Category Archives: garden

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

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

Against a backdrop of curving fronds from a potted fern, a ruby-red, passalong Dahlia (from Libby) stars in this mid-September offering.

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

The dahlia’s deep rich color is intense, its strong geometric form is perfection.

Whorls of Dahlia

Zinnias in bold hues of orange, yellow and even pink create a secondary layer of interest in the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

The container is a stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue by well-known local potter Jim Pringle.

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

Materials

Flowers
Dahlia. Passalong, possibly ‘Wisconsin Red’
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Foliage
Dracaena deremensis warneckii ‘Lemon Lime’
Fern leaves

Vase
Stoneware pitcher. Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977

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 – Late Summer Color Burst

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

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

The zinnias are again the highlight of the garden this week, so I went out to gather a colorful bunch.  The foliage is looking spotted after August’s heat and dry spells, but there is no powdery mildew as would normally be seen by now.


But a surprise awaited—Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ was blooming, slightly past its prime, blooming nonetheless. I thought it would be nice to include it in today’s vase.


A second surprise was seeing the Clematis ‘Niobe’ is finally back in bloom. This red clematis is supposed to bloom throughout the summer, but mine sulks, its foliage scorches to a deep brown. September’s cooler nights and shorter days has awakened Niobe and I was able to collect several flowers and buds and was able to weave the fresh foliage up and through the display.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

The native beautyberry is growing too tall, spreading too wide and its offspring are sprouting up in inappropriate locations. It is full of magenta-purple berries and I grabbed a couple of stems for today’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

Rather begrudgingly I selected a flower from another native, Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) that has overtaken the north border.  This passalong is something I have enjoyed for decades, but in the last couple years it has become nuisance-grade.Natives are not always well-behaved. I found a spot for it on the right-hand side of the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

The final selection for this week’s vase is another passalong Purple Heart, from a friend and former colleague Kathryn. The dark purple foliage provided just the right color accent and its form added a quirky, off-kilter spark the design needed.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

I regret not taking a photograph to share of the container (a birthday gift from my sister earlier in summer), but it is visible in the images above and below. The underpainted glazed ceramic dish features a floral decoration on the interior.

Flowers adorn the glazed platter’s interior.

Materials

Flowers
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)
Clematis ‘Niobe’
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (Purple Heart)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Container
Glazed platter with floral decoration

Mechanics
Small black plastic Solo bowl – vase insert
Assorsted 2 and 3-inch florist’s frogs (floral pin holders)
Black stones

The white iris was supposed to be the focal point of today’s vase. I designed this arrangement from the left side, imagining it would not fill the dish completely. So from this angle the iris is most visible.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

I had not planned to use many zinnias, only one large orange cactus zinnia, but the design evolved as I added more and more, moving further toward the other end of the platter. Flowers were inserted into two florist’s frogs so I had some flexibility to negotiate their positions within the dish and as the arrangement grew I was able to just add a third frog.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

I love the way the garden rallied this week with a colorful burst of energy.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

As always a big 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.

Garden Fauna

The garden hosts an array of creatures, some seemingly primitive, some rather magical. Which is which? The beholder gets to choose.

First up, this well-camouflaged mantis was actually upside down when we met.

Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina). September 4, 2017

When I checked on him a few minutes later he had climbed up and was walking along the top back of a bench on the front porch.

Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)

Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)

Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)

Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)

This 40-second video gives you some idea of how the mantis stealthily moved along, wary that I was watching him.

Each year I stumble across one of these spiders and am eternally grateful I did not stumble into the web. This yellow garden spider (also known as writing spider) was camped out in the center of the meditation circle on August 9, 2017. A few days later she was gone.

Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden Spider). August 9, 2017

Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden Spider). August 9, 2017

Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden Spider). August 9, 2017

The garden has hosted lots of bees this summer and they have been drawn to this plant all summer, Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky.’

A pair of bees enjoy Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’. August 9, 2017

Bees are also partial to Echinacea (Purple Coneflower).

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower). July 1, 2017

Not that I can identify them but my home state of North Carolina has more than 500 native bee species. Turn up the sound for this video of bees and coneflower and you also will hear a few of the garden’s birds in the background.

I included a 3-second video of this bee mainly to share the white swan coneflower, which really has been beautiful this season.

At the southern entrance to the garden a towering Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) hosts a multitude of insects including this unknown Lepidoptera.

You may remember this guy from a few days ago. I misidentified it as Eastern Cicada Killer but it is Milesia virginiensis (Virginia Flower Fly). Just wanted to set the record straight.

Milesia virginiensis (Virginia Flower Fly).  September 2, 2017

Time to wrap this up. I will close with a tattered butterfly nectaring on zinnias. The zinnia foliage has become rather tattered and scarred, although fresh flowers continue to form. I think this is a female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus).

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Summer Essence

Tomatoes – the taste of summer

While some fellow garden bloggers report turning over portions of their vegetable beds for cutting gardens, this year I have given up a little space normally used for flowers and dedicated it to tomatoes. I lost track of which plant is which, but I grew one each of:

Husky Cherry Red Tomato -Bonnie, indeterminate
Homestead Heirloom Tomato -determinate
Grape (Tami G) Tomato – indeterminate, 5 to 9 feet tall

Tomatoes

The last few times I grew tomatoes I joked they were the most expensive ones I had ever eaten, but these have been tasty and productive. Yum!

There also is a volunteer tomato plant in the meditation circle that is keeping up with its cohorts in every way.

Tomatoes

In A Vase On Monday – Persimmon Afloat

Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

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

A shaggy persimmon-hued zinnia appears to float in a dark shallow pool.

Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Perspective shifts and the flower floats above the container’s edge, following sinuous lines and graceful curves.

Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Materials

Flowers
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Mechanics
Shallow, charcoal gray, footed dish
Florist’s frog

What color would you use to describe this flower? First I chose saffron which I think of as reddish orange, but wikipedia describes it as golden yellow. Tangerine came to mind, but that is not red enough. Maybe red-orange is what I needed, but I found myself settling on persimmon.

Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Sensory impressions are fascinating. My daughter recently posted a picture on a social media site of a beetle. Admiring its “iridescent green” she gave it a parenthetical comment,
“(incidentally a color very close to the letter P)” and tagged the entry #synesthesia, to which someone commented,
“We’ve had this discussion before- it’s clearly a number 9#synesthesia.”
That exchange made me smile and wonder about the world in color.

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