In a vase on Monday – The allure of powder blue muscari


I often get a bit carried away when the cut-price sales for autumn bulbs begin in November. This year, in addition to various orange tulips, I ordered several packets of ‘Valerie Finnis’ grape hyacinths. I really love their croque-en-bouche flower spikes.

A few years back, I saw a very pretty display of them at a roadside cafe on a freezing winter day. Each of the outside tables was decorated with a small clump of the powder-blue muscari erupting from a puff of green moss, set inside a small galvanised steel pot. They were so alluring, it was almost worth sitting outside with our hot drinks to admire them and ever since then I buy a packet or two each year to do the same thing.

Amazingly, even though I only received the bulbs at the end of November, they are already in bloom and so the posy I picked today started with a few of those spikes of Valerie Finnis. How could I resist?


I found a few other pastel coloured flowers in the garden to extend the range: pulmonaria, silene dioica, anemone blanda and erysimum. Then I added some geranium macrorrhizum, rose hips and oak leaves to warm up the tones.


To cover the tin up a bit, I used some variegated leaves: arum italicum, pulmonaria and celandine.


Then I found some green helleborus foetidus bells that picked up the colour in the variegation and that filled the pot right up.

Happily, in between today’s heavy rain showers there was a moment of weak sunlight, so I managed to take some pictures outside, even though I was paddling through puddles on the lawn.


I see now that although I started with a pallid blue, I have ended up with a rainbow posy. That will hopefully cheer the kitchen up for the rest of the week as the cold sets in.

I am linking up with Cathy’s ‘In-a-vase-on-Monday’ meme, where I note that the colour blue is a popular choice this week.

Go see for yourself.

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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28 Responses to In a vase on Monday – The allure of powder blue muscari

  1. ‘Valerie Finnis’ is my favorite muscari. 🙂 As a bonus, her color exactly matched the exterior of my previous house!

  2. Very eye-catching arrangement. You deserve a prize!

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    This is so beautiful, Allison! I must be truthful and tell you, as I sit in my snow-encrusted world, I am dying of plant envy!

  4. Adore the rainbow posy…lovely colors especially ‘Valerie Finnis’ one of my favs!

  5. Cathy says:

    Oh yes inded, a gorgeous rainbow posy – I like the way you just seemed to keep adding to it as you went along! Those extra splashes of colour really add to the lovely soft blue of the muscari – what a great way to use stray blooms of pulmonaria and geranium and the like. You said you buy some of the muscari each year – do you discard them at the end of each year and start afresh, or plant them out somewhere?

    • Thanks. I find it hard to know when to stop! I do plant the bulbs in the ground when the flowers fade, but they never seem to come back. Neither do directly planted bulbs. I’ve lost numerous varieties and bellevalia too. My soil is heavy and there are voles around that do quite a lot of damage (they love crocuses too). Luckily you can pick up deals at the end of the season, so I just re-buy.

  6. Beautiful arrangement, especially love the foliage.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Such a lovely mixture of blooms and foliage. I’m not familiar with that particular mascari but must look for it next year.

  8. Kris P says:

    It’s a delicious mix! I can’t believe how early your muscari is blooming – there’s no sign of it yet here in southern California and we usually have an edge on the UK in terms of spring blooms.

    • Thanks. When the bulbs arrived from the seller, they already had 1 to 2 cm green shoots, so even though they had a potted and protected start in the garden, they were already well on their way. PS I am not sure I like them all flowering this early.

  9. Christina says:

    That’s so beautiful. What a lot of flowers you found to share. I have one of those little galvanized pots, now I know what to use it for, thank you.

  10. Chloris says:

    I love Valerie Finnis too and her close relation Jenny Robinson. Yours are a very pale blue indeed and how lovely to have them in bloom already. Such a pretty arrangement, I love it.

  11. That’s a beautiful arrangement, I agree, you deserve a prize 🙂

  12. Cathy says:

    A gorgeous vase! All those colours and the sunshine in your photos have really perked me up – thanks for that, along with the growing hope that spring is not far off, despite this cold spell forecast for us all. 🙂

  13. Fabulous! beautiful arrangement and I love the plant sales as well. There is a palm sale here this weekend and I am itching to go!

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