Tag Archives: Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Preview

My dear husband is finally home from rehab after back surgeries. He is slated for lots of therapy in the coming weeks to help him regain strength and mobility.

Naturally gardening time continues to be scarce as together we concentrate on his recuperation, but with his encouragement I was able to carve out a few minutes yesterday to collect some flowers to share for a Monday vase.

With spring-like, record-setting temperatures for the past month the borders are bursting with color. Faced with the many choices I focused on Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ which began blooming the first of February. In my garden, anemones have been difficult to establish. Most do not survive at all, others are short-lived, so I cherish this particular tiny patch.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

For today’s vases I took inspiration from the blue-green combination of these anemones against the fresh lime green flowers of Euphorbia ‘Shorty’. I selected several complementary hellebores as well.

Euphorbia 'Shorty' and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Ikebana vases with integrated pin holders are a quick arranging solution.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Preview

Hellebores began opening sporadically in December and for the last month have been spectacular. I added some named cultivars last winter which seem to have survived but only one is blooming. The label is missing and I have not had time to figure out which one it is.

Some of the hellebores in today’s arrangement are from an initial order of plants made the first year we moved into our house in 2001 and others are pass-alongs from Vicki, a garden club friend whom I first met through yoga.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Euphorbia 'Shorty' and Helleborus x hybridus

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ and Helleborus x hybridus

This past week several hyacinths popped out for a fragrantly spicy surprise. They seemed to want to be arranged without fuss or competition from other flowers, so they fill one Ikebana container.

Hyacinth orientalis 'Blue Jacket' and 'Woodstock'

Hyacinth orientalis ‘Blue Jacket’ and ‘Woodstock’

Materials
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Hyacinth orientalis ‘Blue Jacket’
Hyacinth orientalis ‘Woodstock’
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)

I am happy with the finished effect of grouping the vases and delighted to be able to share them today.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Preview

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their winter gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

As the week begins it is always fun to join Cathy for In A Vase On Monday. This is an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

I am not around to post but I prepared a quick contribution and scheduled publication for today. Will catch up reading comments and admiring vases from other participants as soon as I can.

Hellebores began blooming hesitantly around Christmas, with only one or two flowers opening at a time. This one was rescued and photographed just before last week’s ice and snow storm.

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

The doughnut-shaped container is actually a glass tea light holder, a lovely hostess gift last year from a dear yoga friend.

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

The diminutive berries, identity unknown, came as filler in a store bouquet.

Materials
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Berries
Glass tea light holder

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their winter gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Old And New

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

In A Vase On Monday is an opportunity hosted by Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to create and share an arrangement using materials gathered from one’s garden.

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

A pair of Phalaenopsis orchids were on standby in the dining room for use in the final Monday vase of 2016, but before my sisters arrived Christmas Day (bringing dinner no less) I swept through the garden to see if I could cobble together a home-grown arrangement to end the year.

I have been keeping an eye on a half-dozen of the Sugar Rush series of Erysimum plants purchased several weeks ago. They are still unplanted but I hope to change that dubious status soon. As more of them bloomed the flowers have become decidedly multicolored. I am unsure if that is normal.  It took a little courage to cut the stems but I finally decided they just might work in this week’s vase.

Erysimum

Erysimum

Despite some cold nights Yuletide camellias are continuing to open. Although redundant, having relied heavily on this flower since Thanksgiving, I plucked several fresh blooms just in case. The golden center coordinated nicely with a gold Erysimum.

Erysimum and Camellia Sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Erysimum and Camellia Sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Before heading indoors I checked on the Hellebores planted nearby. Excited to find a couple of nodding blooms, I selected one for today’s vase. I think of Helleborus as starting a new cycle of flowers for the upcoming year.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

There was no time to labor over this arrangement. With the rush of expected company in mind I quickly filled a multi-stemmed vase and inserted the flowers.

