In a Vase on Monday. October.

They dined on mince and slices of quince which they ate with a runcible spoon’.
‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’. Edward Lear.

My three year-old Quince tree, Cydonia oblonga ‘Vranja’ produced two beautiful quinces this year. I have them on a dish and they make the room smell delicious with their fragrance. I thought I would use the biggest as an accessory for a contribution to the ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme hosted by Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden. I haven’t joined in as much as I would like with this popular meme because I am always reluctant to spoil my display in the garden. But now the weather has turned wet and cool I thought I could spare a few blooms and enjoy them in the house.

White flowers.
I used a white rose which I think is probably a hybrid musk called ‘Moonlight. It is blooming well at the moment.
I picked a spray of my pure white Anemone x hybrida ‘Andrea Atkinson’.
A flower or two of the lovely Cosmos ‘Purity’ which  blooms for weeks as long as you remember to dead head.
Solanum jasminoides always goes on blooming until the frosts.
Gaura lindheimeri is another dainty flower which blooms on and on. It is so easy from cuttings that I have it everywhere.
Aster, sorry Symphiotrichum pilosum var. pringlei ‘Monte Cassino’, (oh dear what a mouthful), is just coming into bloom and I used a spray of it. I think I should have been a bit more generous and picked several sprays.
Last week Cathy used some Mile-a -Minute Vine, Fallopia baldschuanica in her arrangement and I thought it looked lovely. I hasten to add that I have never planted this invasive plant and I strongly suggest that you don’t either. It keeps creeping over from my neighbour’s garden and whenever I see it I rip it out in fury. But this time I saved a bit to pick.

Yellow flowers.
Mahonia x media ‘Charity’.
Perennial Helianthus, I’m not sure which one but it is very invasive.
Corydalis lutea which seeds around with great enthusiasm, but I always leave a little. It is blooming away now as well as it did earlier in the year.
Clematis tangutica.
I used some of the yellow foliage of Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’.

Silver foliage.
Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’.
Phlomis fruticosa.

Now for the quince. I don’t like mince and I don’t have a runcible spoon. By the way, what is a runcible spoon? But I love Membrillo which is made out of quinces. If you can get hold of some quinces do try it, it is delicious. It is a Spanish recipe and it goes very well with the Spanish cheese, Manchego.

Recipe for Membrillo.
1.8kg/4lbs quinces, peeled, cored chopped. Vanilla pod. (optional) Caster sugar. Water.
Put the quinces into water and add enough water to cover them. Put in the vanilla pod. (Some recipes suggest lemon.) Put a lid on the pan and boil for 35 -40 minutes until the fruit is soft. Drain the fruit and then weigh it. Put it through the food processor. You then add an amount of sugar equal to the weight of the fruit. I know it is rather a lot. Return it to the pan with the sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook over a very low heat until it is deep amber orange and has thickened.
Turn on the oven to a very low heat, 120 f. Grease a shallow baking tin and line it with greaseproof paper and smooth the paste into it. Leave it in the oven for an hour and it will come out set.
It is delicious with cheese but I also like it on toast.
Thank you very much Cathy for hosting this popular meme. Next year I hope to get myself organised with a cutting garden so that I can join in more often.

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57 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. October.

  1. AnnetteM says:

    That is a lovely fresh arrangement with all the yellows, whites and silvers. It is not often that I have enough spare flowers to join in either, but I have enjoyed it when I did.

  2. Tina says:

    Beautiful flowers! I have to remind myself to cut flowers–it’s just not something I do on a regular basis. And, I certainly wouldn’t have what you have; mine tend to be grasses, coneflowers, some daisy/asters, and seed-head type plants. That membrillo sound delish.

    • Chloris says:

      I am always reluctant to pick anything when the garden is looking its best. I would rather enjoy my flowers in the garden than bring them in. I always feel that it is a death sentence to pick things. I am trying to overcome this though, it is easier when the weather gets too cool to linger outside.

  3. Chloris your vase is jaw dropping…so many white flowers this time of year in your garden….I really love the combo with the silvery foliage and quince too.

  4. croftgarden says:

    The flowers are exquisite and beautifully arranged, however it is the quince that made me smile. It is not just a beautiful fruit, but the blossom is lovely too. I really am too far north, but I am so tempted to try a tree in the fruit cage.

  5. Jane Strong says:

    Ah, yes, I, too wondered what a runciple spoon was. Wikipedia has an interesting page on the meaning of the word. Chloris, you have a wide-ranging mind and your posts are always thought-provoking. We are able to buy both membrillo and mancehgo for desert. Love it!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jane. I haven’ t checked the Wikipedia page yet but I will. I only remember about the Owl and the Pussy Cat and also the Dolomphious Duck who caught spotted frogs with a runcible spoon.
      I didn ‘ t know that you can buy membrillo. This is the first time that I have made it. I drove past a house with a big basket of quince and a notice saying ‘ please help yourself’. So I did.

