Tiny Vases

After high winds walloped the garden followed by pounding hail, I filled a dozen vases with bouquets.

I held everything I brought in from the ravaged garden in one hand. The vases I filled were itty-bitty.

I collect tiny vases, but seldom buy them unless I’m out of town. There’s something about being on the road that revs me up for shopping, but that’s also the worst time to buy anything big. So I browse antique and gift stores for tiny vases. Even wrapped in tissue, they take up no room at all.

I doubt any of my tiny vases cost more than $10, and most were much less. They’re great souvenirs, and fit onto a single shelf of my curio cabinet.

This 100-year-old Fostoria salt shaker holds a Cotyledon orbiculata blossom (a type of succulent).

A rose hip, in a tiny tomato teapot.

The largest of my mini vases is 3 inches tall. In it is a spray of acacia flowers still tightly in bud.

A vase from a shop specializing in dollhouse accessories holds alyssum and statice.

This antique bottle, from a shop in a Colorado mining town, says POISON, so I filled it with grapevine tendrils that suggest fumes.

These summer bouquets consist of miniature roses, feverfew and society garlic.

Are those vases on the windowsill really small, or do I have a really large Westie?

About Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin gardens on "an inhospitable half acre" in Escondido, CA, near San Diego. She is an award-winning photojournalist and artist with hundreds of articles and columns to her credit. Debra's books are Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents Simplified. www.debraleebaldwin.com.

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28 Responses to Tiny Vases

  1. Cyndy February 20, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    Looks like you’re having fun with your collection! love the rose hip in the tiny tomato teapot.

    Hi, Cyndy — Interesting that everyone seems to prefer this over the bouquets. I suspect what’s so appealing is the shape and color of the rose hip repeat the shape and color of the teapot, and the blossom end of the hip makes a trio of green elements (the spout and handle are the other two). Well, it was certainly simple! Debra

  2. Lisa at Greenbow February 20, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    These vases are exquisite. Tiny treasures that are also useful. The perfect souvenir. I have a collection of small vases that my daughter started giving me a few years ago. I just love them too. The perfect gift for someone that doens’t need anything. Ha..

    Exactly. I have too much stuff already. Having a garage sale two years ago was a wake-up call. Now I don’t buy any more stuff that’s destined for future garage sales. Mini vases? Different category. You can never have too many. A couple dozen will fit in a shoebox. Debra

  3. Matti February 20, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    The vases are darling, a perfectly matched eclectic set. I like that you have added some pocket money to give me a sense of scale.

    Matti

    Every season brings new tiny blossoms. The photo with the money was taken in summer. And of course spring has an abundance. I love the way compiling tiny bouquets makes me enjoy the garden in a whole new way. Debra

  4. Darla February 20, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    These are adorable….Where are the fairies that go with these tiny vases?

    Hi, Darla — They are fairylike, aren’t they? What a great idea for a photo essay. I’ll start hunting fairies right away (you think I’m kidding but I actually have a couple of fairy photos already). Debra

  5. thistleandthorn February 20, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Debra, I love this, especially the pairing of vases and arrangements. The rose hips in the tomato teapot and the grape vine tendrils in the ‘poison’ bottle are right on! Since I now live in a teeny tiny home I have experimented with using teeny tiny vases, though mine are usually antique perfume bottles and interesting shot glasses. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

    Great idea—I have some tiny perfume bottles that I never thought of using as miniature vases. Debra

  6. Debi February 20, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Simply brilliant! I am completely enamored by the rose hips in a teeny tiny tomato teapot.

    Thanks, Debi. I wasn’t kidding when I said there’s nothing going on in the garden. So I made those rose hips “work.” Goes to show what you can do when you’re working with sparseness instead of abundance. Debra

  7. Sweet Bay February 20, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    So charming!

    Thank you! And speaking of charming, I love the photos of the hermit thrush in the snow on your blog. ;+) Debra

  8. Nicole February 20, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    What cute mini vases and I especially like how you did the antique bottle and the pot with the red berries. That is such a cheery winter display. Lord, now you just might have me picking up another collecting hobby! My pet contingent is too rambunctious for me to have anything on a low windowsill, however.

    I have to admit I am a pack mule when I return from some trips, I try to collect artwork or household wares/objects as souvenirs, these are usually “tote able” are useful and are wonderful memories of my trips. In countries in Asia and Africa of course I get fantastic bargains, I often see the similar things I bought in boutiques/museum shops stateside for 10 times the price. And of course I try to collect seeds/plants for my garden whenever permissible.

    Souvenirs really work, in terms of transporting you back to the place where you got them. They’re as good as photos. Debra

  9. The Garden Ms. S February 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    I am nearly speechless at the beauty and cuteness of these little vases of blooms! What a perfect way to showcase the tiny beauties of the garden.

    I think the rosehip in the tomato teapot just about melted my heart …:-) Brilliant!

    Well, shucks, glad you like it (blush). Debra

  10. Gina February 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    Perfect little minatures–like a promise of spring.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Hi, Gina — The garden always has something to offer. That’s what I love about it. Debra

  11. Kylee from Our Little Acre February 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    I love this! Makes me want to collect them too! Or at least get a few for those tiny spring blooms. Did you know Fostoria glass originated near me, in Fostoria, Ohio? Yes, you probably did. :-)

    I love the snowdrops one!

    Hi, Kylee — No, I didn’t know where Fostoria originated! Very cool. And those snowdrops? There were only two. I had to really hunt for them ;+) Debra

    P.S. For more tiny-vase ideas plus great info on how to compile itty-bitty bouquets, check out Janit Calvo’s post on miniature flower arranging. Janit is the owner of Two Green Thumbs, a source of tiny accessories for miniature gardens. http://minigardener.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/the-cutest-how-to-in-the-whole-wide-world/

  12. Town Mouse February 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    How beautiful! And so perfect for wildflowers. Well, small is beautiful, they say.

