In a Vase on a Monday: A little bit of fluff

Vase on mantepiece

Vase on mantepiece

I was supposed to be sorting the kitchen drawer – you know the drawer; I am sure you all have one!  It holds everything from London Oyster cards to a Magnifying glass, a gadget for removing staples to a wonderful little box that when you press the red button says “You are the weakest link – Goodbye!”  I don’t remember where it came from but it always makes me smile – especially when it goes off as I am rummaging through the drawer for something. Mostly though the drawer holds all that paper stuff that you don’t know what to do with:  business cards that promise ‘Professional Work Guaranteed’ or ‘No job too small’, lifetime guarantees for watch batteries that you can never find when the battery actually dies, annual passes for historic buildings that you will never remember to take with you in the unlikely event that you visit them again, Post office receipts for parcels that when they do disappear, after two months travelling surface mail to Japan, you can no longer remember what was in them. Add to this random collection all that other stuff that you shove out of sight when you have visitors coming and never quite remember to take out again, and you get a pretty good idea of my kitchen drawer!

So you can see why I was delighted to check my WordPress reader and realise that it was Monday.  I had a good excuse to leave my thankless task and go on a walk around the garden to see if I had any flowers to use.

wallflowers, osteospermum and fluffy seed heads

wallflowers, osteospermum and fluffy seed heads

I don’t have many, but I did find a few wallflowers that really shouldn’t be flowering yet anyway. They had been lovely last spring and with the mild Autumn had produced a couple more flowers. I didn’t think they would last much longer so I decided to use them. I also used some yellow osteospermum flowers that had been out all Christmas despite the hard frosts.  There are lots more buds ready to open so I didn’t mind picking those as well.

Vase on a Monday

The real surprise, though, was the seed heads of the Japanese anemone. I think I must have cut them down in the past before the seeds got to this stage. They are beautiful, lovely and fluffy with little black seeds. In fact they reminded me of white dragon fruit, if you have ever seen it.  I am a little worried that I will now find these plants growing all over the garden as they are quite invasive anyway, but I did enjoy discovering them.

Seed heads of Japanese Anemone

Seed heads of Japanese Anemone


The other plants I have used to fill the vase are a Dryopteris fern, some Yew foliage, Winter flowering Jasmine, Origano seeds and some trailing small-leafed ivy.

The vase I used is a Stuart crystal with lovely engraved fuscias. It is a good size for a small collection of flowers.  I placed the vase on our mantlepiece and used flash to photograph it.

So I have done my first vase of the year and now I need to find a better home for all the junk I have turfed out of my kitchen drawer.

I am ready, though, should any watch batteries fail or if we feel like visiting Blenheim Palace again.  I can also bleed the radiators, clean my spectacles or hang some pictures!

Do you feel like sharing some of the things in your kitchen drawer? Or why not pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what vases others have produced this month?


25 thoughts on “In a Vase on a Monday: A little bit of fluff

  1. Oh Annette, I know exactly how you are feeling! I decided to clean out a bedroom closet over the weekend. What was I thinking? One thing just leads to another! I have decided that the older I get the smaller the suitcase gets. So I wanted to put all the big luggage on shelves, out of the way. Then I could see the clothes I no longer wear and then realized I have shoes not worn in years…..and boxes of scarves I no longer remembered……it goes on and on……maybe I should have left the suitcases where they were!

    • Oh dear – my bedroom wardrobe was supposed to be tomorrow’s job. I try to be more ruthless about throwing things out these days, but then I forget I have done that and spend ages looking for things!!!

  2. I smiled more with each line of your description of The Drawer. You will have noticed that i mentioned a lunch party yesterday, and many items found their way into the drawer just as you said. Love the wall flowers, i hope mine will look as good in a couple of month’s time. Japonese anemones are invasive for you? ENVY!

    • I hoped I would find some people afflicted with the same Drawer problem! It makes me feel a bit better about mine. It is tidy now but probably won’t last a month in that state. My Japanese anemones are quite large and are the wrong colour (pink) for the yellow bottom border, but I can’t dig them up as they just grow back from every little bit of root. It has put me off buying some nicer varieties. They do look nice in late summer though when not much else is out.

  3. I was fascinated by your pictures of the Japanese anemones. I live in Austria and have only just found some to put in my garden. I really enjoyed them, they are now wrapped up under fleece and 20cm of new snow!! I just hope they will survive the winter ! If they survive I will keep the seeds to see if I can grow some more!!!!

