Author Archives: pbmgarden

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

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Purple Smoke baptisia was the starting point for today’s vase.  It grows outside of the main fenced garden and its flowers usually have been stripped away by now, presumably by deer.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

‘Purple Smoke’ (B. australis x B. alba) is a shrubby perennial which typically grows 3-4.5′ tall. It was discovered as a chance seedling in a trial bed at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in the early 1990s. Features smoky violet, lupine-like flowers (from B. australis) and gray-green, clover-like foliage on charcoal stems (from B. alba).  [ “Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke.'” Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed May 3, 2020.]

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Purple Smoke was discovered by Rob Gardener, late curator of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens here in Chapel Hill and was introduced by Niche Gardens, also of Chapel Hill.  (Sadly  Niche Gardens closed in October 2019.) Kim Hawks, former owner and  founder of Niche Gardens, is known for other introductions, including ‘Kim’s Knee High’ echinacea and Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore.’

Last fall’s snapdragons are mostly white or salmon, but one yellow opened up this week. I thought it would be a good foil to the baptisia.

Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)

Several of you were surprised to see Clematis ‘Niobe’ in last week’s arrangement.  I am happy to report the clematis lasted all week.  I have had other clematis cuttings fade quickly in arrangements, so I don’t know why that one did so well.  Hope Jackmanii will also make it for a few days.

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

The irises are having a good year, but I have lost a number of my passalongs from the late 70s.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

Iris (Passalong)

Some heavy rains came just as Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ began to peak, leaving many of the flowers bent to the ground.  There are a few more buds and I just stashed 4 in the refrigerator to bring out in a few weeks.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

I hesitated to introduce pink into this vase but Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ is looking fine this week.  It has very few flowers for some reason, perhaps from being a bit close and overshadowed by Festiva Maxima.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Rocket Mix’ (Snapdragon)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)
Iris hybrid
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Vase
Black Matte Dish With Red Interior

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

In A Vase On Monday – Purple Smoke

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. Good health and peace to you.

In A Vase On Monday – April Melody

In A Vase On Monday – April Melody

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – April Melody

As April ends, so does my Coral Charm Peony, which had a good run this year but wind and rain got the best of it Friday morning. After the other flowers dropped their petals, two final buds opened later Friday so I am able to salute this lovely peony and remember it until next year.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

I paired the coral peony with a red clematis that is performing well this spring, tucking in a few more bits of color for good measure with the help of snapdragon and thrift.

In A Vase On Monday – April Melody

In A Vase On Monday – April Melody

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)
Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)
Clematis ‘Niobe’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)
Foliage
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Peony leaves
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – April Melody

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. Good health and peace to you.

Garden Charm

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Yesterday was a nearly perfect gardening day. Early morning showers cleared to a sunny afternoon in high 70s, and last night a final glance through the upstairs window before bedtime revealed an animated starlit sky.

My first view outside each morning is usually from that same window from where I have a bird’s eye view of the entire back garden. Yesterday the sight of scattered peony petals sent me scurrying outside through wet grass to catch the last bits of Paeonia ‘Coral Charm’ until next year.

After using one stem in my Monday vase, I had watched the rest of these gorgeous flowers all week as the aging cycle transformed their crisp structures of deep coral pink into softer, paler symbols of grace. Sad to see them go I have enjoyed observing them through each stage.

Tuesday, April 21

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Thursday, April 23

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

 

Friday, April 24

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

All but two buds on this peony had opened precisely the same time so this and the rest of the blooms had fallen by mid-day.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

The remaining two buds will be appreciated a few days longer.  Both opened quickly and were fully awake by late morning. Fortunately at this time of year there are other garden delights now and ahead.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

 

In A Vase On Monday – April’s Mixed Bouquet

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Coral Charm Peony opened last week and how I wish  I could encourage it to be patient: “Take your time beautiful flowers.” One of seven buds opened, followed immediately by the other six at once.  The effect is breathtaking and although I usually I do not mind cutting flowers to bring indoors, I could bear to yield just one for today’s vase.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima,’ loaded with buds, offered up two more large flowers.

With this elegant beginning the garden then beckoned “choose me, choose me!”   Irises, roses, snapdragons all sang out.

