Tag Archives: chrysanthemum

In A Vase On Monday – Cup Of Color

In A Vase On Monday – Cup Of Color

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

The rich colors this week seem autumnal. Several chrysanthemums began blooming this weekend beside the garage where their plastic pots had been unceremoniously abandoned last fall and given not another thought over winter. Last week I noticed they were green and healthy and in bud. For today’s vase I picked the deep wine mums to feature.

Chrysanthemum

Verbena bonariensis has been lovely this spring, but some of it quickly began dropping flowers in the vase.

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

I included several stems of asclepias, also just coming into bloom. The rich orange nearly overshadows the chrysanthemum as the main focus.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
In A Vase On Monday – Cup Of Color

Materials
Flowers
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
Chrysanthemum
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Vase
Ceramic mug

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.

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 – Aloe And Iris

In A Vase On Monday – Aloe And Iris

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

Aloe from last week’s vase made an easily accessible starting point for today. The focal point is a reblooming yellow iris from a foundation bed in front of the house. The timing of this iris is interesting—one in the back garden had already bloomed a full month earlier.

Reblooming Iris – a passalong

This one opened Friday, the day after Hurricane Michael passed through town. We were extremely fortunate, not even losing power, though many neighborhoods nearby were without for days due to fallen trees crashing on power lines.  On a day following a hurricane the sky is always clear blue, incredulously intense, pristinely innocent.

Leaves from Gold Dust Aucuba and cuttings from some ubiquitous-in-autumn, yellow potted chrysanthemums serve as filler.

Reblooming Iris and Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)

Materials
Flowers
Chrysanthemum
Iris
Foliage
Aloe
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Vase

Ceramic bowl, black matte exterior, red glazed interior
Weighted florist’s pin, black

In A Vase On Monday – Aloe And Iris

This black and white study of the chrysanthemum buds illustrates how yellow serves as white in balancing light and darks in a floral design.

In A Vase On Monday – Aloe And Iris

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 – November Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

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

My husband and I attended an annual reunion of first cousins over the weekend and it is always a treat to get together with these special family members. Among those present were my three sisters, one of whom surprised me with a large green, urn-shaped vase she had discovered at a thrift shop. Thanks Judy! What a treat it is to have this November gift as inspiration today.

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

There were many more flowers than I had expected, nature’s own November gifts. Although the weather continues to be quite dry, the nights are cool and days are comfortably warm—no freeze yet this fall.

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ enjoy these conditions and are blooming freely.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

First appearing by mid-October, Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ was featured several weeks ago is now in full bloom. Unexpectedly I noticed this week the red Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is already coming into flower.

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

The passalong Button Chrysanthemum from my garden mentor Virgie has been a fall staple now for several decades. It always wants to rotate toward the back in any arrangement, but eventually I convinced it to cooperate, more or less.

Begonias planted in containers at the front porch did well all summer and continue to thrive. A few Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) have emerged.

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

Achillea foliage drapes along the rim of the vase. A plug of freshly emerged Lamb’s Ear adds color and textural contrast, as does a stem of Eucalyptus. I do not grow Eucalyptus but had some on hand (from last week’s book club arrangements).

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

 

Materials

Flowers
Begonia
Button Chrysanthemum
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

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

Container
Large green vase

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

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 – Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

I planned ahead this week in order to join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday. Though this is an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden, for today I assembled a design on Friday using remnants of packaged bouquets I was given.

There were two bouquets actually and I arranged deep red Gerbera daisies from one along with branches of gardenia foliage from the garden for a full and richly colored vase.  Additional yellow and orange gerberas from the second bouquet added light and movement, but you have to take my word for it. Before I could photograph them the next day the daises had wilted and drooped leaving behind a couple of bright yellow spray mums to carry on alone.

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

It was disappointing to lose the gerberas but feeling over-saturated anyway from all the red of holiday decorations and from my own heavy reliance recently on red Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ in Monday vases, the forced shift in color is welcome.

There were more Yuletide blossoms available, but I find today’s yellow palette crisp and refreshing for a winter’s day.

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

Selections of Eucalyptus leaves and bear grass trimmings taken from the florist packages emphasize shape and line. A lemon reinforces the color.

