Author Archives: pbmgarden

About pbmgarden

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

A Week of Flowers – Day Four

It has been fun joining Cathy of Words and Herbs this week in posting a week of flowers. The concept is to share one or more photos a day of our flowers and gardens to spread a little joy.

For Day Four I am remembering the lift brought by peonies for three weeks beginning the last week of April through midMay.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

For more smiles and flowers visit Cathy to see what blooms she and other gardeners chose today.

A Week of Flowers – Day Three

Cathy of Words and Herbs gardens in Bavaria and recently suggested posting a week of flowers, one or more photos a day of our flowers and gardens to brighten and cheer us all.

For Day Three I went back to April to show a glimpse of the Southern Side Path. This garden is a narrow strip running alongside the garage giving access to the main garden in back. (You can see the neighbors’ gate on the left, ours on the right.) The yellow iris is a particularly fragrant pass-along iris I’ve had since the late 1970s, brought to this garden when we moved here in 2001. Just before the entrance gate is Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ which bloomed particularly well this spring.

 

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

This is the view looking up the path toward the street. Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ also had an exceptional year

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Visit Cathy’s Words and Herbs blog for more flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Zinnias With Ginger Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Zinnias With Ginger Lily

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.

This past week brought below freezing temperatures for the first time this autumn, a couple of weeks later than usual. I rescued ginger lily and zinnia flowers ahead of the big event and tucked them into an Ikebana vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Zinnias With Ginger Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Zinnias With Ginger Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Zinnias With Ginger Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Zinnias With Ginger Lily

In A Vase On Monday – Zinnias With Ginger Lily

Materials
Flowers
Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)
Zinnia
Foliage
Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Blue 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-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what surprises she and others found to place in a vase this week.

A Week of Flowers – Day Two

Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)

Recently Bavarian gardener Cathy of Words and Herbs suggested posting a week of flowers, one or more photos a day of our flowers and gardens to brighten and cheer us all.

Last April a cluster of snapdragons the northern border bloomed and bloomed, providing vase material as well as framing the meditation circle with lusciousness. The dark-red-leaved plants in the circle are Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue).

Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon) – April 23, 2020

By May 23 the penstemon was in full bloom and bees were enjoying it, birds were serenading. Watch closely and you might detect a ruby-throated hummingbird fly along the fence to feed on some columbine just above the blue pot (10-28 seconds). It flies behind the penstemon before emerging right by me (55 second-mark), just visible in upper far-left corner.

A Week of Flowers – Day One

Recently Bavarian gardener Cathy of Words and Herbs suggested posting a week of flowers, one or more photos a day of our flowers and gardens to brighten and cheer us all.

This afternoon I noticed a promising patch of anemone greenery in the northern bed and so for this first day I’m sharing an anemone from February 27, 2020.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages garden bloggers to share a vase of cuttings gathered from our gardens. I haven’t had time to put together even a quick one this week so I’m sharing one from three weeks ago when the dahlias and zinnias were overflowing. That week I prepared two vases from among the same materials and settled on a calm Ikebana-style vase titled Autumn Mood. This one is the opposite, unrestrained, spilling from an egg basket I wove years ago.

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp.
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Foliage
Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
Container
Egg Basket

The dahlias are no longer blooming but a few zinnias are still going. These last pictures are digital painting using Waterlogue.

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

In A Vase On Monday – Three Weeks Ago

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.

After The Morning Fog

 

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

At first chance this morning I dashed outside drawn by the rich redness of the dogwood. The early fog had cleared leaving lush droplets caressing the garden.

It is 75°F. and cloudy on this quiet autumn day, a third of the way into November 

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)


Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)


Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)


Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)


Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)


Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)


Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)


Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea) Tendrils With Button Chrysanthemum


Button Chrysanthemum


Button Chrysanthemum


Button Chrysanthemum


Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’


Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’


Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

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.

A Snapshot In Time

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

While chasing a decidedly camera-shy Common Buckeye butterfly yesterday afternoon, I came upon a fleeting segment of natural wonder.

Beneath a patch of zinnias an asclepias seedpod was having a moment. Walls of the okra-shaped pod had separated, revealing rows of seeds attached to white, silky threads.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Patterns in nature are fascinating and here the seeds are aligned, held back by gentle tufts of silkiness.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

I went inside to grab some clippers imagining this would make a great focal point for a floral design.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

In my brief two-minute absence nature carried on with its script, sending the necessary amount of wind across the flower bed, releasing the seeds into the world. Wind dispersal sends seeds away from the parent plant, in this case carried atop silky parachutes. Stunned it had happened so immediately I failed to even photograph the mostly bare stems left behind.

Eventually I managed a distant shot of the butterfly, a satisfying consolation and another fine example of nature’s fondness for pattern.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) on Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

Patience

Season upon season gardeners are given opportunities to practice patience and, like plants themselves, to seek light even from amongst shadows.

Button Chrysanthemum (pass-along)

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ (Tall bearded iris)

 

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.

