In a Vase on Monday and Toolshed Monster gets a New Lease of Life.

Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden hosts the popular meme, In a Vase on Monday. Her arrangements are usually set off with appropriate props. I don’t know how she does it.  My first vase this week features  blooms from my cheap, end of season, dried up,  Dahlia tuber, ‘Musette’ which is flowering beautifully. I  looked up the word, ‘Musette’ and it means a small bagpipe or sort of oboe. You can be sure if Cathy was using this dahlia in an arrangement, there would be a miniature oboe or a tiny  set of bagpipes setting the whole thing off. Probably both.  Musette can also mean a knapsack or shoulder bag, but that would look silly. So with apologies to Cathy, once again with no props, here is my first vase.
With Musette I have used the white potato vine Solanum jasminoides and  a few sprigs of Salvia ‘Hot Lips’. It is strange that as the season goes on the flowers of this Salvia become whiter.
DSC_0185I picked a  couple of flowers of Anemone x hybrida ‘Andrea Atkinson’. I have never used Anemones in flower arrangements before, Vita Sackville West says they droop their heads, so we will see.
Finally I used some white Saponaria officinalis which spreads rather fast, but I love it and it smells lovely.

For my second arrangement I used some green flowers; I know not everyone likes green flowers but I love them. The  flowers of the annual Nicotiana langsdorfii have the merit in my eyes, of being shiny, green and bell shaped; I love bell shaped flowers.
I also used some buds of the green rose, Rosa viridiflora. This arose as a sport of Rosa chinensis. I know some people will say it is an aberration. It has no petals, just rows of sepals. It was discovered in 1856 so it has been around for some time. It seems that other people in the past have liked its quaint, antiquey look. If you forget that it is a rose and don’t expect scent and luscious petals, then may be you can enjoy it like I do. Lots of people hate it, I know.  I have  just noticed that one bud  has been chewed.

When the flowers of Rosa viridflora are open the effect is green and red. This is what it looked like earlier in the Summer. As you see, there are no petals. I can hear your cries of disgust from here. Shush, I feel very protective about this dear little rose. It may not be showy, OK, it is rather odd, but I like it.

Rosa viridiflora.

Rosa viridiflora.

The spiky seed heads are a mystery plant which appeared this year. I thought it was a teasle at first as it grew so tall, but the little heads stayed small. It is quite prickly. I would love to know what it is.
The berries are Viburnum opulus and the common Arum which is a bit of a weed in my garden.
As I have used green flowers today, I thought it would be fun to use red leaves. The Parthenocissus quinquefolia has started to turn bright red so that is what I have used. It all looks a bit autumnal but I suppose that  can’t be helped as we creep soggily into September.
This creeper is hanging in curtains over the old stable which houses my shamefully messy plant pot shed. I wrote in a previous post about the horrors of this shed, which despite the occasional half-hearted attempt to tidy it remains impenetrable.
My lovely Beatrice painted a wonderful toolshed monster which we are convinced lurks within this shed.








Now my Toolshed Monster has a new lease of life. The musician OTT asked Beatrice to do the artwork for his new album , ‘Fairchildren’. When he saw a picture of the monster he had to have it.












I can’t comment on the music as I am told I have cloth ears and what do I know about these matters? But it is nice that OTT has given the Monster a new lease of life on his album cover.

But I digress, do join in with us and put some flowers from your garden In a Vase on Monday.

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57 Responses to In a Vase on Monday and Toolshed Monster gets a New Lease of Life.

  1. Oh I love the monster…and your unusual rose. The first vase is lovely with the two-toned dahlia…different coloring that I have not see before. And I love the mix in the second vase…very creative and clever.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve turned the tables on leaves and flowers today. I rather like your Rosa viridiflora and that you’re so protective of it. The Solanum jasminoide and anemone make nice companions for those pretty dahlias.

  3. Anca Tîrcă says:

    Both your vases look great, Chloris! A little bit of autumn in the second one, isn’ t it?

  4. Great whites to pick out the white tips of your dahlia. That monster looks rather naughty, great artwork though. Lets hope it dries up soon.

    • Chloris says:

      Sun today Dorris! At least for a little while. The monster illustrated the horrors of my toolshed which I confessed in a previous post, Beatrice is so inventive.
      I thought the white flowers improved the dahlias and made them look prettier.

  5. Sam says:

    I googled OTT – interesting… Great artwork and I love that you have a toolshed monster. I have similar feelings towards our house at the moment (after many weeks of everyone being at home). I do like the look of Rosa viridiflora.

    • Chloris says:

      How nice to find someone who appreciates that little rose. Most people are very rude about her.
      Yes I was delighted that OTT wanted our Beatrice to design his album cover but even more gratified that he wanted to include my toolshed monster.