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

Materials

Flowers
Chrysanthemum (Spray Mums, Button-yellow)
Eucalyptus
Xerophyllum tenax (Bear-grass)
Porcelain Ikebana vase. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

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.

 

 

In A Vase On Monday—Red Song

 

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

I begin the week by joining Cathy with In A Vase On Monday, an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

Camellias were tucked into corners and crevices and centerpieces for accents on Thursday as we celebrated Thanksgiving at our house with my two younger sisters. I cut more camellias yesterday to star in this week’s arrangement.

Pink Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ continues to bloom, releasing pleasant drifts of fragrance. The scent of Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is less distinct but the shrub’s prolific red bloom is exceptional this November.

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

Materials

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Chrysanthemum

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

Unfortunately after photographing the camellias I broke one of these little liqueur glasses used as vases, which makes me very sad. The glasses are part of a set of six (now five), a long-ago wedding gift from a special friend.

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

For Thanksgiving I made a rare cut flower purchase of two dozen roses—one bunch was coral orange and the other a sunset yellow. I am not a huge fan of florist roses but these colors drew me in and seemed so appropriate for the holiday.

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

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 are placing In A Vase On Monday.

 

 

In A Vase On Monday—Buttons Up

As the week begins I join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday, an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

 

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

As Thanksgiving approaches button chrysanthemums are a bright spot in the garden.

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

These were passed along over 30 years ago by my garden mentor Virgie, my mother’s first cousin. The little passalongs are appropriate today as I have been sorting through some old family photographs shared by my own first cousin. We are collaborating on our maternal family history. She’s been researching and creating family group records. I am organizing the pictures, writing narratives and posting it all on a family website. So I have spent many hours the past few weeks reminiscing. I discovered pictures of Virgie and of my mother as babies and am piecing together stories of them and other relatives, and meeting some I knew not at all. As i peer into some of the faded images I smile to see hydrangeas, elephant ears, ferns, roses, and vines growing around the porches.

I found one orange gardenia hip yesterday to include in this week’s vase. The chrysanthemums are displayed in a blue mug I purchased at the Eno River Festival one year. The Aucuba leaves are left over from a previous IAVOM, one from September. When I finally decided to take apart the greenery from that arrangement, I found several of the stems had rooted.

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

Materials
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Button Chrysanthemum
Gardenia hip
Blue-glazed stoneware mug

I had collected snapdragon, camellias, echinacea and clematis to use also but the chrysanthemums wanted all the attention.  Having cut the clematis though I decided to share a peek anyway.

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

Thanks to Cathy for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

 

 

A Festival of Fabulous Mums

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

A bright spot from last week was a trip with friends to Duke Gardens in Durham, NC for a flower show entitled A Festival of Fabulous Mums.

This was the first year for the 4-day festival, which was presented jointly by Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society and Duke Gardens. Open to the public with no admission charge, the event included cultural and historical information, growing tips and supporting activities (arts and crafts, games for children).

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemums have been featured (or at least mentioned) on several blogs recently and from reading the posts and the comments it is clear, although some folks love them, these flowers seem to leave many people cold.

Easily available in at garden centers, big box stores and florists. perhaps they are viewed as ubiquitous or common, and of course, they are often used in funeral sprays.

That people carry such strong opinions about them made me more interested in seeing the show. As one might expect, however, these are not the potted mums one finds in the grocery store.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Enthusiastic members from the Chrysanthemum Society were on hand to offer gardening tips and answer questions.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

The flowers were expertly presented. We attended on the last day of the festival so blooms were not all at their best, but most showed quite well. The range of sizes, shapes and colors were striking.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

This mauve flower had it all.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

A poster was on display in the room illustrating the flower show classes (categories).

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

The entries were not judged. Instead visitors were given a ticket at the door and encouraged to vote for their favorite by placing the ticket in the little boxes in front of each display.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Should I admit most fascinating were the flamboyant spoon, quill, brush and spidery chrysanthemums? I should have paid more attention to the plant varieties and flower classes— my camera became a distraction from this opportunity to learn more about the flowers themselves.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Society members also led tours of the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, where more mums were on display in a serene garden setting. Passing on the guided tour we made our own way toward the Asiatic garden. We found the chrysanthemum garden display fairly sparse, the autumn blooming camellias were easily more stimulating.

