April 22, 2015

The First Floral Arrangement of Spring

Spring has progressed far enough to provide flowers for a floral arrangement, so I put this vase together earlier this week.  After enjoying a sunny high of 77 degrees F yesterday (25 Celsius) yesterday, the temperature has dropped down to chilly levels this morning.  So it's a good time to be sitting at the computer, letting my sunburned arms recover, instead of shivering in the garden.

Six-year old white 'Mount Tacoma' tulips still send a few blooms up each spring, so I cut a couple for the vase.  I don't recall the name of the pink tulips, as those bulbs are also six years old.  Tulips really like the sandy raised beds in my front yard, as the bulbs don't get soggy and rot in summer the way they might in clay soil.

Korean spice viburnum (V. carlesii) flowers add a delightful scent to the arrangement.  The fragrance reminds me of Oriental lilies, though it isn't as overpowering.  I love this shrub for its fragrant spring flowers, glossy green leaves in summer, and kaleidoscope fall coloring.

A couple of stems of white bleeding heart, Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba,' add a sweet touch.  I also have the old-fashioned pink type in my garden, but the blooms on those plants weren't quite ready to be cut.  My daughters love to pull the flowers apart and tell the story of a sword and a heart . . . I can't remember the details, but it's a fun little notion.

Double white 'Sparkling Diamond' hellebores (from the Winter Jewels series) nod on their stems to soften the upright lines of other parts of the arrangement.  I have learned that hellebores can't be cut when they first start blooming, as the young stems wilt quickly in a vase.  But after they have been blooming for a while (at least a few weeks), the stems harden up enough to stay firm when cut.

The vase looks a little wild thanks to a few stems of curly willow (Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa').  I have four curly willow plants growing in large pots to keep them from taking over the garden, and they made it through the winter even though I left the pots outside.  I added a soft green ribbon around the top of the canning jar after taking these photos.

Here is one more shot of a little hellebore flower at the back of the arrangement.
Spring is really pretty this year, with the flowering trees looking better than ever and plenty of tulips and other small flowers adding color.  I'm taking photos to share soon!

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