In A Vase on Monday: May Remembered

November 30, 2015 iris 001

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On this last day of November, we filled our vase with fresh cut roses and the last of our Iris.  This is one of the many reasons we love gardening in coastal Virginia!

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November 30, 2015 Roses 003

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Today proved wet and mild.  It was in the mid-40s when we went out on mid-day errands, and the low white sky promised more slow and steady drizzle.  A damp glaze on everything and muted light made the remaining golden and scarlet leaves on our trees glow radiantly.  What a simply beautiful day.

Those trees still holding their leaves were  like torches set against the bleak November day.  Our roses shone like beacons across the garden.

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November 30, 2015 Roses 006

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It was already dusk when I finally got outside  to cut the roses.  We thought the frost last week had finished our Iris for the season.  But the buds survived, and this lovely I. ‘Rosalie Figge’ opened today as though the frost had never even happened.

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November 30, 2015 iris 002

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Our Artemisia survived the first few frosty nights as well, glowing with silver light on this dark and rainy day. Our little vase of flowers reminds us of the sheer joy of May; a last gift of the season before we face December in the morning.

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November 30, 2015 Roses 001~

The vase itself came to us through the Habitat for Humanity shop.  I spotted it last summer, and noticing it was made in France, and is quite old; decided to add it to our collection of vases.  I love its cream and gold colors and classic shape.

We’ll enjoy these vibrant apricot roses and deeply purple Iris as we leave autumn behind now, and welcome winter and the holiday season for another year.   Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, has cut autumn roses from her garden for her vase today, too.  It shows me how small our world really is to see we are both cutting similar roses on the very same day, thousands of miles apart from one another!   I hope you’ll pop over to see her gorgeous apricot rose named, “The Poet’s Wife.”

Cathy faithfully hosts this challenge to post a vase of fresh cut flowers each Monday, and I’m happy to join her coterie of flower gardeners again today.

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November 30, 2015 Roses 008

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Soon we will all be awash in red and green, silver and gold as more and more holiday decorations find their way out of storage.

I hope you had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend spent relaxing with loved ones.  As the garden drifts off to sleep through another winter, our attention turns to other things inside, where it is warm and dry.

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November 30, 2015 Roses 009

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Woodland Gnome 2015

In A Vase on Thursday

October 22, bees 003

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Cutting flowers from the garden is still a very hard thing for me to do.  The bees didn’t help the matter at all as they buzzed around the Mexican Sage I was dropping in a glass of water, as soon as I had cut it.  They were bewildered, and a bit annoyed, that I was taking their favorite flowers.

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October 22, bees 004

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I walked right past the gorgeous Camellias, not wanting to cut their woody stems, which will keep on growing once the flowers drop.

Some will observe that cutting encourages new growth; a moot point in late October.  Others will chime in that frost can take them down at any time, anyway.

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October 22, bees 005

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Whatever the merits of the arguments, I wanted to fill this silver coffee pot with flowers before my guests arrive in a few short hours.  It had grown a bit dusty and tarnished over the summer.

I enjoy the firm deadline an invitation imposes for one to seek out those pesky cobwebs normally ignored; clean out the stacks of catalogs by my chair, and perhaps shine a piece or two of silver.

And to cut flowers….

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October 22, 2015 vase 007~

As usual, I’ve cut things I hope will root in the vase.  There are my two favorite Salvias in bloom this month:  Salvia leucantha and Salvia elegans.  And though only the Pineapple Sage is called elegant in its proper name, I find both to be very elegant in the fall garden.

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October 22, 2015 vase 003

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The Salvia leucantha grow through an Artemisia in the front garden, and so I used a bit as filler.  I like its pale foliage against the silver coffee pot.  There are also a few branches of our African Rose Mallow, Hibiscus acetosella.

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October 22, 2015 vase 004

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Cathy, continues to post her vase each Monday, and I think of her fondly as each Monday comes and goes.  I expect these flowers to still look lovely after the weekend, and perhaps I’ll consider myself a few days early instead of four days late!  Positive thinking is a habit, after all, isn’t it?

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October 22, 2015 vase 001~

Our weather has turned nice again and I’ve been putting a few potted things back outside to enjoy our late October Indian Summer.  We certainly are enjoying these comfortable, sunny days.  And the small creatures in the garden, particularly the bees, celebrate all of the flowers still blooming so beautifully.