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Their spicy sweetness drifted through the air, inviting us to pause and enjoy.

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

I had not seen this part of the garden since its extensive renovation, but am already devising a return trip to explore it further.

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Finally, making a rare blog appearance…
Susie At Duke Gardens

I wish you a happy weekend.

In A Vase On Monday – Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday - Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday – Iris Three-Tuple

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden. But no ordinary Monday, this is IAVOM’s third anniversary and last week Cathy proposed the theme “Three” as a way to mark the day.

The theme was on my mind all week without inspiration, but Sunday morning during brunch a friend mentioned the term “tuple.”  A tuple is a finite ordered list of elements and a 3‑tuple is a triple or triplet. Keeping to a loose interpretation of tuple, I cut three stems of iris to serve as the focus of my design this week.

Reblooming Tall Bearded Iris

Reblooming Tall Bearded Iris

The height of the first iris, the white one, is roughly twice the diameter of the black dish, that of the second and third are 1.5 and 1 times, respectively.

In A Vase On Monday - Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday – Iris Three-Tuple

Iris germanica 'Immortality'

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Joining the triplet of irises are a several sets of arching zinnias and a cluster of the pass-along chrysanthemums I have enjoyed for years.

Button Chrysanthemums and foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Button Chrysanthemums and foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

A branch of dark oak leaf hydrangea foliage adds weight for balance while echoing the dancing posture of the iris flowers.

In A Vase On Monday - Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday – Iris Three-Tuple

Materials

Chrysanthemum
Reblooming Tall Bearded Iris
Zinnia
Foliage: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Oasis Lomey 11″ Designer Dish, black, round
Three-inch floral pin (frog)
Black Stones

On this third anniversary congratulations and extra thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.

Mid-December Color Notes And Miscellany

The pass-along chrysanthemum in my garden is mostly gone now. Each year it undergoes a striking color transition as it ages which never fails to interest me.

First, tight yellow buds open to these flowers with yellow centers and paler outer petals.

Chrysanthemum. Yellow buds give way to pale flowers with bright sunny centers. Nov 2, 2014.

Chrysanthemum. Yellow buds give way to pale flowers with bright sunny centers. Nov 2, 2014.

As the flower matures the yellow largely disappears from the petals.

Chrysanthemum, mostly white petals.

Chrysanthemum, mostly white petals.

The petals begin taking on a pink tinge as aging progresses.

Chrysanthemum With Tinge Of Pink

Chrysanthemum With Tinge Of Pink

Eventually the fading chrysanthemum transforms itself into a venerable lavender pink.

Chrysanthemum Aged to Pink

Chrysanthemum Aged to Pink

Despite a few frosts, December has been mild. This weekend’s highs will be 74°F/23°C, pleasant enough I should be able to finish up some bulb planting.

Anemone coronaria was one of the few successes in my garden last spring and early summer and, unsure how well they would do a second year, I bought a few more to add this fall (part of my weekend planting plans).

I am not sure if this is normal but as the summer heat receded the anemones, which had died back, began sending out new foliage and yesterday I even found a bud forming.

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria

I hope this anemone has time to open.

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Some special friends and former neighbors, now living in California, surprised us this week with an unusual fruit gift, local Fuyu persimmons. Have you tried them? Neither my husband nor I had ever tasted a persimmon, so I did a bit of research before eating them.

It turns out there are two types, astringent and non-astringent. Fuyu persimmon is the non-astringent, meaning it does not cause your mouth to pucker and turn inside out if eaten before completely ripe. Reading that gave me confidence to taste them and oh, they were delicious, very difficult to describe except that, delicious. And beautiful.

Fuyu Persimmon

Fuyu Persimmon

Fuyu Persimmon

Fuyu Persimmon

Fuyu Persimmon

Fuyu Persimmon

In A Vase On Monday—Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. And today Cathy is celebrating the second anniversary of creating and sharing arrangements each Monday. Congratulations Cathy and thanks as well!

