Author Archives: pbmgarden

About pbmgarden

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

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.

Garden Therapy

A bit of garden therapy put a spring in my step this afternoon. I saw a breathtaking display of hellebores a few days ago at a local garden center, but I left without indulging, telling myself the plants were much too extravagant.

I remained unconvinced. Nearly every hour thereafter visions of those flowers popped into my consciousness bringing regret.

Now I feel better.

2020 Lenten Rose (southern states)

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’ has large forward-facing flowers. Emerging leaves have pink veins.

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Frostkiss™ Penny’s Pink’

Helleborus Honeymoon® ‘Vegas Nights’ is described as having slate gray to dark purple blooms. Unlike the other purchases this plant had only one flower, maybe a couple more buds. Hope to see more grayish sepals in the future.

Helleborus Honeymoon® ‘Vegas Nights’

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘HGC® Champion’ ‘COSEH 940’ PPAF is covered in plenty of creamy flowers with pink accents.  These hybrids come with complicated names and I wonder if this tag is really correct. In searching the web for more information, COSEH 940 is most often referred to as ‘HGC Camelot’ and ‘HGC Champion’ is associated with COSEH 730.  Hmm!

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘HGC® Champion’ ‘COSEH 940’ PPAF

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘HGC® Champion’ ‘COSEH 940’ PPAF

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘HGC® Champion’ ‘COSEH 940’ PPAF

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF has pink buds which open to white flowers brushed with pink. They become deeper pink as they mature. Foliage is described as blue-green. I bought two of this plant.

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF

Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Pirouette’ PPAF

Helleborus x b. Gold Collection® Merlin PP#22350
Helleborus x ballardiae ‘COSEH -810’ PP#22350
Outward facing light pink to pink flowers mature to a deep cranberry. Very dark green foliage with dark stems.

Helleborus x b. Gold Collection® Merlin PP#22350

Helleborus x b. Gold Collection® Merlin PP#22350

Do something nice for yourself today!

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Flowers In A Mug

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Flowers In A Mug

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

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Flowers In A Mug

Walking though the garden I can almost hear plants murmuring, barely able to hold back their energy and excitement. Daffodils buds are beginning to show color but none have opened. Yesterday I discovered a fat bud on a bearded iris–the first Iris germanica to appear so early.

But the week belongs to Hellebores.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Flowers In A Mug

The flowers are served in a large pale yellow Fiestaware soup mug and photographed on the back screened porch in remnants of the late afternoon sun.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Flowers In A Mug

Several sprigs of fresh silvery-gray Artemisia foliage is tucked underneath the blooms.

Artemisia and Hellebores

Individual faces capture my heart. Some blush.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Some have freckles.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

This one is elongated with two green petals accented in pink.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Materials
Flowers
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Container
Fiestaware Jumbo Soup Mug

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

If one can have a favorite it has to be this white double. Creamy and pure, with triangular petals, and unfortunately the least prolific, it was purchased at Pine Knot Farm in Virginia in 2016. I expect the plant will continue to bulk up each year.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

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 On Monday.

Winter Garden

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

After some very cold days this week with lows around 26 and highs in the 40s, today feels much more moderate, overcast with high of 65. Despite the cold spell Daphne odora (Winter daphne) still scents the air deliciously but the foliage has yellowed a bit. There are two Daphnes planted in front of the house. A variegated one, Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata,’ succumbed suddenly a couple of years ago.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

More hellebores are opening around the garden. Some I bought and planted 18 years ago, some were a gift from garden club friend, Vicki, about 2006. In February 2016 I added a few more specialty ones from Pine Knot Farms in Virginia that seem to open later.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Daffodils are primed, cautiously holding back. Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) is waking.

Narcissus With Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Boughs

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Boughs

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

After unseasonably warm (but wet) weather in January, Sunday night lows plunged to 25F. I have seen a clump of yellow daffodils blooming in my neighborhood. None of mine have opened but there are a few buds.

