Tag Archives: nature photography

Butterfly Journal For 7/23/2021- 7/30/2021

July 25, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

I recorded an amazing 112 butterflies during this reporting period. The annual total is 298.

Butterfly Sightings 7/23/2021- 7/30/2021

07/23/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/23/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/23/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/23/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/24/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 23
07/24/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 7
07/24/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 2
07/24/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/24/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1
07/24/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/24/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/25/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 6
07/25/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
07/25/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/25/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/26/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/26/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/26/2021 Pipevine Swallowtail – Battus philenor 1
07/26/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 6
07/26/2021 Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades 1
07/26/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 2
07/26/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/27/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3
07/27/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/28/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/28/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 3
07/28/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/29/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/29/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/29/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 2
07/29/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 8
07/29/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/29/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
07/29/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
07/30/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
07/30/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/30/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/30/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 10
07/30/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 4
07/30/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1

Within this new period 53 were Fiery Skippers and 14 were Ocola Skippers. These small creatures abound around the Common Lantana, Verbena bonariensis, Butterfly Bush; they also vie with bees and other insects at the Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower).

July 24, 2021 Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

The small skippers are difficult for me to identify with any certainty, but I am making an attempt. In my last report I had decided to just omit these species because of my uncertainty and the time it takes first to make a reasonable guess and second to verify the guess. But after asking for advice on the listserv where I have been reporting my butterfly sightings this year, I was encouraged to do report all species.

Harry LeGrand in Raleigh who is in charge of the collection data and statistics that end up online at Butterflies of North Carolina: their Distribution and Abundance offered a rule of thumb. “If any orange or yellow on them, 90% likely are Fiery, and the rest as Sachems.  That should be the Chatham County ratio. The dark ones likely Ocola and Clouded, with a few others like Dun possible. ”  Of the grass skippers I uploaded to verify this period, all were identified as Fiery or Ocola.

I saw the praying mantis in this photograph only when reviewing the images. Was the male Fiery paying attention?

July 26, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

In other news I can report a discovery and a correction: On 07/26/2021 I learned what I had been chasing as a Silver-spotted Skipper was a new-to-me Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades).  After reflection I realized I had earlier on 07/13/2021 made the same mistake and had misidentified it in my last butterfly journal. It’s been corrected now.  I was told Hoary Edge is often difficult to get in a garden. They are seen in Piedmont region of North Carolina where I live but are more easily found in the Sandhills.

July 26, 2021  Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)

For comparison here is the Silver-spotted Skipper.  I see these often.

July 24, 2021 Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Nearly every day I observe 1 or 2 Horace’s Duskywings. Yesterday there were a record 4.

July 28, 2021  Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

More American Lady and Common Buckeye butterflies are visiting the garden than ever before and are recently observed enjoying cosmos flowers. I have not grown cosmos in many years but the orange and yellow flowers provide a well-coordinated color palette for photographs.

July 28, 2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 28, 2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 28, 2021 Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) on Cosmos

There have been a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, some pristine, some sadly worn and plucked.

July 29, 2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

I was ecstatic to see another Pipevine Swallowtail (last seen 6/14/2021). It was an unexpected treat.

July 26, 2021 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

July 26, 2021 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

July 26, 2021 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

And more!  Yesterday and today Monarchs stopped by.  Some of you have reported seeing these already. One had popped by here in early April when it was still unusually chilly. Hope we all see many more this summer.

July 29, 2021 Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

This has been a rewarding summer of butterflies.

Butterfly Journal For 7/17/2021- 7/22/2021

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

I recorded 34 butterflies during this reporting period. The annual total is 186.

Butterfly Sightings 7/17/2021- 7/22/2021

07/18/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/18/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/18/2021 Skipper sp. 10
07/18/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/18/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/20/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/20/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
07/20/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/20/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/20/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
07/20/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/21/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
07/21/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/21/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
07/21/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/22/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1

The most thrilling butterfly moment this week: seeing a Zebra Swallowtail two days apart.  (There had also been one in early June.)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 20, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Plenty of Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae), especially Fiery and Ocola, go uncounted in my unofficial survey. These insects flit from flower to flower, bump into each, dart away suddenly and land near or far, making it hard to get accurate counts. As I’m not confident of knowing these skippers by sight, it is a time-consuming effort to photograph and verify those that show up around the garden. So for them I am mostly selecting one or two to represent the group.

