In A Vase on Monday: The Potential Is Already There

February 23, 2015 Monday Vase 017


The Potential is there already.

Every parent understands this idea.  We look at our infant, our toddler, our child, our teen; and we can already see the potential for who they may one day become.

Gardeners learn to see the potential in our gardens.  We know what perennial roots and hardy bulbs lie sleeping under the snow.  We see a branch of swollen buds and visualize the flowers, and possibly fruits, which will grow there as the season progresses.  We plant a rooted twig knowing it will grow into a mighty tree.


February 23, 2015 Monday Vase 018


It is true of us as well.  Each of us has infinite potential to learn, to love, to develop our latent talents, and to make our peculiar contribution to the world.  Whatever we might have achieved in the past, whatever failures might still smart in our memories; unfathomable potential remains for us to express.


February 23, 2015 Monday Vase 016


What are you doing today, by the way?

We always begin from this moment and from the very next choice we make.


February 23, 2015 Monday Vase 003


It was snowing this morning as I cut materials for today’s vase.  Our ground has remained snow covered for a week now, with more snow falling and more on the way.  Our garden’s potential for spring flowering remains locked in cold, covered with snow, and delayed indefinitely.  Delayed, but only for a little while longer.


February 23, 2015 Monday Vase 012


These few Violas were growing out of snow covered pots, positioned where they get the warmest sun of the day.  We plant Violas each year for weeks such as this!  It is such a treat to find flowers even on a snowy morning.

The vase today is filled with Forsythia and hazel branches highlighted by long stems of ivy pulled from under leaves and snow.  They are all living, and full of potential to continue their natural growth inside.  Each of these stems may root in the vase, and each may be planted out to begin a new, independent life of its own.

An antique press glassed dish, collected decades ago, holds the Violas.  Our sky blue Blenko vase, brought to us by friends this past summer, holds the branches and ivy.  An Apophyllite cluster reflects what wintery light is available this morning.  It reminds me a little of the icy snow blanketing the garden today.

How tempting to ignore Cathy’s “A Vase On Monday” challenge this snowy morning.  Nothing in the garden looks particularly inspiring at the moment, save the brave songbirds twittering from branch to branch in search of stray seeds and overlooked berries.  Flashes of red Cardinal and Black Capped Chickadee animate and energize the wintery scene.

And they drew me outside to have a look around.  Thank you, too, Cathy, for hosting this addictive challenge each week, at Rambling In the Garden.  I take great pleasure in seeing what can be found each Monday in others’ gardens; particularly those gardens already unfolding their spring flowers. Please enjoy the many links to other posts in Cathy’s comments today.


February 23, 2015 Monday Vase 014


“If the doors of perception were cleansed,

everything would appear to man as it is – infinite.”


William Blake


Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015





About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

21 responses to “In A Vase on Monday: The Potential Is Already There

  1. Lovely combinations… Cool colors for cold weather. Looking at the potential in your garden is a very positive thing to do.

    Out here potential is popping out early….it couldn’t t wait the extra month it normally takes to get here. I started a little side bar gallery on my home page with some of the early bloomers 🌼

    • Will check that out, Jane. Thank you for the kind words. I keep the OR coast weather forecast where I can check it every time I check our weather online, and have been absolutely amazed at how warm it has remained. I remember snow in Eugene in mid-March not that long ago. I hope there isn’t a late “whammy” coming now that gardens have budded out- More snow here tonight…. Best wishes, WG

  2. It is magical to pick some branches of Forsythia on a cold winter’ s day and watch them come out in the warmth. I have some in a large vase indoors too, along with some of the sticky buds of Horse Chestnut which I love to watch unfurling.

  3. We are in precisely the same situation, with snow on the ground, and only a few twigs and violas to bring indoors! I love your blue vase and the square dish for displaying the ‘blue’ violas. (Are they really so blue? Mine looked bluer on my photos but are actually quite purply). Yes, the potential for spring is there and it should not be delayed much longer. In the meantime enjoy watching your Forsythia unfurl.

    • Absolutely! We have Forsythia still in bloom from the vases a few weeks back. It is a real treasure and constant source of pleasure in late winter. We are blessed with huge areas of Forsythia left by an earlier gardener. Those are the actual colors of the flowers. I’m a novice photographer and don’t use any fancy software beyond cropping and tweaking the contrast. That is the extent of my ‘know-how.’ These were grown by a friend who spent most of his career producing Violas for the Belfast market. He is in love with Violas, as are we, and carries many unusual and beautiful varieties. We have more snow on the way throughout the week, but have hopes it will be light. Schools are already announcing early dismissals around here…. But our daffodils are up by several inches so hope runs high that we can get on with spring within the next few weeks 😉 Warm wishes your way! WG

  4. Good for you, pressing ahead with the challenge. I can see it in bloom in a few days time. Love those little pansy faces in that pretty dish. They are so cheerful.
    I will sit this one out – just too depressing to venture out. I thought about cutting quince to force, but only a few inches stick out of the snow! I would have to excavate. 😉 Instead, I stopped at the florist for a little pick-me-up.
    Another epic cold night ahead. Time to load the stove again. 😉

  5. A lovely vase that will only get lovelier as it blooms. All my shrubs are buried so I can’t cut any forsythia as I had planned. What a joy to see the pansies too!

  6. I tend to like many flowers best in bud form. It’s an aesthetic choice on the surface, but surely must also have something to do with the “promise” of which you speak.

  7. What a thought provoking post today WG – thanks for sharing these lovely words and for your graceful twigs and pansies. I see you have apophyllite too – one of my favourite crystals

    • Thank you, Cathy. We enjoy minerals in all of their colors and forms- by Apophyllite is is particularly lovely. I found some perfect little clusters at a gem shop in Oregon which I’ve used in a terrarium or two. This one just whispered ‘winter’ today, and so came off of its light box for a little while 😉 Now, waiting for those twigs to bloom 😉

      • And I work holistically with crystals…

        • What are your favorites to work with, Cathy? Do you do much work pairing particular crystals with plants?

          • My favourite crystals are apophyllyte and black tourmaline and although I have several large crystals in the garden I don’t use crystals with my plants as much as I could. Now there’s something I can remedy….

            • Now there is contrast!! The light, and the light embedded in the seemingly dark 😉 How were you first attracted to black tourmaline?
              Have you ever owned a piece of Schorl embedded in quartz? The most common tourmalinated quartz we find holds black tourmaline, although I always search for those pieces with green. I have been drawn to green tourmaline for a long time now, and like wearing it in the natural wand state. I make jewelry with gemstones and try to incorporate Tourlaminated quartz or Rutillated quartz in many of the pieces I construct. Plants seem to appreciate the gift of a companion crystal in their pot 😉

              • I was struck by the apparent contrast as I wrote that comment! I am a qualified crystal healer and found from the start I preferred the crystals in their natural state and I felt a natural affinity with both of these, both powerful crystals in their own way. I tend not have ‘specimen’ pieces as they are not as useable in healing, but I do admire their beauty and did hanker after a piece containing green tourmaline at one time.

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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

Please visit and follow Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues to see all new posts since January 8, 2021.

A new site allows me to continue posting new content since after more than 1700 posts there is no more room on this site.  -WG

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 783 other subscribers
Follow Forest Garden on

Topics of Interest

%d bloggers like this: