Tag Archives: Hydrangea macrophylla

In A Vase On Monday – Dinnerplate Serving In Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Dinnerplate Serving In Pink

My maligned dahlia

Update. July 14, 2020

Note:  I am red-faced as I make this confession. After fussing below about this dahlia not looking like Cafe Au Lait, I think I simply forgot that I planted another variety alongside the replaced dahlias.  I’ll have to check back to see if I can find a label for it.  Meanwhile the “imposter” has opened into a lovely form (semi-cactus?) with a white center.  I actually love it. Apologies for my confusion.


Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase using cuttings from our gardens. After what seems like a month without rain passing us by, we finally had a fierce, full-blown thunderstorm Friday night. Temporarily refreshed, the garden must brace for extreme heat this week.

I am not a huge fan of pink but with fewer flower choices today I decided to showcase a couple of dinnerplate dahlias in an Ikebana vase. 

Last year I ordered 9 Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ tubers.  I was disappointed when they bloomed. Not all but most seemed imposters—so unlike the photos of the soft coffee cream blush ones I have admired. The company where I purchased them suggested I might have been sent D. ‘Labyrinth’ by mistake and offered a refund or replacements this spring. I chose to receive replacements.

Now dahlias that overwintered from last year along with some replacements planted this spring are in bloom.

The replacements so far look even more distantly related, although I’ve heard from some of you there can be a range of color variation in the flowers of ‘Cafe Au Lait’ and also there are pink ones such as Café au Lait Rosé  and Café au Lait Royal.   

This is from the new tubers. Since the photograph was taken this flower has begun opening to a somewhat paler center. I am curious to see how the other replacements turn out.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (replacements planted this spring)

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (replacements planted this spring)

Ironically this one is from last year. Still not the iconic look I seek, but beautiful and definitely less pinky. It is about 6 inches in diameter. I will keep feeding.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (planted last year)

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ (planted last year)

A small hydrangea cluster, pale pink in color, became the third element in today’s design. Would I prefer it be blue, yes, but I haven’t taken on the task of adjusting the soil pH.  The hydrangea is perfect for today’s study in pink.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Hydrangea macrophylla
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Peace. Be well.

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrance And Pink Petals

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrance And Pink Petals

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

I am not a fan of pink but it often dominates the blooms in my garden and commands today’s vase as well.

In A Vase On Monday – Fragrance And Pink Petals

Hydrangeas I adore, even in pink, and especially at this fresh young stage.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Pink persists. Cleome (spider flower) freely self-seeds in the meditation circle and is just beginning to bloom.  All parts of the the plant display interesting architectural features.

Cleome Hassleriana Details With Hydrangea Macrophylla

Cleome Hassleriana Floating Above Hydrangea Macrophylla

To my mind the stars of this early June vase are gardenias.  They have scented the garden for several weeks, blooming magnificently this year. When temperatures blazed upward the gardenia flowers pouted and turned brown, but a few new buds continue to open. Their fragrance is unparalleled, inviting one to breathe—deeply inhaling sensuous joy and exhaling, letting go with a sigh.

Hydrangea and Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides

Materials
Flowers
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Gardenia jasminoides
Hydrangea macrophylla
Foliage
Container
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase

What color prevails in your garden this week?

Many 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.

In A Vase On Monday-Mass Of Pink And White

In A Vase On Monday – Mass Of Pink And White

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

It feels like summer now complete with high humidity, soaring temperatures and little rain. Today’s mass design relies on two hydrangeas that are enlivening the garden this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Mass Of Pink And White

Featured are white flowers of H. quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ and pink flowers from a passalong H. macrophylla.  I am not such a big fan of pink and would prefer to be sharing this mophead hydrangea in blue, but the soil at my house is too alkaline. I know it’s possible to increase the acidity of the soil to get the blue I desire but I’ve never gotten around to it.

In A Vase On Monday – Mass Of Pink And White

The hydrangeas are joined by more pink and white, courtesy of my last peonies for the season.