This past week was wet, but unseasonably warm, so I was surprised at how chilly it was Sunday afternoon when I went out to the garden to gather flowers. Despite the rain chrysanthemums and camellias looked pristine.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

There were no fresh gardenias this week, instead an unexpected Iceberg rose was blooming.

Rosa 'Iceberg'

Rosa ‘Iceberg’

Other usable odds and ends were scattered about, the last floral traces of summer: lantana, salvia, cosmos, coneflower, and zinnia. Aloft in a silver goblet the flowers mix and meld, a colorful composite of pink, yellow, blue, lavender, orange.

A Look From Above

A Look From Above

Zinnia, Saliva, Coneflower and Camellia

Zinnia, Saliva, Coneflower and Camellia

 

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Materials
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Chrysanthemum
Cosmos
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Rosa ‘Iceberg’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Zinnia
Gardenia foliage

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Aloft In A Silver Goblet

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower addiction. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—November Medley

In A Vase On Monday - View From Above

In A Vase On Monday – View From Above

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

There was a light rain yesterday when I gathered a few flowers for today’s vase. For the past week I have been keeping tabs on a favorite pass-along Chrysanthemum. I have grown this plant for at least two decades and am always pleased when its soft buttery yellow flowers return.

Passalong Chrysanthemum

Passalong Chrysanthemum

I decided to make these small button-shaped chrysanthemum the focus of the arrangement, but then some other flowers caught my attention.

Nearby were a couple of pink Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow). They bloomed off and on during the summer and have just begun another round. I found a single red zinnia to include today also.

In A Vase On Monday - View From Above

In A Vase On Monday – View From Above

The outdoor display from this year’s Camellia sasanquas is outstanding and I could not resist cutting a few. Despite the rain they were in good condition. I envisioned the yellow centers and pinky-white petals of Hana-Jiman camellia coordinating with the pink yarrow and yellow chrysanthemums.

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman' and Chrysanthemum

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ and Chrysanthemum

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’

With only a few gardenias blooming this week I wanted to include them again while I could.

Gardenia

Gardenia

I used florist’s foam in a small plastic dish to hold the arrangement. I started by placing the chrysanthemums as outlines for the overall shape. This type of formal design always takes more material than I think it will.

It quickly became obvious more flowers were needed, so I headed back into the rain for a few more camellias and gardenia foliage to fill out the spherical design.

All along I had planned to display the flowers atop an urn-shaped container. While working I thought I was being careful to conceal the plastic dish with foliage, but once I set the flowers in place it was obvious the lower edges needed additional concealer material.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Outdoors it was still raining, so I decided to change course and try out several shallow containers. This blue and brown pottery bowl worked well.

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman' and Chrysanthemum

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ and Chrysanthemum

Finally I settled on a delicate blue and white porcelain dish for the final display.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Camellia sasanqua 'Hana-Jiman' and Chrysanthemum

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ and Chrysanthemum

 

Materials

Flowers
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Chrysanthemum
Gardenia jasminoides
Zinnia

Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides

Mechanics
Floral foam
6-inch plastic Lomey dish
Various containers

In A Vase On Monday - View From Above

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower addiction. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday and feel free to join in.

In A Vase On Monday—A Trio Of Rescues

 

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Each Monday brings an opportunity to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials collected from the garden.

The temperature fell slightly below freezing overnight for the first time this fall. The garden seems fine this mooring, but yesterday with weather warnings in mind I rescued flowers for today’s vase and ended up with three informal arrangements.

Most of the 16 red snapdragons purchased on sale for $.25 apiece October 3, 2014 are flowering in one small section of the meditation path. It will be interesting to see how well they do over the winter. With luck they should bloom again in early spring.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) In Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) In Meditation Circle

Bought at the same time as the snapdragons, a red dahlia hybrid with no name is full of buds. This one flower managed to open so far, making it worth the $1.00 I paid for the plant.

Dahlia x hybrida and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Dahlia x hybrida and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

 

I am fairly new to growing dahlias so am not sure how the cold will affect them this week, but the temperatures will be much warmer the next few days and I hope they continue to bloom a while longer. Last week a friend Libby passed along some heirloom tubers from another red dahlia her mother used to grow. I am so looking forward to seeing it bloom next year (thanks Libby!).