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October 22, bees 002

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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October 22, 2015 vase 006

In A Vase: Finally, Zinnias

Septembr 8, 2015 vase 009

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We are past Labor Day, that great holiday marking the end of summer in the United States; and finally I’ve cut some Zinnias for our vase.

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September 8, 2015 Vase2 001

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These are lovely Zinnias.  I love their soft but vibrant pink petals.  I’ve admired them every day for weeks now, but have refrained from cutting any to bring indoors.  I’ve only cut off spent blossoms in order to inspire the plants to push out more.

These Zinnias are a tender spot for me.  No, not a warm and fuzzy tender spot.  They are a guilty tender spot.  You see, I bought them.

When the several dozen Zinnia seeds I had carefully ordered and later sowed out in the beds failed to produce; I bought a few potted Zinnia plants from our friends at the local farm stand.  They were so far along that I planted them, pots and all, in a few prominent spots mid-summer.

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September 8, 2015 Vase2 002~

Now how much gardening skill does it take to grow Zinnias from seeds??? 

I’ve done it often in the past.  And, in retrospect there are now a few of my home sown Zinnias blooming in the butterfly garden.  But my grand winter plans for rows of Zinnias, ripe for cutting, failed to materialize in the vagueries of spring.

I first sowed the little seeds in wet paper toweling, as I often do with bean seeds, and then planted each little packet into the beds.  Needless to say, it didn’t work well this time….  Next year, back to the trays or little pots for sowing those precious seeds.

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Septembr 8, 2015 vase 003~

But enough of gardening angst.  We’ll celebrate these lovely Zinnias blooming so vibrantly with the Blue Mist Flowers, Salvia, purple Basil, Pineapple Mint, Catmint and Garlic Chives.  One thing I enjoy about these vases is how I can capture the essence of things blooming all over the garden into one tiny vase.

The Blue Mist flower self seeds, and is also a spreading perennial.  It is popping up in nearly every part of the garden this summer.  I’ve been spreading the Garlic chives around for several years now.  Another self-seeding perennial, they are also blooming in surprisingly random places in the garden at present.

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Septembr 8, 2015 vase 001~

The “Jade” Buddha was given to us by a friend at Chinese New Year.  I included it today after learning, just this week, the story of the “Emerald” Buddha of Thailand.  This “Emerald” Buddha statue has a long and mysterious history which likely began in southern India in the years before the Common Era, and continues today in modern Bangkok.  The stones were picked up while walking along an Oregon beach.

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Septembr 8, 2015 vase 002

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The season is turning yet again, and it feels like as good a time as any to ponder our successes and shortcomings of the last few months.  It is a good time to process gardening, and life lessons, learned; while at the same time entertaining plans for the seasons coming.

Another gardening blogger wrote of sketching her cuttings beds for next season, now.  Plans made now will likely be more realistic than those we plot over the winter catalogs in February, don’t you think? 

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September 6, 2015 garden 010~

I’m building some new beds in the sunny front garden.  I’ve already planted some new Iris roots, and am ready to plant bulbs as soon as some rain comes to soften the soil a bit.

Once the weather turns more towards autumn in a few weeks, I’ll also move some shrubs from their pots to the Earth.  The trick at the moment is to spend enough time watering and weeding to keep things alive until it rains again.

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August 29, 2015 garden at dusk 011

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But despite my failed Zinnias and a half dozen other misadventures this year, we celebrate those gardening efforts which have worked out well.   Gardening offers a series of second (third and fourth…) chances to ‘get it right.’

Though brutal at times, nature also offers us the opportunity to try, try, again each season; in the continual pursuit of our green and growing dreams.

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August 29, 2015 turtle 020~

Please take a moment to visit Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to enjoy more beautiful gardening successes, captured for a moment in time In A Vase this week.

 

Woodland Gnome 2015

In A Vase: E. ‘Green Jewel’

August 24, 2015 Vase 2 003

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Today’s vase is a celebration of green; particularly the Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’ new to our garden.

I was extremely fortunate to find Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’ offered on Brent and Becky Heath’s end of season perennial sale a week ago.  I bought two pots, already in flower.  I finally cut two of the flowers for today’s vase, with the intention of helping the plants establish a little better without their flowers setting seed.

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August 24, 2015 Vase 002~

That set the color note, and I added various shades of green with Apple Mint and Coleus ‘Gold Anemone’ for the background foliage.