I had stored a few peony buds in the refrigerator for several weeks before bringing them out in time for a visit from my sister-in-law last Tuesday. Some buds opened immediately, while others opened unhurriedly and ended up in today’s vase. Both Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ and P. ‘Festiva Maxima’ are deliciously fragrant.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura), Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony), Hydrangea macrophylla

Seeing Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’  in the garden this week was a surprise and I could not resist tucking a bit into this Monday vase. Gaura has never thrived here and I thought it had disappeared completely.

Gaura and Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)

Materials
Flowers
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Hydrangea macrophylla
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)
Foliage
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Mass Of Pink And White

Many 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.

In A Vase On Monday – Pink Florals

In A Vase On Monday – Pink Florals

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. After weeks of hot, dry weather there finally were rain sprinkles on the Fourth of July just as everyone was getting excited about fireworks. The rain quickly moved on that evening, hurrying north toward town. Since then there have been several other showers, none bringing much precipitation.

Indifferent to the preceding, long dry spell, Cleome hassleriana has opened in the meditation circle and throughout portions of the borders. I gathered a dozen or more stems to feature in today’s vase.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) With Liatris

Some of the flowers come out white.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Companions include fresh cuttings of Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) along with several clusters of Hydrangea macrophylla left over from last week.

Sweet Pea, Hydrangea and Artemisia

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Soft silvery gray foliage of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) mixes into the soft gray-green band of glaze of the stoneware pitcher.

Hydrangea and Artemisia

Materials
Flowers
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Vase
Stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue. (pitcher and 4 cups, Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977).

In A Vase On Monday – Pink Florals

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Succession Of Three With Gladiolus

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

Along with a small sampling of recent summer blooms, two stems of white gladioli engaged my attention for several hours as I assembled and refashioned. When at last I declared myself done I had created three vases to share with you.

Vase One

Most of my time was spent on this first vase. My mind was set on having the draping Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ and spidery Cleome as a base for the gladioli. The small peony on the left is from last week’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase One With Gladiolus

Gladioli have been surprisingly robust this year in the garden, returning from bulbs planted in previous years. Of the duo used in today’s vase, one is very pure and white; the creamier other has purple anthers and a trace of color at the throat of each blossom.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase One With Gladiolus

When I bought angelonia in early spring to line the paths of the meditation circle, I chose purple and white. One bicolor made its way into the flat.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’

Vase Two

The idea for the second vase was simply to give home to flowers that did not make it into the first—another gladiolus and several stems of garden phlox that began flowering this week. It was assembled in just a couple of minutes with a curving line of echinacea used to enliven the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Two With Gladiolus

The echinacea is not one of the special hybrids but several of its flowers emerged with deep pink petals.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Two With Gladiolus

This gladiolus is another with purple accents.

Gladiolus

The magenta of the phlox is a jarring color but its presence is strong.

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Vase Three

The third vase is a redesign of the first, with the bicolor angelonia and cleome shifted right, the darker purple ‘Angelface Blue’  brought together on the left and a soft, barely pink (almost white) hydrangea filling the space beneath the gladioli. I find this iteration the more successful of the two.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

Grouping similar colors makes their impact cleaner and more direct.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

Here are the two starring gladioli for comparison.

Gladiolus

One with the purple anthers…

Gladiolus with purple accents

…and the pure white one.

Gladiolus — pristinely white

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

Materials

One
Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Foliage: Gladiolus leaves
Container: Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders. 6 x 6 inches.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase One With Gladiolus

Two
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)
Foliage: Gladiolus leaves
Container: Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Two With Gladiolus

Three
Same as One, plus Hydrangea macrophylla

In A Vase On Monday – Vase Three With Gladiolus

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.

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

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

June days are swirling past, each day in the garden brings new blooms or promise thereof. Gladiola swords stand tall, ready to step into the limelight in the coming weeks; meanwhile Calla lily, monarda, dahlia, echinacea and shasta daisy all are flowering.

