Tag Archives: dahlia sp.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

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

It is a special Monday: Eclipse Day, Monday, August 21, 2017.  Not since 1918 has a total solar eclipse swept the whole width of the United States. Those lucky enough to live in or able to travel to an approximately 70-mile wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total solar eclipse lasting up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

Chapel Hill is not within the path of totality, but the entire United States will experience a partial solar eclipse for up to a few hours today as the moon passes in front of the sun. Here the spectacle takes place between 1:16 pm – 4:06 pm, with maximum coverage at 2:44 pm. We did not get any special viewing glasses so we will not be looking directly at the sun, yet the effect is sure to be felt.

I was swept up by sunlight on Saturday. In the morning I had gathered zinnias and dahlias and left them on a counter in a canister for conditioning.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

Before I had time to arrange the blooms, late afternoon sun began spilling across the room from westerly windows, illuminating the flowers and accentuating the colors.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

Creating an arrangement seemed secondary to enjoying the light as it played on the petals.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

Materials

Flowers
Dahlia sp.
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Vase
Red coffee canister

 

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

As always a big 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—Choices

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

Last weekend my good friend Susan and I took a short trip to Creedmoor, NC, to browse the handmade American crafts at Cedar Creek Gallery. If you have a few minutes to learn about this unique place, I encourage you to watch this 4:33-minute video and you will certainly want to visit too.

Having in mind from the outset to shop for a new flower vase, I returned home with three prizes, all Ikebana vases with integrated pin frogs. I had spotted them immediately upon entering the gallery, just inside the front entryway. After admiring many other beautiful pieces, I returned to those that first caught my eye and prepared to make a selection.

I chose a black triangular vase and a blue rectangular one. With me vacillating among other choices of designs, my friend stepped in at my moment of indecision and treated me to the third vase as an early Christmas present, a triangular shape decorated in the blue wave pattern. Thank you Susan!

Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

I had planned to make only one arrangement today but this type of vase does not hold a lot of material. And there were plenty of flowers left over to use in experimenting. I never felt any of the three were quite finished, rather I just finally stopped working on them for now.

The first vase holds two red gladiolas (the first of 30 planted in mid-June just coming into bloom), a large orange cactus zinnia, a sprig of orange peppers and a red dahlia. This design went through many iterations, even some made digitally, to explore the composition and proportions. If anyone is curious I included some of the design stages at the end of this post.

Rectangle Blue Zen In Red and Orange

Rectangle Blue Zen In Red and Orange

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

The next vase began with an interesting seed pod rescued from a recently bloomed canna. I think the pod has great potential but I allowed that tallest zinnia to distract from it. It is less worrisome in person though.

The bright yellow zinnias are from a Burpee Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ packet. This year I also planted ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ zinnias from Burpee and Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ from Botanical Interests.

Yellow celosia adds movement and energy.

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

The third vase is sprightly and pink. It is the only one where I used foliage, cut from Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata.’ The flowers are zinnias, obedient plant and verbena bonariensis.

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Materials
Canna Seed Pod
Capsicum annuum ‘NuMex Easter’ (dwarf Ornamental pepper)
Dahlia, spp.
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Gladiolus
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
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)
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches), Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

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.

Notes On Design Progressions

In the sets of images below, the ones on the left are photographs of the actual arrangement while those on the right are imagined.

The first set show the earliest version of the red design. It was only after viewing photos that I noticed the design looked too heavy on the left side. I ending up reworking it several times.

In post-production I edited the photographs to imagine making different cuts than what I really did.

Here is an intermediate version on the left (the real thing). I had shifted the orange peppers to the right and added some Daphne greenery to improve the balance of the composition. Again the images on the right show some imaginary changes to the design through digital editing. I was reluctant to trim down the gladiolas but in fact they were too tall for the vase. Trimming the  top of the left-leaning gladiolus improves the design. If I had done that and then lopped a little from the top of the center glad as well, I would probably have been happy with the design.

In my final version of the real-life arrangement greenery was removed. The orange ornamental peppers moved to the back where they got somewhat lost. The gladiolas were shortened. After trimming and repositioning, the gladiolas relate better to the size and shape of rectangular vase. The glad on the right crowds the dahlia, but I can live with it.

 

In A Vase On Monday—Welcome

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

Today brings a welcome chance to share the garden by participating in Cathy’s weekly call to display our cut flowers In A Vase On Monday. My vase was prepared several days ago.

This past week I finally cleared the Southern Side Path of grass, pruned a couple of overgrown shrubs to make it easier to pass by, and deadheaded lamb’s ears, echinacea and more. The fence gate in the photo below belongs to my neighbors. Mine is not visible, but the slate path curves to the right, leading visitors through the gate and into the main garden.

Southern Side Path

Southern Side Path – After clean up

At the right corner guarding the back entrance, a large Green-Headed Coneflower had been taking its job much too seriously, reaching out from the house and blocking traffic from both directions. I cut away and removed all of the overhanging stalks, which were still covered in golden yellow petals and pollinators galore. (Can’t remember the last time I wrote “galore.”)

