Tag Archives: Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

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

Against a backdrop of curving fronds from a potted fern, a ruby-red, passalong Dahlia (from Libby) stars in this mid-September offering.

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

The dahlia’s deep rich color is intense, its strong geometric form is perfection.

Whorls of Dahlia

Zinnias in bold hues of orange, yellow and even pink create a secondary layer of interest in the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

The container is a stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue by well-known local potter Jim Pringle.

In A Vase On Monday – Curves And Whorls

Materials

Flowers
Dahlia. Passalong, possibly ‘Wisconsin Red’
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Foliage
Dracaena deremensis warneckii ‘Lemon Lime’
Fern leaves

Vase
Stoneware pitcher. Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977

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 – Late Summer Color Burst

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

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

The zinnias are again the highlight of the garden this week, so I went out to gather a colorful bunch.  The foliage is looking spotted after August’s heat and dry spells, but there is no powdery mildew as would normally be seen by now.


But a surprise awaited—Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ was blooming, slightly past its prime, blooming nonetheless. I thought it would be nice to include it in today’s vase.


A second surprise was seeing the Clematis ‘Niobe’ is finally back in bloom. This red clematis is supposed to bloom throughout the summer, but mine sulks, its foliage scorches to a deep brown. September’s cooler nights and shorter days has awakened Niobe and I was able to collect several flowers and buds and was able to weave the fresh foliage up and through the display.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

The native beautyberry is growing too tall, spreading too wide and its offspring are sprouting up in inappropriate locations. It is full of magenta-purple berries and I grabbed a couple of stems for today’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

Rather begrudgingly I selected a flower from another native, Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) that has overtaken the north border.  This passalong is something I have enjoyed for decades, but in the last couple years it has become nuisance-grade.Natives are not always well-behaved. I found a spot for it on the right-hand side of the design.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

The final selection for this week’s vase is another passalong Purple Heart, from a friend and former colleague Kathryn. The dark purple foliage provided just the right color accent and its form added a quirky, off-kilter spark the design needed.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

I regret not taking a photograph to share of the container (a birthday gift from my sister earlier in summer), but it is visible in the images above and below. The underpainted glazed ceramic dish features a floral decoration on the interior.

Flowers adorn the glazed platter’s interior.

Materials

Flowers
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)
Clematis ‘Niobe’
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (Purple Heart)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Container
Glazed platter with floral decoration

Mechanics
Small black plastic Solo bowl – vase insert
Assorsted 2 and 3-inch florist’s frogs (floral pin holders)
Black stones

The white iris was supposed to be the focal point of today’s vase. I designed this arrangement from the left side, imagining it would not fill the dish completely. So from this angle the iris is most visible.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

I had not planned to use many zinnias, only one large orange cactus zinnia, but the design evolved as I added more and more, moving further toward the other end of the platter. Flowers were inserted into two florist’s frogs so I had some flexibility to negotiate their positions within the dish and as the arrangement grew I was able to just add a third frog.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

I love the way the garden rallied this week with a colorful burst of energy.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Color Burst

As always a big 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.

Sphecius speciosus (Eastern Cicada Killer) – Not So Fast!

Sphecius speciosus (eastern cicada killer) — Virginia Flower Fly (Milesia virginiensis)

CORRECTION: I misidentified this insect. After writing the article I posted these images on iNaturalist and someone suggested it is Virginia Flower Fly (Milesia virginiensis) rather than Sphecius speciosus (eastern cicada killer). Within a few hours two others on iNaturalist agreed this is Virginia Flower Fly (Milesia virginiensis).

So all the interesting details do not apply to the insect in the photographs, except of course for when and where I spotted this creature.


When I first spotted this insect this afternoon I thought it was a yellowjacket. But as I approached closer I saw it was huge, about 1.5 inches long. Actually I had seen one of these odd insects along the driveway near the front porch on July 6 but did not get a good photograph that day.

I believe it is Sphecius speciosus (eastern cicada killer), a solitary wasp common in Eastern United States. Because of the size I think this is a female.

Sphecius speciosus (eastern cicada killer) — Virginia Flower Fly (Milesia virginiensis)

Cicada killers are not particularly aggressive to humans but they sting and paralyze cicadas before carrying them back to the nest. The female lays an egg on the cicada, which will become food for the larva when the egg hatches in a couple of days.

