Tag Archives: achillea

In A Vase On Monday—Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum and Yarrow

In A Vase On Monday-Arum and Yarrow

Today I am joining Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday that encourages garden bloggers to create fresh arrangements each Monday using materials found in our gardens.

November has been really cold here, but warmer temperatures on Sunday afternoon made foraging for vase materials a pleasant experience.

Despite the fact most of the garden has succumbed to recent freezes a single pink yarrow, a few sasanqua flowers and tiny violas were waiting to be chosen.

 

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

 

 

 

 

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

When first brought indoors the collection looked like a motley crew of mixed sizes and limited possibilities, but the interesting part of preparing a vase each week is seeing the personality of the blossoms and leaves emerge.

This week, Arum leaves provided a bold starting point and the other items seemed to fit seamlessly after that.

 

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

Arum italicum

Arum italicum

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Arum italicum and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

In A Vase On Monday-Arum Magic

 

I like the effect of pairing chartreuse sedum with the blue violas. The yarrow vase is my favorite individual arrangement, but it was fun moving the three vases around and experimenting with how they related to each other.

Materials

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Viola
Sedum
Arum italicum

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Perhaps you will be inspired to share your own vase.

Passing Along Plants, Recipes And Memories

After a few weeks hiatus my thoughts are returning to the garden, although the bitter cold of January still makes it nicer to be indoors than out for at least a few more days. And in the meantime?

Recipes and Memories

Recipes and Memories

I have always enjoyed cooking and began collecting recipes at about the age of ten. Keeping up with my favorite recipes has always been a challenge. No sooner do I have them organized than the kitchen drawer begins overflowing afresh with newspaper or magazine clippings and hand-jotted instructions from friends for various tasty delights. This must sound familiar?

As the new year began I picked up a project again that I had set aside many times before.  Two of my sisters have birthdays in January and this is the year I finally persisted to create a book for them of some special recipes and recollections about food and mealtimes we shared growing up together.

I had already typed up the recipes and written most of the chapter introductions.  Even so, it took about ten days to organize them, get the layout ready to get printed and proof; seven days later I had the books in hand. Three days later I was able to present the books, part recipes and part memoir, to my sisters and my daughter.  They all seem pleased. I told my sisters if they remembered things differently, they must write their own memoirs.

To illustrate the book I used photographs from the garden, featuring many pass-along plants from our relatives to complement the passed-down family recipes. Hydrangea, everlasting sweet pea, day lily, iris, woodland phlox and views of the meditation garden are some of the pictures included.

For appetizers and salads I used an image of peach-colored Appleblossom Achillea.

Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow) and Shasta daisy foliage

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) and Shasta daisy foliage

For desserts I chose the luscious, creamy and fragrant gardenia.

Gardenia Blossoms

Gardenia Blossoms

It was time-consuming, but so satisfying to create this book. Recipes are piling up again though.

After this winter diversion now I am almost ready to get back out into the garden.  Where are those warm days?

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – August 2012

Again I am joining Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD). I do not have deep or wide vistas where foliage is the main highlight, but will concentrate on the foliage of individual plants. Surprisingly some of the foliage in my garden appears nearly as it did in spring.

Aquilegia canadensis  and Monarda didyma

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) bloomed in mid-April and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) began the end of May. Both of these were cut back after blooming and Monarda has rebloomed in a few places. Here, grouped into bright- green triplets, the lobed leaves of Aquilegia have regrown into mounds of soft foliage through which opposite-facing and coarser-textured leaves of Monarda emerge on square stems. At the top of this image seed pods of Clematis (Spider Flower) are a clue that it is indeed August, rather than early spring.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Stachys byzantina and Achillea filipendulina

I pulled up lots of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) during the summer and was more careful than usual to remove flowers this year before it could set seed.  But here is Lamb’s Ear biding its time and sitting next to another rather aggressive grower, a dwarf Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow). The soft, hairy-textured silvery leaves of Lamb’s Ear contrast with the delicate fern-like leaves of this Yarrow.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’

This Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) spills out-of-bounds to soften the edge between the lawn and one section of the northeast border. The spear-shaped leaves are a pleasant grayish-green in color and are fairly aromatic.

I have trimmed this back several times this summer and while not evident here, it continues to form lavender-blue blossoms, though not as vigorously as when it first bloomed in early May. Another large mound of Nepeta, planted in the middle of this same border has been invisible most of the summer. It is surrounded by Echinacea and other taller plants and is essentially lost from view. I plan to relocate it toward the front of the borders where it can be seen and appreciated.

