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.

In A Vase On Monday – Red And Green

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

Happy to find a few camellias to share, I’m off to prepare for a luncheon I’m hosting for long-time yoga friends. These women have been a strong source of inspiration and laughter for many years, and this year especially, a well of support.

Materials
Flowers
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Foliage
Container
Ikebana

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Camellialabra

In A Vase On Monday – Camellialabra

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 – Camellialabra

Grateful to find a few camellias Sunday afternoon I searched through vases for inspiration and found it in the form of a tall glass candlestick. Using a special floral foam adapter that inserts into the candleholder I began arranging a few bits of foliage:  shiny, deep green camellia leaves and fresh light green hellebore leaves. Scavenging from last week’s Monday vase I rescued and reused stems of gaura.

Next I positioned the recently gathered flowers. Most were red Yuletide camellias. There were a couple of pink and cream Hana-Jiman. Twice as many camellias would have been nice but when all were used I was satisfied. The morning, after all, had been below freezing.

Then I glanced over at the Thanksgiving arrangement sitting nearby, made from purchased bouquets.

T

After nearly two weeks those flowers were still amazingly fresh. From among them I chose a white with pink-accented Alstroemeria to fill out today’s design.

In A Vase On Monday – Camellialabra

In A Vase On Monday – Camellialabra

Materials
Flowers
Alstroemeria
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Chrysanthemum
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Foliage
Helleborus
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lavender
Container

Glass candlestick with floral foam base adapter (4.5 inches diameter)

In A Vase On Monday – Camellialabra

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.

In A Vase On Monday – December’s ‘Passionate Blush’

In A Vase On Monday – December’s ‘Passionate Blush’

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

December has arrived with the garden in a soggy state. Camellias are beleagured from successive bouts of cold and rain. Snapdragons and violas that were planted to add color to bleak November (and December) refuse to bloom. For Thanksgiving I had purchased a couple of mixed bouquets and created a table arrangement which I considered calling into duty for today’s vase, but I decided to explore the garden first.

So for inspiration this week I returned to ‘Ruby Slippers,’ the oakleaf hydrangea featured several weeks ago. Its deep red leaves are cheerful and welcome this time of year. Everything else seemed woefully unusable until several plants of Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ offered up possibilities—flexible and energetic stems of burgundy with a few flowers and a few leaves. I do not remember noticing gaura at this time of year before, but this day the stems danced in my hand, begging to star this Monday.

Using an Ikebana vase I inserted the hydrangea foliage low in front, then added several multi-branched stems of gaura. The gaura flowed gracefully. It was limber enough I could wrap and twist pieces into shapes of circles and ovals. I liked the rhythmical effect and felt it was done, but could not resist adding a lime green chrysanthemum plucked from the Thanksgiving bouquet.

In A Vase On Monday – December’s ‘Passionate Blush’

Chrysanthemum, , Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ and Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’

In a second Ikebana vase I clustered a bunch of gaura stems to the right side in back, placed the remaining red hydrangea leaves low to left and center, pleased with the breezy looseness.  This time I wondered how some red alstroemeria from the Thanksgiving vase might look against the red stems and leaves. Fine, yes that will do.

In A Vase On Monday – December’s ‘Passionate Blush’

In A Vase On Monday – December’s ‘Passionate Blush’

Alstroemeria, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ and Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’

Materials
Flowers
Alstroemeria
Chrysanthemum
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Foliage
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Wave. Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Alstroemeria, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ and Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Late November Selections

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

The garden’s seasonal transition away from floral abundance left me unenthusiastically inspecting stems and sticks yesterday. Finding a bright leaf here and there lit my spirit, small clusters of berries brought a smile.

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

When from among my large planting of passalong chrysanthemums left raggedy from cold and rain, I was able to glean several fresh blooms, I felt encouragement enough to assemble a vase and then another.

In A Vase On Monday – Late November Selections

In A Vase On Monday – Late November Selections

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Materials
Flowers
Button Chrysanthemum
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)
Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
Itea virginica ‘Sprich’ LITTLE HENRY (Virginia sweetspire)
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave, Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Late November Selections

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Leaves and Camellias

In A Vase On Monday – Leaves and Camellias

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens. Camellia sasanquas had enjoyed several weeks of pleasant weather but temperature dips into the twenties now have left the shrubs covered in faded blooms. Plenty of buds remain. They seem in no hurry to open but I managed to find a few flowers in good condition.

In A Vase On Monday – Leaves and Camellias

In A Vase On Monday – Leaves and Camellias

The light was so poor at 5 p.m. Sunday evening I photographed outside against the front door. I like seeing the flowers against the blue background.

In A Vase On Monday – Leaves and Camellias

The inspiration for today’s vase was actually Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ which is taking on a nice red hue. Sprigs of silvery-green lavender and surprisingly fresh leaves of native columbine contrast with the deep green, glossy camellia leaves.

In A Vase On Monday – Leaves and Camellias

Materials
Flowers
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Foliage
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lavender (Lavandula)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Leaves and Camellias

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.