July 18, 2021 – Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

July 21, 2021 – Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) 1

This year Silver-spotted Skipper and Horace’s Duskywing are regularly seen, not in huge numbers but one or two nearly every day. Common Buckeye and American Lady also are more frequent this year.

July 21, 2021 – Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

July 21, 2021 – American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 21, 2021 – American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Tuesday I photographed my first Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) of the year. Previously I had seen only one in July 2014 and a second in August 2015.

July 20, 2021 – Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are always a welcome sight.

July 20, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is attractive to butterflies, bees and many other insects.

July 18, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

July 20, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Exploring for butterflies this summer in my garden has been a fun project.

Butterfly Journal For 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021

07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

[Note: updated 7/28/2021 to correct ID of Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus to Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades.]

Sometimes I spot a butterfly from a window, other times I actively choose a time to search along the borders. The most fun is when I’m working in the garden and one unexpectedly floats by, sending me chasing it for a brief time to capture the moment. Such a serendipitous encounter occurred yesterday. From the corner of my eye I caught painterly colors drifting by. They belonged to a Black Swallowtail. It entered the garden at the same time as an Eastern TIger Swallowtail. Both headed for the lantana which was already serving a good number of customers.

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

The Eastern Tiger moved on quickly, startled I think by a bee or skipper trying to share the flowers. Within two minutes the Black Swallowtail had also departed, leaving me conscious of the fleetingness of the moment.

07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Butterfly Sightings 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021

07/13/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2 Common lantana; Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/13/2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) 2 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1 Common lantana
[next ID updated 7/28/2021:]
07/13/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades 1 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3
07/13/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1
07/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 3 (1 is dark morph)
07/14/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/14/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/14/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
07/14/2021 Skipper sp. 10 on lantana and butterfly bush
07/14/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/14/2021 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) 1
07/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
07/15/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1 Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)
07/15/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1
07/15/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/15/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
07/16/2021 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae 1
07/16/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/16/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/16/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 2
07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 2 (1 is dark morph)
07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes 1
07/16/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2

Here are a few glimpses of the butterflies seen from 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021. In addition to the one mentioned above, there have been a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails with a couple of sighting of a dark morph, one on July 14 and yesterday, July 16. I have no way to know if it’s the same individual, but the more recent one is decidedly aged.

07/13/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

07/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) -Dark morph

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) -Dark morph

07/13/2021 Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades (Originally I had misidentified it as Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus.)

07/13/2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

07/13/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

07/14/2021 Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

07/14/2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

07/14/2021 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

There are other insects around of course. Now that Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is open in several parts of the garden, the bees gather eagerly.

07/14/2021 Bees on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Dragonflies have been prolific this year and this week I noticed a damselfly as well.

07/13/2021 Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

07/15/2021 Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

07/14/2021 Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)

Hope your gardens are filled with wondrous sights that fill you with awe.

Spring Opening 2021

Vernal Equinox: March 20, 2021 5:37 am.

Spring officially arrived this morning in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (Tete-a-Tete Daffodil)

After a week of severe weather warnings here on Thursday we saw only light rain showers on a day that sadly brought damaging tornados nearby and across the region. 

I managed only a couple hours of cleanup this week but it was satisfying to measure a bit of progress. A delivery of mulch scheduled for mid-week is a huge incentive to get busy weeding today.

Narcissus ‘King Alfred’

In fall of 2018 I layered tulip and muscari bulbs in a big blue pot. Last year a few tulips surprised me with blooms but muscari foliage was the bigger surprise. It never died back last summer, nor over the winter. So there is a tangle of leaves with little flowers now beginning to open.

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

Muscari ‘Armeniacum’

After the winter a crinum lily is lifted way above ground.  I read it should be planted with soil up to the neck of the bulb, which it was, but like my daughter who couldn’t tolerate turtlenecks as a child, the crinum didn’t like being restricted either apparently.  Is the solution to dump more soil around it? It is already growing new leaves. I also read these bulbs could grow to 20 pounds so getting the planting right early on is important.

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

I have tentatively identified a mystery plant in another pot as Matthiola incana (Stock). I think I pulled it up last fall by mistake and temporarily potted it until I could get back to it.

