In A Vase On Monday – Fluff and Majesty

In A Vase On Monday – Fluff And Majesty

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

Today’s vase title comes from a flower description I happened upon by the late garden writer Henry Mitchell.

The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty, the peony is now coming into bloom.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ opened last week and it easily lives up to that characterization. I knew it would find a place of honor in this week’s design.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Another majestic flower, regal and dramatic, is a black-bud-opening-to-dark-purple ruffled iris, a wonderful pass-along from a former neighbor.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) and Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Less dramatic than the darker iris, the yellow iris is also a pass-along, circa 1976, and was brought from my former garden to this one in 2001. The older irises in my collection are more demure and understated.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ which grows along the Southern side path is having an exceptional year.

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Its smoky lavender hue is echoed in the speckled portion of the iris falls, just under the beard.

In A Vase On Monday – Fluff And Majesty

Drifts of Verbena bonariensis are starting to accent the borders. In the vase today it adds height and reinforces the color theme.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

The arrangement was designed with the peony facing the front. I like the subtle change to the arrangement brought by rotating the vase slightly so the peony is viewed more to the side.

In A Vase On Monday – Fluff And Majesty

Materials

Flowers
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Vase
Porcelain triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

A peek from above…

A View From Above

and a couple more views for my records.

In A Vase On Monday – Fluff And Majesty

In A Vase On Monday – Fluff And Majesty

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 – Felicity

In A Vase On Monday – Felicity

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

Snapdragons planted in the meditation circle last fall overwintered well and began their colorful spring performance this past week.

Snapdragons in Meditation Circle

 

Snapdragons in Meditation Circle

The flowers are shockingly beautiful this year—blooms of exuberant red, brandishing throats brushed with sunset.

Snapdragons in Meditation Circle

In A Vase On Monday – Felicity

Unopened buds are deep rose.

Snapdragons in Meditation Circle

Two dozen voluptuous stems dropped into a container required little work to arrange.

In A Vase On Monday – Felicity

The true effort came in trying to photograph the red essence of these flowers. Nearly impossible. I ported these flowers upstairs and down, on to front and back porches and I took pictures with them resting on almost every horizontal surface available.

The container is from my collection of five red and black raku pots by North Carolina potter, Charles Chrisco. Chrisco’s literature states that the name of the Japanese art form raku translates to “felicity” or great happiness.

 

In A Vase On Monday – Felicity

Materials

Flowers
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Vase
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

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 Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2017

Today is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. It’s been too busy around my house the past few months to blog regularly as my husband recovers from surgeries. (He is doing well and continues to get physical therapy to help him regain strength.)

But today I planned to join Christina in looking at the part foliage plays around the garden and as there still are a few hours before the day ends, here goes. I refuse to show a photo of the Italian cypress, one of three planted last fall, mown down in its youth by voles. [I discovered it simply leaning over the other day. How I wish there were an easy and practical solution for controlling those creatures]. So, here is more interesting foliage that caught my eye this week.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) is looking great in the meditation circle.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’  (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea) took several years to get established but is looking strong this spring.

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

The soft silvery mound formed by Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ foliage is appealing in springtime.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ at the southern side path entrance has tripled itself. Although it looks fine here alongside this Asclepias, it will soon tower 6 feet.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

This little beauty is Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire). It was planted last fall (along with the fateful cypress vole fodder.) I have admired this shrub on other blogs and am looking forward to having it in my garden.

Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)

Shasta daisies have helped themselves to an entire border. I push back occasionally and pass along plants to friends, but the foliage is evergreen and in summer the flowers will be welcome, so for the most part I just enjoy them.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for a look around her remarkable Italian garden and find links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

In A Vase On Monday – Ranunculus

In A Vase On Monday – Ranunculus

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

My sisters from out-of-town and a local friend joined us for a simple Easter Sunday meal yesterday. It was a beautiful spring day. In late evening I stepped out into the garden and cut the most perfect flowers. I had been eyeing them all week.

From a bag of 100 assorted Ranunculus, planted in March 2016, just four plants developed. Having never grown them before I expected a better return, but oh, how lovely are the flowers of the four which persisted.

Ranunculus

In A Vase On Monday – Ranunculus

Placed into a small green ceramic vase with Iberis and Narcissus, the ranunculus are richly delightful—my new favorite flower.

In A Vase On Monday – Ranunculus

In A Vase On Monday – Ranunculus

Materials

Flowers
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Narcissus
Ranunculus
Green ceramic vase

I read these can be planted in fall in my planting zone so I will try again to grow them.

In A Vase On Monday – Ranunculus

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 – Columbine And Blush

In A Vase On Monday – Columbine And Blush

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

We are in the midst of a perfect spring in North Carolina. Skies are bluest blue, air is crisp at dawn, sunlight is warm and nourishing. Across the region petal-like bracts of dogwoods unfold above colorful azaleas, native columbine flowers nod atop every breeze and in my garden, irises are beginning to bloom.

Iris season epitomizes the best of spring in my little garden space. And so it is that mature hellebores, native columbine and early-blooming tall bearded irises take the stage this week for today’s Monday vase.

Several types of purple irises are flowering but Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’ is the one I selected to use. Since purchasing Raspberry Blush several years ago I have often though the iris may be mislabeled. It seems more salmony orange than raspberry.

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

But outdoors in certain light the flower has more reddish tones and I can almost see raspberry.

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Growing nearby the confusingly named iris is a strong stand of Aquilegia canadensis or Eastern red columbine. Its color seems particularly muted this year. The pale hue sparked my imagination to pair it with the iris.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Having never used columbine indoors, prior to cutting any I looked it up and read it can last quite well. Because this wildflower has self-seeded and spread itself into many parts of the garden, it was easy to collect a large batch. In such a large bunch the columbine quickly became tangled and it was tricky to tame.

In A Vase On Monday – Columbine And Blush

Removing the foliage made it look tidier, but was too time-consuming. I settled on using only a few stems. When inserted into a florist’s frog the columbine created the outline of the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Columbine And Blush

Next came the placement of the irises.

Columbine and Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Hellebores tucked around the base of the arrangement help to conceal the mechanics.

Hellebores

The final arrangement is loose and fresh, much more interesting in person than as captured in photographs. The pictures have forced me to analyze quite a lot. If I were making it over I would lower most of the columbine and allow the irises to soar above. Or I would add several focal flowers in contrasting colors to make the design more dynamic.

In A Vase On Monday – Columbine And Blush

Materials

Flowers
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Container and Mechanics
Blue and periwinkle ceramic bowl
Small black plastic Solo bowl – vase insert
3-inch florist’s frog (floral pin holder)
Black stones

The container was purchased from a potter at the local Eno River Festival probably a dozen years ago.

Container, Interior

Container, Exterior

Container with florist’s frog in place.

Last week several people asked about how long a clematis would last in a vase. The ‘Jackmanii’ I used lasted only 2 days, but it brought pleasure each time I passed by the vase.

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 winter gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.