Sunday, June 4, 2017

elephant garlic

Impossible to photograph this,because it's so three-dimensional (and the window mullions distract so). To show up properly in a photo, this arrangement needs an ininterrupted black background.  Still, I couldn't resist posting it, because it's so interesting in real life.  The flowers are elephant garlic blossoms on twisted scapes in a vase surrounded by another wood knot Wendy Wadsworth gave me.

beargrass and blue tansy

Ok, this is wacky, but I love it because of the "ingredients." First came the beargrass. Kate and I ordered it for a big event in Richmond, but it came in "bad." Beargrass never comes in "bad" (it's nearly indestructible), but this batch really was half dead and smelly when it arrived. So it wound up in my brush pile. However: when I encountered it there days later, it looked pretty good! Must have benefited from the fresh air. So I gathered up a bunch of it, twisted it into a loop and combined it with the next pretty thing I encountered on my way to the house--blue tansy or Phacelia tanicitifolia. This cover crop (which was growing in my vegetable garden) is absolutely gorgeous, and, miraculously, also makes a great cut flower. Learned about it from Betsy Trice, who gave me some seeds. It's an early, cool season plant (today I was pulling it out and gathering seed), but, boy, what a discovery (via Betsy) it is!

red poppies

So: a week or so ago, Kate and I did flowers for a large event in Richmond (48 table arrangements plus other stuff). My garden was full of annual poppies at the time, and although we knew it was dangerous to include any of them, we included a few. I doubt many of them held up (despite the fact that we did all the right things to condition them), but guess what did hold up? The leftover poppies I just dropped into water without any conditioning! Go figure. They lasted several days on the windowsill--here combined with other leftover red flowers The little piece of wood is a gorgeous knot Wendy Wadsworth gave me.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

one mahonia leaf

The color of old mahonia leaves has been spectacular this spring. I harvested lots of them for recent arrangements (not an easy task, given how prickly they are), but these two leaflets got special treatment because they were so very red. I cut a slit in the top of the lemon before wedging them in. This "arrangement" is over a week old and hasn't changed a bit, A mahonia leaf might fade a bit over time, but it couldn't wilt if it tried.

tulip-tree flower--gift of a squirrel

It's always been clear to me, when these tulip-tree flowers land on the ground, that they have been snapped off by something, and I guessed it was squirrels but didn't know for sure until---ta da--last week when Estelle Porter told me she had actually observed it. I'd love to know why they do it, because where they snip the flowers off--usually about 1/2 inch down the stem--doesn't seem to make sense, food-wise. Maybe that's a good spot for sipping sap?  

Marion David gave me the sweet little vase (which she made).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Crossvine (Bignonia)

LOVE this native vine. Flowers are sort of terra-cotta colored and hang in beautiful clusters. They look like trumpet vine, but aren't. This is crossvine, or Bignonia, which blooms in spring (as opposed to trumpet vine, a woodier vine, which blooms in summer). I've used crossvine flowers in half a dozen ways today--in big and small arrangements--but my favorite, naturally, is this windowsill-sized arrangement.  It's just one little leftover cluster of flowers in a small black vase (with a snippet of borage behind to help hold it up).  I love the way the flowers show up against the black vase.

radish thinnings

Thinning radish seedlings today, I wound up with these in my hand. Thought I'd put them on my sandwich for lunch, but they were so pretty, I put them in a tiny vase instead.