In A Vase On Monday—Cornus Florida

 

Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood

I am joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create a floral arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden. This week I have chosen to feature the native Cornus florida (flowering dogwood).

Responding to the week’s sunshine and warm temperatures, the petal-like bracts of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) are almost fully opened, though the actual yellow-green flower heads, contained in the dense central cluster, remain tightly closed.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

On Saturday, as I weeded nearby the dogwood, I became more and more aware of its seasonal beauty and I began imagining how it would look indoors. Though I have never cut dogwood for an arrangement before, I thought it might work perfectly in a set of tall pastel vases given me by one of my sisters. I collected three branches on Sunday and assembled the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday-Flowering Dogwood-2

Because I needed to trim the three branches further in order to sit them in the vases properly I ended up with some leftover stems. For these I found a ceramic vase with a small mouth that helped hold these remainders straight. The earthy brown glaze and heaviness of the pottery piece contrasts greatly with the shape and height of the three pale-colored glass vases. Though not part of the original design this vase became an important component in the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday-Flowering Dogwood-3

Using branches of varying heights as well as the airiness of the flowering branches themselves combine to create a sense of movement in the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday-Flowering Dogwood5

When I was a child my father instilled in me a fondness for dogwoods by making them the backdrop for family photographs at Easter. He had planted a dogwood in each corner of our front yard and many a spring my sisters and I posed in front of one particular white flowering tree, squinting at the sun in our pastel dresses and white gloves, patent leather shoes and Easter hats. So this week when the dogwoods started filling the neighborhoods and roadsides it really seemed like spring.

In A Vase On Monday-Flowering Dogwood-4

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

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40 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday—Cornus Florida

  1. Christina

    Again you have created such a light airy composition, I love the vases and I agree the dumpy vase emphasises the light elegance of the others. Brilliant.

    Reply
  2. Julie

    I love the story you have told in your post and that you have used the really lovely vases given to you by your sister. Your arrangement has an oriental feel in its simplicity, its very pretty.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks, I do admire Japanese style arrangements. A year ago my daughter gave me a book on Ikebana which I was reviewing last week. Maybe I subconsciously incorporated some characteristics.

      Reply
  3. Chloris

    It reminds me of Ikebana too. It is absolutely stunning. I am so envious of the way you can grow such beautiful dogwoods in America. The little dumpy vase balances it beautifully.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Chloris, thank you. The dogwoods are indeed special here. At my last house we had many just growing wild and I miss them, especially at this time of year. My current dogwood struggles as it gets a bit too much sun.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Malc. This arrangement practically made itself by following the natural shape of the branches. I nursed along a Kousa dogwood for a few years but it didn’t like the conditions here. Still might try some of the red twig dogwoods. susie

      Reply
  4. Photos close to home

    Waba-sabi. And in the first photo, the picture frame is absolutely necessary for the balance.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      So happy to learn this word. Thank you. And I appreciate your comment on the picture frame. I felt the frame had to be there too. Again, thanks.

      Reply
  5. Cathy

    I love your arrangement and think it’s lovely how particular flowers or trees can bring back fond memories. The dogwood against the plain background is very effective Susie, and reminds me of Japanese cherry blossom art.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy. I noticed you had a nice dark background for your arrangement today and meant to comment on it. It can be hard to find a good place to photograph the flowers where the background doesn’t become a distraction. My garden is full of nice memories–it’s something I really cherish about the time I spend there. Have a good week.

      Reply
  6. Cathy

    What an amazing flower that cornus has – and really lends itself it this extremely elegant display. You do simplicity so well, Susie 🙂 And it’s great having the stories behind them too – memories of the cornus from childhood and then the vases from your sister. Thanks as always for joining in!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The cornus flower is complex, isn’t it? This is my first time using dogwood in an arrangement and I liked working with it. I think it will hold up well too but we’ll have to see. susie

      Reply
  7. Kris P

    I’ve always loved dogwoods but none of the prettiest varieties, like the one featured in your arrangement, will grow in my area. It makes a wonderful display all by itself and the vases you selected are perfect. I laughed at your description of your family Easter pictures – it reminded me of my own early childhood photos (like the one featured at the top of my blog of my 5-year old self, although I think that one may have been taken at Christmas).

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Too bad dogwoods don’t grow in your area–it is a beautiful tree. It’s interesting to me to see the different plant materials you and others are finding each week to include. Glad you could relate to my childhood story. I love that photo of you at five by the way..

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. Glad your dogwoods are giving you a good show. Mine is not really at its best this year and I think it is because it was so wet for so long. The flowers (bracts rather) are very small.

      Reply
  8. Anna

    What beautiful flowers. They sit so well in all the vases though I think that the short ceramic one is my favourite. I imagine that dogwoods would provide the perfect backdrop for spring time photos providing the perfect finishing touch for your Eater bonnets.

    Reply
  9. Annette

    Absolutely beautiful, Susie, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens if you keep adding another vase each week. 🙂 PS: Ikebana was the word I couldn’t think of the other day.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Annette. Thank you! I’ve been known to line up my old vinegar jars along a counter with a few blooms in each one for a big display, so you probably will see more vases at some point. Actually it’s an interesting exercise to come up with an arrangement each week–possibilities are endless.

      Reply
  10. bittster

    I’ve failed at making arrangements with dogwood, but you’ve done a fantastic job. I always fight the horizontal look but love the way you used it to form a tracery against the wall. and they look even better not fully opened yet. Nice job!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you! The dogwood branches are so inflexible I had to let them “be themselves.” Try them again sometime–the arrangement has lasted very well this week.

      Reply
  11. Stephi

    Beautiful arrangement. I love your explanations as to how you set it up. I miss seeing Dogwoods. Not really grown much around here, but it was everywhere in NJ. It was one of the first things we planted in our first house. Unfortunately, when I snooped a while back on google maps, it wasn’t there any longer. That was kind of sad.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Stephi, glad you liked the arrangement. I can understand how you must miss the dogwoods. Sad to think how places change when we’re not there any longer. My previous house had tons of dogwoods and azaleas and though I much prefer living here, I do miss that property for a couple of weeks each spring.

      Reply
  12. Born To Organize

    I volunteered at a showcase home this weekend and stood near a dogwood for three hours. What a gorgeous tree. You’ve done wonders with your arrangements. They’re lovely.

    Happy Easter.

    Reply

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