Tag Archives: dutch lavender

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

I decided to create an Ikebana-style design today and ended up with what reminds me of a tropical drink one might be served at a touristy resort—full of citrus and rum and topped with parasols and blossoms, slightly awkward when it arrives.

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

I added a couple of lavender stems for straws and decided to offer it up. Although I have not travelled anywhere this summer here is a nod to enjoying an end of summer fling.

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

So far Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’ is ungenerous with its flowers but they are striking when a few appear. I cut them this morning in hopes of encouraging more buds.

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday—Yuletide

In A Vase On Monday-Yuletide

In A Vase On Monday-Yuletide

Monday brings an opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create a floral arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden.

The Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is blooming as it should be at this holiday season and though it has appeared in many recent Monday vase, it takes center stage again this week.

But the original inspiration for this arrangement was a group of 6 small Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ plants I pulled from the meditation circle today where they had sprouted up. I thought the red and green hues of the leaves would make a nice arrangement in and of themselves. I used the plants, roots and all, placing them over top of florist’s foam, secured with pins. Later I will try to reestablish them in one of the borders if they hold up.

Eventually I could not resist adding the camellia flowers for a bit more color, but using them led the design away from the restraint I had envisioned.

I thought I would create a low, arrangement, but raise it by using a crystal pedestal dish.  The design works best from overhead though as I did not work out the proportions carefully except from the top view.

In A Vase On Monday-2

A few sprigs of black berries of Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf) added a textural element to contrast with the rest of the design. The dark color of the berries are intended to pick up the deep coloring in the penstemon as well. One small sprig of Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow) was blooming yesterday and it made a useful accent.

In A Vase On Monday-3

Materials List

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf)
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

The arrangement will add some color and cheer this week as Christmas nears. Saturday we had a snow that lasted about 30 minutes before turning to rain. The snow did not stick at all but it was fun to watch. And yesterday was winter solstice—the days are getting longer.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Traditional Marble

In A Vase On Monday-Marble and Red

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 dropped more than 25 degrees F. Saturday night delivering a fresh, autumnal crispness to the air. In response the Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’ (that turned out to be red) is finally blooming with more intensity. I was able to cut three fully open specimens this morning to include in today’s vase.

Dahlias Covered In Morning Dew

Dahlias Covered In Morning Dew

One Iceberg rose was in prime condition this morning and I brought it inside to serve as a focal point for today’s arrangement and to add contrast in texture and color.

Rosa 'Iceberg'

Rosa ‘Iceberg’

Freshly formed palmate leaves of lupine radiate outward and provide an interesting background for the white rose. (Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for the suggestion to use lupine foliage in a vase.)

Palmate lupine leaves provide background for Rosa 'Iceberg'

Palmate lupine leaves provide background for Rosa ‘Iceberg’

For a container I selected a marble, urn-shaped mortar that is substantial enough to offset the mass of the heavy, richly-colored dahlia flowers.  The shape of the mortar together with the old-fashioned quality of the dahlias inspired this week’s rather traditional design.

Marble mortar anchors the arrangement.

Marble mortar anchors the arrangement.

Silvery sprigs of lavender echo the gray marble in the base while adding lightness to the design. Hovering above the dahlias a few Verbena bonariensis flowers complete the arrangement.

Verbena bonariensis and lavender sprigs are used as fillers.

Verbena bonariensis and lavender sprigs are used as fillers.

Verbena bonariensis and lavender with Dahlias

Verbena bonariensis and lavender with Dahlias


Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’- 3 stems
Rosa ‘Iceberg’- 1 stem
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)- 7 stems
Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)- 3 stems
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)- 5 stems
1 Florist’s Frog
1 Marble Mortar

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

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—A Beacon Of Spring


Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday encourages gardeners to collect and arrange flowers or other plant specimens from their gardens each week. What is in your vase this week?

At this mid-March juncture with the equinox only a few days away, I gathered fresh lavender and branches of almost-open spiraea, along with narcissus and Daphne odora. The daphne currently is in full bloom and carries a magnificent lemony fragrance; however, once I began creating an arrangement for this week, it was the narcissus that drew me in.


