Tag Archives: zinnia

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Today’s vase began as a feature of pink chrysanthemums and camellias and purple cleome. Unfortunately the camellias proved fragile, with all but one losing their petals as soon as I began arranging. Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ has been blooming for a couple weeks. Perhaps it will cooperate better another time.

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

There were not enough of my passalong Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ to complete the arrangement. Fortunately I had collected and conditioned an assortment of other flowers, enough to cobble together a finished look. It resembles nothing of the delicate design I had envisioned, but it does illustrate the fair variety of blooms still showing up in the garden the last week of October.

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

Materials
Flowers
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum)
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Zinnia
Foliage
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Salvia rosmarinus (rosemary)
Container
Ceramic vase

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

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 – Garden Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.  Some of today’s flowers are from my garden, zinnias and a few small dahlias; the others grew a few hundred feet nearby.

This past week several sets of neighbors brought us flowers, lovely surprises. The friendliness and generosity of the gestures left us overwhelmed and grateful.  Does anyone still write sentences like, “Such fun I had” and get away with it? Well, such fun I had arranging two gifts of dahlias and another of chrysanthemums. Since mums are coming into bloom around the garden I will save them for another day and focus on dahlias.

The large dahlias in today’s vase were grown by neighbor Eileen, an excellent gardener and first-time dahlia grower.  (Somewhere she has their names recorded and I will try to update them later.) Eileen babied her plants all summer with spectacular results.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

When my neighbor offered me these dahlias Sunday how could I resist? She even conditioned them for me and brought them to the back door. Choosing a container was difficult, eventually I settled on a black raku pot with a red accent in the front. At first I hid the red accent to feature  the orange and black.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

Then I rotated the container to return the red accent to front center. I had deliberately used red zinnias along with the orange-sherbet-looking dahlias and decided the red in the pot worked fine with the flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’ (apricot orange)
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ (sunrise/sunset)
Dahlia (names unknown)
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Container
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

I mentioned we received several bouquets this week. The first gift, also of dahlias from Eileen’s garden, was Tuesday. I made several arrangements and photographed them together and apart, swooning all the while.

Eileen’s Dahlias

Eileen’s Dahlias

Eileen’s Dahlias

Eileen’s Dahlias

Later that evening I noticed some of my small dahlias from last week’s Monday vase had begun to fade, so I began replacing them with the larger dahlias. Before long I had refashioned the entire thing. This may be my favorite vase I’ve designed. My husband and I enjoyed this arrangement all week, marveling at the size, structure and color of the flowers.

Last Week’s Monday Vase Reinvented

Having such a generous quantity of materials for floral designs is fairly rare. As fall moves ahead this past week has felt like a celebration.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

This is not the best photo but I include it to illustrate the size of today’s final arrangement, posed here beside a few other raku pots by the same artist.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

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 – Sublime

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

With dahlias and zinnias vying prolifically to outdo each other, the materials for my Monday vases have become redundant this summer. Yet Dahlias and zinnias meet, I think, the Oxford definition of sublime: of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe;  and so they greet you once again this Monday morning.

I remain amazed at their persistence throughout the drought this summer.  (We had light showers since late yesterday morning, for the first time since Hurricane Dorian brought a few sprinkles our way a month ago. We need more but it feels such a relief to experience rain again.)

I wanted to challenge myself to do something different with the design this week. Dahlia ‘David Howard’ has such a soft orange hue I chose to feature it in a favorite Jugtown pot given me by a dear friend. My vision was the dahlias would be loosely arranged, but I struggled to keep the stems in place. Three other flowers never made it into the vase—they fell apart as I began arranging, scattering petals and leaving a void I decided to embrace.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

Next I experimented with a streamlined design using an Ikebana vase. It was temporary. Eventually I removed the flowers from it to use in a third vase, but did not take additional pictures. First to go was the large white dahlia. Interestingly I think without it the arrangement achieved greater balance.  Soon I needed the little apricot zinnias too, leaving behind the simplicity of gardenia foliage in the blue vase.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

Finally an abundance of cuttings from Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ inspired me to assemble something more lush.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

There seemed to be plenty of stems until the project was well underway (thus the necessity to rob the previous vases). Probably I could have used twice as many flowers, but I made do.

To ensure that the placement of each stem remained secure I used floral foam attached to a small plastic dish. The added benefit is I could try several vases with the same arranged flowers. The plastic dish just sits on top of the vase. (It should be secured to the vase safety and definitely for transport, but I haven’t bothered here.)

