A January Monday Vase

January 26, 2015 Monday vase 018


What bits of beauty can you scavenge from your garden on this last Monday of January?

That is the challenge…

Answering the challenge took me all around the garden today with clippers and a cup of warm water in hand.  We have the proverbial calm before the storm today in coastal Virginia.  It was actually sunny when I headed out mid-day, and almost warm.  The wind was brisk, though, which reminded me to make this a quick scavenging hunt.


January 26, 2015 Monday vase 016


I found more snowdrops blooming in a sheltered spot beneath some box, some white Hellebores just making their presence known in the lower stump garden, and a few bright Viola blossoms.  I’ve been admiring the bright red stems of our native blueberry bushes, and so included a few along with some evergreen Azaleas.

There are also a few stems of Forsythia, their buds still tightly closed, and some of the variegated ivy growing near the kitchen door.

Meager as that may be, it reflects the beauty of our January garden.


There is a bit of potting soil and sand beneath the moss to sustain the plants growing in the glass plate.

There is a bit of potting soil and sand beneath the moss to sustain the plants growing in the glass plate.


And yes, of course the bright vivid greens of our moss and lichen, thriving in this very wet winter.  While most of our evergreens are just hunkered down for the duration hoping to survive, the moss glows with vitality.

I have placed the vase in the midst of another moss garden, constructed in a shallow glass plate set in a silver charger.  Rooted ivy grows and a tiny fern division grow out of the living moss.  Perhaps this little vignette will last long enough for the cut branches to respond to our warmth indoors and begin to unfurl their buds.

I’ve been thinking of a friend while puttering in the garden today, who with her husband left our community a few years back to move closer to her family on the coast of Florida.  She lets me know, sometimes, how much she misses her friends here in Williamsburg, and the magic of our changing seasons.

An avid gardener herself, and very talented floral designer, I hope the photos of this little Monday vase will brighten her day and let her know that we miss her, too.


January 26, 2015 Monday vase 011~

I discovered the “Monday Vase” challenge a week ago while following links from gardening blog to gardening blog.  Many of the participants tend their gardens across Europe.  Perhaps more of my gardening friends from here in the United States will decide to join in with vases of their own as our gardens awaken to spring.  What a nurturing thing to do to bring a bit of the garden indoors for our loved ones to enjoy close up once a week!

If you love cut flowers, and are curious to see what others have created today, please follow the links in the comments on Cathy’s page.  I also enjoyed John’s vase of pansies and parsley today in his lovely cobalt blue vase.


January 26, 2015 Monday vase 008


Often I hesitate to cut flowers from our garden because I want to enjoy them as they grow.  We leave them for the bees and butterflies.  And I wonder if they’ll make us sneeze indoors.

But after enjoying the beautiful arrangements others have made to join this challenge, I’m inspired.  And I plan to make the garden tour with clippers in hand a Monday ritual from here on.

Woodland Gnome 2015


January 26, 2015 Monday vase 009


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

18 responses to “A January Monday Vase

  1. Your tableau is most pleasing to the eye. It’s so exciting to see the first flashes of colour amongst the green in the depths of winter. I did not realise that blueberry stems were such a vivid red 🙂

    • Thank you, Anna, and thank you for visiting Forest Garden today 😉 The stems are so bright and vivid in the sunshine outside. I just had to include a few in this little arrangement. Best wishes, WG

  2. Oh, how dear and beautiful! Brought a tear to my eye and an ache in my heart, natural beauty can do that to me! A great new tradition for you – your garden will yield all sorts of lovely vases. Looking forward to it.

    • How are you, Eliza? We’ve been watching the weather news from Boston, and hope you and yours are doing OK. Once things thaw a bit, I hope you’ll post a vase or two of your own 😉 It means the world to me that you enjoyed the photos that much 😉 Stay warm, hugs, WG

      • We are a bit underwhelmed here after all the pre-storm excitement. Not that I am complaining! We were on the western edge of the storm and received about 4″ – hard to tell with the wind blowing it all around. Nice and dry, easy to shovel!

        • That is outstanding! I’m so glad you got just the edge of things, Eliza. We got between 2 and 3″ starting around 11 PM and ending around 10 here. We were on the edge, right around 30, so it was pretty without messing up the roads. So glad it is easy to clean up for you 😉

  3. The materials could be right out of my garden too…. lots of moss and lichen, ivy, violas and hellebores. No snowdrops here yet though. I really love the way you have put all this together and created a mini garden for indoors. Perfect for January!

  4. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details” but you’ve made a beautiful composition out of the bits and pieces provided by your garden under difficult weather conditions. Your hellebores look better than mine here in Southern California. We need a bit more of the moisture Mother Nature is currently directing to your side of the country.

    • Dear Kris, thank you so much for the kind words. Nature always provides, one way or the other. We hope that you get the moisture you need this winter to replenish the aquifers and renew the soil. Such a shame to see drought on the coast, where it is usually so lush. It feels like Oregon here, like we’re the ones in the rain forest! And our mosses and lichens are lush. Now I’m just watching for little ferns to start creeping along the branches of trees as they do in Eugene 😉 Thank you for visiting Forest Garden today- Best wishes, WG

  5. Glad to see you are joining in….A lovely arrangement right out of your garden….and flowers too. Up here in central NY I have had to find plant materials under snow or grow bulbs indoors but it has been fun to participate all winter so far.

    • Thank you, Donna. Central New York has had a rough winter this year, and we’re sorry to see more snow and wind on its way. How is your garden holding up? What dedication to dig under snow for materials for your Monday vase! I admire your determination! I will look forward to seeing fresh flowers from your garden in your vases soon. Best wishes- WG

  6. Very pretty. I love your use of moss and lichen. Your arrangement looks like a little garden.

  7. Oh WG, this is delightful and, as you said, is clearly representative of your January garden. I love the greenery provided by moss and ferns and ivy in my own garden – they never let us down, do they? I particularly love finding a new fern popping up in unexpected places, even if they do sometimes need to be removed before they get too big. Thank you for joining in again, and I can see you are becoming hooked already!

    • This is a wonderful meme, Cathy, and invites one to appreciate the changing of the season in the tiniest detail. It is particularly interesting to see what is available in others’ gardens according to their climate. Moss and ivy never fail to please in the depths of winter. So many of our evergreen leaves have already taken on the tired dullness which comes from too much cold. It was nice to find a few things looking fresh and new. Thank you for hosting this fascinating challenge, Cathy, and for your warm welcome. I like that the challenge extends beyond simply taking an interesting photo or two. Best wishes, WG

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