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Monday, September 29, 2014

roses, pokeberries, etc.

I didn't intend this to be so elaborate, but it just kept growing and growing. I picked three little roses and then started looking around for something to put them in. The first thing that caught my eye was this little basket, and, probably because I'd just been reading about birds' nests, I decided to use it sort of like a nest--with a pin cup in it to hold the flowers. The color seemed to call for some purplish coleus leaves, then some pokeberries I'd picked for another reason, then a plum that was already on the windowsill, then a walnut (in its husk) that I had picked up in the yard earlier.

P.S. Secrets of the Nest is a wonderful book.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

yellow Sternbergia, aka "fall crocus"

One of the advantages of writing this blog is that it forces me to try to remember plant names. The little yellow flower below is often called a fall crocus, but it's actually a plant called Sternbergia. There are crocuses that bloom in the fall, but this isn't one of them. I love it when the Sternbergia blooms, not just because it's always a surprise but because it reminds me of the place where I first saw them blooming en masse--in Hatton,Virginia. There, Sternbergia bloom in the lawns and borders of almost every house (there aren't many houses in Hatton!) and it seems so very clear that this has been a pass-along plant, passed from neighbor to neighbor.


The foliage in the vase with the Sternbergia flower is lily-of-the-valley.

Friday, September 26, 2014

damaged dahlia

This little arrangement exists only because I damaged a larger one. I was trimming something from a big arrangement when I nicked this dahlia, rendering it short-stemmed. Here it is in a tiny Cracker Barrel syrup bottle. I love this color of dahlia wherevever I see it,  but I'm particularly in love with this one (and its dark foliage) because I grew it from seed. There's a long Asian bean in this photo, too.

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

another syrup bottle

Here's another sweet arrangement in a Cracker Barrel syrup bottle. Mary Garner-Mitchell created this one as a sample for Shrine Mont arranging workshop. It includes two little zinnia flowers and a sprig of scented geranium foliage. Beautiful windowsill on the porch of the Rectory cottage!



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

breakfast leftovers

This container is a Cracker Barrel syrup bottle that Mary Garner Mitchell cleaned up and decorated (with nametags) for an arranging workshop this past weekend. I put flowers in it for the workshop, but this morning it was sitting around the kitchen empty when this rib of a Swiss chard leaf became available (I ate the rest of the leaf for breakfast). The colors of even just this remnant of a leaf are gorgeous. 


Monday, September 22, 2014

apple for the teacher

Dear Mrs. Gaunce (best 6th grade teacher ever),
     If you were still alive I would give you this apple. Since you're not, I'm going to eat it, but it was fun thinking about you and looking at the apple from the Shenandoah Valley on the windowsill. Just the fact that it still has its leaves attached makes it seem fresh and beautiful.
     Your appreciative student,
                                                                                                                                Nancy


Thursday, September 18, 2014

white petunias--pulled up by accident

This little arrangement has an interesting history. I was picking flowers today (dozens of buckets of them) for an upcoming workshop, and I was trying to weed as I cut. Not a good idea, in general. I was pulling some spent celosia out from among snapdragon plants, when I inadvertently also pulled up a self-seeded petunia plant that I'd been enjoying all summer. My groan was deep. There was no use replanting it; I didn't have time to water it in and it probably wouldn't have succeeded anyway. But I was happy to have a way to celebrate its life in this windowsill arrangement.


I had to prop a black tray up in the windowsill to make the white petunia show up.