Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.
For weeks flowers from Hyacinth Sunrise Mix, newly planted this year, have been delightful. Last week I tried to use several hyacinths in an arrangement but the stems shredded apart. Determined to try again, I placed three quickly and firmly into a floral pin. With no rearranging and fussing this time the hyacinths stood fine, a lilac-colored one and two soft pale yellows.
Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ was the first flower collected for today’s vase but there was not enough to feature. Just mere wisps in the vase, its presence is enough to highlight the color of the lilac hyacinth.
The first flowers of Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ opened this past week. Placed low and off-center it makes a perfect focal flower to accompany the hyacinths.
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and newly opened Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ reiterate the purple hue of the clematis, and are placed to add height and width to the design.
Freshly emerging, new leaves of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) are tucked around the base of the container and Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) add a bright pop of white.
This arrangement was designed to be viewed from the front but even from the back the appealing textures and colors of the April garden shine through.
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Hyacinth Sunrise Mix
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)
Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ (Hardy Sage, Meadow sage)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Blue ceramic vase
3-inch florist’s frog
Here is one more look from the front.
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.
At a later hour than usual I join Cathy for the first time in 2017 with In A Vase On Monday. This is an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.
It rained all day on the first of January and today it rained harder. Finally around lunchtime the showers stopped but skies remained gray and oppressive.
I have been saving dried stems and seedheads of a Jackmanii clematis for a time when the garden might not offer any fresh blooms. This seemed like a good time to bring it out and highlight the curves, angles and twists of the vine and the soft, pinwheels formed after the flowering.
I imagined the clematis placed simply and starkly, nearly in silhouette. Then I decided to add to the design a dried hydrangea flower in a separate container. This worked ok but I felt a bit of fresh greenery would brighten the overall effect.
While outdoors selecting a bit of fresh gardenia and lavender foliage I decided it would not hurt to take a quick garden inventory in case the anemone coronaria were blooming here as they were in Italy today. Unfortunately no, but a new flush of Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ flowers were there for the picking. Although I have used these often in the past two months, my enthusiasm for them reignited when greeted by their fragrance.
Very little of what I collected outside was needed for this arrangement so now there are vases of greenery and camellias scattered all over. More elaborate than initially imaged this design still is rather restrained. It brings together a touch of all seasons as we begin a new year of sharing vases.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ – late fall and winter
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ – spring and fall
Hydrangea macrophylla – summer
Gardenia jasminoides – year-round
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender) – year-round
Glazed ceramic square dish
Ikebana floral holders
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.
[Because of the way I was brought up, I have to precede the next sentence with, “Not to brag, but…”] Not to brag, but after re-reading old entries and exploring photographs from the past year, I must say the 2016 garden was just beautiful.
For example, clematis ‘Jackmanii’ bloomed magnificently in spring and repeated in fall.
Irises trailed colorfully throughout the borders.
Hydrangeas stood strong, camellias bloomed their hearts out.
Yet that my garden was successful had not been my perception this morning when I first started to reflect on the past gardening year. No, instead my mind leapt melodramatically to unfinished projects, battles with weeds, trees that died, despair at heat and drought or freezes and wet. I began to gear up to lament and apologize. Why, I wonder, such a negative, emotional response?
I am struck by how my initial impression of having suffered through another twelve months unsuccessfully growing anything of interest clashes so distinctly with reality.
What changed my mind was taking time to browse the actual record set down in this blog, pbmGarden. I uncovered the truth about 2016 with its many wonderful gardening moments.
In a post-truth* gardening sort of way, too often I allow seeds that fail to germinate or vermin that eat away at roots of plants to become the news, to become the defining stories of any gardening year. In my case these examples are legitimate and real issues, not made-up ones: yes, the grass turned brown during the hottest part of summer, echinaceas flowers underwhelmed, again this autumn Lycoris radiata produced foliage only and no flowers.
But in balance these topics do not deserve to distort the record against success. Why is it frequently whenever anyone asked I mentioned in reply the negative influences affecting the garden. Was the underlying reason false modesty, not wanting to appear to be bragging about a rich, lush features. Perhaps it was trying to manage expectations so when finally viewed in person it would look better than it sounded. For whatever reason, through repetition of telling, by the end of the year I had internalized that the entire garden had failed.
I am glad I looked back today.
Though it may never be a showcase of great design, this little garden definitely has its moments. It suits my needs as an opportunity for dreams as well as for rational, reasonable and down-to-earth experimentation with plants. Modest as it is, I love it for its peaceful sensibility and for being a haven where songbirds thrive and gardenias scent the air, where sonorous notes resonate from chimes in the meditation circle.
Not each one of these nice things is noticeable every single day but the potential is always there for beauty, knowledge and amazement. I must keep that wisdom throughout the year, enjoying the garden as a place where hope continues to exist while the world passes through its inevitable and sometime ominous cycles.
In rejecting a post-truth reality I plan to dig deeper for authenticity, truth and honesty in the coming year.
*In a year marked by surreal outcomes in the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum, Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” 2016 word of the year. In a post-truth world reality is created and framed through the lens of emotional appeal rather than through intellectual discourse and honesty. The art of repeating talking points while ignoring contradictory evidence takes on more importance than truth and facts.
Originally I had planned to do a different type of garden review than this and perhaps I will write it in the upcoming week. Meanwhile, thank you for being part of my gardening world. Good wishes for a Happy New Year!
As the week begins it is fun to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden as part of Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday feature.
Unassuming, small bits of color gathered from here and there are the mainstay of this week’s garden offerings.
Phlox paniculata ‘Nicky’ was the first flower chosen for today and its short stem dictated creating a design composed of other tiny ones. The Jackmanii clematis ventured a couple of blooms after Hurricane Hermine brought much needed rain. I fit the red Nicky phlox and a clematis into a clear espresso cup, filling in with several stems of Verbena bonariensis (which shed heavily) and a sprig of Perennial Sweet Pea.
The rain this week also helped revive the zinnias and marigolds which had been suffering under the late August sun, reason enough to fill a second cup. A small sprig of lavender and several stems of asclepias made agreeable companions.
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Phlox paniculata ‘Nicky’ (tall garden phlox)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ‘Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Riedel Espresso Crystal Cups/Saucers
Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.
At the garden center last week two glazed ceramic planter saucers caught my attention. For some time I had been looking for a square black dish to use for floral arrangements. This style came in several other tempting colors, but I settled on black and white.
The new containers lend themselves to Ikebana-style designs, as do Clematis which are happily in flower this week.
Today’s design turned out quite differently from my original plan to use a red Clematis ‘Niobe’ on the white dish and white Clematis ‘Henryi’ on the black. The effect was underwhelming in this case, but I am tucking the idea away for the future.
Fortunately I had gathered additional material, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ and several kinds of iris, most of which soon found their way into the arrangement.
Iris leaves were added for height along with Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ and Iris tectorum. A small amount of red-purple-greenish foliage of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ was also incorporated behind C. ‘Jackmanii’.
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ (Bearded iris)
Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’ (Bearded iris)