Late Hydrangeas In a Vase on Monday

July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 008~

A ‘cooler’ summer day never fails to reinvigorate my enthusiasm for the garden.  Our breezes are from the northwest, and yesterday was as perfect a day as one might hope for in late July.  We had a dry week, and so I went out yesterday morning just to water the pots and baskets, and to add some water to our bog garden.


July 27, 2015 caterpillars 007~

Well, I’m sure you can guess that it was hours later when I finally wandered back indoors.   Such growth everywhere!

I cut the cat mint back very hard, hoping it will soon grow out again with fresh flowers.  There were lots of spent roses and Cannas to deadhead, creeping grasses to pull, and flowers to admire.


July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 011~

And while watering the front border, these soft Hydrangeas caught my eye.  Although the clear blue Hydrangea blossoms of late spring always delight, I truly love these green and purply pink blossoms which come in summer.

These grow in a very protected, shady area below some tall Rose of Sharon shrubs.  I had to crawl back under low woody branches to even reach these Hydrangeas, which were peeking out shyly from the foliage, and nearly invisible.

Although they could fill a vase by themselves, the blooming Coleus in a large pot by the front door beckoned.  I cut a few stems to tuck into the vase for height and contrast.


July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 004~

It was only back inside, while trimming up the stems for the vase, that I noticed a pale green grasshopper climbing over the Hydrangea blossoms.  You might spot him in a few of the photos.

Today’s vase is an old green glass container which usually holds cuttings to root.  It was old when it came to me, more than thirty years ago now.


July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 014~

A fluorite dragon guards the vase.  Fluorite is a wonderfully cooling stone for summer.  Its clear, watery blues, greens and purples exude peace and calm, much like a staying in a house at the lake or on the beach.


July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 015~

Cathy, ever faithful in her Monday posts, shares with us a colorful vase composed by her Mum this week.  This is the vase which greeted her in the guestroom, when she arrived for a holiday at her Mum’s home on an island off the coast of Scotland.

I hope you’ll pop over to Rambling In The Garden to enjoy her Mum’s flowers, too.  Cathy encourages us to cut a few blossoms from our garden to enjoy in a vase indoors each week.  This simple ritual gives such enjoyment, and the opportunity to observe the passing seasons.

We enjoyed another cool morning and early showers here in Williamsburg today.  The trees around town are that special intense green only a damp summer will allow.  The air almost vibrates with their intensity today.  Our farmer’s market still offers potted Hydrangeas for sale, at an almost unbeatable price.  I was sorely tempted to adopt another.  But, reality set in and we left with only melons and peaches.


July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 012


Some might say the best of summer still stretches before us.   The best summer produce can be had locally now, the Crepe Myrtle trees are all covered in blossoms, and the garden is at full power.  We are sighting more butterflies each day.

Speaking of butterflies, we found these baby caterpillars today in the midst of a Coleus arrangement while I was refreshing it.


July 27, 2015 caterpillars 002~

Something looked strange about the parsley flowers, and on closer inspection we found these tiny caterpillars earnestly eating on the stems.  They must have come indoors more than a week ago as eggs, and hatched on the parsley indoors.


Cut on July 15, these Coleus stems have mostly rooted now and are ready for pots.  I love how the colors reflect the mandala needlework, just finished a few days ago and waiting for a frame.

Cut on July 15, these Coleus stems have mostly rooted now and are ready for pots. I love how the colors reflect the mandala needlework, just finished a few days ago and waiting for a frame.


The caterpillars are back out in the pot now with the mother plant, set to continue munching and growing.  The vase has fresh water, and most of the Coleus stems sport tiny white roots.  They will grow on through the remaining weeks of summer.


July 27, 2015 caterpillars 006


Woodland Gnome 2015


July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 005


“And so with the sunshine

and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,

just as things grow in fast movies,

I had that familiar conviction

that life was beginning over again with the summer.”


F. Scott Fitzgerald


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

11 responses to “Late Hydrangeas In a Vase on Monday

  1. The coleus leaves offset that refreshing-looking hydrangea perfectly – and your fluorite dragon shows the wonderful colours of the crystal so beautifully. Thanks for sharing and for such a descriptive post

  2. Wasn’t it wonderful to have a few “cooler” days? Your arrangement and vase are beautiful. 🙂

  3. Lovely post. Hydrangeas are the stars of the late July garden.

  4. I’m glad you got a chance to work outside under cooler conditions. Hot, muggy weather is in store for us this week, so looks like I won’t be working all that much outside. Very cool about your little caterpillars, swallowtails, I suspect. I keep looking for monarchs, but nothing yet, except what the nearby butterfly farm hatched out for release.
    Every time I see your coleus, I regret not getting any, but the slugs really nail them here. I’m working on growing 2 blue hydrangea, but they are still small. Your fluorite dragon is the prettiest thing, a beautiful piece of art. Big hugs to you! 🙂

    • Hi Eliza, Comfortable summer days are to be cherished 😉 I am sorry you have hot and muggy on the way. It is so nice to walk out of the door and be able to breathe! And not be sandblasted with heat! Yes, I believe the little caterpillars are Tiger Swallowtails. We find them on the parsley nearly every summer. I keep watching the milkweed hoping to find some evidence of caterpillars or chewing; so far nothing on any of our plants. But we keep watching for them. So sad that slugs take your Coleus. It seems for every beauty, there is a beast. There were gorgeous H. Paniculata covered in blooms and I thought of you. They were at the market we prefer and perfectly grown. Admiring them, I could only think of our Hydrangeas destroyed by the deer last week. At least the dragon won’t eat the flowers! Big hugs back to you 😉 ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Sandblasted with heat – that is a perfect description! And the humidity suffocates – I feel like I can’t get enough air.
        Yes, any coleus I plant ends up looking like Swiss cheese in a week and then in two it is in tatters.
        Luckily, the deer that cruises through the yard every night so far has only been munching wild jewelweed and NY asters. I’m crossing my fingers she leaves everything else alone.

  5. The Hydrangeas are at their best (and last longest in a vase) as they begin to fade and take on that antiquey coloration. I can never resist any plant with “dragon” in its name. How lovely to have a beautiful, fierce dragon to guard your charming bouquet.

  6. Fabulous arrangements using coleus flowers and foliage….and butterfly caterpillars on parsley how lucky!

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