Sea Oats

Along Atlantic Ocean beaches Union paniculata (sea oats) helps form dunes and prevent erosion, protecting the coastline from wind and storm surges. The tall grass also creates a welcome habitat for birds and loggerhead sea turtles.

During a quick trip to Pine Knoll Shores, NC last weekend the sea oats gleamed golden in the evening sun.

Union paniculata (sea oats)

Union paniculata (sea oats) – 7:23 pm July 16, 2016

 

The next day, it was hard to leave the peaceful calm and rhythm of the water.

Calm beach at near low tide

Ebb tide on Bogue Banks, a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina

Tuesday View: July 19, 2016

Tuesday View - July 19, 2016

Tuesday View – July 19, 2016

Cathy at Words and Herbs hosts the Tuesday View, encouraging garden bloggers to display a photo of the same view of the garden week by week to observe the changes. I took photographs of the meditation circle around 8:00 a.m. Tuesday but did not have time to post until now.

The top half of the weekly view is filled with bright light rushing in from between my house and the next, while the circle and much of the garden lingers in shade, making it challenging to get a good picture. Every week I participate makes me want a new camera, but I am gently assured by my family the quality issues rest in the photographer not the camera. 

We are still getting some storms but no longer daily. The heat index is high, air is thick and heavy. Mine is definitely a spring garden and in summer I spend little time tending the plantings. After experimenting with a range of finicky perennials, I found this low-maintenance scheme of commingling various thymes in the center of the labyrinth and using purple and white Angelonia to form the walls along the path to be reliable and effective. While the borders start fading under the hot sun, the meditation circle retains some level of dignity.

During a yoga retreat this past weekend I walked a seven-circuit labyrinth, shaded by lovely old trees and accented with the lively sounds of birds and ocean.

Tuesday View - July 19, 2016

Tuesday View – July 19, 2016

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Growing against the back fence, Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) are not a combination I planned, but they are survivors beloved by pollinators.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Cleome

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and Cleome

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—Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday - Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday – Vivid Color

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

I will be returning home later today from a weekend yoga retreat at the beach and so have prepared this week’s flowers ahead of time.

In A Vase On Monday - Vivid Color

In A Vase On Monday – Vivid Color

This is a quick and simple bouquet set into a small blue ceramic vase. The flowers are a stem of pure white phlox ‘David’ contrasted with rich colors of Black and Blue salvia, garnet red dahlias at their peak and purple Angelonia.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' With Angelonia 'Serena Purple' and Phlox paniculata 'David'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ With Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’ and Phlox paniculata ‘David’

Materials
Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’
Dahlia, spp.
Phlox paniculata ‘David’ (Garden Phlox)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase

Angelonia 'Serena Purple'

Angelonia ‘Serena Purple’

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 12, 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.

This Tuesday view was taken at 6:46 a.m. A bit of rain nearly every day has kept the fescue grass greener than normal for July. Thyme in middle of the meditation circle is beautiful, in full bloom and full of buzzing pollinators.

Just left of center against the back fence you may be able to detect the yellow flowers of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower), which opened since last week.

Tuesday View - July 12, 2016

Tuesday View – July 12, 2016

Easier to spot in this image, the rudbeckia is quite tall, at least 6 feet, towering above the 4-foot high fence.

Tuesday View - July 12, 2016

Tuesday View – July 12, 2016

Sometimes when checking out the garden it is easy to forget to look up. The sky was was worth a peek this morning.

Tuesday View - July 12, 2016

Tuesday View – July 12, 2016

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—Summer Song

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden. As a special challenge Cathy has suggested we create an Ikebana-style floral design this week.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Song

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Song

Ikebana is a fascinating art form, a centuries-old, Japanese flower arranging discipline with strict rules that followers may spend a life-time trying to master. Though not having that background, I admire the aesthetic, which emphasizes asymmetry and open space and seeks a harmonious balance among  the container, materials and overall surroundings. There is a quiet, meditative component to Ikebana as well that I find appealing.

This design began with a stalk of canna with two large leaves. I made parallel cuts into one side of the darker, shorter leaf to create a fringed effect. The idea was for the fringe to fall evenly spaced along the right-hand side of the design. It looked beautiful for a very short time before it began shriveling and curling. Unlike Aspidistra which can withstand this type of manipulation, the canna leaf displayed distress immediately but retained an interesting character nevertheless.

Canna Leaves, Fringed

Canna Leaves, Fringed (back view)

 

The canna stalk was inserted first, positioned in the kenzan to the right at a slight angle and back. Next several thin stems of pure yellow Rudbeckia laciniata were secured slightly left and forward. Additional rudbeckia flowers were placed low to meet the edge of the container.

The open and playful form of the rudbeckia is in contrast to the broad, heavy leaves of the canna, yet they hold equal weight in the composition.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Song

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Song

A small amount of orange Asclepias works as an anchor and helps tie the design to the container.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Materials
Flowers
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) (Orange Glory Flower)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Foliage
Canna
Mechanics
blue/brown ceramic circular dish
black, round self-contained Kenzan (flower arranging frog)
black stones

 

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