In A Vase On Monday—Foliage, Color and Pods

In A Vase On Monday

Each Monday brings an opportunity to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials collected from the garden.

Early this morning I was out gathering foliage and flowers for today’s vase, but it has been a busy day. Finally I have a just few minutes to share what I collected before running off to a meeting tonight.

The other day I had spotted a large seed pod from one of the still blooming Irises that I thought might be attractive in a vase so I started with it.
Iris Seedpod

Many foliage plants looked fresh and interesting today. Also there were lots of Dahlias this week (I definitely plan to plant more Dahlias next year) and I found one of the newly planted red snapdragons blooming.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

I put together stems of roughly the same height and stored them in some glassware (even one of last night’s wine glasses) to allow them to condition until I could find time to make an arrangement. Everything seemed so fresh I would have been satisfied to enjoy these flowers all week without further tweaking.

Conditioning The Materials Gathered In Early Morning

Conditioning The Materials Gathered In Early Morning

Eventually I did get around to making a design. I selected for today’s container a lovely blue and green glazed ceramic pot created by my daughter during a high school art class.

Handthrown Ceramic Vase

Handthrown Ceramic Vase

Here are some views of the final arrangement. These two are looking down from the top. I liked the Iris seedpod, and also the contrasting Rudbeckia seed heads. I used Iris , lupine and lamb’s ear foliage to add texture.In A Vase On Monday-3

In A Vase On Monday-2

A few sprigs of Meadow Sage ‘May Night’  add a nice color change from the red dahlias and snapdragons.

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

 

Seed Heads of Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes' contrast with the Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Seed Heads of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ contrast with the Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Meadow Sage ‘May Night’

Foliage and Pods
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)
Iris germanica (Bearded iris)
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Perhaps you will be inspired to share your own vase.

Surprises Along The Southern Side Path

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

I have not shown the garden along the southern side of the house in a long time. The Southern Side Path is a narrow border with a winding stone walkway, that provides access from the driveway down to the main garden in the back yard. If you walk down the path, turn around and look back up toward the street, this is the view you will see.

Clematis 'Jackmanii' In Southern Side Garden

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ In Southern Side Garden

(Be careful not to turn your head to the right or you’ll see the neighbors’ house looming large.)

Standing in the distance near the street and not really part of the border, a Betula nigra (River Birch) is visible. This tree began losing lots of its leaves several weeks ago, but after some heavy rains came it decided to hold on to the rest of its foliage a while longer.

In the foreground, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ usually has a few flowers this time of year, but the weather has been especially encouraging to it this autumn. Behind and underneath the clematis is Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass). In front (not visible) are planted Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris).

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

In between the clematis and the river birch are a host of odds and ends. A few are:

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Lavender
Iris germanica (Bearded iris)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Amazingly, these and other plants that grow here are all ignored by the deer which make their way between the two houses quite often.

Sitting along the path just in front of the dark green Wintergreen boxwood shrub, (Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’), is the current star of the Southern Side Garden. It is the fragrant Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) .

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Last winter was exceedingly cold so when spring arrived I was concerned whether the Ginger lily had even survived. Fortunately by mid-May a few stalks had emerged. Through summer it never grew as full nor tall as it had during the previous two years, but finally today a flower opened.

I had been eagerly watching this tender perennial for quite a few weeks, hoping it would bloom before a frost could wilt it back to the ground. I was curious when it bloomed last year. In checking my photo records I noticed the set of dates when I took pictures of the flowering ginger lily. An unscientific but interesting observation is that for the previous two years the ginger lily had flowered much earlier than usual and for an extended period of time.

Dates Of Photographing Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) Blooms In My Garden
October 18, 2008
September 24, 2009 – October 25, 2009
2010 – ?
October 13, 2011
September 2 – November 2, 2012
August 10 – November 7, 2013
October 17, 2014

Leaving the Southern Side Path, turn around and come inside the main garden. Here yesterday, I again attempted to capture the elusive monarchs. This time a couple of the butterflies were nectaring on the Zinnias, which made it easier for me to get close and get a picture from the back with the wings open.

Monarch Nectaring On Zinnia

Monarch Nectaring On Zinnia

I particularly liked this image which not only captured the eyes clearly, but recorded pink reflections cast from the flower onto the underside of the wing and thorax of the butterfly.

Pink Reflections On Monarch Wings

Pink Reflections On Monarch Wings

In A Vase On Monday—Red Pitcher

 

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Each Monday brings an opportunity to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials collected from the garden.

Today’s offering is a simple collection of Zinnias in hues ranging from orange, apricot, coral, and pale yellow. Three sprigs of Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ contribute foliage in dark shades of purple and red. A burgundy dahlia and an umbel-shaped floret of Autumn Joy sedum,  now aged to a rich burnt sienna color, complete the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday-4

The flowers are held in a bright red Waechtersbach pitcher accented with white hearts, a gift from my mother-in-law many years ago.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)
Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)
Zinnia Cut and Come Again Mix

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Perhaps you will be inspired to share your own vase.

Patterns In Orange And Black

Lantana and Monarch (detail)

Lantana and Monarch (detail)

A handful of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) arrived to the garden a week ago. Most often I have observed them dancing between the swamp sunflower and butterfly bush where it is difficult for me to get close.

