Thursday, July 31, 2014

misshapen tomato, coneflower castoffs

This is one of many misshapen tomatoes I'm getting this year. They're not much good for slicing, but they are interesting to look at, and you can cut delicious wedges from them. The flowers are coneflower castoffs--the result of deep deheading I did today in the cutting garden. These little coneflowers came off with some larger spent flowers. There's a sprig of scented geranium foliage in this, too.

As I was photographing this, I spotted, out of the corner of my eye, my clippers on the kitchen counter. I thought my arrangement might benefit from the unexpected drama of that "mechanical red," so I added my clippers to the mix. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

arum berries, liriope flowers and leaves, lamiastrum foliage

This is an accidental combination I liked outside, so I decided to try to reproduce it in an arrangement--orange arum berries, pinkish lavender liriope flowers, and a sprig of lamiastrum (yellow archangel) foliage. The combo is pretty dramatic, but the arum berries are dropping all over the place!


Italian basil, purple basil, and dill

This little concoction is the result of snipping the tops out of my basil to keep it from going to seed too soon. I had these little snippets sitting in the refrigerator, in a plastic container, when I decided they were too pretty to eat quite yet! The dill flower head is something I damaged by accident, and it, too, wound up in the refrigerator, from which I harvested it for this arrangement. Love the lime green dill against the purple basil leaves.  


Monday, July 28, 2014

celosia in tubes

Because it self-seeds, this celosia grows like a weed in my garden. I let many of the plants grow and bloom so I can use them as cut flowers, but this morning I pulled out some that were crowding my snapdragons. From them, I harvested these blooms, which I dropped into this vase made of connected glass tubes. There's not much that doesn't look good in this vase, but it seems particularly appropriate for this celosia.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

another sunflower

Here's another sunflower I picked at Flower Camp this morning. I had gardened for two hours and spent two hours on the road driving back to Ashland when I encountered a friend at the grocery store around 12:30. She and her husband looked great, being all dressed up, having just come from church. I did not look so great and felt the need to apologize for it (or at least comment on it), but there was no way to explain I'd already I'd attended church in my garden and even had flowers on my altar. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunflower on the air conditioner

Worked hard in the gardens at Flower Camp today, and, although the weather was hot, it wasn't impossibly hot. I'm tired this afternoon, though, and my windowsill arrangement needed to be simple. This is a sunflower head that needed to be cut off (past its prime but still pretty in its twisted shape). The ledge provided by a windowsill air conditioning unit proved wide enough to hold it. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

belated bougainvillea

I just realized I never succeeded in publishing this photo while in Costa Rica (where I seldom had Internet access). Found these bougainvillea florets floating in a swimming pool.

Here's the plant the flowers came from.

candlelight colors

After vacation, a walk through the garden requires courage: I tell myself "don't look at what needs to be done; just observe what's there." The first thing I observed, though, was a coleus that needed to be pinched back, so I had snippets of coleus foliage in my hand when I also found a couple of yellow-ish coneflowers, some brown iris pods, and a beautiful, yellowing hibiscus leaf. On the way back to the house, I also spotted a mottled mulberry leaf on the ground and that's the leaf under the vase.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cotas leaf?

This is windowsill in banyo at hotel Arenal Manoa near La Fortunata, Costa Rico. This is the leaf of a plant I love--we use it as an annual and as a houseplant in Va.  Forgive the bad photo. I had to stand on a toilet to get it. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

cabbage clouds

Oh, how it is going to pain me to throw these cabbages in the compost heap. Their leaves are totally skeletonized, but they are absolutely gorgeous. They remind me of cumulus clouds.

