Tag Archives: echinacea purpurea

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

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

Each July Fourth America celebrates Independence Day, acknowledging the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Eschewing classic red, white and blues I opted for subtler, yet still bold, variations of the traditional colors.  In several attempts I could not get reality aligned with my design ideas, so I ended up with four very different arrangements.

The shasta daisies are the fourth effort and my favorite. Creating this simple grouping was made easy using the colorful multi-stemmed vase.

Shasta Daisies, from above

Shasta Daisies, from above

The third try was a loose display of purple coneflowers, Blue Sky salvia, red dahlia, shasta daisies, and starring a lovely lavender gladiolus.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The second vase was composed of two coral gladioli among two hydrangea blooms. I liked this one also.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The first arrangement of gladioli, phlox, hydrangea and Blue Sky salvia was more formal.

In A Vase On Monday - Four For Fourth

In A Vase On Monday – Four For Fourth

The house is filled with flowers today—four arrangements for the Fourth. Have a happy day wherever you are.

Materials
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Hydrangea macrophylla
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower arranging devotion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – May 2016

It is time again for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

Near the back steps, a passalong dahlia is preparing for its second year in my garden, courtesy of Libby at An Eye For Detail. The foliage looks strong and flowers are forming. I neglected to dig the dahlia last fall so am relieved to see it made it through the winter.

Dahlia

Dahlia

In the upper left of the image above, fragrant Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) is inconveniently growing up through where the garden hose is stored and needs to be reined back. In front of the monarda, a few dark red leaves of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) are visible. Also here several plants of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are pushing upwards through some impertinent clover and a ground cover of Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft). Foliage of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) peek through as well. The Aquilegia’s last remaining red flowers nod their heads.

Here is a closer look at the Echinacea and Aquilegia, with seeds formed on Iberis. The textures were not planned but do look interesting together.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The other side of the steps features a long, sunny border fronted largely by Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy).

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Across the garden in its shadiest corner, several Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) responded well to the recent rains and have grown substantially. Their multi-hued foliage is rich and full for the moment. Meanwhile Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not) finished blooming, but the smaller silvery, patterned leaves add a bright pop to this planting area (lower left of image). In back at left fern-like foliage of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) and sword-like iris leaves add height and texture.

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells)

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

In a small nearby border with a bit more sun grows more Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’. Its companion Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ has similar coloring. A stand of self-seeded Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) with long green, leathery leaves gives a change in texture and color.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) with Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Silvery shades of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and soon to bloom Lavender complement more leaves of Bearded Iris.

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear), Lavender

Bearded Iris, Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear), Lavender

Four Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ have been planted for about three years. Most are finally getting some size and buds are forming.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

One of the August Beauty gardenias has been eclipsed by its aggressive neighbors.  Soon the monarda will explode with red, inviting hummingbirds to sip its nectar, and dark pink flowers will grace the echinacea. But for now this spot is a relaxing green with Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ providing white accents—a cool, calm, peaceful interlude.

One Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' has become swamped by surrounding plants.

One Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ has become swamped by surrounding plants.

Thanks to Christina at Garden of the Hesperides for hosting. Read her foliage update and see more links to foliage perspectives from many parts of the world.

In A Vase On Monday—Dusty Tones And Green

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. I had hoped a promising anemone coronaria bud would make its way open in time for today’s vase, but in its stead is a variety of foliage and tiny blooms gathered yesterday morning.

The container is a small teacup from a favorite Pringle Pottery set, glazed in cream, light green and blue.

Pringle Pottery Cup

Pringle Pottery Cup

Dark red leaves of Husker Red Penstemon, feathery deep green Tansy fronds and a silvery-patterned, curving leaf of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ provided a foliage framework for the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Two fresh echinaceas, opening to a muted dusty pink, were the first flowers to be selected. To  them were added a lone cluster of bright pink Achillea and a pair of lavender viola blossoms.

Echinacea, Achillea and Viola

Echinacea, Achillea and Viola

A few tiny flowers of Pink chintz thyme are still opening in the meditation circle and several sprigs of this thyme were included for their subtle dots of pink, as well as for foliage texture.

