Tag Archives: gladiolus

In A Vase On Monday—Gardenia And Company

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Monday again!  Time to join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

I chose a black triangular vase this week to highlight three surprise gardenias I found yesterday blooming along the north side of the house. The gardenia’s sweet fragrance is difficult to adequately describe, but is as luscious as its pure white petals.

Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia jasminoides

Relentless heat and lack of rain has characterized our weather the past month and as a result a mid-summer planting of gladiolas has failed. The plants looked strong and promising during July and I was looking forward to using them arrangements. But August sered the leaves and stunted the blooms.  I salvaged just a portion of one to use with the gardenias today.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

There are more zinnias included this week. One of the few flowers able to withstand the recent  temperatures, even their foliage is looking distressed.

Cactus Zinnia

Cactus Zinnia

When gathering flowers for today’s vase I also found a single stem of perennial sweet pea that looked fresh enough to include. Though the bloom is non-scented, the twining tendrils of this passalong add extra texture to the design.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials
Gardenia jasminoides
Gladiolus
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

It is always such a pleasure to put together a weekly vase. 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.

In A Vase On Monday—Choices

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

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

Last weekend my good friend Susan and I took a short trip to Creedmoor, NC, to browse the handmade American crafts at Cedar Creek Gallery. If you have a few minutes to learn about this unique place, I encourage you to watch this 4:33-minute video and you will certainly want to visit too.

Having in mind from the outset to shop for a new flower vase, I returned home with three prizes, all Ikebana vases with integrated pin frogs. I had spotted them immediately upon entering the gallery, just inside the front entryway. After admiring many other beautiful pieces, I returned to those that first caught my eye and prepared to make a selection.

I chose a black triangular vase and a blue rectangular one. With me vacillating among other choices of designs, my friend stepped in at my moment of indecision and treated me to the third vase as an early Christmas present, a triangular shape decorated in the blue wave pattern. Thank you Susan!

Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Ikebana Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

I had planned to make only one arrangement today but this type of vase does not hold a lot of material. And there were plenty of flowers left over to use in experimenting. I never felt any of the three were quite finished, rather I just finally stopped working on them for now.

The first vase holds two red gladiolas (the first of 30 planted in mid-June just coming into bloom), a large orange cactus zinnia, a sprig of orange peppers and a red dahlia. This design went through many iterations, even some made digitally, to explore the composition and proportions. If anyone is curious I included some of the design stages at the end of this post.

Rectangle Blue Zen In Red and Orange

Rectangle Blue Zen In Red and Orange

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

The next vase began with an interesting seed pod rescued from a recently bloomed canna. I think the pod has great potential but I allowed that tallest zinnia to distract from it. It is less worrisome in person though.

The bright yellow zinnias are from a Burpee Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ packet. This year I also planted ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ zinnias from Burpee and Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ from Botanical Interests.

Yellow celosia adds movement and energy.

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

Triangle Black Wave In Cream And Yellow

The third vase is sprightly and pink. It is the only one where I used foliage, cut from Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata.’ The flowers are zinnias, obedient plant and verbena bonariensis.

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Triangle Blue Wave In Pink And Cream

Materials
Canna Seed Pod
Capsicum annuum ‘NuMex Easter’ (dwarf Ornamental pepper)
Dahlia, spp.
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Gladiolus
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
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)

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.

Notes On Design Progressions

In the sets of images below, the ones on the left are photographs of the actual arrangement while those on the right are imagined.

The first set show the earliest version of the red design. It was only after viewing photos that I noticed the design looked too heavy on the left side. I ending up reworking it several times.

In post-production I edited the photographs to imagine making different cuts than what I really did.

Here is an intermediate version on the left (the real thing). I had shifted the orange peppers to the right and added some Daphne greenery to improve the balance of the composition. Again the images on the right show some imaginary changes to the design through digital editing. I was reluctant to trim down the gladiolas but in fact they were too tall for the vase. Trimming the  top of the left-leaning gladiolus improves the design. If I had done that and then lopped a little from the top of the center glad as well, I would probably have been happy with the design.

In my final version of the real-life arrangement greenery was removed. The orange ornamental peppers moved to the back where they got somewhat lost. The gladiolas were shortened. After trimming and repositioning, the gladiolas relate better to the size and shape of rectangular vase. The glad on the right crowds the dahlia, but I can live with it.

