days of January when there are very few flowers to pick from the garden.  There still remains about half the flowers so I will be able to use them for other arrangements during the winter.

With my thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden our host for this inspiring meme.  Cathy’s garden is under snow this week but she still managed to find some flowers to share with us all.

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57 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday – Not quite Cotehele!

  1. I well remember your visit and the blog post about those incredible swags. I love your vase and think it is a great solution to having fewer flowers to use. I am really amazed at the Amaranths; those flowing pink wands make for an unusual bouquet.

    • It was the Limonium suworowii Rat Tail Statice Pink Pokers at Cotehele that really made me think about actually growing some of the flowers. This makes me realise that the small area in the garden at Cotehele can’t possibly be the only place that they grow the flowers for the swag! I think you’d need a field for that many.

  2. What a glorious array of colours that firat photo is Christina, and I suspect a lot off us will suddenly think that grwing these everlasting flowers is such a good idea. I am especially excited by the Limonium suworowii Rat Tail statice Pink Pokers which I realised eventually was a long name for just one plant – but the rat tail name made it fairly clearly which one it was! What a great plant! I was going to keep some of my amaranthus but somehow didn’t – not sure why. Did you do anything special with yours when you cut them? The end result of your vase is wonderful and you should be really proud of what you have achieved – well done!

    • It is nice to challenge oneself sometimes; I admit to being very pleased with the result. The Rats tails was one of the easier flowers to grow and looks good as a fresh flower too so well worth the effort. I cut the Amaranthus and put them in a container with a little water which I allowed to evaporate; they stayed green for a while then turned softly beige. I wonder what the crimson ones would do, they might keep some of their colour.

      • I will definitely try a selection of the everlasting flowers for next year, but especially the rats tails! I have saved amaranthus before and the red does keep its colour qiuite well, but I remenber seeds dropping after a time. Still worth keeping though

  3. I remember your enthusiastic post after visiting Cotehele. Such an exquisite use of all of those dried flowers! You’ve created a beautiful bit of that on your mantle & it’s very elegant. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the remaining flowers. Gorgeous!

    • Thanks for your enthusiasm Peter; it is nice when one has achieved something to be able to share it with other via the blog. I might not have persevered after my initial disappointment at the lack of flowers to make the wreath. It’s probably safer like this too!

  4. Oh how gorgeous! And such rich colours. If I had known you were going to do this I wouldn’t have bothered posting my pathetic little basket. I love the Limonium, well I love it all. Next year I will grow more. I used to grow loads and make swags in the days when I had a big cutting garden and a drying rack over my aga. But I have found they dry quite well hanging up in my shed. I used Chiltern seeds.

    • You seemed to find ones I didn’t. If we plan maybe we could share some packs of seed, there are always more than you need. Your arrangement isn’t pathetic at all – just different to mine.

        • Good idea, though not all plants reproduce well from seed. You only need to think of Cosmos, their seed never produces plants that are as floriferous as their hybrid parents. Chloride is already very generous with seed and cuttings.

  5. That is fabulous Christina. I remember being similarly moved having seen the swags at Cotehele, determined to find the seed and have a go myself. The difference is.. you actually did it!

  6. What a stunning piece of art! I love the way the curving wrought iron support is echoed in the pink trailing flower stems. I love the richness of the colour that will last though the winter days. That was a great day at Cothele, and this is a beautiful memory of their garland.

    • It was a lovely day; wasn’t it a foul day? Actually it has been much the same here today. I remember the carols, it is a day that lives in my memory, thanks to you suggesting that we go.

  7. Christina you have overcome! The arrangement is magnificent, marvellous! The flowers are all beautiful and with beautiful colors and shapes. The way to place the flowers and the white candle in that beautiful vase are wonderful. I had never seen such a beautiful vase of flowers Christina. You have hands that are worth their weight in gold. Thank you so much for so much beauty. Take care. Greetings from Margarita

  8. I remember the swag post well, Christina. Your dried flowers may have been fewer in number than you’d hoped for but I’m very impressed! I imagine that working with dried flowers, fragile in their own way, wasn’t easy and your color mix is scrumptious. Those new-to-me rat-tail Limonium flowers are truly wonderful. Best wishes for better weather in the coming week.

  9. That is a grand arrangement Christina! I especially love the way the Amaranthus and Limonium gracefully flow over the edges. So nice to have colourful flowers in winter too. 🙂

    • When I did it I was thinking of a Christmas arrangement but as I look at it now I think I will enjoy it during winter. Maybe I’ll be able to change the vase it sits on to make it seem different.

  10. I have my eye on the Rat’s tails to grow next year. A swag sounds wonderful so will you have another try at growing enough flowers? I once made wreaths with pink Helichrysum which were very pretty.
    This arrangement is a feast for the eyes and will last for a long time looking fabulous.

    • The fire is such a focal point in winter, I like there to be flowers or foliage on the mantle but the fire dries everything to a frazzle so I’m hoping this will last a little longer.

  11. Ooh, very pretty, Christina. I haven’t used dried flowers in ages, but seeing yours has revived my interest. They add nice color throughout the winter, too, when few fresh flowers are available. A garland of them would be quite lovely, but as you said, you’d need a field of them!

    • I think the main problem is I will get bored by the lack of change in the flowers; they might just as well be fake. For now it is a novelty as I haven’t ever done anything with dried flowers before. I’ll need to work out how I can keep ringing the changes to keep my interest positive.

  12. Thank you very much Christina for considering me a true friend. I also consider you a true friend. I am very happy for the translation error and that you are very well and happy. Greetings from Margarita.

  13. Beautiful! -but I like them in the tray even more, I’m such a simple person and they look so well grown and carefully collected and displayed.
    I just looked at Chloris’ arrangement and was wondering where I saw the swags, so thanks for the reminder and link. Dried flowers never impressed me much, I agree with you on liking the changes which the fresh ones provide, but I could see this as a wonderful January display for when the holidays are over and spring is still a bit off (for us at least). You’ve got me thinking though. I do have some gomphrena which I already like in the garden and which I believe dry well, and maybe adding a few of your others might not be out of the question!

  14. I still remember your beautiful post featuring the incredible everlasting floral swag! When I first glanced at your top image, before I knew what your post was about, I thought about that post. You may not have produced a swag, but your vase is very unique and quite lovely. By the way, seeing the above comment, I love gomphrena. It grows easily in my garden and lasts for months as it ages beautifully.

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