Tag Archives: Floral Design

In A Vase On Monday – Pink And White Trio

In A Vase On Monday – Pink And White Trio

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

More camellias today, a trio of Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ which have been featured several times recently.  I had found another Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ bloom to include today as well, but the camellias seemed to prefer to go it alone today.

In A Vase On Monday – Pink And White Trio

Materials
Flowers
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Foliage
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Container
Rounded white glass bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Pink And White Trio

In A Vase On Monday – Pink And White Trio

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.

A Garden Club Program

Our Finished Design (on the right)

The program for last Tuesday’s Chapel Hill Garden Club November meeting was a hands-on workshop “Create a Floral Design” led by Betsy, a club member and floral designer/judge. Members were assigned to work in pairs, all materials were provided and the finished designs were donated to local community places (hospitals, fire departments, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and community gathering spots, such as the public library).

The folks who put this program together attended to every detail. Upon arrival each team was directed to a table with plenty of workspace and outfitted with a small white dish, presoaked Oasis (floral foam), a bit of florist’s clay and holder to secure the Oasis to the dish, a trash bag for discards and a strip of paper measuring tape. We only had to bring a pair of shears and would you believe it, I forgot mine.  Fortunately there were extras available.

After a brief introduction from Betsy, we used a checklist of materials and gathered our floral materials from buckets in the center of the room. There were a few extras up for grabs also.

Stem count provided to each design team.

In about an hour the club designed around 25 arrangements. It was fascinating to see how creatively each team chose to use the flowers and foliage. No two designs were alike.

Club Floral Designs

Each year Betsy volunteers to lead design workshops and I have attended several, which qualified me as “experienced” when we were paired. A new club member, Kathy, and I were teamed together. It was a fun way to bond and of course, it is always fun to work with flowers I do not usually have in my garden. Must say I am usually not a fan of carnations but oh I loved these rich purple ones.

It was hectic as we were finishing up and I did not get a straight on photograph of our final design, but we thought it turned out pretty well. Not sure where it ended up being delivered but hope it brightened someone’s day as much as it did ours.

Our Finished Design

In A Vase On Monday—Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

Monday brings the chance to display cut flowers from the garden by participating in Cathy’s weekly invitation In A Vase On Monday.

Today’s arrangement of gladiolas and hydrangeas went together quickly, but I thought I might never get any pictures I could use to share them.

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

Gladiolas, adorable old-fashioned favorites, this year are blooming straighter and taller than ever, setting off today’s vertical challenge.

Though I have the perfect vase to accommodate the gladiolas’ height, photographing such a tall arrangement has been a test. I much prefer landscape format for my images, but the vertical nature of these flowers forced me into four different picture-taking sessions of mostly portrait format. Finding a satisfactory background with adequate light and capturing the rich intensity of color among the gladiolas were tricky.

Almost 200 photos later, realizing I needed to chill, I finally chose a handful to represent my Monday vase. The very first image gives a good idea of the overall size, proportion and shape of the design. The colors are truer in this version below.

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

Materials

Gladiolus
Hydrangea macrophylla
Glass vase (This glass vase is one I love using, especially as it commemorates last year’s visit from Christina almost 1 year ago.)

 

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

This should be a long-lasting arrangement. I like the way it turned out and now that I am no longer photographing it, I know I will enjoy it this week.

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

As always, thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower obsession. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and other gardeners are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Peony In Pink

Pink Peony

Pink Peony

A mixup with two mail-order peonies several years ago left me with a Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ instead of Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchess de Nemours’ and masquerading as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony), this lovely pink mystery.

I think I went ahead and labeled it P. ‘Black Beauty’ last year when if bloomed, but it cannot be accurate. If you recognize it I would appreciate knowing its name. This is the pink mystery peony in and out of the garden.

Pink Peony with Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) and pale yellow Iris

Pink Peony with Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and pale yellow Iris

Veronica spicata 'Rotfuchs' (Red Fox Veronica) is companion to the pink peony, but mostly hidden by the peony foliage.

Veronica spicata ‘Rotfuchs’ (Red Fox Veronica) is companion to the pink peony, but its first blooms are mostly hidden by the peony foliage.

I included white P. ‘Festiva Maxima’ in Monday’s vase of Hippeastrum, but also had filled the house with vases of many other flowers, including the unknown pink peony.  Joining the pink peony in a Fenton vase are Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris), and Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’.

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Pink Peony Vase

Art In Bloom On Thursday

Arrangement along West Building Walkway

Outdoor arrangement along West Building Walkway

The second annual Art In Bloom at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh began yesterday. I arrived early and was greeted by colorful outdoor displays.

The walk from the car to the West Building was made special with a row of black urns filled with rich colors.

A series of urns lined the walkway toward the West Building where the show was held.

A series of these urns lined the walkway toward the West Building where the show was held.

 

Museum Park Volunteers and JAGG Classi Wholesale, Raleigh NC. Primary floral materials: bamboo, upright switch grass, northern sea oats, maiden grass, palmates

Design by Museum Park Volunteers and JAGG Classi Wholesale, Raleigh NC. Primary floral materials: bamboo, upright switch grass, northern sea oats, maiden grass, palmates

Horticulture students from North Carolina State University assembled a friendly planting with allium waving in the breeze above a field of narcissus in front of a Henry Moore.

Narcissus and Allium - NCSU Horticultural Dept

Narcissus and Allium – NCSU Horticultural Dept

Overnight and early morning rain and winds had knocked over some urns, even breaking one, along either side of the main entrance. While visitors lined up to enter the show, designers were frantically making some last-minute repairs. I liked the grapevines nests at the bottom of each one filled with roses and ranunculus.

West Building Entrance

These urns featured a grapevine nest of flowers. Partha Daughtridge, patio and Hearth Shop. palm, fiddlehead fern, grapevine, tulip, lily, iris, English rose, poppy, ranunculus.

