In a Vase on Monday.

This week’s vase was actually in a vase on Sunday. It was a table arrangement for the Pianist’s Birthday Party yesterday.
I have used the glaucous blue leaves of Eucalyptus gunni for this; they are very useful for flower arrangements. This tree is not actually in my garden, it belongs to a friend and it is enormous and has beautiful bark. They are very fast growing trees and I have planted one but I intend to keep it coppiced. I don’t want a massive tree looking like a giraffe amongst my lower growing shrubs. If coppiced every year, it will then only have juvenile leaves which are round, unlike these elliptical, mature leaves. If you do plant a Eucalyptus tree make sure that it has not been in the pot too long. If they are potbound they never seem to put down roots properly and they will always be unstable. I learnt this by bitter experience in a previous garden. Incidentally they are very easy from seed, and as I said, extremely fast growing.
I am embarrassed to be using Viburnum tinus yet again after all the rude comments I have made about these shrubs in the past. But I just have too many in my garden and they are fiendish to dig out. And as I have mentioned before, the foliage does smell of wet dog when it is wet. This one is called ‘Eve Price’ and is the best of the bunch as far as I am concerned. It is more compact than many of the others and the buds are pink. The starry flowers are supposed to be fragrant. Well, they are if you put your nose right in them. It is not a particularly lovely fragrance though. I think it is quite effective in flower arrangements if you remove all the leaves. The flowers make a nice frothy effect.
I had one last, very late Nerine in the greenhouse so I have used this to pick out the pink buds of the Viburnum.
The pink and white Cyclamen persicum flowers are from a plant in the greenhouse. It is not hardy outside but I think my house is too hot for it, so it lives in the greenhouse.
The vase is a cut glass one  which belonged to my Mother. It has a very handy glass lid with holes in the top, so the  flowers are easy to arrange.
Do go over to Ramblinginthegarden to see Cathy’s arrangement. There is a touch of magic there. And why not join in with this popular meme?

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52 Responses to In a Vase on Monday.

  1. Jane Strong says:

    I love the colors in this bouquet, how each flower although a different size has the same mauve and white color combination. The eucalyptus leaves add such grace and a good fresh smell if they are like mine. If you could market that vase with the lid with holes in the top. I’d buy a few.

  2. Christina says:

    Belated happy birthday to the pianist; what a pretty vase for his celebration. I used Viburnum tinus too, it is quite a slow grower here and never bigins to actually flower until spring so I find that I rather like it. The pretty pinks seem for like summer than winter and that can’t be bad.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Christina. I am surprised that Viburnum tinus flowers so late with you. We saw it growing wild when we were in Provence last winter, so clearly it is a mediterranean plant.

      • Christina says:

        I think it must need a cold period before it flowers. The flower buds seem a little earlier this year possibly because we have had some cold weather already.

  3. Laurin Lindsey says:

    I love the blue tint to the Eucalyptus contrast to the pinks in the cyclamen! The vase sound perfect!

  4. AnnetteM says:

    The Eucalyptus leaves go really well with the pinks in this arrangement. Really pretty.

  5. I love how you mixed these pinks with those blue leaves…and the cyclamen flowers are a perfect accent for the Viburnum and Nerine….a lovely birthday arrangement.

  6. Beautiful arrangement, those Crinums are currently blooming here (outside!)

  7. Cathy says:

    Happy Birthday to the Pianist – I wonder what you had to eat for his birthday meal, oh sorry, you said ‘party’… Your viburnum seems to be trying to tell you something – it spreads, you don’t like the smell, you rip the leaves off, but it still goes into your vase and very pretty it looks too, as does that cyclamen. And is this really your very last nerine? If so then that’s braver than cutting witch hazel!! Your Mother’s vase was perfect for your lovely grouping, so thanks for sharing Chloris 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      It was a dinner party. We ate smoked mackerel pate, boeuf bourguignon, tiramisu, cheese cake and creme caramel and cheese and biscuits and we had a lot of fun, thank you.
      OK, I admit that Viburnum tinus has pretty flowers.
      Yes that is absolutely my last Nerine. I have never had it in bloom in January before.

  8. Debra says:

    Love it — especially the blue of the eucalyptus leaves. I once went camping near San Francisco where a great many eucalptus trees were growing. It smelled so heavenly I didn’t want to ever leave. I hate to admit that my viburnum is just about to bloom and I am thrilled. It is the first time I’ve seen the branches covered in buds since the really bad drought year of 2008. I don’t know what kind it is (will look it up later) but it smells strongly of honey. Now I am doubly excited because now I can see it can look so pretty in an arrangement. I’ll have to try it when the time comes. =)

    • Chloris says:

      Eucalyptus does smell gorgeous. But just go and smell your Viburnum tinus foliage when it has been raining. Horrible! But the flowers are pretty for arrangements.

      • Debra says:

        This rain you speak of … it is when water falls from the skies, no? I have heard of this phenomenon =D hahaha But I will do as you suggest because now I am so curious.

  9. Kris P says:

    It’s a beautiful color combination Chloris! I also love Eucalyptus in arrangements but, alas, my tree was dispatched in response to a neighbor’s complaint that it blocked her view and, while I could probably pinch some leaves from elsewhere in the neighborhood, my husband claims the scent bothers him…

  10. Brian Skeys says:

    A lovely colourful arrangement Chloris. You are in good horticultural company with growing coppiced Eucalyptus, Great Dixter do to maintain the young foliage in the Exotic Garden.
    Happy Birthday to the Pianist.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Brian. I think this is the best way to grow Eucalyptus . A mature tree is a majestic sight and it has beautiful bark but it doesn’t t sit very well in an English country garden.