    Hi, there, Ms. Mouse — I hadn’t thought of wildflowers. This would be a great way to enjoy them without taking so many you hurt their habitat. In some areas, picking wildflowers is illegal because once they’re gone there’s no way for them to reseed. Debra

  13. Jane Auerbach February 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Love the dried grapevine and the snowflake flowers in the tiny green vase.

    If you keep water in the vases, though, do you have any cleaning tips?

    Hi, Jane — I use a Q-tip dipped in soapy water. If that doesn’t work, Clorox. Rinse thoroughly. Debra

  14. Caroline February 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    So cute it hurts! Just adorable.

    Ha! Your comment reminds me of a puppy I saw today. So cute I wanted to bite it. Debra

  15. Jeannie in Sacramento February 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Charming!

    Thanks, Jeannie! They were fun to do. One thing I should have mentioned is that tiny vases contain so little water, you have to replenish it a couple of times a day. An eyedropper is an easy way to do it. Or simply use dried flowers. Debra

  16. Dirty Girl Gardening February 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Darling!!

    Thanks! Debra

  17. Jayne February 20, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Those are lovely! I had to giggle at the “smoking poison” bottle. How unique!

    Hi, Jayne — That poison bottle has a chip in the rim, so I added the dried grapevine tendrils to hide it. Voila: My very first tiny vase, and one that has looked the same for years. Debra

  18. greenhouseguru February 21, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    I love these photos. So often there are tiny blossoms that fall (or are blown) onto the ground. How wonderful that you didn’t waste a single one. And what a collection of containers! They are beautiful, each one of them.
    I gave a collection of tiny teapots to a friend, each one a tiny vegetable. They would make wonderful little vases, just like your rose hip in the tomato.
    Your Westie is pretty cute, lying there. I have to Maltese. These white furballs get lost in the snow so I had to move where the ground is either green or brown, not white :-)

    Ha! Hadn’t thought about the possibility of losing my Westie where the ground was white. That never happens here. I’d love to see your collection of tiny vegetable teapots, btw. I actually have TWO tiny tomato teapots. Care to trade me an eggplant or zucchini for a tomato? Hmm? (Just kidding) Debra

  19. Janit February 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Thank you for the inspiration, Debra! Such beautiful photograph work as well!

    I think I need to go fill up some mini vases today…. Lol…. ;o)

    Thanks, Janit, but no one does this as well as you do! Debra

  20. kathi February 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    How cute! Love the yellow cup and saucer. You have a wonderful little collection!

    Thanks, Kathi! That yellow cup and saucer are among my favorites. I packed the cup with Oasis floral foam and used a toothpick to poke holes for the flower stems. Debra

  21. Gillian February 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    I just found this blog – lovely, and I too am a sucker for tiny vases! Mine are mostly plain glass though. I love how you matched the flowers to the vases.

    Hi, Gillian — Thank you! Btw, I enjoyed checking out your blog just now. Especially all those great quotes about gardening. Debra

  22. Gail February 22, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    I love little vases and find they make charming gifts when filled with sweet little flowers…Yours are fantastic…aren’t those crystal salt shakers the best. gail

    Hi, Gail — They would indeed make great little gifts. Maybe use them as tabletop decorations for a luncheon or tea, and each guest could take one home. — Debra

  23. bloominrs February 22, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I love the shot of your little westie with the vases because emphasizes just how small the vases are.
    I like the humor of your poison arrangement too. I use those Martinelli juice bottles that are shape like apples for my small vases, but compared to your collection, mine are huge.
    I’m going to start keeping an eye out for teeny vases.

    Now that you’re aware of them, I’ll bet you’ll see them everywhere. — Debra

  24. Eliza February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Exquisite! I need more tiny vases!

    Well, hello there, Ms. Sustainahillbilly! Yes, indeed you do. ;+) Debra

  25. Regiberry February 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    I just love these minature vases.
    What a clever idea.
    I raise succulents and love their flowers…which will be perfectly displayed in these little vases.
    I’ll collect more when I travel and when I go thrift shopping.
    Thanks for the tip.
    Looking forward to seeing you at the San Francisco Gardening Show in San Mateo!

    Yes! Be sure to say hello and mention you’re a GGWer. Debra

  26. Nancy McDonald February 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Oh, how wonderful to meet another tiny vase addict! They’re a pure joy. I always watch for likely bargains when we travel; tiny vases make inexpensive, easily packed, unusual reminders of a trip. Sweet article!

    Nancy

    Thanks, Nancy. You can’t have too many…not like larger collectibles that tend to take over the house! Debra

  27. Chris Maciel February 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Nice way to do tiny bouquets.
    I, too, am one of those gardeners who uses everything from the garden indoors.
    I once made a display using test tubes in their holder: really nice effect. Yes, I made a photo, now have to scan it to show you.

    Hi, Chris — Test tubes! What a great idea. What flowers did you put in them? Would love to see them. — Debra

  28. WhimseyWoman (Beth) March 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Very clever! You have inspired some creative juices. Yes we ziplined. I even went upsidedown on the last leg. Not bad for an almost 62 year old! Be sure to check out JB’s website for his photo’s. He got some great shots of jungle birds and animals. Hugs!

    To GGW readers: I stayed with Beth, who lives in Anacortes, WA, several months ago when I went there after the NW Flower & Garden Show to give a presentation at the local library. She sells antiques and collectibles, and I mentioned to her my fascination with tiny vases. But I ended up bringing home a lovely handpainted plate that’s probably 80 years old. Now, when I see it in my kitchen, I remember my trip to lovely Anacortes, and sweet Beth’s hospitality. — Debra