Matthiola incana (Stock -Giant Imperial Blend)

There is a very small clump of anemones starting to flower. Even one of these richly colored flowers is impactful when added to little bouquets of summer snowflakes and daffodils which I have been happily sharing with neighbors.

Anemone De Caen ‘Mr Fokker’

Some of the Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’ planted last year but enjoyed only by the rabbits have begun to emerge. The Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ is waking up. Spiraea seems very late this year but a few flowers have begun to show.

Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

The hellebores continue to open and now the garden is looking more colorful when viewed more than six inches away.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Before I finish I must mention I am haunted by the recent tragedy in Atlanta. Please keep in your thoughts the Asian women who were targeted and murdered this week. Amidst such suffering in the world we must find a way to bring compassion into our hearts.

Helleborus x hybridus

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a productive and exciting spring!

Approaching Mid-March 2021

More hellebores are in flower. These, planted along the north side of the house in 2016, came from Pine Knot Farms (PKF) in southern Virginia. They have not bulked up much in all these years but I am happy to see them again.

Helleborus ’Black Diamond’ (Winter Jewels® Black Diamond)

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Apricot Blush’ (seedlings)

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Apricot Blush’ (seedlings)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Also in the northern side garden this camellia is looking fine today. Just a few days ago its buds barely revealed color so I was surprised it opened so suddenly.  Last year it bloomed 10 days earlier.

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

Camellia ‘Coral Delight’

The weather has been delightful all week, spirit-lifting really. On several days I managed to spend a few hours weeding and performing general clean-up. It is taking longer than expected but far from being a chore this year I am finding the tasks to be immensely satisfying.

Unknown Narcissus (Daffodil)

I showed these cerinthe flowers recently but am compelled by their rich colors to share them again.  I planted seeds last May in two locations. There is no sign of them in the back garden location, but this spot beside the house and next to the driveway is where they found happiness.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

A Snapshot In Time

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

While chasing a decidedly camera-shy Common Buckeye butterfly yesterday afternoon, I came upon a fleeting segment of natural wonder.

Beneath a patch of zinnias an asclepias seedpod was having a moment. Walls of the okra-shaped pod had separated, revealing rows of seeds attached to white, silky threads.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Patterns in nature are fascinating and here the seeds are aligned, held back by gentle tufts of silkiness.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

I went inside to grab some clippers imagining this would make a great focal point for a floral design.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

In my brief two-minute absence nature carried on with its script, sending the necessary amount of wind across the flower bed, releasing the seeds into the world. Wind dispersal sends seeds away from the parent plant, in this case carried atop silky parachutes. Stunned it had happened so immediately I failed to even photograph the mostly bare stems left behind.

Eventually I managed a distant shot of the butterfly, a satisfying consolation and another fine example of nature’s fondness for pattern.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) on Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

Happy Halloween

Dahlias From The Garden

Happy Halloween, inspired by pumpkins and peppers from neighbors alongside numerous fading Dahlia ‘David Howard’.

Dahlias From The Garden

These flowers were gathered and photographed two weeks ago. On this last day of October only an odd dahlia here or there is left in the garden, but it was a satisfying year for dahlias.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Next year I hope to try new types and colors. These are the ones grown this year and last.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Dahlia sp. (lilac is unknown variety)

Dahlias From The Garden

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlias From The Garden

Wishing you a great weekend!

Dogwoods For Easter Morning

Each year my father lined us up, my sisters and me, in front of the largest of the four dogwoods, each dogwood holding down a corner of our front yard.

In our new white dresses with crinolines underneath, ribboned Easter bonnets, soft cotton gloves, and patent leather shoes we four young girls faced the sunlight, squinted and smiled at the camera.

Top Ten Blooms – August 2019

I enjoyed seeing Chloris’ Top Ten August Blooms this morning and decided on a whim to join in this month. I have not spent enough time in my garden this year. I knew there would be zinnias and dahlias but honestly was relieved to walk around and find I could meet the requirement of sharing ten different blooms. These are what I saw today.

Flowers in my garden at early morning were still bathed in rainwater after yesterday’s storms.  Rudbeckia laciniata  is growing in three different parts of the garden. Flowers are giving over to cones, but there are a few fresh blooms.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Perovskia atriplicifolia has struggled some years, but is doing well in the Southern Path.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

This salvia is spreading slowly through the southern border, but never overreaches. In the past it took breaks before reblooming in cooler days, but this summer it has shrugged off dry weather and heat and kept going.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ has been given more space and sun this year. It responded to being cut back sharply in early spring. This is invasive in some places and I would not miss having it but it has been difficult to dig out. Despite its butterfly-attracting reputation, it doesn’t seem to draw much attention.

