In a New Year Vase on Monday.

It is nice to start a brand new year with some freshly cut flowers for the table. I picked them rather late so I am afraid they are all taken with a flash.



I bought the little jug in France not long after we were married.  So it is special.

For flowers, I used Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’, Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella”, Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’, Jasminum nudiflorum and a few sprigs of white heather, Erica carnea.  I also had a few sprigs of Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ in the greenhouse. The foliage is Lonicera ‘Baggessen’s Gold’,  a shiny, red leaf of Bergenia ‘Eric Smith’, a marbled leaf of Arum  italicum ‘Pictum’ a sprig of Garrya elliptica with its pale green catkins. I  used some bright red twigs of Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’



As we are entertaining today, I cheated in my second vase. Obviously the roses aren’t from the garden and the eucalyptus fell into my hand as I was walking in the little wood nearby. I love the colours with my glass vase. Never mind,  in a few weeks it will be February and there will be plenty of winter treasures for vases and I shan’t need to buy flowers or steal  foliage.


So here we are then,  it is 2017; a time of resolutions and new beginnings . The slate is wiped clean and we can reinvent ourselves into a nice, shiny new 2017 edition of ourselves.

Here is what I have got planned for the 2017 new me. I am going to amaze my loved ones by becoming a domestic goddess. I will keep up with the ironing and cleaning. My windows will gleam and there will be no tottering piles of books by my chair. I might even sew a few buttons on. If I can find a needle.

I will stop buying jugs.

When it comes to gardening, I am going to sow all the seeds I order and prick them out. And I will even make sure they all get planted.

I am going to stop creating new areas in the garden so that I can take better care of existing ones.  Actually, I don’t think I will manage this one.

I am going to clear out the plant pot shed. OK, I know you might have heard this before.

I am going to clean my tools each time I use them and put them away in my nice new shed.

I am going to show a little restraint when it comes to plant buying.

Actually, I don’t know why I am making all these resolutions. I just checked the list I made on this blog in 2013 and I failed with every one.

Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden doesn’t need to make a new year’s resolution to fill a vase with flowers every Monday. She never fails and she inspires many bloggers to do the same. This week she has picked some of her fabulous witch hazel and made a furry caterpillar with it. Do go and see.

I have got a bit behind with other blogs the last few days, but I shall catch up soon. Being a domestic goddess is very time consuming.  Oh, and  my other resolution which is to cycle 50 miles a week has kept me busy too.  That one probably won’t last long ; just until the garden looks a little less monochrome and a little more inviting.

A very Happy New Year, dear blogging friends,  I am looking forward to sharing  your garden delights over the coming year.

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45 Responses to In a New Year Vase on Monday.

  1. Christina says:

    A joyous New Year to you Liz, I don’t make resolutions any more, at least not ones I know I’m unlikely to keep and the others don’t need to be made anyway do they? I love you vases, little cheating is OK now and again and foraging is definitely part of the brief. All my best wishes to you and the pianist.

  2. Sam says:

    Happy New Year to you, too, Liz. I haven’t made any resolutions because I am rubbish at sticking to them. I’ll just do my best generally! Your vases are lovely, especially the one full of gorgeous winter blooms – I’m sure it smells lovely.

  3. Kris P says:

    A “domestic goddess,” aye? Best wishes in accomplishing that and each and every item on your list! I hope my Mahonia grows up to provide such beautiful winter season blooms. The roses are a perfect complement to that pretty vase so I don’t blame you a bit for stretching the IaVoM guidelines. May the new year provide good health and happiness (regardless of your accomplishment of your numerous resolutions).

    • Chloris says:

      Someone else who doubts my ability to be a domestic goddess. But at least you didn’ t laugh at the idea. Do I really come across as a total slob? Well to be fair to me, 16 th century houses and old beams are very difficult to keep dust free. And I have far too many books littering the place.
      May 2017 be a wonderful year for you too Kris.