My offering today features a smattering of favorites, including some a friend especially admired on our impromptu garden tour this morning.  I love the opportunity to deepen a friendship while sharing a garden.  It was her first visit to ours, and now I’m looking forward to visiting the garden she and her husband have designed.

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August 24, 2015 Vase 003~

She was interested in the mints and the Coleus especially.  Of course, the ‘Under the Sea’ line of Coleus are so unusual they really don’t resemble normal Coleus very much.  I love the fern like fringe of these leaves.

There are a few stems of flowering Basil in the vase today, along with a a handful of our happy Black Eyed Susans and a few roses.

I’ve walked past the roses in recent weeks, trying, like Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, to feature a few of our more unusual flowers.  But I love the roses and they bring us such pleasure each day.  I relented and cut a few for today’s vase.

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August 24, 2015 Vase 007

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I especially like how the mostly green arrangement sets off the peachy tones of these ‘Lady of Shalott’ roses from David Austin’s collection of English shrub roses.

This is one of my favorite green glass vases, acquired second or third hand many years ago.  The green egg is Malachite and so is the tiny green frog.  This stone frog reminds me of the tiny frogs we find hopping around the garden in August.

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August 24, 2015 Vase 005~

It has been very hot here again today, and we are truly dry for the first time in months.  I spent much of yesterday watering the garden and pulling grass and weeds from around thirsty perennials.

The jewel like green surrounding us a few weeks ago looks a bit faded today, showing the growing distress of our trees and shrubs.  We still hope for some rain tonight and tomorrow.  In fact, clouds were gathering from the west as I went out late this afternoon to cut stems for today’s vase.

I didn’t make it out to the garden this morning before the heat set in, and so waited for the blazing sun to fade behind the gathering clouds before cutting this evening.

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August 23, 2015 garden 033

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I hope you are still finding beautiful and interesting stems in your garden to cut and bring inside to enjoy.

Preparing a vase each week, or two or three; gives us the opportunity to appreciate the garden’s offerings at leisure and up close.  The flowers look different, more special somehow, trimmed, arranged, and placed just so indoors.  I appreciate Cathy encouraging garden bloggers to cut and arrange each week by allowing us to share with one another through her posts.

Please try your hand at it if you haven’t already.  This is one of summer’s simple pleasures and is not to be missed.

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One of our new Echinacea 'Green Jewel' before I cut for today's vase.

One of our new Echinacea ‘Green Jewel’ before I cut for today’s vase.

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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August 24, 2015 Vase 004

In A Vase Today: Wildflowers

August 18, 2015 vase 006

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Some might say that I cut a bouquet of weeds for today’s vase.  Others, kinder perhaps, would admire these as wildflowers.  I passed by the roses and Zinnias today to cut these deep golden orange Black Eyed Susans, some wild Ageratum, Poke Weed, a few stems of Basil and Sage, and some Muscadine grape vines grown from seeds.

We found the Black Eyed Susans growing in the edge of the lawn during our first full summer in the garden.  I dug up clumps the following spring and began spreading them around.  We transplant a few clumps each spring now because we love how they shine from mid-August through until frost.

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August 18, 2015 vase 005

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That first summer I noticed the distinctive periwinkle blue fluffy flowers of Ageratum appearing on what I had thought were unchecked weeds in some of our beds.  We were delighted to discover these perennial flowers blooming, unplanned and unplanted, around the garden.  Soon, we discovered these are perennial Conoclinium coelestinum, related to, but different from the annual Ageratum we find as bedding plants each spring.  Also known as ‘Blue Mist Flower,’ this is a native American wildflower.  It self-seeds and can become invasive.  Once you recognize its foliage each spring, it is easy to move, pull, or allow it to grow on through the summer to bloom in the autumn.

Poke Weed, Phytolacca americana, is another native plant which magically appears in the garden.  I first noticed it growing up through the ginger lilies last summer.  Although highly poisonous, its prolific purple black berries, which appear later in the season, attract many songbirds.

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Poke Weed flowering above the ginger lilies, and in front of a Magnolia blooming out of season. So pretty....

Poke Weed flowering above the ginger lilies, and in front of a Magnolia blooming out of season. So pretty….

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We’ve pulled more than we’ve left this year, but we rather like the effect of the flowers and berries poking out above the ginger lily foliage.  This plant commonly appears along the edges of woods, fields, and roads. The birds spread the seeds far and wide, and it can become invasive.  Somehow it called out to me today as I was cutting the golden Susans. And so I added a few stems to the vase.

