Tag Archives: Hydrangea macrophylla

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—Welcome

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

Today brings a welcome chance to share the garden by participating in Cathy’s weekly call to display our cut flowers In A Vase On Monday. My vase was prepared several days ago.

This past week I finally cleared the Southern Side Path of grass, pruned a couple of overgrown shrubs to make it easier to pass by, and deadheaded lamb’s ears, echinacea and more. The fence gate in the photo below belongs to my neighbors. Mine is not visible, but the slate path curves to the right, leading visitors through the gate and into the main garden.

Southern Side Path

Southern Side Path – After clean up

At the right corner guarding the back entrance, a large Green-Headed Coneflower had been taking its job much too seriously, reaching out from the house and blocking traffic from both directions. I cut away and removed all of the overhanging stalks, which were still covered in golden yellow petals and pollinators galore. (Can’t remember the last time I wrote “galore.”)

This plant, Rudbeckia laciniata, grows 6-7 feet tall and begins blooming early to mid-July. Although the trimmings were generously oversized, I decided I could use them for a Monday arrangement if I left them outdoors. Normally left unadorned by the front door, a  large periwinkle ceramic urn made the perfect container.

In A Vase On Monday - Welcome

In A Vase On Monday – Welcome

A tall glass vase of water was placed inside the urn to hold the the rudbeckias. The flowers sit cheerfully at the front door to welcome company. I was too tired to worry about arranging them carefully, but now wish I had taken a few more minutes to pose them.

That the pollinators would not mind being relocated was one thing I had not anticipated. When dinner guests actually did arrive Saturday, dozens of bees and other insects were hanging around. Entering the front door required calculation and prowess.

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Bee and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

I tried to identify this skipper and thought I had found a match on Jeff Pippin’s site, until I read the description: “Indian Skipper (Hesperia sassacus): In NC, this butterfly is rare to uncommon and found only in the mountains. Indian Skippers are single brooded, flying in May/June. The host plants are various grasses, and this species is commonly found nectaring on Red Clover.”

So much for my skipper skills. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong plant. If anyone recognizes this insect, I would like to know what it is.

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Unknown Skipper on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

This one I believe is Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus).

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) With Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) With Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Materials
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Ceramic Urn

In summer I love to fill the house inside with flowers as well, not formal arrangements, just colorful blossoms lining the counters and tables, tucked into window sills and corners. These are a few from the weekend dinner party.

More Vases

More Vases

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) and Angelonia ‘Serena White’

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

More Flowers

Many thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly floral arrangement celebration. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and other gardeners are placing In A Vase On Monday.

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.

In A Vase On Monday—Hydrangea Gift

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangea Gift

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangea Gift

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.

I confess the hydrangeas in my vase today are not actually from my garden but still are quite local. They grew just a couple of houses away at my neighbor Eileen’s. She showed up at the back gate several days ago bearing freshly cut blooms.

Eileen said she remembered how much I have admired them in summers past and that, like mine, her hydrangea bushes had not bloomed the previous two years. This is a good year for hydrangeas though and what a wonderful surprise to enjoy these richly colored flowers from a friend.

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangea Gift

Hydrangeas seem to arrange themselves. They are quite adaptable and pleasing in any vase.  I chose the light mint green ceramic one acquired at the spring neighborhood yard sale. It has a lid with holes, a sort of built-in frog to hold the stems in place.

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangea Gift

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangea Gift

Many 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.

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.

In A Vase On Monday—June Orbs

In A Vase On Monday - June Orbs

In A Vase On Monday – June Orbs

Today brings a welcome chance to share the garden by participating in Cathy’s weekly call to display our cut flowers In A Vase On Monday.

The transition to summer is evident throughout the borders and in these early days of June, Hydrangea and foxglove continue to delight. Naturally then they should be featured in today’s arrangement.

Digitalis Foxlight 'Ruby Glow' and Hydrangea macrophylla

Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ and Hydrangea macrophylla

My first ever Ranunculus have begun to flower. Not many from a bag of 40 tubers survived and the flowers are much smaller than I had anticipated, but I was able to cut a couple of blooms.

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

I bundled together half-dozen stems of Appleblossom yarrow to form a sphere similar in size to one hydrangea.

In A Vase On Monday - June Orbs

At center left, bundled Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow) echoes the shape of hydrangeas and caramel accents of Ruby Glow foxglove.

Achillea x 'Appleblossom' (Yarrow), Gaura, Ranunculus

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow), Gaura, Ranunculus

In some pictures the yarrow may look faded or even brown, as my husband thought, but in reality the flowers range in color from pink to peach with yellow centers. The effect was intended to pick up the caramel tones visible in the foxglove.

Hydrangea macrophylla, Digitalis Foxlight 'Ruby Glow' and red Pelargonium

Hydrangea macrophylla, Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ and red Pelargonium

Scarlet Pelargoniums harvested from a planter on my screened porch add a zing of color to what would otherwise might appear to be a collection of mostly pink balls.