  4. Cathy says:

    I trust your tongue was firmly in your cheek with some of these resolutions, Chloris – I think the new shiny 2017 version would be unrecognisable as YOU if they were achieved…. or am I being unkind and dismissing the possibilty too easily…? 😉 Sorry if that is the case – and let’s get onto your vase instead… Despite what I think about mahonia it always looks good in a vase and your Us Two jug is such a perfect colour for it and the various greens and the pretty gold lonicera leaf – as is your blobby vase and the roses. In fact I don’t think you can have too many vases or jugs as it ensures you will always have the perfect one. Thanks for sharing today, and very best wishes for a shiny 2017 to you and the Pianist.

    • Chloris says:

      Well, I meant it at the the time, but I have got bored with the domestic thing already. So, I am not so shiny now.
      I am determined to convert you and make you appreciate mahonia Cathy. And Mahonia japonica which will be in bloom in a month or so is even better because it smells exquisite.
      My ‘ blobby’ vase is spatter glass and I love it for orange flowers like these Morrison roses and the stolen eucalyptus leaves are the perfect match too.

      • Cathy says:

        You will find it hard to wear me down, Chloris – I would save your efforts for something more worthwhile, if I were you!

  5. Alison C says:

    Wow, I’m impressed with your resolutions and your vases. I love the roses even if they are a cheat. I tend to stick to one resolution so if I did it would be – I will stop wasting time!

    • Chloris says:

      Stop wasting time? Maybe I should add that one to my list. But then it is good to be able to stand and stare sometimes. We all need to take time to smell the roses.

  6. I absolutely love the Mahonia vase, a delightful turn on an unusual vase component. Sorry to say I am laughing at your resolutions, except, of course, domestic goddess. Interesting the Eucalyptus you have there, lovely compared to what grows here. Happy New Year!

    • Chloris says:

      You think I can be a domestic goddess do you? How kind. I am afraid I am not and never have been and this latest attempt lasted less than a week. Long enough to buy some paint for the kitchen but not long enough to apply it.
      I am not sure which eucalyptus this is as it is not mine, it is a huge tree though, so when I am dog walking I sometimes prune it a bit to be helpful.

  7. Helen Johnstone says:

    I love your enthusiasm for your resolutions!! I don’t make them anymore as I never stick to them and I hate feeling like I am failing. I have made the seed sowing, pricking out one before and the no new areas in the garden and failed in both! I look forward to seeing how you get on. Love the orange vase with the roses

    • Chloris says:

      Oh I shall fail as I usually do, but at least I will try with the seed sowing thing. Thank you, I love my orange glass spatter vase specially with roses.

  8. pbmgarden says:

    As someone who misplaced the iron for a couple of years, I’m so impressed by your domestic goddess goal. It’s always a pleasure to see your vases and read your other posts. Remain resolute in 2017.

  9. Flighty says:

    An enjoyable post and good pictures. I don’t make New Year resolutions especially when it comes to plotting.
    Thanks, and to you too. xx

  10. Happy New Year! Of course we should make resolutions…I’m writing my annual column of garden resolutions today. Without plans, how would we accomplish anything? Such a cute “We Two” jug. Is it made for flowers or something else? The yellow and fuschia make a happy marriage of colors too.

    • Chloris says:

      I don’ t know what the little French jug was made for but I love it.
      You have a whole column of resolutions? That is impressive, do you keep them all?

  11. Bodger says:

    I do admire the way that your vases sing to their contents. Since the variety of blooms available would require an endless supply of containers, I think that you should buy more jugs, not fewer. I gave up on New Year resolutions long ago. I’m happy to make plans but nothing in the garden should be the cause of guilt or pressure. In an ideal world.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh thank you. How nice to be encouraged in my weird vase- collecting obsession. And how lovely, as a grammar pedant to see you write ‘fewer’ and not ‘ less’. The word ‘less’ instead of ‘fewer’ makes me see red. It is almost as bad as ‘ lay’ instead of ‘ lie’. Have you noticed that there are more and more people out there who don’ t know the difference between a transitive and an intransitive verb? They should be locked up. Wishing you all the best for 2017 too my dear blogging friend.