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August 18, 2015 vase 004

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What is the difference between a flower and a weed?  I believe that is an entirely subjective judgement of the gardener.  It has a lot to do with where a plant happens to be growing, and whether or not you like it there.

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August 11, 2015 storm approach 008

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I just finished a wonderful article in the current issue of Horticulture magazine about lawn gardens, which explores this very topic.  If you haven’t read Horticulture this month, I recommend it.  There is also a very instructive article on native American fruits like Muscadine grapes, Paw Paws and American Persimmons alongside an excellent article on fig culture.  Needless to say, I was hungry by the end of this issue and just had to bake a little treat with some Muscadine grapes we found today at our local farm stand.

The vines in today’s vase grew from the seeds of grapes we ate two summers ago.  I made jam that year, and planted a handful of the seeds in various pots and beds.  The seeds came up and we are enjoying the beautiful grape foliage this summer.  I suspect fruit may still be another year or two away.

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August 18, 2015 vase 007

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You may recognize today’s vase as one of our treasures from local Shelton Glass Works.  We have a long tradition of glass around Jamestown.  You can easily recognize John Shelton’s stunning cobalt blue glass in shops and at art shows around the Williamsburg area.  I’ve paired this little pitcher with a cluster of Aqua Aura quartz and a small statue of Kuan Yin, Buddha of Compassion.  I found both on the West coast this spring.  This dark Kuan Yin reminds me of the black Madonna statues well known in France and Egypt.

I appreciate Cathy’s weekly challenge to fill a vase with beautiful flowers and foliage cut from the garden.  It always interests me to explore what may be available each week and then pull an arrangement together.  It has been a busy stretch here with travel, gardening, and friends.  I was away yesterday and so found time this afternoon. to construct a vase.  I hope you will visit her at Rambling In the Garden to see her gloriously bright vases today.  There is a collection, all in a vintage mood.

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August 5, 2015 butterflies 048

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And what of your garden?  Have you explored, clippers in hand, lately?  Surely there is something beautiful out there ready to come inside to delight you with its fragrance and beauty.

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August 18, 2015 vase 003

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Woodland Gnome 2015  

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These Black Eyed Susans were  growing in the garden when we came here, but we spread the plants around when they emerge each spring.  The clumps spread and also self-seed.

In A Vase: Abysinnian Lily

August 10, 2015 flowers 004~

There are some flowers so simply elegant they beg to come inside and continue growing in a vase.

These Abyssinian lilies, also known as Peacock Orchids, should always be cut and enjoyed.  Their fragrance reminds me of Easter lily.  They last for several weeks in water, slowly opening one flower after the next on tough, healthy green stems.

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August 7, 2015 ground 007~

My first bulbs came as a free bonus with a larger plant order some years ago.  Some of the common mail order nurseries offer them as a ‘bonus gift’ each spring.   I pushed them casually into a pot and forgot about them.

But OH, when they grew, I was delighted to see them unfold their delicate flowers.

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August 10, 2015 vase 003~

A relative of the more common Gladiolus, these marginally hardy Acidanthera bicolor multiply from year to year.  Native to South Africa, they are hardy in Zones 8-10, and will survive most winters here in Zone 7 with mulch.   Some years they come back for us, and others they don’t.

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Each bulb measures about 8'10 cm and should be planted no more than 2" deep, as  you would plant any Glad bulb in full sun.

Each bulb measures about 8-10 cm and should be planted no more than 2″ deep, as you would plant any Glad bulb in sun.

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I purchased a bag of the little bulbs this spring and tucked them into several beds, among Iris and other plants to bring some color when other things weren’t in bloom.

These bulbs, sold as “Peacock Orchids” can be found in the spring for less than fifty-cents per bulb.  And I just came across this little bag of free bulbs, neglected for the last several months in the garage.  They’ve started growing already, and I hope there is still time for them to bloom where I just tucked them into a pot near the kitchen door.

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August 10, 2015 bulbs 001~

The plants grow tall and narrow.  Although the scapes will reach to 36″ tall, each bulb produces only one narrow stem.  They can be planted a few inches apart in full sun to partial shade.  Each bulb produces one scape of leaves and blooms in late summer; then lies dormant until the following year.