This plant, Rudbeckia laciniata, grows 6-7 feet tall and begins blooming early to mid-July. Although the trimmings were generously oversized, I decided I could use them for a Monday arrangement if I left them outdoors. Normally left unadorned by the front door, a  large periwinkle ceramic urn made the perfect container.

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

A tall glass vase of water was placed inside the urn to hold the the rudbeckias. The flowers sit cheerfully at the front door to welcome company. I was too tired to worry about arranging them carefully, but now wish I had taken a few more minutes to pose them.

That the pollinators would not mind being relocated was one thing I had not anticipated. When dinner guests actually did arrive Saturday, dozens of bees and other insects were hanging around. Entering the front door required calculation and prowess.

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

I tried to identify this skipper and thought I had found a match on Jeff Pippin’s site, until I read the description: “Indian Skipper (Hesperia sassacus): In NC, this butterfly is rare to uncommon and found only in the mountains. Indian Skippers are single brooded, flying in May/June. The host plants are various grasses, and this species is commonly found nectaring on Red Clover.”

So much for my skipper skills. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong plant. If anyone recognizes this insect, I would like to know what it is.

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

This one I believe is Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus).

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) With Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) With Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Materials
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Ceramic Urn

In summer I love to fill the house inside with flowers as well, not formal arrangements, just colorful blossoms lining the counters and tables, tucked into window sills and corners. These are a few from the weekend dinner party.

More Vases

More Vases

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) and Angelonia ‘Serena White’

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

Many thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly floral arrangement celebration. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and other gardeners are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday - Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday – Vivid Color

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

I will be returning home later today from a weekend yoga retreat at the beach and so have prepared this week’s flowers ahead of time.

In A Vase On Monday - Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday – Vivid Color

This is a quick and simple bouquet set into a small blue ceramic vase. The flowers are a stem of pure white phlox ‘David’ contrasted with rich colors of Black and Blue salvia, garnet red dahlias at their peak and purple Angelonia.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' With Angelonia 'Serena Purple' and Phlox paniculata 'David'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ With Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’ and Phlox paniculata ‘David’

Materials
Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’
Dahlia, spp.
Phlox paniculata ‘David’ (Garden Phlox)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase

Angelonia 'Serena Purple'

Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’

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.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2016

It is time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

Near the back steps, a passalong dahlia is preparing for its second year in my garden, courtesy of Libby at An Eye For Detail. The foliage looks strong and flowers are forming. I neglected to dig the dahlia last fall so am relieved to see it made it through the winter.

Dahlia

Dahlia

In the upper left of the image above, fragrant Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) is inconveniently growing up through where the garden hose is stored and needs to be reined back. In front of the monarda, a few dark red leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) are visible. Also here several plants of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are pushing upwards through some impertinent clover and a ground cover of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft). Foliage of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) peek through as well. The Aquilegia’s last remaining red flowers nod their heads.

Here is a closer look at the Echinacea and Aquilegia, with seeds formed on Iberis. The textures were not planned but do look interesting together.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The other side of the steps features a long, sunny border fronted largely by Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy).

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Across the garden in its shadiest corner, several Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) responded well to the recent rains and have grown substantially. Their multi-hued foliage is rich and full for the moment. Meanwhile Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not) finished blooming, but the smaller silvery, patterned leaves add a bright pop to this planting area (lower left of image). In back at left fern-like foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) and sword-like iris leaves add height and texture.

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

In a small nearby border with a bit more sun grows more Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’. Its companion Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ has similar coloring. A stand of self-seeded Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) with long green, leathery leaves gives a change in texture and color.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Silvery shades of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and soon to bloom Lavender complement more leaves of Bearded Iris.

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear), Lavender

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear), Lavender

Four Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ have been planted for about three years. Most are finally getting some size and buds are forming.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

One of the August Beauty gardenias has been eclipsed by its aggressive neighbors.  Soon the monarda will explode with red, inviting hummingbirds to sip its nectar, and dark pink flowers will grace the echinacea. But for now this spot is a relaxing green with Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ providing white accents—a cool, calm, peaceful interlude.

One Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' has become swamped by surrounding plants.

One Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ has become swamped by surrounding plants.

Thanks to Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for hosting. Read her foliage update and see more links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

Monarchs Reign

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Lantana camara (Common Lantana)

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Lantana camara (Common Lantana)

A small number of monarchs usually visit my garden in late October but this year I have been spotting one or two at a time for the past month. They disappeared for a couple of weeks during the long rainy period, then returned with the sun.

For much of today I saw four or five dancing around the large lantana.

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Lantana camara (Common Lantana)

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Lantana camara (Common Lantana)

There always seemed to be a single monarch sipping nectar from the passalong dahlia by the back steps but the two other dahlias apparently offered no temptation.

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Dahlia sp.

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Dahlia sp.

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Dahlia sp.

Danaus plexippus (monarch) and Dahlia sp.

A tattered and torn male finally settled atop a seedhead of Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) for a rest.

Danaus plexippus (monarch) - male

Danaus plexippus (monarch) – male

The black spot on each hindwing indicates this is a male.

Danaus plexippus (monarch) - male

Danaus plexippus (monarch) – male