Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31, 2012 -- gumballs, red oak

So many bright green gumballs on the ground this morning! I picked some up and brought them home with me from my walk. First, I lined them up on tiles with a sprig of red oak leaves that also caught my eye this morning.

Then I piled them up in a little leftover cheese dish.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30 2012-- sweet gum leaves (from hurricane Sandy)

This is so beautiful, and it took no time. On my walk this morning (in freezing rain), I picked up a pretty sweet gum leaf, because it was speckled. Then I saw another, and another, until I had a handfull of them--all brought down last night by Hurricane Sandy. The range of colors is amazing (deep red to bright yellow) and all the leaves have long stems which made them easy, easy to gather into a bouquet.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012 -- peppers

These peppers came off the vine with their leaves still attached. So pretty.

October 28, 2012 -- still life with dishtowel

I did this arrangement yesterday (Sunday) but forgot to post it. I'd pulled the zinnias, okra pods, castor bean seed structures, and castor bean leaves together in an old tin measuring cup when I realized the the colors looked great with my dishtowel. So I threw the dishtowel into the windowsill, too!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27, 2012 -- fall bouquet

Oh, how I wish I had my real camera with me, because these colors are prettier than they look in this iPad photo. Gathered in this bouquet (which I hope to give to my granddaughter tomorrow night) are apricot-colored snapdragons, blue salvia, blue ageratum, a couple of stems of peachy love-lies-bleeding, arugula leaves (which are a really great smoky green color), and some red maple leaves.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26, 2012 -- ginkgo and pyracantha

Oh, what a mess this is going to make (when the pyracantha berries start falling), but it sure is pretty right now.  These two materials looked beautiful together outside today, and this was the best way I could find to display them together inside--a stem of each hanging from the window lock.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25, 2012 -- rich colors

I did two large arrangements for a party yesterday, and these were some of the leftovers--fall garden flowers in very rich colors. The deep magenta flower is coxcomb, which started as one large comb (like the ones I used in yesterday's party arrangements) but such a comb was too big for these little vases, so I tore it into several smaller segments. Other things included: pale peach mums, a couple of snapdragons, coral and pink zinnias, blue ageratum, some bouganvillia foliage leftover from other windowsill arrangements.

The little reddish balls sitting at the bottoms of the vases are immature castor bean seed structures.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23, 2012 -- two beautiful things

Harvested these two beautiful things from the garden today. Radish on the left, bulbing fennel on the right. Couldn't make the greens of the fennel stand up in the vase, so I tied them together at the top resulting in this fun, harp-like shape.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012 -- bigger punt

Today was, if anything, more challenging than yesterday and a windowsill arrangement just wasn't in the cards. Instead, I brought inside a plastic bucket of zinnias I'd picked on Sunday and plopped it onto the radiator.  Thank goodness for radiators (which are often close to windowsills!).

This post, lame as it is, actually has some value to me as it documents the fact that on Oct. 22, 2012, in Ashland, Virginia, the zinnias were still blooming (because we've had no hard frost). 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 21, 2012 -- punt

Arrived home really late tonight, with absolutely no time or energy, but as I was doing what I needed to at my desk, I noticed this precious vase that has been sitting for years on my office windowsill. Its wooden, only about 2.5 inches tall, and I never put anything in it because it's beautiful just the way it is. Tonight, though, it saved me. I took it downstairs and filled with with tiny things I harvested from previous windowsill arrangements-- a bouganvillia bud, some bouganvillia leaves, and a couple of tiny Farewell Summer flowers.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20, 2012 -- more tomato cans

This is the basil I displayed  on Oct. 18 redistributed into three tomato cans, with some peppers added. The cans were all leftover from making lasagne and I was stacking them on a shelf (because they were to pretty to throw away), when I realized I could use them stacked in the windowsill.

