In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

Summer is in full swing. It has been hot. Grass is browning. Cicadas sing. All week rain clouds threaten but evaporate before release, while all around us heavy storms cause flooding and wind damage. Sunday, the skies finally spill.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

After admiring dahlias from many gardens the past few years I decided to take them more seriously. I’ve picked up a few tubers here and there before but without much success. A pass-along from garden club friend Libby did really well for a few years but failed to survive the 2018 winter, so I took action this spring and ordered a few. Many tubers did not grow, but I have high hopes for those that survived.

Fringed, snowy white Dahlia Semi Cactus ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ was the starting point of this arrangement. Nowhere near the reputed 6-7″ span, it still promises to be a nice addition to the garden.

Dahlia Semi Cactus ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Art Deco’ advertises a “sunset blend of coral pink, apricot and red.” These are barely open, but are small compared to the 4-5″ I hope they will aspire to.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ With Zinnia

I expected “cream and pale pink” Dahlia Dinnerplate ‘Cafe Au Lait’ from the plant that produced the flower on the right front. Hope ‘Cafe Au Lait’ will materialize elsewhere because this one is not my vision.  The large pink bloom became the focal point of today’s design, edging out the cactus dahlia.

[The last dahilia in my order, Dahlia ‘David Howard,’ has lovely foliage but no blooms have opened yet. I just mention it here to help me with some record keeping. It is described as having “dark foliage and glowing, golden-apricot blossoms.”]

Zinnias have been slow to arrive this year. I planted seeds from a handful of different packets, but now am unsure of varieties. Most have not bloomed yet but the first to open reseeded from last year and I included several stems to fill out today’s arrangement. I also added a few lavender spikes of Liriope muscari.

Dinnerplate Dahlia and Zinnia

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia Dinnerplate ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia Semi Cactus ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gladiolus (white)
Liriope muscari
Zinnia
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

With gratitude to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Looking a bit ragged now, Verbena bonariensis has been a hot spot in the garden for weeks. When not occupied by 7 or 8 American Goldfinches swaying gently on it, bees and butterflies are seen enjoying it.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

I can’t seem to get a picture of the goldfinches but it has been fun to track the pollinators around even just after noon on this scorching day. Finding the verbena an irresistible lunch was today’s special visitor, a lovely Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes).

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

I did not think to use slow-motion video, but this 10-second clip will give you a sense of the butterfly’s fluttering lifestyle.  (Also try setting the playback speed).

Before seeing this one today, I’ve observed three other Black Swallowtails (one on July 21, 2015 and believe it or not, two exactly a year apart on August 27, 2015 and  August 27, 2016) and this caterpillar on July 20, 2015.

July 20, 2015. Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

(By the way, it’s too late to tell me I shouldn’t have planted Aegopodium…just one of many garden aggressors.)

Are you observing lots of butterflies this summer?

 

In A Vase On Monday – Subtlety

In A Vase On Monday – Subtlety

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

Another set of gladioli bloomed this week, white ones this time, with strong-stems. Looking back at last year’s vases I see I used the same white flower at the end of last June.

In A Vase On Monday – Subtlety

I collected the gladioli over 3 days, storing them in a colorful pitcher until I had time to arrange them.  That time for arranging never came but I snapped some photos anyway. So here you see how I have been enjoying them all week, with the shape of the design determined by long sword-like leaves and spikes of flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Subtlety

The title Subtlety comes from the gentle revelations of the blooms when viewed close up.

In A Vase On Monday – Subtlety

The buds have an ivory cast. Soft creamy yellow petals brushed with lavender pink markings direct attention to the anther’s deep purple pollen.

In A Vase On Monday – Subtlety

In A Vase On Monday – Subtlety

Materials
Flowers
Gladiolus
Foliage
Gladiolus
Container
Stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue. (pitcher and 4 cups, Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977).

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

A New Acquaintance

I spotted a large dragonfly Tuesday evening and yesterday had time to photograph it.  For a long while it flitted about the garden, moving quickly away as I approached, until finally relenting, it selected an unattractive backdrop for perching. I still couldn’t get close enough for a good image, but the picture was clear enough to help with identification. (I googled to come up with a suggested ID, and had it confirmed this morning through iNaturalist, a fun and helpful tool for verifying garden visitors.)

As often is the case when I discover an unknown creature in my garden, my discovery yesterday proved to be an insect common across the Piedmont of North Carolina where I live as well as across the entire state and much of the US: Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa).

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

It doesn’t have to be rare to be interesting though. Good to know there will always be lots to learn about in this world and when the time is right, connections can be made.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Only a few gladioli have returned this year, but there should be more soon. Proper record-keeping has gone by the wayside this year so I am not sure when, but I planted several bags of new corms from Longfield Gardens: Gladiolus Large Flowering ‘Espresso’ and ‘Purple Flora.’  And of course there is one more bag to plant should I get around to it this summer.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In today’s vase are two red gladioli planted June 2016. They came into flower Thursday. I had planned to do something adventurous with them, creating an abstract design using a small brass sculpture my husband created around the time I met him. (We celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary Tuesday.)

I will save the sculpture for another time as the flowers were so perfect they needed no support to embellish their virtue.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Materials
Flowers
Gladiolus
Foliage
Gladiolus
Container and Mechanics
Florist frog
Shallow, round, black dish
Black polished stones

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Glad

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

Scarlet Beebalm with its spicy, minty scent has been blooming several weeks. I have been planning all week to showcase it in today’s vase, along with red daylilies.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Unfortunately Sunday was a resting day for the daylilies and the only blooms open were pretty tired. Think of the pair in the vase as placeholders.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Here are a few that were blooming Saturday—they really have been beautiful this year and more will open soon.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

For filler I chose Salvia greggii, which is blooming better than usual now that some trees are cut and it gets more sun. All these red flowers were most uncooperative when I tried to photograph the arrangement late yesterday afternoon—lots of dark shadow and blobs.

I had Shasta daisies ready to step up and add light but I decided against them. A black and white image underscores the overall dark tones of the arrangement. Next time I would try to balance the lights and darks better. Also I feel the Monarda (beebalm) is a lost against the shaggy foliage of the salvia, the textures are similarly sagging and loose. In person this is much easier to read.

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Materials
Flowers
Hemerocallis (Daylily)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

In A Vase On Monday – Scarlet

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.