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’
Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’
Iris Tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Rosa (old-fashioned family passalong rose)
Foliage
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Penstemon Digitalis ‘Husker Red’
Peony leaves
Vase
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

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. Good health and peace to you.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Virgie was my mother’s first cousin and she shared her love of gardening and lots of plants with me over the years. Her passalong rose is blooming this week and it seemed destined to feature in today’s vase.

When I began photographing the arrangement the heuchera leaf front and center at the lip of the vase seemed much too dark; I added a white snapdragon so it would not leave a black hole.  Later I decided I liked the balance of the other flowers without that central snapdragon.  Now I cannot decide so thought I would show both ways. The top two images show the original design and these next two show the modified one with the additional snapdragon.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

Accompanying the roses is a branch of Flowering Dogwood. Dogwood is native to North Carolina and serves as our state flower.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

Other white flowers include a late blooming narcissus, whose name I wish I knew, and the aforementioned snapdragon, Speedy Sonnet White.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

A few pink and red dianthus were added for accent and texture.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

As concealer foliage I used young leaves of Big Top Bronze Heuchera with their reddish undersides, along with spring green fern-like tansy leaves (one is visible in the upper right corner).

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
Dianthus Ideal Select Mix
Narcissus
Rose
Foliage
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Vase
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

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. Good health and peace to you.

Dogwoods For Easter Morning

Each year my father lined us up, my sisters and me, in front of the largest of the four dogwoods, each dogwood holding down a corner of our front yard.

In our new white dresses with crinolines underneath, ribboned Easter bonnets, soft cotton gloves, and patent leather shoes we four young girls faced the sunlight, squinted and smiled at the camera.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Frills

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Frills

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Today’s Ikebana vase is filled with a frilly collection of early spring flowers. Inspired by fragrant Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift), I selected mostly companions in blues and purples. The thrift was planted late last fall along with the snapdragons. Nice to see they overwintered well.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Frills

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Frills

And the irises are coming out to play!

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Frills

Materials
Flowers
Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’ (Thrift)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Dianthus Ideal Select Mix
Helleborus x hybridus
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’
Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’ or Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)
Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ (Emerald Blue Phlox)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Frills

The garden has been untended the past couple of years but this spring a thick fresh layer of shredded hardwood mulch around the entire house and flower beds revives its promise. I hired someone to help me weed and to dig out some beds full of aggressive thugs. The weeding will need to be continued as signs are everywhere the weeds are not giving up easily. But it feels better for now. The meditation circle is nearly revived, just in time as we stay close to home and send love and wishes of good health to everyone.

I miss teaching yoga, but the wellness center where I teach is posting exercise videos to help members maintain their routines and stay connected. Some of you may enjoy this meditation I prepared.  Unsurprisingly the garden features heavily in it.

In The Garden – Breath and Bodyscan Meditation with Susie
Peaceful morning meditation practice in Susie’s flower garden with nature sounds and singing bowls. Focus on breath, relaxation and sensations in the body.

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. Good health and peace to you.

In A Vase On Monday – Iris In White

In A Vase On Monday – Iris In White

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

It was 88°F. both Saturday and Sunday. In March!

A small patch of white dutch iris planted in 2002 has been in bloom nearly a week and made the harvest for today’s In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Iris In White

I felt I was rescuing the flowers from the heat, but they did not seem affected. In fact they were still bright and cheerful.

In A Vase On Monday – Iris In White

In A Vase On Monday – Iris In White

Materials
Flowers
Iris × hollandica  (Dutch iris)
Container
Dark blue matte ceramic jar

In A Vase On Monday – Iris In White

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. Good health and peace to you.

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

I gathered a variety of vase materials yesterday evening, including Thalia daffodils, camellias and luxurious stems of spiraea, but ended up with a simple display using two types of flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

[Our daughter designed and built the cherry cabinet for the foyer. She named it Trillium.]

Restricting the choices to Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’ and a maturing double hellebore hybrid created a spare but powerful color palette.

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

This fancy hellebore began a lovely, pure white and has gracefully aged toward apple green.

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

I added a strawberry-flecked hellebore for its height and just because it is a pretty one I have not shown this year. It has a red outline at the bottom edge.

