Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30, 2012 -- collection of chestnut colored things

This started with yesterday's leaf walk. While trolling for a good oak-leaved hydrangea leaf, I came across the tiny tulip poplar leaf in the tube on the right. (It was on the ground.)  I brought it in and saved it until this morning when I put it in this little container made of  three test tubes. I thought about what I liked best about the tulip poplar leaf (in addition to the fact that it was unusually small) and realized it was its chestnut color, so I started looking for other things that color to accompany it in the other tubes. The best things I could come up with were some hardy begonia seed pods (middle tube), a perilla seed head (middle tube), and some nandina leaves recycled from an earlier arrangement (left tube).  I like viewing the way they look  lined up like this.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 28, 2012 -- leaf doilie

Hi. I was playing with using leaves as doilies today, and this is what resulted. The leaves under the vase are really pretty oak-leaved hydrangea leaves. The leaves in the vase are from a spirea shrub with really pretty fall foliage.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012 -- after dark, after frost

Slim pickin's tonight after dark, after frost. But I knew the 'Mei Kyo' chrysanthemums were still blooming, I could find nandina foliage with my flashlight, and I spotted some Dame's rocket seed pods in the porch light.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012 -- yesterday's arrangement, revisited

This little concoction looked quite different in the morning light, so I moved it to a different location, tweaked it a bit, and tried to photograph it again. Still not too successful, but creating the arrangement has alerted me to where money plant pods are still "whole" in the garden.

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012 -- black and white

The colors were getting in the way of what I wanted to say here, so I converted this photo to black and white.

I wanted to play with materials that would represent flag, filler, focal point. Here the flag should be a perilla seed stalk, the filler should be a cluster of aucuba leaves, and the bright focal point should be some white money plant pods. (Forgive me for adding some dark brown iris pods, too!) Unfortunately, I also wanted the treetops in the distant background to show up. Trying to show too much--my downfall as a teacher!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 25, 2012 -- in Korean restaurant

Having dinner in Korean restaurant when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a windowsill behind our table! This arrangement was sort of a group project. Vase (a beer can) includes a leafy vegetable garnish, a couple of carrot strips, and a pair of chopsticks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 24, 2012 -- leftovers

These are some leftovers, from previous days, still sitting in the winowsill for various reasons.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Novermber 23, 2012 -- corps de ballet (in gourds)

What can I say? These gourd prima donnas were just too much fun to create!

November 22, 2012 -- Thanksgiving gourd

My youngest granddaughter created this windowsill arrangement yesterday (Thanknsgiving). In fact, we decorated lots of things with salmon-pink carnations!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012 -- camellia added

A fall-blooming camellia flower landed in one of my wine glasses from yesterday, and it looks really pretty with the ferns that landed there earlier.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012 -- ferns in glassware

It's sort of fun the way this evolved. Yesterday I had a couple of pieces of bracken fern leftover that were too damaged to use in the arrangement, too pretty to throw away, so I just dropped them into a plastic cup to save them (photo below).  But when I sat the cup on the windowsill, I really liked the way the fern looked plastered to the inside of the glass. So: today I stripped a few little pieces off my yard ferns and dropped them into some stemmed glassware (above). There you can appreciate their silhouettes the same way you could the silhouette of the bracken fern in the plastic cup.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 18, 2012 -- chartreuse bracken fern

Spotted this incredibly beautiful bracken fern beside the Flower Camp driveway this afternoon. There was lots of it, and it was absolutely glowing in the afternoon light. Usually, bracken fern ages to a sort of (surprise, surprise) bracken color, but this was an intense yellow-green.

This won't last long. Bracken fern doesn't hold up very well in a vase.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 21, 2012 -- collards core

This was the pretty little core leftover from a batch of collard greens I cooked today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 16, 2012 -- dating gourds

I couldn't resist dressing another gourd up in carnations. This time I did the dressing a little differently (from Nov. 14). I cut a wedge into the gourd on the left, filled the interior with water, and stuffed the carnations into that opening. The gourd on the right is the same one I used on Nov. 14, without its hat on!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 15, 2012 -- mulberry wraps

I found these gorgeous mulberry leaves on my walk this morning. Wrapped them up a bit before putting them in vases, then decided to nest some carnations in them to emphasize their "throats."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14, 2012 -- gourd in festive attire

This was just flat out fun, mostly because of the way it evolved. I cut the top off an ornamental gourd and hollowed it out thinking I'd use it as a vase for yesterday's violas. But the flowers were too small and fussy for the "vase." So I started looking around for something else and spotted the carnations that have been sitting around the kitchen this week ( having bought them for an experiment described in earlier blogpost). So: I put the carnations in the gourd "vase," then topped them with the gourd "hat."  I hadn't discarded the "hat" because its viney topknot was just so cute!

P.S. There's a little stick jammed up into the bottom of the "hat," and it reaches to the bottom of the gourd "vase," holding it in place.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13, 2012 -- violas, etc.