Interestingly the mother cicada killer anticipates the sex of the egg and provisions the nest with one cicada for male offspring, two or three for female offspring.

Sphecius speciosus (eastern cicada killer) — Virginia Flower Fly (Milesia virginiensis)

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

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

It is a special Monday: Eclipse Day, Monday, August 21, 2017.  Not since 1918 has a total solar eclipse swept the whole width of the United States. Those lucky enough to live in or able to travel to an approximately 70-mile wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total solar eclipse lasting up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

Chapel Hill is not within the path of totality, but the entire United States will experience a partial solar eclipse for up to a few hours today as the moon passes in front of the sun. Here the spectacle takes place between 1:16 pm – 4:06 pm, with maximum coverage at 2:44 pm. We did not get any special viewing glasses so we will not be looking directly at the sun, yet the effect is sure to be felt.

I was swept up by sunlight on Saturday. In the morning I had gathered zinnias and dahlias and left them on a counter in a canister for conditioning.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

Before I had time to arrange the blooms, late afternoon sun began spilling across the room from westerly windows, illuminating the flowers and accentuating the colors.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

Creating an arrangement seemed secondary to enjoying the light as it played on the petals.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

Materials

Flowers
Dahlia sp.
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Vase
Red coffee canister

 

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

In A Vase On Monday – Sunlight And Color

As always a big 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 – Mini-Mood

In A Vase On Monday – Mini-Mood

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

In A Vase On Monday – Mini-Mood

Although Monday is long past, I finally have a minute to share a mini-container of zinnias for this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Mini-Mood

Materials

Flowers
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Vase
Black matte container, integrated pin holder (approx. 2-in diameter)

And what excuse for being so tardy? My sisters invited me to spend a few days with them at the beach. As you can see from the video, it was magical. Thanks sisters!

Morning On The Beach

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 – Patchwork

In A Vase On Monday – Patchwork

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

In A Vase On Monday – Patchwork

I had a weekend trip to the coast for a college friends reunion. We had clouds and daily rain showers, but also sun, rainbows, and ospreys nesting just in front of the house.  Lots of fun reconnecting with these smart, witty women and remembering what it was like to be eighteen—good stories, some uncontrollable giggles. On our last morning together we managed to practice yoga and meditate outdoors under a blue sky.

Back home in Chapel Hill the garden is in need of a good soaking. A half-dozen gladiolas opened while I was away so I tried to create a mixed arrangement using them along with some sweet peas and zinnias. Zinnias are producing more and more blooms. They tolerate heat and lack of water, though even they seem tired of this dry spell. Gladiola are awkward in such a social setting, so I ended up letting them rest on the sideline. A patchwork quilt of zinnias moved into the spotlight.

Materials

Flowers
Gladiolus
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

Vase
Stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue.  (Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977)

In A Vase On Monday – Patchwork

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 – Green and Blue

In A Vase On Monday – Green and Blue

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

To encourage more flowers I gathered all available zinnias this weekend. In the end only a few made it into today’s design.

Zinnia

Underlying today’s arrangement is Little Lime hydrangea, which continues to boost the summer garden. Originally I paired it with half-dozen 2-inch red dahlias, in a low green vase. The effect was so awkward I almost liked it. Unable to stop tweaking and adjusting, before I could photograph the result I had rearranged it beyond recognition or repair.

Beginning again I added a small blue companion vase. I edited the flowers heavily, keeping some hydrangeas, foregoing the dahlias, selecting a few zinnias.

In A Vase On Monday – Green and Blue

Stems of Pink Muhly Grass added for height also contributed an element of movement, though it proved more stiff than graceful.

In A Vase On Monday – Green and Blue

Materials

Flowers
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lime’
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)

Containers
Ceramic vases: Hand-thrown Seagrove Pottery (olive-artichoke) and an Eno Festival find (dark periwinkle blue)

In A Vase On Monday – Green and Blue

Hope you are enjoying summer. Heat for the past several weeks has been oppressive. Yesterday’s surprise afternoon rain was welcome.

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.