Monday, November 6, 2017

You can barely see this because of all the "commotion"--ladder, fence, screen, etc.-- in the photo background, but this is one of the most satisfying arrangements I've done in a long time. The container is a triangular tube-ish thing with three holes in the top. I dropped some nasturtium flowers into it just to hold them until I found a different vase, but I loved the way they fell almost laterally across the top of the vase--still with their stems in water. What I like about his so much is how how clearly you can see the shapes and colors of the flowers. There's a tiny sprig of tomatillo foliage in this, too.

marigolds with feverfew

Rhonda Roebuck will recognize the greens in these tiny bottles. She was on a mission to pick some parsley, picked this feverfew foliage instead, and "disposed" of it by dropping it into these little bottles. I added the marigold blossoms this morning.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

red peppers on upside-down vases

I turned these two vases over to let their bottoms dry out (they don't leak, but they sort of weep) and left them on the windowsill where they attracted these two peppers.

Monday, August 21, 2017

little red morning glory

This is a wildflower/weed I love. It's the little red morning glory (Ipomoea coccinea). This long piece was twirled around a tall mullein stalk I pulled out of the garden this morning. Too pretty to throw away.

Monday, August 14, 2017

tupelo leaf and sugar maple seeds

This isn't on a windowsill, but it's my little arrangement for today. I was trying, in as few strokes as possible, to capture what was going on outside (sort of a visual haiku). On my napkin are three sets of winged sugar maple seeds and one brilliant red tupelo leaf. It sounded like a shooting range on my side porch this afternoon, because the falling sugar maple seeds were hitting the tin roof and the tin magnified the sound of their strikes like a drum! Crazy that something so small could make such a racket!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

blue hydrangeas

These hydrangeas were leftover from wedding flowers Kate and I did last weekend. Can't believe how much I like them on my kitchen windowsill! I thought they were going to be too fussy/floral to suit my house, but now I'm thinking I need more blue in my kitchen! The wood around the vase is a knothole Wendy Wadsworth gave me. The foliage (ridden with holes; it's August after all) is passion vine.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Japanese lanterns

It's been so long since I've posted a windowsill arrangement, I've almost forgotten how! Too busy "putting up" vegetables and drying things like this: Japanese lanterns. I love this simple little "arrangement" of a single, short Japanese lantern stem, but the reality of  my life right now is better depicted in the second photo: a house full of long Japanese lantern stems waiting to be stripped of leaves and hung all over the house to dry. They are hanging from chair backs and floor lamps and doorknobs! All beautiful but a little overwhelming.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

elephant garlic

Impossible to photograph this,because it's so three-dimensional (and the window mullions distract so). To show up properly in a photo, this arrangement needs an ininterrupted black background.  Still, I couldn't resist posting it, because it's so interesting in real life.  The flowers are elephant garlic blossoms on twisted scapes in a vase surrounded by another wood knot Wendy Wadsworth gave me.

beargrass and blue tansy

Ok, this is wacky, but I love it because of the "ingredients." First came the beargrass. Kate and I ordered it for a big event in Richmond, but it came in "bad." Beargrass never comes in "bad" (it's nearly indestructible), but this batch really was half dead and smelly when it arrived. So it wound up in my brush pile. However: when I encountered it there days later, it looked pretty good! Must have benefited from the fresh air. So I gathered up a bunch of it, twisted it into a loop and combined it with the next pretty thing I encountered on my way to the house--blue tansy or Phacelia tanicitifolia. This cover crop (which was growing in my vegetable garden) is absolutely gorgeous, and, miraculously, also makes a great cut flower. Learned about it from Betsy Trice, who gave me some seeds. It's an early, cool season plant (today I was pulling it out and gathering seed), but, boy, what a discovery (via Betsy) it is!

red poppies

So: a week or so ago, Kate and I did flowers for a large event in Richmond (48 table arrangements plus other stuff). My garden was full of annual poppies at the time, and although we knew it was dangerous to include any of them, we included a few. I doubt many of them held up (despite the fact that we did all the right things to condition them), but guess what did hold up? The leftover poppies I just dropped into water without any conditioning! Go figure. They lasted several days on the windowsill--here combined with other leftover red flowers The little piece of wood is a gorgeous knot Wendy Wadsworth gave me.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

one mahonia leaf

The color of old mahonia leaves has been spectacular this spring. I harvested lots of them for recent arrangements (not an easy task, given how prickly they are), but these two leaflets got special treatment because they were so very red. I cut a slit in the top of the lemon before wedging them in. This "arrangement" is over a week old and hasn't changed a bit, A mahonia leaf might fade a bit over time, but it couldn't wilt if it tried.

tulip-tree flower--gift of a squirrel

It's always been clear to me, when these tulip-tree flowers land on the ground, that they have been snapped off by something, and I guessed it was squirrels but didn't know for sure until---ta da--last week when Estelle Porter told me she had actually observed it. I'd love to know why they do it, because where they snip the flowers off--usually about 1/2 inch down the stem--doesn't seem to make sense, food-wise. Maybe that's a good spot for sipping sap?  

