October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Vase on Monday

Recently I put together this pumpkin arrangement for a women's craft night demo.  First I held a vase up to the top of the pumpkin and drew a line around the edge with a marker.  Then I cut a hole in the top to fit the vase inside.  After filling the vase with water, I began adding foliage and flowers from my fall garden.

I draped several clusters of honeysuckle vines around the edges, then filled the center with lavender 'Farmington' asters.  The forked branches of the asters created a matrix to hold the rest of the stems in place.

I included several crimson 'William Shakespeare 2000' rose buds since I didn't have any blooms completely open.  Short spikes of 'Miss Molly' butterfly bush echoed the crimson color.

I really wish I would have had some 'Totally Tangerine' geum flowers blooming to echo the orange of the pumpkin, but there weren't any to find at this time of year.  However long spikes of violet 'Victoria' salvia contrasted well with the pumpkin color below.

Finally I finished it off with yellow umbels from my fennel plants.  I planted fennel in hopes of luring swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs, but none of them complied.  I quite liked using the fennel flowers in arrangements, though.
This arrangement could be easily made with a mixed bouquet of flowers in fall colors from the grocery store.  Happy Halloween!
Posted as part of the 'In a Vase on Monday' meme from the 'Rambling in the Garden' blog.

October 20, 2015

English Rose Photos from 2015

I haven't shared many photos of my English roses from this season, but this post will make up for it.  Above is a fall shot of 'William Shakespeare 2000,' one of my very favorite roses that lasts well in a vase and smells divine.

Here is another shot of William with butterfly bushes (Buddleia) blooming in front and Russian sage (Peroskvia) behind.

In the front yard 'Abraham Darby' was a great bloomer this year.  I cut many, many roses from this shrub to bring inside.

Here is a close up shot of Abraham's gorgeous, large, fragrant blooms.

'Eglantyne' continues to do well in the front yard, and I continue to cut blooms for vases despite its awful thorns.

'The Countryman' was the first English rose I purchased back in California, and I still enjoy its vivid pink blooms.

Miniature 'Francine Austin' had a great flush of flowers in the spring with a few sprays blooming throughout the rest of the season.

'Lady of Shallot' is still getting established, so its pretty blooms were sparse this year.  But next year should be better.

'Sister Elizabeth' produced a heavy stream of delicate flowers this year.  Overall it was a good year for my roses, as they didn't mind the heat as long as they kept receiving water.

October 7, 2015

October Leaves

Evening light in October is especially pretty in the garden as the leaves start changing colors.  This view of the Northwest corner doesn't include many flowers, so the different foliage colors stand out.

An overhead view of the same area reveals that there is still plenty of growth needed to cover the ground.  This shot was taken in the morning, when the light had a cooler tone.  Our family continues to enjoy the little shady haven back in the corner.  I often find a kid reading out there.

And just for fun, here is a view of the area from spring with the 'Royal Raindrops' crabapple trees in bloom and 'Negrita' tulips below.

The Northeast corner boasts brilliant gold leaves on the 'Shademaster' honey locusts (Gleditsia).  In this shot the sunlight was at just the right angle to light up the corner tree while leaving the rest in shadow.

I love this cheerful yellow!

Underneath the corner honey locust tree is my 'Shasta' doublefile Viburnum, which turns orange and then deep maroon before the leaves fall.  My youngest son has enjoyed sitting here with me while we eat lunch and soak up some sun.  We like watching the honeybees up close on the Japanese anemones.

Some of the peonies show good fall color.  I believe the one above is 'Felix Supreme.'  At left is a 'Blue Angel' hosta, which will turn yellow before withering away.

This year both of my flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida), one pink and one white, have bright red berries forming.  I have never seen this before on these trees.  I guess it means that next spring we'll have many baby dogwoods sprouting around the yard along with all the baby crabapples.

My new 'Royal Purple' smoke bush (Cotinus) is settling into the spot where a 'Sem' Sorbaria used to grow.  The nursery told me to think of it as redecorating.  Don't the maroon leaves make a nice backdrop for the second flush of 'Thumbelina Leigh' lavender blooms?  I'll have to prune it hard each spring to keep it small enough to fit the space, and it will still grow vigorously enough for me to cut stems regularly for vases.