I am a mug for a jug. I don’t know why but I can’t resist them. If I am feeling a bit under-the-weather or endless storms keep me out of the garden I trawl through jugs on eBay and add to my collection. When yet another package arrives the Pianist always asks me if I really need yet another jug. As Lear would say, ‘Oh reason not the need’. I am not extravagant though, it has to be extra special for me to spend over £10 although I do have some special ones inherited from my mother. When I die, it won’t make a priceless inheritance for my children. I can imagine them sighing and saying ‘What on earth shall we do with all these jugs?‘ Perhaps I should be buried with them like Queen Nefertiti. They could make me a little pyramid, nothing too ambitious, a modest one will do.
For this week I have selected a little pink lustre jug made in Germany in the 19th century. It says rather surprisingly ‘A Present from Bootle’ which is an unlikely place to be brought a present from. The expansion of the railways in the 19th century opened up the country to people who had probably never travelled very far from where they were born. They could visit relatives or the developing seaside resorts. The tourist industry was given a huge boost by the Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851. Of course an increase in tourists created a demand for cheap souvenirs. And a nice shiny bit of china in gaudy colours was just what people wanted. Most of these souvenirs were made in porcelain factories in Germany and Czechoslovakia. The name of the factory was never stamped on them. It is possible that they were made by prestigious porcelain factories who saw a gap in the market but as these pieces were rather down- market they wouldn’t want their name associated with them. I don’t know how they chose the place names to write on them as many of them are not tourist destinations. Perhaps they randomly chose English place names. Anyway I rather like my gaudy little present from Bootle as it suits my pink mood very well.
I used some rather gaudy pink pussy willow called Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’. It said ‘Red Cats’ on the label, it’s not actually red, but it is decidedly pink.
I used sprigs from two of my desert island plants, Daphne bhloua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ and the Japanese Apricot, Prunus mume ‘Beni -chidori’, I wouldn’t be without either of these plants.
They are both fragrant although Beni-chidori’ is very delicate. The pink hyacinth and Viburnum bodnantense are both fragrant too but of course nothing smells as wonderful as darling ‘Jacqueline’.
I have a couple of hellebore in the vase too.
I love pink leaves, these are from the shrub, Lophomyrtus x ralphii ‘Red Dragon’. This lovely shrub comes from New Zealand and it looks good all year round so it is great for the winter garden. Like the salix it is not red at all but lovely and pink.
So there we have it, we’ve had noisy storms and it is cold outside, but spring is coming so I am in the pink.
Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts this meme of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ and what a lovely start it is to the week to prowl round the windswept garden and find pink February flowers. Cathy is ever inventive, do pop along and see what she and other vase filling enthusiasts have been up to.