  6. Cathy says:

    But your toolshed monster is smiling so what are you frightened of? 😉 Or is it a bit like teaching children that a dog showing its teeth is not actually smiling….? Perhaps you had better go and peek round the door and investigate…. Now, I am sorry to disappoint you but I couldn’t have run to either miniature bagpipes or oboe this morning if that had been my vase – mini drum and drumsticks yes, miniature bag maybe (could have run one of those up in 5 minutes…) 🙂 Props are always optional, as I know you know, you tease! Your vase could have gone down a football theme in those colours although not appreciated in your household I guess – great contrast of white and reds! I especially like your second vase though, with its shiny red berries and those green buds and blooms – like you, I love the quirkyness of the rose but one does wonder what the original designer was thinking about when the idea was conceived… 😉 Most enjoyable post Chloris, and lovely to see your friend’s successful artwork

    • Chloris says:

      On but that smile is more a sinister leer, it reminds me of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. It scares me.
      On come on Cathy, with your Scottish ancestry you have no bagpipes?
      The art work is done by my son’ s lovely partner, Beatrice or Betty or Betsy, I get confused by all these names she adopts professionally. I can never remember which it is. Her real name is so pretty that it seems a shame. My son is currently Bertie or Bertram, neither of the names were the ones he started off with. But then who am I to talk as I call myself Chloris on this blog? Perhaps it runs in the family. She has done several illustrations for this blog and promises me some more.
      Rosa viridiflora isn’ t the work of some mad hybridiser, it was a natural sport of Rosa chinensis.

      • Cathy says:

        I knew it – I am a disappointment and shall have to redeem myself in due course… 😦 In the meantime I rather see what you mean about the Jack Nicholson look now you have pointed it out, and as for the rose I was thinking of the grand designer in the sky or whoever and I think perhaps a hybridiser would have got the sack if he came up with it. Just a bit of fun on the part of Rosa chinensis then 🙂

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    What a cool monster! Your arrangements are lovely as always & I especially like the berries in the second one. Your interesting rose sent me off to do some internet searching.

  8. Christina says:

    Nicotiana langsdorfii is really eye catching, I will have to look for those. I do like green flowers but I have to admit to being undecided about your rose! Your vase today feels quite autumnal, while here it has hotted up and we’re back to high summer temperatures complete with hot nights.

  9. Chloris says:

    Nicotiana langsdorfii is a winner, it is so easy from seed and who could resist shiny apple green bells?
    I think ‘ undecided’ is a kind way of saying’ Yuck! Horrible’. My poor little rose is quite used to the abuse of gardening friends. In fact I usually keep it hidden away as I know most people don’ t like it. I don’ t know why I like it so much, as scent and sumptuous petals are what I love about roses. I suppose I don’ t look upon it as a rose, just as an unassuming dainty little green flower.

  10. I’ve never come across Rosa viridiflora before, what a curiousity, I think it sits well in your autumnal arrangement. I like the way you combine unusual blooms and foliage with seasonal favourites. Your toolshed looks intriguing.

    • Chloris says:

      I have a series of sheds, which were stables once, each is more decrepid than the last. This particular one is full of plant pots. Every effort to sort them out ends in total boredom, so I never get to the back of the shed. That is how we came to wonder what might lurk there in the depths, in the debris of centuries. Beatrice thought whatever it is, might look like this, if I probed too far and released it.

  11. Gillian says:

    A very interesting selection today only enhanced by the chewed buds and monster in the shed. It must be fun at your house! Note to self… Must be more creative. Altogether a very enjoyable post and series of comments too.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Gilliam. I didn’ t notice that the rose was chewed until I took the photo. That often seems to happen. It reminds me of the Blake poem.’ Oh rose thou art sick, the invisible worm, that flies in the night…’ etc.

  12. Your first vase is very pointillistic! Love the combinations in the second mellow arrangement, including the green rose.

    • Chloris says:

      That Dahlia is quite pointillistic! It is not my favourite Dahlia but I do like it with white flowers.
      I thought green flowers and red leaves would be a fun reversal of the usual scheme of things.

  13. Kris P says:

    I love both these vases, Chloris. The red and white arrangement just sings. (Perhaps its song will keep the Toolshed Monster at bay if he gets loose). Your floral tribute to the the coming autumn season is also very creative – the berries are my favorite aspect of the arrangement but I appreciate your green rose too. Congratulations to Beatrice on her album commission and to you for, indirectly, serving as her muse.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Kris, I wasn’ t terribly keen on Musette, but I do like it with white flowers and I was pleased with the arrangement. In fact I still am, it is still looking good.
      My second arrangement wasn’ t meant to be autumnal, I was just trying to reverse the more usual green leaves, red flowers combination that one would expect. But of course with the addition of berries, it certainly looks autumnal. We can’ t avoid it now that September is here. Berries are everywhere.

  14. The monster in my tool shed has not made it to an album cover. Love yours though. I also like the green roses and the arrangement. i will admit to having a taste for the weirder side of plant life sometimes. The fruits are just beautiful.

  15. homeslip says:

    You always make me laugh Chloris. You are very lucky to have a tool shed. They make wonderful places to shelter from the rain. I noticed the berries on Viburnum opulus growing on the North Downs several weeks ago, does that mean we are in for a hard winter. I love the scent of Saponaria too and your rose sounds very interesting. Feeling quite smug hearing about the Bank Holiday rain, down here in Cornwall it has been glorious today!!