    • Thanks for your comments. I find mine are very hardy, but I guess there are lots of different varieties. What colour and height are yours? I was quite amazed today to see the seeds as I have had them many years and never seen them before. I think I always cut them down to tidy the garden for winter. This year I was less organised. Or maybe the fluff has blown away before I have noticed it before.

  4. Yes, of course I have a drawer like that. It is known as ‘ my office’ . I don’t think I could face tidying it out. Where on earth would you put everything? Into another drawer I suppose.
    I love your arrangement. It doesn’t t look like a winter arrangement at all. How strange having Wallflowers and Osteospermum out in January. I love those fluffy seed beads.

    • Well thankfully I did manage to throw a lot of the paperwork away. Some of it is waiting for The Traveller to return before hopefully he throws it out. Quite a lot just gets put back though. . . .
      I have never had either of those flowers out over Christmas before. The osteospermum is looking really bushy and ready to go again very soon.

  5. Oh yes, we all have drawers like that – don’t we?! What lovely muted colours in your vase, but how amazing to have those wallflowers and osteospermum! I am puzzled about your Japanese anemones as they are gorgeous and fluffy but mine never do anything like that, or do they and I miss them? They have seedheads still standing and I used them in a vase last (oh, probably 2013) year and have eyed them up to use again, but are they are just tight blobs – I wonder what other people will say about theirs. I have a vase like this, but a duifferent shape – I had forgotten it was Stuart Crystal. Thanks for abandoning your drawer to join in – and if you leave a link FROM my blog too more people will find you

    • Thanks Cathy – I will pop over to leave a link. I had forgotten. Well I am wondering now whether I really did cut my anemones down in previous years or whether it is unusual for them to do this. I will have to search on the internet. I have two separate clumps of anemones, both the same plant though and they have both done it this year. I am wondering whether the fluff blows away quickly so it can be easily missed.

        • Well I found some other pictures online so I am not alone. Maybe they don’t always open. Mine seem to have got even more fluffy indoors. Perhaps if you brought yours inside they would burst? There is not much left once the fluff comes off so I think it is more likely that yours haven’t opened than that you have missed them.

          • I feel an experiment is in order here….;) I would say that mine certainly don’t look as if they have already opened so I shall go and pick one this minute and bring it inside… How exciting!!

    • I was beginning to doubt that the seeds were anemones as others hadn’t seen them, but I have just checked on the internet and yes anemones do produce fluffy seed heads. I do hope they aren’t all over my garden by now though!

  6. I visited Wisley on Saturday morning and saw Anemone seed heads looking just like yours. They look beautiful in your lovely arrangement too. We got rid of our kitchen drawer and now have to make a decision does it stay or go, its actually more stressful than having a big drawer full of just in case stuff.

    • Oh good, I was beginning to wonder if anyone else had seen them. I don’t think I could manage without that drawer even if it does get a bit cluttered at times. ‘Just in case stuff’ is a good description. You are bound to need it though if you get rid of it all.

  7. What beautiful seed heads and a lovely arrangement in your vase today Annette. Your description of clearing out a drawer made me chuckle. You are so right… we’ve all got a drawer like that although in our house it’s more of a Man Drawer! See the video on You Tube

  8. Hi Annette, I admire your lovely arrangement this week. The anemone seed heads are fascinating and quite beautiful. I’ve never grown wall flowers but what a wonderful thing to have them blooming at this time of year. I laughed with recognition as you described your drawer’s contents. Every house must have one of these. Mine has an unopened deck of playing cards from a dozen years ago, assorted business cards, scotch tape, a neighborhood directory that my husband maintains (including a walking directory so you can learn the neighbors as you walk around the community), pens that barely write and pencils with broken points, and many other important items.

    • Thank you. You had me laughing too, especially at the pens that barely write. I forgot about those. Why don’t we throw them out?
      I always try to grow wallflowers for the spring, I think we must have had them in my childhood as they are one plant that I have to have every year. The scent is wonderful. These did so well in a sheltered spot near our back door that they were left in for a second year. It was strange to see a few flowers on them over Christmas though. Mind you it was a funny year last year.

  9. I was SO excited this morning – the anemone seedhead I picked at 10 o’clock last night is fluffing up – how amazing is that?! I have now picked a second stem which I will not place in water to see if that makes a difference… It’s really strange, as I tend to leave the seedheads standing over winter, particularly since I started the vase meme, so I wonder if it is a timing or a temperature issue… Thanks for introducing me to them, Annette 🙂

    • That IS exciting! Great experiment! I am still puzzled why neither of us has seen it happen before. It must be a temperature thing. We have just had a lot of hard frosts so I had been wondering whether you needed to put your seed heads in the fridge before warming them up! Tomorrow’s experiment?

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