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

Materials
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’ (Wallflower)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Gold’ (Wallflower)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’ (Wallflower)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)
Multistemmed container

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

It is nice to finish up 2016 by sharing this little container of colorful flowers and thereby completing the 52nd vase of the year.

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

In A Vase On Monday Retrospective

Mondays have taken on new meaning since my initial participation in late January 2014 and I have become a little obsessed with finding something to place in a vase each week.

During some parts of the year the garden offers enough bounty that the choice becomes what to omit rather than what to include. At other times like today when the garden is resting, fewer items stand out as obvious features for a vase, and the creative challenge is to treat like a star whatever is available.

In either case, in times of abundance or scarcity, naturally some arrangements are more successful than others, but I find there is always something to learn. Besides it is just pure fun to imagine and experiment and play with flowers each week.

2016-gallery-detail-2It is helpful to be able to look back at what was blooming in past years or at what vase I used to display certain flowers. As a resource last year I began creating annual galleries of my Monday floral designs with directories to link back to the original descriptions.

Now at a glance I can view the entire year of vases by referring to these pages from the Floral Design menu.

If you are interested to check them out, these are quick links for each year:

2016  — 20152014.

Another aspect to IAVOM is visiting as many other participants’ sites as possible each week to see what is blooming in other parts of the world. I always get ideas and insights from studying what other Monday vasers have created.  And of course, I always appreciate reader comments–it is great to stay in touch.

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

In A Vase On Monday—Violet To Green

In A Vase On Monday—Violet To Green

In A Vase On Monday—Violet To Green

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

Embodied by yellow-green hellebores tinted in red violet the palette for today’s flowers covers my favorite half the color wheel. Reddish-purple bearded iris, violet blue anemone and a lime green container supplement the scheme.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Several white Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ offer a restful element.

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

 

Included last week as well, the reddish purple bearded iris has been blooming just over a week in the garden.  It is lightly scented.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Prolific Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ continues to thrill. Newly opened flowers are richly hued, while older one fade to a lovely lavender.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Materials
Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Iris germanica (Bearded iris)
Ikebana floral pin
Fiesta soup mug

It is always best to work with the correct container from the beginning. This design feels slightly too tall and not wide enough for the substituted mug, making it seem out of proportion. I began this arrangement with another vase in mind, but it turned out to be too small. Although it did not work out as planned, the mug’s color picks up the green of the hellebore nicely and gives a nice overall pop to the design.

In A Vase On Monday—Violet To Green

In A Vase On Monday—Violet To Green

These are not the only colors in my spring garden but if I had to I could be happy with this palette.

In A Vase On Monday—Violet To Green

In A Vase On Monday—Violet To Green

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower addiction. 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—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

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

My vision for today’s offering was to form an abstraction by arranging florets and foliage into a pattern—a circle, rectangle or square—laid on a pure white background. The idea evolved into creating the shape on a decorative silver-plated tray and eventually into abandoning the idea altogether and returning to a regular vase of flowers.

Laying down the abstract design was not as straightforward as I had imagined. Interweaving the greenery and blossoms was simple, but soon it was apparent the stems and flowers were going to twist and turn, yielding to gravity rather than to my plans. I needed to find a way to keep them in place.

To solve the problem I decided to build components, similar to small boutonnières, that could be held together by wrapping the stems with florist’s tape. This worked great and they went together quickly. I had gathered enough materials earlier in the day to crank these out all day. But after making a few I began losing interest in completing the original idea of the abstract shape.

I decided to just share the collection of flower sprays.

Building Blocks - boutonnières

Building Blocks – boutonnières

These sprays of flowers would be attractive to tuck around individual place settings for a dinner party.  There are four variations. The first combines Helleborus with foliage of Everlasting sweet pea and Lamb’s ear.

Helleborus with Everlasting sweet pea and Lamb's ear foliage

Helleborus with Everlasting sweet pea and Lamb’s ear foliage

The second pairs Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Candytuft flowers with Shasta daisy and Lamb’s ear leaves.