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Lantana camara has been a magnet for swallowtails and other pollinators, though I saw only one butterfly this morning while I was taking pictures.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Leucanthemum bloomed profusely for weeks this summer. This morning a lone flower stood bravely among drying seeds.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Physostegia virginiana, a passalong from my garden mentor, Virgie, began blooming this week.

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Cleome has bloomed cheerfully all summer. It reseeds freely but is easy to remove.

A new addition to the garden in 2019, Crinum ‘Powellii’ looked promising as I left for the beach at July’s end. When I returned August 4 it had already bloomed.

Crinum ‘Powellii’

You can see I didn’t think through the color scheme when planting the Crinum, just hurried it into the ground before weeds came any closer.

Crinum ‘Powellii’

For my final selection I must share a few dahlias. Many did not survive but I enthralled with the blooms on these plants that made it.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

I invite you to check out Chloris’ top picks for August at The Blooming Garden. You are in for a treat with offering from her Suffolk garden and from others around the globe.

In A Vase On Monday – October Plum

In A Vase On Monday – October Plum

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

The inspiration for today’s vase is a large piece of the kitchen aloe I keep handy at all times. I intended to let the aloe be the focal point, but I kept filling in with other cuttings from the autumn garden until the design veered drastically from my initial idea.

Aloe

An overgrown section of aloe was positioned upright into a florist’s pin resembling spokes of a wagon wheel. As more materials were added the aloe became more horizontal without me realizing it.

In A Vase On Monday – October Plum

Plum-tinged by the weather, Aquilegia foliage is featured front and center, its soft hue echoed and reenforced by surrounding spires of purple angelonia.

In A Vase On Monday – October Plum

Richly colored salvia and bright zinnias add zesty accents.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Materials
Aloe
Angelonia ’Purple’ (summer snapdragon)
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Vase
Ceramic bowl, black matte exterior, red glazed interior

In A Vase On Monday – October Plum

In A Vase On Monday – October Plum

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 – Autumn Glow

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

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Glow

The weather continues to feel very summery but autumn reveals itself this week in the bright, yellow glow of Swamp sunflowers currently dominating the western border.

The sunflowers are the focal point of this Monday’s vase.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp sunflower)

A lichen-covered branch from the river birch out front is used for structure and visual texture.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Glow

This arrangement really is a lot of fun in person but its personality proved difficult to capture in photographs.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Glow

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp sunflower)

Materials
Flowers
Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp sunflower)
Lichen-covered Betula nigra (River Birch)
Container
Oasis Lomey 11″ Designer Dish, black, round
Three floral pins (frogs)
Black stones

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp sunflower)

The Swamp Sunflower has its attractors, including this Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus).

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.

September 2018 Visitor

Junonia coenia (common buckeye)

Happy to see Junonia coenia (common buckeye) visiting pbmgarden today. These butterflies are reportedly common and widespread across the United States. Lavender color in the center of the eyespots is an indicator of freshness.

July 2015 marked the first time I noticed this type of butterfly in my garden. Another appeared in August 2016; none were recorded in 2017.

Junonia coenia (common buckeye)

Common buckeyes nectar on a variety of flowers and frequent open, sunny habitats. This one was resting in grass immediately after a rainfall. I filmed it for nearly a minute. The yoga teacher in me wanted to calm and regulate the uneven pattern of opening and closing the wings.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

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

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

With the autumn season officially upon us, my garden is overgrown and in need of some tough love. Even the zinnias are fading. Today’s vase is fitted with a few rebloomers and lingerers, beginning with several lusciously fragrant gardenias. Of the the few zinnias that remain most are coming in with very tiny blooms. I spotted several diminutive white ones to include. There are also a couple of pristine Shasta daisies making a surprising appearance for this time of year.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

The title of this vase would more accurately be “purple, blue and white in autumn,” with Angelonia from the meditation circle providing purple hues and Blue Sky salvia offering up a true blue.

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

In A Vase On Monday – Blue And White In Autumn

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ‘Purple’
Gardenia jasminoides
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), Botanical Interests.

