In A Vase on Monday – Contrasting Elements.


My goal this week was to use an actual vase! Check. The vase is one of my thrift store finds that I have greatly enjoyed. As I was thinking of what to use in the vase I realized my native Firebush was starting to flower after  I cut it back in December, so that started the ball rolling. Here is a better photo of the vase:


I had to bundle up to wander outside today. We are having winter today, when I woke up this morning the weather said it was 47 degrees (F) and felt like 37. There is also a gale warning and the wind blowing in from the north off the Atlantic Ocean is cold in January.

The plants seem perfectly content in the breezy cool, thus far and it always surprises me what I find when it seems not much is flowering. Since I started with orange Firebush flowers I remembered a professor from design school saying you always need a color jump (jump being from one side of the color wheel to the other) in your compositions. My color jump was to the blue Pom Pom Aster. Then I added a pink one and some Tropical Red Salvia. After that the color was getting pretty jumpy so I decided some grey was needed to cool things down. The Flapjack Kalanchoes are blooming and seemed just right.

Complicating my mental dilemma was another sacrosanct axiom from design school, all elements must occur in odd numbers. Ones, threes, fives and sevens are best. Fortunately, there were three Pom Pom Asters. A friend from school told me once he thought fours were best when planting a featured perennial because the fourth plant makes your eye go round in circles and focus on the plant. Perhaps my nearsightedness prevents me from perceiving the miracle of four.

Finding myself dangerously close to a self inflicted design lecture – I cut some different foliage for contrast. Dwarf Red striped Pineapple, Muhly Grass and Copper Fennel were added, coarse and fine texture and color all at once. Breathing a sigh of relief from all this thought I decided to make lunch.




20 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Contrasting Elements.

  1. Looking great! Everything in my gardens are freeze dried, so I am enjoying your colorful flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy says:

    My goodness, you were certainly trying to tick all the design boxes today – but what an interesting exercise to do and then consider the result. Although with what you said about numbers perhaps it doesn’t really matter! Who knows, but this vase would certainly give me pleasure as I am sure it does for you! Thanks for sharing, and I hope your garden continues to give you blooming surprises

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Enjoyed reading the design guidelines. I often hear the advice of using odd numbers. Your colors and textures are richly placed (and in a real vase helping you meet your goal). I think this arrangement is lovely. Hope it warms up for you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 47F (8c) is actually colder than here in Scotland! Although colder days are to come this week for us. I am glad your beautiful colourful flowers are surviving the weather.


  5. Kris P says:

    Creating a weekly vase can get one tied up in knots at times! Your firebush seems to be one of those go-to plants that always shines, reminding me that I do “need” to pick one up for my garden when I come across it next time in the garden center. I’m surprised to see you’ve still got asters but then your temperatures seem to be warmer than ours on average, at least until now. I hope you enjoyed lunch – I’m off to get my own.


  6. Christina says:

    Looking at your lovely vase of flowers it is difficult to know what season you are in! The vase itself it a gorgeous shape. I always try to plant in odd numbers in the hope that the drifts will look more natural (whatever that means!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chloris says:

    I love it all. Gorgeous vase and lovely rich colours and textures. What a joy to find so much colour in January.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy says:

    The result of all that thinking is lovely Amy! I really love purples and oranges together, and the silvery grey at the centre is a calming focal point. 🙂


  9. Beautiful, beautiful. You contrast well!


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