 

In A Vase On Monday—Sweet Pea Reduction

In A Vase On Monday - Sweet Pea Reduction

In A Vase On Monday – Sweet Pea Reduction

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

Though the house is filled with a cheerful and lively abundance of Shasta daisies, echinacea and gladioli, for today’s vase I chose to concentrate on making a design that would be spare and constrained.

A long shallow dish with a metal interior was the inspiration and starting point, countered by a fan of gladiolus foliage standing upright at one end. A small but heavy Kenzan vessel was used to hold the leaves in place. One leaf was bent into a loose, circular shape, while another was manipulated with angular cuts. Small black stones were scattered out from the base of the Kenzan.

Next a lemon yellow celosia was added near the base, followed with a flower from a Ruby Slippers oakleaf hydrangea and the top of a white gladiolus holding three blooms.

Hydrangea, Gladiolus, Celosia

Hydrangea, Gladiolus, Celosia

A long stem of Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) with new and aging flowers was inserted close to the gladiolus stems, its position secured into the Kenzan at the base and reinforced higher using a couple of the wispy sweet pea tendrils to latch on to the gladiolus stems.

Finally a woody stem of chrysanthemum foliage was bent and added to swing out across the dish to the left. One improvement I would make is to increase the length and arc of the line formed by the chrysanthemum, perhaps replacing the chrysanthemum with flowing bear grass.

In A Vase On Monday - Sweet Pea Reduction

In A Vase On Monday – Sweet Pea Reduction

Materials
Gladiolus
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Foliage:  Gladiolus, Chrysanthemum
Mechanics:
shallow, oblong footed dish, metal interior and black matte exterior
black, round self-contained Kenzan (flower arranging frog)
small, black stones

The photographs tend to flatten the dimensionality of the flowers, especially that of the sweet peas.

Chrysanthemum leaves and Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Chrysanthemum leaves and Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

They are reduced to shape and color creating pattern in a most interesting way.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

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.

In A Vase On Monday—Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

Monday brings the chance to display cut flowers from the garden by participating in Cathy’s weekly invitation In A Vase On Monday.

Today’s arrangement of gladiolas and hydrangeas went together quickly, but I thought I might never get any pictures I could use to share them.

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

Gladiolas, adorable old-fashioned favorites, this year are blooming straighter and taller than ever, setting off today’s vertical challenge.

Though I have the perfect vase to accommodate the gladiolas’ height, photographing such a tall arrangement has been a test. I much prefer landscape format for my images, but the vertical nature of these flowers forced me into four different picture-taking sessions of mostly portrait format. Finding a satisfactory background with adequate light and capturing the rich intensity of color among the gladiolas were tricky.

Almost 200 photos later, realizing I needed to chill, I finally chose a handful to represent my Monday vase. The very first image gives a good idea of the overall size, proportion and shape of the design. The colors are truer in this version below.

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

Materials

Gladiolus
Hydrangea macrophylla
Glass vase (This glass vase is one I love using, especially as it commemorates last year’s visit from Christina almost 1 year ago.)

 

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

This should be a long-lasting arrangement. I like the way it turned out and now that I am no longer photographing it, I know I will enjoy it this week.

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

In A Vase On Monday-Vertical Challenge

As always, thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower obsession. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and other gardeners are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Butterflies and Glad Tidings

Throughout the day yesterday I glimpsed this male swallowtail nectaring at this large stand of Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena). The day before the garden had been filled with colorful American Goldfinch (Carduelis trusts) also enjoying this plant. The verbena has scattered itself all around the borders, so this year I have been able to share some with friends.

male Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

male Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

male Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucous) enjoying Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

male Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucous) enjoying Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

male Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

male Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

About a month ago I noticed a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) fluttering around, just for a day, but I could never get a picture. Then again on Saturday another passed through. Still no picture of the butterfly, so I will share its host plant, Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant).

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

This spectacular gladiolus below is from a package of blue shades mix planted last spring. The bulbs performed poorly last year, so seeing this royal spire each day thrills me. Although the tip of the stem is out of view, at this stage the gladiolus is half blooms and half buds.

After Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) finished blooming here in the western border, I cut it back leaving this section looking particularly bare. Now that the weather has finally warmed up, everything should fill in quickly: Buddleia davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Butterfly Bush), Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) and Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox). I am still deciding how to replace the gardenia hedge that once lined this fence along the back.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

This is the same flower after a rain a few days earlier, with the northwest corner in the background: ‘Carolina Sapphire’ (Arizona Cypress), Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox), Callicarpa americana (American beauty berry), Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood). In front of the planter Allium atropurpureum are preparing to  bloom.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

In A Vase On Monday—In Search Of The Blues

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Monday brings the chance to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday, where the goal is simply to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

I last wrote about using Angelonia in the meditation circle and it was still on my mind when I began planning a vase for this week. The rich colors seemed to be a good starting point for an arrangement.

Angelonia 'Alonia Big Indigo'

Angelonia ‘Alonia Big Indigo’

As an afterthought I also brought in some gladiolas from a bulb collection planted this spring, misleadingly named Gladiolus ‘Blue Shades Mix.’ Do pink and magenta really qualify as blue shades? No, but these flowers are lovely.

Pink Gladiolus

Pink Gladiolus

Magenta Gladiolus

Magenta Gladiolus

This is the first purple from this “blue collection.” I like it a lot. Somehow Gladiolus became the focal flower for today, with the Angelonia taking on a supporting role.

Purple Gladiolus from Blue Shades Collection

Purple Gladiolus from Blue Shades Collection

In spring I planted a small Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba) for the express purpose of exploiting its foliage for flower design. That shrub is doing well enough to contribute  a few dark, shiny leaves today.

Foliage of Aucuba japonica 'Variegata' (Gold Dust Aucuba) and Gladiolus Flower

Foliage of Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba) and Gladiolus Flower

A pair of glass vases that belonged to my maternal grandmother were the appropriate size. I inserted a rolled Aucuba leaf into each vase to hide the flower stems.

Glass vases are lined with Aucuba japonica 'Variegata' (Gold Dust Aucuba)

Glass vases are lined with Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)

 

Materials
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Angelonia ‘Serena White,’ ‘Alonia Big Indigo,’ ‘Serenita Raspberry’ and ‘Rose’
Gladiolus ‘Blue Shades Mix’
Matching scalloped glass vases

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Still searching for blue, here is a look from up above.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

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—Summer Spectrum

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Monday morning is time to join Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly invitation to fill and share a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

After watering the garden Sunday morning I gathered flowers for a vase.  Choosing as many Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ as I could find, I clustered them together in the center of my grandmother’s glass floral frog as the starting point for an arrangement. The container is a hand-thrown ceramic glazed picece, about 9 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches tall.

Cluster stems of Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' in center of glass frog

Cluster stems of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ in center of glass frog

I added a few stems of Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) to help define the outer edges of design.

Add Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) to help define outer edge of design

Add Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) to help define outer edge of design

For filler flowers I used a stem of Alstroemeria and different colors of Angelonia.

Add Angelonia to fill in design toward outer edge

Add Angelonia to fill in design toward outer edge

Next I deconstructed a gladiolus to use the individual blooms around the base of the arrangement.

Descontruct Gladiolus. Use to add color and hide mechanics.

Descontruct Gladiolus. Use to add color and hide mechanics.

A single Dahlia ‘Firepot’ and  an Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed) were used as focal flowers.

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed), Gladiolus

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed), Gladiolus

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

I can quibble with the design proportions—the materials need to be extended out wider and the shape is uneven. As I rotate the vase I realize the arrangement looks very different from front to back and from overhead it is askew.

In A Vase On Monday. View From Above

In A Vase On Monday. View From Above

And yet, I love this vase of flowers. The flowers are fresh, the textures are interesting together.

The rich vibrant hues in this assortment speak to me of summer itself. At first the colors contrast and shock, then they blend and meld.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Dahlia ‘Firepot’, Gladiolus

Materials

Alstroemeria x ‘Tesmach’ (Inticancha® Machu Peruvian Lily)
Angelonia ‘Alonia Big Indigo’
Angelonia ‘Raspberry’
Angelonia ’Serena White’
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
Dahlia ‘Firepot’
Gladiolus sp.
Gomphrena globosa (Globe amaranth)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' and Gladiolus

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and Gladiolus

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ’Serena White’

Angelonia ‘Raspberry’

Angelonia ‘Raspberry’

Gomphrena, Angelonia ‘Raspberry’, Gladiolus

Gomphrena, Angelonia ‘Raspberry’, Gladiolus

Thank you to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for welcoming everyone to join her in this opportunity to share a vase each week. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.