Each Monday brings opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.
Simplicity is my theme this week, because sometimes that is all there is time for and exactly what is needed. Shortly before my sister and her husband arrived for a brief overnight visit Saturday I dashed out to the garden to collect a few flowers to display throughout the house.
Instinctively I headed toward the Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue), the current star of the meditation circle and quickly gathered an armful of blossoms. Inside I removed most leaves, gathered the stems and trimmed the ends. I inserted the entire bunch en masse into a favorite ceramic vase decorated with earth toned matte glazes. The effect was simple, fresh and airy.
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ is a perennial and is drought tolerant, two reasons it was chosen to provide part of the labyrinth walls. It is also evergreen in my 7B planting zone. Its name may be confusing as its tubular flowers are white; however many (not all) of its lance-shaped leaves tend toward dark red, lance-shaped leaves and it has rich burgundy stems. Actually some of the flowers also do carry a slight pink tinge.
Husker Red self-seeds easily and I was able to share a lot of small volunteers and a couple of good sized plants with my brother-in-law for a new sunny border he is planning.
Although this arrangement was assembled on Saturday, it still looks fresh on Monday. This versatile penstemon lasts quite well indoors as a cut flower and outdoors, it continues to bloom profusely.