Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, December 17, 2018

In a Vase on Monday - On the Cusp

Officially autumn will be over on December 21 and the days will start getting longer again.  The garden is never static in this climate.  Most deciduous foliage has changed color and fallen but a few plants here and there are hanging on to green foliage a little while longer.  Dashing out in the rain today, my intent was to find a combination of fading foliage along with green hope for the new year.  I decided that this stoneware mug that my pottery teacher made in the 70's would be a suitable container.  For years, I used this  to hold hot chocolate laced with schnapps on nights when the snow was coming  down so hard that it was clear that work would be cancelled the next day - a little winter celebration. 

The Osmunda regalis in the back garden is still green but the one in the side garden has taken on a beautiful buff color and was the first thing I cut.  It's joined by a sprig of evergreen Jacobaea maritima (Dusty Miller,) a faded hydrangea bloom, a Fatsia japonica leaf and the purple berries of Callicarpa.  The garden is both shutting down for winter and bringing forth fresh new blooms, the sign of a new garden season to come.  Autumn tucked into winter.

The solstice marks the shortest day and carries the promise of  the return of light.  It's also advent, a season of waiting and expectation.  This glass paperweight with an interplay of light and darkness seemed an appropriate prop.

I have a thing for boxes and tend to squirrel things away in them.  This one contains glass jewels to use in stained glass windows.  What treasure will the new year bring?  What dreams may come?
 Sleep by Charles Anthony Silvestri

The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune.
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon.
Upon my pillow, safe in bed,
A thousand pictures fill my head.

 I cannot sleep, my mind’s a-flight;
And yet my limbs seem made of lead.
If there are noises in the night,
A frightening shadow, flickering light,
Then I surrender unto sleep,
Where clouds of dream give second sight,

What dreams may come,
both dark and deep,
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep,
As I surrender unto sleep.

Many thanks to our amazing host, Cathy at Rambling in the  Garden who encourages us to bring something inside from the garden or scavenged nearby each Monday.


  1. Nice display this week!

    " For years, I used this to hold hot chocolate laced with schnapps..." I assume peppermint schnapps? The thought of some of the other flavors in hot chocolate sounds more like a punishment than a celebration. :)

    1. Oh yes, peppermint! However, the relatively new whipped cream flavored vodka also works nicely. If you like sweet stuff, hot apple cider and caramel apple vodka are a delightful combination as well.

  2. Your comment on my blog today about hibernation reminded me that one thing I learned from watching my new favorite quiz show is that the winter solstice is called the hibernal solstice. Great choices for your vase today!

  3. I like your autumn-tucked-into-winter-and-overseen-by-Advent vase, Pater, and perfect props, as always. What a joy your posts are!

  4. Love the arrangement and its vase, thanks for sharing an empty photo so we could appreciate it before it was filled with garden bits.

  5. Nice arrangement, nice "little house on the prairie" vase. I too have accumulated a menagerie of small boxes over the years, and like you I 'hide' all manner of bits and mementoes in them.
    Winter solstice always fills me with joy: the promise of things to come, usually a lot faster then we realize.

  6. i love how that fern always turns such a rich color. Mine alas got beaten down weeks ago so you are lucky to have some to add to your display. Love the transitional theme.

  7. You couldn't have found better props than those. I love the colors in your foliage arrangement, especially that of the beautiful fern. And, as you probably know by now, I suffer from deep Callicarpa envy.

  8. Lovely, and well done on your theme. I love it that our gardens never really shut down here. I noticed primroses in bloom along the front walk today.

  9. A handsome collection for your vase. I would drink to that.

  10. Just wanted to say I have looked at your arrangement...and then enjoyed your treasures in boxes and poem about sleep....all little gems in themselves like you....

  11. A beautiful collection and I love the story of your mug. Sounds good. You are right, there are signs of new growth everywhere which is heartening.

  12. Hot chocolate laced with Schnapps...yes, I do believe I will have some of that tonight. Thank you for the idea. I love everything about your arrangement, as always.

  13. Ah what a poetic post dear friend!!!

    Enjoyed each bit of it!

    You have delicate way with words

    Loved your fascinating arrangements of season:)

    Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly beautiful poem. So terrific!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.