Friday, October 31, 2014

scented geranium foliage and marigold flowers in little yellow watering can

My daughter, Kate, has started offering this little yellow Haws watering can on her website (, and she gave me one just to see how I liked it. I liked it a lot. In fact, I've already used it several times as a watering can, but what I was really looking forward to was using it as a vase. I knew it would make a good one (broad base, narrow neck), and today it was perfect for holding scented geranium leaves and tiny marigold flowers.This was ridiculously easy to create, because I'd harvested the leaves and flowers earlier in the day in anticipation of frost tonight.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oak leaves

I'm in a Norfolk, Va. hotel this morning. Found these oak leaves and acorn caps on a sidewalk yesterday. The tree out the window is a redbud. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

sugar maples at the "wow" stage

I woke up this morning to the glow of sugar maple yellow, because leaves on the trees across the street have reached their peak. I was glad to have an incentive to trot right outside and harvest some for my windowsill arrangement.

Monday, October 27, 2014

let the rooting begin

Actually, I should have started trying to root some of my favorite things from the garden (scented geraniums, this upright basil, etc.) much earlier, but recent really warm weather makes me think I'm not late! Anyway, here are some shoots from a wonderful, upright basil that should root in water, but whether or not I succeed in carrying the plants (assuming the shoots root) all the way through the winter remains to be seen. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

marigolds in candy corn vase

Linda Armstrong gave me this wonderful vase. There's a small, water-holding chamber in each section, and into each chamber I've dropped tiny marigolds, a little scented geranium foliage, and some yellowing peony foliage. So Halloween-esque!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

one nasturtium stem--again

On Oct. 12 I posted an tiny arrangement featuring this nasturtium stem. Look what has happened to it since! It has unfurled in a really beautiful way! Decided to display it today with a different tile behind it and a little moss tucked into the neck of the bottle.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

oak-leaved hydrangea leaves

There are so many gorgeous leaves on the oak-leaved hydrangeas right now that I found it impossible to choose one to display, Instead, I gathered up a handful of them of various sizes and colors, and here they are! I've got a chop stick wedged in front of them to keep them upright.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

goldenrod in spool of twine

There's a spice bottle nested in this spool of twine, and it's holding water for the goldenrod and scented geranium leaves, This goldenrod is not as vibrant as it once was, but for having been used in half a dozen arrangements over the past couple of weeks, it's looking pretty good!

And here's an arrangement Linda Armstrong did in her very gorgeous window.

And here's Lyde Longaker's window. Ooh, la, la!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Last rose of summer?

This may not be the very last rose of the season, but it sure is a pretty one. I nested a floral tube in the spool of rafia to provide the rose some water.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

honeysuckle berries

Love these black and green berries on a graceful wild honeysuckle vine. The photo captures something else timely, too--maple and tulip poplar leaves on the roof.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

pansy opera star

I was about to replace this fading pansy when I realized its wilting lower petals looked like a mouth. And because I always see pansies as faces anyway, this one seemed to be singing!

Monday, October 13, 2014

cypress vine vs. cardinal creeper

In case you missed it (and this is not exactly CNN-worthy), there has been an ongoing discussion on Facebook about whether or not the vine I described in an earlier post was cardinal creeper or cypress vine. Well, I found my seed packages and I now know that what's growing on my veggie garden fence (and pictured below) is cardinal creeper, not cypress vine (although I've included both seed packet photos). They're obviously almost identical, but the give-away is the leaves--broader and bigger on cardinal creeper. And how will I remember this? I'm going to try to remember that cypress vine leaves are very deeply dissected--resembling the needles of a baldcypress tree.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

one nasturtium stem

I was happy with yesterday's arrangement--the one I did in Kate's birch bark container. And it was way more appropriate to give as a gift than the one I did immediately after. But, in terms of providing me a meaningful moment, this one-stemmed, simple little arrangement surpassed that many-stemmed, complicated one. I found this beautiful little nasturtium stem in the sink among other debris leftover from the larger arrangement. It was beautiful beyond imagining but how to display it? In an out-of-the-way cabinet I found this tiny blue bottle and then realized the tendril needed a backdrop. In my stash of half a dozen colored tiles from Lowe's, I found this blue one. Be still my heart! For once, I thought I had done something I admired justice.  