Tiny flowers of Pink chintz thyme pick up the lavender of the viola.

Tiny flowers of Pink chintz thyme pick up the lavender of the viola.

Dark burgundy flower heads of Verbena bonariensis were clustered toward the back.  A couple of stems of white Iberis sempervirens were included to try to keep the design from becoming too dark.

Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials

Flowers
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Viola

Foliage
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Vase
Stoneware cup glazed with bands of cream, green, blue. (from set of 4 cups and pitcher, Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977).

In A Vase On Monday - Overhead view

In A Vase On Monday – Overhead view

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower addiction. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday and feel free to join in.

After A Rain

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

All around us for weeks there have been tremendous downpours, but we have been missing most of the activity, just had lots of gray sky. There was a nice rain last night though. I need to invest in a rain gauge someday. We usually just measure by whether the big dip in the street’s pavement in front of our house is full of water. It is a pretty reliable measure. Although this morning it was not full, I was happy we had not been passed by completely.

The sun was back out today. I had time for a very quick tour of the garden this morning and enjoyed seeing the Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) in the early light.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

An Echinacea purpurea mysteriously appeared in the meditation circle this summer. It is compact, only a foot tall, and has rather oddly formed flowers, as if it is trying to be a double.

These older flowers are the ones that first caught my eye a few days ago.

Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

This morning there were several freshly blooming flowers.

Freshly blooming Echinacea Purpurea

Freshly blooming Echinacea Purpurea

 

Also in the meditation circle’s path, the pinking shear circumference of this rain-washed white Dianthus flower caught my eye.

Dianthus 'Ideal Select White'

Dianthus ‘Ideal Select White’

 

In A Vase On Monday—Late Summer Basket

In A Vase On Monday - Late Summer Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer Basket

Today, the first Monday in September, is designated as Labor Day in the United States. It has been a federal holiday since 1894 to recognize the importance and contributions of workers. It is also time again to join in Cathy’s challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

Although I love blue-hued flowers my garden most often seems to be filled with pink ones. Since for today’s arrangement I avoided reusing multicolored Zinnias and yellow Rudbeckia, today’s Monday vase is also filled with pink flowers.

Everlasting Sweet Pea is blooming better than it did at springtime and Obedient Plant is in its prime. Most of the Echinacea is attractive now only to the American goldfinches, but I found one large, fresh bloom to include. For a touch of blue I also chose a handful of  Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and more pink, a few stems of Verbena bonariensis.

Pinkish hues dominate the garden's blooms: Everlasting Sweet Pea, Obedient Plant, Echinacea

Pinkish hues dominate the garden’s blooms: Everlasting Sweet Pea, Obedient Plant, Echinacea

 

I collected a mix of greenery to support the arrangement, so much in fact I later had to remove quite a bit to allow the flowers to stand out. The foliage is dark green Japanese holly, bright yellowish-green, Wintergreen boxwood and silvery Dutch Lavender.

Dark and light green and silvery foliage was used for this late summer arrangement.

Dark and light green and silvery foliage was used for this late summer arrangement.

The arrangement was created using floral foam in a shallow, plastic dish. The vase today is a small potato basket.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

The basket is one of the first baskets I made one autumn many years ago during a 4 or 6-week program at The Arts Center in Carrboro.

Potato basket-detail

Potato basket-detail

Potato basket-detail

Potato basket-detail

Materials
Flowers
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting Sweet Pea)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Foliage
Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)
Ilex crenata (Japanese holly)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Mechanics
Lomey 6″ clear designer dish
Floral foam
Handmade basket

I found this old photo of my baskets. Commercial dyes were used to color the reeds and the color has faded considerably. The egg basket handles were formed of wisteria vine, a material easily found in my yard at the time. For several months my kitchen was filled with basketmaking materials. I made baskets for my daughter, my sisters and a special friend and gave them as Christmas presents that year and then never made another one.

Susie's Baskets

Susie’s Baskets

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

In A Vase On Monday—Lavender And White

Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender-2

Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender

Monday is here again bringing the chance to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

With a Monday vase in mind I have had my eye on a white phlox that began blooming last week.   New to the garden this year, this one is called Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ and is a dwarf garden phlox. Last night I gathered two of the only three blooms on the plant to use today. For companions to the featured phlox I selected a large bundle of lavender and some echinacea.