Taking advantage of the variety I gathered such a mix of materials it made creating a vase daunting. To simplify seemed the best solution.

So for today a blue Ikebana vase holds Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ fronted by pink hydrangea, softened by drapes of passalong Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea).

In A Vase On Monday – June Song

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is a reliable bloomer when there has been adequate rain. It has spread nicely in the southeast border.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The sweetpea is a sentimental addition—a passalong from my mother’s cousin and garden mentor. It has been in this garden for 17 years and grew at my former home for many before that. It also has appreciated the wet spring.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Materials
Flowers
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Foliage
None
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H inches)

I have filled lots of little vases and glasses with the leftover blooms from this week’s foraging, making the house colorful and cheerful.

Some leftovers: Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

 

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. I’ve been eyeing these lilies for a couple weeks and finally they are ready to share.

Described as carmine red, these lilies were planted in a patio container several years ago. This year they have responded to the wet conditions with enthusiastic abundance.

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

I envisioned today’s design with just two stems of lilies but they seemed to need something more. I added one hydrangea to fill out the shape of the arrangement. The cold killed most hydrangea buds, but a few stoic ones surprised me this week with 5-6 rather small, yet welcome blooms.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Next I added a second stem of hydrangea to the back and right of the lilies and a single, perfect young echinacea to the design.

Hydrangea macrophylla

The echinacea played happily with the pink hydrangea, but not with the lilies.

Hydrangea macrophylla

After trimming the echinacea to different heights and placements, eventually I removed it, deciding it did not contribute to the overall design.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Perhaps it would have worked placed lower toward the lip of the vase and slightly to the left.

The second cluster of hydrangea seemed to be enough on its own to balance out the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Vase With Lily

Materials
Flowers
Hydrangea macrophylla
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Foliage
None
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

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.

First I apologize for not responding to comments lately or finding time to check out your posts.  I have been helping my husband through some back surgery and now rehab.  Recovery has been slower than expected but each day is a little better.

Knowing I would not be around to prepare an arrangement for today I took the liberty of putting one by. The phrase putting by usually refers to preserving food but seems appropriate for flowers as well.

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

These hydrangeas were featured last summer in Monday vases when they were fresh and at their prime. Then they were allowed to dry (or more accurately I stopped remembering to replenish their water). The vases were moved into a window and photographed during a snow storm in early January.

The pistachio-shell colored flowers are mopheads (Hydrangea macrophylla) from my own garden.

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

 

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

The more richly colored green, pinky-red and aubergine clusters came from my sisters’ garden and I do not know the variety.

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

Materials
Hydrangea
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Ceramic containers by local potters

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

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

In A Vase On Monday—Welcome

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

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

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

Southern Side Path

Southern Side Path – After clean up

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

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

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

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

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

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

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

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

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

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

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

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

Materials
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Ceramic Urn

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

More Vases

More Vases

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

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

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

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

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

Each July Fourth America celebrates Independence Day, acknowledging the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Eschewing classic red, white and blues I opted for subtler, yet still bold, variations of the traditional colors.  In several attempts I could not get reality aligned with my design ideas, so I ended up with four very different arrangements.

The shasta daisies are the fourth effort and my favorite. Creating this simple grouping was made easy using the colorful multi-stemmed vase.

Shasta Daisies, from above

Shasta Daisies, from above

The third try was a loose display of purple coneflowers, Blue Sky salvia, red dahlia, shasta daisies, and starring a lovely lavender gladiolus.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The second vase was composed of two coral gladioli among two hydrangea blooms. I liked this one also.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The first arrangement of gladioli, phlox, hydrangea and Blue Sky salvia was more formal.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The house is filled with flowers today—four arrangements for the Fourth. Have a happy day wherever you are.