A crystal pedestal candy dish seems a bit too small.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

A red and black raku pot is more proportional to the dimensions of the flowers, though the red is a bit brash. I used an aubergine silk table runner as a backdrop as an attempt to blend all the colors.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

The tiny size of the foraged zinnias add interest, their apricot color plays against that of the Art Deco petal highlights and centers. A couple of stems of pink everlasting sweet pea add unexpected spice to the color scheme.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’ (apricot orange)
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ (sunrise/sunset)
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ (white)
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Gladiolus
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery
Crystal candy dish
Olive green Jugtown vase

I’ve been reading up on how to dig dahlia tubers for storage over the winter. It looks rather daunting but I’ve enjoyed these dahlias so much I have to try. I will also save seeds and for inspiration will return to Chloris‘ advice to grow dahlias from seed.

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 Colors

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

These are the same flowers and colors I used throughout summer, same ones I addressed with summery titles.  But today they feel autumnal.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

We’ve had a retreat from the unforgiving heat.  Last week this area set a record high temperature for the month of October, 100 degrees F.; Saturday saw highs in the 60s; today should reach 82. It is still very dry.

The white semi-cactus Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ is blooming better, I assume a result of the cooler nights.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Zinnias and dahlias responded to a small amount of hand watering this week. They are a lesson in resilience.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Gardenia ‘August Beauty’ is reblooming but tiny black insects make the flowers undesirable to bring indoors.  The rich green foliage though is fresh and makes a perfect foil to the fading dusky colors.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Container
Hand thrown ceramic bowl, periwinkle blue glaze

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 – September Color and Form

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Autumn slipped in with cooler temperatures for a few days last week, but summer persisted. No rain, no rain is the garden’s sad mantra. Week after week the skies are unable to weep.

Dahlias and zinnias, mainstays of the summer garden have given notice.  The plants signal distress through browning leaves and withering stems, giving fair warning they are tired, they are tired. And yet they put on another smile and get through the show one more time.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

The red zinnia palette inspires this week’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

A few stems of Buddleja and garden phlox bring a hint of purple and varying form.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ is a white semi-cactus beauty that is finally beginning to produce more flowers. Its strong personality adds a vivacious boost to the vase. I read it is an old variety, bred in 1953 and its name means “messenger from the moon.”

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Just ripening Callicarpa berries and foliage make an attractive filler.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Dahlia ‘David Howard’ and ‘Gallery Art Deco’ effortlessly blend into the mix.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’
Zinnia
Foliage
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)
Container
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

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 – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

First an update from last week: Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ was indeed mislabelled. The vendor suggested Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’ mistakenly was shipped instead. In spring I will receive a replacement for the order. Thanks for your helpful comments and suggestions about it.

This week’s vase is a mixed bouquet of late summer flowers presented in a basket.  Reflecting the shape of the basket, I fashioned a (mostly) round table design.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

Zinnias predominate.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket. This dark wine-colored zinnia is a stand-out.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket.  A dahlia peeks out in front among a sea of zinnias.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

Most of my vases are designed to be viewed in front. That takes less time and requires fewer flowers. But there were lots of dahlias and zinnias available this week, so it was a good chance to experiment with creating a view all around.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

I should have considered stem length of the materials on hand in relation to the size of the basket and cut longer stems, especially dahlia stems. In trying too hard to preserve future blooms, I had skimped. The result is most of the dahlias I gathered were too short to be included, so they are scattered in little vases outside of today’s feature. They are still enjoyable but my thrift left me shy of flowers needed to assemble the design easily.

I had to compensate by using all the zinnias in bloom with less choice about color. Some of the zinnias were also too short, but I think in the end the basket of flowers turned out fine—an explosion of seasonal color.

The irregular heights lend a more casual, informal quality to this week’s vase, in keeping with the basket theme. That’s my story anyway, though I see no reason to resort to using a Sharpie to prove it.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

I purchased baby’s breath for use as a light and airy filler. Included along with it from my garden are sky blue salvia and rosy gaura. Underpinnings of silvery artemisia and lavender serve as concealer foliage.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

 

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Gypsophila (Baby’s breath)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Zinnia
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Ellagance’
Container
Round woven basket with handle

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

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 – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

The flowers this week are similar to those in last Monday’s vase, but rather than zinnias, dahlias are in the limelight. Dahlia ‘David Howard’ is the featured flower in today’s design. It has a gorgeous sunny apricot-orange color.