    • Chloris says:

      Oh I have lots of sheds, Sarah, except ‘ shed’ is perhaps too grand a word for the tumble down stables and pigsties which are rather a blot on the landscape. I tell myself that they are ‘shabby chic’ which is such a useful phrase for old and messy.

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    I think both of your vases are wonderful! I love the red creeper and red berries even though I’d rather not admit that summer is waning. 😉 And the red/white dahlias look beautiful in the milk glass. I just love dahlias!

    • Chloris says:

      I agree I don’ t like to think that Summer is on the way out. The green flowers and red leaves were not meant to be autumnal but that is how they came out. I suppose using berries added to the effect.

  17. Amy says:

    I love the simplicity of the red and white vase; I find myself thinking how unusual a combination it is – and then wondering why! And I do love green flowers myself and have wondered whether I could get away with some Nicotiana here in the desert; it will take the heat, I don’t doubt, but perhaps not the dry winds! Your lovely second vase does nothing to discourage my plans for trying it eventually… what could be more enchanting than green bell flowers 😉

    • Chloris says:

      I am not sure how Nicotiana stand up to heat but it is worth a try. It would only cost you the price of a packet of seeds. I love the effect of red and white too and I am very fond of the bubbly white vase.

  18. Hannah says:

    Your white and red colors are so crisp and pure, such a joy to behold. The second vase is more discordant, various factions vying for attention, tooting their own apple green horns. I does have an autumnal feel for me. The monster in our tool shed is much hairier and with a long tail. I’ll take yours, he seems more fun. What an opportunity for Beatrice, and what cute drawings!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Hannah, I was particularly pleased with the first vase. I like white flowers and they set the dahlia off well.
      Beatrice very kindly does paintings for my blog sometimes and that particular monster was how she imagined whatever lives under all my plant pots would look like, if he was released. Hairier and with a long tail would be scary but my monster has a terryfing smile.

  19. Robbie says:

    your vase is beautiful:-) “rather odd, but I like it”-seems to be many plants in my garden:-) lol
    love the monster + album cover! I am a fan of Salvador Dali- + I like his art work:-)

    • Chloris says:

      Oh great that you like odd plants too. The monster has done great work, he illustrated a post I wrote about my toolshed and he appeared on a backdrop Beatrice painted for their photo studio. Now he has a new lease of life, as OTT liked him so much he wanted him in the design for his album.

  20. snowbird says:

    Oooooooh!!! How MARVELOUS that Beatrice has painted the cover, based on the amazing toolshed monster, how VERY exciting!!! Congrats to her, I hope this is the start of many more!
    I love the toolshed monster, I think Rosa viridiflora belongs with him, how they suit each other!
    Your vases are both scrumptious, very autumnal!xxx

  21. Chloris says:

    Thanks Dina, The Boaties, as we call them, were delighted to do the album cover for OTT as they love his music. I don’ t know whether Beatrice has the time to do it regularly as their work keeps them very busy.

  22. Beautiful vases, Chloris! I’m not hazarding a guess as to the football team being celebrated! I’m afraid I’m undecided about your green rose, but, as you are a rose lover, I can understand why you like it – a most unusual specimen to add to your rose collection. I do love Viburnum berries – such a lovely pinky shade of red. And the Nicotinia. I have to ask, though, is it scented?!
    That’s so exciting to see your Shed Monster is becoming famous – even with its menacing smile! 🙂

  23. Chloris says:

    Thank you Ali. No football team being supported in this house. Anything to with balls is strictly avoided. Apart from croquet, we do play that. But we cheat.
    The Dahlia was one of the few left at the end of the season in QD stores. I am pleased with how pretty it looks with white flowers.
    I have just been outside to sniff the Nicotiana and I am afraid it is not fragrant. But it is so pretty and one packet of seeds makes a lovely show.

  24. Debra says:

    Love your arrangements! And wow. You are surrounded by talent. Love the artwork and the music. Brilliant. (btw: Flowering tobacco loves the heat. I think it is very odd that they have bred the scent out of nicotiana. That is one of the finest features of the original plants! Same thing for dianthus …)

  25. What beautiful arrangements and I love that monster! Like you, I love green flowers, but unlike you, I hadn’t thought of cutting Nicotiana langsdorfii before. I will now!

  26. bittster says:

    What a wonderful post. I completely forgot about the missing props by the time your little green rose made its appearance and then after that the monster showed all was a distant memory.
    Good for him, he’s done well for himself.

  27. Louise Thompson says:

    I think the prickly wild flower could be small teasel, dipsacus pilosus, we don’t get it in t’ north(yorkshire)

    • Chloris says:

      Oh thank you very much. I just looked this up and that is exactly what it is. I thought it looked like a teasel but I have never come across a small teasel before.

  28. I’ve never seen Japanese Anemones used as cut flowers before – love it, as well as the Viburnum berries.

  29. Chloris says:

    The Japanese anemones bloom in such abundance that picking some for a vase doesn’ t spoil the display.

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