Once inside it was impossible not to admire the floor to ceiling display of orchids, designed by Steve Taras at Watered Garden Florist.

Steve Taras, The Watered Garden Florist, Raleigh, N.C. ncma sponsor: Witherspoon Rose Culture

Steve Taras, The Watered Garden Florist, Raleigh, N.C.
ncma sponsor: Witherspoon Rose Culture

Steve Taras, The Watered Garden Florist

Steve Taras, The Watered Garden Florist

Steve revealed at a talk later in the morning, he had ordered 400 purple and white orchids and received only 30. The stress of creating for events like this must be intense. The museum’s Facebook page has a photo of the design team assembling this work the day before the show opened.

Orchids. Steve Taras

Orchids. Steve Taras

There were 56 floral designs. I selected only a couple to share to illustrate the variety of creations. The inspiration for the first one is The Garden Parasol, by American Impressionist painter, Frederick Carl Frieseke. The summer scene was painted in the artist’s garden at Giverny circa 1910.

Teresa Godfrey, AIFD, Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C. Floral-Innovations.com primary floral materials: mini calla lily, ranunculus, jasmine vine inspiration: The Garden Parasol, Frederick Carl Frieseke ncma sponsor: C.T. Weekends

The inspiration: The Garden Parasol, Frederick Carl Frieseke

Teresa Godfrey, of Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C., captured the light and the color of the painting using mini calla lily, ranunculus, jasmine vine.

Teresa Godfrey, AIFD, Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C. Floral-Innovations.com primary floral materials: mini calla lily, ranunculus, jasmine vine inspiration: The Garden Parasol, Frederick Carl Frieseke ncma sponsor: C.T. Weekends

Teresa Godfrey, AIFD, Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C. 
primary floral materials: mini calla lily, ranunculus, jasmine vine

Teresa Godfrey, AIFD, Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C. Floral-Innovations.com primary floral materials: mini calla lily, ranunculus, jasmine vine inspiration: The Garden Parasol, Frederick Carl Frieseke ncma sponsor: C.T. Weekends

Teresa Godfrey, AIFD, Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C. Inspiration: The Garden Parasol, Frederick Carl Frieseke

The curving line of the flowers and a thin wire framework suggests the Japanese parasol without being too heavy or too literal. Jasmine foliage recreates the shade trees of the painting.

Teresa Godfrey, AIFD, Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C. Floral-Innovations.com primary floral materials: mini calla lily, ranunculus, jasmine vine inspiration: The Garden Parasol, Frederick Carl Frieseke ncma sponsor: C.T. Weekends

Elements suggest the Japanese parasol and shade trees of the painting.

Dowels placed at the base perfectly match the color of the garden furniture and glass pieces reflect the scattered, dappled light.

Teresa Godfrey, AIFD, Floral Innovations, Washington, D.C. Floral-Innovations.com primary floral materials: mini calla lily, ranunculus, jasmine vine inspiration: The Garden Parasol, Frederick Carl Frieseke ncma sponsor: C.T. Weekends

The designer used color and interesting materials to sensitively recreate the seating and the dappled sunlight.

Another example from the show is by Michael Whaley, AIFD, Fresh Affairs, Raleigh, N.C. Whaley’s inspiration is Antefix in the Shape of a Satyr’s Head, Etruscan.

 inspiration: Antefix in the Shape of a Satyr’s Head, Etruscan

inspiration: Antefix in the Shape of a Satyr’s Head, Etruscan

Whaley used folded Cordyline fruticose (Ti leaves, palm lily) in a dramatic way.

Michael Whaley, AIFD, Fresh Affairs, Raleigh, N.C. freshaffairs.com inspiration: Antefix in the Shape of a Satyr’s Head, Etruscan

Michael Whaley, AIFD, Fresh Affairs, Raleigh, N.C. freshaffairs.com
inspiration: Antefix in the Shape of a Satyr’s Head, Etruscan

On Thursday I also attended two interesting presentations. Will see two more tomorrow and two on Sunday. Perhaps I can describe them at a later time.

To wrap up I leave you with a scene from the Triangle Bonsai Society’s display in the courtyard garden.

Triangle Bonsai Society

Triangle Bonsai Society

 

A Preview of Art In Bloom

Meadow Near Front of North Carolina Museum of Art - 2015 Art In Bloom

Meadow Near Front of North Carolina Museum of Art – 2015 Art In Bloom

Art and flowers are a winning combination in my book. Later this week the North Carolina Museum of Art is hosting the second Art In Bloom festival featuring 56 works from the museum’s permanent  collection. Each piece has been paired with a floral designer who will interpret the art in flowers.

The exhibition opens Thursday and I have had my tickets for weeks. (Yes, tickets, plural. I signed up when February had a stranglehold on me and it seemed the weather would never warm up, much less there would be flowers in the garden again.)  In addition to the main show there are many master classes and demonstrations, each of which is ticketed separately. Participating in the hands-on master classes would probably be the most valuable, but honestly the idea was intimidating.

Instead I have opted to attend a number of presentations, including two by the Steve Taras, owner of Watered Garden Florist in Raleigh and the museum’s primary floral designer. The session titles are Re-Creating Nature and Celebrating with Flowers. I have seen him demonstrate flower arranging 3 other times at the museum. Had I realized Steve would be the guest presenter at last week’s garden club meeting, I might not have elected to attend both of these Art In Bloom sessions, but I am sure each will be distinctive. At the club meeting he designed 7 arrangements, all the while entertaining us with humorous stories and interjecting useful design tips.

Steve showed us an interesting twist on using tulips in arrangements. (Sorry for the terrible image quality.) Fold every other petal back, then go around and fold the remaining 3 petals back.

