Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ was the last of my peonies to open just as unsettled weather came into the forecast. Friday’s predicted rains fizzled, but on Saturday morning we had a storm that finally brought some precipitation. To prepare for this week’s vase I gathered peonies early and set them aside for conditioning in cool water. Although a few flowers gently shed their petals before I could use them, there were plenty more, this having been an abundant year for peonies.
I had a specific shape in mind composed of mostly greenery dominating on one side and pink peonies on the other, but the design drifted from the concept as I began working. It seemed a shame not to use all the peonies so I continued finding places to tuck them.
Joining Sarah are other pinks, P. ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ and P. ‘Pink Parfait’, and a few pieces of perennial sweet pea I recently noticed was suddenly blooming. The arrangement is large as one might predict knowing the peonies span 5-9 inches across.
Cerinthe, nearly finished blooming, created a bit of mystery. My daughter was visiting this weekend and she kept hearing noises in the house. I walked down the hall to investigate and found cerinthe seeds had been released all over the floor.
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’
‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe
Black metal suiban. 4 x 9.5 x 6.5 inches. Japan.
Thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for encouraging us to create and share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are enjoying this week.
I love the sweet pea tendrils floating here and there. What a wonderful abundance of peonies – like Cathy’s Lily of the Valley, does your vase fill a room with fragrance?
Tendrils are fascinating, aren’t they! Yes indeed, the fragrance is hard to miss, but I love it.
Me too! Peonies are a few weeks away here…just starting lilac season!
I love how this turned out with so many peonies….our weather was hot (80s) and dry for almost 2 weeks with burn bans as wildfire conditions were on high alert. Now strong storms are moving in later with high winds, hail, thunderstorms and maybe even a tornado….the hail and tornado are not welcome as I grew up in tornado alley in northern Indiana as a child and the trauma of those storms still lingers.
Thanks Donna. I do hope your weather settles down. Stay safe.
I look forward to seeing your peonies every year.
Thanks Judy. The weekend rain has sent them packing for this year but they’ve been pretty this year.
Just beautiful!!! Made me smile. Jane
Jane, thanks so much! Most of these flowers came from the peony you gave me so thanks for all the joy it brings.
Oh my goodness Susie – I was bowled over when I saw this vase! I love the understated title and the vase itself would sit happily on a table in the entrance of a grand English stately home… 😊 Sarah B is the one peony I have and she is budding up for me but I will only get a handful of flowers at the most so could not recreate your masterpiece, even if I had a lovely Japanese dish like yours. Thanks so much for sharing this today
Thanks Cathy. Taking my cue from you I’m always interested in finding an appropriate title for Monday vases and I try not repeat. Often still-life artists use something like Cezanne’s The Blue Vase or Vase with Red Poppies by Vincent van Gogh so when I’m stuck I follow their lead. Hope your Sarah B brings you joy. I’ve been astonished how big peonies can get. When I think they’re fully open they grow wider. They’re just about at the end of the season here.
Thanks for this attention to title detail, Susie – I certainly appreciate it, and I am sure others do too even of they don’t especially say so 👍
I didn’t know Cerinthe seeds exploded like that – how funny! I’d have been ecstatic to have just one of those peony flowers so a large collection like that is almost overwhelming. With the foliage, sweet peas and Cerinthe tucked in the composition is flat-out gorgeous.
Thanks Kris. I don’t know that the cerinthe seeds exploded so much as they probably released and dropped to the ground. A whole bunch of them seemed to drop within a few minutes of each other. I saved the seed and hope to plant them.
Well I found that yes, they do explode! “Flowers eventually produce large rounded black seeds with one flat edge. The seeds on a plant do not ripen all at once, but continue to mature throughout the season as they are produced. They are dispersed a considerable distance from the mother plant by an explosive release mechanism.” https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/honeywort-cerinthe-major/
Lovely and lush – beautiful abundance!
Thanks Eliza! It’s been a dream fulfilled to have so many peonies to enjoy this year.
The word sumptuous comes to mind when looking at your beautiful arrangement, Susie. It reminds me of an oil painting by one of the old masters, celebrating the abundance of the season. Lovely.
Thank you Horticat. Yes, those old masters paintings do seem to include luscious flowers like roses, tulips and peonies, often fruits. I had intended more restraint but glad I gave in and just enjoyed the abundance while the peonies were still available. They’re fading quickly in the garden but have been a great treat.
What a wonderfully pink vase, and so many beautiful and perfect peonies. You have spoilt us for sure.
Hi Noelle. Glad to spoil you today. The peonies have amazed me with their size and sheer number this year.
Wow! So many beautiful peonies! Your garden must look spectacular at the moment Susie. And the scent… 😃 It’s a wonderful arrangement. And funny about the Cerinthe seeds.
Thanks Cathy. The peonies have added so much color to the garden–very good year for them here although their time is passing quickly. And yes, the scent is unbelievable.
A very pretty arrangement of one of the prettiest flowers in any garden! Well done indeed.
My peonies (in Ontario) are at least three weeks from blooming, I think, and your pictures remind me of bloomin’ times ahead!
Anticipating your peonies is exciting. Bet they grow beautifully where you live. We’ve had some back and forth between hot and cooler weather. The cooler weather has helped the peonies last better.
Oh what a glorious vase of pink froth and frills Suzie. Do the peonies last long once picked? I would love to grow one. Your story about the popping cerinthe seeds made me chuckle
Thanks Anna! These peonies were already past their best so I had to pull out a few early, but in general they do last well–at least 5 days. I’ve readit’s best to pick them at marshmallow stage.
‘Sarah Bernhardt’ was that name that I could not remember earlier. It is one of the three peonies that are sometimes available here, perhaps because it is not so disappointed by the mild chill here. ‘Festiva Maxima’ is the white one of the tree. There is a pinkish red one also. Even the less discriminating sorts do not perform well here, although I sometimes see them blooming very nicely in the neighborhood. No one knows why the perform better in some gardens but not others, but it is likely more cultural than environmental.
Both peonies you mention are popular here and both were pass-alongs to me. Along with the red one they’re sold as a set often. I’ve always resisted buying that trio but now I’m hoping someone will pass along the red one.
Yes, I have seen those sets also. How odd that they would be popular there, where you can grow so many other cultivars. Perhaps there are other reasons for their popularity besides their tolerance of minimal chill. (I do not really know if their tolerance of minimal chill is why they are sometimes available here.)