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

Materials
Flowers
Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’
Helleborus x hybridus
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Tender Greens And Purple

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. Good health and peace to you.

Middle March 2020

Middle March Blooms

This should be a good week for cleaning up the garden beds, planting those hellebores bought a month ago, and for planting a dahlia shipment received this week.  In a spirit of optimism, Wednesday I planted some sweet pea seeds (Lathyrus odoratus ‘Beaujolais’). Wish me luck.

The redbud is in bloom but I have yet to get a good photo. Birdsong lifts the air.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

I missed seeing my Gentle Yoga students this morning. Classes are suspended for several weeks. Wishing everyone wellness and calm.

Singing Bowls

Om Peace Peace Peace!

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

I gathered blooms early on this frosty morning. Since then the thermometer has risen to 69°.

The temperament of spring is fresh, cheerful and light-hearted and the flowers featured today are convincing ambassadors of the season. I photographed them in several locations—none of the spots was a clear winner but the cup of springtime treasures seemed to smile in each one. Hope they bring a smile to you today.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

Visible in the background are the phalaenopsis orchids that graciously rebloomed recently.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ is elegant in form and color. This is my only spring-blooming camellia.

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

After a few years Leucojum has formed a nice clump and perhaps can be divided. I grouped the stems together in the vase for more impact against the showier anemone.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’ With Leucojum

Thalia daffodils are just beginning to open. They may well be the favorites among my garden’s narcissus. I massed them as well to one side.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

Materials
Flowers
Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’
Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)
Narcissus ‘Thalia’
Container
Fiesta soup mug fitted with Ikebana floral pin

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Temperament

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.

Phalaenopsis Pairing

Phalaenopsis Orchid

I always have several plants sitting underneath the east-facing window in the kitchen.  Recently a pair of phalaenopsis (moth orchids) have come into bloom, opening a week apart and making me feel better about them occupying my counter space. It seems a luxury to have them both blooming at once.

Their colors are not completely compatible, but they do share some coppery, peachy, apricot-like hues; one on its throat and lip, the other on its petals and sepals.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchid

The pink one opened last week. It was a house gift in Summer 2015, I believe from my sister Cindy, and was featured in a Monday vase at the time.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchid

The second orchid with coppery-apricot petals and sepals opened earlier this week. I probably picked this up at the grocery store at some point, needing a bit of color in the house.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Wishing you well as we move toward weekend.

Early March Black Diamond and Coral

Helleborus ’Black Diamond’ (Winter Jewels® Black Diamond)

After the rain stopped this afternoon I went outside for a quick perusal of the garden. Hellebores on the north side of the house are still quite beautiful, including ‘Black Diamond’ which finally has opened one flower completely. There are several more buds.

When last week I had checked the nearby camellia it was covered in buds but did not seem anxious to bloom. It was a surprise today to find it so far along. This is my only spring blooming camellia, synomym Camellia japonica x Camellia saluenensis.  Curiously the coloration used to be lighter and definitely more coral than it appears now.

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Last week’s vase included a single anemone. A few more anemones bloomed midweek and finding them precious, I brought them indoors to enjoy. They lasted well tucked loosely into a small Caithness bud vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

Outdoors in the garden yesterday I clipped one more ‘Mr Fokker’ not quite open, along with several tiny sprigs of candytuft and grape hyacinths, and a handful of leucojum.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

The  vase barely had room to hold the additional stems but its colored glass seemed perfect so I kept stuffing them in.

Photographed in late afternoon light the vase eventually ended up in front of our daughter’s carved box of mahogany and tigerwood.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

Materials
Flowers
Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’
Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
Container
Caithness glass bud vase

An earlier idea for presentation had awkward proportions but I like the rabbit.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

In A Vase On Monday – Purple-Blue With Light

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Color Burst

In A Vase On Monday – Color Burst

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

A snow storm passed through Thursday, flattening most of the daffodils. I picked a few for a vase today but actually I had a different flower in mind to feature. I planted 100 Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’ last year and disappointingly only 5 or 6 survived. The first bloom emerged from the snow unscathed. It opened Sunday and I designated it star of today’s vase, pairing it with hellebores.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

In A Vase On Monday – Color Burst

Modest in size the anemone was nearly overwhelmed by its taller and bulkier companions but I liked the rich color palette the hellebores added.