Steve Taras At Chapel Hill Garden Club

Steve Taras At Chapel Hill Garden Club

The tulips were added into a container filled with hippeastrum (amaryllis) in a rich red to orange palette, accented with deep red ranunculus. Here you can see him reaching for another orange tulip. I regret not getting better photos.

Steve Taras At Chapel Hill Garden Club

Steve Taras At Chapel Hill Garden Club

In preparing the hippeastrum Steve trimmed away much of the long stem. He then rummaged through the waste pile for stem cuttings trimmed from an earlier arrangement (hydrangeas, nerine lilies and tulips). He inserted a salvaged stem inside the large open stem of each hippeastrum for extra support and to help them continue taking up water.

These are the other events I am looking forward to at Art In Bloom, with descriptions excerpted from the museum website. Click on the titles if you would like to find out more about each presentation.

Presentation by Olivier Giugni: Living Art

Floral demonstration and illustrated presentation by Olivier Giugni, whose talent and dramatic style transported him from Paris to Tokyo to New York. Olivier is the pioneer of the leaf-wrapped vase, which is now reproduced worldwide.

Olivier Giugni’s designs are considered the haute couture of floral creations. Raised in Brignoles, France, Olivier rose to floral stardom when Pierre Cardin tapped him to create the look of Les Fleurs de Maxim’s restaurants in Paris, Tokyo, and New York.

Presentation by Erica Anderson: Impressions of an Heirloom Garden
As the first horticulture intern on Appledore Island, Erica Anderson stepped into the garden of 19th-century poet Celia Thaxter. Using photographs of her time on the island, Erica transports us to the beloved island and garden featured in the exhibition American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals.

Presentation by David Beahm: Extraordinary Flowers, Extraordinary Destinations

Floral demonstration and illustrated presentation with David Beahm, whose trademark lavish floral creations are featured at some of the most luxurious and exclusive properties in the world.

Your DIY Wedding
Carol Dowd and Stephanie Garrett of the American Institute of Floral Designers demonstrate simple steps to make your wedding flowers perfect, no matter what your style.

Art In Bloom For Spring

Meadow Near Front of North Carolina Museum of Art

Meadow Near Front of North Carolina Museum of Art

Vernal equinox March 20, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT. Earlier in the week it was sunny and 80°F. Now, following a rainy afternoon yesterday, our first day of spring is overcast and 46°F. Tomorrow the weather should be nice again and warmer, 70°F.

Given yesterday’s rainy forecast it was a perfect time to travel to Raleigh to view a special floral show on opening day at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Outdoor Display Near Entrance -  North Carolina Museum of Art

Outdoor Display Near Entrance – North Carolina Museum of Art

For this 4-day inaugural event called Art In Bloom, 45 floral designers each were paired with works of art from the museum’s permanent collection and invited to create interpretations of the art using flowers. (This has been done in other cities for a few years, but it was the first time for our state museum).

The displays were fascinating. They were large, rich in color and texture, featuring familiar and exotic materials (such as anthuriums, calla lilies, orchids, roses, proteas, tropical leaves) and they were presented in an array of interesting containers and frameworks.

Included among the 45 designers were my two teachers who, for the last several years, have offered flower arranging classes through the local garden club. Seeing their work in this exhibit was particularly exciting.  Unfortunately the quality of the dozens of photos I took were extremely disappointing and does not show their work to best advantage.

Jinny was assigned a Roman statue of Herakles. She responded to the white marble by using shiny and rough metal sculpture and anthurium with foliage. Sorry I cut off the top of the design–I could joke about where my eyes were but I truly was trying to include the description on the front of the stand.

Jinny Marino's Design

Jinny Marino’s Design

'Herakles' - Inspiration for Jinny Marino's Design

‘Herakles’ – Inspiration for Jinny Marino’s Design

Jinny Marino's Design

Jinny Marino’s Design

 

In a different gallery, Betsy’s arrangement was facing a different work of art than her assigned inspiration piece, Sunset (Medusa) (1945) by Eugene Berman. She seems to have played off both works of art.

Design by Betsy Ninninger

Design by Betsy Ninninger

‘Sunset (Medusa)’ – Inspiration Artwork for Betsy Ninninger’s Floral Design

Design by Betsy Ninninger

Design by Betsy Ninninger

Ikebana

This morning I returned to the museum for another Art In Bloom event.

Ikebana: Classical to Modern. Kyoko Petersen of the American Institute of Floral Design is a professor in the Ikenobo Ikebana school in Kyoto, Japan, the birthplace of ikebana. The presentation highlights classical ikebana arrangements along with newer styles introduced in the 20th century.

The demonstration was marvelous. It was enlightening to watch and listen as Kyoko created a dozen spectacular designs. She worked with many beautiful flowers, including orchids, anemones, peonies, quince and her favorite, camellias.

In some arrangements she strictly adhered to traditional principles set out hundreds of years ago, where nine elements of nature are represented (such as shady side, sunny side, waterfall). There are specific instructions for placement that cannot be altered. She began with this traditional design representing landscape.

Classical Ikebana - Landscape

Classical Ikebana – Landscape

Several of her designs illustrated 20th century adaptations made by the head master of the Ikenobo Ikebana school where she teaches. (The head master is forty-something generation.) The newer style takes into account people live not in castles, but rather in smaller houses. Also today the designs can take advantage of a wider repertoire of materials than those historically available. Kyoko also demonstrated free-form creations.

This design illustrates the modern simplification the master created in the 20th century.

Modern Ikebana

Modern Ikebana

This was one of my favorite designs. I tried to remember what the unusual leaves are called, perhaps begins with “Renaissance”? The surprising use of yellow pansy at the bottom adds finishing touch.

