In a vase on Monday – white, purple, aquamarine and John Rylands too

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Our weekend was spent pottering around in the garden and house, apart from a  trip to get bike parts from a shop in central Manchester on Sunday.  There was a lovely market at Spinningfields (organised by Makers markets next to John Rylands Library on Deansgate so we had a quick look around – as we only had an hour on our parking (£2.90)  Manchester City Council really need to make parking in the City much cheaper or free all day on Sundays (as it used to be).  The high cost doesn’t help the retail and entertainment sector – you’re charged 8am to 8pm every day – it’s ridiculous.

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender. Jug: Amy Louise Clarke ceramics Espresso cups: Magpie

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender – 18 August 2015
Jug: Amy Helena Clarke ceramics
Espresso cups: Magpie

About John Rylands Library
The Library is my favourite building in Manchester, it was opened  in 1900 in neo-gothic style and was one of the first buildings in the city to have electricity. It was built by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John, to house their extensive collection of books and ancient texts.  It has an excellent café and truly outstanding historic toilets in the basement.  It’s now part of the University of Manchester and is, therefore, part of the third largest academic library in the UK.

I really must go back again soon for a few reasons:

  • Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic exhibition until 20 December 2015
  • tour for photographers – I’ll have to go on this once I’ve sussed out how my camera works.
  • to check out the cafe again – I heard it does a good afternoon tea at a sensible price.

John Rylands Library is a incredible building celebrating the glory of learning – do have a look inside if you’re in the area.  ANYONE can go inside and have a look around and it’s FREE too. It really is worth it.

John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester Uk

John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester UK

At the market
The sun was shining, live music was wafting across the square and there were plenty of people milling around looking at the stalls of food, drink, homewares, clothes and jewellery.     My Chap and I had a wander around.  We bought some coffee ground by Dex from Second City Coffee. Obviously, I bought the coffee named after Cottonopolis (my Women’s Institute –    It’s a lovely coffee – citrus and nutty.  And finally got to meet Dex who I’d chatted to via twitter – lovely chap.

Second City Coffee - Manchester, UK Photo with Permission/copywrite Secondcity Coffee

Second City Coffee – Manchester, UK   (Photo used with Permission)

We also saw some beautiful china made by Amy with modern flower patterns and colours.  I couldn’t resist  a new jug (mild mutterings from My Chap) – it’s about 5 inches high.  I was good and picked a colour that would match our existing Boston Denby china (Blue) and our espresso cups (and not purple my favourite colour!). Green is My Chap’s favourite colour and he approved of this lovely aquamarine.   Amy said she is based in Stoke so do check her out if you’re in the area and she often comes to the various Makers Markets in Uttoxeter, Cheadle, Knutsford, Sandbach, Middlewich and West Didsbury.

UPDATE – I heard from Markets Market that they are OPENING IN MONTON in October 2015 (I live in Monton so I am very excited about this.

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender - Photo: copywright R Jones

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender
18 August 2015
Jug: Amy Helena Clarke ceramics
Espresso cups: Magpie

My vase
The flowers I have chosen today  are picked to go well with the beautiful jug I bought from Amy Helena Clarke ceramics  . They are:

  • Lavender from the front garden – it’s two different kinds but I’ve no idea what variety. The scent is incredible, even the stems smell of lavender.  I have about 20 different lavender in my front garden which seem very happy in full sunshine, on soil where we dig up alot of bricks.   My house was built on the site of an 19th century mill which was knocked down in the 1980s.
  • A white Pelagonium which was part of a mixed pack from a garden centre a couple of years ago. I’ve managed to overwinter it a couple of times – it’s appeared in ‘A Vase on Monday’ before for 4th July celebrations (Red, White and Blue and purple).
  • Purple petunia – This variety grows in a couple of places around my garden including in hanging baskets – I don’t know it’s name though.
  • Hydrangea paniculata – I think it might be ‘limelight’ as the flowers fade from light green, to white and then pink. This one came to the garden two years ago for £2 from a rather odd little garden centre – it was in a right state but it seems to have recovered now.
    Hydrangeas originated in Japan, China and Taiwan and there are hundreds of different kinds.
    I have a globe head one in a pot in the back garden which should be blue but is flowering pink at the moment. It has appeared ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before too – (Not blue anymore – 13 July 2015).
Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender - Close up 18 August 2015

Hydrangea, petunia, pelargonium and lavender – Close up
18 August 2015

Do have a look at all the lovely vases hosted by Cathy over on – glorious pinks and purples today with a wonderful antique quilt.  People post vases from all across the world and it’s just amazing to see what grows where (and when too!).  And I’m late with my post as usual – ho hum I’ll try harder next week.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

I think we are off to Southport flower show at the weekend.  Have you been?

