More tulips…

Finger vase, five-finger vase, fan vase, trumpet vase are all names for this ‘tulipiere,’ a style of vase with multiple openings and a shared water vessel.  Finger vases were commonly seen filled with dried flowers in colonial arrangements in my hometown of Williamsburg VA. There I learned the container originated in the 17th-century with the Dutch who displayed one tulip per opening.

Well, that’s what I thought until last month. The Wall Street Journal ran an article that changed my mind. The vessels with multiple spouts like the one below and other styles of flower pots, as well as different ‘tulipieres’ were designed by the Delft manufacturers for Britain’s Queen Mary II to be used for any cut flowers. The queen’s flowers were refreshed three times a week… and not just with tulips.

So I learned something new…. and although the container isn’t just for tulips, it is still called a ‘tulipiere.’ I have used it with whatever flowers are in bloom, but, today, for a garden club event, I placed one tulip per opening surrounded by a variety of other blooms and a few dried finds from the garden.

five finger container

It’s way too early to pick anything but a few tulips and daffodils from this New Hampshire garden, but one tiny bloom, barely noticeable in the arrangement, was from this yard. I was excited to spot our muscari or grape hyacinth this morning. The tiny plants are just beginning to bloom now in shades of blue and white. It really is spring!

Muscari armeniacum

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There’s nothing like a parade!

Small towns have the most amazing parades. The population of the small town of Stratham NH is less than 8,000, yet the community capped off their 300th anniversary year with a phenomenal and well-organized parade. Several marching bag pipe bands, a fife & drum band, Shriner clowns, ‘Extreme Air’ jump rope group, local selectmen, a pig, horses, cattle, a number of fire trucks from neighboring towns, old tractors, new tractors, Miss Stratham Fair, antique cars, politicians, and floats by a number of organizations, a church, library, Historic Society, local schools, and one garden club…. mine!

My awesome co-chair and I made about 50 large crepe paper flowers and with our straw hats and best smiles, we headed out on the 2-mile trek. Four members rode in a cart while about 10 of us made the walk, all waving our flowers… with one member telling the crowds lining the streets that these flowers are “perfect for our drought!” We pushed a wheelbarrow full of the flowers and all carried a garden rake.

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Waiting our turn to join the parade…

Naturally, it’s always the children who are the most excited at parades. Every other group or float tossed or handed out candy to the almost frenzied youth all along our route. (Yes, we were able to snag a little bit of sugar and chocolate for ourselves…)

Before we knew it, we had reached the end. It was a good feeling to support the Stratham community and we were happy to hear the crowds call out thanks and clap in appreciation for all we do in this community.  All good…

this photo courtesy www.seacoastonline.com