In A Vase On Monday: Old Masters

IMG_0038There is a trend on Instagram at the moment for creating floral arrangements in the style of Old Master paintings. I thought I would have a go for this week’s IAVOM, joining in with our gracious host Cathy from Rambling in the Garden. I don’t think I am quite there yet – I need a bit more chiaro-scuro and a bit more romantic abundance, but it is fun to have a go.

The backdrop needs to be darker – our sitting room wall is painted in Little Greene’s Celestial Blue which looks darker than it comes out in the photo. The mahogany console table was in our hallway when I was growing up. My vase this week is actually the bottom half of a Dartington Crystal decanter which we were given as a wedding present – fitting because we celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday.

In the vase are the first of the sweet peas – Old Spencer Mixed – with two roses: the pale yellow one is Vanessa Bell and the pink is Gertrude Jekyll; cornflowers grown from seed from Great Dixter; a few spires of lavender and a couple of stems of bronze fennel. The strawberries and figs are our own, although it looks as though all the figs are going to drop off the tree before ripening again, as they have done each year since we moved in two years ago.

Not quite a masterpiece – but if you want some real floral inspiration check out Instagram (her_dark_materials, firenza flowers, janice_issitt_life_style are just a few of the Instagrammers doing this).  And of course there is inspiration aplenty over at Rambling in the Garden.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Noelle says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary….love the combination of fruit and flowers too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    That’s a clever idea, and the console table is perfect for an old Master. What a shame about your figs. Mine mummified on the tree. I had it in a pot, and I think the summer was just too hot for it. It’s planted in the garden now, so hopefully there’ll be some figs next summer- if the bats don’t get them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ours is in the ground and absolutely huge – I’m not sure we have the climate for figs here!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was not aware of the IG trend but will check it out….love your vase and props this week and I think it is a master!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Herpst says:

    Happy anniversary! Your arrangement is wonderful and I love the idea of creating arrangements in the style of Old Master paintings.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cathy says:

    As you suggest, Old Masters tend to be covered in thick layers of varnish and we can’t recreate that in our vases, but you have the settting and props to accompany your vase In the Style of an Old Master, which is still effective 🙂 Your figs don’t look like the Turkey fig that we have that sometimes manages to provide edible figs before the wasps get them (still prefer dried figs myself!) – do you know the variety?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know the variety – it is old and gnarled and makes up for the poor fruit with its character.


      1. Cathy says:

        Sounds lovely!


  6. Kris P says:

    That’s a fun exercise! Happy anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Bronze fennel in back and figs in front. Do the Old Masters include those of the Venetian Renaissance?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would imagine so…

      Liked by 1 person

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