In a Vase on Monday. ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Spring again…’

‘We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Spring again,
And walk together down an English Lane.‘  Ivor Novello.

I was going to have an arrangement  today using just some beautiful fragrant Lilac. But I am incapable of doing minimalist whether in a vase or in the garden. I have to just add a bit of this and a bit of that. Today, I got carried away with sultry shades of purple. I like them in a plain white vase which shows off the flowers without shouting at them.
Along with the lilacs I have used bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Bronze Giant’, the perennial wallflower, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’, sprays of chocolatey Akebia pentaphylla, Honesty, Lunaria annua and one sprig of Lathyrus vernus.
If my Queen of the Night tulips were properly out I dare say some would have found there way in there too. As you see I have taken the photo outside using the handy birdbath to display them.
Here they are inside where I hope they will last for a while because they smell wonderful. It is one of the scents which takes you straight back to your childhood. To make lilacs last in water you have to remove all the leaves and sear the ends of the stalks. I believe it is best to condition them overnight in water, but that is for people with more patience and foresight than me.
I started off with an Ivor Novello quote and as as I am in a poetical mood today, I will finish with an exert from ‘The Wasteland’ by T.S.Eliot.

‘April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.’

Actually, this year April hasn’t been the cruellest month, it has been warm and beautiful. Now it has turned a bit cooler but we have had some lovely rain.

Thanks to Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden for hosting this meme which more and more people are enjoying. Cathy is rambling further afield today, but nevertheless she has still managed to post a selection of her vases. Do go and see what other people are putting in a vase on Monday.

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55 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Spring again…’

  1. Monica says:

    Lilacs, seriously are my favorite. Better than peonies…but alas they don’t like my southern situation. And more…I prefer not living where there is so much snow that they bloom well. It’s a catch 22 isn’t it? 😀

  2. Oh I adore this vase and I agree white with the purple is perfect….and then I saw you added the fennel and was over the top…oh and I want that birdbath…fabulous!

  3. Flighty says:

    Lovely. I always remember lilac from my mum’s garden. xx

  4. Christina says:

    Lilac IS a childhood memory for me too, I had my photograph taken in our tree every year, it was just the colour of yours too. The purple with the white vase is perfect. I’ve returned from Suffolk where the weather wasn’t bad at all to cold and rain – the rain is good but the cold is not good with my tomatoes already planted out!

    • Chloris says:

      Julie told me you were in Suffolk, I hope you had a lovely time. We were sorry that you didn’t have time to join us in our trip to Beth Chatto. It has turned cooler here too but we have had some very welcome rain.

      • Christina says:

        If I’d known you were going to Beth Chatto I might have been able to come a day earlier! It was a very quick trip for my MIL’s birthday.

  5. gardenfancyblog says:

    Chloris, your arrangement must smell heavenly, between the lilacs and wallflowers, which are two of the most fragrant flowers I know of. And I appreciate the tip about searing the ends of the lilac stems — I didn’t know that, and our lilacs are just starting to bloom so it’s a timely tip. Thanks! -Beth

  6. Nice !!! Congratulations for your bouquet !

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Christiane. I loved your wonderful arrangements and all your beautiful lilac in your latest post. It makes me think I should get a white lilac too.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    I really like this–it may not be possible to have too many purplish blossoms. Choice of white vase is nice too.

  8. AnnetteM says:

    I love all the purples. I am really jealous as my lilac isn’t going to flower this year. Does yours flower every year? Mine had a really good display last year, though, so I will forgive it.

    • Chloris says:

      My Lilac looks as if it is really old. It does flower ever year, although this year it is not nearly as floriferous as it was last year.

      • AnnetteM says:

        Mine is getting on a bit now, but it certainly doesn’t flower every year, though I have never noticed whether it is alternate years. At least now I am keeping a record so I will know. Isn’t it strange how some things (my ornamental cherry) are better this year, but other things are worse.

  9. Cathy says:

    Mmm, I bet that does smell good. I saw the first lilacs opening nearby today, but sadly don’t have one myself. Love all those purples together, Chloris. And the birdbath is very nice too; I’ve been looking for a birdbath for ages and can’t find one I like!

    • Chloris says:

      The problem with lilac is that it suckers everywhere and gets ever bigger. It is also a greedy plant and takes all the goodness out of the soil. Added to that it looks very dull for most of the year. But still, when it is in bloom you forgive it.
      The birdbath was here when we came. It is handily placed so that I can watch the birds from the window.

      • Cathy says:

        That is good to know, and now I don’t feel so sad that I don’t have a lilac… I have enough thugs as it is! 😉

  10. Anca Tîrcă says:

    Fabulous vase, Chloris!

  11. Julie says:

    What a beautiful bouquet that must smell wonderful. Do you have a new camera your photos are lovely. Love the excerpts too.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Julie, it does smell divine. I got a new camera last summer. It is taking me a while to get used to it. I was never interested in photography until I started blogging and now I love it.