Narcissus 'Thalia’ and Candytuft with Shasta daisy and Lamb's ear leaves

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Candytuft with Shasta daisy and Lamb’s ear leaves

The third set also uses Shasta daisy and Lamb’s ear leaves for the background. The flowers are Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Euphorbia ‘Shorty.’

Narcissus 'Thalia’ and Euphorbia 'Shorty'

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Euphorbia ‘Shorty’

The last design uses one of my new Hellebores. The interior has matured to green and is edged with the same maroon that is on the exterior of the petals.  I love the greenish hue of this hellebore with the blue-violet of Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker.’  Soft lamb’s ears and a shasta leaf add the finishing touches.

Greenery, Helleborus and Anemone coronaria 'Mr. Fokker'

Greenery, Helleborus and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

 

Since I actually had polished the silver tray I decided to experiment a few minutes by arranging the the flowers on it.

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

Components arrayed on silver

Components arrayed on silver

Helleborus and Anemone coronaria

Helleborus and Anemone coronaria

 

Materials
Flowers
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)
Foliage
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Candytuft and Narcissus 'Thalia’

Candytuft and Narcissus ‘Thalia’

No matter that my original concept evolved into something unexpected. I enjoyed the exploration. Eventually I collected the flowers and placed them into a square glass vase to savor this week.

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

In A Vase On Monday—Evolving Design

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

In A Vase On Monday—Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

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

Finally in full bloom in the southwestern border, hellebores were the starting inspiration for today’s arrangement.  These are not the ones recently purchased at the hellebore farm, but were passed along from Vicki, a yoga and garden club friend, about five years ago.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

Growing on the north side of the house Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ is full of flowers and plenty of fat buds promise many more. One branch of this camellia was included to add color interest and serve as a focal point.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

A redbud twig and five or six stems of spiraea were selected to add height and movement to the design. Both of these springtime favorites burst into blossom just in the past couple of days.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

Added as a last minute impulse, bright yellow from a trio of Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ lifts the arrangement and ties the other flowers together.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

I grabbed a cranberry-colored glass vase just to hold the hellebores while they were being conditioned, but ended up sticking with it. Not only is the vase a perfect size, but the dark red brings an unexpected element of drama to the spring assortment.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

Materials
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’
Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ (trumpet daffodil)
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Cranberry red glass vase

On yesterday’s gray afternoon there was little light for picture-taking in the dining room where I moved the arrangement for display. The flowers will brighten up our meals this week (if we eat indoors! Last week we had most meals on the screened porch enjoying the birds and the view of the awakening garden.)

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Assortment

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Assortment

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

In A Vase On Monday—Late February Profferings

In A Vase On Monday - Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

In A Vase On Monday – Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.  After last Monday’s snow, sleet and ice covered the garden once more, the weather relented, and the days since have been mild and mostly sunny.

The Coral Delight Camellia featured last week with rescued, faded blooms is back with a fresher look. And Hellebores deserve a share of spotlight as they are at last coming into full flower in the garden.

Late February Profferings

Late February Profferings

As I gathered these cut flowers on Sunday morning I intended to work them all into a single arrangement. But after conditioning them in water (while my husband and I ran out to brunch with a friend), it seemed quicker and more manageable to keep the two main types of flowers separated.

There were a half-dozen camellias in bloom, perfect for displaying in a set of footed cordial glasses.

In A Vase On Monday - Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

In A Vase On Monday – Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

In A Vase On Monday - Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

In A Vase On Monday – Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ has a semi-double flower, deep coral pink in color. The plant is slow-growing, aspiring to 6-8 feet high. This one is about 4.5 feet tall after about ten years, with dark, shiny foliage.

The blooms are brushed with white markings on the petals.