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

By mid-March Artemisia was forming slivery-green foliage that has added interest and contrast all summer. It flowered for several weeks from mid-to-late-June, after which I cut it back. The base of the plant is yellowing and looks a bit scraggly still, but these fresh new leaves are fine.

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Unlike many of the plants mentioned so far, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is one that has not already peaked this year and it is preparing to bloom. Its pale green, waxy-textured foliage is an interesting contrast to the other plants in the garden. This is the first time in many years this Sedum has been so poised and ready to make a statement in the fall. I attribute that to the plentiful rains during most of this summer.

Tanacetum vulgare and Salvia guaranitica

The foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) has an even stronger fern-like quality than the Achillea. This is another rather tough-rooted spreader, but I have managed to contain it fairly well recently. Here it brightens up a dark corner of the border, along with leaves of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Each time I pass the yellow flowers with green centers of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes,’ the strong shape and color of its leaves inevitably draw my attention. This leaf measures 10-by-7 inches.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Iberis sempervirens

Some plants in the Meditation Circle were chosen to withstand the hot, dry summers we have experienced in recent years. It is hard to prepare for every contingency. Though hot, this is a surprisingly wet summer that has improved the behavior of some plants and hurt others. Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue) and Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft) have suffered the most. This time last year the Iberis formed a lush evergreen accent in the labyrinth.

Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft)

Visit Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for more Garden Bloggers Foliage Day entries.

A Few Garden Minutes Last All Day

Another beautiful day in central North Carolina and it would have been a day perfect for working in the garden, but the day passed another way. Early this morning there were just a few moments to enjoy the crispness of the air, notice the bird sounds, greet next-door neighbors and savor that feeling one gets from being outside among the flowers.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue)

April Showers And Flowers

Flowers, flowers.

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait,’ a peony added last spring to the garden, has just two buds this year.

Peony Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ is opening in several places around the garden, its color a rich dark indigo.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

More fully open another Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ looks pinkish in the late day sunlight. The actual flower color is more like that of the bud in the previous image, a beautiful deep blue.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

In the southern garden bed the black iris continues to stand out against silvery Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear).

Black Iris

Close up the color of black iris is intense.

Black Iris

A couple of pink Achillea (yarrow) opened recently. This is a dwarf variety that stands about 10 inches high.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Catmint (Nepeta) are paired together though happenstance but appear to make nice companions.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Catmint (Nepeta)

The phlox divaricata is a pass-along plant that has been in this garden and a previous garden forever. It is an old-fashioned, charming favorite.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Nepeta (Catmint) makes a nice show a the front of the border.

Catmint (Nepeta)

This Coreopsis was added to the garden last year and did very poorly. It is surprisingly healthy this spring with a deep rich golden yellow.

Coreopsis

Showers.

Except for one hot and dry week April has brought generous rains to the garden. Following a few threats of frost this past week, temperatures reached into the seventies today. Starting very early today, rain alternated with sun throughout the morning and then the afternoon was fair. All day the birds have sung incessantly.

The garden needs attention now, but it is going to be on its own a few more days. After this recent strong period of bloom, some things such as the roses and a few of the irises need grooming as they are beginning to look a little tired. The tradescantia is encroaching in every direction and the eastern red columbine should be cut back soon before it spreads seeds. In the meditation circle Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) is overdue to be pruned back, but the recent cooler weather and rains encouraged it to produce fresh blooms, earning it a few more days.

Iberis sempervirens 'Purity' (Candytuft)

Late Evening In An Early April Garden

Achillea (Yarrow), Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft), Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

A bit of happenstance in the late evening garden forms a nice texture study. A Candytuft with its bright white flower and slender leaves is tucked between the feathery, dark green of a dwarf Yarrow and the fur-like, silver-gray of a Lamb’s Ear.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

The Tradescantia (Spiderwort) in this garden are violet, purple, and even pale blue, but not usually nearly white with a center that hints of pale lavender.  Unlike the others which are pass-along plants, this was an actual purchased specimen. (Of course, it has moved itself around and is no longer where it was planted originally.)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

The Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) opened a week ago. The large white petals are actually bracts. The greenish-yellow cluster in the center is made up of about twenty small flowers.

Meditation Circle

The meditation circle has been in bloom since December thanks to Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ (Candytuft). Since a series of recent heavy rains the Candytuft has looked really tired and will soon need to be trimmed back. After almost a full year I am still undecided on how to finish planting the labyrinth with evergreens. An annual, Angelonia, bloomed here well into October so it may be a good choice again this summer.

Northern Border

The garden in early April is fresh and growing enthusiastically. In the northern border Meadow Sage ‘May Night’ adds a bit of color, but soon the irises will be ready for a vibrant display.

Northern Border