In a Vase on Monday. In the Pink

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 Β£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.

Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’

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.

TheyΒ  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.

Lophomyrtus ralphii ‘Red Dragon’

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.

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49 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. In the Pink

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Only a grand pyramid would do for you! I always enjoy how you weave history and plants and today you’ve even made me love pink!

  2. Love the jugs! And pink pussy willow – who knew!!

  3. bcparkison says:

    My…You are in the pink…but why not ….it is a pretty color and your jugs are grand.

  4. Annette says:

    You made me chuckle – who’d have thought that you have such a collection and if you were nearer I’d contribute another one or two which I hardly use but they’re so pretty, you’d love them. Your pink posy and vase are delightful. It’s been so mild, I’ve to pinch and remind myself it’s only mid-February. Is this a little Prunus in your collage? So many flowers to discover these days even if we still have to shrink at times to appreciate their beauty.

  5. You may be in the pink Chloris but those jugs…… oh my that is a collection. I love the pink salix and the Japanese blossom. Gorgeous

  6. Anna says:

    There must be a collective noun for a collection of mugs Chloris but I don’t know what it is! You must have a national collection. All pretty in pink. I like the fuzziness of those pink catkins and can’t wait for my plant to get big enough to snip.

  7. Cathy says:

    What a great post, Chloris, and it is good to know I am in good company with all the bits and bobs I acquire, whether classed as ‘collection’ or not! All that pinkness too – a delightful confection! I remember and covet that pink pussy willow but think it may need more space than I could offer. I am certainly glad I squeezed in Benny though, who is absolutely stunning at the moment. Just one bloom on JP but at least I can now experience her fragrance. Why do I avoid pink hyacinths when yours is a perfectly sensible addition to your pretty vase? Thanks for sharing

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. The pussy willow is a standard so it doesn’t take up too much room. Yes, Benny is fabulous, I would like loads all round the garden. I have hyacinths in all colours because I have several pots in the house each year and then I plant them in the garden.

      • Cathy says:

        That’s how I fitted Benny in, as a standard, and I have now searched out a ‘quarter standard’ (had to look that up) Mt Aso which is on order – thanks for introducing us to each other!

  8. I love your jug collection and they do make very nice vases. I have several collections and like you I asked the kids who wanted them. I got no replies.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you, yes, they make lovely flower containers. My daughter always has flowers in the house but I don’t think she needs so many jugs. But then who does?

  9. I wasn’t sure what to expect when you said “mugs”. Here in the states, we would call them “pitchers”, but by either name they made great vases, and you do have quite a collection of them. That little white one with the lovely blue on it, in the first photo, is my favorite.
    I love your collection of your already blooming pink flowers. Nothing like that here yet, nothing at all, so it is a joy to see yours, as pink is my favorite flower color. Just wish I could smell them.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh yes, I have noticed that you call them pitchers. The little white and blue one is an Edwardian Shelley milk jug. They made beautiful tea services and are now very collectible.

  10. Alison C says:

    I can’t resist a jug either, there is something comforting and appealing about them. I was very cross when I broke a lovely red one with white spots at the weekend. I suppose it leaves a vacancy! The pink pussy willow is adorable. I have some cuttings so I must go and check up on them.

    • Chloris says:

      Nice to meet someone else who likes jugs. I had a red one with white spots and gave it to my daughter and now I miss it. The pink pussy willow is lovely isn’t it?

  11. Kris Peterson says:

    There are a lot worse things to be addicted to than buying jugs! Your pink flower collection looks perfect in the one you selected. Of all the lovely elements you included, the pink pussy willow is my favorite. I remember gray pussy willows growing in my childhood garden (we even had a cat named Pussywillow – my brother’s fault) but a check of my local garden guide reminded me why you never see the plants here anymore: they need “ample water,” which is something we generally can’t provide.

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad to know I’m not the only vase collector around. πŸ˜‰ Your choice for today is a perfect pink for your arrangement. I adore those pink pussy willows!

  13. tonytomeo says:

    Are flowering apricots popular? It seems like something that should be popular here, since the regions had formerly been famous for fruiting apricots. However there are only a few flowering apricots that I am aware of, and all but one pair are in Japantown. Flowering plum is too common, but it is not the same.

    • Chloris says:

      Fruiting apricots are a little tender here unless you have a warm sunny spot. But these flowering Japanese apricots are hardy. You don’t see them very often, in fact the white one is very rare.

      • tonytomeo says:

        I have never seen a white flowering cherry. ‘Peggy Clarke’ is the only flowering apricot I know the name of here. It seems like they should be more popular. I would never grow one, just because I would prefer trees that mae fruit.

  14. Cathy says:

    Your jug collection is quite remarkable! My Mum also used to collect small jugs, but when the special cabinet she had started overflowing she decided to call it a day! I have never seen pink pussy willow before and am not sure about it, but it does look lovely with all your other pinks today. πŸ™‚

  15. Linda Casper says:

    I’m loving the pink pussy willow. For me, most of the fun of collecting things is the search in charity shops and car boots. I’ve gone from old bottles to containers for flower arranging to vases. Space is an issue – stamps would be easier!

  16. A perfect pink confection! Like Cathy I tend to avoid pink hyacinths, but it looks great with the blossom and willow. I must be more open-minded.

  17. Fabulous! And I love your jug collection. πŸ™‚

  18. snowbird says:

    Oh my goodness me!!! I am hugely impressed with your jug hoard, and laughed out loud re being buried with them in a small pyramid! I am beginning to suspect that you are highly eccentric, it takes one to know one! Loved the Bootle jug, twenty minutes from here. I can almost smell that arrangement. Just

    • Chloris says:

      Well, there are no skeletons in my garden. I may be eccentric but you, my dear are quite mad, but I like you. And one of these days when I visit BiL I will come and visit you. Maybe years ago when this jug was made Bootle was a pretty little fishing village. Difficult to imagine though

      • snowbird says:

        Quite mad eh???? Hahahaha, maybe you’re right and I’m in denial!!! Oh….a visit from you would be a honour, especially if you come with cuttings!xxxx

  19. Very jugcentric! I am laughing about the vision of a pyramid filled with jugs, surrounded by a Snowdrop collection… I love the pinks, my mother collected spoons from tourist places like the Bootle jug-except spoons. I did not know there is a pink pussy willow, lovely!

    • Chloris says:

      I just replied to someone else’s comment here which must have mystified you. I got rid of it now. Yes a pyramid full of jugs and there will have to be books in there too so I will need a big one. Spoons wouldn’t be such a challenge to accommodate. Yes, I only discovered this pussy willow a year or two ago and I love it.

  20. bittster says:

    It sounds like you had fun with this one. Understandable when you can enjoy a jolliness of jugs when searching out an arrangement container. My father collects old radios which he used to pack away in the basement, and unpack each time he wanted to admire them. When the brood flew the nest I suggested he make one of the spare bedrooms into a radio room, which he did. Perhaps you have a room or wall with space for a juggery? Love the willow.

  21. Beautiful! I love how the Hellebores balance the smaller flowers. Your discourse on jugs reminds me of a discovery I just made. It turns out that my town is home to the American Toby Jug Museum. Here’s a link: I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Toby Jug, but now I do. They seem very English for some reason.

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