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Hellebores in my garden have been reluctant to open this winter. I visited a hellebore farm yesterday with a friend and we were surprised to find fewer blooming plants than imagined. When I have organized my pictures I will write more about the visit and purchases.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Only one daffodil was blooming yesterday, but many more are about to burst onto the scene.  I included it with the hellebores for a sparkle of color. Purple stems of statice from a store-bought bouquet from last month and a piece of Shorty Euphorbia from last week’s vase were used as filler.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

The hellebores were placed into a Portmeirion Botanic Garden vase, detailed with pansy motif and leaves around the rim.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Materials
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’
6 Cordial glasses (footed) with silver caddy

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (shorty Spurge)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Limonium sinuatum (statice)
Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ (trumpet daffodil)
Portmeirion Botanic Garden vase

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

In A Vase On Monday—February In Royal Blue

In A Vase On Monday - February In Royal Blue

In A Vase On Monday – February In Royal Blue

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

Sunday was 70°F and in the main garden sun melted away the last stubborn patch of snow from the previous weekend. Though there are bulbs springing up everywhere the garden looks exhausted.

A couple of stems of hellebore combined with arum and ilex foliage were the only potential vase materials to catch my eye during a morning inspection. Supplementing them are a fresh set of white and red blooms from indoor pots of cyclamen.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

A royal blue goblet lends a punch of unpredictability.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials
Arum italicum
Cyclamen
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Ilex crenata (Japanese holly)
Ikebana Kenzan (floral pin frog)

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

It is helpful to study the design in black and white. This is the same image as above.

Study in black and white

Study in black and white

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

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

In A Vase On Monday—April Allure

 

In A Vase On Monday - April Allure

In A Vase On Monday – April Allure

Late on this April afternoon I am joining Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly challenge to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

I wondered all weekend what might work in a vase for today, knowing blue-violet Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ would be my first choice. I had not imagined finding such a large and varied collection of blooms as I did. These flowers inspired me to create a formal classic round design.

Anemone coronaria 'Mr. Fokker'

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Camellia x 'Koto-no-kaori'

Camellia x ‘Koto-no-kaori’

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

For this week’s container I affixed floral foam to a 6-inch shallow plastic dish. Once the design was completed the shallow dish was placed atop the actual vase. The cream-colored ceramic urn, imprinted with “Vintage 4,” lends a traditional flair to the design and the extra height helps provide proper proportion.

The arrangement is held in a small shallow dish.

The arrangement is held in a small shallow dish.

 

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

I am happy with the arrangement, although there are always things to tweak. After seeing photographs of the arrangement I realize too many of the flowers are vying to become the focal point, taking away the emphasis from Mr. Fokker. I really like the pure bright white of the Thalia daffodil, Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ and spiraea, and think it would help the balance of the design to bring the white further down toward the base. I like the green tones of the older hellebores, serving almost as foliage, while the fresher pinkish ones echo the hue of the camellias.

It is wonderful to have enough flowers for a mixed arrangement this week. Spring is welcome to hang around a while.

Materials

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’
Camellia x ‘Koto-no-kaori’
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Many 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—Dandelion Inspired

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday-Dandelion Inspired

Monday brings an opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

Last week a dear houseguest visited. The days were marked by unwelcome cold and rain. Warmer weather at the weekend made it possible to spend some overdue time outdoors. Still, the sun has been very timid. This evening it has just come out in time to set.

Two King Alfred daffodils opened a few days ago and I brought them indoors ahead of a predicted ice/sleet storm. Today, the first Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ are in bloom.

In looking for something to place in a vase today, for some reason a dandelion in the grass seemed magical, a sure sign that winter is moving on. The fluffy yellow flower began fading before I could get it photographed but never mind. It had already served its purpose by making tangible a moment of realization that spring is coming.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

The entire rest of the arrangement was chosen just to provide a bit of accompaniment for the dandelion: hellebores on a glass dish, ebony stones and a candy tin that repeats the hues of the dandelion and the stones.

Imaging what goes with a dandelion

Imaging what goes with a dandelion

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.