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August 10, 2015 vase 004~

But these lovely flowers are well worth the tiny effort they require.  A single stem looks elegant in a small vase.  I have two here with a stem of scented Pelargonium foliage and a stem of Tradescantia pallida, or purple heart.  This arrangement reaches out to you with its sweet fragrance.

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August 10, 2015 vase 002

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The vase is a simple rummage sale find, but I like it and keep it filled much of the time.  A moonstone frog and moonstone turtle keep watch beside the vase.

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A second vase sits in another room, as I cut a bit too much today.

A second vase sits in another room, as I cut a bit too much today.

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Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden, hosts this inspiring challenge to fill a vase each Monday with something beautiful found in the garden.  Some weeks are easier than others.  The garden is awash in flowers now in mid-August, and also offers up herbs and interesting foliage.

Every new thing blooming brings its own delight as our winter dreams come to fruition in summer’s warmth.

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August 10, 2015 flowers 003~

Woodland Gnome 2015

Herbs in a Vase

August 3, 2013 vase 017

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By early August our herbs have established, enjoyed the heat of July, and taken off with energetic growth.  Many are blooming.  Their leaves are large, soft and velvety.   Basil perfumes the garden and entices me to cut large handfuls to make fresh pesto.

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August 2, 2015 garden 004 ~

We invited friends for dinner on Friday, and much of our Basil went into the pizzas.  I made pesto and added a large dollop to the crust as I was mixing it.  More pesto took the place of tomato sauce on a pizza made with artichoke hearts, black olives, sweet red peppers and thick slices of mozzarella cheese.

The rich spicy smell of Basil always transports me to summer.

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August 2, 2015 garden 005

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The flowers for the dinner table were of course the Basil’s flowers, mixed with a few of the early Black Eyed Susans.  They have held up remarkably well over the weekend.

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August 3, 2013 vase 012~

And that inspired me to make today’s vase entirely of edible herbs.  There is more Basil of course; but also blooming Pineapple Mint, Purple Sage, the golden flowers of Fennel, and the huge, soft leaves of a mint scented Geranium.

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August 3, 2013 vase 014~

Can you imagine how my kitchen smells after constructing this arrangement, snipping here and crushing a leaf there?

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August 3, 2013 vase 009

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Joining Cathy in her “In A Vase on Monday” meme has our home filling with vases at the moment.  The Hydrangeas dried in place, and now sit off to the side.  I will save these flower heads for holiday decorations.  The Coleus from several weeks ago waits on the sideboard for me to plant it out in pots .

And now there are these three more vases of Basil.    Is it possible to have too many beautiful flowers?

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August 3, 2013 vase 011

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I love how long these vases last.  Foliage often stays crisp and happy days longer than flowers will.  There is very little dropped over the life of the arrangement.  And there is always the option of cooking with these herbs, allowing them to root, or setting them aside to dry.

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August 3, 2013 vase 016~

I am coming to understand Cathy’s simple lesson about cutting flowers from the garden, and bringing them indoors to enjoy at close range.  I am often reluctant to cut beautiful flowers from the garden, believing they will last longer and bring more pleasure on the living plant.

But outside even the most elegant flower can get lost in the larger landscape.  Or perhaps those plants around it are no longer in their prime and detract from the beauty of the flower.  Cut, arranged, staged and curated that same flower takes on an added panache.

Combined with other carefully chosen flowers and leaves, suddenly the composition is far greater than the sum of its parts.

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August 3, 2013 vase 007~

Have you cut flowers or foliage from your garden lately?  It can be as simple as plunking a single stem in a pretty vase and setting it where you can enjoy it.  There are no rules here, and you may do it to please yourself.

Let us celebrate summer while we can and savor each sweet and beautiful bit of it. 

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August 3, 2013 vase 013~

Woodland Gnome 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 012

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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July 27, 2015 caterpillars 006

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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July 27, 2015 hydrangea vase 005

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“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.”

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

Coleus in A Vase

July 15, 2015 Coleus 002

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Just as foliage often lasts longer than  flowers will in the garden, so foliage also lasts a long time in a vase.  I love fresh flowers.  But I’m not keen on cleaning up dropped petals and spent blooms.  Who is, really?  So in the heat of summer, I like to fill a vase with long lasting, interesting foliage.

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July 15, 2015 Coleus 004

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Besides, it’s that time to cut back so many summer annuals and herbs; here is a way to prune for greater bushiness in the plants while also bringing the beauty inside to enjoy.