A friend who grows roses has shared several vases with me this autumn. She stopped by again Saturday with more lovely, fragrant flowers. A few days earlier our next-door neighbor had dropped off a mixed bouquet from her grocery store outing that contained 3 roses. The only rose I grow is a passalong that blooms only in spring, so I took advantage of this rare opportunity to work with roses for this week’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

Aiming for a traditional round design I began by gathering dark foliage of camellia and gardenia to contrast with the roses. Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ has been flowering for several weeks and now is in full bloom.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

The Hana-Jiman camellia has white crinkled petals edged in pink with deep yellow centers. These had been battered by Sunday morning rain and several lost their petals before I could finish the arrangement. For those that lasted their coloring complemented the yellow and pink roses.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

A couple of early C. sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ have opened as well. As I turn the vase around, one is visible in the second view along with a sunflower from my next-door neighbor’s mixed bouquet.

View 2 (Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and Sunflower)

View 3 reveals my favorite of my friend’s locally grown roses. Its large wide open form makes a nice feature flower for the design. The darker pink rose below it is one of the store-bought roses–sturdy and attractive but without scent.

View 3

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

This vase is meant to be viewed from all sides. This is View 4. The bottom pink rose on the right-hand side is the most fragrant flower in the bouquet. I do not know the names of any of the roses.

View 4

My late season zinnias are tiny, but make a cheerful addition to the arrangement.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Materials
Flowers
Alstroemeria (gifts, not from my garden)
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Carnation (gifts, not from my garden)
Lavender
Roses (gifts, not from my garden)
Sunflower
Zinnia
Foliage
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Gardenia jasminoides
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’
Marigold
Container
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”
6-inch clear Lomey dish
eco-friendly Oasis floral foam

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

After enjoying working with arranging dahlias all summer and fall they have suddenly stopped flowering. The gifts of roses came at an opportune time.  As my husband continues to recuperate from a serious health issue (non-covid), our family, friends and neighbors have lent much support with flowers, meals, emails, calls, cards, errands and even lysol spray. We are nourished by their care and good wishes. We are so grateful he is back home and getting stronger.

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.

Happy Halloween

Dahlias From The Garden

Happy Halloween, inspired by pumpkins and peppers from neighbors alongside numerous fading Dahlia ‘David Howard’.

Dahlias From The Garden

These flowers were gathered and photographed two weeks ago. On this last day of October only an odd dahlia here or there is left in the garden, but it was a satisfying year for dahlias.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Next year I hope to try new types and colors. These are the ones grown this year and last.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Dahlia sp. (lilac is unknown variety)

Dahlias From The Garden

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlias From The Garden

Wishing you a great weekend!

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

Yesterday, on a rainy Sunday morning, I actually gathered zinnias for today’s vase, but only one shows up in this Ikebana design.  Featured are dogwood branches with berries. A large dinnerplate dahlia whose name I do not know makes an interesting foil for the colorful autumn leaves.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

The dahlias which have carried the garden through the summer and fall are finally , sadly, slowing down. Only one D. ‘Cafe Au Lait’  was usable for today but it was perfect in the way it relates to the color of the berries and its subtle stripes of pink connect to the leaves and larger flower.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

The small red zinnia is a somewhat daring addition but I tried it and liked it.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp.
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Zinnia
Foliage
Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
Materials
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mood

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

I planned to showcase zinnias today but after a heavy day of rain on Friday the dahlias needed trimming back and re-staking. I collected so many dahlias I never made it back around to the zinnias. I passed along some flowers to neighbors and then spent a few peaceful moments arranging.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

Later I spent a few minutes chasing daylight, even resorting to artificial light in the dining room.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

Finally I placed them by a sunny window in the living room where we can enjoy them all day. The sunlight exaggerates the color of the left-most white Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ to nearly lemon-yellow.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

A wedding present not used often enough, the Paul Revere bowl measures 11 inches in diameter by 5-inches tall. The flower arrangement is approximately 21-inches wide by 14-inches high.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

Objectively speaking I think some careful editing would allow breathing room and would enhance the design, but overall I am happy to see this huge bowl of dahlias brightening the house.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp.
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Foliage
Asiatic lily
Materials
Paul Revere bowl, large

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Silver Bowl

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

Prepared a few days ago two jars of Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ brighten our home on a rainy Sunday afternoon as remnants of Hurricane Delta pass through North Carolina.

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

The dark blue jar is 6.75 inches tall, the botanic one is just under 6 inches.

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

The dahlias range from 4 to 6.5 inches in diameter, some with hints of yellow.

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

In A Vase On Monday – Glow With Pink and Creme

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Foliage
None
Materials
Dark blue matte ceramic jar
Portmerion- Botanic vase made in England

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.

Wordless Wednesday – Yesterday

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Listen for liquid bird song at 16 seconds. Maybe Brown Cow Bird?

More of the liquid bird song.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.  Blooming since June, dahlias continue to light up the garden.