Materials
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Hydrangea macrophylla
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower arranging devotion. 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—Hydrangea Gift

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangea Gift

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangea Gift

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

I confess the hydrangeas in my vase today are not actually from my garden but still are quite local. They grew just a couple of houses away at my neighbor Eileen’s. She showed up at the back gate several days ago bearing freshly cut blooms.

Eileen said she remembered how much I have admired them in summers past and that, like mine, her hydrangea bushes had not bloomed the previous two years. This is a good year for hydrangeas though and what a wonderful surprise to enjoy these richly colored flowers from a friend.

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangea Gift

Hydrangeas seem to arrange themselves. They are quite adaptable and pleasing in any vase.  I chose the light mint green ceramic one acquired at the spring neighborhood yard sale. It has a lid with holes, a sort of built-in frog to hold the stems in place.

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangea Gift

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangea Gift

Many 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.

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.

In A Vase On Monday—June Orbs

In A Vase On Monday - June Orbs

In A Vase On Monday – June Orbs

Today brings a welcome chance to share the garden by participating in Cathy’s weekly call to display our cut flowers In A Vase On Monday.

The transition to summer is evident throughout the borders and in these early days of June, Hydrangea and foxglove continue to delight. Naturally then they should be featured in today’s arrangement.

Digitalis Foxlight 'Ruby Glow' and Hydrangea macrophylla

Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ and Hydrangea macrophylla

My first ever Ranunculus have begun to flower. Not many from a bag of 40 tubers survived and the flowers are much smaller than I had anticipated, but I was able to cut a couple of blooms.

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

I bundled together half-dozen stems of Appleblossom yarrow to form a sphere similar in size to one hydrangea.

In A Vase On Monday - June Orbs

At center left, bundled Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) echoes the shape of hydrangeas and caramel accents of Ruby Glow foxglove.

Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow), Gaura, Ranunculus

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow), Gaura, Ranunculus

In some pictures the yarrow may look faded or even brown, as my husband thought, but in reality the flowers range in color from pink to peach with yellow centers. The effect was intended to pick up the caramel tones visible in the foxglove.

Hydrangea macrophylla, Digitalis Foxlight 'Ruby Glow' and red Pelargonium

Hydrangea macrophylla, Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ and red Pelargonium

Scarlet Pelargoniums harvested from a planter on my screened porch add a zing of color to what would otherwise might appear to be a collection of mostly pink balls.

In A Vase On Monday - June Orbs

In A Vase On Monday – June Orbs

The Waterford crystal container measures about 6 inches high by 6 inches wide. To hold the flowers in place I used a Perfect Arranger, which is a stainless steel armature with a weighted base that holds flower stems tightly in place without the need for using floral foam.

Materials

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow)
Dahlia sp.
Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Hydrangea macrophylla (from Jayme, March, 2013)
Leucanthemum superbum ‘Becky’
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Pelargonium, dark red
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Ranunculus
Crystal vase
Perfect Arranger floral holder

This last view is one taken from overhead.

View From Above - June Orbs

View From Above – June Orbs

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

In A Vase On Monday— Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangeas

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

Hydrangeas began blooming last week and I am thrilled. The flowers have a way to go before they are fully open but I could not wait. Hydrangea macrophylla generally bloom on old growth. In the previous two years late cold snaps ruined the buds, so this is the first promising display ever from these passalong shrubs.

Often arrangements of flowers require many more blooms than one would expect. I had to return to the garden to snip a few extra hydrangeas to complete the vase.

These flowers were so luxurious and satisfying to arrange.

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangeas

Perhaps an odd use of concealer foliage, I first lay out a collar of pink achillea around the perimeter of the vase and then added the layer of leaves above. I chose Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ for its beautiful red coloring on the undersides of the leaves to complement the other pinks and reds in the arrangement.