 I stuck a straw into the bottom of the top pepper to keep it from falling into the can. The others seemed to be willing to just sit where I put them.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19, 2012 -- Virginia Creeper

The easiest arrangements are always the best, and this one was so very easy. I spotted this red Virginia Creeper vine on my stroll around the garden yesterday afternoon then went looking for a bottle or vase to drop it into. Just happened to have this old old rice vinegar bottle with a red label. The label is simple enough not to detract from the vine and the bottle is tall enough to give the vine "drooping room."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012 -- can, tin

I spent most of the day today making lasagne (oh, my, what a recipe!), and, during the process, this leftover tomato can and anchovy tin caught my eye. It surprised me that they were the same colors (obviously from the same manufacturer, Cento). I filled the tomato can with basil and just propped the anchovy tin up so I could enjoy its colors another day before throwing it away.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012 -- not too hot, not too cold, just right

Today was a near perfect gardening day. The only problem was that there wasn't enough of it! Yesterday was equally wonderful , and a friend described it as a "Goldilocks Day" -- not hot, not too cold, just right! 

Anyway, after gardening almost all day, I went out trolling for material that moved me and added the material on the far left to windowsill display. In this little vase (like the ones already in the windowsill yesterday) are a stem of sweet box greenery (cut off inadvertently as I weeded), a pink camellia blossom, one red geranium blossom, and a stem of yellowing Japanese Solomon's seal foliage.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16, 2012 -- same flowers, different arrangement

These are the same flowers that were in the windowsill yesterday and the day before, but I pulled them out of their previous configurations and reused them here. They all got a fresh stem cut and fresh water, which will make them last even longer.

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012 -- salvia, bouvardia, and farewell summer

This started with some lipstick-colored salvia flowers I picked this afternoon.  As I gathered them, I also gathered some wild, white asters I call Farewell Summer. Put them in a wine glass, but they seemed to need a punch, so I added pink bouvardia flowers.

I picked a couple of these bouvardia flowers fresh (from plants in pots outside) but a couple were recycled from Oct. 5 arrangement. I'm amazed at how well they hold up as cut flowers.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14, 2012 -- pink flowers in bird's nest

What a fabulous weekend for gardening! Can't remember when I had more hours to devote to it all in one weekend. Such a luxury! This afternoon, after pulling weeds (if you call cutting down volunteer trees 15 feet tall "pulling weeds") I trolled the garden for pretty things to cut and wound up with a handfull of pink flowers--zinnias, mums, and snapdragons. I walked them into the house and found a spice jar to drop them into, but its glass surface seemed too "hard" for them. John had given me a bird's nest yesterday, so I wrapped the glass jar in the bird's nest.

There's also one old green hydrangea blossom in this.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 13, 2012 -- mushroom

I like this little arrangement. It's a mushroom I found under a maple tree combined with some sheet moss I harvested from the garden. It took me a couple of trys to find the best way to display this. It looked silly in a bottle. This little square vase was perfect: its marbled color was just earthy enough to suit the materials and its opening could accommodate the moss and the mushroom stem. This is all sitting on a little black tile.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 12, 2012 -- same container

This is the same container I used yesterday, but with different materials in it (and sitting on a different windowsill).  I knew I wanted to put it up higher, so its wire frame would show better, so I trolled the garden for something that would trail down. In the process of finding that (climbing spinach), I also found the orange Japanese lanterns, a sprig of pokeweed berries, and some pretty, yellowish grape vine leaves.

Hope you can see the red maple coloring up in the background.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11, 2012 -- helianthus

Yesterday was the first day I FORGOT to do a windowsill arrangement! Just too much going on at Flower Camp, where I'm nature journaling with friends. This container is one Rhonda Roebuck gave me: a miniature milk bottle in a wire frame. Very cute. In it are a couple of sprigs of brown hydrangea and yellow helianthus flowers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9, 2012 -- more pyracantha berries

The brightness of yesterday's pyracantha berries made me want to use more of them today, so I shredded some stems of their berries and popped them into this stemmed glass. It took more berries than I'd imagined, and on my way back from gathering more, I found this yellow maple leaf hanging in a shrub.

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012 -- leftovers: pyracantha berries, farewell summer, etc.

