dear santa

this year on a personal level, has been one in which I find myself profoundly grateful for so many things; a new daughter in law, some lovely family travel time, Faith’s amazing doctors and their care, really the list could go on for ever.

On a garden/yard level things were not too shabby either. After a cold spring we had wonderful weather , no major damage from summer storms or early snow storms, a late first frost and extended warm spell rounded out the year. We were able to finally start a renovation of the pool area and in the Spring will finish with the fence and gardens there. Some things , like clematis and all the spring blooming shrubs and bulbs had a spectacular year, although the roses and dahlias were in a word, awful.

Now I am dreaming of what comes next, planning and plotting, ordering seeds and making notes. Of course some of what I am  hoping, garden -wise, will require assistance, and for that I turn to the dear little man in the red suit.

Dear Santa,

I know I always tell you I have been on my best behavior, but this year I really really mean it. I played nice with others all through the planning and execution of several large family gatherings where stress and arguing can be the norm. I held my opinions and temper to myself and kept a smile firmly planted on my face at all times. That, my sweet man, warrants gifts galore. I also made it through a very challenging October and November with Wil down for the count because of his back and Faith needing some medical treatment that required me to be a super-human to pull off while working and managing the house solo. ( I also didn’t kill Wil despite his constant whining and laying around and that took serious effort and should earn me bonus points).

So let me ask, darling, for just a few small things.

First, please send a plague to the rabbits, we have tried everything and are quite frankly sick of their mayhem. A plague ,please, and soon.

We spent so much money on wedding/pool reno/life in general and our savings are seriously depleted. Therefore I can not afford useless garden ornamentation , but I still want it. These stone wellies from Ballard Design are a silly expenditure at $79, and I can’t explain why i want them , but I do. In a big way. If you leave them under the tree I promise to display them tastefully .

Stone Wellies

I also want the entire catalog of gifts from Terrain. If you could just hitch a chain to the back of the store and relocate it, kit and caboodle to Jefferson , well gosh ,I would be forever in your debt.

Fresh & Green | visit our Christmas MarketplaceFire Pit Gatherings

If that proves to be too much, then you could hand pick your favorites for me, I trust your judgement

( but just in case did you see this?Amaryllis ‘Emerald’ Bulb

or this?

or these?Heirloom Japanese Pruner


Just sayin’


and finally, as always , i put in a request for a ton of snow

I know, I know, everyone else seems to ask you for the opposite, but clearly after last year I know whose side you are on(and i have seen where you live) so I am pretty sure I will get my wish.

as always, thank you in advance, and you and the Missus have a great holiday season!




almost there…..

A few thoughts as the the end of my 52 week attempt at arranging from the garden  is closing in…….

I have enjoyed it immensely and most certainly learned a thing or two about my garden, my schedule, and my  arranging skills ( or lack thereof)

Looking back over what has transpired, I  guess I firmed up what I knew already regarding  how I like to display flowers which is usually quite uninspired and a little boring , but I like to think of it as natural . i really don’t care for manipulated arrangements a and  I never ever use floral foam so being restricted to vases and vase- like things I never compose anything artsy. Oh well, I am who I am

.Next year I will make an effort to try to get a bit out of my comfort zone and see what I can dream up.

I also learned that when the garden is at its most bountiful  is when I like to cut flowers the least. This mostly has to do with how busy I am out there keeping it all  at it’s best and less importantly but true all the same  the fact  that looking at it all day outside  means I am less inclined to want to bring any indoors.

Here are two more made using late season “stuff’  and making the most of the stands of chrysanthemums I grow as well as all the glorious Fall foliage.

fall DSC_0008 - CopyAn old bud vase filled with oak leaf hydrangea leaves, two  mums ( Wil’s Wonderful and Centerpiece), a single stem of yellow twig dogwood and a sprig of thyme that came back into bloom . It is standing in front of a rosemary plant and next to some coleus cuttings that are rooting in water.

This next one is a tiny teapot filled first with the burnishing foliage of small leaved azaleas,  some leaves and hips from rosa glauca, two stems from honeysuckle ‘Major Wheeler’ ( in bloom since May!) pods of Siberian iris, salvia,  mums,gallardia,  and the drying flowers of allium thungbergii ‘Ozawa’

Just in case you were curious, we have had many hard frosts and mostly  cold nights , a few down to the 20′s or even teens, but a recent week of warmer weather during the day has brought a few things ( like the salvia and thyme) back to life.

DSC_0022 - Copy fall in a teapot

a sad day for science

This post will be most definitely a departure from lovely garden pictures . It is a rant, and an angry one, but I will keep it short.

