Foliage And A Vase

Time to catch up. I usually try to join Christina’s Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day (GBFD) to highlight garden foliage on the 22nd of each month, as well as Cathy’s weekly challenge, In A Vase On Monday, to create fresh arrangements each Monday using materials found in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday-Quick Mantelpiece Display

In A Vase On Monday-Quick Mantelpiece Display

We had out-of-town family visiting for my husband’s birthday this weekend and what a wonderful time we shared.

I did not even venture into the garden this weekend but literally in the 6 minutes it took to make coffee early Sunday morning I assembled some week-old, leftover materials (from a design guild orientation) into a small arrangement for the mantel.

As a container I chose an anachronistic crystal ashtray, a wedding gift from years ago that has never been used. I trimmed and shaped the ends of a palm tree frond and inserted it into a floral pin holder. Next I placed two carnation stems to add a pop of color to the design. Carnations are not my favorite flowers but they have lasted well, I will say that for them. Finally I cut and folded some Aspidistra leaves and added them. The rendition of this design was rather crude, but perhaps there is potential for further development. [Meanwhile my daughter and I both had the same impression that this design was quite appropriate for Thanksgiving because it reminded us of a turkey. Can you see it?]

Now for foliage. In the first week of November my husband and I stopped at Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina, for a very brief visit. I had noticed several things that I wanted to share for Christina’s GBFD this month.

One is a majestic Dawn Redwood that we came across.

Gnarly roots of Dawn Redwood caught my attention.

Gnarly roots of Dawn Redwood caught my attention.

I admire this type of tree so was intrigued to read the description accompanying this particular one.

Dawn Redwood Plaque

Dawn Redwood Plaque

Dawn Redwood

Fossils show that Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostoboides) was a dominant coniferous tree in much of the northern hemisphere from about 90 to 15 million years ago. In 1941 a few living trees were surprisingly discovered in a remote part of western China. Seeds collected from them were germinated at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in 1948. The next year this tree, one of the original seedlings, was planted here.

When I finally looked up I enjoyed the long view skyward.

Dawn Redwood At Duke Gardens

Dawn Redwood At Duke Gardens

The steep slope between the parking lot and the visitor’s center featured an exuberant planting of Muhlenbergia capillaries (Pink Muhly Grass) that could not be ignored.

Muhlenbergia capillaries (Pink Muhly Grass) at Duke Gardens November 2, 2014

 

The formal terrace garden was serene the morning we were there. The weather that day was unseasonably cold and few people were around.

Terrace Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Terrace Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Lastly, this foliage along the Perennial Allée caught my attention. I like the color combination and textures.

Dynamic Lime Green And Purple Combination

Dynamic Lime Green And Purple Combination

Thanks to Christina for hosting Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day (GBFD) and to Cathy for hosting In A Vase On Monday. Visit each of them to see what they and others are sharing this week from their gardens.

26 thoughts on “Foliage And A Vase

  1. Cathy

    I love seeing you experiment with leaves – trimming and folding is something i would never have even thought of and the effect of the trimmed palm is lovely. Yes, I can see the turkey in there, but only after you mentioned it! LOL!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Cathy, when you have few minutes do a search on “Manipulating Leaves.” There are some articles and also videos. I am waiting for a book I ordered by Gail Emmons called Leaf Manipulation that was recommended by my flower design instructor at the garden club. (Glad you spotted the turkey.)

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, isn’t that pink grass cool Ann? I realized only after seeing the photos that I hadn’t trimmed the leaves with much precision, but from the arrangement looked ok from its position on the mantel.

      Reply
  2. Christina

    You make such clever use of leaves in your arrangements, and yes I can see the turkey connection! Thank you for sharing the lovely foliage from the garden you visited, I have started a list of gardens to visit when I come to the States next year to attend a wedding. I’m so pleased you joined in with GBFD after all.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. If you will be close enough to visit Duke Gardens next year then you certainly must plan to visit the much smaller and less well-staffed pbmGarden as well Christina! You would be very welcome.

      Reply
  3. Julie

    I am really enjoying your oriental style flower arrangements, they are so creative, turkey was the last thing that came to mind! 6 minutes to make this so confidently, very professional! I enjoyed your tour too, the Muhly grass is so striking en masse.

    Reply
  4. Pauline

    Yes, I can see the turkey hiding there! Love all the foliage from the garden you visited, especially the Muhly grass, such an unusual colour for a grass.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Pauline, there is a white Muhly grass now too and I prefer it to the pink. It may not do as well though. There is a combination planting of the pink and white at a commercial center that is several years old now. I noticed this year the pink bloomed earlier and more profusely than the white, but the first year the effect was wonderful.

      Reply
  5. Marian St.Clair

    The carnations may be ordinary but the trimmed palm leaf and variegated aspidistra show them off perfectly. It’s been several years since I visited the Duke garden, but I remember the terrace garden well. And the wisteria arbor! What a sight in spring. Happy belated birthday to your husband!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Marian. The 75-year old wisteria arbor is completely bare due to a restoration project that began this summer. At first they were going to cut back the wisteria to ground-level to reinvigorate its flowering, but now the website says they’ve reversed course. They will replace the invasive Chinese wisteria with non-invasive native species.

      Reply
  6. Mominthegarden

    I wonder that since I am American I saw the turkey right away? The arrangement is lovely! I *love* the cut palm leaf. It is so simple, yet it doesn’t look simple. I’m going to tuck this idea away in my head and try and use it in the near future. Thank you for sharing something different! Dana

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Dana. Glad you liked the palm leaf technique. My garden club flower design teacher suggested it to me. I think we all probably recognized the turkey from having traced our outspread palms to make the turkey feathers in 2nd grade. Happy Thanksgiving. Susie

      Reply
  7. bittster

    Haha I love the turkey comment! -but it’s a bad sign if you’ve already started on leftovers and the meal hasn’t even been served yet 😉
    I love the dawn redwood, even more special to know it’s one of the original seedling, very cool! What a short time it’s been in cultivation. I feel very cutting edge to have one already!
    Happy Thanksgiving

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      You are fortunate to have a dawn redwood. I’ve been trying to get my community to consider planting one in our wooded common area but not many people are familiar with it.
      Once I saw the turkey effect in that arrangement I could not get it out of my head. Fortunately leftovers worked for the floral design this week, but not for Thanksgiving dinner. Hope you had a nice holiday.

      Reply
  8. Donna@GardensEyeView

    Susie I thought how wonderful your vase looks for Thanksgiving….incredible artwork too as this was so impressive in its creating! What a treat as I finally was able to read about your vase today! Happy Thanksgiving…

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your special comment Donna. Glad you liked the vase this week. I see turkey, turkey every time I look at it, but I am pleased with that technique of manipulating the leaves. It will be fun to explore this further. Happy Thanksgiving.

      Reply

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