In A Vase On Monday – Color Burst

The shorter hellebore in front is Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ and the taller one at back right is Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’.

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’

The white/green with pink touches is an unnamed hybrid.

Helleborus x hybridus With Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’

Materials
Flowers and Foliage
Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’
Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Color Burst

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.

Late February Garden With Snow

February Snow Feb 20, 2020 5:18pm

February’s weather is reliably unpredictable and often messy. This past week is typical. There were a few bright sunny mornings but the sun was inconstant. What might have seemed reasonably warm temperatures were made bone-chilling by shifts to dull gray skies that released a see-saw of downpours and drizzle, culminating in a sloppy, wet snow yesterday (Thursday). The snow began falling mid-afternoon and I ventured outside just before dark.

Spirea branches, already in bloom, were covered in icy snow and dipping downward. Tucked deep underneath the shrub, groups of hellebores found some protection.

Hellebores beneath Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Narcissus have been blooming several weeks.

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

The advanced growth of foliage on this patch of iris surprised me.

February Snow -Iris

Despite the curious common name of summer snowflakes, Leucojum aestivum began blooming this week in time for the snow. It is normal for these to appear this time of year. These came from my sisters’ garden about 5 years ago.

February Snow -Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)

Snowfall ended by midnight. The sun shone brightly this morning revealing icy snow high in tree tops and a rich blue sky.

Around 8:30 a.m. a cold breeze stirred the chimes in the meditation circle, making the garden sing against the otherwise quiet hour. Birds were sheltered inside the large drooping spirea whose weighted branches touched the earth, forming a protective avian hideaway. They perched also in nearby trees, all waiting for me to finish taking pictures so they could resume visits to the freshly stocked feeder.

Meditation Circle Feb 21, 2020 8:30am

Much of the snow had disappeared by late afternoon and it is expected to be 61°F. Sunday.

A few days earlier, at eventide on Tuesday, I had braved the rain-saturated ground to walk the garden. Here are a few images from before the snow. This Iberis is such a delight.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)

Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)

 

In A Vase On Monday – Cream To Green

In A Vase On Monday – Cream To Green

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

A dreamy creamy Hellebore, one I have featured before, called my attention again this week. This hybrid purchased from Pine Knot Farms in Virginia in 2016 has been magnificent this season.

In A Vase On Monday – Cream To Green

In A Vase On Monday – Cream To Green

Now that the plant has been in bloom for a few weeks it is interesting to observe how the early ivory buds open to reveal green at center and on the outermost petals before maturing to delicate green.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Materials
Flowers and Foliage
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Container
Blue ceramic mug with botanical design

Helleborus x hybridus

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.

One More Hellebore

When I visited Pine Knot Farms several years ago searching for hellebores to add to the garden I hoped for intense rich color.

This is Helleborus ‘Winter Jewels Black Diamond’ which is taking a long time to bulk up. Three buds this year.

Waterlogued

The garden is waterlogged after more rain fell overnight, but actually I am writing today about  Waterlogue, an app that turns photos into watercolor paintings.

I normally eschew adding filters to my photos, but last year I saw this inexpensive program recommended highly on the Apple app store and on the spur of the moment I decided to try it.

Current weather conditions notwithstanding, “Rainy” is one of my favorite filters. (Click the gallery to enlarge.)

 

The app’s interface is clean and simple. Select a photo by clicking on the camera icon where it says, “Start here” and prepare to be mesmerized as the photo is transformed into a painting.

Don’t throw away your bushes and paints if you enjoy the tactile experience of painting, but spending a few minutes with Waterlogue is meditative and relaxing. It is fascinating to see the effect being created.

I seldom have bothered to save the images but a few weeks ago I created my current meditation circle header using Waterlogue. Since then I have intended to share some other watercolor effects. Here are a few more before and after images.

