A bud vase, for the uninitiated, is a small, usually narrow vessel sized and shaped to hold a single flower. Of course, a pair of flowers or even a small bouquet is acceptable, but a bud vase is really meant to highlight the boldness of a single stem.
I use them a lot at home — a cheaper alternative to a dozen tea roses? One spectacular one — but they’re also a great way to buy pieces from more expensive potters or glassware brands. I love Frances Palmer’s work, but the cost can be daunting, so the bud vase is an accessible entry point (the same for Roman and Williams Guild blown glassware).
I also like them as host gifts. Showing up for a dinner party with a plastic-wrapped bodega bouquet is an understandable no-no, but bring a beautiful little bud vase with one or two lovely blooms in it and it can go directly on a side table or a nightstand, with the vase living on beyond the blossoms. Just no mercury glass or faux rustic apothecary jars. Below, I’ve pulled together a group of my favorites to give and receive.
Bud vases I have bought
I got a sake bottle like this one for a minimalist-minded friend and put a berry branch in it. I love Japanese pottery and sake bottles are the perfect bud vase size.
One of the few double-digit items (barely) at the Roman and Williams Guild. I like the heft and odd shape of this Japanese glass vase and brought it to a friend’s birthday party with a bodega stargazer lily in it.
I love this bulbous shape. I gave my stepsister one for her birthday and it didn’t matter that I didn’t have time to put a flower in it — it’s pretty enough on its own.
Inexpensive and elegant, I have a handful of these from Jamali, the flower market wholesaler. All the styles are great in their own ways, and they’re so affordable, I can buy plenty of them.
Bud vases I would like to buy
Delicate but not girly, this is perfect for a sculptural sprig or stalk.
The colors Paul Arnhold uses are fabulous on their own — and they’re even better with a shocking pink peony.
I love this Astier de Villatte trompe l’oeil gold-glazed terra-cotta “tin can.” Perfect for a really beautiful cabbage rose, or as a pen cup when not in vase rotation.
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