In A Vase On Monday – After the Frost


I missed creating a vase from my garden last Monday, but I’ve recovered from my despondency over the demise of much of my garden, so today I roused myself to see what I could come up with this week. I was pleasantly surprised that there was still an ample supply with which to create my arrangement.

IMG_8578Dead nettle (Lamium maculatum) and Johnny-jump-ups (Viola tricolor) are still green and blooming. I was pleased to discover a late bloom of seventh son tree (Heptacodium miconioides), with its usually pure white, fragrant blooms tinged pink from the frost.

IMG_8559A few seed heads from a hosta (Hosta sp.) that had escaped my deadheading caught my eye. The pendulous racemes had split open, revealing layers of black, papery seeds within.

I was next drawn to the burgundy and yellow foliage of my bridalwreath (Spiraea × vanhouttei)I love the way the interior of the bush is golden yellow, graduating out to green then maroon at the tips. The twigs are a deep chocolate brown, providing a beautiful contrast. It looks as if it is lit from within.

IMG_8570The burgundy foliage of Korean spicebush (Viburnum carlesii) begged to be included, as well as a few burnished purple leaflets of barrenwort (Epimedium lutea).

Lastly, gray-green garden sage (Salvia officinalis), which is tough, frost-hardy and nearly evergreen, completed the selection.

IMG_8568The green apothecary bottle was a yard sale find and the vintage, hand-painted, carved ducks once belonged to my in-laws. I used my pansy doily to repeat the violas in the arrangement.

IMG_8562Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase what is blooming in our gardens by creating arrangements to enjoy inside our homes.

Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

Feel free to join in, sharing your own weekly vase with a link to Cathy’s blog.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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65 Responses to In A Vase On Monday – After the Frost

  1. west517 says:

    It’s hard for me to imagine it being cold enough to ‘take out’ a garden 🙂 …it’s about 85 here~ but these are nice and refreshing– perfect for Fall ❤

  2. Julie says:

    Love this Eliza, it feels so relaxed to see and to read about too. Your Violas are beautiful and one of my favourite plants.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    You found plenty of interesting items for your vase Eliza. Someday I hope to add a Korean spicebush to my own garden. Didn’t realize how nice the foliage is in autumn.

  4. Gillian says:

    Your climate seems much more severe than ours. We will eventually get some frost and snow but nothing on the scale of the winters you face. I do love the way seasonal changes in the garden are reflected in our vases though. Your vase is beautiful in a mellow tasteful way this week Eliza. Flowers are lovely… and foliage is too.

  5. Several light frosts here but much is fading now in the garden…I love looking around to see what is still growing and flowering. What a wonderful bunch of finds…love the viola. Fabulous vase!

  6. Cathy says:

    What an intriguing vase, Eliza – and for some reason I thought your title included the word ‘forest’ and this is exactly what your vase seems reminiscent of. It’s the colours and range of textures – you have chosen so well and seemingly intuitively. Thank you for sharing this with us

  7. cindy knoke says:

    I love you using the Johnny Jump Ups!

  8. arlingwoman says:

    I’m so glad you went looking. I used the last blooms of okra (very like hibiscus) in a bouquet this weekend. There’s always something out there and you got nice texture and some lovely blossoms–and I bet fragrance from the sage!

  9. Maria F. says:

    Very nice colors Eliza!

  10. Anca Tîrcă says:

    What a creative bouquet, thanks for sharing it, Eliza! I love that green vase, too!

  11. You’ve found such a lot of material! Frost, what frost? I like the pink blush on the Heptacodium and the violas work to dazzle like embedded jewels. The hosta seed pods are a stroke of genius.

  12. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    So pretty, Eliza. The last of the season. You make everything pretty.

  13. dorannrule says:

    Even your “leftovers” are glorious arrangements!