The snapdragons and dahlia went into the spherical turquoise vase my sisters gave me last spring.

Turquoise vase of Dahlia x hybrida and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Turquoise vase of Dahlia x hybrida and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

The flowers on my passalong Chrysanthemum starting showing color mid-October and are now in full-bloom. They are a rich yellow in bud, but the outer petals become nearly white as they open. I try pinching the stems back to make the plant behave better, but each fall this plants ends up sprawling in its own lovely way.

I used a small blue matte-glazed vase to hold the chrysanthemums. A stem of Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) foliage lifts the arrangement vertically, while a single Pelargonium leaf anchors the design.

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

A few sprigs of dark purple salvia provide contrast to the yellow blossoms.

Chrysanthemums and May Night Salvia

There were enough Chrysanthemums left over to easily fill another vase.

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Chrysanthemum
Dahlia x hybrida
Salvia × sylvestris ‘May Night’ (Meadow sage)

Foliage and Pods
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress
Pelargonium (Geranium)

In A Vase On Monday - A Trio Of Rescues

In A Vase On Monday – A Trio Of Rescues

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.

In A Vase On Monday—Blue Mist With Vermilion

In A Vase On Monday – Blue Mist With Vermilion

Each Monday brings an opportunity to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials collected from the garden.

Early this morning I gathered a variety of plants to create a formal arrangement, but time seems to be evaporating today, so I will save that idea for another time. Instead I am sharing a loosely arranged design that practically assembled itself when I was placing the flowers in water for conditioning.

The main focal flowers are sprigs of blue, fuzzy-headed Conoclinium coelestinum and stems of vermilion-hued Chrysanthemum. Off to one side sits a scarlet Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’ flower in a small pewter vase. The strong colors seem appropriate for early autumn.

Conoclinium coelestrium (Blue Mist Flower) and Chrysanthemum

Conoclinium coelestrium (Blue Mist Flower) and Chrysanthemum

Conoclinium coelestinum, also known as Blue Mistflower or Hardy Ageratum, is native to eastern United States and attracts butterflies to the garden. It has been blooming for several weeks and should continue well into fall. The Blue Mistflower and the Chrysanthemum come back reliably every year without any attention.

A couple of leaves from Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’  add a heart-shaped foliage accent. Several stems of Perovskia atriplicifolia extend loosely outward, repeating the color of the Blue Mistflower. A slender, flowering stalk of Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) added a vertical element to the vase.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Both containers used in today’s arrangement are special treasures received many years ago. The little pewter vase was a bridesmaid’s gift from a college friend and is engraved with the date of her wedding. The footed, cut glass vase originally held a sunshiny bouquet of daffodils, a spring token from another friend. The vases are extremely versatile and I have reached for them over and over again to hold small to medium-sized flowers.

Materials
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue Mistflower, Hardy Ageratum)
Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Chrysanthemum sp.
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – April 2014

Northern Border View Facing West

Northern Border View Facing West

Yesterday was Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. Though it will be a day late I want to join in the monthly focus on foliage as early spring is a time of year when I especially enjoy the foliage in my garden.

Spring marks a joyful point in an incredible cycle of nature, one I experience with new wonder each year. Fresh growth and tender green hues rejuvenate my gardener’s spirit as the perennials emerge and the borders transform from mostly soil to mostly plants.

The northern border has filled in seemingly overnight after some nice warm days. Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint), trimmed heavily a few weeks ago to remove last year’s growth, makes a nice low plant for the front edge of the border. This border is filled with Iris germanica (Bearded iris), Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris) and Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris).

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint) and Iris in Northern Border

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) and Iris in Northern Border (looking toward west)

Below and to the right of the catmint is a path with a patch of mixed sedum. The sedum overwinters well and I will soon be relocating much of it to the devil’s strip between the sidewalk and street in front of our house where grass does not like to grow. (Architectural Review Board application was approved.)

