Friday, January 6, 2023

New Year, new mantelscape

As I've said many times; the only thing I love more than decorating for Christmas, is taking it all down when the season ends, which for me is Dec 26th. I am early to Christmasize, ideally things go up the Friday after Thanksgiving. Then, during the month-long run of holiday décor, I start to scheme on what will come after Christmas, this year the choice was obvious, as I inherited the family Roseville vase. 

The vase—Roseville freesia—was my grandma's, a gift to her from an employer. Eventually she passed it on to my mom, and my mom has now passed it on to me. The freesia pattern was introduced by Roseville Pottery in 1945, and was available in blue, brown (actually sort of a burnt sienna), and green. 

How fortunate for me that the woman whom my grandma worked for bought the green!

The weather has been so dreary that the mantel has been rather dark—these photos feel so somber, but I'll take you through what I've chosen to display anyway. At the very end is a sulking white colored amaryllis/hippeastrum, it's just a little nubbin that has barely grown since I planted it up in early December.

Then a NOID cryptanthus I divided (this is just a third of the plant I bought), at least I think it's a cryptanthus—it came without a label.

Next is a vintage ceramic pedestal with an IKEA glass dome on it—a BEGÅVNING, I'm using the brass base elsewhere. Inside the dome is a staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum), it's base wrapped in moss, and a trio of brass flowers. 

These wouldn't normally be my style, but the freesia caught my eye and I decided why not have a little fun with them.

Another shot of the vase, and one of the candleholders. Years—many years—ago, before we bought things online, I bought mom a single candle holder at an antique shop, intending to buy her a second when I ran across one. But I never did, and then I forgot. She gave me that candleholder when she gave me the vase.

On a whim I went online in early December and found a second candleholder for sale for a very nice price. Actually the listing was for a pair, but the second one had a sizable chip that someone had tried to repair—sold! This one with the lilac colored bloom is the new addition.

The round white vase on the left was also one of my mom's, and this green dish was a recent purchase. It seemed to call out for moss and brass mushrooms.

The mushrooms and other brass pieces are from Another Studio and I found them locally at Dennis 7 Dees Bridgeport.

This white freesia bloom candleholder is the original one I bought my mom. On the right is a green flowered amaryllis/hippeastrum that's going gangbusters with many leaves and a fat bud.

Another NOID cryptanthus, and a late blooming Schlumbergera truncata...

The cryptanthus had just wrapped up blooming when I bought it, and now it's sending out a pup.

The buds were so creamy on this Thanksgiving cactus that I was hoping they'd be a peachy or white bloom. Nope. 

Another IKEA glass dome, this one filled with many things...

I couldn't say no to the brass frog...

And these selaginella seemed like the perfect tiny plants to try out in the covered dome.

While I had every intention of giving away the chipped candleholder, once it arrived I decided to use it as a tillandsia holder instead, chip turned to the wall and nobody knows it's there...

The calendar change also called for something new on the tabletop... unfortunately it's another gloomy image! I really should have waited for a bright day to take these photos...

This amaryllis/hippeastrum, should it decide to bloom, is supposed to be 'La Paz'..."slender spidery flowers that are dark coral with a greenish white edge" and because buying new plants is always a mood lifter, I also filled the ceramic "canoe" with a selection of small jungle cactus.

Of course when you buy small 2" pots they're rarely labeled with names—just a mix of rhipsalis, stapelia, etc.

Since it's been one crazy windstorm after another for the last few weeks, I picked up a small branch, moss and lichen to complete the planting. That's how January is looking around here...

All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Your gifted vase is magnificent, you couldn't have hoped for a better match with the candle holders: it look like a perfect set.
    A couple of the ceramic "canoe" plants look like Stapelia to me. If you get a smelly starfish flower, you'll know fro sure.
    I try to restrain myself from collecting every lichen cover branch I see on my walks. For that reason, the second glass dome is my favorite and the leaping from is a riot: I love that composition.

    1. Well they are technically a set, I mean the same factory in the same era made them all. Yes, there are stapelia in the canoe mix. I know generally what they all are, just not the specific species.

  2. Excellent mantlescape as usual Loree ! Love your Freesia vase and the accompanying candlesticks. I've got more chipped Bauer than I can count -much of it from from my early days of collecting when it was hard to afford the unscathed pieces. Facing the chip away from view has always been my solution-as long as the vase will hold water and the chip or crack can either be hidden by the vase contents or the arrangement itself it works for me !

    1. I like your philosophy! I have a few vases with cracks that are practically invisible, yet they slowly leak. These get a glass placed inside to hold the water.

  3. I LOVE the vase - and immediately looked up that line of pottery online. After all, someone reminded me that I may need to expand my vase collection...The brass additions are another inspired touch. I'm especially fond of the mushrooms and the frog. All told, this is another fabulous mantelscape. The tablescape is wonderful too.

    As to the Hippeastrums, mine also seem very slow to get going this year. One variety has yet to show any sign of life, which is troubling as I gave 2 of those bulbs away as gifts. The others, including 3 'La Paz', are doing better but the only actual blooms I've had thus far came from a dwarf variety that got pelted by rain. All of mine are outside, which may factor into their slow development.

    1. Careful, you start ordering vintage vases online and you could be hooked!

  4. It looks great, Loree. Beautiful vases and candleholders!

  5. Fabulous on all counts: containers, plants and bits of brass. I never put plants on our mantle because it gets too hot up there when we have a fire (gas). Best of all is the vase from your mom. Roseville or any of those classic ceramics are usually too pricey for me. I have a gold vase that was a wedding present my parents received in 1946. My sisters and I found a matching serving plate as a 50th wedding anniversary gift. Now I have both.

  6. Utterly charming, Loree. I enjoyed your floral mantle tour! That brass frog and the mushrooms add the perfect accents.

    1. Thank you Pam! I know you do in-house vignettes wonderfully so I appreciate the compliment.

  7. I've seen a creamy white/gold/peach Schlumberger bergensii for sale- think it was called "limelight". It was (is) at East Austin Succulents online store. Is your new purchased green bowl vintage or new?-ie, is it possible I can get one?

    1. Thanks for the schlumbergera tip, I did not know the EAS had an online store, this could be dangerous! ($) The green bowl is vintage, it's Floraline pottery, you might be able to find one online.

    2. My bad, It's a bridgesii, not bergensii, Oops. And, yes, it's dangerous But, as danger is your middle name...(sorry)
      Here, let me enable you further-I owe you for the existence of my aloe/agave/haworthia/gasteria/etc collection...(cough) ;-D


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