The Northwest corner has featured bold red lilies and roses this month. Vigorous tetraploid 'Red Velvet' Asiatic lilies continue to multiply by the year. Upward-facing 'Forza Red' Orienpet lilies are still going strong in their second summer. Not all lilies survive in my crowded perennial beds (I'm thinking of you, wimpy Oriental lilies), so I'm very pleased to see these types returning well.
July 27, 2022
January 20, 2022
The photo above includes 'LeVern Friemann' lilies, 'Big Blue' salvia, 'Penhill Dark Monarch' dahlias, 'Seniors Hope' dahlias, 'Berry Awesome' hibiscus, plus Russian sage, 'Royal Purple' smokebush and 'Jeana' tall phlox at the back of the bed.
The 'Penhill Dark Monarch' flowers were huge and saturated with deep pink color. The tall plants needed better staking so they didn't lean forward as much, but they produced quite a few flowers as they flopped all over the other plants.
Here's another shot of 'Seniors Hope' and one of my three 'Berry Awesome' hardy hibiscus plants. My hibiscus plants weren't fully mature yet, but last summer they produced showy flowers for several weeks. Each bloom lasted for just a couple of days, but there were many buds on each stem. The leaves on this cultivar were tinged with mauve and maroon, so the plant was showy even before the blooming started. I highly recommend it.
The dark centers of the hibiscus echoed the color of the 'LeVern Friemann' lilies and the 'Florentina' climbing roses growing on teepee supports. Towering mauve 'Jeana' phlox was a very long blooming backdrop for this bed, and the lavender spikes of Russian sage made a nice contrast during its shorter bloomtime. The maroon leaves of the 'Royal Purple' smokebush at the center of the bed provided interest even when fewer flowers were in bloom.
November 17, 2021
In August I arranged flowers for a wedding reception. I used purchased roses and garland, but the rest of the flowers came from my garden. My dahlias were going strong and provided most of the color. The photo above includes 'Cafe au Lait,' 'White Onesta,' 'Labyrinth' and 'Linda's Baby' dahlias.
In the small centerpieces I included roses, 'Labyrinth' dahlias, 'Ruffled Swan' anemones, 'Little Lime' hydrangeas, 'Dalmation Peach' foxgloves, peach hypericum berries, 'White Glitter' sea holly, 'Autumn Bride' heuchera, parsley seed heads, scented pelargonium leaves, mint stems and honeysuckle.
This vase for the guest sign-in table used most of the flowers listed above plus some 'Little Quick Fire' hydrangeas. I was delighted with the dainty white anemone flowers. I have 'White Swan,' 'Dreaming Swan,' and 'Ruffled Swan' anemones in my garden, and they are all vigorous bloomers from midsummer to frost. 'Ruffled Swan' flowers are the most substantial and my favorite for arranging.
I grew four 'Labyrinth' dahlia plants this year, and they were highly productive. No wonder this dahlia is so popular with flower arrangers. The twisting petals combine peach and rose shades so they blend well with many color schemes.
Here's another shot of the centerpieces en masse. I ordered the glass cylinder vases in bulk from Amazon.
I made two of these large arrangements with a giant 'Penhill Watermelon' dahlia as the focal point of each.
Here are the large arrangements next to the disassembled arch. For the arch I used a garland of honeysuckle, salal and bear grass that was ordered from Costco.com, plus more flowers from my garden. I had never created a floral arch before, so it was fun to stretch my skills. I have no plans to become a professional wedding florist, but it has been enjoyable to help a friend or two with reception flowers each summer.