New Window Shelf for Bubble Stem Bud Vases

As my Bubble Stem/Bud Vase collection has recently expanded, my husband suggested getting a window shelf. I wasn’t sure at first as I hadn’t seen one before. I did some research on the internet and found one or two example which you can see at the bottom of this post.

We decided to buy a bespoke made one from Cheadle Glass in Greater Manchester for less than £50. There was a few hitches with the order but we picked it up today and my husband fitted it. I love it – it shows on my stem vases beautifully – so a great gift from my husband 🙂

Here is my window shelf and my Stem Vase Collection.

Some other Window Shelf ideas I found on the internet:

Purple Pink Wedding Bouquet Flowers

When I got married in 2013, I became obsessed with looking at pink/purple wedding bouquets. I wanted Dahlias, roses, orchids and peonies! Most importantly I wanted lots of purple and dark pink flowers, especially dahlias.

My bouquet was really pink in the end as you can see in the above picture. My florist was one of the best in Manchester – David Wayman’s florist, who supplies to a lot of major corporate companies including Selfridges etc. My bouquet didn’t have as many Dahlias or purple flowers as I had asked for and I was slightly disappointed that despite providing a tonne of pictures, they hadn’t followed what I said.  What I really wanted was a mix of the pictures in the top 2 lines below. Though looking back, it is a stunning bouquet 🙂

Enjoy the pictures.

Whilst researching for my bouquet, I found pinterest and started pinning my ideas – its very addictive:

Enjoy 🙂

Single flower stems, Stem Vases and test tubes

I love single stem flowers and before my wedding I investigated loads of options. I came across green vintage bottles, single stem bud vases, bubble vases and test tube racks.

Being a scientist, the test tubes rack appealed to me 🙂

I also started collecting stem bud bubble vases which you can see from my previous post here:

What’s your favourite way to display your flowers?

Bud / Stem Bubble vase collection increasing!

I bought my first Bubble Stem / Bud vase in 2011 when I was looking for ideas for my wedding table decorations. I liked the idea of having 1 big high-impact flower per vase and bought a few bubble stem/bud vases. In the end I used old vintage green bottles in the picture below.
Stem Vases

After the wedding I still loved the bubble Stem / Bud vases so carried on buying them. I believe they originate from the 60’s/70’s. I have found a few in charity shops, but most of them I have bought of ebay. I now have over 70 vases.


At the end of April I ordered 3 dahlia tubers from garden4less. ( and reviewed them:

  1. Natalie G (Ball)
  2. Linda’s baby (Ball)
  3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

See original post here:

I was dubious about the quality of 2 out of 3 of these tubers as they were either damaged or dryed out. However, all of them have grown, although the 2 damaged ones have grown slower than the healthy one.


  1. Natalie G (Ball)

The Natalie G tuber was damaged and when planted all the individual tubers did fall off. Despite this, the tuber has grown OK. It has produced quite a short plant as you can see from the photo, so hopefully it will produce a taller flower next year. It’s already got quite a few buds waiting to flower.

Natalie G 1Natalie G 4

IMG_5965-3 IMG_5966-4


2. Linda’s baby (Ball)

Linda’s Baby tuber was in great condition. This plant has grown at least twice as tall as the other 2 varieties of dahlias. After over 2 months in the ground, this has got quite a lot of buds on it and one looks close to flowering – though strangely it looks purple and not pink? So I’m hoping it does eventually open to produce a pink flower 🙂

Lindas Baby 1 Lindas Baby 5IMG_5967-5 IMG_5970-7


3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

Both Chocolate & Candy Tubers were in poor condition, but I planted them both anyway in the same pot to see what happened. Over 2 months later, they have both produced plants, although they are quite short. There are no signs of flower buds yet, but it shouldn’t be long before they do.

Chocolate & Candy 1 Chocolate & Candy 5IMG_5962-1 IMG_5963-2


Overall, I am very happy with these 3 tubers and I can’t wait for them all to flower. Despite the condition of the tubers when they arrived, they have produced far healthier plants then the dahlia cuttings I bought from the National Dahlia Collection. So in future I will definitely buy dahlia tubers again and not cuttings.