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

The serendipity of an orange canna coming into bloom today supports the dahlias’ golden sunrise quality.

Canna ‘Semaphore’

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

I imagined the design to be a crescent. The crescent design’s Hogarth Curve is based on an S-shape, which I lost track of as I progressed through the development.  During the photo shoot I moved around the canna leaves several times, eventually removing one of them. And the canna flower opened further opened during the day. It is worth noting flowers continue through the life cycle in an arrangement and the design is affected by that shift.

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

Zinnias add zest, textures and color. I do not have umbels, like ammi, in the garden but their softening effect I think is what this design longs for; perhaps eucalyptus would be effective as well.  Nevertheless, these flowers themselves are intrinsically beautiful and it is satisfying to be able to grow them in my humble garden.

Materials
Flowers
Canna ‘Semaphore’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Zinnias
Foliage
Canna leaves
Container
Cut Glass Pedestal Dish

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

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 – Red Hot Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.  I am reluctant to show all the weeds in mine, so that leaves dahlias and zinnias for today, along with a few Espresso gladioli like the one in last week’s vase.

I actually managed an hour of weeding one morning and continue to dream the garden will be reclaimed eventually. There were dark storm clouds every night and twice we actually received rain, though we need much more. It has been hot, hot , hot—and humid. Dahlias are thirsty. Zinnias are thrilled.

There are some beautiful red zinnias this year and I gathered as many of them and other red flowers as were available, at first conceiving a woven basket of summer flowers for this week’s In A Vase On Monday. The result ended up being more formal when I shifted direction and selected a favorite Chrisco’s Pottery vase instead. The pot stands 8 inches tall and is decorated with a black matte and glossy sgraffito design.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

Flower hues include the deep red, magenta, reddish-orange, apricot and coral.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

There is also a sassy orange cactus zinnia that I really enjoy.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

The focus flower is Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ and features fringed white petals.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gladioli ‘Espresso’
Zinnias
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Container
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

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 – Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday - Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday – Iris Three-Tuple

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden. But no ordinary Monday, this is IAVOM’s third anniversary and last week Cathy proposed the theme “Three” as a way to mark the day.

The theme was on my mind all week without inspiration, but Sunday morning during brunch a friend mentioned the term “tuple.”  A tuple is a finite ordered list of elements and a 3‑tuple is a triple or triplet. Keeping to a loose interpretation of tuple, I cut three stems of iris to serve as the focus of my design this week.

Reblooming Tall Bearded Iris

Reblooming Tall Bearded Iris

The height of the first iris, the white one, is roughly twice the diameter of the black dish, that of the second and third are 1.5 and 1 times, respectively.

In A Vase On Monday - Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday – Iris Three-Tuple

Iris germanica 'Immortality'

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Joining the triplet of irises are a several sets of arching zinnias and a cluster of the pass-along chrysanthemums I have enjoyed for years.

Button Chrysanthemums and foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Button Chrysanthemums and foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

A branch of dark oak leaf hydrangea foliage adds weight for balance while echoing the dancing posture of the iris flowers.

In A Vase On Monday - Iris Three-Tuple

In A Vase On Monday – Iris Three-Tuple

Materials

Chrysanthemum
Reblooming Tall Bearded Iris
Zinnia
Foliage: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Oasis Lomey 11″ Designer Dish, black, round
Three-inch floral pin (frog)
Black Stones

On this third anniversary congratulations and extra thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.

In A Vase On Monday—October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday - October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

Running late as the week begins I hurriedly join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday, an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

A surprise this morning when I went out to search for flower came in the form of pass-along reblooming iris.

In A Vase On Monday - October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday - October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

Zinnias have fallen and splayed but continue to flower. Swamp sunflower, also blown over but glorious in the morning sunlight, more pass-along dahlias (featured last week) and a stem of Autumn Joy sedum round out this week’s selections. I placed these in a blue, green and white pitcher by a local potter.

In A Vase On Monday - October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

Materials
Dahlia sp.
Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)
Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Reblooming Iris
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’

In A Vase On Monday - October Surprise

In A Vase On Monday – October Surprise

Thanks to Cathy for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

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.