  12. Peter Herpst says:

    Not one but two vases during the darkest, coldest part of the year. Impressive work of someone who is obviously already a domestic goddess. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017 and best of luck on those resolutions. 🙂

  13. lovely 🙂 Happy new year to you, and joy in your garden

  14. Cathy says:

    Happy New Year! I love that list of resolutions you drew up… some of those have been on my lists before, but a few years ago I resolved never to make new year’s resolutions and have been able to keep that one so far! 😉 Your Jasmine and Mahonia are lovely with those big shiny leaves and the red cornus. I noticed today how lovely the red stems in our hedgerows look in the snow.

    • Chloris says:

      Snow? Oh dear, I think it might be coming here. All very pretty I know, but I hate it.
      I am no good at resolutions either. The domestic goddess thing has already gone out of the window.

  15. I think that this arrangement works rather well with the flash photography, bright and sparky! How nice to see those salvia blooms amongst the yellow and green. Nice jug too and it would be a shame to pass over interesting new ones.

    • Chloris says:

      It is difficult to do vase shots in natural light at this time of the year. I don’ t know why I have such a thing about jugs. Still it could be worse, it could be teddy bears.Or even worse, I have a friend who quite likes owls and had a couple. Now she has hundreds because everyone thinks she collects them and gives them to her on every occasion. I keep telling her to get her courage up and tell people: ‘ Enough with the owls!’

  16. Happy New Year to you too, and good luck with all your resolutions, although I do have my doubts …… 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Gill. OK, the domestic goddess thing is wearing a bit thin now. Housework is so profoundly boring. And if you think about it, all the people who have immaculate houses either have a cleaner or they are incredibly boring.

  17. Anna says:

    What a fabulous newly wed find with that vase. A most Happy New Year to you and the Pianist Chloris. Please don’t change 🙂 xxx

  18. snowbird says:

    All the very best to you and yours for 2017. I loved your French vase filled with winter sunshine and the other one, gosh, the way stuff falls into your hands ….lol…
    Trust me, you will NEVER stop buying jugs, if you do I shall be extremely concerned, obviously you will have lost any desire to live, and as for the domestic goddess speel, well, I spat my tea out laughing! You have no more chance than I do! My situation is somewhat better than yours, if I actually did find a needle I’m far too blind, these days, to thread it!!! What an unexpected positive re worsening eyesight!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, stuff does fall into my hands and pockets too, my pockets are always full of seeds. I blame my grandmother, she was shameless.
      The jug thing has got out of hand though. I think it is a bit weird myself and so I am trying to cure myself of the habit.
      You think the idea of me as a domestic goddess is funny? I am cut to the quick. My family take the same view, it is very hurtful. I bought some paint last week for the kitchen. Eventually I might even apply it.
      I am older than you, I haven’ t been able to see to thread needles for years. The other plus is that the more wrinkled you get, the blinder you get, so you are spared the full horror of it.

  19. Brian Skeys says:

    Mahonia is such a welcome shrub this time of year. Best wishes for the new year and with the resolutions.

  20. Happy New Year, to you too, Liz. I think a lot of us could play a jolly game of snap with our resolutions. Your vases in and of themselves are always interesting and so well suited to the arrangements, the orange one is especially gorgeous.

  21. Oh, lovely. You do have a knack for choosing the right container and creating the right arrangement. When I grow up….

  22. Chloris says:

    Thank you Cynthia. When you and I grow up, you will learn to cook and I will learn to sew. Perhaps in my old age I will take up embroidery. Unlikely though as I am determined to grow old disgracefully.

  23. Happy New Year to you. I like the roses even if they are contraband.

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