I had pulled the flowers in the second photo together when I realized the berries, leaves, and flowers leftover in the sink (remnants from the larger arrangement) appealed to me more than the big mass in the windowsill. So: below are some leftover pyracantha berries in a vanilla bottle with just one sprig of farewell summer (a white aster) and one marigold leaflet.

Below is the bigger arrangement (which includes some basil and marigold flowers in addition to farewell summer and pyracantha berries).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7, 2012 -- times change

Today was an exercise in flexibility. I thought I'd be gardening all day at Flower Camp, and, instead, because of the weather, found myself sewing in Ashland. The unexpected switch gave me time to cover some chairs in a fabric I'd bought on Friday (my unconscious must have known it was going to encounter some project time!).  I could go on and on about this fabric. It's a 2012 version of some colors that I think I used to decorate my home in the 1969. It's definitely contemporary, and I'm so proud to be using it, because I see so clearly now why old people's homes look like old people's homes: we just don't have the energy or inclination to change anything! This interests me, too, because I'll be using the new fabric to cover old fabric that I absolutely loved in the 1980s. The old fabric is a Greff (Grief? Greiff?) print that I couldn't afford but managed to make a part of my life by buying maybe 2 yards and using it for pillows, etc. I loved it because it had violet leaves, ferns, trillium flowers and other wild things on it. How had the Greff (?) people managed to read my mind so well?  But times change. And today the fabric I loved so well was used as backing for this new, contemporary print.  But that's only half the story, because I realize what a troglodyte I am for even SEWING in 2012, and who has a RADIADOR (that's the antique heating device) in 2012? The only thing I see as sort of timeless in the following photos is the squash. First photo shows it sitting on my new fabric. Second photo shows it sitting on my old (now covered up) Greff fabric.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October 6, 2012 -- castor bean

This will go in the annals of arrangements that took under two minutes to make. Went out, picked two sprigs of castor bean (with spiny red seed pods attached) and dropped them into a jar. End of story.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 5, 2012 -- shuffled bouvardia, etc.

This is bouvardia flowers and fetterbush foliage from Oct. 3 rearranged. (There's also a piece of climbing spinach from Oct. 1 on the far right.)  I'm sort of amazed how well the bouvardia has held up as a cut flower. This is really cheery and looks almost like a garden growing on the windowsill.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012 -- roadside wildflowers

This is a handfull of wildflowers I picked along the roadside as I walked this morning: blue dayflowers, pink smartweed, some red clover (which is actually pink), one stem of goldenrod, one stem of trumpet vine foliage. The trumpet vine foliage is my favorite--such a great yellow green!

To try to make this show up better, I put a blue napkin behind it, which made the colors pop.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 3, 2012 -- bouvardia + gourd

This is a strange combination:  tropical summer flower (pink bouvardia) combined with traditional green gourd. It's strange in the same way the weather is strange today--hot and humid on Oct. 3.

The bouvardia (picked from a plant I have growing in a pot) is in a tube of water behind the gourd. There's a sprig of fetterbush greenery in the tube, too.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2, 2012 -- strange marigold foliage + dusk

I had absolutely no idea how to capture this photographically, but here's my best shot. I picked this marigold foliage because it was so unusual--almost black at the tips and chartreuse green down deeper. I combined it with black cayenne peppers (which you can barely see in the photo), then put this in the windowsill where dusk did some really great things with the colors. Wish I knew how to make all this show up in the photo.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012 -- marigolds and veggies

This is sort of a cheap trick, because 1) the arrangement is on a table in front of the windowsill, not on the windowsill itself and 2) the marigolds in the basket with the peppers are just lying there out of water. I could have put them in floral tubes (which hold water), but didn't. Still, there is one legitimate creative product here, and that's the combination of the basket with the wooden spool it's sitting on. These two items crossed my consciousness together as I was gathering them up to take them (for different reasons) to an arranging workshop. I saw them together, liked them together, and have been using them together ever since.

The plant material trailing out of the basket is climbing spinach, and I did put it in a floral tube, so it would live (to die later!) in a salad.