After some rain during the past week the garden perked up a little. The zinnias responded with fresh new flowers, even though powdery mildew is affecting the leaves. I planted Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ in Spring 2015 and it is coming along nicely. Its gold splotched leaves are the starting point for today’s arrangement, supported by orange and red zinnias.

The light was very low yesterday so I tried to photograph the arrangement in several places around the house.

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

 

Materials
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’
Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

I am behind lately in reading and commenting on garden blogs and hope to catch up soon. My head is swimming with ideas about gardening Friday and Saturday I attended a horticulture symposium at JC Raulston Arboretum which celebrated the garden’s 40th anniversary. The theme was “Horticultural Bright Lights: The Future of Gardening.” Here is a list of speakers.

Matthew Pottage – “Wisley—The New Chapter for the Flagship Garden of the Royal Horticultural Society”
Rebecca McMackin – “Brooklyn Bridge Park: Growing Biodiversity in the Concrete Jungle”
Hans Hansen – “New Plant Development at Walters Gardens”
Claudia West — “Planting in a Post-wild World”
Claudia West – Designing Plant Communities: The Art and Science of Successful Planting
Aaron Floden, Ph.D. – “Exploration, Discovery, and Bridging Botany and Horticulture”
Jared Barnes, Ph.D. – “Propagating Horticulturists: A Cultural Guide for Cultivating the Future of Horticulture”
Matt and Tim Nichols – “International Maples of Mystery”

As I told a friend this weekend, after hearing these inspiring talks I may not give up on my garden just yet.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

In A Vase On Monday—Gold Dust

 

 

In A Vase On Monday—In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday - In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – In A Basket

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.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday – Lantana camara

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.

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

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.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday - In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday - In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – In A Basket

Materials
Chrysanthemum
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Rosa ‘Iceberg’
Tagetes (Marigold)
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

In A Vase On Monday - In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – In A Basket

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.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Tiny Pleasures

In A Vase On Monday - Tiny Pleasures

In A Vase On Monday – Tiny Pleasures

As the week begins it is fun to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden as part of Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday feature.

Unassuming, small bits of color gathered from here and there are the mainstay of this week’s garden offerings.

Phlox paniculata ‘Nicky’ was the first flower chosen for today and its short stem dictated creating a design composed of other tiny ones. The Jackmanii clematis ventured a couple of blooms after Hurricane Hermine brought much needed rain.  I fit the red Nicky phlox and a clematis into a clear espresso cup, filling in with several stems of Verbena bonariensis (which shed heavily) and a sprig of Perennial Sweet Pea.

Phlox paniculata 'Nicky' and Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Overhead View. Phlox paniculata ‘Nicky’ and Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

The rain this week also helped revive the zinnias and marigolds which had been suffering under the late August sun, reason enough to fill a second cup. A small sprig of lavender and several stems of asclepias made agreeable companions.

Asclepias Overhead View - Asclepias tuberosa, Zinnia, Marigold, Zinnia, Marigold

Asclepias Overhead View – Asclepias tuberosa, Zinnia, Marigold, Zinnia, Marigold

In A Vase On Monday - Tiny Pleasures

In A Vase On Monday – Tiny Pleasures

Materials
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Marigold
Phlox paniculata ‘Nicky’ (tall garden phlox)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ‘Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Riedel Espresso Crystal Cups/Saucers

In A Vase On Monday - Tiny Pleasures

In A Vase On Monday – Tiny Pleasures

Thanks to Cathy for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenia And Company

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Monday again!  Time to join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

I chose a black triangular vase this week to highlight three surprise gardenias I found yesterday blooming along the north side of the house. The gardenia’s sweet fragrance is difficult to adequately describe, but is as luscious as its pure white petals.

Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides

Relentless heat and lack of rain has characterized our weather the past month and as a result a mid-summer planting of gladiolas has failed. The plants looked strong and promising during July and I was looking forward to using them arrangements. But August sered the leaves and stunted the blooms.  I salvaged just a portion of one to use with the gardenias today.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

There are more zinnias included this week. One of the few flowers able to withstand the recent  temperatures, even their foliage is looking distressed.

Cactus Zinnia

Cactus Zinnia

When gathering flowers for today’s vase I also found a single stem of perennial sweet pea that looked fresh enough to include. Though the bloom is non-scented, the twining tendrils of this passalong add extra texture to the design.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials
Gardenia jasminoides
Gladiolus
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

It is always such a pleasure to put together a weekly vase. Thanks to Cathy for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—August Relish

In A Vase On Monday - August Relish

In A Vase On Monday – August Relish

Back from an energizing, restorative week at the beach I am catching up on blogs, comments, laundry and such, and scampering to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday with a few flowers from my late summer garden.

