In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

As the week begins it is always fun to join Cathy for In A Vase On Monday. This is an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

First I apologize for not responding to comments lately or finding time to check out your posts.  I have been helping my husband through some back surgery and now rehab.  Recovery has been slower than expected but each day is a little better.

Knowing I would not be around to prepare an arrangement for today I took the liberty of putting one by. The phrase putting by usually refers to preserving food but seems appropriate for flowers as well.

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

These hydrangeas were featured last summer in Monday vases when they were fresh and at their prime. Then they were allowed to dry (or more accurately I stopped remembering to replenish their water). The vases were moved into a window and photographed during a snow storm in early January.

The pistachio-shell colored flowers are mopheads (Hydrangea macrophylla) from my own garden.

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

 

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

The more richly colored green, pinky-red and aubergine clusters came from my sisters’ garden and I do not know the variety.

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

Materials
Hydrangea
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Ceramic containers by local potters

In A Vase On Monday - Putting By

In A Vase On Monday – Putting By

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

As the week begins it is always fun to join Cathy for In A Vase On Monday. This is an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

I am not around to post but I prepared a quick contribution and scheduled publication for today. Will catch up reading comments and admiring vases from other participants as soon as I can.

Hellebores began blooming hesitantly around Christmas, with only one or two flowers opening at a time. This one was rescued and photographed just before last week’s ice and snow storm.

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

The doughnut-shaped container is actually a glass tea light holder, a lovely hostess gift last year from a dear yoga friend.

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

The diminutive berries, identity unknown, came as filler in a store bouquet.

Materials
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Berries
Glass tea light holder

In A Vase On Monday - Winter Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Winter Pink

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their winter gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

I planned ahead this week in order to join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday. Though this is an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden, for today I assembled a design on Friday using remnants of packaged bouquets I was given.

There were two bouquets actually and I arranged deep red Gerbera daisies from one along with branches of gardenia foliage from the garden for a full and richly colored vase.  Additional yellow and orange gerberas from the second bouquet added light and movement, but you have to take my word for it. Before I could photograph them the next day the daises had wilted and drooped leaving behind a couple of bright yellow spray mums to carry on alone.

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

It was disappointing to lose the gerberas but feeling over-saturated anyway from all the red of holiday decorations and from my own heavy reliance recently on red Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ in Monday vases, the forced shift in color is welcome.

There were more Yuletide blossoms available, but I find today’s yellow palette crisp and refreshing for a winter’s day.

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

Selections of Eucalyptus leaves and bear grass trimmings taken from the florist packages emphasize shape and line. A lemon reinforces the color.

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

Materials

Flowers
Chrysanthemum (Spray Mums, Button-yellow)
Eucalyptus
Xerophyllum tenax (Bear-grass)
Porcelain Ikebana vase. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday - Eucalyptus and Yellow

In A Vase On Monday – Eucalyptus and Yellow

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their winter gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

 

 

Six Years In A Blink And Waiting

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Promising myself to work toward renovating the garden,  I launched pbmGarden with an initial post on January 7, 2011.

Undoubtedly, making a public commitment in an online journal helped me stick to a few of those early improvement goals.  The labyrinth and meditation circle is one achievement from that period.

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

In the intervening six years plants, plans and even enthusiasm for gardening have cycled through high points and low.

An unexpected benefit stemming from penning that first garden entry has been receiving the support of gardeners from many corners of the world. Entering the wonderful community of garden bloggers has been a joy. I thank you readers for your kind comments, helpful advice and generous spirit, all of which have led to genuine and cherished friendships.

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Snowy View Of Meditation Circle

Today the garden is decorated with a winter coat of white, just a couple of inches of fine powdery snow, though six to eight inches had been predicted. The smaller amount is cover for a treacherous icy layer beneath.

For those of us living in this area, temperatures are extreme, as this forecast illustrates:

SAT SNOW AND SLEET 27°F/ 8°F
SUN MOSTLY CLEAR 27°F/ 1°F
MON PARTLY CLOUDY 31°F/ 16°F

The exact numbers keep changing but frigid cold promises to make traveling the little winding curving roads leading out of my neighborhood dangerous to nearly impossible for the next few days. In the fifteen years of living here, snow plows have come through only once.