  6. Such an interesting mix. The mahonia provides a nice touch. The membrillo might be too sweet for me, but I’m a big fan of chutney and cheese.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Marian, it is such a mild October here that there are flowers in bloom from different seasons. It makes selecting flowers for an arrangement fun.

  7. Cathy says:

    I love the citrus-y look of your vase – I haven’t any white cosmos this year so need to remedy that as the Candy Stripe has done so well. And an uncommon anemone too – very nice! Glad you have found a use for your invading M-a-M too – although mine didn’t look as perky after a couple of days it still held its shape and remained acceptable for longer, and the sundaville amazingly lasted almost the week.The membrillo is like the British fruit cheeses, isn’t it? If you spread your mixture thinner and bake it till it is almost dried you would get a fruit leather – have you ever tried it? You could either cut it into strips (still with the greaseproof paper) and roll it up, or just cut it into pieces. Chewy and yummy.

    • Chloris says:

      I have Candy Stripe, too but for next year I can really recommend Purity. It is lovely and grows quite tall.
      This is the first time that I have tried making membrillo, I have wanted to make it before but couldn’ t find any quinces I have never tried making your chewy fruit leather. It sounds nice.

  8. Christina says:

    Wow! A spectacular vase Chloris. So many different flowers but they all wwork fabulously well together. I’ll send you my recipe for quince sorbet, its amazing. I also make quince jelly, chilli spiced as well as sweet.

  9. Meriel Murdock, Co. Wicklow, Ireland says:

    Lovely vase full – very full & varied as always! I also have a 3 or 4 yr old quince tree. A few fruit last year but none this unfortunately. I’m impatient to have enough to make Quince jelly or perhaps your Membrillo.

    • Chloris says:

      This is the first time that I have fruit on my tree and only two I am afraid. There were more but the others fell off when they were small. Quinces are not always easy to come by. I found some offered free by someone in a nearby village who clearly has a big tree. There was a big basketful at the gate.

  10. Well, you may not put together a vase on a regular basis but, when you do, it’s a stunner. I love every element. I miss my own white anemone, which appear to be a no-show this year. I’d forgotten how much I like Solanum jasminoides and think I’ll have to find a place for it in this garden. I haven’t thought to cut rosemary (which I have a lot of) for a vase, so I may steal that idea.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Kris. Anemones need a lot of water so I expect yours would have struggled this year. I love solanum jasminoides too but I have recently acquired one I love even more from Beth Chatto. It is Solanum laxum ‘ Creche due Pape’ and it is very similar to Solanum jasminoides but the flowers are shaded pale purple.

  11. threadspider says:

    That is a simply stunning vase of flowers and the quince is an inspired touch too. They have a beautiful form as well as perfume. Can’t think why I haven’t got one in the garden 😊

  12. Robbie says:

    Beautiful vast:-) I am just like you about cutting the flowers that are displayed in my garden, but I don’t mind as they come to the end or another takes it place.
    Quince-I have always wondered about this fruit(?) Really interesting and looks tasty as well as pretty!
    Not to be silly but looking at the picture, I thought it was a filet of salmon fish at first:-) that with spanish cheese-YUM!

    • Chloris says:

      Ha! Ha! I might be eccentric but I don’ t think you are ever likely to find a picture of a filet of raw salmon on my blog.
      Quinces are lovely fruit with a delicate aroma but you can’ t eat them raw. They are hard and grainy. They are delicious cooked with apples in a pie though.

  13. Anna says:

    A most cool, elegant and stylish vase of flowers Chloris. I’ve often ruminated about the runcible spoon. We are within five miles of a garden holding a national collection of quinces. They had an open day yesterday but I was otherwise engaged. We have been in the past though and it’s good afternoon out. I’m sure that I could no make that should find room for a quince.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Anna. I would be interested to see the National Collection of quinces. If you are thinking of getting one perhaps you could get advice as to the best one to grow for blossom and fruit. My ‘ Vranja’ does have lovely big fruit. Have you ever seen them in blossom? They are beautiful.

  14. Julie says:

    I love your vase Chloris, I would like a border with yellow, white and silver, its very energetic and positive combination. Another good use for a neighbours russian vine too!

  15. pbmgarden says:

    Such an elegant, attractive arrangement you’ve achieved. Very nice. The Membrillo looks interesting too.

  16. Cathy says:

    You’ve created a lovely fresh vase that at a first glance looked like spring! That is one of my favourite poems you quote from and I also used to wonder as a child what a runcible spoon was! I think Lear simply enjoyed making up words. He wrote lots of nonsense songs and rhymes. Have you heard of his botanical nonsense too? I found a link:
    Thanks for reminding me of Lear and such a cheerful vase too!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy and thank you for the wonderful link. I think my favourite is Phattfacia superba but they are all good. Lear is wonderful . I hadn’ t come across the botanical stuff before.