Modern Ikebana With Three Elements

This final design of the morning was an effusively abundant celebration of Spring, using camellias, peonies, variegated pine and orchids over a framework of weeping willow and weeping cherry. (Sorry for poor photo quality but perhaps you can get an idea.)

Ikebana: Homage to Spring

Ikebana: Homage to Spring

Ikebana: Homage to Spring

Ikebana: Homage to Spring

Ikebana: Homage to Spring

Ikebana: Homage to Spring

Kyoko’s presentation has inspired me to try to learn more about Ikebana.  Another event today that was sold out but would have been fascinating, was a hands-on master class with Shane Connolly, Royal Florist. He designed the flowers for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  If you happen to be local to the Raleigh area, Art In Bloom is well worth your time.

So that is how I welcomed the changing season. And tomorrow I hope to back in my garden.

Workshop On Creative Design

Creative Design, Workshop II, January 20, 2015

Creative Design, Workshop II, January 20, 2015

Tuesday I attended the second session of a Workshop II floral design class offered through my garden club. We began the class by practicing leaf manipulation, then used the altered leaves to develop a Creative Design.

As a novice student in the area of floral design it is difficult to know, much less explain, exactly what creative floral design is. The goal I believe is to fabricate a design no one else has ever done (conceptual originality), using basic design principles that apply to any artistic endeavor (foundational standards), and exhibiting consummate craftsmanship. None of these criteria are met by the arrangement I created on Tuesday, but after having been throughout the exercise I do believe I am beginning to internalize the goals.

Our teacher, Betsy, has a network of floral suppliers and for a small fee she provides each student the flowers and foliage to complete the design. This is helpful so that we all start out with the appropriate materials each time. Betsy is a garden club member, an experienced floral designer and a flower show judge. Two other members assist with the class, both of whom are also flower designers, and one is also a judge. I really appreciate that these women volunteer their time and expertise to help educate club members in floral design.

For class this week we were asked to bring an interesting branch, 1-2 inches thick and at least 20 inches high. Yesterday my husband helped me prune an outlier branch from a Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) to use for this project. Unfortunately choosing a 20-inch section that had interesting curves proved challenging, but I sectioned a piece from the top that seemed to meet the criteria. I saved some of the wood for another project.

Branch pruned from Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

I cut a portion from this large branch pruned from Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Once in class the base of the branch had to be scored or split to allow the branch to be inserted into a 3-inch florist pin holder. The lines of the branch established the line of the design. What I learned as I moved through the course was that the branch I chose proved to be too wispy and busy, not really strong or hefty enough to compete with the weight of the leaves and flowers we used. Thankfully the teachers gave lots of helpful comments, explanations and hands-on assistance, so I probably learned more by having to compensate for the size of the branch.

With the branch in place we turned our attention to leaf manipulation. We began trimming, folding, cutting, braiding, weaving and looping our leaves. This activity could have consumed the entire two hours of the class. My teacher Betsy demonstrated an interesting technique using an aspidistra leaf. She applied peel-off UGlu adhesive patches along the back spine of the leaf and lay medium weight florist wire down the spine. Next she trimmed an inch-wide strip from the length of a second aspidistra leaf and used it to cover the wire. With the wire in place the leaf can be then be folded, scrunched, twisted or otherwise manipulated and the shape will hold.

Wired and folded aspidistra leaf

Wired and folded aspidistra leaf

Without a clear design idea in mind it took me a while to get started with the alterations I was so afraid of “messing up” which is always something I must always overcome when learning a new activity. By nature I am usually very reflective and like to weigh all the possibilities, but the class time was extremely limited of course. I finally conquered my timidity and began preparing the leaves.

Eventually I inserted an Fatsia leaf (without manipulating it), added an accordion-folded, wired Aspidistra leaf and add a couple of other rolled Aspidistras. I also made a loose loop using half-dozen strands of beargrass and used a quarter section of a fan palm to complete the foliage.

Fatsia and Fan Palm Leaves

The looped beargrass did not survive the car ride home so I learned a valuable lesson. The leaves have to be stapled, glued, wired or otherwise securely fastened.

Looped Bear Grass

Looped and Wrapped Beargrass

Manipulated leaves in Creative Design

Manipulated leaves and Asiatic lily in Creative Design

I really liked working with aspidistra leaves. Each one has a unique pattern.

Bicolored Aspidistra was trimmed to make it narrower, then rolled and glued.

Bicolored Aspidistra was trimmed to make it narrower, then rolled and glued.

By this time I became more decisive and ended up trimming away quite a lot of the wispy branches and several major ones. Less is more in creative design. With a great deal of conversation and guidance from the instructors the arrangement began to take shape. Betsy helped me place three tightly closed Asiatic lilies, the only flowers used in the design. Each lily was cut to be a different height. Two were placed in front and one was added in back near the base. It will be interesting to see how the design changes as the lilies open. After two days they have opened only slightly.

Creative Design

Creative Design

I brought home some leftover flowers and leaves so I can experiment with creative design some more this week. (The leaves were featured for January Garden Bloggers Foliage Day.)

Some of the materials had shifted around during the car ride so I reworked them before photographing the arrangement once I got home. The angle I worked from is hard to recapture in the photographs. Slight shifts in the camera angle really change the effect so the design integrity needs to be strong from all frontal and side points of view.

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Materials

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)
Fatsia japonica
Arecaceae (Fan Palm)
Xerophyllum tenax (Beargrass)
Lilium (Asiatic lily)
Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) branch, 1-2 inches thick, at least 20 inches high
3-inch florist pin holder
Oasis Lomey 11″ Round Designer Dish – Black
UGlu Adhesive Strips

Having gone through the class this week I realize I have a lot of work to do to prepare for an upcoming Floral Design Guild event. For this I have to come up with a concept, select a container and appropriate background, devise necessary mechanics to ensure the arrangement stands up properly and select the flowers and foliage. February will be here soon. Hoping to come up with a bold and dynamic design, I also have to keep reminding myself to relax and enjoy the journey.