Part 2 – Progress of PURPLE GEM (CACTUS) & NATAL RED (POMPOM) – 3 months on

3 months ago I purchased the following 2 dahlia tubers:

  1. Purple gem (Cactus) Dahlia from
  2. Natal Red (Pompom) Dahlia from Wilkinsons online.

Both tubers have grown great! (See 17 Apr 14 for original post)

1. Purple gem (Cactus) Dahlia

Purple Gem dahlia is growing very well. I purchased it from ebay for approx £5 including postage and it arrived in great condition. I actually divided the tuber into 2 pots as it was so large. It has grown well and I can’t wait for it to flower.

This is what Purple Gem should look like once it grows (according to the packet)

Dahlia_Purple gem (cactus)

First half of dahlia tuber grown in large pot.

Dahlia Purple Gem 1dIMG_5931-2 IMG_5933-3

Second half of dahlia tuber grown in smaller pot, as this had less stems.

Dahlia Purple Gem 2bIMG_5940-5


2. Natal Red (Pompom) Dahlia

Natal Red is growing really well and has lots of buds, so really looking forward to this flowering. The tuber didn’t look in great condition when I purchased it from Wilkinson’s for 99p, but now I see it was a bargain.

Dahlia Natal gDahlia Natal cIMG_5921-1 IMG_5923-3 IMG_5927-7

I lover Dahlia tubers – they are so much more reliable than buying cuttings. They grow quicker and more sturdier. Look out for future updates when I will post pictures of the flowers 🙂



So in part-2, I updated you on the progress of the 7 dahlia cuttings which I ordered from the ‘National Dahlia Collection’ (

One month after arriving, 5 out of 7 of the dahlia cuttings were struggling, very slow growing, yellow leaves, spindly etc. Its now been 10 weeks since they arrived – so how are they doing?

OK. Not great, and quite disappointing really.
These 5 cuttings have been treated identically to the other 2 cuttings that did grow well, yet for some reason they have been plagued with problems. I’d read a lot about dahlia cuttings and many online websites and forums claim that dahlia cuttings grow better than dahlia tubers. This is simply not true! The tubers I planted at the same time are 3-4 times larger and much healthier than the cuttings.

All the cuttings seem to have Powdery Mildew which must have come from the National Dahlia Collection farm. None of my tubers have this, but Powdery Mildew spreads and the spores are already finding there way around the rest of my garden and infecting everything. I am very disappointed and would never buy dahlia cuttings again and therefore would probably not buy from the National Dahlia Collection again.

1. Alvas Doris (Small cactus)

As you can see from the leaves it has Powdery Mildrew (I keep trying to remove the affected leave to avoid the spores blowing around the garden). The plant is making slow progress, I just hope its producing tubers for next year.


Alvas Doris 05Jul14bAlvas Doris 05Jul14

2. Amberley Joan (Small Decorative)

Amberley Joan 05Jul 14b Amberley Joan 05Jul 14

3. Amorangi Joy (Small Cactus)

Amorangi Joy 05 Jul 14b Amorangi Joy 05 Jul 14

4. Bergers Record (Medium Semi-Cactus)

This is one of the 2 dahlia cuttings that has done well, and as you can see it has started to produce flower buds, even though its not very tall.

Bergers record 05 Jul 14 Bergers record 05 Jul 14b

5. Dahlia Clair Obscur (Small Cactus)

Clair Obscur 05 Jul 14 Clair Obscur 05 Jul 14b

6. Firebrand (Small Cactus)

Firebrand is 1 of 2 dahlia cuttings which has done well. It has already produced a gorgeous red/orange flower, which has now been deadheaded, and new buds have started to form 🙂

IMG_5903-7 IMG_5902-6 IMG_5904-8 IMG_5877-3

7. Mini Red (Miniature Cactus)

Mini red is like the other 5 weak dahlia cuttings, with yellow leaves and is slow growing.

Mini Red 05 Jul 14b Mini Red 05 Jul 14


Watch out for my next update and I’ll hopefully have some pictures of flowers to show you! 🙂