Vase
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase

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 – Yellow Iris

 

In A Vase On Monday – Yellow Iris

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

A reblooming yellow iris appeared suddenly that I was eager to share. While awaiting Hurricane Florence earlier in the week, I prepared a vase for today by foraging foliage from several previous weeks’ vases and pulling in a freshly cut dahlia and a handful of zinnias.

In A Vase On Monday – Yellow Iris

In A Vase On Monday – Yellow Iris

There was not time to fuss with this one.  We are safe from the storm and feeling very grateful. Hope you dear readers in the affected areas fared well also.

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Iris
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), Botanical Interests.
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Canna
Gardenia
Vase
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 – Yellow Iris

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 – Duality

In A Vase On Monday – Duality

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. After very little rain recently an impending hurricane lurks in the Atlantic.

The inspiration for my vase this week is the foliage of my favorite indoor plant, Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ or Beefsteak Begonia, with its rich forest green leaves that somehow are richly red on the underside.  I have been watching this begonia overflow its pot this summer and so decided to remove a section to use today. Then I will allow it to root in water and pass it along.

Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)

Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)

I wanted also to feature a garden phlox, perhaps it is ‘Robert Poore,’ that has been quietly blooming for many weeks in the southwestern part of the garden. Once clippers were in hand I discovered there was not as much flowering as it had seemed.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox then has been overshadowed by strong spires and deep color of my next choice, Angelonia, which is dominating the meditation circle with its vigor.

Once all the materials were chosen their colors seemed incompatible. (With apologies to Elizabeth Warren) I persisted. The shock of a bright orange zinnia was used to offset the weight of the red and green foliage in the lower half, to keep drawing the eye back up toward the purple-blue flowers in the upper half of the design.

Staging the Ikebana vase on top of an iron candleholder gave the begonia leaves space to drop and flow with grace, rather than be compressed at the base.

In A Vase On Monday – Duality

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia angustifolia ‘Blue’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Angelonia angustifolia ‘Purple’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)
Vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Zinnia and Angelonia

In A Vase On Monday – Duality

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 – Tangerine Glow

In A Vase On Monday – Tangerine Glow

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. This week the main focus is broad leafed foliage and stem of canna whose orange flower is teasingly slow to unfurl.

This canna’s name is a mystery, but I admire its strongly patterned, richly colored leaves.

In A Vase On Monday – Tangerine Glow

Orange Canna

A few gardenias are blooming this week, a welcome surprise, especially since the brutally cold winter had caused serious damage to the bushes.

Dahlia, Zinnia and Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Zinnias continue to be a bright spot in the garden, although some of the plants are dying back now and the flowers are smaller.

In A Vase On Monday – Tangerine Glow

Verbena bonariensis adds dashes of color all around the borders.

Verbena bonariensis

Materials
Flowers
Canna
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), Botanical Interests.
Foliage
Canna. Gardenia
Vase
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 – Tangerine Glow

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 – Quartet

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Quartet

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. We have been a few days now without rain and more significantly, three days of cooler temperatures and lower humidity, blue skies and warm sun have brought luscious comfort to these last days of August.

Zinnias took over my design plans again this week. I had planned to feature some tiny stems of unsung workers in the garden—marigolds, lantana, celosia—but when walking around the garden I could not resist including gold, yellow and orange zinnias as well. These paired well with silvery Artemisia and richly colored Blackbird Euphorbia.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Quartet

By using four straight-sided vodka glasses set inside another glass dish, I was able to mix and match heights. This enabled me to still use some of the tiny-stemmed flowers as well. I like the multi-colored blooms of common lantana. Butterflies are drawn to it also. In the bottom right corner perhaps you can make out the deep red of Marigold ’Spry Boy.’

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Quartet

The white-tipped undersides of this orange zinnia is strikingly different from others in this collection. Below it rests an apricot Dahlia ‘Fireworks.’

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Quartet

Although I like the vases collected into one arrangement, I was curious how they might look scattered more free-range.