For sharing today there are mostly zinnias with a tasting of other flowers speckled throughout. Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ was the starting point for one small vase, accented with zinnias in cream, apricot, yellow and orange.

In A Vase On Monday - August Relish

In A Vase On Monday – August Relish

There is also one little marigold, the first to open from seeds planted at the same time as the zinnias.

In A Vase On Monday - August Relish

In A Vase On Monday – August Relish

There were enough blooms to fill a second small companion vase in similar colors.

In A Vase On Monday - August Relish

In A Vase On Monday – August Relish

A larger turquoise vase holds the remnants of my quick garden foraging: two intensely hued salvias, S. guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and S. greggii ‘Furman’s Red’; several sprigs of Phlox paniculata, possibly ‘Robert Poore’;  a springy stem of passed-along everlasting sweet pea; and three more zinnias.

In A Vase On Monday - August Relish

In A Vase On Monday – August Relish

The peach colored cactus zinnia has captured my heart.

In A Vase On Monday - August Relish

In A Vase On Monday – August Relish

Materials
Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Marigold
Phlox paniculata (maybe’Robert Poore’)
Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Ceramic vases

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Zinnias

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

As this is going to be a very busy week with little time for flowers or the computer, I planned ahead with a simple vase of zinnias prepared on Saturday.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Zinnias

I have grown zinnias for many years, but they are stronger and more beautiful this summer than I ever remember. The same types of zinnias were used last week, but instead of a spare grouping of Ikebana vases, today’s is a hefty vessel embracing a fierce burst of floral colors.

Materials
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Brown and blue glazed ceramic vase

There is no real front to this type of bouquet but here is a look at the opposite side.

View From The Back

View From The Back

There are plenty of pinks but having so many yellow and orange flowers this year makes for more eclectic combinations.  Here is a close-up peek at this white flower tinged with green.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Zinnias

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

 

Mid-August Views

Summer has been scurrying along and suddenly it is the middle of August. Despite the heat until recently large quantities of rain have kept the garden going long past its usual late June demise. With no showers for the past week nor any in the forecast that luxury may be coming to an end.

A few minutes before 7:00 I took my morning coffee outside planning to take some photographs of the flowers. The drawing attraction was a large stand of Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage). It looked beautiful in the early morning light. I ended up weeding and trimming for three hours, nothing really to brag about since the garden has been neglected for many weeks, but I did feel better with a little work done.

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan) shines golden while Rudbeckia, R. fulgida (Orange Coneflower) with its much smaller flowers is just beginning to open. The latter is usually underwhelming but it looks promising. The red flower in the blue pot to the right is Dipladenia ‘Madinia Deep Red,’ still looking nice.

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ often goes dormant during the hottest part of the summer but perhaps the rain has been encouraging.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Zinnias are brightening up the garden with their signature colors and shapes. I have been conscientious about cutting them frequently and they keep producing. Butterflies visit throughout the day.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Female Swallowtail On Zinnias

Female Swallowtail On Zinnias

Attractive to pollinators, this pass-along Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) is dutifully reliant.

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

I have lost track of this dalia’s name. It has produced only a handful of small flowers but this morning the burgundy petals stood out against budding Autumn Joy sedum.

Dahlia sp.

Dahlia sp.

Dahlia And Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Dahlia And Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

The meditation circle planted in the center with various thymes and with Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ and ‘Serena White’ along the outer paths, elicits a deep, satisyfing sigh.

Thyme In Meditation Circle

Thyme In Meditation Circle

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ and 'Serena White'

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’ and ‘Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Angelonia ’Serena Purple’

Hope your garden is making you happy today.

Tuesday View: August 9, 2016

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week and note the changes.

This Tuesday view was taken at yesterday afternoon at 4:53 p.m., about an hour after a storm cloud dropped a small amount of rain. Thunder continued to rumble as I took the photograph.