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx

p.s. this isn’t a sponsored post – I just really liked Amy’s china and I’ve been waiting a while to get some Cottonopolis coffee and I paid full price for everything 🙂


  1. 18/08/2015 / 4:27 pm

    Bec you have created a dream vase and setting….I grow the same petunia but never cut it to put in a vase…I may have to remedy that as you have created a true beauty of a vase with it!

    • 18/08/2015 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you Donna – The petunias just happened to grow pretty straigh (what variety is it?). Im really pleased to hear you grow it too in your lovely sunny US garden 🙂 and thank you for being my first poster as usual 🙂 have a lovely week xx love bec xx

  2. 18/08/2015 / 4:44 pm

    I did a postgrad degree in Manchester and although I remember the building I don’t know if I ever went in it…. I am sure I would remember the toilets if I did as outstanding toilets are usually pretty memorable! The china is lovely – lovely fresh design and colours, but if expresso size then too small for me! Interesting to hear about the makers markets too – the descriptions of the coffee bean flavours sound so intriguing and I expect you would want to try before you bought… Your vase is so pretty and shows how effective a small simple grouping of blooms can be. Thanks for sharing

    • 18/08/2015 / 6:03 pm

      I think John Rylands used to be only open to staff and students. The Univ did an amazing extension 10 years ago which won prizes which I think is when things changed…
      you’d remember the facilities if you’d been in 🙂 I’m definitely going to go on the photography tour when I’ve sussed out my new camera.
      The vase is super cute isn’t it? It’s about 5 inches high… Amy did bigger versions too – and a mini one…
      Dex has the beans so that people can smell the coffee and was selling hot coffee too 🙂 should have said…
      The makers markets are well worth a look usually on monthly at the weekend 🙂
      thank you I’m really enjoying picking the flowers for the vases 🙂 I don’t have enough flowers for a big vase though – maybe next year 🙂

      • 19/08/2015 / 9:09 am

        Thanks for the extra info about JR and the vase and coffee. And your vases are lovely as they are – I still feel more comfortable with smaller vases but with an abundance like this week’s at least I could just ‘shove’ them in!

  3. 18/08/2015 / 6:44 pm

    Hold the phone – I live right around the corner from Spinningfields and totally missed this! How clueless am I!? Sounds like the type of place of burn through half my wage though, so probably for the best!

    • 18/08/2015 / 6:51 pm

      ha – there was some really lovely stuff (yes I could spend ALL my cash there too) – we only had an hour on the car parking so we couldn’t linger.
      the market is 3rd Sat and Sun each month 🙂

  4. 18/08/2015 / 8:09 pm

    That sounds like a fantastic market to explore. I try and buy locally roasted coffee for home grinding and I like experimenting with different coffee – and tea. I really like your new jug and the flowers you christened it with. All great stuff Bec.

    • 18/08/2015 / 8:18 pm

      Thanks Sarah – There are lots of great markets around Greater Manchester (not just the makers markets), Levenshulme (which is a social enterprise), Altringham and Heaton – as well as more old style ones like Bury market – the Christmas Markets are huge now if you’re ever up North 🙂
      I’m really pleased with the vase 🙂 and the jug will get plenty of use too 🙂

  5. 18/08/2015 / 8:20 pm

    I love your flower posts, so pretty! I’ve used the John Rylands library a couple of times as I’m a Manchester student, it’s lovely inside and I prefer it to my normal library! Lovely post 🙂 x

  6. 18/08/2015 / 9:11 pm

    The library sounds like a wonderful amenity to have close by. Your combination of flowers are beautiful together. I haven’t seen petunia used as a cut flower often. Does it hold up well? Love its coloring.

    • 18/08/2015 / 9:57 pm

      it is a wonderful building and has great exhibitions. Thank you I’m really pleased with the vase. The petunias happened to grow really straight for some reason (usually they’re a bit bendy)… it’s holding up well so far but it’s not been warm here (10 – 15 degrees)…. not very seasonal even for a UK summer…ah well

  7. 19/08/2015 / 11:30 am

    The purples of the petunias go so nicely with the aqua flowers of hte pitcher, and I like the frothy hydrangea florets, and spikes of lavender as well, they must smell lovely.

  8. 19/08/2015 / 12:53 pm

    Beautiful arrangement. Steep parking fee. I’m not going to complain the next time I put a couple of quarters in. 🙂

  9. 19/08/2015 / 9:51 pm

    It’s a lucky friend who gets to sit down to espresso with you and enjoy the lovely bouquet and charming cups…not to mention your company.

  10. 24/08/2015 / 8:22 pm

    Don’t talk to me about Manchester parking, my eldest is at MMU, it’s outrageous. I love the John Rylands library though, a lovely vase too x x

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