Wednesday, April 29, 2015

sweetshrub in coffee mug

I could have fiddled with these stems forever to position them better, but, for today, this is the best I could do. This is snippets of sweetshrub harvested from the lower portions of larger branches, which I was harvesting for a workshop. The payoff in recording this (for me) is in 1) creating a record of when sweetshrub blooms, and 2) getting to smell the fragrance of the bark as I inadvertently abraded it. Websites say the name of the shrub comes from the fragrance of flowers, but, for the life of me,  I can find no fragrance in this shrub's mahogany-colored flowers--only in its bark.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Epimedium (Bishop's hat)

Because Kate and I are hosting an arranging workshop on Thursday, I've got buckets of colorful flowers in the shed, in the front hall, and in the basement. What landed in the windowsill today, though, was some Epimedium foliage that broke off from the plants as I was transplanting them. Tonight they seem way more satisfying than all those other colorful things.

ferns still alive!

Surprise, surprise, my fern fronds--lady fern and netted-chain fern--are still alive two days after picking them. And the two unfurling fiddleheads are not only alive but have unfurled further.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

experimenting with ferns

This is just an experiment to see how long these two fern fronds and unfurling fiddleheads hold up. I'm thinking about using them in "real" arrangements but fear they are too immature to last long. We'll see! For now, they look beautiful.

Friday, April 24, 2015

buttercups and daffodils

This small milk bottle is discolored, but it seemed right to hold these buttercups, daffodils, and grasses. The daffodils are tiny (multiple blooms under 1inch in diameter on slender, wild-onion-like stems). They are actually a variety of Narcissus jonquilla (source of the name jonquil). Oh, and there's one heuchera leaf in this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

clusiana tulips

Love these little wild tulips, and I think they have finally begun to naturalize in my yard. Combined them here with a fan of daylily foliage, which is almost as much a time marker as the forsythia in the background.  There's also a little frog on the vase, which is perfect for today--rainy, rainy!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

wild violets

Wild violets in a plastic pot. What could be simpler? Dug these up, roots and all, today for a display I'll be using Tuesday. The pot holds both the common blue violets (Viola sororia) and the variety some southerners call the Confederate violet, which is blue and white but some folks must have seen as blue and grey (the color of Confederate uniforms).

Friday, April 10, 2015


Oh, my, what a terrible photo of a beautiful thing! Spent a couple of days in a cabin along the Bullpasture River in Highland County, Virginia, where all the early spring wildflowers were gorgeous. Trillium, bloodroot, spring beauty, hepatica, coltsfoot, Dutchman's breeches, etc. in bloom, as well as snakeroot, moose maple, etc. "coming on in promise."  The cabin was wonderfully spartan, the weather perfect, but I was sort of stymied for a moment when the little bottle I might have used to hold the bloodroot flower I had picked (with permission)  had a tiny stopper in it! I propped this bloodroot flower up beside it just long enough to photograph it.  Dye from the bloodroot stems is still staining my fingers. Wishing  I had 1) taken the time to take a better photo and 2) still had the sound of the Bullpasture singing in my ears.

Monday, April 6, 2015

more daffodils

More of the same daffodil, with more hellebore foliage. As you can see, spring has finally sprung, because the forsythia is blooming (in the background).

Thursday, April 2, 2015

two flowers, two minutes

The urgency--to plant, to weed--sets in. The urgency I feel in spring is the only thing I don't entirely like about this season. Somehow, I know that the cabbage seedlings I was pressing to plant today might have just as well been planted two weeks later. But TODAY I felt the necessity to plant them. And the process (minus covering them with Remay to protect them from the wind) was fun. Anyway: I gardened most of the day today and had little time for arranging. Here are two daffodils added to a vase full of green hellebore flowers that must have been a month old.