Tag Archives: nature photography

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. Thunder and lightning was exciting briefly late Saturday night, but the activity brought very little rain.

Zinnias began flowering ten days ago, cheering up the garden with colorful old-fashioned loveliness.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

By early June when daffodil foliage had finally died back so I could reclaim some space, I was losing interest in gardening because it was so extremely hot. But I found an old packet of Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), packaged for 2017 by Botanical Interests, and sprinkled out the seeds. Simple, colorful, heat-loving and reliable—what could be easier?

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

In-between the time of planting seeds and harvesting the flowers, I celebrated a birthday with lots of family. The container today is one of a pair of mugs I received during a big family get-together that unexpectedly turned into a bit of a birthday fest for me. The cups were crafted by my niece’s mother-in-law, featuring beautiful form and blue glaze. The blue batik table runner was made by my sister using special Japanese fabric.

Mugs and Table Runner

Light in the dining room was fading so for staging pictures I draped the table runner over a chair in the foyer. I decided to include another gift. This spring I began teaching yoga and meditation regularly so this Tibetan meditation chime from another sister was particularly thoughtful.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

Well back to this Monday’s design, a single stem of fern-like foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) inserted into the mug created support structure that worked well to hold the zinnias in place. As well, there is a cluster of Tansy flowers just beginning to open.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

The flowers look sparser from the back but I love the color of this largest zinnia.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

Materials
Flowers
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again’ (Zinnia elegant pumila), Botanical Interests. Heirloom. (packed for 2017)
Foliage
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Vase
Stoneware mug. Mary Murray, Mountain Forest Pottery, Brevard, NC.

In A Vase On Monday – Old-Fashioned Blooms

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 – Purple, Orange, Pod and Bark

In A Vase On Monday – Purple, Orange, Pod and Bark

I look forward each week to joining Cathy at Rambling In The Garden, along with other garden bloggers from around the globe, in sharing an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens.

After enjoying an exciting and special time with family during the weekend, I quickly pieced together a simple Ikebana design for today. A few Asclepias plants are still blooming despite very dry conditions in the garden, but pods are forming as well. One seedpod and one flowering stem were the starting point for today’s vase.

I paired the Asclepias with a section of bark from a crape myrtle from the front garden (another storm mishap for those of you who are familiar with the history of my poor trees–this one being a particularly galling incident considering how dry it is still).

Just before photographing the vase I tucked in two sprigs of angelonia to kick up the color impact. Angelonia is a great annual for summer color.

Angelonia (Summer Snapdragon)

Materials
Flowers and Seedpod
Angelonia (Summer snapdragon)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Bark
Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
Vase

Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H inches)

Walking down the hall toward this vase after I had already finished this post, I noticed the the design is much more engaging from the side, than from head on the way it was designed. More rhythm, more interest. If it were not so late I would be tempted to experiment from this angle, but there is always next week.

In A Vase On Monday – Purple, Orange, Pod and Bark

I will finish with an homage to our little crape myrtle out front. Until I photographed the bark I had not really noticed the little heart. I think it loves me too.

Crape Myrtle Bark

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting each week, allowing us to share our passion. 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 – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens. Today’s vase is filled with a selection of old-fashioned flowers, all rescued from the heat on Saturday.

The starting point was a fading border of shasta daisies. The shastas were nice for a few weeks but now most are wilting in the hot sun. I have lost interest in keeping them deadheaded and watered, so picking the freshest blooms to enjoy indoors seemed a good idea.

To accompany the daisies I cut some stems of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower), whose yellow petals are just beginning to unfold this week.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

I wish I had taken a picture at that stage. The Green-Headed Coneflower paired with the daisies made a winsome combination and I had planned to stop there. The arrangement ended up distinctly different though when I tested to see what would happen if I added some of the other flowers I had gathered, starting with Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers.’

The panicles of this oakleaf hydrangea sported quite a bit of red color this summer, but without enough rain they recently began to turn brown.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Other flowers added were small clusters of Hydrangea macrophylla, Liatris spicata (purchased as ‘Alba’ yet not white after all), and some under-performing calla lilies.

Shasta Daisy and Coneflower With Addition of Liatris, Calla Lily, and Hydrangea

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

The container for today’s arrangement is a cream-colored, crazed ceramic urn on which “Vintage 4” has been stamped. Why “4” is unclear but I like the vase’s shape.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

Materials
Flowers
Calla Lily
Hydrangea macrophylla
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Liatris spicata (Gayfeather)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
None
Vase
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage

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.

Wordless Wednesday—June On The Wane

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)

Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

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 – Echinacea And Grass

In A Vase On Monday – Echinacea and Grass

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

In spring I needed some instant color at the front steps and so bought a pre-planted container with a purple grass, petunias, verbena and something else (I cannot find tags for any of the items).  The grass quickly took over the entire pot and is all that remains.  So many gardeners enjoy grasses I feel there really is something missing in my own gardening DNA that I do not find them very exciting. So I decided to trim and use the grass for today’s vase before the container contents are composted. The grass is paired with two echinaceas, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ and Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown.’ White Swan is having a banner year. Big Sky Sundown blooms less eagerly and needs to be relocated where it will receive more sunlight.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ with grass and Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’

For a change in texture I included a stem of Celosia plumosa ‘Castle Mix,’ thinking its color would echo Big Sky Sundown. The celosia is more orange and the stem was too short, yet I kept it just for its fuzziness.

Celosia plumosa ‘Castle Mix’ and Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’

As pictured the arrangement feels too sparse and is too tall for the size of the vase. I did not have time for a redo. It would have been nice to cut additional White Swan Echinacea to fill in, but some hours later after having photographed the flowers, I did actually trim and reduce the height of the tallest elements and that improved the proportions somewhat.

The vase was a gift from my sister-in-law last year.

Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes

Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes

 

Materials

Flowers
Celosia plumosa ‘Castle Mix’ (Feather Celosia)
Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Unknown Grass
Container
Ceramic ikebana vase with 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders. 6 x 6 inches.

Just a note: Some of you may recall earlier in spring, around mid-May, I ended up rescuing a number of peonies after a storm and stored them in the refrigerator.  Finally I needed to free up that space so the last of the peonies were released this weekend. Three had several brown spots on the petals, which were easily removed; generally the condition was good and the fragrance still strong.

Refrigerated Peonies Released

Refrigerated Peonies Released

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.