 

Crescent Design

I took a beginning-level floral design workshop two years ago through my local garden club. When I could not attend class on the day we studied Crescent Design, my teacher invited me to return for a make-up class. Yesterday I finally made it back.

Crescent is a fun design to make and everyone’s arrangements turned out well. All designs shared the basic crescent form, yet we commented how different each result was. Given that we started with the same instructions and same materials, each person’s unique approach was apparent.

The crescent design is asymmetrical. Think of the way the crescent moon looks. The longer curve is usually on the left in this design.

Crescent Design

Crescent Design

We formed the line of the crescent using stems of Israeli Ruscus and Bells of Ireland. Bells of Ireland have some natural curve and the ruscus can be slowly bent to encourage it into shape. It does not mean it is easy to keep that line curving though. Next the line was reinforced with flowers. We used spray roses, alstroemeria, and several sizes of carnations. The largest carnations were reserved to create a focal point near the bottom.

Left curve of crescent. Line was formed using Israeli Ruscus and Bells of Ireland.

Left curve of crescent. Line was formed using Israeli Ruscus and Bells of Ireland.

In a class like this the atmosphere is a bit frenzied since there is a limited amount of time to complete the assignment.  I always think I could have fixed this or that with a bit more time and even before I photographed the flowers I could see some changes that would improve the design. I let the bottom of the crescent become a little too heavy and should have left some negative space to help keep the eye moving from one side of the crescent to the other.

Nevertheless I was excited by the result.

Bottom of the crescent ended up a bit heavy.

Bottom of the crescent ended up a bit heavy.

I brought home some leftover flowers and several stems of Ruscus so I can play with crescent design some more this week.

Materials

3 stems Ruscus sp. (hypoglossum or hypophyllum) (Israeli Ruscus)
3 stems Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland)
3 stems White Spray Roses – petite flowers, 3 to 5 flowers per stem
3 stems White Large Carnations – one large flower per stem
3-4 stems White Spray Carnations (Mini Carnations) – many smaller flowers
3 stems Green Dwarf flowered Carnations – several small flowers on one stem
3 stems Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily)
6-inch clear, shallow dish
Floral foam brick

Carnations, Bells of Ireland and Alstroemeria

Carnations, Bells of Ireland and Alstroemeria

Lesson Notes

The instructor began the lesson by introducing two design principles, dominance and contrast, along with two design elements, color and texture. From last time she also reviewed the principles of balance and rhythm and the elements, color and form. We looked at many examples in the textbook and had an interesting discussion about why they worked. (Interestingly, some of the examples, we agreed, did not really work successfully and it was helpful to have the teacher and the other two women who were assisting her point out some quibbles they saw with some of the arrangements pictured in our book.)

It is hard to keep all these concepts in mind once flowers are in hand, but over time reviewing these design principles and elements improves and refines our sensibilities and taste.

Elements of Design
In flower arranging the basic design components or building blocks are balance, contrast, dominance, proportion, rhythm, scale.

Principles of Design
The principles guide how the elements are structured or arranged, leading to a cohesive design (color, form, line, space, texture).

Crescent Design

Crescent Design

As I mentioned today’s workshop was a make-up class from the beginner level class. Actually this year I am taking the second level workshop series and I look forward to meeting with that class next week. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to study with the women from the garden club who conduct these classes for the members.

Merry Christmas 2014!

Christmas Centerpiece 2014

Christmas Centerpiece 2014

Hope everyone has had a wonderful day. We celebrated Christmas today with gifts, phone calls with family in many corners of the country and dinner at our home with a special friend. Thanks for the many good wishes from my blogging friends.

In A Vase On Monday-Yuletide

In A Vase On Monday-Yuletide. As it looked on Monday with Camellias.

Yuletide camellias in the vase from Monday did not last long enough to see this holiday through, but an extra package of cranberries pulled from the freezer at the last moment gave the arrangement new life.

In fact, I like the result better than the original. More of the Husker Red Penstemon is visible now and the deeper red of the berries seems to accentuate the dark burgundy hue of the penstemon foliage.

The only other change was the addition of a piece of fruit, a Christmas orange. Looking at the photograph I think the color of a lime might have been nice instead. May have to try that.

View from above - Christmas Centerpiece 2014

View from above – Christmas Centerpiece 2014

Side view - Christmas Centerpiece 2014

Side view – Christmas Centerpiece 2014

Christmas Floral Gifts

Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), Pine, Holly-3

Our dear friends surprised us yesterday with a Christmas vase of beautiful flowers. They are excellent gardeners who used to live across the street from us on Wave Road but now are across-the country-neighbors living in California.

Gift Arrangement with Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), Pine, Holly

Gift Arrangement with Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), Pine, Holly

The vase was filled with Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), white with yellow and red markings; pine needle bundles and pine cones; and holly leaves and berries; and all tied up with a satiny red bow. Many thanks to these good friends for this thoughtful gift.

Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), Pine, Holly

Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), Pine, Holly

Gift Arrangement with Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), Pine, Holly

Gift Arrangement with Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), Pine, Holly

Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily)

Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily)

We had one other floral gift yesterday from neighbors down the street. I had not bought a poinsettia this year so was delighted to have one to add some traditional Christmas color.

Euphorbia pulcherrima (Poinsettia)

Euphorbia pulcherrima (Poinsettia)

However you may celebrate this time of year, I wish all my dear blogging friends the best of the season. I am honored and grateful each time you stop by to visit pbmGarden.

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.

