Author Archives: pbmgarden

About pbmgarden

Contemplating plants. Reforming my garden. Savoring peaceful moments. pbmgarden.wordpress.com

Spring Cleanup

Last Thursday’s delivery included 7 cubic yards of double-shredded hardwood mulch and 4 cubic yards of compost blended with topsoil (50-50 blend). I should have ordered plain compost. The compost blend was a mistake and I ended up giving away much of it to a neighbor.

Mulch and Compost

With trepidation I hired assistance this year to help me weed and distribute the mulch. Although I know there were a few victims, such as the Solomon’s Seal I had just recently spotted popping up, but mostly I am pleased and relieved to have this job done.

Post-cleanup Garden View

Post-cleanup Garden View

Post-cleanup Garden View

In A Vase On Monday – March Delight

In A Vase On Monday – March Delight

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

What began as a feature of three hyacinths staged with euphorbia, morphed into a completely different design this morning. Titled March Delight, it was a struggle to create. After initial placements of euphorbia and insertion of a white phalaenospsis recycled from last week, everything seemed on track.

Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) from last week’s vase

Next I inserted the hyacinths, a lovely pale pink and two lavender ones. They needed just a bit of tweaking to adjust the balance, but refused from there to cooperate. Eventually the hyacinth stems pretty much disintegrated from attempts to position them.

To salvage the arrangement I reverted to an idea I had dismissed earlier of using another orchid from my kitchen window garden. Purchased last year this orchid had recently rebloomed into a creamy delight of pink and speckles with with traces of apricot.

Orchid

Cyclamen, Iberis and a tiny remnant of the pink hyacinth were used to supplement the revised scheme.

Pink Hyacinth, pink and white Cyclamen and white Orchid hovering above Begonia leaf

I tried culling and editing to give the individual flowers more space, a difficult thing to do sometimes. Originally there were two additional stems of euphorbia, but they overwhelmed the delicate orchids and cyclamen. They came out along with some of the Iberis and narcissus leaves.

In A Vase On Monday – March Delight

Materials

Flowers
Cyclamen
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Hyacinthus orientalis (Hyacinth)
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)
Foliage
Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)
Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)
Narcissus leaves
Container and Mechanics
Blue ceramic vase
Small black plastic Solo bowl – vase insert
3-inch florist’s frog (floral pin holder)

Here is a final peek at what is left of the mischievous culprit. I will enjoy the remaining hyacinths outdoors in the garden.

Hyacinthus Orientalis

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 – March Parallel

In A Vase On Monday – March Parallel

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden. This week she is celebrating her fifth blogging anniversary and her Monday In A Vase sensation is in its fourth year. Congratulation Cathy!

In A Vase On Monday – March Parallel

Spring is finally official and the temperatures are moderating after a brutal cold snap last week. My garden club is sponsoring a flower show this spring that includes three classes (groups): Functional Table For Two, Small Design and Parallel Design.

Unfortunately my schedule has been such that I have been unable to attend the preparatory floral design workshops this year. I decided to try a parallel design on my own this week.

The inspiration comes from the verticality of a now-fading white Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) that has been blooming since before Christmas,

Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)

Staging three or more groupings of plant materials placed in strongly parallel arrangement is the basis behind this creative design. Guidelines emphasize it is important to retain negative space between each group while creating a unified overall arrangement.

Accompanied by long green leaves of iris and narcissus the orchid was given central placement.

In A Vase On Monday – March Parallel

The second grouping, on the right side, features several iris buds that survived this week’s cold, another cluster of narcissus leaves, and a single Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ flower.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Branches of Eastern redbud form the third segment of this arrangement.  They are joined by a folded-over narcissus leaf and another purple-blue anemone.

Each grouping of materials is inserted into its own florist’s frog or pin holder. Large round leaves of Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ are used to hide the mechanics.

In A Vase On Monday – March Parallel

Clusters of white Iberis sempervirens and more redbud flowers are used across the base of the arrangement to unify the design.

In A Vase On Monday – March Parallel

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

 

Materials

Flowers
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)
Foliage
Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’ (Beefsteak Begonia)
Iris germanica leaves
Narcissus leaves
Container and Mechanics
Shallow, round, black dish
3 small black plastic Solo bowl
3 florist’s frogs (floral pin holders), 2.5 inch and 3 inch
Black polished stones

In A Vase On Monday – March Parallel

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 – Spring Forward

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

Spring forward—yesterday marked a return to daylight savings time and we set clocks ahead by one hour. Despite the optimistic spring forward mnemonic, I gathered my flowers well ahead this week, on Friday, to stay ahead of winter’s return. A light snow fell briefly Sunday morning dusting the garden for a couple of hours before giving way to bright blue skies and sunshine. Early forecast models had predicted this might be a much bigger event than it was, but we could not escape below-freezing temperatures for several nights.

With impending cold and snow in mind I collected freely and was able to assemble a couple of designs.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

Both arrangements include Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ for a rich punch of color and lovely pure white Narcissus ‘Thalia’ for springtime freshness.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ just opened during the past week.

White Narcissus ‘Thalia’

The first arrangement places Mr. Fokker in a Portmerion porcelain vase with a botanic pattern with echoes of blues, greens and a blush of pink. Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ enlivens the effect, subtle hellebores add balance.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

Although designed to be viewed from the front, the back of this arrangement shows off the Acuba’s gold flecks on dark green leaves.

Outside, arching branches of Eastern redbud are in bloom.

Back view highlights Acuba foliage. Eastern redbud is visible outdoors.

