Category Archives: garden

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrant Pair

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrant Pair

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

Recently I identified a peony that has been perplexing me. When it bloomed for the first time several years ago I expected to see the dark red flower of Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony). A rich pink double bloom, lovely in its own right, greeted me instead.

The plant, I believe, turned out to be Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene,’ hybridized by Dessert-Doriat in 1927. I cut this and several other peonies in bud and have been storing them in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Today this one appeared eager to make its way out of cold storage and into the world.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

The peony is paired with a branch of gardenia, laden with promising buds.

 

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrant Pair

Materials

Paeonia x ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Gardenia jasminoides

Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

Citizen Science

A few days ago I spotted a damselfly perching on a foxglove leaf, then it took off and came to rest on a nearby rose bush.

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)

I did not recognize it but by typing in a few keywords “damselfly black wings aqua blue,” Google soon revealed this visitor to be Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata). I used this information to create my first observation in iNaturalist, a “site and community for reporting personal observations of any plant or animal species in the world.” Pretty cool?

Under a crowdsourcing model, community members help identify or confirm the identification provided. There are many scientific research projects that rely on this data, so the data is assessed for quality by the community.

Because iNaturalist is primarily about observing wild organisms, when entering an observation the observer is asked to indicate whether the observed organism was captive/cultivated or wild/naturalized. Since this damselfly was seen in my garden setting, initially I chose captive/cultivated. With this designation the observation is marked as a “casual” observation.  Scientists are not as interested in casual observations.

But after rereading the help topic I edited the observation and marked it wild/naturalized. The distinction is that while the rose was where the gardener intended it to be, this lovely Ebony Jewelwing was where it wanted to be.

Within a very short time after making this edit my damselfly observation was not only confirmed and assigned Research Grade status, it was also picked up and added to a project that is studying the location of migration routes of dragonflies. Exciting!

It will take some time to learn all about iNaturalist, but I hope to take advantage of it as a learning resource and eventually contribute more observations and help with identifications.  How about you?

 

 

 

 

In A Vase On Monday – Oakleaf And Verbena

In A Vase On Monday – Oakleaf And Verbena

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

As the garden transitions toward summer Verbena bonariensis orchestrates the views, diverting the gaze away from peonies past their prime, directing attention to newly unfolding scenes in the borders.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

In today’s vase the verbena appears to leap above everything else, demanding attention. The intended focus of today’s arrangement, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers,’ needs more time to develop before it can fully command the vase.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Husker Red penstemon is in the early stages of bloom in many spots around the garden.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Pink achillea, gaura and a sprig of lavender foliage fill out the design.

Materials

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Vase
Hand painted Fenton Glass Vase – USA

In A Vase On Monday – Oakleaf And Verbena

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Pink

In A Vase on Monday – Peony Pink

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

Today’s vase features a flower advertised by the nursery as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony). As it lacks the deep rich color burgundy color of the promise, I usually just refer to it as a pink peony.

Lovely in its own right, it stands alone in a crystal bud vase received as a wedding gift (40 years ago this June).

The flower has a slight tinge of brown on one edge, a testament to having survived stormy winds, rains and plunging temperatures the past week.

In A Vase on Monday – Peony Pink

In A Vase on Monday – Peony Pink

Materials
Paeonia (Peony)
Crystal bud vase

In A Vase on Monday – Peony Pink

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

Morningtide On First Of May

Morning Garden

The nicest time in my garden can be the early hours between 6 and 8 a.m., when the sun is peeking around, seeking entry past rooftops and fence posts.

Sunlight touching Southern Border

Yesterday, heading down the back steps with a cup of coffee in hand I intend to sit on the black Lutyens bench in front of the meditation circle for a few moments of reflection.

Before I even sit something catches my gaze and of course, I must look.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ and Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Satisfied, I continue toward the meditation circle and take a seat. Birds calling and chimes singing are the sounds I notice and sometimes for an instant, there is complete silence.

Antirrhinum majus ‘Montego Violet’ (Snapdragon) and Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Pretty soon though I spot a mocking weed that must be plucked right away. There, that takes care of that impetuous intruder! Oops, another one.

Ah, too many weeds to worry about just now, so I relax and take another sip of coffee. But soon I am up wandering around with the camera, exploring each new bloom that has appeared since the previous day.

Dianthus b. ‘Barbarini Mix’ (Dwarf Sweet William)

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) and Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose)

Now the coffee cup is abandoned. Like the honeybees pausing for nectar at each opportunity, I float round the borders, inhaling rose and peony and iris, and retracing my steps.

Virgie’s Rose – a passalong

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

Tall Bearded Iris

Crossing Paths

I carefully tread lightly into the back of the northern border for a closer inspection, then swing the camera back out across the garden.

Morning Garden

Morning Garden

Morning Garden

Delighting at form, color and wet grass underfoot I recognize the transience of this peaceful moment, and can hardly bear it.