Marion David gave me the sweet little vase (which she made).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Crossvine (Bignonia)

LOVE this native vine. Flowers are sort of terra-cotta colored and hang in beautiful clusters. They look like trumpet vine, but aren't. This is crossvine, or Bignonia, which blooms in spring (as opposed to trumpet vine, a woodier vine, which blooms in summer). I've used crossvine flowers in half a dozen ways today--in big and small arrangements--but my favorite, naturally, is this windowsill-sized arrangement.  It's just one little leftover cluster of flowers in a small black vase (with a snippet of borage behind to help hold it up).  I love the way the flowers show up against the black vase.

radish thinnings

Thinning radish seedlings today, I wound up with these in my hand. Thought I'd put them on my sandwich for lunch, but they were so pretty, I put them in a tiny vase instead.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

beautiful blue and white things

Blue and white flowers, with some ferns and Lamiastrum foliage, in a white "conglomerate" vase. The vase is something Kate sells on The Arranger's Market, and I was filling it for an event we're attending tomorrow. Most anything looks good in this vase (or conglomeration of vases--they're fused to a tray at the base), but I think blue and white flowers particularly suit it.

Monday, April 3, 2017


I was so honored to find bluebells blooming in the yard today. Not where I had planted them, but elsewhere. I wouldn't have picked one but for the fact that I want to take it to Flower Camp where I can try to paint it later this week. I'm sure they're blooming there, too, but in the wild, where I wouldn't want to pick them.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

mahonia, poorly rendered

Oh, for heavens sake! When am I ever going to take the time to learn photography? I'm usually adept enough to flounder to a solution to the photo challenges I face, but today, tying to render this conglomeration of mahonia flower structures, I knew I was out of my league. Here's the best I could do to showcase the beautiful structures left behind after mahonia flowers have been zapped at least twice by frost.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

sprouted straw

I use straw on my garden paths, and this winter seeds in the straw sprouted. So now my paths  look like they need to be mowed! The clumps of fresh grass/straw are gorgeous, though, so I dug a few up and brought them into the house. Here's one.

Monday, March 6, 2017

three little brown bottles of periwinkle

For some reason, this arrangement reminded me of the Broadway tune "Three Little Maids from School Are We."  The three little bottles must be the three little maids! Anyway, Rhonda Baker gave me these little bottles, and I couldn't wait to use them. One of them still has its stopper and one has a label on it saying, among other things, "Peach-So Called." Truth in labeling, 19th century style!  The bottles seemed to call for something old-fashioned, like periwinkle.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

chalk vase with and without flowers

I was anxious this afternoon. Needed a walk and a brain cleanse, so I took a walk around the yard looking for things to drop into this little, black chalk vase. Lots of daffodils to choose from, but it was foliages that grabbed my attention. A variety of those is in the first photo. That's the arrangement that calmed me down. But, because they were blooming, I added lesser celandine flowers. The walk, and the arranging, worked wonders. Now for a glass of wine.

Monday, February 27, 2017

wee daffodils

Must be a childhood thing. The wee daffodils have always been my favorites.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

fancy Ornithagalum

This little flower was leftover from a much larger arrangement I did on February 12, so it's over 10 days old. Couldn't toss it though, because this little piece is still so pretty. The photo is out of focus because I was too tired to go get my tripod. Early gardening fatigue!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February peaches, artichoke, and weathered hellebore leaves

This arrangement evolved in response to the colors in a scarf I seldom wear but I've always loved. The rock-hard peaches and artichoke came from the grocery store, the maroon carnations from the florist, the weathered hellebore leaves and the green hellebore leaves from the garden. The most enjoyable part of making this was using the nearly-dead hellebore leaves, because I had them in my hand ready to throw them away when I realized they were the "weathered brown" I was looking for!

Here's the scarf.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

first daffodils

Drum roll.....the first daffodils are blooming! This is a very early variety called 'Rjenveld's Early Sensation.' I posted a photo of them blooming in the yard earlier. Today I decided to pick a few and bring them inside where I could enjoy them up close. The dark green foliage is camellia foliage I picked way before Christmas. It still looks good in another arrangement, and a stole a piece of it from that arrangement to use in this one.

winter aconite

I knew something was going to migrate into this vase if I left it on the windowsill long enough! Today I filled it with winter aconite, which has been blooming in the yard now for about a week. So cheery!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

oak leaf

I'm sure this little vase will draw something into it before the week is over, but, for now, I like it just sitting on this giant oak leaf I found along the Ashland Trolley Line this afternoon.

felt doll finds a habitat

This little felt doll, a gift from Rosanne Shalf, migrated to the windowsill last week. I think it's because she liked the colors!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

wedding bouquet

This is a bouquet my daughter made me as part of 50th wedding anniversary celebration last night. So pretty. And, oddly, it was full of colors I'd been enjoying on the cover of the spring McClure & Zimmerman catalog.  The flowers needed to get into water this morning, so I deconstructed the bouquet and displayed the flowers and catalog together on the windowsill. Crazy jazzy!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

geraniums in, icicles out

This was the view from bed this morning: geraniums blooming on the windowsill, snow and icicles outside.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Montreal windowsill

The weather outside was frightful, but the wine was so delightful... who cared if the poinsettia in the windowsill was dead!? Great Portuguese restaurant on St. Paul Street.