The larger vase holds prunings from three different Coleus from the “Under the Sea” line of hybrids, punctuated with a few leaves and a stem of flowers from Oxalis triangularis.

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July 15, 2015 Coleus 003

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The Oxalis grows in a long planter with two of the Coleus.  The chartreuse Coleus grows in a nearby pot with a dark leaved sweet potato vine.

We have enjoyed the smaller vase on our dining table for about a week now.

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July 15, 2015 Coleus 007

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It holds cuttings from some other hybrid Coleus which needed cutting back.  These pieces likely have roots by now and can soon be planted out.

That is an added value of foliage in vases:  it is an easy way to generate new plants to freshen up beds and pots for late summer and autumn.

Even the Oxalis leaves, I learned this summer, will root, given time.  They stay fresh and lovely for weeks at a time in a vase of water.   Here is an easy way to generate new plants without buying the tubers.

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July 15, 2015 Coleus 005

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One week soon I’ll get back in the routine of posting fresh vases on Monday.  In truth, it will most likely happen once our weather patterns shift.  Between heat and storms, and other projects, my time in the garden is limited these days.

I was cutting spent blooms from the roses and pulling weeds when torrential rains came on Tuesday, shortly before noon.  This tropical weather pattern leaves me less than inspired to spend time outside or to bring soggy flowers in.

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July 15, 2015 Coleus 001

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Until then, we do what we can, when we may.  And these lovely Coleus inspired me this morning.

May the mother plants prosper with new growth, and may these lovely little cuttings all survive for a long time to come.

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July 15, 2015 Coleus 006

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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Oxalis triangularis grows in a pot outside as part of a small shade garden.  Although leaves are grazed from time to time, the plant is happy here in the partial shade.

Oxalis triangularis grows in a pot outside as part of a small shade garden. Although leaves are grazed from time to time, the plant is happy here in the partial shade.

In A Vase On Monday: Callas

June 14, 2015 calla 002~

Oppressive heat has settled over Virginia.  It is wet heat, with dew points so high each breath is filled with steam.

Our torrential rain yesterday afternoon, and more showers overnight, have the garden well-hydrated; no watering chores for me today.

But the sun comes out after each wave of rain, sending the heat index back up to well over 100F.

We spent this muggy day inside, sitting under fans with tall glasses full of ice and sparkling water.  The air conditioner hums. Blinds and screens block the relentless sun from pouring through our windows.

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June 14, 2015 calla 004

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It is still in the 90’s out there, and any cooling tonight prepares us for hotter weather tomorrow.

And yet it is Monday.

I appreciate Cathy’s faithfulness in hosting “In A Vase On Monday” .  She always has something beautiful to share.  With the garden full of flowers, I couldn’t let the weather discourage me from joining again today.

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June 14, 2015 calla 008

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I planted Calla lilies some years ago in pots.  They grow outside all summer, and I bring the pots inside to the garage each autumn.  I enjoy these long, elegant stems and casually shaped simple flowers.

But the wind and rain yesterday bent many of the flowers and a few of the leaves nearly to the ground.

Callas last quite a while in a vase, and so I rescued them to fill our vase today.

My daughter gave me the rose quartz obelisk many years ago.  Our mood today requires simple,  loose and  cool.

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June 14, 2015 calla 005~

Do you enjoy Calla lilies?  I admire them, and was intrigued with the clumps the size of Pampas grass blooming on the Oregon coast in April.  These clumps were positively gigantic; taller than a child, and blooming months ahead of ours.

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June 14, 2015 calla lily 2 003~

Most Calla lilies are hardy in Zones 8-10.  Those of us living in cooler climates must either bring them in each autumn, or treat them like annuals.

But I’ve since found Zantedeschia aethiopica, a Calla hardy to our Zone 7a, at Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC.  I’ve just planted a clump of  Z.”White Giant” which has the potential to grow to 72″ tall.  We’ll see….

 

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The sun was too much for the original leaves today.  I didn't provide enough shade.  I hope the new leaf will be able to handle our sun.

The sun was too much for the original leaves on this hardy calla  Z. “White Giant”  today. I didn’t provide enough shade. I hope the new leaf will be able to handle our sun.

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Its leaves are beautifully spotted, and I am looking forward to watching it grow.   Its flowers will be classic white.  If there are blooms this year, they will definitely find their way into a Vase on Monday.

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June 14, 2015 calla 003

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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