Candlemas Monday Vase

Purple sage has survived winter, still growing in the garden.

Purple sage has survived winter, still growing in the garden.


February demands patience.  Still locked in a battle for survival, the garden remains in defensive posture; waiting out the onslaught of wind, ice, rain, and grinding cold.

And so do we.  Perhaps already feeling the approach of spring, our bones tell us that winter will linger a while yet.  Perhaps a frustratingly long while yet.  Who can say?

Interludes of brilliant sun always fade as the clouds blow back in, bringing who knows how much more pounding rain or snow.  A morning in the 50s will likely fade into the 20s overnight.  Such is February, perhaps the hardest month of the year.


February 2, 2015 Monday Vase 005


Today’s Monday vase reflects this sense of ‘survival mode’ in our garden.  Buds remain tightly closed. ‘Evergreen’ leaves are dulled and discolored from the cold.

Yet ‘survival’ is the operative word here, and the garden remains very much alive.  Hazel twigs sport their male pollen filled ‘flowers.”


February 2, 2015 Monday Vase 013


Lavender, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme remain fresh and growing, if only very slowly.  Our Camellias are covered in buds.

Sprigs of ivy, found growing under a mat of wet leaves, show new growth.

Like a tightly coiled spring, the entire garden waits for the sun’s signal to begin its annual vernal unfolding.


The moonstone frog heralds spring, as the discarded antler reminds us of what was left behind last autumn.

The moonstone frog heralds spring, as the discarded antler reminds us of what was left behind last autumn.


Candlemas, February 2 of each year, brings its own message of purification, hope and renewal.

Bright color may presently be lacking in this vase and in the garden; but for those with patience, the potential for spring’s explosion of new life and color can be felt everywhere.


February 2, 2015 Monday Vase 014~

The vase is hand blown glass made by Blenko, an historic glass company in West Virgina.  Filled with a sandy bottom, it suggests the eternal sea, from which all new life comes.  The plate is by friend and potter Denis Orton.


February 2, 2015 Monday Vase 010


With appreciation to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden for her Monday Vase challenge. 

Please visit her page for links to more beautiful vases of flowers prepared today.

Woodland Gnome 2015


February 2, 2015 Monday Vase 015

Words and Herbs, “In A Vase On Monday:  Snow White”

In A Vase on Monday- Gray or Silver?

A Walk In the Garden, In A Vase on Monday: Buds

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

19 responses to “Candlemas Monday Vase

  1. Great! You did it. You encouraged me. We need all the positive thinking that we can get in this February of 2015. The variety in your garden and neighborhood is wonderful.

    • You are absolutely right, Jeffrey, about needing to remain positive to get through the rest of this winter. Thank you for the kind words 😉 We are blessed in this area with a huge variety of plant life, relatively natural waterways and woodlands, and so a very large and diverse population of birds and insects. We enjoy the many winged creatures who visit our garden and plant food sources for them. Stay warm, WG

  2. Lovely text and a pretty range of greens for your delightful blue vase – someone else used camellias in their vase too and we are waiting to see if they will open. Do report back on yours too, WG, and thanks for joining in the meme

    • Thank you, Cathy. John seems a bit more hopeful about the Camellia’s opening than am I. I’ve never had good luck forcing Camellia’s when the bud is so tightly closed. But I remain open to the possibility 😉 Those Forsythia in last week’s vase are showing color now. Other than the ephemerals, it looks better than it did a week ago 😉 Best wishes to you, Cathy, and thank you for stopping by to take a look at this week’s vase 😉 WG

  3. Your poetic commentary frames your vase well. Your climate is very different than mine but, in viewing your vase, I can appreciate the environment that surrounds you.

  4. Simply lovely sight to see after shoveling a foot of snow today – you give me hope!

    • Take good care of yourself, Eliza. A foot of snow…. I’m so sorry and hope all is OK with your garden and home. Giant hugs, WG

      • Oh, the garden is cozy and snug under the snow. No picking things for vases for me, however! Although I could force some branches, I suppose. Actually it is better to have a good blanket of snow, things fare worse in years when we have scant snow and deep killing frost. After all these years, we have the drill down pat and between the two of us we have it all done in a hour. Tomorrow we snowshoe the trails – the first pass is a work-out, heart rate up and out of breath, I’ll barely need my coat!

        • Oh Eliza, please take your camera and share photos of your walk on the trails 😉 I may cut some branches of peach this week to have in bud in another week or two. A shame to start them too early, and who knows how the next few weeks will go? I hope the rest of the week is kind to you, and that there is a thaw on the horizon 😉

  5. This is a wonderful collection of foliage and buds! February is a short month and there will be a noticeable increase in light within the next couple of weeks. We also see very little of the sun here in winter, so let’s hope we both get many bursts of sunshine this month!

  6. Lovely, lovely post, WG. The vase is really beautiful. I like the color. I used to live in West Virginia, not far from the Blenko Glass Company. They make some beautiful stuff.
    February always seems to run on forever and ever. Hard to believe it’s the shortest month of the year considering how it drags. Hope the winds weren’t too rough on you today. It sure has been blustery.

    • I like that, Robin, you reading and leaving a comment on my post as I do the same on yours 😉 Now for that tea…
      We had a very interesting line of storms through here- trees down all around with power outages, but we’re OK. Hurricane force winds in Norfolk, though… We’ve had heavy rain, bright sun, wind, and who knows what today. I’m glad you like the vase. I would love one of those lovely birds you’ve photographed posing on the upper branches 😉 Thank you for the kind words- WG

  7. I love the color of the vase…like the spring sky. and so much still alive in your garden….here we are buried beneath many feet of snow now….everything tucked away for now.

  8. Your text is as evocative as your arrangement. I love the contrast of the plate/vase/chair with the “greenery”.

We always appreciate your comments. Thank you for adding your insight to the conversation.

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