Daphne odora came into full bloom this week and outdoors any excuse will do to walk by the deliciously scented shrubs. For today’s vase I gathered several large stems to feature.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

A few hellebores just starting to flower were selected also to contribute soft color and form.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Bits of fresh verdant foliage—arum, camellia, and columbine—were added for contrast and texture. The greens serve also to conceal the candleholder adapter filled with florist’s foam.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Boughs

Materials
Flowers
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Foliage
Arum italicum
Container
Glass Candelabra

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 On Monday.

January Awakenings

On January 4, 2020 little tight hellebore buds were tucked in close to the earth. I just checked on them yesterday and they seemed content to stay hidden.  Today they have awakened.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Yesterday the lemony scent of daphne odora drifted through the air and with today’s breezes the effect is more pronounced.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

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

January has been mild in temperature but wet, making the garden soggy. Carefully stepping into squishy soil yesterday morning I retrieved a small pine branch that had dropped into the border from the neighbor’s towering tree. The branch is the starting point for today’s vase.

To support the pine branch I reached into a treasure trove of florist pins donated to me by a friend and former coworker. She had inherited the collection from relatives and was kind to pass them on to me. There are various sizes and shapes, mostly metal pins, but a few made of glass.  The one I reached for is metal, an extra-heavy 3.5 by 4.5-inch rectangular one whose pins are sharp and nicely spaced. It gripped the branch easily in place.

Florist Pin 3.5 By 4.5 Inches

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

This arrangement is a bit like a sketch or prototype. I like it much more in person than in the photographs. With more time I would have trimmed and shaped the pine branch more and would returned to the garden for some taller materials to support the design. Perhaps too I would bind some of the needles in green wire. Possibilities are endless.

In A Vase On Monday – Pine And Flora

The hellebore bud used last week opened after a day inside. It is included in today’s vase along with one other, cut Sunday, that opened the same way.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

It is still possible to find a few camellias, so Yuletide is included again today. Daphne buds are reluctant to commit, but there are several stems with open flowers here and there.  I caught the fragrance as I cut the daphne and now am longing for it.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and Daphne

Materials
Flowers
Anthurium
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Foliage
Anthurium
Arum italicum
Pinus taeda (loblolly pine)
Container
Black square plastic dish

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 On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – January Blossoms

In A Vase On Monday – January Blossoms

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens. It is the first Monday of the new year. Providing continuity from the past year, 2020’s initial vase holds the familiar blossoms of Yuletide sasanqua camellia. It really is the only choice for flowers this week.

In A Vase On Monday – January Blossoms

But I included a preview of Vases Future. Hellebores seem a bit late this year despite relatively mild weather recently. Their buds are promising.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ With Hellebore Bud

The Daphne shrubs are full of buds and finally a tiny flower has emerged.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

The anthurium flower is from a house plant we were given a year ago. Originally the color was pink and perhaps it will be again one day. I have brought it into a different room where it will receive more light and where I will be reminded to water it occasionally.

In A Vase On Monday – January Blossoms

Materials
Flowers
Anthurium
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Daphne odora (Winter daphne)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Foliage
Anthurium
Arum italicum
Container
Blue/brown ceramic flat, round dish

Deep 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 On Monday.

2019 Garden Retrospective

Iris ‘Orinoco Flow’

The garden has not been tended properly for several years but it continues to nourish me.

Hellebores and daffodils bring the garden to life in January and February, leading the way toward iris time which generally marks the garden’s peak.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

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

This year irises bloomed April 5-May 4, or at least that when I photographed them.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) May 2, 2019

Iris hybrid  May 2, 2019

Peonies, zinnias and other flowers have their season too though helping to keep some interest going well into late fall, when camellias take over.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ and ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ May 1, 2019

Zinnias

Zinnias and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) August 12, 1019

For expediency I tried to skip from peonies to zinnias! I should have known better. Whenever I try to choose among flowers, “But what about the…?” becomes my next thought.