Foliage And A Vase

Time to catch up. I usually try to join Christina’s Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day (GBFD) to highlight garden foliage on the 22nd of each month, as well as Cathy’s weekly challenge, In A Vase On Monday, to create fresh arrangements each Monday using materials found in our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday-Quick Mantelpiece Display

In A Vase On Monday-Quick Mantelpiece Display

We had out-of-town family visiting for my husband’s birthday this weekend and what a wonderful time we shared.

I did not even venture into the garden this weekend but literally in the 6 minutes it took to make coffee early Sunday morning I assembled some week-old, leftover materials (from a design guild orientation) into a small arrangement for the mantel.

As a container I chose an anachronistic crystal ashtray, a wedding gift from years ago that has never been used. I trimmed and shaped the ends of a palm tree frond and inserted it into a floral pin holder. Next I placed two carnation stems to add a pop of color to the design. Carnations are not my favorite flowers but they have lasted well, I will say that for them. Finally I cut and folded some Aspidistra leaves and added them. The rendition of this design was rather crude, but perhaps there is potential for further development. [Meanwhile my daughter and I both had the same impression that this design was quite appropriate for Thanksgiving because it reminded us of a turkey. Can you see it?]

Now for foliage. In the first week of November my husband and I stopped at Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina, for a very brief visit. I had noticed several things that I wanted to share for Christina’s GBFD this month.

One is a majestic Dawn Redwood that we came across.

Gnarly roots of Dawn Redwood caught my attention.

Gnarly roots of Dawn Redwood caught my attention.

I admire this type of tree so was intrigued to read the description accompanying this particular one.

Dawn Redwood Plaque

Dawn Redwood Plaque

Dawn Redwood

Fossils show that Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostoboides) was a dominant coniferous tree in much of the northern hemisphere from about 90 to 15 million years ago. In 1941 a few living trees were surprisingly discovered in a remote part of western China. Seeds collected from them were germinated at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in 1948. The next year this tree, one of the original seedlings, was planted here.

When I finally looked up I enjoyed the long view skyward.

Dawn Redwood At Duke Gardens

Dawn Redwood At Duke Gardens

The steep slope between the parking lot and the visitor’s center featured an exuberant planting of Muhlenbergia capillaries (Pink Muhly Grass) that could not be ignored.

Muhlenbergia capillaries (Pink Muhly Grass) at Duke Gardens November 2, 2014

 

The formal terrace garden was serene the morning we were there. The weather that day was unseasonably cold and few people were around.

Terrace Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Terrace Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Lastly, this foliage along the Perennial Allée caught my attention. I like the color combination and textures.

Dynamic Lime Green And Purple Combination

Dynamic Lime Green And Purple Combination

Thanks to Christina for hosting Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day (GBFD) and to Cathy for hosting In A Vase On Monday. Visit each of them to see what they and others are sharing this week from their gardens.

Meditation Circle At MidNovember

Meditation Circle In MidNovember

Meditation Circle In MidNovember, 2014

The meditation circle was used for walking meditations this spring and summer, but I never got around to planting anything new until fall. During the first week of October I added red Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and blue Viola (Johnny-Jump Up). Both are blooming right through the unusually cold, record-setting weather we have had for the past week.

A few violas also volunteered from last year but not in their designated spot.  The planting areas are supposed to form the “wall” between the pavers that form the path.  Instead the violas and actually, quite a few Penstemon Digitalis (Beardtongue) ‘Huskers Red,’ have spread themselves around in-between the pavers. I left most of them for now even though they have not followed the rules.

Early next spring I want to add back some Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft).  This image from  a couple of years ago shows one of my favorite plantings in the circle (of course, it was May). Not much is left of it today except the very reliable Husker Red.

Meditation Circle May 3, 2012 Foreground: Penstemon  mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple' (Beardtongue)  Center: Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft) Upper Right and center: Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) Upper Right: Angelonia

Meditation Circle May 3, 2012
Foreground: Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue)
Center: Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)
Upper Right and center: Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Upper Right: Angelonia

When the labyrinth was first conceived I had imagined planting it one time with perfectly chosen plants and reaping the pleasure for years to come, but instead I guess I will reap the pleasure of devising and experimenting with new planting schemes. I had not taken into account at the time such outside forces as drought, standing water or voles.

Several garden visitors have remarked at how the meditation circle has grown in and become more integrated into the rest of the garden. It is true, but in some ways I prefer the more spare and stark look it had when it was first built.

This year the various thymes thickened and crept toward the pavers. I thought I would like that effect but now I am tempted to trim them back to be more tidy. It looks drab now but Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme) in the center of the circle bloomed from the first of July until the end of October. All the thymes should remain evergreen through the winter.

Detail of thymes creeping over the path.

Detail of thymes creeping over the path.

Magnolia Leaves

Today’s monthly garden club meeting featured Jihye Schumann, a designer who began studying floral design 14 years ago in Korea. She demonstrated making arrangements for the home with fruits, vegetables and flowers. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to get pictures of her more elaborate creations, but I did win one of the small ones in a raffle.

Jihye showed how to create a simple and inexpensive display to decorate a tea table by filling three inexpensive glass cups with chrysanthemums from a grocery store and found magnolia leaves.  My photograph does not do this justice. Since I could bring home only one of the cups I cannot show the full effect, but the display of three looked quite nice. She suggested adding candles and a teapot to the three cups of flowers and everyone nodded, envisioning how lovely that grouping might look.

Garden Club Raffle Prize

Garden Club Raffle Prize

The interesting part was how Jihye manipulated the fresh magnolia leaves. First she stacked and aligned about a dozen leaves so they were all pointing the same direction, then she cut them in half with scissors.

Next she restacked the leaves tightly, such that the cut sides all faced down. She inserted the stack into the container with the cut side down. She repeated the process two more times so there were three groups of leaves and then she just added a few stems of flowers for color. Simple, but unusual.

