Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.
Recently I have been enjoying a serene view in the garden whereby I am looking through tall white spires of Husker Red penstemon toward a border dominated various greens. White panicles of oakleaf hydrangea punctuate one end of the scene, while subdued silvery gray-green foliage of a passalong Dusty Miller fronts large clumps of dark green perennials not yet in bloom. This low-key combination of white, gray-green, and dark green was the inspiration for today’s vase.
Upon inspection the penstemon flowers were browning a bit, past their prime after a rainy week, but the hydrangeas were still quite fresh. Fern-like leaves of tansy, another passalong, were included for color and texture.
It seems an arrangement always needs more flowers than one would think. Unwilling to cut more hydrangeas I ended up using more peonies (from the refrigerator). And although using white peonies again this week would have preserved my original intention to create a subtle, calm design, I had featured them the past two vases.
I chose instead to add a bit of dazzle with Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene.’ I could not resist adding a few “blue” angelonia to the mix also.
Heuchera leaves with reddish undersides pick up the hues of the peony and angelonia, while silvery, delicate Dusty Miller quiets the mood.
The character of this vase evolved into a more spirited, brighter presentation than I had envisioned. I have learned not to stress over keeping a rigid idea and in the end, I am happy with this result. As a bonus, the peonies are quite fragrant.
4 Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon)
2 Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface White’ (Summer Snapdragon)
7 Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
5 Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Dusty Miller (passed along as Dusty Miller. Possibly Artemisia)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
6-inch plastic Lomey dish
Large Green Ceramic Urn
Keeping the urn-shaped vase in mind, I created this design by inserting the fresh materials into floral foam that had been secured to a 6-inch plastic dish. Once the arrangement was completed I placed the dish to sit atop the urn.
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.
Wow! the peonies are still in the fridge – that’s fantastic! This week’s arrangement is quite different again from your usual. Clever to use the foam in that way to create a taller arrangent without having long stems, I must remember that!
So glad I saved some peonies from the rain. Still a few left. Yes, making the arrangement separate from the vase makes it a lot easier and is more versatile.
I’d almost grow peonies knowing this.
Well, I love a little color with your greys, greens and whites. The refrigerated Peonies are holding up amazingly well, I used Angelonia this week as well. I think the same one.
Using color was fine, just took the vase in a totally different direction. I couldn’t work for a florist where I had to recreate a particular design. Angelonia is great, isn’t it.
It always surprises me where I start and what I end up with. I like the Angelonia so far. It stopped doing anything when it was really dry.
I would not have thought the Hydrangea would flower when the peonies do. Maybe it’s the difference in your climate vs. mine. Such a cool and refreshing display. It was 96 degrees F. here yesterday so keeping cool is on my mind.
Hi Linda, the peonies finished here a couple weeks ago. These were collected in bud and stored in my refrigerator.
A perfect name for your vase, as May is quite dazzling here too! I love the Angelonia and Dusty Miller complementing your hydrangea and peony.
Thanks Donna. May has been much more interesting here than usual because of the late spring.
And dazzling it most certainly is. Lovely.
Thanks very much John. Hope you’re settling in and enjoying your new place.
Fabulous as always. I love the exuberance and abundance!
Thanks Peter. It is nice to have a generous number of blooms to bring indoors, for now anyway.
Your vase is beautiful. I am impressed that your still have peonies in the refrigerator.
Thank you. The peonies have kept me smiling lately.
The peonies are stunning against the white and I really like your use of foliage in this week’s vase. A reminder how important foliage can be.
Thanks, my original idea was to feature the foliage equally with hydrangeas. We’ve had so much rain lately the greens are really popping here in the garden.
Lovely as always, Susie! The vase itself is very pretty and, as you know, I don’t think anyone can go wrong with peonies. Your dusty miller has me missing mine, which I removed last fall when it overwhelmed its spot. Little did I know to what heights a little dusty miller plug could grow…
Thank you Kris. The dusty miller can take over. Mine is pretty easy to pull out but it’s not easy to get it completely!
That is a deceptively large arrangement, Susie – it was seeing the paeonies that made me realise that it was MUCH bigger than my first impression. What a clever idea using the dish on top of the vase – thank you for sharing another useful tip, Susie. The whole effect today is of sophistication (which your vases usually are!)
Hi Cathy, yes. It is large this week. The vase is around 10 inches tall and wide. I’ve enjoyed having such a big display in the foyer, feels luxurious. Maybe back to Ikebana soon!
So beautiful. A lovely shape to complement the oval vase. I am growing ‘Mme Emile Debatene’ and it is about to flower for the first time. Looks like it will be lovely.
I hope to see your ‘Mme Emile Debatene’ Ali. Someone identified mine for me so it will be nice to verify. Enjoy.
It makes me want to grow flowers again. I used to grow more when I lived in town because the neighbors like them. I grow many at work, but would not take any from the landscape. In my own garden, they have not been a priority.
I just cut a few stems from the back of the hydrangea, near the ground. Not noticeable at all. but I grow the garden for myself, so I rarely hesitate to cut blooms.
Just yesterday, I had to tie up some alstroemerias, and broke a few. I felt SO guilty! I cut the stems and brought them into the Post Office next door where someone put them in a jar for everyone to see., which is much better. Now they have them outside and it. No one will notice that any got taken from ‘that’ swarm’.
Great save! And customers and employees were probably delighted.
We might also find homes for some of the surplus that were dug and canned last year.
I love everything about this vase, especially the hydrangea. It is so different than what I have growing in the garden. But I also love the pinks of the peonies and the Angelface Blue. It is beautiful
Thanks Magnolia. Hydrangeas are wonderful. I’ve not had much luck with the many different kinds I’ve planted but this oakleaf has been reliable.
This is a gorgeous display! I’m glad you used the peonies, both for scent and color. Your vase is extraordinary. Alys
Thanks Alys. The peonies turned out to be a good addition after all. It feels luxurious to have such a large floral display in my house.
I know what you mean!
Beautiful! I love the shape, and am impressed with that idea of using floral foam in a dish to place on top of the urn. The silvery foliage is very effective with white flowers.
Thanks Cathy. I love silvery foliage.
I really like the Oakleaf Hydrangea – I don’t think of it as having such a pure white.
This oakleaf starts white, turns to pink, then darkens more. The leaves are burgundy in fall. I really recommend it.