What about anemone, muscari, columbine, monarda, gardenia, hydrangea, lamb’s ear, the redbud, the dogwood, asclepias, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, or what about Virgie’s old-fashioned rose, the same one my mother and grandmother grew.

Rosa (Rose) -Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose  May 13, 2019

This year I put effort into growing dahlias; photographed butterflies in the garden and serendipitously stumbled upon a rare one for North Carolina; and created a variety of floral vase designs using foliage and flora gathered from just outside the back steps.

Dahlias

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ with Phlox September 12, 2019

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Florals

Most posts this year were weekly, scheduled for Mondays so I could join Cathy at Rambling In The Garden in sharing vases of cut flowers In A Vase On Monday. I rarely hesitate to sacrifice flowers from the garden. Bringing them indoors and working with them is a pleasure—a creative opportunity. See the 2019 Vases and those from prior years.

Heat Wave -June 3, 2019

Butterflies

Summarized in a mid-August post titled Summer In The Garden I documented a larger than usual variety of butterflies and other insects this year. They were not always easy to photograph, but they were fun to chase. iNaturalist is a valuable resource for help with identifying these garden visitors.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

On a one hundred degree day in early October, while waiting for a Monarch to settle and pose, I snapped a photo of a closer and more cooperative subject. It turned out to be a fortuitous sighting of a Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis), a rare visitor to this state. [If you missed it, you can read about my duskywing saga.]

With only two other previous sightings of Funereal Duskywing in North Carolina I was pleased to have my photos included on the Butterflies of North Carolina website with the annotation in the comments section that “The most significant NC record was of a male photographed by Susie Moffat in her garden in Chatham County in 2019; the duskywing was nectaring on lantana.”

Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis)

Looking Ahead

Goals for the coming year include visiting more gardens, growing more from seeds, reviving the meditation circle, perhaps weeding and definitely appreciating my garden a little more for what it brings to my life.

Importantly, through this humble garden blog I am able to stay in touch with gardeners and other friends near and far.  Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

 

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Bauble

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Bauble

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

As 2019 comes to a close I chose small bits and baubles foraged from the garden beds for the year’s final Monday vase. Motivated to create a small design so I could feature two fresh, tiny blooms of Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red,’ I selected two petite but heavy, bowl-shaped glass candleholders as containers. I attached floral pin frogs to the candlesticks using florist sticky clay to make it easier to hold the materials in place.

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’

Spiraea this December has buds and a few white flowers. The fern-like greenery is Tansy. Several of its leaves came with a bonus streak of purple along the vein to pick up the color of one of the vases.

Spiraea Flowers and Leaves

An unusual find is a dried carcass from a daylily fruit, the loculicidal capsule. The daylily seed pod’s walls dry out and once the seeds are ripe the walls split apart. The fruit dehisces longitudinally through the locules. This three-valved chamber continued to dry, forming a conversation starter and interesting accent for today’s vase. (I welcome your corrections to my description of this process.)

Daylily Capsule

Daylily Capsule

In late October I had discovered one still holding its seeds; I am not sure if this is the same one that found its way into today’s vase.

Daylily Seed Pod October 24, 2019

The last ingredient looks like pine needle, but actually is grass, an unidentified oddity, the second clump I’ve found growing in the garden. The leaves are quite stiff and long, over 18 inches. It’s rich green color appealed to me and I decided to use it in an abstract way, formed into bundles and cut to even heights to form vertical pillars. Unfortunately the sharp prongs of the floral pin frogs were not closely enough spaced to hold all the grass securely. Next time I might bind the bundle with twine to keep the needles from spilling away.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Bauble

The candleholders are 2 ½ inches in diameter. The contents in the clear one measure 6 inches tall; the purple, 7½ inches.

Materials
Flowers
Daylily seed capsule
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’ (Wallflower)
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Foliage
Stiff grass (unknown)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Container
Small glass candleholders (2) fitted with florist pins

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Bauble

My 2019 Monday vases are collected into one place to see the year at a glance or to step though a slide show. I was able to participate 43 times this year.