  14. Trini Lind says:

    Lovely! 💖🍁💖🌺💖🌹🌾🍂🌼🌿💖😊

  15. Val Boyko says:

    Korean spice is on my list for Spring planting.
    What a bonus to have violas right now!
    Such an interesting arrangement Eliza 💛

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Val. Viburnum carlesii is my favorite viburnum! In spring, its heavenly perfume wafts all around the yard, then the fall color is delightful. You will love it.

  16. MK says:

    Admirable. An arrangement need not be all blooms to be beautiful. You did it again, Eliza. And I really like your green vase.

  17. Kris P says:

    You’ve still got a lot to present an interesting vase, Eliza. Actually, I find my most creative arrangements are the products of stretching myself to look at my garden differently. Our low point for the garden is late summer, when everything gets scorched – we’re in recovery mode now.

  18. Cathy says:

    I’m so glad you made a vase this week – and it is lovely and reflects the season perfectly. Aren’t violas amazing little flowers! I like the foliage of the spice bush, and your description of the spirea sounds wonderful.

  19. Cath says:

    I love the little Johnny Jump Ups, it’s great that you managed to get them to stand up in a vase. Interesting that your Sage is nearly evergreen, our winters are much milder but I have lost several over the winter. Probably the cold rain and wet cold clay. Lovely to hear your descriptions of your shrubs.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Many thanks, Cath. Aren’t those little violas so cheerful? I love how they self-sow all over. My sage is in a sandy, well-drained (as well as sunny and hot in summer) bed. If it is too rainy or humid, they’ll get mildew. They seem to thrive on adversity and neglect!

  20. Sorry about your frost

  21. Hannah says:

    I love your ducks, Eliza, I collect them too. I’m glad you felt better about the garden and found some lovely thngs for your vase, Violas are such hardy flowers, and add some nice purple. I like the white flowers fading pink, and all the lovely burgundy and red leaves, with the green they are almost Christmasy.

  22. Very beautiful bouquet!

  23. This was great Eliza. I especially smiled at your first sentence. 🙂

  24. Beautywhizz says:

    I really like the hosta seed heads. I’m always amazed by those different shapes which appear after the flowers have gone. And the ducks are cute.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you – there really is a lot of form in the garden that we generally cut back in the fall. I’m tempted to leave everything until spring. Birds may welcome the seeds this winter.

  25. Robin says:

    You are amazing, Eliza. Even after a severe frost, you came up with a gorgeous arrangement. Can’t wait to see what you do with dried plants in winter. 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Oh-oh, not a little pressure! 😉 We’ll see. Thanks for your applause! 🙂
      I realized how much I really like to create with color. Therefore, it might be a good challenge to work with monochromes. Brown and gray – a huge challenge!

  26. srickman2014 says:

    Lovely! It is amazing how the fading of the colors of fall create a new inspiration. Texture comes to the forefront instead of color being the main focus. Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful creations:)

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Stephanie! It’s true you have to focus more on texture than color at this stage of the season. Yesterday I was out photographing seed heads and they are wonderful!

  27. so pleased to see you back here this Monday! I think your choice of foliage is so pretty and I am loving that green apothecary bottle.

  28. Another beautiful arrangement and photo. I can see that no plant goes to waste with you as their gardener. A very creative practice!

  29. These are very beautiful photos and such vibrant colors! I’m sorry to read about your garden being destroyed but it’s great you were able to get a few photos still!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, every fall it takes a bit of time to adjust to the end of the garden. April seems very far away!

      • I can just imagine how long it must feel for April to get here when you have a garden to tend to! Hopefully April will be here before you know it! I love all the seasons but have empathy for people with gardens and things so hope Winter goes fast for them.

  30. Dalo 2013 says:

    The creativity you have with this piece underlines the beauty of this month ~ things may look quite different from the beauty and freshness of the spring, but even with freshness gone there is still beauty to be found.

  31. susurrus says:

    Thanks for directing me to this post. The flowers look lovely with their tinge of pink.

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