Category Archives: garden

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

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

For today’s vase I chose a Raku pot purchased at our local Apple Chill street fair one autumn long ago, when five dollars was a significant investment.

Reliable and trouble-free, Angelonia ‘Purple’ caught my eye as I looked around the garden yesterday for flowers to feature. Also I included Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ because it is finally beginning to flower a bit more, though it remains rather lackluster. The three ‘Fireworks’ plants are the only dahlias in my garden this summer (my friend Libby’s mom’s red dahlia did not make it through our harsh winter).

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Zinnia Cut and Come Again continue to color the garden with fresh and long-lasting flowers, drawing hummingbirds, butterflies and other various insects. There is sign of powdery mildew on some of the leaves but the flowers power on. I used most of the zinnias I cut yesterday in a secondary arrangement, but several of the deep orange ones found their way into Monday’s vase, nestling among the purples of Angelonia and one stem of instensely blue-violet salvia.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Two clusters of bright yellow Tansy flowers add a final touch.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Many of my designs are viewed only from the front, but this one is meant to be seen from all directions.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

The asymmetry of this view looks more formal, yet gives a touch of personality.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Some of the stems in today’s bouquet, especially part of the Angelonia and the dahlias, were not as long as I would have liked.  Concerned they may end of out of water at some point during the week, I decided after the photo shoot to trim all the stems evenly and place them into a different container.  Looking freer in this casual soup mug, the flowers will provide a cheery presence this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ‘Purple’
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Containers
Lime green soup mug
Raku ware, unknown artist, circa 1978.

It is fun to share vases with others across the world. Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting each week. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Orange And White

In A Vase On Monday – Orange And White

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

Zinnia Cut and Come Again are reliable for a profusion of summer blooms. Jason mentioned his were mainly white and orange and coincidentally those are the two colors I had selected for today’s vase. I seem to have a balanced mixture of colors this year, but the white is rare among the reds, pinks and yellows.

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila

There are more oranges this year in the mix.

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ is beginning to bloom in a dark corner behind other plants so I decided to bring a stem indoors.

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

For natural accents I reused a piece of bark from a previous arrangement, along with a seed pod from Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) from a few weeks ago. The pod has transformed and burst open.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

A bunch of zinnias make a great summer bouquet, but even in small number they have great presence.

In A Vase On Monday – Orange And White

Materials
Flowers
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Other
Bark: Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
Pod: Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

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.

Blooms And Insects At Month’s End

This month Zinnias have been reblooming quickly after each cutting. I trimmed all that were open on Saturday and by Tuesday the next bouquet was proudly waiting to be picked.

Summertime – Zinnias and Cleome

Running into the garden between rain storms to gather more colorful flowers, I quickly became distracted by the birds and insects enjoying the garden on this last day of July.

Some visitors, especially birds such as Hummingbirds and American Goldfinches are difficult for me to photograph (hummingbirds too fast and goldfinches too shy). Swallowtails have refused to pose this summer. But now that I have learned to identify Silver-spotted Skippers it is fun to encounter them frequently around the zinnias.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

I think these are Fiery Skippers. They are quite numerous and happy to feast on the zinnias.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus), male

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus), female

An Ocola Skipper, the long-winged skipper, found the zinnias also.

Ocola Skipper(Panoquina ocola)

I liked this picture with all three of the skippers. Everyone is gathered ’round.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) at left and Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), upper right. Front right, Ocola Skipper(Panoquina ocola).

Skippers also were drawn to Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower).

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus), male

The rudbeckia is apparently also a satisfactory nectaring station for this Ocola Skipper.

Ocola Skipper(Panoquina ocola)

It took me a while to identify this wasp, but isn’t it amazing to have resources available. Searching the web I finally found a match and decided this is Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta). I posted a couple of the images this evening on iNaturalist and within 12 minutes someone had confirmed my identification.

Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta)

It is a striking black and white insect. Wings are iridescent blue-black. I read it is beneficial in the garden.

Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta)

Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta)

Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta)

Recent storms have battered down a few plants, but cleome in the meditation circle has easily managed to stand tall.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ blooms sporadically and sparsely now. It likes the rain so perhaps will be encouraged to flower more generously. Hummingbirds visit it regularly.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

What will August bring?  I hope the zinnias continue to thrive.

Two Ocola Skipper(Panoquina ocola) with Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila

I leave you with one more creature from the garden. I saw this dragonfly mid-afternoon, July 26, 2018. Its body appeared golden metallic. Amazingly beautiful.

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)

Just got confirmation tonight on iNaturalist that the dragonfly is Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera).

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)

This post took so long to write the month changed. Happy August.