Narcissus requires no embellishment. This venerable herald of spring evokes simple design and pure color. First I selected a tall ceramic pot that was a special gift from my daughter. Matte-finished and blue-black in color, this container was the perfect size to hold two of my daffodil varieties, ‘King Alfred’ and an unknown kind featuring white perianth with a ruffled, pale yellow cup (I had been thinking of it as ‘Thalia’ until I looked it up today. This one is not pure white, so it is possibly Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ or Narcissus ‘Mount Hood’?).


Initially I used a small matte-finish, periwinkle blue vase to hold a group of miniature Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’. Later I exchanged that vase for a dark green glossy one that seemed better able to handle the greenish hue of the Tete-a-Tetes.



As an aside, i would mention I photographed the flowers today in a niche in our foyer, a spot that normally holds a bust of Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson is a strong interest of study for my husband. Nearby is a modern chair made of cherry, maple and walnut, designed and built by my daughter while earning her industrial design degree.


Thanks very much to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Visit her site to see her arrangement this week and see what other participants are placing In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday— Narcissus and Tea

Petite Flower Arrangement

Petite Flower Arrangement

It is late in the day but forging ahead, once again I am joining Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday challenge. Today I assembled a group of petite flowers arranged among several pieces of my daughter’s childhood tea set.

Tea Party

I was not sure what would be blooming this week, but immediately following an ice storm we have finally had three gorgeous blue sky, sunny days that encouraged the Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ to begin blooming. Although I was reluctant to cut these first flowers, eventually I gathered the courage and collected a couple dozen daffodils. I filled a favorite ceramic vase for a quintessential example of spring.

But while I was collecting them I also came across the first little Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and nearby, an Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) showing a few open flowers.

Their dainty size appealed to me today, so I gathered them along with several sprigs of lavender and a single Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose).

Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’

Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' and Iberis

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and Iberis

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Despite my hesitation to cut the Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ I am enjoying them indoors after all. They are very fragrant. These have been growing in the garden for many years, but most of the flowers seem much smaller than in years past.

These bring smiles nevertheless.

Narcissus 'King Alfred' (trumpet daffodil)

Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ (trumpet daffodil)

Thanks very much to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Visit her site to see her arrangement this week and see what other participants are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2013

It is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) and well into autumn, the garden overall remains fairly green. A few perennials are still flowering, but this topic is about signs of the season other than flowers.

The cones left standing after flower petals drop bring a new round of enjoyment to Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes.’ This plant bloomed from late June through September. Now its wide leaves and tall stalks continue to add height and interest to the garden’s Southern entrance.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Just inside the gate is a grouping of Dutch lavender that was heavily pruned back late last winter after it had become very overgrown and woody. The lavender did not bloom much this year but it filled out well and looks more shapely. I use this lavender as a small shrub against the foundation of the house.

Lavandula x intermedia 'Dutch' (Dutch Lavender)

Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

A small pot of Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) planted in the spring has yielded a good amount of growth.

I am experimenting with this ground cover  in the garden, but with an eye to using it as a partial replacement for grass in the front lawn strip between sidewalk and street, if it survives the winter. (And subject to Homeowners Association approval, unfortunately).

I cannot decide if I like it though—almost seems a bit weedy from afar. Up close I think the texture is wonderful and though flowers are not the focus for GBFD, Blue Star Creeper does actually bloom too. (Click image for close-up.)

This weekend a friend gave me some Elfin Thyme to try also. She has had great success with it in her street/sidewalk strip. Since I do not yet have approval for replanting the grass strip, I planted the Elfin Thyme yesterday in the meditation circle.  There now are three different kinds of Thyme there, on of which also has a small-textured leaf that reminds me of Elfin.

Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin' (Elfin Thyme) and Thyme sp.

Thymus serpyllum ‘Elfin’ (Elfin Thyme) and Thyme sp. in the meditation circle

In the northwest corner of the garden shockingly purple berries are now easily visible on the American beautyberry. This plant is still small but from others I have noticed lately, it may soon outgrow this spot.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month. Visit her at Garden of the Hesperides to discover what foliage displays she and other garden bloggers are featuring today.