The day was busier than expected so I abandoned the idea of formally arranging the flowers and decided to eliminate the echinacea altogether.  Using a Portmerion botanic vase that reflects the lavender and white coloring of today’s blossoms, I massed the phlox together in front and the lavender together in back for a simple display.

Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender

Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender

 

Once I photographed the flowers I was not satisfied with the design.  My use of space struck me as more flat and two-dimensional than I would like. So in the end I decided to add an echinacea or two to get something happening on another plane. It took more than two but I liked the result.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender

Adding the echinacea made the arrangement more dynamic and definitely gave it a pop of color.

Phlox Are Less Dominant Than In First Arrangement

Phlox Are Less Dominant Than In First Arrangement

It is always instructive to explore and experiment with these arrangements. If I were to start over I can think of several other ways I might try to assemble the flowers. But this is it for today.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox) and Lavender

Materials

Phlox paniculata ‘White Flame’ (Dwarf Garden Phlox)
Lavender
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

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

Early June 2014

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) Along the Southern Side Path

In the eastern border that sits against the foundation of the house, Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) has grown tall,  succeeding the Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) that bloomed here earlier. The red flowers should draw hummingbirds, as did the columbine.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) In The Eastern Border

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

In the western border of the main garden I have been monitoring the Chuck Hayes gardenias as they try to recover from the severe winter. One appears to be lost, but the others, despite showing the stress, will pull through

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Meanwhile, a couple of passalong gardenias on the north side of the house recently came into bloom without me realizing it. Rooted from cuttings by my former neighbor, these went quickly from little 6-inch stems to 6 feet tall shrubs. Most of the blossoms have brown spots and do not look very attractive, but even with only a few fresh ones, they all smell luscious.

A Passalong Gardenia jasminoides

A Passalong Gardenia jasminoides

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) grows in a pot on the patio. I cut it back severely in early spring, doubting it had survived the winter, but it looks healthy now.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) has been blooming vigorously for weeks and is attracting bees.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

In many spots around the garden clumps of Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) are primed with buds. Just a few have opened so far, mostly along the southern border. These are drought-tolerant plants but they do better in years with plentiful rain.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Also along the southern border Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is just beginning to flower.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Shasta daisies form a wall of green in a border near the back steps. They have seemed ready to bloom for a while now but are biding their time.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

At the edge of the shasta daisies is a nice combination of Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) and English Thyme.

Salvia Dorada 'Aurea' (Golden Sage) and English Thyme

Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) and English Thyme

Almanac

This is the type of weather I used to wish for when I was a teenager visiting the beach: beautiful, bright and sunny—perfect for swimming and sunbathing, but not so wonderful for gardening.

For the last five weeks it has been terribly dry. Though some parts of this region had heavy precipitation, here in my garden during all of May there were only two rains, one so brief it seemed a tease. Again yesterday a thunderstorm formed overhead, then passed by without even dampening the ground or pavement. I have hand watered the garden a few times, but it desperately needs a good soaking that comes from some sustained, restorative rainfalls.

Happy Birthday Little Garden

This garden turned 13 on May 31.

I really have been letting the borders coast along this year. I have weeded and trimmed but have not done much planning or renewal. A few weeks ago I scattered packets of Bachelor’s buttons and zinnias to brighten several bare spots where several trees had to be removed. So far only a few seeds have responded to my benign neglect.

Anyway, whether it rains this week to encourage the zinnias or not, this garden is so much more. It has come a long way and it has brought me along. Together we have both grown. This quiet personal space I cultivate, cultivates and nurtures me as well. It is a peaceful retreat that brings a lot of satisfaction.

Facing West, Overlooking the Northern Border and Meditation Circle

Facing West, Overlooking the Northern Border and Meditation Circle

 

Mediation Circle With Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' In Bloom and Fading Pansies

Mediation Circle With Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ In Bloom, Thyme and Fading Pansies

Early June Garden View Facing Southern and Western Borders

Early June Garden View Facing Southern and Western Borders