I'm not happy with this, but here it is. Same unfinised container I used on Nov. 10, this time with blue/lavender violas, feverfew foliage, yellow kerria leaves, and a couple of aster sprigs in them. Not very successful, but it is.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012 -- today's colors

These are the colors of fall right now, and boy, do I love 'em! The big brownish-red leaves are from oakleaf hydrangea; the smaller yellow-green leaves on the left are from a shrub called kerria, and they'll soon fall off, as will the yellow green spirea leaves on the right.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11, 2012 -- carnations with Jacob's ladder shadow

I spent almost all day outside today and encountered some gorgous things, but by the time I thought about my windowsill arrangement, it was after dark. So: I decided to play with carnations again. Turned out to be not as easy as I thought, because I chose this little white pitcher, which took a lot of stems to fill it up and I found myself refusing to use the biggest, most open flowers. They just looked too stiff and floristy. Also, to loosen things up even more, I decided I needed some foliage, so I wound up outside in the dark after all... where I found, by feel, three sprigs of Jacob's ladder foliage. All the effort turned out to be worth it, though, because I just love the shadow the Jacob's ladder foliage cast.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012 -- work in progress

A friend made arrangements in a little container like this during the last days of her life.  It's just a block of wood with some holes for tubes drilled into it. John and I made this one this morning and it hasn't even been painted yet, but I already wanted to use it. Fillled the tubes with nandina leaflets, mustard flowers, and a few nandina berries.

I think the little white flowers are mustard flowers. I've actually forgotten what I planted where they are blooming. Could be brocollini. Whatever it is, it flowered and went to seed almost immediately.

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9, 2012 -- leaf with honeycomb of tubes

These were my two favorite things to look at today, so I decided to combine them. The red maple leaf I found on my morning walk. It had been pressed flat by passing cars! The box full of tubes arrived in the mail a couple of days ago, and I pulled a couple out to use them yesterday, but today I returned them to the box, where they look so cool and honeycomb-like. I cut the flaps off the box, but that's all I did to change the box into a "vase."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012 -- carnations

I was writing today about using inexpensive florist flowers in windowsill arrangements and decided to do an experiment. I bought a $4.98 bunch of mini-mums at WalMart and was intending to use a single stem in an arrangement, but that's not what happened. I used 3 stems (1/4 of the total) in this concoction.

This is the kind of architectural thing I don't do often and don't do well because it requires a kind of precision (as in lining things up straight) that I don't usually have the patience for. I'd have done a better job of this if I'd known where I was going with it from the beginning. Instead, I started with three little test tubes in a scrap piece of dessert oasis (the kind that doesn't hold water), so all my blooming stems had to go into those tubes. Most of the non-blooming stems went directly into the dessert oasis. Should have just begun with wettable oasis!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012 -- take two

Still responding to the illustration I put in the windowsill yesterday. This is another attempt to sort of interpret it with plant material.  This is a leaf from....? Can't remember the name of this perennial. It has beautiful dark green leaves at this time of year and purplish-pink hooded flowers in ....? .... summer? Mine seldom bloom, but I love these glossy dark green leaves.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 2012 -- inspiration

This illustration by Emiliano Ponzi (in the Nov.5 edition of the New Yorker) was the only thing I wanted to look at today. I just love everything about it (but especially the colors and the way the mountains are so simply but believably rendered), so I tore it out and propped it up on the windowsill. The only plant material that seemed remotely appropriately to display with it were okra pods and a rose hip or two.

The okra pods are actually sort of "topographical" in the same way the mountains are.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012 -- asparagus and 'Lipstick' salvia

The pretty, ferny foliage in this is from wild asparagus, the pink and white flowers from salvia. The latter are so pretty right now, even after a frost. I think this variety is called 'Lipstick.'

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4, 2012 -- adding yellow

I had lots of leftover flowers sitting around in buckets and jars, and I decided to pull together in these juice glasses.

The flowers all looked pretty together, but I kept thinking they needed something yellow to pump them up. The answer,  I noticed, was out the window: forsythia foliage. Here are the same arrangements with yellow forsythia foliage added.

Unfortunately, the light had changed (and I think I used a flash in the second photo, so the colors look different), but you can see how much energy the forsythia foliage added.  The colors are more accurate in the second photo.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3, 2012 -- zinnia, okra, oak

These colors are so pretty together--apricot zinnias, greenish-red okra pod, and red oak leaves. The red oak leaves are the same ones I used in an arrangement on Oct. 31. They've gotten pinker as they've aged.

Love this little vase, which Rhonda Roebuck gave me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012 -- more camellias

These are yesterday's camellias (with a few more added) spread out into four little vases. They've obviously begun to drop petals, which is sort of pretty.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1, 2012 -- camellias

For my friend Sue, who died last night when the sasanqua camellias were blooming.