Herbs in a Vase

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


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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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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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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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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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Woodland Gnome 2015

One Word Photo Challenge: Aqua

July 14, 2014 Jamestown Island 018



Where water filled sky meets sky filled water.


June 14, 2014 trees 001



Constant color of life and living,

Cool, damp, new growth -giving…


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A color to sip in long, cool droughts.

Peaceful, Silent, Sustaining



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Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells

For her One Word Photo Challenge:  Aqua

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Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

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A new site allows me to continue posting new content since after more than 1700 posts there is no more room on this site.  -WG

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