Late February Garden Report

This Eastern Bluebird is perched on the folded tip of the juniper next door.

Eastern Bluebird Atop Juniper

Eastern Bluebird Atop Juniper

A heavy wet snow overnight transformed the winter garden.

Snow Dressed Garden

Snow Dressed Garden

Once again the birds are scurrying back and forth between feeders and favorite perches.

Female Cardinal Perched Above Feeder

Female Cardinal Perched Above Feeder

Surrounded by draping branches of ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress, a Northern Cardinal waits patiently on a redbud branch while the Eastern Bluebirds take a turn at the feeder.

Northern Cardinal and Eastern Bluebirds

Northern Cardinal and Eastern Bluebirds

Looking below and to the right of the cardinal, the green clumps on the ground are Hellebores. Here are the same ones seen looking more colorful yesterday. This collection of Hellebores in the garden’s southwest corner were among the last to bloom.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Speaking of hellebores, I highly recommend this new video from a well-known, North Carolina-based nursery: Hellebore (Lenten Rose) Production at Plant Delights Nursery. Owner Tony Avent explains how he grows and selects Hellebores to sell at his nursery.

Fortunately with a high forecast of 37 °F today the snow is already beginning to melt, but winter refuses to leave. Low temperatures for the next 3 nights: 26 °F; 18 °F; and 12 °F.  There are broken branches in the neighbors’ yards and lots of bent branches and shrubs in the back garden. Out front the Crape Myrtle pair have once again been damaged. The crushed one on the left had make such a nice recovery too, after having been flattened by a freakish summer wind shear several years ago. The tree on the right lost a lower branch this time.

Crape Myrtles At Front Walkway

Crape Myrtles At Front Walkway

This bird flew up into the bottom of the feeder two or three times before finally landing on the feeding perch. I wonder if it was trying to shake down the seeds toward the front or was just beating itself up over this weather. Spring is coming, spring is coming, spring is coming…

Avian Antics

Avian Antics

In A Vase On Monday—Resilience And Vulnerability

Floating Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose) In A Glass Dish

Floating Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose) In A Glass Dish

Monday brings an opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

Resilience is an admirable trait in people and in plants. In the plant world Helleborus stands among the very best of the irrepressible. Our low temperature may not have quite reached 1°F this week, but 2°F felt just as cold. A brief reprieve this weekend brought Sunday’s high into the 50s and when I quickly searched late in the afternoon for anything that might go into a vase this week, I had only to stop in front of the hellebores. While one clump did strike a limp posture, several other groups appeared ebullient. I collected some happy ones.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

On the other hand, before coming inside I checked on the more vulnerable Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne) that has been covered in reddish-tipped buds for weeks. Before the recent cold hit the daphnes seemed poised for a thrilling bloom time. Unfortunately in a repeat of last year, now they reveal only great distress and browning and I doubt there will be many, if any, flowers.

For this week’s arrangement I chose a footed glass dish with a shallow bowl to display the flowers. I placed large black stones in the bottom and covered them with water. I trimmed the stems quite short and floated the hellebores above the rocks for a colorful Monday offering.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

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. You may be tempted to join in as well. It is fun.

Everything Is New

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Recently my yoga teacher suggested the class think of the phrase everything is new as we moved through the poses. The idea was to pay attention to every aspect of each asana as if we were experiencing the posture for the first time.

I brought home the phrase to use with my garden. Adopting everything is new will not require starting over with new plants nor throwing out accumulated knowledge from my few years of gardening.  The phrase simply inspires me to pay attention without overthinking everything.

Observe. Take time to notice.

Everything is new reminds me to focus on the joy of being in the garden and experience gardening anew.

Narcissus

 

In A Vase On Monday—Winter Vase

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday – View From Above

Monday brings an opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

This week we had a very minor ice storm, lots of rain and even a day of sunshine. There are very few choices for winter blooms in my January garden, making it difficult to come up with anything new for a Monday vase.

