The Vase Stands Alone…redux.

Clematis vineHappy Birthday – is three years old this week. flowerflinging began as a three-day design camp here in Sheffield, then morphed into a blog on, lasting there until I created the website. Anyone can create a free blog on either site.

 Fish Sauce BowlTo celebrate, I’m reprising a post from blogspot days called “The Vase Stands Alone” which appeared on July 29, 2012. I expect many of you are like me with vases or other objects that sit day after day in all their beauty and never hold any flowers.

 Mimi's cache-potThis Spode cache-pot is one of my top five objects in the house, you know, the ones you would  grab first in a fire, after the family of course!  It was my mother’s and has always had pride of place in all my homes. The transfer pattern design is exquisitely detailed in such rich colors.

 Pottery VaseThe sister of an artist friend created this wonderful piece of ceramic, so subtly and beautifully glazed. It makes a ‘statement’ all by itself.

 Full Metal BasketCrossed bands of a very pliable metal are fused together to make this diminutive ‘basket’ vase. It is only 4“ high. I completely forget how I came by it – perhaps a lovely gift?

Ranunculus and CockscombIt’s fun to see then and now. In 2012, I filled the ‘basket’ with lush pristine white Ranunculus. The whole color scheme is rather Armani (I wish!). This week I could not resist this fat brilliantly colored cockscomb, looking like crushed velvet.

Carnations and CabbagesEach time I use the container, I still keep it the star of the show. The picotee carnations echoed the red and gold of the peony flower on the container on the left. But I think the cool green of the cabbage is more successful in color. It doesn’t hurt that the photo is more in focus!

 BanksiaThe tapered and slightly turned cylinder in a rich dark brown glaze is a great foil for the statuesque beauty of this Banksia flower. These stately plants from South Africa make a statement of their own too. An interesting vase like this creates a framework for the fascinating texture of the bloom.

Persian Carpet ZinniasZinnia “Persian Carpet” is perfectly suited to the little metal basket, allowing these gorgeous flowers to be the star of the show. I lined the basket with a glass votive candleholder to contain the water and the stems.

Royal Purple CarnationsA Chinese export porcelain container with its blue and white clarity still stars when filled with luscious purple mini carnations. For insouciance, I kept one bud visible before I tied the bouquet together. What vase is standing alone at your house?


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Black & White & Red All Over.

Farmstand fresh flowersThese two brilliant bunches of flowers called my name at the farm stand yesterday. They both shared some of the same flowers and also each had a different one.

 Black and White ceramic bowlSomehow the white and red made me think of this black and white bowl (Target a couple of years ago). The whites of the flowers might work well with the white of the container.

Farmstand Fresh FlowersIn taking apart the two bunches, to ‘take attendance’ so to speak, I found 9 ruby Celosia, 16 white Cosmos (my most favorite summer flower!), 22 Zinnias in red or bicolor orange/yellow, and a dozen white Gomphrena.

GomphrenaGomphrena, as you can see, are rather oddly stemmed plants with often three or four stems branching from a swollen nodule which in this case is bright magenta.

Celosia & GomphrenaBecause I had so many flowers, I removed almost all the foliage from the flowers. No foliage filler needed. Beginning with the Celosia and Gomphrena, I inserted the stems in a 4” flower frog (kenzan). It would have been easier if I had used some florist clay to secure the frog as it tended to slide when inserting the flowers.

Adding White cosmos & red zinniasHaving set the framework, I began to add the Cosmos and Zinnias, always turning the vase to keep things hopefully symmetrical.

Finished with yellow orange zinniasThe last flowers added were the yellow/orange Zinnias to give the whole thing a little more excitement.

Shell like stones and the vaseWith so many flowers (and only $20!!!), the vase isn’t seen up close. You need to be across the room, or sitting at the table. Inside at the front, you can just see the pearly stones, used to hide the kenzan, glimmering in the water.

Zinnias on the Window SillFour orphaned pink Zinnias snuck into the original bouquets. They were given a spot of their own. I hope someone comes this week to see them.


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Entertaining flowers

Dock, parsnip and basketsIn high summer I always like the flowers in the house to be from the garden, if not mine (OK, mostly not mine), then someone else’s garden or the farm stand.

Flower Frogs with DahliasFor the entertainment of the realtors, each week I change around how and where I put flowers. This is a steel tray from IKEA with some lead flower frogs (see “Don’t kiss the FlowerFrog” in my old blogspot Archives: and bright golden dahlias. They all rest in about an inch of water.

Yarrow on the tableThis handsome red yarrow (Achillea millefolium) lasted beautifully or two weeks in the Pittsford Dairy cream bottles. The twig runner came from Crate & Barrel years ago and has paid for itself several times over by being neutral, country and a great texture.

Phragmities outedIn rushing to have something on the table for a showing one day, I succumbed to the beauty of the invasive no-no, Phragmities, in full purple bloom. I crept down the road to a clump of them near to the stream. Of course as soon as I had picked a few, I was outed by two charming young women who work for a local nature park nearby. “Do you know what that is? Oh, yes…” was my sheepish reply!!

Gallairdia on gingham runnerWhen the yarrow finally called it quits, bright big yellow Gallardia, looking like black-eyed Susan on steroids, went in the cream bottles on a quilted red check runner.

Pot et PotStarch BoxOne of my most treasured ‘containers’ is this old wooden starch box with its beautiful dovetailed corners. In it is a ‘pot-et-pot’ or really a ‘pot-et-pot-et-pot’: Anthurim (tall), ivy, Begonia (right).

 Heirloom zinniasAren’t these heirloom zinnias wonderful? So many color combinations within each flower?

Heirloom zinnias in copperThis week I used them on the dining room table in a copper wire structure. For how-to see another blogspot post:  Zinnias are very thirsty girls, these tubes have to be filled every morning.


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