Normally I would not mind waiting it out but this has proved a particularly frustrating and disruptive weather event, affecting a planned all-weekend activity and threatening an important appointment for early Monday.  Deep sigh. Deep sigh. Deep sigh.

Lessons learned from walking this meditation path are more valuable than ever today.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Snowy Meditation Path

Snowy Meditation Path

In A Vase On Monday—A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

At a later hour than usual I join Cathy for the first time in 2017 with In A Vase On Monday. This is an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

It rained all day on the first of January and today it rained harder. Finally around lunchtime the showers stopped but skies remained gray and oppressive.

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

I have been saving dried stems and seedheads of a Jackmanii clematis for a time when the garden might not offer any fresh blooms. This seemed like a good time to bring it out and highlight the curves, angles and twists of the vine and the soft, pinwheels formed after the flowering.

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

I imagined the clematis placed simply and starkly, nearly in silhouette. Then I decided to add to the design a dried hydrangea flower in a separate container. This worked ok but I felt a bit of fresh greenery would brighten the overall effect.

While outdoors selecting a  bit of fresh gardenia and lavender foliage I decided it would not hurt to take a quick garden inventory in case the anemone coronaria were blooming here as they were in Italy today. Unfortunately no, but a new flush of Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ flowers were there for the picking. Although I have used these often in the past two months, my enthusiasm for them reignited when greeted by their fragrance.

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

Very little of what I collected outside was needed for this arrangement so now there are vases of greenery and camellias scattered all over. More elaborate than initially imaged this design still is rather restrained. It brings together a touch of all seasons as we begin a new year of sharing vases.

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

Materials

Flowers
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ – late fall and winter
Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ – spring and fall
Hydrangea macrophylla – summer
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides – year-round
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender) – year-round
Mechanics
Glazed ceramic square dish
Black stones
Ikebana floral holders

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday - A Touch Of All Seasons

In A Vase On Monday – A Touch Of All Seasons

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their winter gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

 

 

Post-Truth Gardening

[Because of the way I was brought up, I have to precede the next sentence with, “Not to brag, but…”] Not to brag, but after re-reading old entries and exploring photographs from the past year, I must say the 2016 garden was just beautiful.

For example, clematis ‘Jackmanii’ bloomed magnificently in spring and repeated in fall.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'-4

Irises trailed colorfully throughout the borders.

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris)

Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris

Hydrangeas stood strong, camellias bloomed their hearts out.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Yet that my garden was successful had not been my perception this morning when I first started to reflect on the past gardening year. No, instead my mind leapt melodramatically to unfinished projects, battles with weeds, trees that died, despair at heat and drought or freezes and wet. I began to gear up to lament and apologize.  Why, I wonder, such a negative, emotional response?

I am struck by how my initial impression of having suffered through another twelve months unsuccessfully growing anything of interest clashes so distinctly with reality.

What changed my mind was taking time to browse the actual record set down in this blog, pbmGarden. I uncovered the truth about 2016 with its many wonderful gardening moments.

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

In a post-truth* gardening sort of way, too often I allow seeds that fail to germinate or vermin that eat away at roots of plants to become the news, to become the defining stories of any gardening year. In my case these examples are legitimate and real issues, not made-up ones: yes, the grass turned brown during the hottest part of summer, echinaceas flowers underwhelmed, again this autumn Lycoris radiata produced foliage only and no flowers.

But in balance these topics do not deserve to distort the record against success. Why is it frequently whenever anyone asked I mentioned in reply the negative influences affecting the garden. Was the underlying reason false modesty, not wanting to appear to be bragging about a rich, lush features. Perhaps it was trying to manage expectations so when finally viewed in person it would look better than it sounded. For whatever reason, through repetition of telling, by the end of the year I had internalized  that the entire garden had failed.