Magnolia leaves, stacked and cut in half provide the foliage.

Magnolia leaves, stacked and cut in half provide the foliage.

In A Vase On Monday—Cold Survivors

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

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.

The weekend weather in central North Carolina dropped 15 degrees below normal temperatures for November, reaching down into the mid-20s F. I knew it was coming but I do not think I have ever been so pained to see the garden succumb to freezing. Preparing a vase to share each week will become much harder for many Mondays to come.

My youngest sister surprised me this week with another perfect gift, a sage green glazed ceramic container that I hoped to use today. It is a shallow dish with a leaf shaped top. Three holes in the top are designed to hold short stemmed flowers, such as camellias.

New leaf-shaped ceramic vase holds Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

 

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ has been blooming for a few weeks, even before the department stores could fill the aisles with Christmas baubles, but the cold turned its blossoms to mush. Fortunately by sneaking deep inside the heart of the Yuletide shrub I was able to rescue three blossoms that survived the recent blast of cold weather.

When I first entered the garden I noticed the deep red Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in the meditation circle were largely unaffectedly by the severe shift in temperature. I discovered one snapdragon that had opened to reveal decidedly pink flowers, not red.

An unexpected pink Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

I had plucked a few side shoots from half a dozen plants to use just in case it was impossible to locate some usable camellias. Then once inside with the camellias in place, it seemed a shame not to use the snapdragons. I combined them with three sprigs of chartreuse sedum and placed them into a turquoise vase.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and Sedum

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and Sedum

I used a bright red wooden tray to frame the two arrangements of flowers.

In A Vase On Monday-5

Thanks again 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.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

In A Vase On Monday—Four Seasons

 

In A Vase On Monday - Four Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – Four Seasons

Today’s “Four Seasons” refers to the annual cycle in the garden as this week marks the first year anniversary for Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday. During the past year Cathy has inspired quite a few fellow garden bloggers to create fresh arrangements each Monday using materials found in our gardens.

I first joined Cathy’s Monday vase project on January 27, 2014, and since then I have been looking forward to seeing everyone’s creations each week. The vases have been delightful and the resulting sense of sharing and community has been gratifying. Thanks to Cathy for hosting and congratulations.

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) and Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne) Foliage

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) and Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne) Foliage

Winter:  Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne) was featured last winter in my first Monday vase. Today I used some of the green foliage for concealer leaves.

Spring:  Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is a spring favorite and has rebloomed for the past month.

Summer:  Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) are mainstays of my summer garden.

Fall:  Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) has compelling orange fall foliage color.

Flowers and foliage representing four seasons of gardening

Materials

Flowers
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Lavender
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Foliage
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Mechanics
3 Round Ikebana Kenzan Flower (Frog) Pin Holders
Large round black plastic dish

 

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Thanks again 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 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—Camellias And Gardenias

In A Vase On Monday-Cameillias and Gardenias

In A Vase On Monday-Cameillias and Gardenias

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

I had planned a quick arrangement today of newly blooming chrysanthemums, but a traditional design seemed more appropriate to honor the flowers I selected instead. My delicate pink-tinged Camellia sasanqua is blooming. While I was collecting some of these fragile flowers I noticed the neighboring Gardenia jasminoides had offered up 4 or 5 more blooms.  What a fragrant pairing these flowers made.

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides

A few pink and white Echinacea are used to fill out the arrangement. Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower) is still going strong after many, many weeks in flower, but I have not used it much indoors this summer.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Gardenia leaves are dark green and shiny, making them a perfect background to accentuate the flowers in this week’s vase. For this traditional round design, I first established a spherical shape using the foliage, before adding the flowering materials. Eventually I removed some of the foliage as the initial quantity made the arrangement seem too heavy.

Foliage of Gardenia jasminoides was used to establish the round shape of the design.

Foliage of Gardenia jasminoides was used to establish the round shape of the design.

The goal of today's vase was to create a traditional round design.

The goal of today’s vase was to create a traditional round design.

A few sprigs of ‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress) lend an airy texture to the arrangement.

'Carolina Sapphire' (Arizona Cypress)

‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress)

Today’s container is a piece of crystal that once belonged to my maternal aunt. It seemed like a good choice for this formal floral design.

Crystal Vase

Crystal Vase

The scent of the gardenias and the camellias made assembling this vase such a pleasure today.

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

In A Vase On Monday-Camellias and Gardenias (with Echinacea)

In A Vase On Monday-Camellias and Gardenias (with Echinacea)

 

Materials
Flowers
Camellia sasanqua
Gardenia jasminoides
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides
‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress)

Mechanics
Floral foam
Crystal vase
6-inch plastic Lomey dish

 

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—Foliage, Color and Pods

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.

Early this morning I was out gathering foliage and flowers for today’s vase, but it has been a busy day. Finally I have a just few minutes to share what I collected before running off to a meeting tonight.

The other day I had spotted a large seed pod from one of the still blooming Irises that I thought might be attractive in a vase so I started with it.
Iris Seedpod

Many foliage plants looked fresh and interesting today. Also there were lots of Dahlias this week (I definitely plan to plant more Dahlias next year) and I found one of the newly planted red snapdragons blooming.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

I put together stems of roughly the same height and stored them in some glassware (even one of last night’s wine glasses) to allow them to condition until I could find time to make an arrangement. Everything seemed so fresh I would have been satisfied to enjoy these flowers all week without further tweaking.

Conditioning The Materials Gathered In Early Morning

Conditioning The Materials Gathered In Early Morning

Eventually I did get around to making a design. I selected for today’s container a lovely blue and green glazed ceramic pot created by my daughter during a high school art class.