Monday, July 14, 2014

real windowsill

This is what the windowsill looks like tonight--pattypan squash and mystery squash with tromboncino squash surrounding vase of yellow rudbeckia flowers. Serious thunder off in the distance.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mystery tree

You'd think you had to travel to a different continent (or at least a different state) to find a tree that totally baffled you, but John and I found one Friday night in the Ruby Tuesdays parking lot in Ashland. Neither of us had any idea what it was--and we gave it a fair amount of thought. Eventually, I used my phone app called LeafSnap to try to identify it, and to my utter amazement, I think we landed on what it is: a hedge maple (Acer campestre). It's by no means a typical hedge maple, but I'm thinking it must be a hedge maple cultivar of some sort. Its leaves look almost like arborescent ivy leaves, with more rounded tips.

P.S. This is not a hedge maple. I learned in November that it's a sweet gum cultivar called 'Rotundifolia.' 

Friday, July 11, 2014

snake squash and yellow rudbeckia

I can't remember the real name of this squash variety. It looks like a fat, green snake. John asked me what it was when he spotted it in the garden, and I couldn't answer, because I'd  forgotten I'd even planted it.  I'll come across its name eventually, but for now it's snake squash. The flowers in the middle are some sort of rudbeckia  (with green centers) and the green leaves are from a clump of wild violets.

P.S. August 14: Kathy Robins wrote to tell me that this is Tromboncino squash.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

hollyhock and abelia

If you'd asked me this morning if I had an abelia shrub in my yard, I'd have said "no," but this morning I spotted one about 8 feet tall blooming in a hedgerow. I'm guessing the birds planted it, or maybe it has been growing as long as we've owned this house (17 years) and has just now risen enough to bloom above the shrubs surrounding it. Anyway, I pushed my way into the hedgerow far enough to pick a few blooming abelia twigs then combined them with this pretty, pink hollyhock blossom. The neck of this vase is too narrow to accommodate anything else.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

squash reminder

Here come the squash, and this post will remind me I want to grow this squash again next year. It's Pattisons Panache Jaune et Vert Scallop from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. And so pretty here with a yellow and orange rudbeckia flower jammed into it! If only I could remember where I got the rudbeckia seeds!

Monday, July 7, 2014

black-eyed Susans, blue salvia, and some "squashkins"

What I like about this arrangement is the directionality of the flowers. Some of the salvia and black-eyed Susan stems were seriously bent when I picked them, and that wound up making them look more interesting in the vase. Here, too, are some "squashkins." As always, a huge squash (or maybe pumpkin or maybe a cross between the two) grew out of the compost heap, and this year's"squashkins" are particularly pretty. They look like smooth, yellow-skinned pumpkins. My only mistake was not to pick them immediately. I had hoped they'd get  bigger, but, instead, they were discovered by animals and now most of them have tooth marks in them.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

fruiting sassafras

I loved discovering this is the garden the other day--sassafras in fruit. You can hardly see the fruit in the photo, but this post will remind me when this fruiting occurs (July). And I'm glad to know my little tree is a female.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4, 204

The only thing really interesting about this is the fact that I've just found time to post it. The arrangement was for the Fourth of July, 2014. I took this photo on the 5th, on a shed windowsill overlooking my neighbor's clothesline. Although this, and an arrangement like it, looked great on blue-checked tablecloths on the Fourth of July, I somehow like this rendition of the arrangement better. My favorite thing in this photo is the clothesline post (or maybe the trunk of the walnut tree) in the background.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

one yellow rudbeckia with onion

This is one yellow rudbeckia flower, some small hellebore foliage, and a tall stem of onion flowers, all in a Grey Poupon mustard jar.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

coneflower heads in onion stalks

This is pretty wacky, but, boy, was it fun to make. First you have to know where it came from. I was inserting some Egyptian onions into slots in the shelf below and that required shortening some of their stems. The leftover stem pieces seemed just too interesting to throw away, so I stood them up, like columns, in this black pin holder. Then the hollow onion stems seem to call for something to be dropped into them and I happened to have the perfect thing sitting in a bucket in the utility room: some coneflower heads with their petals ripped off. These shapes are reminiscent of many things--including mushrooms.