  12. Julie says:

    I just love The Wasteland Chloris – I might have to go and root it out tonight and re read it.I am so jealous that your lilac is blooming – mine is close but not quite there yet. I love your opulent collection and can imagine how it smells. Thank you for a lovely day at Beth Chatto’s last week – have you planted your stash yet?

  13. Lovely, Chloris! Who says less is more? The colours go so well together. I wouldn’t have thought of using bronze fennel with lilac but it works well together. Lilacs are one of my favourites, whether in the garden or in a vase. As you say, it takes me straight back to gardens I grew up in! 🙂

  14. Elizabeth says:

    A lovely purple arrangement, Chloris, and you’re right, the white jug is perfect. I had to chuckle at your use of the bird bath to stage it … I’ve thought of doing that on occasion but usually found somewhere else, I’ll do it one day 🙂

  15. Alain says:

    I like your arrangement and completely understand your comment that you have a hard time being minimalist. I always find it particularly difficult to stop adding things. Perhaps we have looked too much at these Dutch XVIIth century paintings of flower arrangements.

  16. Kris P says:

    I find it difficult to stick with a minimalist palette myself. Your lilac confection turned out beautifully and it looks good inside as well as out.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Kris. You have such an abundance of exotic and unusual flowers to work with and you always choose colours that go so well together. Minimalism in flower arranging is a bit boring.

  17. Such a wonderful collection of purples you have there. Stunning.

  18. Robbie says:

    PRETTY!! Your purple vase is perfect:-) Our lilacs are just starting to open. A “purple” only filled vase is one of my favorites:-) You have inspired me to cut some flowers again-tulips will be mine but I mostly have orange + pink this year:-) I miss my purple tulips all the critters have eaten-need to plant some more next year. Lovely poem too!

  19. mrsdaffodil says:

    Sultry shades of purple make for a fabulous bouquet. Your creative streak really comes out in these arrangements.

  20. Anna says:

    What a glorious purple haze Chloris! That TS Eliot quote comes to me immediately when I think lilacs Chloris, along with his “slowly twisting the lilac stalks” simply because I studied his ‘Selected Poems’ at school. The latter action of stalk twisting had and still has me bewildered.I think that Ivor Novello’s words are much more in tune with spring.

    • Chloris says:

      I’ d forgotten about that line. I don’ t know what he meant by it either. I like the Ivor Novello song, it is lovely and nostalgic, I suppose it was written during the war.

  21. snowbird says:

    I love purple so this posy really appeals to me, I also love Lilac, the scent is so whimsical isn’t it? Mine isn’t out yet. I struggle with minimalist too! I would never have thought to use fennel, how effective it is!!!
    Your collection of beautiful vases is beginning to captivate me… you have your very own Aladdin’s cave???xxx

    • Chloris says:

      I do seem to have rather a lot of vases. I inherited quite a few from my Mother who was very keen on flower arranging and always had flowers in the house. I have also bought quite a few on ebay, it is amazing what bargains you find on eBay. And I have a thing about jugs. I am always buying jugs.

  22. Bec says:

    I really love your flowers and they look great with that white vase – but then I love purple 🙂 made a note of the flowers to investigate what might be happy growing in my small north facing garden and sunny v dry front garden.
    my dwarf lilac (in a pot) is just about to flower 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      A lilac in a pot is a very good idea, they walk around rather in the garden and compete aggressively for nutrients. I love purple too.

      • Bec says:

        That’s good to hear it will be happy in a pot – didn’t know they spread like that – thank you… A lot of my garden is shady so it’s on a deck in the sunshine 🙂 probably appear ‘in a vase on monday’ soon

  23. bittster says:

    I love it. Lilacs are so special to so many people so a vase full can do nothing else but make people smile. This is year two for my little transplants. I’ve had a bloom both seasons but I’m sure it will still be a few more before anything worth cutting shows up. You have to start somewhere of course.

    • Chloris says:

      They can take ages to bloom. The one I bought for my daughter 2 years ago shows no sign of blooming yet. It is worth growing them, if only for vases.

  24. Sarah says:

    I always enjoy seeing your vases Chloris. I like your ‘more is more’ approach and how you always use scented flowers in your arrangements. I have a small-flowered lilac (probably Syringa microphylla) in my woodland border which isn’t yet flowering but once it gets going it continues throughout the summer. It is deliciously scented and is one of my favourite stalwarts which originally came from my mother’s garden. Pouring with rain here – hooray.

  25. Chloris says:

    Thank you Sarah. Syringa microphylla is a beauty and doesn’ t take up too much room either. We have had a bit of rain the last day or two and we certainly need it.

  26. Really lovely, Chloris, I am severely tempted to copy you since I have all those ingredients!! I’m no good at minimal either.

  27. Chloris says:

    Lilac is lovely to put into a vase. I never used to cut it because of the silly superstition that it is unlucky to bring it into the house. What nonsense, I can’ t think how these old wives tales came about.

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