Although Hellebores have been used in my first two vases this month I clipped four more (all that were open) to use again this week.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

 

For further inspiration I looked indoors where a few pots of cyclamen have been blooming for several weeks and a Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ has recently begun to flower as well. I chose two bright red cyclamens, but left the begonia blossom intact, collecting the leaves instead.

‘Erythrophylla’ leaves are bright, shiny green in front, but flipped over they reveal a beautiful red underside. Their contrasting white veins are also flecked with red, reminiscent of red speckles inside the hellebores.

Red and green Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ leaves add contrast and texture.

For a vase I used the shallow, ceramic leaf-shaped dish. The three holes in the top were just right size to hold the various stems snugly in place.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

I positioned the three leaves first, with the back one directly opposite the ceramic leaf of the vase itself. Next beginning in back I established a line of pink hellebores curving right to left. The pair of cyclamen flowers complete the arrangement for today.

A pair of cyclamen blossoms add a final jolt of color to the arrangement.

A pair of cyclamen blossoms add a final jolt of color to the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials List
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Cyclamen
Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)

 

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Vase

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Vase

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—Once Upon A Time

In A Vase On Monday - Once Upon A Time

In A Vase On Monday – Once Upon A Time

Monday brings an opportunity to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

It was cold the past week—9 degrees F. (-12.7 C.) one morning—and naturally the garden took it pretty hard to learn it really is winter. Helleborus had begun blooming in time to incorporate into my Monday vase last week, but I was unable to collect fresh ones this time. They looked limp and it seemed best not to disturb them. Fortunately I was able to reuse a couple from last week’s vase for today.

I looked in vain for anything else blooming. Instead I cut some Daphne odora branches filled with tightly closed, yet colorful, dark pink buds. Its variegated foliage looked surprisingly fresh and bright.

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

For color, charm and sheer nostalgia I selected my daughter’s small Peter Rabbit cup to hold today’s arrangement. Once upon a time she used this little Wedgwood mug at every meal.

Peter Rabbit Cup, England

Peter Rabbit Cup, England

The teacup design on the napkin underneath was chosen for the way it echoes the colors of the fresh materials and the Beatrix Potter characters. A few sprigs of dark green cypress foliage were included for extra texture.

Peter Rabbit Cup, England

Peter Rabbit Cup, England

Materials List

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Cypress, species unknown

Now run along and don’t get into any mischief

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

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—Hellebores

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Ah, the first Monday of 2015. 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.

I prepared this arrangement a day ahead, knowing today might be too busy. Sunday’s skies were dreary. In between showers, daylight was remarkably pale. The temperature was mild, in the 60s F., and knowing the week ahead is forecast to be very cold, I spent some time taking care of an easy garden chore.

I recently saw a reminder to trim away leaves from hellebores before their flowers emerge. When I had last checked on mine a few days ago they showed no sign of being ready to bloom, but after trimming away several handfuls of leaves I finally looked down the row and laughed out loud. I had been too focused on the task at hand to even notice that many of their nodding flowers already had commenced to open.

I knew all week the container I wanted to use for today and was hoping to find something new in bloom. A few days ago my daughter gave me a colorful and versatile vase for short-stemmed flowers. There are eight ceramic tubes set at slightly different angles and heights on a rectangular base. Each tube is a different color, but in effect they are rather neutral and do not compete with the colors of the blossoms.

Multiple Stem Tube Flower Vase

Multiple Stem Tube Flower Vase – one side

Multiple Stem Tube Flower Vase

Multiple Stem Tube Flower Vase – the other side

This arrangement went together quickly. Hellebores typically like to face downward but the tubes of the vase helped prop up several of them so as to expose the interesting markings and colors.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

First of the new year – Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

I do not have many kinds of Hellebores but would like to get a few more. They bloom for three months, starting in January! What a nice way to start off the new year.

Materials List

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

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.