I have not gardened at all for a week. Most of the thymes still are doing well but some of the original unknown one has died back in a few places (visible at about 4 o’clock in the picture). Otherwise there is little change from last week.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

 

 

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

In A Vase On Monday—Choices

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

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

Last weekend my good friend Susan and I took a short trip to Creedmoor, NC, to browse the handmade American crafts at Cedar Creek Gallery. If you have a few minutes to learn about this unique place, I encourage you to watch this 4:33-minute video and you will certainly want to visit too.

Having in mind from the outset to shop for a new flower vase, I returned home with three prizes, all Ikebana vases with integrated pin frogs. I had spotted them immediately upon entering the gallery, just inside the front entryway. After admiring many other beautiful pieces, I returned to those that first caught my eye and prepared to make a selection.

I chose a black triangular vase and a blue rectangular one. With me vacillating among other choices of designs, my friend stepped in at my moment of indecision and treated me to the third vase as an early Christmas present, a triangular shape decorated in the blue wave pattern. Thank you Susan!

Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

I had planned to make only one arrangement today but this type of vase does not hold a lot of material. And there were plenty of flowers left over to use in experimenting. I never felt any of the three were quite finished, rather I just finally stopped working on them for now.

The first vase holds two red gladiolas (the first of 30 planted in mid-June just coming into bloom), a large orange cactus zinnia, a sprig of orange peppers and a red dahlia. This design went through many iterations, even some made digitally, to explore the composition and proportions. If anyone is curious I included some of the design stages at the end of this post.

Rectangle Blue Zen In Red and Orange

Rectangle Blue Zen In Red and Orange

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

The next vase began with an interesting seed pod rescued from a recently bloomed canna. I think the pod has great potential but I allowed that tallest zinnia to distract from it. It is less worrisome in person though.

The bright yellow zinnias are from a Burpee Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ packet. This year I also planted ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ zinnias from Burpee and Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ from Botanical Interests.

Yellow celosia adds movement and energy.

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

The third vase is sprightly and pink. It is the only one where I used foliage, cut from Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata.’ The flowers are zinnias, obedient plant and verbena bonariensis.

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Materials
Canna Seed Pod
Capsicum annuum ‘NuMex Easter’ (dwarf Ornamental pepper)
Dahlia, spp.
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Gladiolus
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches), Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.

Notes On Design Progressions

In the sets of images below, the ones on the left are photographs of the actual arrangement while those on the right are imagined.

The first set show the earliest version of the red design. It was only after viewing photos that I noticed the design looked too heavy on the left side. I ending up reworking it several times.

In post-production I edited the photographs to imagine making different cuts than what I really did.

Here is an intermediate version on the left (the real thing). I had shifted the orange peppers to the right and added some Daphne greenery to improve the balance of the composition. Again the images on the right show some imaginary changes to the design through digital editing. I was reluctant to trim down the gladiolas but in fact they were too tall for the vase. Trimming the  top of the left-leaning gladiolus improves the design. If I had done that and then lopped a little from the top of the center glad as well, I would probably have been happy with the design.

In my final version of the real-life arrangement greenery was removed. The orange ornamental peppers moved to the back where they got somewhat lost. The gladiolas were shortened. After trimming and repositioning, the gladiolas relate better to the size and shape of rectangular vase. The glad on the right crowds the dahlia, but I can live with it.

 

In A Vase On Monday—High Summer

In A Vase On Monday - High Summer

In A Vase On Monday – High Summer

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to create an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden. That anything can bloom in such hot, humid conditions invites pause and contemplation. Nature surprises again and again.

It is a treat today to share a new botanical themed vase, a gift from my sisters. The ceramic vase is three-sided with a green, embossed exterior that is highly textured.

Birthday Vase -Three-sided with embossment

Birthday Vase -Three-sided with embossment

 

Birthday Vase - Width and height are same

Birthday Vase – Width and height are same

The interior is colorfully patterned and decorative. Top edges are adorned with berries and tendrils.

Birthday Vase

Birthday Vase

Berries and Tendrils Sit Atop The Vase

Berries and Tendrils Sit Atop The Vase

Working with such a complex vase was a bit challenging. First I imagined it filled with hydrangeas, but mine are well past their prime. Next I envisioned using lots of foliage and that is what I decided to try. My pass-along dahlia is five feet tall and full of buds but very few flowers. The leaves are healthy and attractive so I cut several stems to use a a starting point for the arrangement. I also chose one stem of Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow.’

Vase - Outlined with Foliage of Dahlia and Euphorbia

Vase – Outlined with Foliage of Dahlia and Euphorbia

Next flowering stems of heuchera and sprigs of multi-hued lantana were added help define the design.