Saturday, October 11, 2014

a little bit of everything in bark vase

This is an arrangement I'm going to give away later today, but I thought it could do double duty as a windowsill arrangement. The vase is wonderful--something Kate sells on birch bark with large test tubes nested inside. Almost anything looks great in this vase, and that's a good thing, because I decided to put "almost anything" in it this morning! Included are nasturtiums, snapdragons, a yellow, daisy-like annual I've forgotten the name of, lipstick salvia, wild honeysuckle, and a snippet or two of farewell summer (my favorite late-blooming, wild white aster).

Friday, October 10, 2014

color walk

I went on a color walk around the garden and wound up with this sweet handful of materials--lipstick-red pokeweed leaves,yellowish amsonia leaves, white and yellow honeysuckle blossoms, pink rosebud, lavendar asters, apricot rose, magenta celosia, multicolored hydrangea blossom. Go fall!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

straight and crooked

This is so far outside my ability to photograph it I shouldn't even try, but the subjects really interested me, so...,here you go. The plant material in the bottle is seed structures of fall anemone. Someone I talked to on Tuesday, Debra Prinzing, confirmed my perception that these seed structures are easier to arrange with than fall anemone flowers themselves. This has something to do with the nice, straight postures of the seed structures vs. the flowers. I love it when someone confirms what I already knew, but didn't know I knew! Anyway, these seed structures looked perfectly beautiful in a bottle I'd been saving because I loved its contents--Elderberry lemonade. That lemonade (which must exist in exclusive grocery stores somewhere but not in mine) was absolutely delicious, and I saved the bottle in hopes that the bottle would  remind me to buy it if I ever encountered it again. So far, no luck on that, but it's a beautiful bottle, and its label is attached at a really interesting angle. Straight seed structures vs. angled  bottle label. It would take a photographer much better than me to capture what's going on here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

two shaggy-headed guys

These two strange fruits are actually African melons--poisonous, so the seed packet said, but interesting to look at. This morning, while waiting for my tea water to boil, I positioned them on top of these little Cracker Barrel syrup bottles. Mary Garner-Mitchell had cleaned the bottles up, decorated them with twine, and used them as part of an introductory exercise at a recent arranging workshop. Evidently it was extremely hard to get the labels off the bottles, but it was worth it, Mary, because these bottles make great little vases!

P.S. One of the melons didn't want to stand straight on its bottle, so I jammed a little stick into the bottom of it and threaded that through the neck of the bottle.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

parsley and snaps

Title of this post sounds like a veggie dish, not the "ingredients" in a flower arrangement. But that's what's included here. The flowers are snapdragon (a variety called Butterfly Snaps) and the foliage is parsley. I really like the combination, because the color of the parsley leaves is just right. The little spiny fruit near the base of the vase is an African melon--one of a very few I got from seeds I planted early summer.

Monday, October 6, 2014

the real deal with cayenne peppers

The cayenne peppers I harvested from the garden this morning were gorgeous, but I had absolutely no time to figure out a good way to display them. Here they are laid out on my dirty windowsill flanked by an equally disreputable storm window. It will take an equally pressed person to see the beauty in this!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

another photo of the little gourd

Tiny gourd on sugar maple leaf

Bought this tiny gourd at Gourd Festival in Ohio today. See the sugar maples in color out the hotel window? It actually snowed and sleeted a few minutes this morning! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

cardinal creeper

This is cardinal creeper, a beautiful little vine clambering all over the vegetable garden fence right now. It has even made its way up and onto the wires that are supposed to power the electric fence, rendering it entirely useless as a deer guard!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

moss in pot at Ivy Nursery

Encountered this beautiful English clay pot of moss at Ivy Nursery, near Charlottesville, Virginia, today. Exquisite. And so was the nearby windowsill where I found a place to photograph it.