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Contemplating plants. Reforming my garden. Savoring peaceful moments. pbmgarden.blog

In A Vase On Monday – Echinacea And Grass

In A Vase On Monday – Echinacea and Grass

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens.

In spring I needed some instant color at the front steps and so bought a pre-planted container with a purple grass, petunias, verbena and something else (I cannot find tags for any of the items).  The grass quickly took over the entire pot and is all that remains.  So many gardeners enjoy grasses I feel there really is something missing in my own gardening DNA that I do not find them very exciting. So I decided to trim and use the grass for today’s vase before the container contents are composted. The grass is paired with two echinaceas, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ and Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown.’ White Swan is having a banner year. Big Sky Sundown blooms less eagerly and needs to be relocated where it will receive more sunlight.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ with grass and Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’

For a change in texture I included a stem of Celosia plumosa ‘Castle Mix,’ thinking its color would echo Big Sky Sundown. The celosia is more orange and the stem was too short, yet I kept it just for its fuzziness.

Celosia plumosa ‘Castle Mix’ and Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’

As pictured the arrangement feels too sparse and is too tall for the size of the vase. I did not have time for a redo. It would have been nice to cut additional White Swan Echinacea to fill in, but some hours later after having photographed the flowers, I did actually trim and reduce the height of the tallest elements and that improved the proportions somewhat.

The vase was a gift from my sister-in-law last year.

Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes

Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes

 

Materials

Flowers
Celosia plumosa ‘Castle Mix’ (Feather Celosia)
Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Unknown Grass
Container
Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders. 6 x 6 inches.

Just a note: Some of you may recall earlier in spring, around mid-May, I ended up rescuing a number of peonies after a storm and stored them in the refrigerator.  Finally I needed to free up that space so the last of the peonies were released this weekend. Three had several brown spots on the petals, which were easily removed; generally the condition was good and the fragrance still strong.

Refrigerated Peonies Released

Refrigerated Peonies Released

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.

Savorings From The June Garden

My husband and I began a six-week mindfulness meditation class yesterday. Among the exercises for the first week is one to choose an activity that you often do in automatic pilot and pay special attention to the activity, to what is happening right now.

My mind jumped immediately to the garden, thinking a stroll around the garden would be  a great activity for noticing what is happening in this moment, becoming aware of sights, sounds, textures, colors. But this is expressly one activity that I never do in autopilot. Being in the garden naturally leads to curiosity, exploring, slowing down and savoring each moment.

Here is a sampling of the garden in early June, a few things that help me pause and just notice.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (possibly ‘Michael Arnholt’)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) (possibly ‘Michael Arnholt’)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

What are you savoring in your garden this June?

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens.

June days are swirling past, each day in the garden brings new blooms or promise thereof. Gladiola swords stand tall, ready to step into the limelight in the coming weeks; meanwhile Calla lily, monarda, dahlia, echinacea and shasta daisy all are flowering.

Taking advantage of the variety I gathered such a mix of materials it made creating a vase daunting. To simplify seemed the best solution.

So for today a blue Ikebana vase holds Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ fronted by pink hydrangea, softened by drapes of passalong Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea).

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is a reliable bloomer when there has been adequate rain. It has spread nicely in the southeast border.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The sweetpea is a sentimental addition—a passalong from my mother’s cousin and garden mentor. It has been in this garden for 17 years and grew at my former home for many before that. It also has appreciated the wet spring.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Materials
Flowers
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Foliage
None
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H inches)

I have filled lots of little vases and glasses with the leftover blooms from this week’s foraging, making the house colorful and cheerful.

Some leftovers: Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

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.

Fine Outdoor Dining

Summertime and outdoor dining go together and Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) was an attractive menu option this afternoon in the front side garden.

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis) has been around a few times in previous years.

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

This is the first time I have noticed the other butterfly, which I believe is Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus).  Both were difficult to photograph as they flitted from one flower to the next and darted away when I got too near. The coneflower’s appeal soon drew them back, allowing me to get a bit closer.

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

 

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

 

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. I’ve been eyeing these lilies for a couple weeks and finally they are ready to share.

Described as carmine red, these lilies were planted in a patio container several years ago. This year they have responded to the wet conditions with enthusiastic abundance.

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

I envisioned today’s design with just two stems of lilies but they seemed to need something more. I added one hydrangea to fill out the shape of the arrangement. The cold killed most hydrangea buds, but a few stoic ones surprised me this week with 5-6 rather small, yet welcome blooms.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Next I added a second stem of hydrangea to the back and right of the lilies and a single, perfect young echinacea to the design.

Hydrangea macrophylla

The echinacea played happily with the pink hydrangea, but not with the lilies.

Hydrangea macrophylla

After trimming the echinacea to different heights and placements, eventually I removed it, deciding it did not contribute to the overall design.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Perhaps it would have worked placed lower toward the lip of the vase and slightly to the left.

The second cluster of hydrangea seemed to be enough on its own to balance out the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Materials
Flowers
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Foliage
None
Container
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.

Ebony Jewelwing

Spotted a beautifully colored damselfly on the Shasta daisies this morning. This is Ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata).

Ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) on Shasta daisy

The rich black wings and the metallic blue-green body indicate it is male.

Ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) on Shasta daisy

He rested patiently while I took pictures, opening his wings slowly and infrequently (the video is set to loop, so it exaggerates the action).

He lingered awhile longer then gracefully lifted himself away.

Ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) on Shasta daisy

 

In A Vase On Monday – May Dazzle

In A Vase On Monday – May Dazzle

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – May Dazzle

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.

Tansy Foliage Among Oakleaf Hydrangea

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.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’

Heuchera leaves with reddish undersides pick up the hues of the peony and angelonia, while silvery, delicate Dusty Miller quiets the mood.

Heuchera and Dusty Miller Foliage With Peony, Hydrangea and Angelonia

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.

In A Vase On Monday – May Dazzle

Materials
Flowers
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’
Foliage
Dusty Miller (passed along as Dusty Miller. Possibly Artemisia)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Mechanics
Floral foam
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.

In A Vase On Monday – May Dazzle

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.