Folded leaves of Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' reveal reddish underside

Folded leaves of Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ reveal reddish underside

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' foliage with Hydrangeas

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ foliage with Hydrangeas

Penstemons are also blooming this week and I used several colors as filler flowers. Husker Red has dark red foliage with white flowers and self-seeds generously. Pike’s Peak Purple is my favorite. Originally planted along the path of the meditation circle only one plant remains there. Last summer I managed to divide it and plant a piece in a section of the border, where it is blooming but not really thriving.  Red Rocks is the third penstemon, and as is often the case with plants named “red,” the bloom color is pink, not red. Red Rocks is blooming well though.

Center: Penstemon x mexicali 'Red Rocks', Penstemon mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple', Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'

Center: Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’, Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’, Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

Penstemon x mexicali 'Red Rocks' (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’ (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Also featured in today’s vase are three stems of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’. These large clusters of oak leaf hydrangea, which open white, should gradually turn pink and eventually darken to a rich dark rose. This has never happened. Instead the flowers turn brown and dry up before reaching that stage. Maybe there will be enough rain to keep the plant happy this year.

White clusters of Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

White clusters of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Materials

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) – foliage only
Hydrangea macrophylla (from Jayme, March, 2013)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’  (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’ (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Container Notes

I found a new ceramic vase at my neighborhood’s garage sale a few weeks ago. The selling point was its matching lid with holes to help secure the flowers, like a flower frog. The lid works but with limitations.

To begin this design I edged the container with a low soft border of Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow). Supported by remnants of feathery foliage, the achillea stayed precisely where I put it.  But the taller, heavier hydrangeas were less cooperative. At the beginning the hydrangea stems had a lot of wiggle room in the openings, shifting around and adjusting as I inserted other flowers.

Eventually I managed but this arrangement might have been easier with a stronger base of Oasis or another anchoring system. The lid does lift up easily to add fresh water.

Vase lid with holes

Achillea filipendulina inserted into holes of vase lid

This view shows how the initial edging of achillea and heuchera leaves support the hydrangeas in the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangeas

Hydrangea Color Notes

The pink color of my mophead hydrangea is surprising. I grew up in an area where hydrangeas were always blue. I have never had the soil tested here but there are plenty of pines in the neighborhood so I had assumed the soil was acidic. When Jayme gave me the plants, I think there were 2 or 3 blue flowers the first year, 2013; 1 or 2 small pale blue ones in 2014; 1 or 2 small white ones, 2015. So the flower color has been transitioning as the plants grew and became established.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

For blue flowers hydrangeas require acidic soil (pH 5.5 or lower) and for pink, neutral to alkaline (pH 6.5 and higher).  To change pink to blue flowers, applying aluminum sulfate to lower the pH and add aluminum to the soil is recommended.

Whew! The End

You deserve a medal if you managed to read this far. Thanks for stopping by.

And 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.

Overhead view of Hydrangeas

Overhead view of Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday—Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday-Hydrangea macrophylla

In A Vase On Monday-Hydrangea macrophylla

A great beginning to my week is to join Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly invitation to fill and share a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

My two pass-along Hydrangea macrophylla have been slow to get established but this spring there were lots of buds. Then a severe freeze in early April dashed my hopes of finally having armloads of these lush flower clusters to enjoy this summer. As insurance for the future I need to invest in the ones that bloom on old and new growth, but meanwhile, a low branch in the back of one bush yielded a delightful surprise last week.

In A Vase On Monday-Hydrangea macrophylla

In A Vase On Monday-Hydrangea macrophylla

So no arranging necessary, I placed the branch into a favorite Caithness glass bud vase. This container is heavy for its size and therefore very stable. One branch, three stems, four inflorescences—instant satisfaction.

The first year these hydrangea bloomed the flowers were blue, which is my nostalgic preference. I will start adding some coffee grounds again to the soil to tip the color back, but meanwhile these blooms are fine.

Materials
Hydrangea macrophylla

In A Vase On Monday-Hydrangea macrophylla

In A Vase On Monday-Hydrangea macrophylla

Thank you to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for welcoming everyone to join her in this opportunity to share a vase each week. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.