Early stage- shaping the design

Early stage- shaping the design

I liked the vase at this stage and could have stopped here, but with many other cut flowers left,  I wanted to continue working on the arrangement, forgetting to take any more photographs as the design was progressing.

Materials
Flowers:
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Liriope muscari
Pelargonium (Geranium)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Zinnia

Foliage:
Dahlia sp.
Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’

These are some of the colorful summer flowers growing in the garden that fill today’s vase.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Pelargonium (Geranium) and Liriope muscari

Pelargonium (Geranium) and Liriope muscari

Zinnia hovers above Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’, Liriope muscari, scarlet Pelargonium, Physostegia virginiana

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Cactus Flowered Zinnia

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow', Lantana, Zinnias

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’, Lantana, Zinnias

I need up having to remove some of the foliage to give room to the flowers. A view from above:

In A Vase On Monday - Overhead View

In A Vase On Monday – Overhead View

At our house this week we will be enjoying the colorful summer bounty of the garden.

In A Vase On Monday - High Summer

In A Vase On Monday – High Summer

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.

Tuesday View: July 25, 2016

Tuesday View - July 26, 2016

Tuesday View – July 26, 2016

Note: Tuesday is actually July 26. Mixed up the date in the post title because I took the photographs on Monday.

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to post a photo of the same view of the garden week by week and note the changes.

This Tuesday view was taken at Monday 12:52 p.m. instead of at the usual early morning Tuesday time. Yesterday the sun had gone behind the clouds for a few minutes so I took advantage of the photo opportunity.

In a noticeable change from last week the grass is turning brown in spots. Fescue retreats in this type of weather, but should recover once cooler weather returns in the fall. Monday reached 97° F. There has been no rain for 10 days, leaving some things looking a bit desperate.  I have watered 3 times, but it has little effect.

Another detectable difference is in the circle where the path is lazily being restored. Yesterday I uncovered more of the labyrinth pavers, only a few left to go. A friend and I had done a meditation walk Saturday, and I realized that with the path obscured as it was by thyme, it would be easy to turn an ankle or trip. We managed to not hurt ourselves. The thyme released its calming fragrance as we stepped across it.

Meditation Path

Meditation Path

At lower left in the first photo, the edge of a small round border is just barely visible. Here zinnias, planted from seed (maybe mid-June), are finally beginning to bloom.

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Zinnias

Looking back north toward the meditation circle, I took a last picture as one of dozens of skippers flying around landed on a Verbena flower. There also were lots of dragonflies and swallowtails but they were camera shy.

Skipper On Verbena Bonariensis.

Skipper On Verbena Bonariensis.

Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for hosting the Tuesday View. Check out her featured view and those of other gardeners.

In A Vase On Monday—Welcome

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

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

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

Southern Side Path

Southern Side Path – After clean up

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

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

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

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

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

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

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

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

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

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

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

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

Materials
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Ceramic Urn

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

More Vases

More Vases

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

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

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

On Zinnias

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Zinnia - October 9, 2015

Earth Zinnia – October 9, 2015

It is nearing the end of January. While other gardeners are sharing wondrous drifts of snowdrops and crocuses, zinnias have been on my mind the past couple of weeks.

I was excited by astronaut Scott Kelly’s tweet on January 16, 2016 from the International Space Station announcing “First ever flower grown in space makes its debut!”

Zinnias are flowers from my childhood and rarely does a summer go by without a bright stand of them in my garden. Easy to grow, they come in rich colors, are long-lasting as cut flowers and attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators. I like the idea of zinnias in space.

Growing zinnias is an important milestone in NASA’s Veggie project as scientists strive to understand how plants grow in microgravity. (Tomatoes are scheduled on 2017.)

Well, oops, it turns out a sunflower had been grown in June 2012 on the shuttle, so the zinnia was not actually the first flower grown in space after all.

But no wonder Kelly was excited to see this bloom. He had been granted gardening autonomy to oversee the zinnia plants after reporting to the ground support that the plants were drying out too much.  He wanted to water them and was given permission to skip the protocol that would have had him wait several more days. [Read more: How Mold on Space Station Flowers is Helping Get Us to Mars.]

Now Kelly has shared another photo of the zinnias and a bit of gardening wisdom:  “garden proving through challenge and continuous effort comes growth.”