Mixed Sedum

Mixed Sedum

In my garden there are lots of silvery leaved plants. I enjoy the color and texture of these Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and especially in early spring the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) is beautiful.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

Creeping Lemon Thyme overwintered in this pot along the southern side path. Stems of Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) is aggressively exploring this bed.

Creeping Lemon Thyme and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Creeping Lemon Thyme and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Planted last spring Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) promises to perform better this year. It is looking vigorous, unlike last year.

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

A generous patch of woody-stemmed Chrysanthemum is a welcome sight, a pass-along plant from my garden mentor many years ago.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ will reach 6 feet tall but for now it makes a large clump of green near the gate of the southern entrance. I need to find time to divide this.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

To the right of the rudbeckia, just as the path turns the corner toward the gate to the main garden, sits a Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ loaded with buds after a heavy pruning in late winter.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Visit Christina at Garden of the Hesperides to see what foliage she is highlighting this month and find links to other participants.

Rainy Sunday Musings

Warm and Sunny Friday

Two days ago the weather could  not have more different from today, as Friday was sunny and mild and today is not. The temperature Friday reached the high 70s, not high enough to set a record, but warm enough to beckon everyone to get outside. On that day we took in a lunch-time stroll around the nearby Botanical Garden (NCBG).

All fall at the Botanical Garden I have admired a large planting of Ilex verticillata (Common Winterberry). The display of red berries has been very bright and long-lived.

Ilex verticillata (Common Winterberry) at NCBG

Ilex verticillata (Common Winterberry) at NCBG

The other thing that caught my attention that day at NCBG was an eastern North American native that reminded me of my childhood when Clark’s Teaberry chewing gum was popular. The plant is Gaultheria procumbens (Eastern Teaberry). It is a low-growing evergreen with a wintergreen scent.

Gaultheria procumbens (Eastern Teaberry)  Gaultheria procumbens (Eastern Teaberry)-2

Earlier Friday, I had ventured out in my own garden with the camera looking for flowers. I found very little blooming but I did notice the last vestiges of the pass-along Chrysanthemums. How can it be that this flower could begin in November sporting yellow centers with pale white petals, yet as always, end up pink.

Nov 1, 2013

Nov 1, 2013

Dec 6, 2013

Dec 6, 2013

I have obviously sited the Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’  (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea) in the wrong place. Trying to give it shade, it is tucked in so close to the fence between gardenias and behind a large spirea that it is mostly invisible until I happen right up on it.  Maybe that is not so bad to have a nice surprise. This little Ruby Slippers seems to be growing well and lives up to its promise of colorful foliage.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)-2 Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Last winter I ordered several kinds of Anemone coronaria and they were very late shipping. It was already very hot by their arrival time. Soon after I planted the bulbs I resigned myself they had all died, but I came across a few survivors Friday. Planted here are ‘The Bride’ and ‘Mr. Fokker’ and it will be exciting to see them bloom next spring (if in fact that’s what these are).

Anemone coronaria de Caen 'The Bride' and 'Mr. Fokker' -2 Anemone coronaria de Caen 'The Bride' and 'Mr. Fokker'

Today

There was a chance of frozen rain today but we seemed to have missed it, with the temperature hovering at 34-35°F. The rain portion of the prediction was accurate.

Most of the day I have been sipping coffee and watching birds take turns at the feeders through the cold drizzle. There was so much activity at early morning that I took advantage of a momentary break in the rainfall to top off the seeds in the feeders.

Colorful red cardinals are equally beautiful against the green of junipers or against the brown stems of spirea or gray branches of dogwood. At mid-morning a pair of Eastern Bluebirds join in. A couple of Blue Jays showed up for a while, but did not dominate the feeders as I had expected.

Finding an opening, White-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Chickadees, Black-capped Chickadees, and Dark-eyed Juncos flit in to quickly grab a seed. Northern Flickers and Towhees peck through the underbrush of browned stalks and stems—remnants of perennials left around for winter.

Their pace has not slowed all day.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

October Sunday Flowers and Insects

An old favorite pass-along plant, this Chrysanthemum has been part of my garden(s) for more years than I can remember. Found the first flowers just starting to open today, bringing sweet memories of the person who shared it with me. The flowers are small and grow from a woody stem.

