The first two of an all white gladiolus collection planted in early summer have begun to open. In a season when bright hot colors usually dominate, these clean, fresh flowers evoke a sense of purity and calm.
Each white flower is accented with purple pollen grains and violet brushstrokes at the throat.
These purple attributes are reinforced in the design by the amethyst swirls of a Caithness glass bud vase and spires of lavender-blue Russian sage.
The camera enunciated a pale yellow characteristic that barely registers when viewed in person, but which complements nonetheless.
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage)
Caithness glass bud vase
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to release 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.
As the week begins I join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday, an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.
Sunday evening we had rain! Much needed, much appreciated rain. But Sunday afternoon I began today’s vase with the idea of creating a small design using bright multicolored flower clusters of Lantana camara. Given the increasingly dry conditions in the garden for the last six or seven weeks it seemed unlikely much else would be available. But I noticed some Perovskia (Russian Sage) that looked fresh, similarly Verbena bonariensis, and surprisingly, even three Iceberg roses.
I added a few zinnias and marigolds. Soon I had collected not armloads of flowers, but certainly more than expected. It felt bounteous.
Searching around for a container I thought of simply displaying the flowers informally in a basket. The idea stuck and I chose an egg basket I had woven many years ago.
Grouping them into bundles by flower type, I loosely inserted the colorful blooms into the basket, layering them to suggest they had been gathered that way. [I did not use water so after taking photographs, the flowers were unceremoniously placed in a ceramic vase where they should last for much of the week.
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’
Twin-bottom egg basket, reed and wisteria
It is always such a pleasure to put together a weekly vase and especially I like the rich colors and the spontaneity of this Monday’s display. I took additional photos outdoors in the garden and have included some of them here. If you have time, click to enlarge these images and view as a slideshow.
Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.
The entirety of our summer’s missing rain was located and delivered consecutively for the last eleven days or so it seems. Ahead of warnings about Hurricane Joachin, on Thursday I gathered some flowers and placed them in several large containers of water for conditioning.
Late Friday afternoon I began thinking about how I might use the flowers for today’s vase. I definitely wanted to use the bright Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) that soared upwards of 10 feet before finally blooming a week ago. In just the right light the petals look oddly neon green.
I had collected several generous armloads of this native flower thinking I would cut the the long stems to one size and add them into a tall vase for a sunny bouquet.*
But my thoughts shifted toward first using some of the flowers in a creative abstract design.
I had in mind to use a special ceramic sculpture my daughter made. It features a stylized tree form rooted at the base that expands upward and hugs the curves of the two-chambered container. Midnight blue coloring at the top of the taller side and a cut-out crescent moon evokes nighttime.
For years this piece has been on display in my living room and I thought it, the container, would make an interesting focal point for the design supplemented with one or two stems of Helianthus. It did look interesting that way but unfortunately I did not take pictures before continuing to experiment. I kept adding more things until I had the yellow flowers winding up the sides, middle and around the top of the vase—all too much and without purpose or merit.
I started over a couple more times until I was finally satisfied. By then it was nighttime and rainy, so the indoor light was too weak for taking sharp photographs. The lighting created strange variations in the background wall color (actually a pale yellow), but the flower colors are accurate.
The pot is the focus of the design but I am not convinced the color of the flower material relates well to the container. On thing that works is the way the branching red stems of the sunflower echo the dark redness of three dahlias.
Dahlia x hybrida
Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Not wanting to use water in the vessel, this week’s vase was completely staged, photographed and immediately disassembled. Overall I am pleased with the result and I definitely enjoyed the process.
* [Eventually I got around to making that sunny bouquet and I had fun photographing it in a variety of vases. Here is a mesh gallery of that bouquet.]