  17. I’d never heard of Membrillo, but it looks like it might be tasty. Your bouquet looks so professional. I particularly liked the way you included the Rosemary and the Mahonia buds. Wow, it’s spectacular. I can imagine this arrangement greeting visitors to a world-class hotel. Nicely done!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Beth, what a lovely thing to say. It is only plonked really, but with the very mild Autumn we are having so many flowers are going on and on blooming, so there is a lot of choice.

  18. “Runsible spoon” is one of my favourite phrases, I love such nonsense. Your vase of flowers is gorgeous, the rich array of textures really sets it all off beautifully.

  19. Flighty says:

    Lovely, I really like that as yellow and white are my favourite flower colours. The silver foliage makes a welcome change as well. xx

  20. sueturner31 says:

    your colours are lovely.. 🙂

  21. Annette says:

    A beautiful still life, dear Chloris 🙂 I think it must be Vranja in our garden as well and we had such a huge harvest that your receipe is more than welcome. I love these things with cheese and shall give it a try.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Annette.
      I think you will enjoy the membrillo. Quinces are so versatile. Christina says she has a lovely recipe for quince sorbet and I am very partial to quince and apple pie. I also love having a big bowl of them on the dining room table making the room smell deliciously aromatic.

  22. gardenfancyblog says:

    Wow! What an incredibly beautiful bouquet you’ve created, even at this late time of year! It looks like something a high-end professional florist would have put together — much more impressive than the annuals I plonk haphazardly in a vase. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. -Beth

    • Chloris says:

      Well that is a lovely compliment, thank you Beth. They are plonked really. There are plenty of flowers still in bloom here because this October has been so mild and sunny.

  23. snowbird says:

    I have a runcible spoon, it’s a little like a spoon with a forked edge, ideal I think for eating mince!
    Now I have never eaten quince, I hear they would break your teeth if you tried to eat them raw….and I certainly did not know that they had such a fragrance. I can see I may have to add one to my garden….Membrillo…..I have a strong urge ti have a large bite of that!!!
    Your posy is so very elegant and sophisticated…I shouldn’t dare have it in my house, far too beautiful!xxx

  24. Chloris says:

    You have a real runcible spoon? Wow! I thought it was something made up by Edward Lear. Do you rememer the Dolomphious Duck who caught spotted frogs with a runcible spoon? That’ s not very nice if it has a forked edge. A bit cruel to spotted frogs.
    You can’ t eat quince raw but they are lovely cooked in a pie with apples. The trees are lovely and the blossom is so pretty.
    Thank you for your nice comment about my vase. Elegant and sophisticated. I like that. I’ m sure you can do elegant and sophisticated when you want.

  25. Debra says:

    Best arrangement yet. Brava! And inspirational. I always like the pairing of silver with white. I wouldn’t have imagined yellow as an addition but yet look at the result. Wow. And quince! My shrub must be ornamental it never produces fruit. Lucky lucky you.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you, Debra. How kind. They are only plonked but I like these colours together.
      If your shrub is a shrub, then it is perhaps Chaenomeles, which is sometimes called quince because it is related to Cydonia, the true quince. Cydonia is à tree not a shrub and it has blossom similar to apple blossom but even more beautiful.

  26. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your arrangement is gorgeous! What a beautiful color and textural combination! A runcible spoon looks much like what we now call a spork and was used to eat fruit although they also look the same as ice cream forks to me. I also seldom cut flowers from the garden to bring inside as they last so much longer in outside.

  27. Love the Japanese Anemones, they are such gorgeous flowers. As to the runcible spoon, I believe it is a special spoon for eating drupes. Essential equipment for when we go to sea in a sieve.

  28. Chloris says:

    Actually, I think you’ ll find that runcible spoons are for catching spotted frogs with, or eating mince and quince , of course.
    I am going to write my next post about fruit and berries but I am not going to mention the ‘ D’ word.

  29. What a stunningly original arrangement, Chloris.
    And the quince: Smells heavenly, doesn’t it? I used it in my apple jelly one year and it added a lovely taste.
    I love the Owl and the Pussycat. Learned film and TV directing to that song and years later, I find myself humming it at times. (But never found out what’s a “runcible spoon”.)

  30. Caro says:

    Ooh, I bet that vase has been giving you pleasure all week, especially if the weather has been horrendous and wet! I’m so looking forward to a time when my new quince tree produces fruit – I had 2 tiny fruits this year but the kids here picked them off – grrrr. I made membrillo last year with chaenomeles fruit, having read that they were very like quince. I think they’re probably less perfumed and less pink. I’m looking forward to trying the real thing. There will be no such thing as a quince glut!

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