Chysanthemum

A transplanted Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) began blooming several weeks ago bringing a fresh greenery and fresh blooms to the fall garden and attracting insects.

Gracing its flower was (I think) a Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus).

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Soon a bee moved in to join the party.

Bee on Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Bee on Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

The bee and the butterfly shared this flower for only a second or two before the bee settled down on a nearby flower.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

November Essence

Lobularia hybrid ‘Snow Princess’ (Sweet Alyssum)

November passed quickly with the garden left largely unattended and mostly unvisited, except by the avian community. Most days colorful Eastern Towhees, Northern Cardinals (North Carolina’s state bird) and Eastern Bluebirds vie for turns at the feeders. Occasionally, Red-bellied Woodpeckers stop by and frequently, Brown-headed Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees watch for their chances to approach.

On November 22 there were ample flowers left in the borders to fill Thanksgiving day vases with fresh zinnias, echinacea, lavender sprigs and foliage, Iceberg roses, chrysanthemums, and there were pristine camellias to float in small ceramic dishes. The next day brought the first hard frost of the year and this week a few nights with temperatures down into the twenties finally have convinced many plants to consider winding things down.

I wandered around today to see what has survived the cold. The old-fashioned woody-stemmed pale yellow chrysanthemum looks very sad, but I included a couple of pictures below to illustrate an interesting transition. One image shows the original yellow of the flower and the next shows how the chrysanthemum flowers change to pink as they fade.  Most of the garden is wilted and tinged with brown, though a few flowers still look nice for this time of year.

As November’s end approaches the day is clear, the sun is low. By 1:30 pm much of the garden lay in shade cast from the Carolina Sapphires. The sunset will come early at 5:02 p.m., after making its late start this morning at 7:06 a.m. November accomplishments are few except for the addition of a few daffodil bulbs, but the garden and the gardener are content.

A Memory Plant

Newly open in the garden today is an old-fashioned chrysanthemum, a sweet pass-along plant from a dear relative many years ago.

This chrysanthemum has woody-stems about 3 feet tall, but they are not strong enough to hold the flowers upright once they begin to open. I try to remember to pinch back the buds, but am too inconsistent to ever learn if pinching would keep the stems shorter and the plant tidier. A nearby rose and its other neighbors provide some support, but admittedly the chrysanthemum sprawls quite a lot.

To many, these characteristics would seem not to recommend it, but I do enjoy having this plant in the garden.

The blossoms are small but abundant.

Chrysanthemum

The deep lemon-hued petals pale toward white as they unfurl. The cheerful blooms are long-lasting indoors and here in the garden they should brighten the southwest border for weeks to come.

Chrysanthemum

My garden is full of memory plants. Like having a visit from an old friend, I always am glad to see this chrysanthemum.

Sunday Garden Vignettes

The sky was gray since early morning and by early evening soft rain began to fall. At mid-afteroon the garden was a peaceful, serene setting for a leisurely walk.

Echinacea as well as lavender are opening in several places around the garden, just about the same time as last year. Perhaps Spring is slowing down from its frenzied earlier pace. Other observations: Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ will soon be blooming along the southern side path, a bit ahead of that planted in other areas. Liatris spicata is adding feathery softness to the northern border that has been dominated by sword-like iris leaves. Proving to be very weak-stemmed again this year, Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ is falling over into a thick stand of Shasta Daisies. Many of the perennials attract bees, including Veronica spicata, Stachys byzantina, Nepeta and Penstemon. Verbena bonariensis looks strong and healthy this year and the American goldfinches are loving it.

Garden Notes

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) is planted inside the meditation circle to add softness to the concrete blocks of the labyrinth.  It should be mostly green  all winter.   The warm weather (68 degrees this afternoon) is encouraging a few blossoms.

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft), foreground

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft

The chrysanthemums have faded for another year. The reddish tint is noteworthy. In early November as these were first blooming they had a pretty yellow hue.

Chrysanthemum 12-2011

Chrysanthemum 11-06-2011

Chrysanthemums, Another Look

Chrysanthemum

The yellow chrysanthemums described here several days ago are becoming even more of a focal point in the garden’s southern border. As the flowers mature they merit another look.