Our collection of vases and vessels for arranging flowers and branches has over the years become extensive and varied enough that we always seem to have the right container or group of containers for every need. Yet with so few muscari, it was clear we needed a new option. Long gone are the days when Boy could quickly gather dozens and dozens of stems to pack several English porcelain coffee cans.
Saturday, while exploring the current offerings at Red Chair Antiques, a wonderful shop in Hudson, New York, Boy spotted a shelf displaying, among other bits of stoneware, seven little antique stoneware ink bottles, each measuring about 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches tall and each with a narrow neck and opening. Choosing among them was not an option; all seven were immediately wrapped by the charming clerk and accompanied us back to Darlington.
While the diminutive pots make an instant sculptural collection within Boy's stash of larger stoneware bottles, pots, and crocks, they are the ideal size and design to cradle several stems—or just one stem—of muscari, one pot alone, or in groupings. They are perfect, too, for displaying the flowers of other little spring bulbs, such as galanthus (already finished in our lawns) or scilla (of which we have probably thousands continuously naturalizing through the grass).
I am hopeful that when we arrive at the house this coming weekend we will discover other diminutive spring-blooming flowers to fill our new old little vessels.
photographs by Boy Fenwick