In A Vase On Monday—Cottage Garden Bouquet

Cottage Bouquet in Pringle Pitcher

Cottage Bouquet in Pringle Pitcher

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.

I think of my garden as an informal one, a cottage garden planted with old-fashioned, easy-to-grow favorites. Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) began blooming about two weeks ago and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) opened just a couple of days ago. I took them as a starting point for creating this loosely arranged collection of blossoms.

Both of these plants produce their flowers in clusters (umbels). The flat-topped clusters of Appleblossum yarrow range in hue from a pale, straw yellow to this peachy colored one.  The Asclepias, of course, is a bright, deep orange.

Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow) and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Now that the irises and peonies are but a memory for another year, the garden is transitioning toward summer flowers. Currently there is not a lot of any one plant dominant in the borders, so I gathered a bit of this and that to round out the cottage garden bouquet.

For foliage I selected Dusty Miller from a large silvery clump in the western border. For a tall, spiky accent I found two colors of Veronica spicata, ‘Pink Goblin’ and only slightly darker ‘Rotfuchs.’ Both are just coming into bloom.

Veronica spicata 'Rotfuchs' (Red Fox Veronica) and Dusty Miller

Veronica spicata ‘Rotfuchs’ (Red Fox Veronica) and Dusty Miller

Verbena bonariensis is finally taking hold in my garden after a few years of trying it in different locations. This week it is cheerful, still standing tall. The American goldfinches enjoy it and its stems bend gently under their ever so slight weight once they begin perching on it and harvesting seeds.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) in front of Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) in front of yellow straw-colored Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow)

Three stems of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) provide round focal flowers for today’s arrangement. These flowers are just coming into bloom and usually I can still find one or two for a quick vase in October. Each year I try to add a few more of this native plant to the garden. The Echinacea’s orange cone center echoes the color of the Asclepias, which could be exploited in a more formal design for an interesting effect. The yellow-hued achillea works less well with the color of the Purple Coneflower.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

In A Vase On Monday-Cottage Bouquet1

Today’s floral container was handmade by local artist Jim Pringle of Pringle Pottery. A treasured wedding gift, this ceramic pitcher is part of a set that came with four cups similarly decorated in bands of blue, green and white. Together the pieces have held countless informal arrangements of garden flowers, but they are rarely used for beverages.

Cottage Garden Bouquet



Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow)
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Dusty Miller
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell)
Veronica spicata ‘Rotfuchs’ (Red Fox Veronica)

Cottage Bouquet

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. I encourage you to visit her to learn what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

20 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday—Cottage Garden Bouquet

  1. Cathy

    Oh Susie, you have outdone yourself today! Absolutely wonderful! This is summer in a vase and the photos are full of sunshine! 😀

  2. Chloris

    I love your jug, Susie. Your arrangement is lovely, you have chosen similar colours to me this week. The yarrow is such a pretty shade. You have brought a little bit of sunshine into your house.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Stepheny. This weekly vase makes me notice and appreciate what is going on in the garden. Would love for you to join in too.

  3. Judy

    Very pretty. We just planted a healthy looking red butterfly bush. Cindy and I say that we are through planting for this summer. We’ve picked the worst times to be in the yard, and neither of us can take the heat. Had our landscapers finish the yard by planting some vinca(?) today.

  4. Kris P

    I love this combination, particularly the way the flowers of the Achillea echo those of the Asclepias. Now I’m wondering why I don’t have more yarrow or any butterfly weed…

  5. Cathy

    You make achillea sound so easy, Susie, and yet I have struggled with it – that range of colours looks great doesn’t it, and provide that easy transition to the pinky purple of the echinacea. I love it – thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. Appleblossum achillea has done OK but I don’t have a good recommendation for growing it. Mine is fairly weak-stemmed and will blow over if we ever get a good rainstorm. I have read garden soils are too rich for it–maybe it needs poor soil.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Malc. I have to keep replacing Asclepias every few years but I love the strong color and it helps the Monarch butterflies.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      That is so kind Annette. To answer your question, yes, the Asclepias and Echinacea are right on time this year. I checked back through my photos and the first flowers of both open consistently mid-late May. It’s terribly try here though so I think they’ll have a difficult time this summer. Susie


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