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

The apricot orange is D. ‘David Howard’, the white is D. ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ and D. ‘Gallery Art Deco’ is the sunset red. After weeks of sharing these dahlias it is challenge to find a new way to present them, so I am staying with a tried and true traditional design.

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

A maroon chrysanthemum from last year’s purchase adds a touch more red richness.  Added at the last moment Adonis blue Butterfly Bush contributes a bit of surprise.

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

An autumn addition to this week’s vase is an aster that overtook an entire garden bed years ago.  I continue to try to eradicate it. I thought at least I could put it to good use this Monday, but I find I it hard to fix this bad relationship. I’ll continue to get rid of the aster. The garden does not need the chaos.

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

Materials
Flowers
Alyssum
Aster (Symphyotrichum)
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Chrysanthemum
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Foliage
Gardenia sp.
Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)
Materials
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”
Lomey plastic dish insert, eco-friendly floral foam

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

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.

October’s Beginning

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Immortality is a reblooming iris that has been surprising me with fresh blooms.

Thursday I had a fun but frustrating few minutes chasing a Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax).

(iNaturalist originally suggested this was Red-spotted Admiral (Limenitis arthemis) but the identification has been updated by two reviewers. The only other time I’ve recorded one in my garden is August 29, 2015. It may also have been incorrectly identified. Will have to check on that.)

Much quicker than I, this one escaped several close-up portraits so I can only show drastically cropped images.

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax) (earlier misidentified as Red-spotted Admiral)
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax) (earlier misidentified as Red-spotted Admiral)

I rely heavily on iNaturalist for identifications but its artificial intelligence algorithms are imperfect. It suggested Polites peckius, the Peck’s skipper for the next, but in fact the insect is yet another of the much more common Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus). When after a few hours no iNaturalist reviewer had seconded that id I submitted the images to Carolina Leps (Butterflies and Moths), a Facebook forum with local and willing experts. So okay, plenty of fieries this year.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

For a week I have spotted a yellow butterfly sailing high across the garden and finally yesterday managed a quick shot of a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae). Generally butterflies prefer flowers which are single in form, but the cloudless stopped at several of the frilly, fringed Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’. Who could resist it!

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

I have seen several clouded skippers this year and posted one earlier in the week. This one landed yesterday on a segment of verbena bonariensis that still has fresh flowers. Most have gone to seed. These images captured the markings and detail of Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius), so I am sharing them here for reference.

Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)
Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)
Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

Hope you had a chance to marvel at October’s harvest moon. Enjoy a fine weekend and thanks for reading.

Garden Delights

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

Another busy week is done that left little time for the garden. There were warm, humid days, stormy days, bright days with the bluest sky imaginable and on this sunny first of October morning the air has a refreshing chill (before warming to 78°F).

On the last few days of September, in brief segments measured merely in minutes, I wandered the garden to recharge, each time finding some small delight.

I have had a few monarchs visit each year but Tuesday marked the first time I have seen a viceroy. Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) is distinguished by the black line across the veins on its hind wings.

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

I spotted another yesterday (or perhaps the same one returned, but I think the black vein looks thinner).

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

My incarnations of  Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ have not always been true to the catalogs but one plant in particular sometimes throws up a pretty one.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

There were several other butterflies of note, a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) and a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). These are commonly sighted where I live but fairly infrequent in my garden.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

A few dianthus plants are blooming more easily now the weather is cooler.  How is this for a colorful greeting?

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

The small skippers were everywhere midsummer but numbers have declined significantly in the past 5-6 weeks.  iNaturalist is my goto source to identify skippers (mostly fieries, ocolas).  I found another clouded skipper this week.

Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

An interesting creature, if not the loveliest, this grasshopper tried to hide from the camera.

Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

I will finish with a quick video of the black swallowtail, frenetically searching for sustenance among lantana flowers.

 

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana Study

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana Study

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.

Foliage was my starting point for this design. Ginger lily is blooming beautifully this year. It is sending up many new stalks, some of whose tips I harvested for today’s vase.

The dahlias are thriving in the cooler weather and seemed unfazed after quite heavy rain Friday. For this Ikebana-style arrangement I chose creamy white Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ paired with a purply pink one whose name I do not know. The latter was included as a bonus with this year’s spring order and I failed to record it.

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlia sp.

Both flowers and foliage went in easily and I was satisfied with the placements until I began photographing. The flowers themselves were grand but the overall effect was underwhelming.

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana Study

I kept coming back to them during the next hour and finally began experimenting with adding to the vase.  Eventually I was happy again with the design. The color of the deep pink zinnia adds surprise. The zinnia stem arches gently away toward the back left.  An added piece of ginger lily foliage continues the curving line down through the right corner, where a few sprigs of gardenia leaves help anchor everything.

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana Study

With the movement created by the changes I think the design is more graceful.

In A Vase On Monday – Ikebana Study

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp.
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia sp.
Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

Zinnia

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 she and others found to place in a vase this week.