Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. After very little rain recently an impending hurricane lurks in the Atlantic.
The inspiration for my vase this week is the foliage of my favorite indoor plant, Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ or Beefsteak Begonia, with its rich forest green leaves that somehow are richly red on the underside. I have been watching this begonia overflow its pot this summer and so decided to remove a section to use today. Then I will allow it to root in water and pass it along.
I wanted also to feature a garden phlox, perhaps it is ‘Robert Poore,’ that has been quietly blooming for many weeks in the southwestern part of the garden. Once clippers were in hand I discovered there was not as much flowering as it had seemed.
Phlox then has been overshadowed by strong spires and deep color of my next choice, Angelonia, which is dominating the meditation circle with its vigor.
Once all the materials were chosen their colors seemed incompatible. (With apologies to Elizabeth Warren) I persisted. The shock of a bright orange zinnia was used to offset the weight of the red and green foliage in the lower half, to keep drawing the eye back up toward the purple-blue flowers in the upper half of the design.
Staging the Ikebana vase on top of an iron candleholder gave the begonia leaves space to drop and flow with grace, rather than be compressed at the base.
Angelonia angustifolia ‘Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Angelonia angustifolia ‘Purple’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)
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.
That’s a really interesting way of combining such different flowers. You are always so clever at balancing colour and form. I would never have thought of using the orange Zinnia to balance the design. I wish you lived just around the corner so you could teach me all about these things.
I don’t know how well the zinnia worked but it was an attempt anyway. The begonia needed an armature to stand upright and I had neither time nor patience for that, so I let it drape–each week is an experiment. I wish we were close too–oh, that would be great.
Do you have WhatsApp, sometimes we could share other things. I would really like that.
Those Begonia leaves are so dramatic. Plus they look like satin fabric. The staging you did really shows everything to advantage.
Thanks Linda. Yes, satin. I never see anyone else mention having this begonia but it’s one of the few houseplants I’m willing to keep.
Lovely! I love the way the begonia leaves are hanging. I’ve never seen Angelonia before, and at first glance I thought they were orchids!
Thanks Joanna. The common name for Angelonia is Summer Snapdragon. They’re low maintenance annuals here in North Carolina.
Inspired design, choice of name and use of balance. Those trailing begonia leaves remind me of something, but I don’t know what: a juggler or an athlete perhaps.
Thanks Susan. Interesting how our minds want to “see something” and bring order.
I love the drooping begonia skirt! Well done as always!
Thanks Peter, I hadn’t realized the begonia would droop so much. It created more challenge than expected but I really wanted to feature that plant.
Raising the ikebana vase is an inspired touch and works perfectly for these intriguing begonia leaves. The orange zinnia adds an extra twist and I think the vase would be poorer without it, Susie
Thanks Cathy. I liked the way the candlestick shape fit in with Ikebana so smoothly. I’d like to have a vase like that actually.
This is an intriguing arrangement, Susie, and very effective. Your photos of the begonia will soon have me searching for the plant, which looks like it might be a great addition to my shade house. I’ve been thinking of you ever since I first heard about tropical storm, now hurricane, Florence. I expect you’re as well prepared as one can be for an event like that but I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed she leaves you alone. Stay safe!
Thanks Kris. I think the begonia would like your shade house quite well. Hope you find one. The storm is quite serious. My sister and her husband evacuated early from SC to our house and arrived this afternoon. The storm looks like we’re in for a direct hit here too. I’ve prepared as much as I can think to. Thanks for thinking of us.
Beefsteak Begonia is the perfect name for it, I have never seen one with such big, shiny leaves. That lovely angelonia again, I love it. A very elegant arrangement which is what we have come to expect of you.
Thanks so much. The angelonia has done great this summer. I’m always pleased with it but it’s the best ever and should keep going another 6-8 weeks until first frost.
Oh that Begonia!!! Fabulous Susie. My phlox are all looking very very sorry: I can’t possibly cut and show them! But oh the zinnias: they do save the late summer arrangements!
Hi Libby. Yes, zinnias have really provided most of the material for my vases this summer. I’ve missed the red dahlia you gave me a few years back. It didn’t make it through the harsh winter.
Those begonia leaves look like anthirium flowers, or vinyl upholstery.
The begonia does have interesting foliage.
Who but you would think of that striking combination? Brilliant!
Thanks so much Ricki!
Wow, those begonia leaves are remarkable, Susie! Brilliant of you to use them to such great effect. Love it!
Those Begonia leaves are so shiny – they almost have a metallic quality.
Your’e right. The begonia first attracted me by the contrast of color between the front and back, but the texture is amazing.
Madly funky, I love the contrast. Fingers crossed Florence does a u turn and leaves you all alone. Stay safe,
Thanks! I know you understand the nervous anticipation we’re feeling.
I know it well, sitting through the Irma drama last year was excruciating. Everyone here says “don’t worry til you see Jim Cantore” – he was about 20 miles up the road from me last year. This too shall pass.
All I can say is ‘wow’ – that’s one of the most eye-catching vases I’ve ever seen.Keep safe from Florence …