In a vase, on Monday – colour combo

Well, I’m not terribly satisfied with my effort this week. Tulips and daffodils are officially done for the year (the last of my Narcissus, last week’s Poeticus, started to fade on Saturday and by yesterday afternoon not a single one had a fresh looking flower). I could have filled a jug with fragrant and gorgeous lilac, peaking this week here in Prince Edward County, or a tall glass vase with the first of the tall bearded Iris, or even a half dozen Purple Sensation Allium. Instead, I wanted to use this smallish ceramic vase and fill it with contrasting and complementary colour. The result, to my eye, is fine when you focus closely on individual pairings, but as a whole, not so much. Sorry!

I brought a plant into the garden last fall because the foliage was beautiful – a rosette of mottled dark green. Turns out it was some type of buttercup. I wanted to pair its yellow with the delicate yellow beard of the first of my tall Iris to bloom.
The yellow buttercup accentuates the yellow in the Iris, and the both contrast perfectly with the Purple Sensation Allium.
Here is the vase itself. With its turquoise rim I thought I would place it outside, in front of a very old door with peeling turquoise paint. I added the wild forget-me-nots both to be a filler and also as a nod to where I got the Iris:
These tiny blue flowers self seed pretty much everywhere, including in front of the first batch of tallish bearded Iris.

For my ikebana vase this week I chose a very short Allium with a large flower. In the garden the flower head of Allium karataviense ranges from just a few inches to almost the size of a grapefruit, and its stalk is rarely more than six or eight inches tall. I paired it with some Gallium odoratum – Sweet Woodruff – and a few sprays of the forget-me-not. I think I need to either take these ikebana shots before the sun hits the window or move the vessel somewhere else. Oh well – live and learn!

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting IAVOM and giving gardeners around the world an opportunity to share their flower designs. Have a lovely week everyone, and stay safe.


  1. Both vases are lovely. The Ikebana one being quite special as you have surrounded the central allium with ‘movement’. I smiled when you mentioned finding the light tricky, as this was the hardest part of my efforts for my vase this morning. Nothing in the house worked, then I settled on putting it in conservatory to photograph.

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  2. Both are beautiful. I found your blog recently, and reviewed many of your older posts. While you find lighting to be a challenge, your arranging skills have greatly improved. Again, beautiful!

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  3. Not such a disaster after all, Chris! I especially like seeing your first vase against the peeling paint, which works really well, as does using the buttercup to pick out the yellow on the iris – and then the shape of the allium reflects the patches between the paint on the door…there, it WAS well thought out! And a pretty ikebana arrangement as a bonus!

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  4. The buttercup does beautifully echo the beard of the Iris. It looks like it could be Ranunculus californicus, or at least a relative. The Allium with forget-me-nots is a wonderful combination too. I so wish I could grow those Alliums.

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