In a Vase on Monday Meets Garden Bloggers Foliage Day

Today is Monday, the 22nd of December, and I find myself in a blogger’s conundrum. Cathy at Rambling in the Garden has invited me to participate each week in  In a Vase on Monday, and Christina at Garden of the Hesperides has invited me to participate each month on the 22nd in Garden Bloggers Foliage Day. What is a concerned and wanting-to-be-polite blogger supposed to do when everything happens at once? I am convinced that the better part of valor is to be attentive to both of these kind invitations, and thus I am hereby offering a hybrid post. I hope the ladies will be smiling.

In a Vase on Monday

My winter garden continues to leave me very sparse offerings for this week’s vase. However, I did locate some bright red nandina berries that the birds had not yet devoured to serve as the focus of a simple arrangement. They certainly add a festive note to the season.


The greenery is foliage from the tea olive (Osmanthus frangrans). I was delighted (and surprised) to discover that it had a few tiny white flowers in bloom. Pieris japonica ‘Red Mill’ bud clusters are included for a touch of contrast.


Moved to another location the arrangement complements other holiday items:


The cut glass bowl, knife rest and candy dish have been in my Arranger’s family for a number of generations. Candy anyone?

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day

Today is cold and gray and a light mist is still coming down, but it wasn’t bad enough that I couldn’t squish around the soppy, spongy garden for a GBFD review. In truth, I was a bit surprised to find as much variety of foliage as I did on such a bleary, dreary day. Here are Carolina jessamin Gelsimium sempervirens on the arbor, a ‘Peach Crisp’ heuchera on the porch, and ‘Mr. Goldstrike’ Aucuba japonica.


‘Golconda’ Cupressocyparis leylandii and ‘Yoshino’ Cryptomaria japonica

PicM2Loropetalum chinense ‘Rubra’ often blooms in mid-winter, so it is no surprise but still a pleasure to find its striking color on a dreary day. On the right, ‘Governor Mouton’ Camellia japonica is full of buds, just beginning to show a bit of the color that will soon be opening. Also on the right is Cleyera Japonica Ternstroemia gymnanthera. Below are Liriope muscari variegata, the dark purple winter foliage of Azalea ‘Sunglow,’ and muhly grass, weighed down by the rain.


It happens that today is the day after the first day of winter. I looked ahead to next year. These two events will take place together again on the 22nd of June, 2015…the day after the first day of summer. Methinks there is a pattern here.

Thanks to Cathy and Christina for these invitations. Do visit their postings at In a Vase on Monday and  Garden of the Hesperides

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in Stallings, NC with his wife, in close proximity to six of his eight grandchildren.
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12 Responses to In a Vase on Monday Meets Garden Bloggers Foliage Day

  1. Christina says:

    Perfect combination of posts John, and a joint post is certainly doubly good when each half is as interesting as today’s. So thank you for joining in this month. Today you have shown two plants that I have, Loropetalum I planted earlier in the autumn and I’m hoping it will flower this year, the foliage colour is interesting all year. I also have a newly planted Osmanthus fragrans, I love plants that flower and are perfumed in winter. It is also lovely that we share some plants. My very good wishes for Christmas to you John and to the Arranger.


    • johnvic8 says:

      Thanks, Christina. A word of caution on the Loropetalum. If it is the chinense, be aware that it can get quite large. I have to trim mine several times a year to keep it where it should be. It’s great if you have a lot of room.


  2. Cathy says:

    I am looking enviously at those nandina berries which have been used in another vase today – really must look into that plant as it seems such a good do-er 🙂 They are absolutely perfect withe osmanthus and pieris in the glass bowl and your props are spot on – I have let you down on props today so will have to do better next week. How nice to see your foliage too – and that loropetalum too as I have just ordered one on the spur of the moment to add to my ‘witch hazel’ collection. Love that pink! Thanks for your enthusiasm every week John and for the assistance of your worthy Arranger 🙂


    • johnvic8 says:

      Thanks, Cathy. See my comment about loropetalum to Christina. It may need a bit of room.


      • Cathy says:

        Thanks John, that’s worth noting, although I guess climate will make a bit of difference too – my book says they are only half hardy in the UK but need a min of 5C to flower well.


    • johnvic8 says:

      Cathy, I forgot to give another word of caution about nandina domestica. Those nice little berries are quite prolific. I had to remove nandina from the garden as they had become too much stoop labor to pull out huge numbers of seedlings each year. The ones I have left are down in my woods where I don’t have to worry about the reseeding. Nandina is a great plant…very hardy, great foliage, and grows relatively quickly…and my Arranger loves those berries. But it does come with that extra baggage.


  3. pbmgarden says:

    Nice arrangement John–perfect for the holidays. The foliage survey is amazing. You have some interesting plants.


  4. Cathy says:

    Love the Nandina berries John – lovely cheerful vase for the festive season. 🙂


  5. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks, Cathy. Hoping you have a lovely Christmas and special New Year.


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