The second arrangement was intended to be a simple pitcher of daffodils, the newly opened Narcissus ‘Thalia’, and mostly is.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

In my experience daffodils are strong-willed, non-compliant participants in flower arrangements and work best when used alone. I forgot that lesson this week and fiddled with them for way too long. After a struggle I conceded and let them sit where they wanted; however, I did insist they share the vase with several anemones, grape hyacinths, candytuft and a single Tahiti double daffodil.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

The small bits of muscari and Iberis sempervirens add interesting texture and work well with the colors scheme.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

The stoneware container holding this second design was a wedding gift from my college roommate. I enjoy using this piece. It was made by a well-known local potter, Jim Pringle.

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

 

Materials

Flowers
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ (Synonym: Camellia japonica x Camellia saluenensis)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Hyacinth orientalis ‘Blue Jacket’
Hyacinth Sunrise Mix
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
Narcissus ‘Thalia’
Foliage
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Vases
Portmerion- Botanic vase made in England
Stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue. (from set of 4 cups and pitcher, Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977)

Snow or no, this looks like spring to me. Has the season changed for you yet?

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Forward

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 – Shades Of Pink

In A Vase On Monday - Shades Of Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Shades Of Pink

Spring-like temperatures alerted flowers throughout the borders to awaken early this year. Then weekend brought the dreaded below-freezing lows that make farmers and backyard gardeners alike wring their hands. As I looked out Sunday morning, sure enough the neighbor’s saucer magnolia that had seemed primed for loveliness this year instead stood sagging with browned flowers.

In anticipation of joining Cathy at Rambling In The Garden in sharing a Monday vase, I browsed the garden late Sunday morning to gather materials. Surprisingly I found plenty of blooms still looking perky and bright. The ones I collected this week were mostly pink, starting with a winter flowering Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ that had begun showing color by February 24 and finally opened last week.

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

I used hellebores last week but these stood out in that each stem had two flowers with very different colors. The top, more recently opened bloom was pink but the lower one had matured toward a striking lime green.

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Several branches of native Eastern redbud covered in tight clusters of pink flowers were used to add height, rhythm, and a bit of drama to the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday - Shades Of Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Shades Of Pink

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Mounds of pure white Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) are the final ingredient in today’s Monday offering. This is one of my favorite ground covers.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Materials
Anemone coronaria ‘The Bride’
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’ (Synonym: Camellia japonica x Camellia saluenensis)
Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
2.5 inch florist’s frog (floral pin holder)
Small black plastic Solo bowl
Black glazed, square ceramic pot base

In A Vase On Monday - Shades Of Pink

In A Vase On Monday – Shades Of 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 – Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Preview

My dear husband is finally home from rehab after back surgeries. He is slated for lots of therapy in the coming weeks to help him regain strength and mobility.

Naturally gardening time continues to be scarce as together we concentrate on his recuperation, but with his encouragement I was able to carve out a few minutes yesterday to collect some flowers to share for a Monday vase.

With spring-like, record-setting temperatures for the past month the borders are bursting with color. Faced with the many choices I focused on Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ which began blooming the first of February. In my garden, anemones have been difficult to establish. Most do not survive at all, others are short-lived, so I cherish this particular tiny patch.

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

For today’s vases I took inspiration from the blue-green combination of these anemones against the fresh lime green flowers of Euphorbia ‘Shorty’. I selected several complementary hellebores as well.

Euphorbia 'Shorty' and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Ikebana vases with integrated pin holders are a quick arranging solution.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Preview

Hellebores began opening sporadically in December and for the last month have been spectacular. I added some named cultivars last winter which seem to have survived but only one is blooming. The label is missing and I have not had time to figure out which one it is.

Some of the hellebores in today’s arrangement are from an initial order of plants made the first year we moved into our house in 2001 and others are pass-alongs from Vicki, a garden club friend whom I first met through yoga.

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Helleborus x hybridus

Euphorbia 'Shorty' and Helleborus x hybridus

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ and Helleborus x hybridus

This past week several hyacinths popped out for a fragrantly spicy surprise. They seemed to want to be arranged without fuss or competition from other flowers, so they fill one Ikebana container.

Hyacinth orientalis 'Blue Jacket' and 'Woodstock'

Hyacinth orientalis ‘Blue Jacket’ and ‘Woodstock’

Materials
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Hyacinth orientalis ‘Blue Jacket’
Hyacinth orientalis ‘Woodstock’
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches), Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

I am happy with the finished effect of grouping the vases and delighted to be able to share them today.

In A Vase On Monday - Spring Preview

In A Vase On Monday – Spring Preview

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 – Basket Of Cheer

In A Vase On Monday - Basket Of Cheer

In A Vase On Monday – Basket Of Cheer

As the week begins it is always fun to join Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, but I continue to be unable to tend the garden for now as I am tending to my husband.

Some of you will know from my last post he had back surgery in early January and was recovering in a rehab center.

It turned out the first surgery required correction so back into the hospital he went for a second one 10 days ago. Back in rehab now he is finding recovery smoother this time around, although still not fast enough for us.

Although I can see daphne and anemone beginning to flower, hellebores continuing to open and daffodils teasing with yellow-tinged buds, there is no time today to prepare a vase. Instead I would like to share a joyful basket my older sister sent last week to cheer us on. It has brought us many smiles.

In A Vase On Monday - Basket Of Cheer

In A Vase On Monday – Basket Of Cheer

Thanks for the many nice comments and good wishes you have left for us. I am sorry I have not been able to leave remarks on your recent posts but I have viewed a few and will try to catch up as life returns to normal.

In A Vase On Monday - Basket Of Cheer

In A Vase On Monday – Basket Of Cheer

 

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.