Handthrown Ceramic Vase

Handthrown Ceramic Vase

Here are some views of the final arrangement. These two are looking down from the top. I liked the Iris seedpod, and also the contrasting Rudbeckia seed heads. I used Iris , lupine and lamb’s ear foliage to add texture.In A Vase On Monday-3

In A Vase On Monday-2

A few sprigs of Meadow Sage ‘May Night’  add a nice color change from the red dahlias and snapdragons.

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

 

Seed Heads of Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes' contrast with the Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Seed Heads of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ contrast with the Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Foliage and Pods
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)
Iris germanica (Bearded iris)
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

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—Red Pitcher

 

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.

Today’s offering is a simple collection of Zinnias in hues ranging from orange, apricot, coral, and pale yellow. Three sprigs of Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ contribute foliage in dark shades of purple and red. A burgundy dahlia and an umbel-shaped floret of Autumn Joy sedum,  now aged to a rich burnt sienna color, complete the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday-4

The flowers are held in a bright red Waechtersbach pitcher accented with white hearts, a gift from my mother-in-law many years ago.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)
Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again Mix

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—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

Materials

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 Memory Onto Your Soul

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

It is time again to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

Last week I passed on using gardenias in my Monday vase as they were a bit past their prime; nevertheless I enjoyed some indoors for a few days.

A few more were blooming Sunday afternoon and though again they are not in perfect condition, even seeming to turn brown before my eyes, I decided to feature them today to honor their delectable fragrance.

Gardenia

Gardenia

Many of you will be able to close your eyes, take a deep breath in and imagine a gardenia sitting before you.

…the scent of gardenias settles like a memory onto your soul.

Gene B. Bussell. “Gardenias: A Fragrance That Captivates“. Southern Living. June 2005.

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Another reason to display gardenias today is I came across a self-seeded red salvia from last year.  Its first flowers appeared this week and I thought their intense hue would look interesting with the creamy white of gardenias. Despite the reputation of red salvia for being overused, I find them attractive and sometimes just what one needs for a bright punch of color in the garden.

Red Salvia

Red Salvia

I was curious how these flowers might work in a formal arrangement, but not having time today to experiment, the blossoms were loosely placed into a simple, clear shrub glass. Gardenias have beautiful dark green, glossy leaves so no additional foliage was needed.

Materials

2 Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’
2 Gardenia sp.
3 Salvia splendens (scarlet sage, red salvia)

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

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

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

In A Vase On Monday—Roses And Lavender

Roses and Lavender

Roses and Lavender

It is the first Monday of May and I am joining Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create a floral arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden.

This weekend when I saw my old-fashioned rose had begun blooming I immediately decided to feature it in my Monday vase. It is a sentimental favorite.

A pass-along rose

A pass-along rose

I brought this rose from my previous garden when we moved here thirteen years ago. It was a pass-along from my mother’s cousin, a sweet woman whom I consider my gardening mentor. She was the source of many other pass-along plants as well. My mother had also grown this same rose, as did my maternal grandmother, so each spring when I see these deep pink buds, they bring tender memories.

Roses and Lavender-2

Lavender branches seemed a perfect choice for greenery and for contrast included Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage). I selected a few salmony-pink Dianthus as filler flowers.

Roses and Lavender-6

 

 

When doing formal arrangements I always underestimate how much material is required. With a bare spot still needing to be filled I remembered a piece of Allium Nigrum had broken off in the garden the other day before it even had opened, so I had brought it inside. It worked fine to finish this week’s vase.

White flower of Allium Nigrum was a last minute addition to the arrangement.

White flower of Allium Nigrum was a last minute addition to the arrangement.

Materials List
Old-fashioned Rose
Lavender
Dianthus ‘Ideal Select Salmon’
Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage)
Allium Nigrum

This design is my loose interpretation of a traditional round design. The rose stems were not strong enough to work with easily, but the arrangement went together without too much fretting. I used floral foam set into a 4-inch diameter, shallow dish to hold the flowers, envisioning that the arrangement would sit atop a crystal vase. Because I had not been careful to conceal the sides of the plastic dish, the effect was imperfect though.  I tested the arrangement on a round, straight-sided black ceramic pot and also without an extra vase.  In the morning perhaps I will gather a few concealer leaves or flowers to resolve that issue.

Roses and Lavender-5

The roses and lavender are wonderfully fragrant. My husband remarked how nice the house smells tonight.

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

Garden Club Flowers In A Mug

Flowers In A Mug

Although I have already posted pictures of flowers in a vase today here is another arrangement.

My garden club meets tomorrow morning and each member has been asked to bring in a mug of flowers to set up on a table for a cheerful spring display.

With this in mind, on Sunday I purchased some purple and white stock and some white roses tinted with the barest apricot hue.

Flowers In A Mug-7

The flowers were not in pristine condition, especially the roses, but I used them anyway tonight to create a round design in a heavy, lime green soup mug.

I filled out the arrangement with stems of Japanese holly, branches of spiraea and a few sprigs of lavender.

 

Flowers In A Mug-2 Flowers In A Mug-3 Flowers In A Mug-5

In thinking about how the design turned out I would change several things. I would increase the number of roses and reduce the stems of stock. Perhaps I will like it better when the stock finishes opening.

Flowers In A Mug-6

I used the Japanese holly stems around the base of the mug to hide the florist’s foam and it seems very dark and dense. Next time I might opt for lavender or something else that is lighter.

I also cut the roses too short and should have adjusted the other material accordingly. In fact, lowering the arrangement by several inches might improve the overall proportions, but overall I am please with the balance.

The white stock is especially pretty, more fully open and fresher than the purple one.
Flowers In A Mug-8

Flowers In A Mug-9

Flowers In A Mug-10

This was a fun design to create and it is always a good learning experience to work with different materials. It will be fun to see the other members’ mugs. The spring garden table will be overflowing with flowers at tomorrow’s meeting.