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The Christmas underdog vase on Monday

The holly and the ivy When they are both full grown
A beautiful Christmas carol, celebrating the holly and the ivy in equal measure, and then what happens?  The ivy gets forgotten and the holly goes on to celebrate all aspects of the reason for Christmas, and poor old ivy is left trailing behind.

I love ivy, Hedera.  I love the variety in its leaves, the way it climbs trees (acknowledging that it can strangle them, not good), and most of all I love the way it trails and hangs from trees like tropical vines.  It covers the ground in an impenetrable carpet and its flowers provide nectar for bees when almost every other flower has finished for the season.  The berries are mysterious and handsome, and a good food source for the birds in winter.  So, taking all that into account, I thought I would celebrate ivy in my vase today.  I found some little pink blossoms to compliment the purple-black berries, and santolina to give a bit of contrast.

Happy New Year from the running wave!

Happy Christmas from the running wave

The holly and the ivy, When they are both full grown, Of all trees that are in the wood, The holly bears the crown: O, the rising of the sun, And the running of the deer The playing of the merry organ, Sweet singing in the choir. The holly bears a blossom, As white as lily flow'r, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, To be our dear Saviour: O, the rising of the sun, And the running of the deer The playing of the merry organ, Sweet singing in the choir. The holly bears a berry, As red as any blood, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, To do poor sinners good: O, the rising of the sun, And the running of the deer The playing of the merry organ, Sweet singing in the choir. The holly bears a prickle, As sharp as any thorn, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, On Christmas Day in the morn: O, the rising of the sun, And the running of the deer The playing of the merry organ, Sweet singing in the choir. The holly bears a bark, As bitter as any gall, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, For to redeem us all: O, the rising of the sun, An…

A Christmas vase on Monday

Christmas is minutes away now!  I have some lovely holly in a couple of vases today, along with a little ivy.  'The holly and the ivy' is the best Christmas decoration as far as I am concerned, along with the tree.  I usually add in one or two silk hellebores and I always enjoy the combination.  This year there are also a few small cheery red roses, to lift it all a bit.
This is the container I used for the arrangement.  The bird motif is mirrored on the other side and I love its elegant neck which creates a double handled vessel.  And here is my favourite Christmas vase.  A teapot!
Happy Christmas to all IAVOM contributors.  I hope you all have a lovely peaceful Christmas time.

On winter solstice eve

Yesterday, not a distant mountain range but clouds!


A perfect winter walk

We enjoyed a perfect winter morning today.  After scraping the frosty fern patterns left by Jack Frost off the car windows, we drove to Gosford House to walk through the grounds again.  It is a peaceful place which never fails to disappoint.  Today was no exception.  We saw lots of squirrels scurrying around in the leaf litter and flying up tree trunks, three young deer accompanied us for a while through the woods, the winter sunlight shone through the grasses and trees, and the patterns in the iced-over lakes were unique and ornate.
 And finally, vacant premises high in the treetops!

A substitute 'vase' on Monday

I hope other IAVOM bloggers will forgive this makeshift post for today's vase.  I have had major problems with iPhoto over the past last few days which has meant I haven't been able to access any photographs, and I didn't manage to produce a vase either!  A bit of a weekend.  Anyway, my wizard son-in-law managed to solve the IT problem last night and I thought, as a substitute vase, I would show you a few floral illustrations and extracts from work in the marvellous May Morris exhibition currently showing at the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh. https://dovecotstudios.com  May Morris was William Morris's daughter, a remarkable woman in so many ways, who produced the most exquisite work.



The simplest of vases on Monday

As we hurtle towards a period of excess, razzmatazz and a world of green, red and sparkly things (many garish and over the top), my vase this week offers the simplest of stems, and the promise of even better things to come.  Hazel catkins.

To fancy thing up a little bit, sitting alongside my vase are a few leaves and the shaggy acorn cups of Turkey oak, Quercus cerris, which was introduced to this country in the 1700s from south-east Europe and Asia Minor.  I love the rich chestnut brown on the inside of the cup.

Christmas wreath workshop

Fun, fizz and a Christmas wreath making workshop - a great way to spend a Thursday evening in December!  Debbie from East Lothian Flower Farm showed us how to bend and coax fresh willow stems into a circle (not the easiest of tasks) and having established our frame the fun began with the embellishments.  The willow stems, from a local willow farm, were beautiful colours, intensified by the recent frosts.  Chocolate, lime green, coral and wine red.
A very enjoyable start to preparations for Chrismas 2019.