I am glad I looked back today.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Though it may never be a showcase of great design, this little garden definitely has its moments. It suits my needs as an opportunity for dreams as well as for rational, reasonable and down-to-earth experimentation with plants. Modest as it is, I love it for its peaceful sensibility and for being a haven where songbirds thrive and gardenias scent the air, where sonorous notes resonate from chimes in the meditation circle.

Meditation Path

Meditation Path

Not each one of these nice things is noticeable every single day but the potential is always there for beauty, knowledge and amazement. I must keep that wisdom throughout the year, enjoying the garden as a place where hope continues to exist while the world passes through its inevitable and sometime ominous cycles.

In rejecting a post-truth reality I plan to dig deeper for authenticity, truth and honesty in the coming year.

*In a year marked by surreal outcomes in the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum, Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” 2016 word of the year. In a post-truth world reality is created and framed through the lens of emotional appeal rather than through intellectual discourse and honesty. The art of repeating talking points while ignoring contradictory evidence takes on more importance than truth and facts.


Originally I had planned to do a different type of garden review than this and perhaps I will write it in the upcoming week.  Meanwhile, thank you for being part of my gardening world. Good wishes for a Happy New Year!

2016 Carolina Inn Lunch

In A Vase On Monday—Old And New

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

In A Vase On Monday is an opportunity hosted by Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to create and share an arrangement using materials gathered from one’s garden.

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

A pair of Phalaenopsis orchids were on standby in the dining room for use in the final Monday vase of 2016, but before my sisters arrived Christmas Day (bringing dinner no less) I swept through the garden to see if I could cobble together a home-grown arrangement to end the year.

I have been keeping an eye on a half-dozen of the Sugar Rush series of Erysimum plants purchased several weeks ago. They are still unplanted but I hope to change that dubious status soon. As more of them bloomed the flowers have become decidedly multicolored. I am unsure if that is normal.  It took a little courage to cut the stems but I finally decided they just might work in this week’s vase.

Erysimum

Erysimum

Despite some cold nights Yuletide camellias are continuing to open. Although redundant, having relied heavily on this flower since Thanksgiving, I plucked several fresh blooms just in case. The golden center coordinated nicely with a gold Erysimum.

Erysimum and Camellia Sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Erysimum and Camellia Sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Before heading indoors I checked on the Hellebores planted nearby. Excited to find a couple of nodding blooms, I selected one for today’s vase. I think of Helleborus as starting a new cycle of flowers for the upcoming year.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

There was no time to labor over this arrangement. With the rush of expected company in mind I quickly filled a multi-stemmed vase and inserted the flowers.

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

Materials
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Red’ (Wallflower)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Gold’ (Wallflower)
Erysimum ‘Sugar Rush Purple’ (Wallflower)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)
Multistemmed container

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

It is nice to finish up 2016 by sharing this little container of colorful flowers and thereby completing the 52nd vase of the year.

In A Vase On Monday - Old And New

In A Vase On Monday – Old And New

In A Vase On Monday Retrospective

Mondays have taken on new meaning since my initial participation in late January 2014 and I have become a little obsessed with finding something to place in a vase each week.

During some parts of the year the garden offers enough bounty that the choice becomes what to omit rather than what to include. At other times like today when the garden is resting, fewer items stand out as obvious features for a vase, and the creative challenge is to treat like a star whatever is available.

In either case, in times of abundance or scarcity, naturally some arrangements are more successful than others, but I find there is always something to learn. Besides it is just pure fun to imagine and experiment and play with flowers each week.

2016-gallery-detail-2It is helpful to be able to look back at what was blooming in past years or at what vase I used to display certain flowers. As a resource last year I began creating annual galleries of my Monday floral designs with directories to link back to the original descriptions.

Now at a glance I can view the entire year of vases by referring to these pages from the Floral Design menu.

If you are interested to check them out, these are quick links for each year:

2016  — 20152014.

Another aspect to IAVOM is visiting as many other participants’ sites as possible each week to see what is blooming in other parts of the world. I always get ideas and insights from studying what other Monday vasers have created.  And of course, I always appreciate reader comments–it is great to stay in touch.

A special heartfelt 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.