In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

For seven years Cathy at Rambling In The Garden has encouraged garden bloggers to share a vase of cuttings gathered from our gardens. A friendly community has grown up around these Monday vases nurtured by Cathy’s efforts. To mark the seventh anniversary of In A Vase On Monday she challenged us last week to create today’s vase using foliage alone.

I am more naturally drawn to flowers but there is much to learn and admire about leaf shape, texture, and color. Despite some overnight temperatures in the low 30s Fahrenheit we have yet to have frost this autumn. I took advantage of a mild afternoon and some rare free minutes Thursday to choose foliage for this week’s vase.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Fresh mounds of light green basal leaves are still forming on the columbine plants beneath older stems of reddened ones. The leaves are divided into groups of 3 leaflets; the triple lobes are rounded.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Shape, vein patterning and color shifts enhance columbine’s delicate leaf form.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

My initial concept of the foliage vase this week centered around an Ikebana container filled with dramatic greenery of Hedychium coronarium (white ginger lily).  The leaves on this plant can be 2 feet long. I selected a couple of stems with leaf lengths between 9-13 inches.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

But how could I leave behind the surprise of a raceme with fresh flowers forming—at this stage it seemed like greenery too and its bold form would add interest.

In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

Hedychium stalks went in first toward the back, followed by the columbine in front. Liriope and marigold foliage were used to fill in around the base of the stems. With the materials arranged into place I was struck by how simple yet effective a dish of foliage selections can be.

In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

[Imagine the white ginger lily flower buds as anniversary celebration candles.]

In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

Materials
Flowers
Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)
Foliage
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)
Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf)
Tagetes (Marigold)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

I had not planned to bend the foliage-only rule so flagrantly but first alerted by the jasmine-like fragrance, unexpectedly I noticed Saturday afternoon the flowers had begun opening and by evening they had come into full bloom.

Hedychium coronarium Inflorescence

Doesn’t this look like a delicious ice cream cone?

In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

By Sunday afternoon the flowers had faded, leaving behind a foliage-only display. Happy seven years of In A Vase On Monday, Cathy and to the many participants and readers through the years!

In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what surprises she and others found to place in a vase this week.

27 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday – Anniversary Foliage

      1. pbmgarden Post author

        That is great. This one in most years barely comes into flower before a cold snap kills it back to the ground. It starts coming back in late spring.

  1. Noelle M

    Your ginger must have known it was to have flowered and faded before Monday. Susie, as ever you have chosen some wonderful items and appreciating aquilegia leaves turning from green to purple against the form of the ginger leaves is what everyone will do when they admire your beautiful arrangement: perfect for this Anniversary.

    Reply
  2. Kris P

    That’s wonderful, Susie! I wish I could grow ginger plants. You did a great job arranging the foliage and the lily was a delightful surprise. I was tempted to cut the banana leaf that has once again wedged its way through the fence from my neighbor’s more well-watered garden but made do with succulents and Leucadendrons for my foliage arrangement.

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    Oh yes, so much like candles! I love seeing the buds, flowers and then back to just foliage. How fleeting the beauty of those flowers. The foliage will last much longer. 😃

    Reply
  4. Cathy

    Yes definitely like candles! I was fascinated to see the close-up shots of the columbine foliage and their different shades – how easily we can ignore the most common of the plants in our gardens. I am glad I wasn’t in any way specific about what I meant by a bloomless vase, as it is proving interesting to see how people interpret it – thanks so much for your foliage interpretation and how you have put it together

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. Some years I barely see one flower. It’s a banner year for the ginger. This was a passalong from a neighbor who was moving. She had orange also and that’s the one I wanted but she wasn’t sure which was which so I ended up with white.

      Reply
  5. tonytomeo

    That is cool that it is almost all foliage; like something from the 80s. It is just as cool in bloom. That happens to be one of the gingers that I would like to bring back from Southern California when I am able to grow it.

    Reply
      1. tonytomeo

        Oh, I will. I just do not want to bring it here before the garden is ready for it. The weather here is very mild, but gets just cool enough in winter that some of the gingers are not happy about it, and some languish and rot. I need a warm and sheltered spot for them. I do not want a greenhouse, but would like a roofed lanai (with a fiberglass roof).

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