In A Vase On Monday - June Orbs

In A Vase On Monday – June Orbs

The Waterford crystal container measures about 6 inches high by 6 inches wide. To hold the flowers in place I used a Perfect Arranger, which is a stainless steel armature with a weighted base that holds flower stems tightly in place without the need for using floral foam.

Materials

Achillea x ‘Appleblossom’ (Yarrow)
Dahlia sp.
Digitalis Foxlight ‘Ruby Glow’ PPAF (Ruby Glow Foxglove)
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Hydrangea macrophylla (from Jayme, March, 2013)
Leucanthemum superbum ‘Becky’
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Pelargonium, dark red
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Ranunculus
Crystal vase
Perfect Arranger floral holder

This last view is one taken from overhead.

View From Above - June Orbs

View From Above – June Orbs

Many thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly floral arrangement celebration. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and other gardeners are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday— Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangeas

Monday brings the chance to share cut flowers from the garden by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday.

Hydrangeas began blooming last week and I am thrilled. The flowers have a way to go before they are fully open but I could not wait. Hydrangea macrophylla generally bloom on old growth. In the previous two years late cold snaps ruined the buds, so this is the first promising display ever from these passalong shrubs.

Often arrangements of flowers require many more blooms than one would expect. I had to return to the garden to snip a few extra hydrangeas to complete the vase.

These flowers were so luxurious and satisfying to arrange.

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangeas

Perhaps an odd use of concealer foliage, I first lay out a collar of pink achillea around the perimeter of the vase and then added the layer of leaves above. I chose Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ for its beautiful red coloring on the undersides of the leaves to complement the other pinks and reds in the arrangement.

Folded leaves of Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' reveal reddish underside

Folded leaves of Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ reveal reddish underside

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' foliage with Hydrangeas

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ foliage with Hydrangeas

Penstemons are also blooming this week and I used several colors as filler flowers. Husker Red has dark red foliage with white flowers and self-seeds generously. Pike’s Peak Purple is my favorite. Originally planted along the path of the meditation circle only one plant remains there. Last summer I managed to divide it and plant a piece in a section of the border, where it is blooming but not really thriving.  Red Rocks is the third penstemon, and as is often the case with plants named “red,” the bloom color is pink, not red. Red Rocks is blooming well though.

Center: Penstemon x mexicali 'Red Rocks', Penstemon mexicali 'Pike's Peak Purple', Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'

Center: Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’, Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’, Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

Penstemon x mexicali 'Red Rocks' (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’ (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Also featured in today’s vase are three stems of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’. These large clusters of oak leaf hydrangea, which open white, should gradually turn pink and eventually darken to a rich dark rose. This has never happened. Instead the flowers turn brown and dry up before reaching that stage. Maybe there will be enough rain to keep the plant happy this year.

White clusters of Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

White clusters of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

Materials

Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) – foliage only
Hydrangea macrophylla (from Jayme, March, 2013)
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’  (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon x mexicali ‘Red Rocks’ (Red Rocks Penstemon)

Container Notes

I found a new ceramic vase at my neighborhood’s garage sale a few weeks ago. The selling point was its matching lid with holes to help secure the flowers, like a flower frog. The lid works but with limitations.

To begin this design I edged the container with a low soft border of Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow). Supported by remnants of feathery foliage, the achillea stayed precisely where I put it.  But the taller, heavier hydrangeas were less cooperative. At the beginning the hydrangea stems had a lot of wiggle room in the openings, shifting around and adjusting as I inserted other flowers.

Eventually I managed but this arrangement might have been easier with a stronger base of Oasis or another anchoring system. The lid does lift up easily to add fresh water.

Vase lid with holes

Achillea filipendulina inserted into holes of vase lid

This view shows how the initial edging of achillea and heuchera leaves support the hydrangeas in the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday - Hydrangeas

In A Vase On Monday – Hydrangeas

Hydrangea Color Notes

The pink color of my mophead hydrangea is surprising. I grew up in an area where hydrangeas were always blue. I have never had the soil tested here but there are plenty of pines in the neighborhood so I had assumed the soil was acidic. When Jayme gave me the plants, I think there were 2 or 3 blue flowers the first year, 2013; 1 or 2 small pale blue ones in 2014; 1 or 2 small white ones, 2015. So the flower color has been transitioning as the plants grew and became established.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

For blue flowers hydrangeas require acidic soil (pH 5.5 or lower) and for pink, neutral to alkaline (pH 6.5 and higher).  To change pink to blue flowers, applying aluminum sulfate to lower the pH and add aluminum to the soil is recommended.

Whew! The End

You deserve a medal if you managed to read this far. Thanks for stopping by.

And 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.

Overhead view of Hydrangeas

Overhead view of Hydrangeas