Saturday, April 23, 2011
Searching for Blooms in Uncommon Vases
Happy, happy happy! The sun is out in a big way and my house is warm and toasty. So warm in fact that my gorgeous tulips from the Skagit Valley have popped open! I've had them for 3 days but they were in protection mode; tight red buds atop their slender stems. I love the way tulips open and stand erect when it's warm and close up when it's cool. And they are pretty either way.
I don't have many tulips growing around my house. I have a few that I think have been moved to their present location because of squirrel hyper-activity. I have made no sincere effort to enhance my landscape with spring-flowering bulbs. The reason for this is that I don't like the way above ground bulb foliage looks once the flowers have withered. And unfortunately the unsightly green leaves and stems, bereft of the once magnificent color, must be left alone to slowly shrivel. You just can't cut them down prematurely. Otherwise the health of the bulb is in peril. My plan is to one day have a bulb bed somewhere on our property, perhaps a raised-bed arrangement, massively planted. I would position the bed such that once I have cut the flower itself the slow deterioration of the stem and leaves will occur and not annoy me.
Here is a picture of a gorgeous yellow tulip just outside our front door. It is a stand-alone and has not multiplied in the 4 years it has been here. Larry loves this tulip just as it is and has asked me not to move it so I won't. I do wish it would reproduce but perhaps it is an attention grabber and prefers to remain single.
During the month of April tulips are a great buy at our local grocery stores. I think I paid $3.99 for this breathtaking red bunch (above, top). I want to bring your attention to the crockery pitcher that I use mostly as a vase. It is a fantastic beige with a perfect glaze and it holds water without sweating. I bought this vase at a first-rate antique shop when we lived in Hermann, Missouri. I have moved the pitcher carefully from house to house since we left Hermann in 1993. It is among my highly-prized interior accents because it is so simple and straightforward in its appeal. And it has quietly made its presence knows in each of our houses because it is so unobtrusive. Best of all, vases such as this pitcher showcase the flowers rather than noisily inserting themselves into the scene. All I'm really trying to suggest, in voluble fashion, is that you should rethink vase next time you buy flowers. Perhaps you have something already that could double as a vase and would make you feel happy each time you bring it out.
Look at this cupboard above my microwave. It's filled with vases. By the way, where else should one store vases and for what else can you use a cupboard such as this one? As it is the vases have to share space with the microwave cord so I think this the cupboard is unsuitable for most other things. I tried putting cookbooks up there but I have too many.
If you can believe it, I recently thinned my vase population. I donated any that I didn't like, especially if they were of no sentimental value. A few of them I even threw away. And I still have a cupboard full of vases I rarely use. I prefer uncommon vases and have taken to collecting English ironstone and vintage silver. Here are two of my most favorite finds:
By early summer I will have hydrangeas ready to cut and they look simply amazing in either of these pitchers. Hydrangeas are a ways away yet. How about if we 'round the vases' one more time when the hydrangeas are in bloom?
In closing I pose the question, "what's in your cupboard"? Let me know? Bloggers love comments!