  11. Julie says:

    Lovely colour combination of grey and pink, Viburnham tinus flowers seem to be flowering the best I’ve ever seen them this year, it would a shame not to make the most of them. Happy Birthday to the pianist too.

  12. mattb325 says:

    The flowers look lovely! I’m glad to hear that you keep your Eucalyptus coppiced, they really are too large for most yards. Having lived in the UK, to my mind it was always so weird to see these trees towering above the bare winter landscape, and often crammed into the smallest space imaginable!

  13. pbmgarden says:

    I think this is just lovely. I was intrigued to read about the Eucalyptus leaves having a juvenile form vs. adult one. Had only recently learned this of English ivy as well. Wonder how common it is? Haven’t been around viburnum frequently so not familiar enough with the smell. Here some gardeners grow Korean Spice, which sound nice but I could never catch the scent.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Susie. I don’ t know any other plants that do this.
      I have just looked up Korean Spice and I see that it is Viburnum carlesii. This flowers in Spring here and smells divine.

  14. Julie says:

    Happy Birthday to the Pianist Chloris – how nice of you to make him an arrangement to add to his birthday table (particularly with your last nerine!). I too have a Eucalyptus gunni, which I coppice every year to keep the foliage young – I used some stems in my arrangement this week too. Whilst I am madly trying to establish a good number of viburnum tinus into my garden, there you are complaining about all your mature specimens – in my book you are very lucky. I love these plants for their evergreen foliage and ability to grow large and wild or be tamed like box into neat shapes. I also love the flowers when all else is bare – I have never noticed a scent before though – I shall go sniffing for wet dog in the morning, but with real wet dogs in the house on a daily basis I doubt a flower can compete with that scent.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you for the birthday wishes, I passed them on to the Pianist. I love your all green arrangement this week Julie. I think Eucalyptus is wonderful for flower arrangements.
      When we came here there was a Viburnum right by the kitchen door. It took me ages to work out what the disgusting smell was every time it rained.

  15. Cathy says:

    I think the viburnum is beautiful Chloris, and only wish I could grow one here! Love the use of the Eucalyptus leaves. The shape of the arrangement is lovely too, and having a lid on the vase must be very handy.

  16. Beautiful! It has a bit of flair and panache. I like it!

  17. I hope the Pianist enjoyed his special day and the fuss that came with it. I know you don’t like to cut your flowers, so bravo! The colors play very well together. I especially like the eye-catching, lime-green stems and flower buds among the blue leaves.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Marian. We had a lovely evening. I didn’ t mind cutting the Eucalyptus because it came from a neighbour’ s garden. I never mind cutting other peoples’ plants.

  18. Anna says:

    Oh now that’s a most pleasing to the eye arrangement Chloris. I remember some of your rude remarks about viburnum tinus 🙂 I got rid of mine which suffered at the jaws of the dreaded viburnum beetle. I miss the flowers but not that smell. Maybe I should give it a second chance? Birthday greetings to the Pianist!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Anna. I know I was very unkind about Viburnum tinus but I just have too much of it. It is useful in winter though and you can always take the nasty leaves off.

  19. mrsdaffodil says:

    We have a Eucalyptus tree: what a good idea to use the leaves in flower arrangements!

  20. Very lovely. And I didn’t know that Eucalyptus are grown in England – nor did I know that you could use Cyclamen as a cut flower!

  21. How pretty! Definitely a nice way to appreciate Viburnum tinus. It looks so pretty like that in a vase. I have taken a fancy to Rose bowls, similar to your vase. They appear so useful for our cut flowers. Must scour some charity shops! I hope the Pianist had a good birthday.

  22. snowbird says:

    That is rather delicious, all the more as it is January!!!! Hope the Pianist had a marvelous birthday. I have Eucalyptus and would never have thought of putting it in a vase! The Viburnum is so pretty, I read this then rushed out to find mine flowering too!!!xxx

  23. Chloris says:

    We had a great birthday party for the Pianist, thank you. We did a murder mystery which was great fun. Well, if you have Eucalyptus and Viburnum tinus you have the basis for some great winter flower arrangements.

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

    I’m a bit late responding as my broadband has been out & you have many respondents to this Vase. It’s lovely – as always, I might say. The young round leaves of Eucalyptus gunii are used extensively by florists. They must be kept annually coppiced. A good trick to create your own flower support for most ordinary vases of any size is to cut a smallish piece of large gauge netting wire. Crumple it just enough to stuff into vase so that it holds quite tightly but not so much that it impedes the flower stems. You learn by trial. This is good for most garden flowers as I find oasis doesn’t suit most homegrown flowers. You might like to pass this hint on to others sometime.

  25. Robbie says:

    lovely-had to chuckle-.”after all the rude comments I have made about these shrubs” -you are not alone in doing this! We all have “that” plant-lol

  26. bittster says:

    Glad to hear the pianist had an enjoyable party.
    The arrangement looks beautiful and I love the eucalyptus. I’m afraid I would be the neighbor who insists on growing the huge oversized giraffe in his yard. I find them irresistible and am currently trying to overwinter a tortured seedling indoors since they are not even remotely hardy in my climate
    …but maybe with a huge mulch pile over top and regrowth each year from the roots….. hmmmm

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