In A Vase On Monday – Cyclamen and Everlasting

In A Vase On Monday – Cyclamen and Everlasting

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

In A Vase On Monday – Cyclamen and Everlasting

To finish out 2017’s flowery Mondays, I relied on indoor pots of cyclamen. Even their blooms are sparse at the moment, but the plants hold many promising buds.  For a quick arrangement I harvested the only two flowers available, one pink, one red, and dropped them into a small clear bottle.

Cyclamen persicum (Persian cyclamen)

Cyclamen persicum (Persian cyclamen)

Filling out the vase this week are royal purple, dried everlastings from last year.

Limonium sinuatum (statice) and Cyclamen

Materials

Flowers
Limonium sinuatum (statice), dried
Cyclamen persicum (Persian cyclamen)

Container
Sauer’s Almond Extract bottle, 1 fl. oz.

In A Vase On Monday – Cyclamen and Everlasting

In keeping with the theme of everlasting, today I am remembering my beautiful mother, Vera, a smart, gentle woman who was born on Christmas Day and who died much too young. She taught me much about love and grace. The nicest compliment anyone ever paid me was to say I had my mother’s smile.

Vera (December 25, 1919-July 19, 1974. Graduation photo.

Sending holiday wishes to every one of you.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and encouraging 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.

Marking Winter Solstice

Japanese Maple at UNC Arboretum (Dec 3, 2017)

December Solstice (Winter Solstice) Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 11:28 am. This day is 4 hours, 51 minutes shorter than on June Solstice.

The winter solstice indicates the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere and brings the first day of winter.

Maple -UNC Arboretum Dec 3, 2017

Tomorrow night residents will gather just after dark at Meadow Park in my neighborhood for Cosmos & Cocoa, a sky-watching event planned by some tireless volunteers on our social committee. While we sip hot chocolate, experts from Morehead Planetarium at UNC will provide a laser guided sky tour with star charts. They will also bring several telescopes so we can view far off stars and planets.

Speaking of Morehead Planetarium: On December 21, 1968 three astronauts who trained at the Morehead Planetarium were launched into space on NASA’s first manned mission to the moon. These men, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, orbited the moon on Christmas Eve and showed us a new way to view the earth.

Happy Solstice!

The Earth and Moon, Dec. 24, 1968. Image Credit: NASA

Image Credit: NASA

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

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

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

With limited bloom options this week I again selected the Yuletide camellia. Despite very cold temperatures of late freshly opened buds were easy to find.

I was in search of something diminutive so I could use a new vase, a recent gift from my friend Chris.

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

Standing approximately 2 inches tall this runner vase is composed of three bottles decoratively wired together.

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

The blue glass adds to the charm of the vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

A holiday tea towel, several sprigs of rosemary and small candles lend a seasonal touch to this week’s vignette.

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

Materials
Flowers
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Foliage
Rosemary
Container
Runner vase, 2-inch high blue bottles

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

In A Vase On Monday – Yuletide Greetings

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and encouraging 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.

Ruby Slippers In The Garden

After featuring the red leaves of my dwarf oakleaf hydrangea in Monday’s vase I went back through some photos to evaluate how it looked earlier in the year.  The sequence of its development each year is remarkable, so I thought I would share its colorful stages.

This is Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’  (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea). It was planted in April 2013 near a large Arizona cypress at the back of the western border, where it could receive some protection from the hot summer sun. It developed rich red leaves that first year and had one or two blooms the following spring, but in 2015 I moved it forward where it could receive more sunlight. Then it really took off.

Just planted, April 2013. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

April 30, 2017

By late April the hydrangea show begins. This oakleaf blooms on last year’s growth, but unlike the Hydrangea macrophylla in the garden, flower production has never been affected by cold weather.

April 30, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

May 8, 2017

The inflorescence can be about 9 inches long.

May 8, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

May 15, 2017

The deciduous shrub is said to mature quickly at 3 1/2 ft. tall to 4 to 5 ft. wide. Mine has not spread that wide, or maybe it has. I should measure!

May 15, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

May 31, 2017

The flowers open as pure white but in a couple of weeks take on a pink tinge.

May 31, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

June 27, 2017

In another month the flowers have developed a richer red hue. (Ignore those pink garden phlox in the background–an unplanned combination so shocking I almost like it.)

June 27, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

July 1, 2017

July 1, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

July 1, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

September 22, 2017

Eventually the flowers fade and at least in my hot summer garden, turn brown—the least attractive stage. I have no pictures of the oakleaf during this period.

Then in about September the leaf color begins to transform the shrub.

September 22, 2017 Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

December 6, 2013

Brilliant red leaves developed even the first year.

December 6, 2013. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

December 21, 2016

Last winter I captured this frosty-rimmed scene.

December 21, 2016. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

November 25, 2017

And this year the color has warmed the garden with richness.

November 25, 2017. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ has been a successful addition to my garden. What’s your favorite shrub for extended seasonal color?

Almost Wordless Wednesday—Davie Poplar

Davie Poplar After Fire Damage

On November 2, 2017 a former student set fire to a UNC Chapel Hill campus landmark, the Davie Poplar in McCorkle Place. The 300-375 year old tulip poplar was named in honor of Revolutionary War general and university founder William Richardson Davie. The tree was burned at the base.

I am no longer on campus often but on December 3, a month after the fire, a friend and I saw the damage first hand.  We passed by Davie Poplar on way to Franklin Street for lunch before seeing the Playmaker production, Dot.

Scorched Davie Poplar After Fire

**Note: I read the damage is superficial and the tree is expected to be ok, but it will be more clear in Spring. Reports indicate the perpetrator is receiving help.

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

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

Friday it rained, snowed and sleeted Friday with no accumulation. Meanwhile through the window glass I was admiring the way Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ is living up to its name this year, the ruby part at least. Before snow resumed on Saturday afternoon, I ran out to collect a branch of red leaves to feature in today’s vase.

Next I checked and yes, looking unscathed by the wintry weather, Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’ and ‘Sugar Rush Primrose’ were going about their flowery business.  I highlighted these a couple weeks ago when they had just started blooming. This time I could detect a light fragrance.

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’

What made the red leaves so lovely outdoors was the glowing effect of light streaming though them. In the pictures, without the backlit setting, the leaves are less compelling, but in person they are rather winsome. Husker Red penstemon was added at the lip of the vase, continuing the red foliage theme.

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

The design needed more. More flowers. More height. Vertical interest. But the snow had returned and rather than going back into the garden, I made do by incorporating some saved pieces of mossy, lichen-covered wood.

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

These helped a bit, but I lost interest in working on this vase any further. I took it as far as I could.

In A Vase On Monday – Ruby Slippers

Today’s container is a ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders, with openings near the base to allow water to flow into the tubes easily.

Materials

Flowers
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Primrose’ (Wallflower)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’ (Wallflower)

Foliage
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Container
Ceramic ikebana vase has 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders

Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Primrose’

One more thing: A thoughtful garden club friend, Debbie, recently surprised me with a gift. She is downsizing as she prepares to move to another home and so passed along her Ateco 612 12″ revolving cake stand to use with my flower arranging. The stand is five inches high with a cast iron base and aluminum top. I have seen florists use a similar stand to assist when designing, rotating the arrangement frequently to check all sides. Today I used the stand while photographing my flowers and found it very helpful. Thanks Debbie!

Ateco 612 Revolving Stand

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.