Deep 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 On Monday.

Happy, Happy New Year! Peace, calm and joy and may you grow!

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’

Foggy Morning Musings

It has been ages since the time when I wrote nearly daily blog entries here at pbmGarden. The goings-on in my garden are still going on, often are photographed and frequently, posts are conceived and begun, only to become abandoned for other priorities.

But the after-holidays have provided a bit of respite and this morning I had a chance to wander out into a mist of fog. First stop just out the front door our river birch beckoned. It was 47 degrees at 9:00 a.m. heading up to 67.

River Birch On Foggy Morning

By the front steps Winter daphne bides its time. Each year once I have detected daphne’s pink buds, I become anxious for the appearance of white blossoms and fragrant perfume.

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Near the front sidewalk an enterprising insect architect had been busy fashioning a pyramidal model.

Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’ (Carissa Holly)

Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’ (Carissa Holly)

Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’ (Carissa Holly)

Temperature and rainfall measurements have been all over the place since late October. There have been dark days, wet ones, cold, brisk and sunny ones and a few, balmy. Off and on during this day weak sun broke through for a short time and the sky tended toward blue before settling back into dull whitewashed gray.

I stepped across the street into the neighborhood’s park for a few more photos.

Foggy Morning

Foggy Morning

The trees were filled with birds but I could not make out what kind, nor could I grab an image. I watched them dance from branch to branch and listened to their songs and maybe that was enough.

Foggy Morning

Foggy Morning

Returning home I paused at the front garden to note Iberis (candytuft) planted 18 years ago still manages to if not thrive, survive; whereas, in the meditation circle and other spots in the back gardens it is very short-lived. It is an attractive ground cover even when not in flower. I do not know what is different about this one, not sure of its name. Others I have tried are Iberis sempervirens ‘Alexander’s White’  and ‘Purity.’

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Nestling up to the Iberis is visually delicate Aquilegia canadensis. This native columbine is tough despite its dainty look and remains green most of the winter. Leaves sometimes take on a charming purple-red hue.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Through the years columbine has helped itself to new locations all around the yard. Recently I have learned to call it a useful ground cover and feel much better about it.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Are you enjoying a lull in your normal routine? Hope the days bring whatever you need, bustle or calm.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Song

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Song

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

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Song

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Song

My garden has been a one-trick pony lately, offering up only camellias to fill Monday vases. Of course I am grateful to have them blooming this time of year. It was 27 degrees F. when I left the house early Sunday morning, yet Sunday afternoon I was able to pick a few fresh blooms of Yuletide and one Hana-Jiman.

Pink Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ and Red Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Nearby the camellias stand several gardenias that a former neighbor rooted for me many years ago. Yesterday I discovered two gardenia hips, orange fruits that only rarely appear on my gardenias.

Gardenia Hip

Gardenia Hip

Scouting for other materials I managed to find one tiny red Erysimum and a small Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ plant which I pulled up, including roots, from the soggy soil of the meditation circle.

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’

Foliage of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

To add seasonal interest I gathered greenery from a ‘Carolina Sapphire’ cypress in the back northwest corner of the garden.

‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress)

I decided to include spiraea after noticing a few white flowers on the mostly bare stems. The spiraea must be confused by the mixed messages the weather has been sending recently, with temperatures sometimes warm, sometimes as I mentioned earlier, 27 degrees. This week is due to be mild and in the 60s.

A rustic wooden box serves as the container this week. The arrangement looked fine just using the items I found in the garden, but I have lots of flowers on hand that I bought for a luncheon I hosted last Monday. Adding few pale green carnations and stems of hypericum berries helped fill out the design and lifted the color.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Song

Materials
Flowers
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Carnation (purchased)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’ (Wallflower)
Gardenia jasminoides hips
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Foliage
‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress)
Hypericum
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Container
Wooden crate lined with plastic container holding floral foam

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Song

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Song

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.