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

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

Before thinking consciously of today’s vase in terms of complementary yellow and purple, I had in mind tall stems of fading sunny Rudbeckia, the green cone-heads featured prominently, and backed by a large purply patterned Canna leaf. I also wanted to use pieces of bark saved from a Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle), especially this lichen-covered section.

Lichen and Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) Bark

Using two floral pins or frogs I began by inserting the bark.  Next the rudbeckia and canna went in as planned.

Before long I had rescued a stem of Tansy from last week’s vase for more yellow and more texture.

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

More purples slipped in—Angelonia and Euphorbia ‘Blackbird.’ Much of the bark which was expected to provide a strong impact receded in favor of the angelonia.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ has disappointed this year, giving only one or two blooms at a time, but the flowers called out when I was cutting materials and found their way into the design.

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ‘Purple
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Foliage
Canna
Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) Bark with Lichen
Container
Oasis Lomey 11″ Designer Dish, black, round
Two Three-inch floral pins (frog)
Black Stones

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

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.

Thursday Morning Garden Views

From the breakfast table I spotted swallowtails flitting about in the garden, but by the time I had retrieved my camera and stepped outside the butterflies had disappeared.

I snapped a few views to share of the early morning garden, mostly of Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila). Each flower, each plant reflected relief at yesterday’s rain.

Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Looking toward the meditation circle…

Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Additions I made in early May to a little corner bed behind the zinnias have been rewarding this summer. Dianthus Ideal Select Mix, Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) all have been attractive.  I had expected great things from 3 Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ but they are small and not showy.

Artemisia, Euphorbia, Dianthus

Cleome and Verbena bonariensis add nice vertical accents to this same corner bed.

Verbena bonariensis, Dianthus, Cleome

A few days ago my husband and I sat on our front porch enjoying a summertime pleasure, chocolate ice cream. We amused ourselves watching a languid Blue dasher that had settled along the table’s edge.

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

The coloration is marvelous on this creature.

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Meditation Circle

The garden is in a fairly natural state this summer which seems to suit the pollinators just fine. Angelonia (Summer Snapdragon) creates a colorful swath along paths in the meditation circle.

Angelonia In Meditation Circle

Angelonia in blue, white, purple and bi-color bring vibrancy to the circle as well.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’ and Angelonia Purple

Angelonia Blue and Angelonia White

Angelonia Purple

Angelonia In Meditation Circle

The paths themselves are overgrown with self-seeding Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) which I cannot bring myself to pull out. Even though the labyrinth is unwalkable in this condition the overall contribution of the cleome creates an effect in the garden that is magical.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Thymes planted along the paths are in bloom underneath the cleome.

Cleome Soaring Above Various Thymes

Cleome Soaring Above Various Thymes

A few more glimpses into the cleome garden…

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) In Meditation Circle

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) In Meditation Circle

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) In Meditation Circle

Back to the pollinators, these happened not to have been found on the aforementioned plants but quite nearby. Here is Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The garden was full of these skippers yesterday. This one is enjoying Echinacea.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) Nectaring On Echinacea

Hope your gardens are teeming with blooms, activity and life.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. Thunder and lightning was exciting briefly late Saturday night, but the activity brought very little rain.

Zinnias began flowering ten days ago, cheering up the garden with colorful old-fashioned loveliness.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

By early June when daffodil foliage had finally died back so I could reclaim some space, I was losing interest in gardening because it was so extremely hot. But I found an old packet of Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), packaged for 2017 by Botanical Interests, and sprinkled out the seeds. Simple, colorful, heat-loving and reliable—what could be easier?

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

In-between the time of planting seeds and harvesting the flowers, I celebrated a birthday with lots of family. The container today is one of a pair of mugs I received during a big family get-together that unexpectedly turned into a bit of a birthday fest for me. The cups were crafted by my niece’s mother-in-law, featuring beautiful form and blue glaze. The blue batik table runner was made by my sister using special Japanese fabric.

Mugs and Table Runner

Light in the dining room was fading so for staging pictures I draped the table runner over a chair in the foyer. I decided to include another gift. This spring I began teaching yoga and meditation regularly so this Tibetan meditation chime from another sister was particularly thoughtful.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

Well back to this Monday’s design, a single stem of fern-like foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) inserted into the mug created support structure that worked well to hold the zinnias in place. As well, there is a cluster of Tansy flowers just beginning to open.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

The flowers look sparser from the back but I love the color of this largest zinnia.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

Materials
Flowers
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), Botanical Interests. Heirloom. (packed for 2017)
Foliage
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Vase
Stoneware mug. Mary Murray, Mountain Forest Pottery, Brevard, NC.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

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.