I found this more interesting and versatile.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Quartet

The interplay of forms is more obvious when the flowers are given space. The dahlias especially seem happier in this looser format.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Quartet

Materials
Flowers
Celosia plumosa ‘Castle Mix’ (Feather Celosia)
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Marigold ’Spry Boy’
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), Botanical Interests.
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)
Vase
Vodka glasses and Glass dish

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Quartet

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 – Gold Dust And Angelonia

In A Vase On Monday – Gold Dust And Angelonia

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

From the Zinnia Cut and Come Again collection I picked dozens of colorful blooms yesterday, but only one zinnia found its way toward the back of today’s design, a rare white one.

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Having planned to focus on foliage this week I collected a large piece of Gold Dust Aucuba and an arching stem of Sarcococca.

For color there are Angelonia and everlasting sweet pea.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia angustifolia ‘PAC – Angelos Bicolor’
Angelonia angustifolia ‘Purple’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Angelonia angustifolia ‘White’ (Summer Snapdragon)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Foliage
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Gold Dust And Angelonia

Hope your late summer garden is bringing you joy.

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 – Two Vases, One Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

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

For today’s vase I chose a Raku pot purchased at our local Apple Chill street fair one autumn long ago, when five dollars was a significant investment.

Reliable and trouble-free, Angelonia ‘Purple’ caught my eye as I looked around the garden yesterday for flowers to feature. Also I included Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ because it is finally beginning to flower a bit more, though it remains rather lackluster. The three ‘Fireworks’ plants are the only dahlias in my garden this summer (my friend Libby’s mom’s red dahlia did not make it through our harsh winter).

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Zinnia Cut and Come Again continue to color the garden with fresh and long-lasting flowers, drawing hummingbirds, butterflies and other various insects. There is sign of powdery mildew on some of the leaves but the flowers power on. I used most of the zinnias I cut yesterday in a secondary arrangement, but several of the deep orange ones found their way into Monday’s vase, nestling among the purples of Angelonia and one stem of instensely blue-violet salvia.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Two clusters of bright yellow Tansy flowers add a final touch.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Many of my designs are viewed only from the front, but this one is meant to be seen from all directions.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

The asymmetry of this view looks more formal, yet gives a touch of personality.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Some of the stems in today’s bouquet, especially part of the Angelonia and the dahlias, were not as long as I would have liked.  Concerned they may end of out of water at some point during the week, I decided after the photo shoot to trim all the stems evenly and place them into a different container.  Looking freer in this casual soup mug, the flowers will provide a cheery presence this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Two Vases, One Bouquet

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ‘Purple’
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Containers
Lime green soup mug
Raku ware, unknown artist, circa 1978.

It is fun to share vases with others across the world. Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting each week. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Orange And White

In A Vase On Monday – Orange And White

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

Zinnia Cut and Come Again are reliable for a profusion of summer blooms. Jason mentioned his were mainly white and orange and coincidentally those are the two colors I had selected for today’s vase. I seem to have a balanced mixture of colors this year, but the white is rare among the reds, pinks and yellows.

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila

There are more oranges this year in the mix.

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ is beginning to bloom in a dark corner behind other plants so I decided to bring a stem indoors.

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

For natural accents I reused a piece of bark from a previous arrangement, along with a seed pod from Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) from a few weeks ago. The pod has transformed and burst open.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

A bunch of zinnias make a great summer bouquet, but even in small number they have great presence.

In A Vase On Monday – Orange And White

Materials
Flowers
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)
Other
Bark: Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
Pod: Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

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 – July Complementary

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

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

Before thinking consciously of today’s vase in terms of complementary yellow and purple, I had in mind tall stems of fading sunny Rudbeckia, the green cone-heads featured prominently, and backed by a large purply patterned Canna leaf. I also wanted to use pieces of bark saved from a Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle), especially this lichen-covered section.

Lichen and Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) Bark

Using two floral pins or frogs I began by inserting the bark.  Next the rudbeckia and canna went in as planned.

Before long I had rescued a stem of Tansy from last week’s vase for more yellow and more texture.

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

More purples slipped in—Angelonia and Euphorbia ‘Blackbird.’ Much of the bark which was expected to provide a strong impact receded in favor of the angelonia.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ has disappointed this year, giving only one or two blooms at a time, but the flowers called out when I was cutting materials and found their way into the design.

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia ‘Purple
Dahlia ‘Fireworks’
Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Foliage
Canna
Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) Bark with Lichen
Container
Oasis Lomey 11″ Designer Dish, black, round
Two Three-inch floral pins (frog)
Black Stones

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

In A Vase On Monday – July Complementary

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.