greentapestry : In A Vase On Monday ~ Innocent Until Proved Guilty

Monday, 10 December 2018

In A Vase On Monday ~ Innocent Until Proved Guilty

It is decidedly soggy in the garden at the moment and the main colours are greens, shades of brown and shades of something less appealing than brown.There are signs of the winter and spring treasures that will follow - primroses, hellebores and snowdrops but as yet these are too precious and few to pick. However the garden yielded this seemingly innocent trio for this week's 'In A Vase On Monday'. I say seemingly innocent because all of them are thugs of the highest order, the first two of which I would not plant again if I could turn back time. They are :
  • A symphoricarpos or snowberry bush which bears the little pink pink tinged berries that you can see in the above photo. This shrub is a creeper that is in the pursuit of world domination. Avoid it like the plague! Mine came to me via my parents which is why it is still in the garden, that and also because I think it would be almost impossible to remove every trace of it. It probably didn't thrive as well in the dry soil of East Anglia as much as it does in a significantly wetter part of the country. I didn't inherit my father's hack it to within an inch of its life genes. If I had I would have probably not had the same problems with the snowberry. I wouldn't mind as much if berry production was bounteous but the berries are usually bitty and sparse. Still I suppose it's a bit of colour in these cooler months which is not to be sniffed at.
  • An in your face shocking pink flowered hardy geranium which I can't remember ever hankering for or even introducing to the garden. This again should carry a government health warning! It seeds absolutely everywhere and is one of those that even when you think that you have got rid of it, manages to leave enough below the ground to return as an unwelcome visitor given enough time. I think it might be geranium x oxanianum but am not sure. Whatever its identity it's only plus is that is flowers for a long, long time probably from May right through to the back end of the year.
  • The third occupant of my vase is erigeron mucronatus which is rather an ugly name for a most attractive low growing plant. It was previously known as erigeron karvinskianus, which although a mouthful seemed a more attractive name. It hails from Mexico. This plant flowers for months starting here sometimes as early as March, and continues until the first protracted spells of hard frost.  It flowers for even longer than the geranium and the flowers turn from pink to white as they age. It came about as a result of a Margery Fish moment many years ago. She beguilingly described the plant in terms that I could not resist. However she did write of it in her book 'Cottage Garden Flowers that 'nobody minds how many seedlings appear each year'. I have to disagree with that particular conclusion as it self seeds prolifically and that's stating it mildly. I have to chuckle when I see it for sale at exorbitant prices. Over the years it has survived various serious eradication attempts by himself which I'm secretly rather pleased about.

Our hostess Cathy is featuring a most attractive rose in her vase today - if you haven't already called in do pay a visit to 'Rambling In The Garden' to see her post along with links to other vases. Make sure you have pen and paper to hand!


  1. Such sweet looking little thugs. You've used them well!

  2. You really can use a thug when it comes to the scrunch....this is still a lovely arrangement...and beautifully photographed.

  3. I'm enamored with your snowberry despite your warning so it's probably a very good thing that it won't grow here. I've also got a problem with a geranium (G. incanum) so I can sympathize there - I shudder every time I see it in a garden center (which is often). Mine came with the garden and pops up everywhere despite relentless weeding on my part. But I had to laugh when I saw Erigeron karvinskianus on your list. (I hadn't heard it's name had changed.) It's known as Santa Barbara daisy here and it's a thug, if a pretty one. I let this one stay in my garden because it's such a great filler but cutting it back several times a year is a serious chore. It's considered a noxious weed in Hawaii I hear.

  4. Haha, Anna, I had to smile at your thugs - snowberry I have christened 'the Devil's Plant' here and I can see evidence of it creeping back in the hedge despite my supposed thoroughness in removing it. My erigeron has not yet made any claims for world domination and is instead the meekest and mildest of plants, and the geranium? Well, it is allowed to grow 'wild' in certain parts of the garden. Together your thugs make a pretty little vase, and the colours complement each other beautifully

  5. You made me chuckle, Anna, I've to admit that I'm very fond of these guys because they thrive without me contributing anything and they're so pretty. My pink Symphoricarpos isn't creeping (yet?) and I just love the way Erigeron conquers the world. Having said that I try to make it conquer the steps in (our) Pompeii without success so far. ;) A lovely posy and hey, cheers to the survivors in our gardens :)

  6. We have snowberry suckers heading under our fence from the next garden and I've just dig up lots of self sown geranium from our h=garden as they wouldn't restrain themselves.

  7. Very pretty Anna but I agree about Snowberry, it is the Devil's Spawn and impossible to get rid of.

  8. At this time of year we can forgive some plants for being such thugs - such pretty berries and flowers in December are wonderful!

  9. And I can't keep Geranium incanum alive. We do see a very few growing wild on the mountains.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.