In a vase on Monday: Blue dusk



What an absolutely gorgeous day, chilly but not freezing if you keep moving and just perfect for a bit of gentle cutting back and digging out of crumbly compost to make room in the full to overflowing compost bin for today’s prunings. I never call it garden waste or green waste, it is the essential ingredient for growing a garden. I cut the dried flower heads of Verbena bonariensis today and added them to poppy seedheads and a seedhead of Allium Christophii. I was going to cut some flowers from my various clumps of Panicum, but they are looking so good right now I just couldn’t bring myself to spoil the display.  I adore grasses, especially at this time of year. I planted another Pennisetum this autumn and have been wondering if I should pot it up after the alarming weather forecast for tonight.  It is planted in a sunny well-drained spot and I’ve surrounded it with tulip and narcissus bulbs which I don’t want to disturb so I think it will have to take its chance.

The vase is special to me. It was made by Amanda Brier when she was working at the Leach pottery in St Ives and I bought it direct from the pottery maybe 15 years ago. It is a simple cylinder in shape and it reminds me of the sea and holidays in Cornwall.

I am getting ready for Christmas in my usual low key way. I made a fresh batch of mincemeat over the weekend (I use Delia’s recipe) and have just rolled out my first batch of mince pies.


I’ve also been making Liberty lawn lavender bags filled with dried lavender from the garden. (I make an inner bag from leftover lining fabric and use toy stuffing as well as lavender to make them soft and plump.) And I’m pleased with how this crochet cushion cover (still awaiting its feather pad) came out as I copied a photograph from a book and worked out the pattern  myself. (Is it a ripple wave? It has a really nice texture.)  It has been made for the painted chair with a punched star seat which I bought from a junk shop for the cottage. This is my (absent) daughter’s bedroom and today it not only smells of lavender but is also scented by the Rose of Attar pelargoniums overwintering on the windowsill.



I love a sunny blue sky day. Tomorrow is forecast to be as good and I’m going to London to take advantage of my Tate membership and plan to see both the Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain and Elton John’s modernist photograph collection at Tate Modern. As I’m going with my husband there is bound to be a nice lunch too. We first visited Tate Modern in December 2000, taking the opportunity of a child-free day out together while our four-year-old daughter stayed at school all day for a Christmas play.  I remember it well because we bought a print of The Snail by Matisse for the playroom and had lunch at the Globe theatre before dashing home to collect the children at 3.15pm. Tomorrow will be more leisurely I hope.


It’s great to join in with Cathy and post my vase on Monday.


12 thoughts on “In a vase on Monday: Blue dusk

  1. I love all the things you’ve been making and the dried plants look lovely in the vase. Your day out in London sounds so nice, I’m sure you’ll love every minute. I also use delias mincemeat recipe with a few tweaks. It’s very good xx


  2. I envy you your plans for tomorrow – I really should explore more of what the greater Los Angeles area has to offer in that vein but getting on the roads here is a misery. I love the simplicity and elegance of your dried arrangement – I let a few Agapanthus remain as skeletons after flowering but they’re not nearly as beautiful or as photogenic as your Allium.


  3. Sadly I left my christophii too long to make them worth picking (same with the poppies), although I do have one left from years ago – AND have ordered quite a lot more as I have enjoyed the heads of mine so much this year. I love your vase of seedheads and the vase itself. You have been busy with your Christmas things – my Christmas baking was done a week or two ago (Mrs Beeton’s mincemeat recipe) and I am working on dressing up clothes for the Poppet and my Christmas cards. Just need to decide on handmade goodies for friends… Hope you have a great day out at the Tate – you will still need to wrap up warm!


  4. Fantastic seed heads, and such a lovely vase. Beautifully simple and a gorgeous colour. I hope you have a lovely day in London, I’m very envious! Would love to see the photographic exhibition as well. CJ xx


  5. I love the way your dried plants look in the vase. I’ve always wanted to display dried plants but I never think I can put together a nice bunch. My grandmother did this a lot, often using “silver dollar” plants with other things like cattails and it always looked beautiful. I hope you have a wonderful time in London! That sounds like such a nice plan you have. Enjoy yourself.


  6. Lovely post – love the vase of seedheads (and the actual vase) and all your handmade items. Hope you had a fabulous time at the Tates. It’s always a tonic to have a proper day out, especially when you’re not rushing back for the school run. x


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