Monday brings an opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create a floral arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden.
Knowing I wanted to include peonies as focal flowers this week, I cut several buds on Saturday evening to store. Cutting the flowers before they open is supposed to extend their vase life, as well as make it easier to avoid bringing in ants that are attracted to nectar on the peonies. These peonies have not yet opened so part of the challenge this week became allowing them space in the design to continue spreading out as they unfold.
Cuttings of Sweet William are also featured this week. One of my favorite flowers, they have performed beautifully in the garden this year.
My husband commented this arrangement seems like a landscape with overstory and understory plantings. Used here as filler foliage, the feathery, branching form of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ adds a tree-like effect in miniature.
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ serves as concealer leaves and small bits of Phlox divaricata and white dianthus act as filler flowers. Some of the flower frogs are visible when viewed up close.
Photography gives some good feedback to help me see where composition and placement can be improved, something I like to note, but in this case I did not rework the design. I photographed the arrangement in three frustrating sessions and have been very unsatisfied with how the images convey the design—the lighting and focus especially are funky. Photography is something I am working on. This arrangement is meant to be viewed from the front, but with the camera I never quite captured the magic spot where all the elements hold together. In person the design is more forgiving and this might be my favorite Monday vase so far.
As the peonies open I hope the two middle stems will drop slightly and expand the center of the arrangement.
Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)
Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)
Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
3 Florist frogs
Shallow, round, black dish
Black polished stones