This afternoon I set out to photograph three monarchs as they fed on Lantana camara (Common lantana) in the southern border.

Lantana and Monarch

They stayed put until I tried to move in, then each flew up high, away and settled again a few feet further, often on the opposite side of the fence where the lantana peeks through. When I switched to video the one in my viewfinder sat perfectly still until it sensed I had turned off the camera. I had to laugh.

I chose a few of the photographs and cropped them to reveal some of the detail.

Lantana and Monarch – 1

Lantana and Monarch – 1 detail

Lantana and Monarch – 2

Lantana and Monarch – 2 detail

Lantana and Monarch -3

Lantana and Monarch – 3 detail

In A Vase On Monday—Traditional Marble

In A Vase On Monday-Marble and Red

Each Monday brings an opportunity to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge called In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials collected from the garden.

The temperature dropped more than 25 degrees F. Saturday night delivering a fresh, autumnal crispness to the air. In response the Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’ (that turned out to be red) is finally blooming with more intensity. I was able to cut three fully open specimens this morning to include in today’s vase.

Dahlias Covered In Morning Dew

Dahlias Covered In Morning Dew

One Iceberg rose was in prime condition this morning and I brought it inside to serve as a focal point for today’s arrangement and to add contrast in texture and color.

Rosa 'Iceberg'

Rosa ‘Iceberg’

Freshly formed palmate leaves of lupine radiate outward and provide an interesting background for the white rose. (Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for the suggestion to use lupine foliage in a vase.)

Palmate lupine leaves provide background for Rosa 'Iceberg'

Palmate lupine leaves provide background for Rosa ‘Iceberg’

For a container I selected a marble, urn-shaped mortar that is substantial enough to offset the mass of the heavy, richly-colored dahlia flowers.  The shape of the mortar together with the old-fashioned quality of the dahlias inspired this week’s rather traditional design.

Marble mortar anchors the arrangement.

Marble mortar anchors the arrangement.

Silvery sprigs of lavender echo the gray marble in the base while adding lightness to the design. Hovering above the dahlias a few Verbena bonariensis flowers complete the arrangement.

Verbena bonariensis and lavender sprigs are used as fillers.

Verbena bonariensis and lavender sprigs are used as fillers.

Verbena bonariensis and lavender with Dahlias

Verbena bonariensis and lavender with Dahlias

Materials

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’- 3 stems
Rosa ‘Iceberg’- 1 stem
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)- 7 stems
Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)- 3 stems
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)- 5 stems
1 Florist’s Frog
1 Marble Mortar

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Perhaps you will be inspired to share your own vase.

First Morningtide—October 2014

Lantana camara (Common lantana) In Southern Border

Lantana camara (Common lantana) In Southern Border

Today’s early sky wore a draping, heavy fog. Dewdrops coated every leaf, flower and blade of grass. Would you agree the first morning hours are the the best time in the garden?

The lawn was covered with dozens of spiderwebs courtesy (I think) of Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider).

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

In the Southern Border everlasting sweet pea flowers continue to form.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) seems cheerfully content.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) seems cheerfully content.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)  is new this year and has seemed slow to get growing. On the other hand, long established Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) is very aggressive.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)  and Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

An interesting and delicate-looking fungus popped up today. I could not figure out its name, but a friend who has been studying all things fungi identified it as Parasola plicatilis.

Parasola plicatilis

Parasola plicatilis

Tradescantia used to be one of my favorite passalong plants, admired for its pretty blue, three-petaled flower. It became roguish in my current garden so I am always trying to dig it out or at least cut it back to keep it from flowering.  It is much tougher and persistent than I am though. Tradescantia is growing all around the garden, but this happens to be in the northwest corner of the Western Border.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

I actually bought this white Tradescantia. Although white ones are found wild, this may be a hybrid. It does not have the tendency to wander.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

The dogwood leaves picked up some autumn color this week. A bird (presumably) found and chewed one of these red ripened berries. Next year’s new buds are forming.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy) has performed extremely well this year. Now its color is evolving through brick red and rusty hues. Notice the Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ shows up frequently around the garden.

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage) and Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

Roses need more care than is included in my normal “water twice and leave it alone” gardening philosophy. Rosa ‘Iceberg’ did poorly in the spring and I began thinking about taking it out of the garden altogether. This morning I found this excuse to delay.

Rosa 'Iceberg'

Rosa ‘Iceberg’

New lupine leaves look very healthy.

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Though I have never seen one growing around here, I have always wanted to grow a lupine. It comes from long ago because of reading a book about The Lupine Lady to our young daughter. On a whim back in April I purchased a container of Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’  from a local nursery and for some reason (probably because the tag said it would be 5-6 feet tall) I put it toward the back of the Western Border where it was pretty much out of view. It did have several flowers but never gained its expected height.

May 15, 2014  Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

May 15, 2014
Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

If anyone can offer lupine advice I would appreciate your ideas. Did I end up with a dwarf variety or is this normal in the first season? Should I relocate it to the front of the border?

This photograph does not capture the foggy feeling but here is a view of the early morning garden.

Garden View With Fog In The Distant Sky

Garden View With Fog In The Distant Sky