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.

The Pull Of The Ocean

Uniola paniculata (sea oats) at Emerald Isle

Uniola paniculata (sea oats) at Emerald Isle

Within a garden I am uplifted. I find joy and peace. But at this time of year as the season wanes, the beach pulls and pulls and I long to see the expanse of sand, feel the rhythm of the water and experience the richness of blue.

On the coast of North Carolina we are fortunate to have many beautiful beaches. At Emerald Isle, where I stayed last week, the views were without flaw. I soaked them in each day and finally about 8:30 a.m. on the last day, with the car packed up for the 180-mile return trip home, I took my camera down to the shore to say goodbye.

A boardwalk from the condominiums where we stayed led from pavement toward the sand, lifting vacationers over the fragile dunes that protect the coast.

On the boardwalk, heading to Atlantic Ocean

On the boardwalk, heading to Atlantic Ocean

Walking above the surprisingly green tangle of wind-blown shrubs and scrubby foliage, I noticed many birds had found shelter there. They darted around seemingly carefree and talked among themselves.

During my stay I also observed many dragonflies and captured one in this photograph as I made my way to the shore on that final day.

Each time I saw a dragonfly last week I was reminded of a remarkable experience my family shared one August while vacationing at Sanibel, Florida.  We unexpectedly witnessed a dragonfly migration taking place at the water’s edge. Imagine our surprise upon seeing thousands of dragonflies dodging us to form a traffic lane along the shoreline, their destination unknown to us.

Dragonfly at eye level along boardwalk

Dragonfly at eye level along boardwalk

Back at Emerald Isle though, the boardwalk ended, opening up a path through deep sand.

Where the boardwalk ends

Where the boardwalk ends

Vegetation decreased. Bird traces marked the sand.

Bird tracks along the sand

Bird tracks along the sand

Sea oats swayed and glistened in the early sun as I passed by.

Uniola paniculata (sea oats) at Emerald Isle

Uniola paniculata (sea oats) at Emerald Isle

And finally the water.

Beach just after high tide

Beach just after high tide

Beach just after high tide

Beach just after high tide

Once on the beach I took a moment to look back toward land. This is the condominium complex where we spent the week.

Looking back toward the condominiums

Looking back toward the condominiums

Fifty-one loggerhead sea turtle nests have been marked this season on this section of Emerald Isle. Just in front of where we were staying sat number 49.

Sea Turtle Nest Number 49, Emerald Isle

Sea Turtle Nest Number 49, Emerald Isle

Sea turtles are protected and hundreds of volunteers patrol the beach, watching for new nests, searching for signs of activity within the marked nests and picking up trash that can harm turtles if ingested.

Sea Turtle Protection

Sea Turtle Protection

As I made my way to the ocean on my last morning I passed a woman on the boardwalk who was coming in off the beach. She said there must have been a hatching overnight, because a long trench had been dug at two of the nests.

Once on the sand I immediately saw one of the trenches she had mentioned, nest 25, and I decided to take some photos.

Nests 35 and 25. Newly dug trench at Nest 25.

A sea turtle patrol volunteer came up to me curious if I had spotted activity. It turned out there had not been a hatching the night before after all.

But, someone had noticed a signal that one might soon occur. The patrol member explained that two or three days before sea turtles hatch a tiny indentation becomes visible. If you look closely you may see just a minor depression in the middle of the triangle.

Trench ready for hatching at Nest 25

Trench ready for hatching at Nest 25

I would love to have stayed a few more nights to see the nest boil for about thirty minutes as 100-120 young creatures emerge from their eggs and make their way down to the sea. Sadly their odds of survival are not good.

The volunteer said there are usually some stragglers for a couple more nights after a hatching. Then on the third evening, volunteers carefully dig out the nest and count any eggs that did not survive. The area then is filled and protective fencing is removed, leaving no trace of the sea turtle activity.

Nest 25. High tide water mark visible at bottom of trench.

Nest 25. High tide water mark visible at bottom of trench.

I did not get photographs of everything, but I will keep some images from this trip  in my head. This area is a good spot for collecting shells. My initial day on the beach I picked up nearly perfect specimens of a sand dollar and a whelk, firsts for me.

Another day I walked not far from where we were staying down to the Point, the confluence of the ocean with the sound. Dozens of varieties of seabirds were nesting in a protected area that was unobtrusively fenced off from public access. Outside the designated space many more birds had settled closer to water’s edge. When I was there only a handful of people were out and everyone was respectful of the nests.

Two of my three sisters visited us during part of the week, bringing along a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle which we embraced. Late one night, by the time it was nearly completed, my husband had already gone to bed, but my sisters wanted to save the last piece for him. We left it sitting on the box.

Nearly completed puzzle

Nearly completed puzzle

With my sisters we also explored the city of Beaufort and there saw a portion of Blackbeard’s treasure at the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the ocean, but a week at the coast works some magic that cannot happen any other place. I feel I have found myself again.  Renewed, regenerated, recharged.

Oh, and I saw a dolphin!

 

Tuesday View: August 23, 2016

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

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.

We were away last week so it has been two weeks between Tuesday views. This scene was taken at today at 8:29 a.m. Again the sunlight has found the tops of the trees but has not yet entered the garden, the contrast making for a poor quality photograph. The sun is not actually so harsh as this looks, but the image underscores how on summer mornings moments in the garden are best enjoyed during this early shady period.

The fescue grass is dying back, patchy with brown spots and an annoying annual grass has snuck into the lawn over the past several years. It grows faster than okra and cannot be kept trimmed.

One of the original thymes along the path has turned completely black the last two weeks. It began discoloring after I trimmed around the pavers, so perhaps I damaged it but I think it is stressed from the weather. In past years it has recovered but it looks messy now. The Pink Chintz thyme in the center is still blooming and Angelonia contributes lots of color.

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

Tuesday View August 23, 2016

Overall the garden is in retreat. There will not be much to see from here on out until early spring when bulbs start peeking out again.

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—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.

Wordless Wednesday—Swallowtail On Lantana

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucous) nectaring on Lantana camara (Common lantana), photographed August 3, 2016.

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)