In A Vase On Monday – Golden Cheer

In A Vase On Monday – Golden Cheer

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Large-trumpet golden King Alfred daffodils ushered in early spring this past week just in time to be smacked down by rain and wind.  I gathered a generous bunch to share in a vase this week.  Many of these were resting on the earth so it made sense to salvage as many as possible and restore a modicum of dignity to these regal flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Golden Cheer

In A Vase On Monday – Golden Cheer

Materials
Flowers
Narcissus ‘King Alfred’
Foliage
Container
Straight-sided glass vase

In A Vase On Monday – Golden Cheer

After a stormy week in many parts of the world, I hope everyone is safe. Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the globe. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In a vase this week.

Part Of A Landscape

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Singer and songwriter James Taylor grew up in Chapel Hill, exploring as a child the wooded banks of Morgan Creek before the land along there was developed and fashioned into suburbia. He references this place in his song “Copperline.”

Speaking with Rolling Stone in 2015, Taylor said: “This is another song about home, about my father, about a childhood that was very peaceful, which is a rare thing today. I felt like I was part of a landscape in those days – the trees, the streams and the rivers, the animals that lived there.”
Songfacts. Retrieved February 8, 2020.

During my college days at Carolina, Taylor’s unique voice was a constant in our dorm, as roommate, suite mates and I sang and danced along. I can easily place my freshman self right back at his concert in Carmichael Auditorium, listening to bittersweet sound of “Fire and Rain,” cheering the spirit of his “Carolina In My Mind,” and believing him when he sang “You’ve Got a Friend.”

It was Carole King’s lyrics of this last song that set me thinking down this path this morning, “Winter, spring, summer, or fall.” Our weather is more likely to be “winter, spring, winter, spring, summer, winter, summer, fall, actually summer again, eventually fall, just kidding–summer…” and that is just during a two-week period. It was winter here again at early morning, 27 degrees F. with frosty coatings atop the grass and plants in the garden.

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Another line from “You’ve Got a Friend” rang true as well this week: “If the sky… above you should turn dark and full of clouds.” The past few days here were marked by fierce rain, wind and tornado warnings. The river birch easily gave up stray branches all over the yard, the garden sank below standing water for a while. Some trees were down, lots of neighbors lost power, but we were spared. I righted new pots of hellebores that were blown over from a spot where they have been patiently waiting to be planted. If it will dry out a bit I can see that happening soon.

Hellebores

Hellebores

After several weeks of cautious peeking, Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and ‘King Alfred’ had finally begun opening earlier in the week, just before being battered by rain

Daffodils In The Rain

Narcissus

Fortunately daffodils are as resilient as they are bright and cheerful.

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

Winter daphne is beginning to exhibit tiredness and a few of the flowers have begun to fade. The intoxicating fragrance was heightened earlier in the week when temperatures reached 70s, but was not detectable early this cold morning. The sky at 9 a.m. was rich with blue, but gloomy gray clouds descended soon thereafter and hung over the day.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Planted last May this perennial seems poised to flower: Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’. I am anxious to see how it performs but it does seem to have made a too early appearance.

Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’

Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’

I planted over a hundred anemone bulbs in the borders last year. They are very short-lived in my garden but a disappointing number, most in fact, failed to live or show up at all, perhaps victims of squirrels and voles. Now a few extras that I had stuck into plastic pots and tucked among some other plants have emerged the past few weeks. The flower heads are tucked down. Blue or white? Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’ or A. St Brigid ‘Mt Everest’, which one survived?

Anemone

In A Vase On Monday – Hellebores and Brass

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

It was beautiful and sunny yesterday with temperatures in the low 60s. In contrast Friday was rainy and so cold sleet glanced off my windshield for about sixty seconds when I was driving home after teaching an afternoon yoga class. Welcome to North Carolina where we frequently remind each other if you don’t like the weather just wait a day. It will change.

Hellebores continue their reign over the garden this week. It has become challenging to find a new way to present them. I considered floating some in a shallow dish, but chose instead to stage them without water at all, tucked into a brass sculpture created by my husband years ago. Visible in the background is a second taller sculpture and a box of paperwhites about to rebloom from last year.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Materials
Flowers
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Foliage
Paperwhite narcissus
Container
Brass sculpture

No hellebores were harmed in this production. Soon after being photographed they were safely returned to a small vase of water.  I have had good luck keeping hellebores in vases for a week or more this year.  That has not always been the case, but I have not treated them in any special way.

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.