Those of us who work in any facet of communication and education know how difficult it can be to address controversial subjects. In my world Nativism,  Colony Collapse Disorder of bees, pesticide safety and GMO’s are just a few of he issues i tend to shy away from open discussion on because they are just too contentious. There is science out there on all of the above issues, some good, some bad, and some that conflicts thus complicating the issues. NONE of these subjects is fully studied, understood, or simple. This complexity and a need to be able to read and understand scientific studies complicate the understanding for many lay people ( myself included) who then rely on bona fide scientists to interpret and explain results. Good communication skills are  of the utmost importance for those who choose to share their knowledge with others as they  are essentially translating a foreign language to those of us who last studied science and did lab work in high school or college before beginning careers in other vocations. I value their time and enjoy reading many of their public writings and following their podcasts to gain a better understanding of my chosen field.

Sadly, there is a huge group of people who enter into these discussions whose mission is not to think critically,, read research, participate in discussions and learn. Instead , they have an opinion already set in stone and follow ( usually)  other lay people who  support what they believe , and as a bonus they have the whole world wide web to seek out compatriots in their cause . Actually I do not have a problem with that, we are all entitled to our opinions and views of the world, and sometimes a differing view challenges me to really examine what I think I know and search out more information on a subject. I do however, have a problem with the ever growing rank of people who are neither scientifically literate or educated in a subject lashing out personally at someone who is.

In a discussion it is never alright to attack the other person ( called ad hominem) when you can’t attack the validity if their argument. .It is not civil, it is not productive and it often results in an argument mired in anger and slurs.

Kevin Folta ( professor and chair of Horticulture at The University of FL) is a brilliant scientist who is among those who care enough to try to enlighten the world.  Over the past few months he has come under such personal attack  that he has decided to bow out of his public discussions and will no longer be part of the greater community of learners. It is a sad, sad , day when civilized human beings can no longer participate in valuable discussions without fear of harm coming to their career ,family , or person. I hang my head and mourn for his loss and the future loss of those who either already are under attack or after  witnessing  others being attacked will refrain from enriching our world with their knowledge.

I also applaud Kevin and other scientists  like him (there are MANY) who face such ad hominem attacks with grace and patience , answering back with data and questions trying to further the discussion even though they know they will be met with enmity and  hate.

Be careful out there. Challenge what you read, look for data to support your beliefs,  never ever rely on any web source without further fact checking and gain a solid understanding of an issue before entering a dispute with others. We can all add to the discussion, but  allowing any  person or group to silence a  voice with the use of personal  threats and unsubstantiated assaults against someone’s   integrity brings us to a very scary place indeed.

Link to Kevins blog

Learn a Little Latin

Latin is like a zombie;dead but still clamoring to get in our brains…….Adrian HigginszoLearn a Little Latin: A slightly serious, slightly irreverent look at the form of Latin used in botanical nomenclature. We will discuss the wacky ways some plants get their names and how to write them correctly, explore the perils of pronunciation, and learn a few handy dandy words that will help you decipher your garden and bring out your latent Linnaeus. 

Come see me at Tower hill Botanic Garden next Sunday Nov 8th at 1 pm . Link for class is here 

it ain’t over ’til it’s over

There are so very many things I should have been doing garden-wise these past few weeks….getting fallen leaves off the plants in the rock garden, cutting back lots of dead  ugly stuff, raking , planting bulbs for spring display, putting away the gardenalia that can’t take our winters etc.  but really, I could care less. It feels too early to be putting the garden to bed so in protest I am not.

i wish I could say I have been doing fun and interesting things instead, but alas, Wil hurt his back and Faith has been undergoing some medical treatment that has kept me quite busy transporting patients too and fro while also  managing work and homelife . Kind of been a big bummer ,but we certainly have been through worse.

I hope next week to fit in planting the big box of bulbs that has been sitting in my office and tidy the front a little. I gave up on even trying to manage Halloween decorations, not even a single jack-o-lantern to be seen , so at least I won’t have to deal with the dreaded clean up ( in years I have gone whole-hog I certainly regretted it on November 1st) but if the weather holds I will get the winter lights up ( though NEVER lit until December) and maybe get some containers all decked out for winter too.

I have a few photos of some arrangements , I have been steadily plugging along at my goal to keep arranging until my 52 weeks are up on the Slow Flower Challenge and the biggest issue has been taking the photos believe it or not.

If the light is not good for photography when I make them , sometimes, well most of the time if I am honest, I just never get back to it. These last weeks of October and into November chrysanthemums are the stars and that is what is in these two. I also adore the foliage of the viburnums and although we have had many nights below freezing the foliage on a few shrubs, like the buddleias, still looks good.

The first is simple viburnum, buddleia and the just opening Copper Penny mumDSC_0001DSC_0008DSC_0003

This one is Sheffield mums, dara ( which is in it;s pot growing in the kitchen having been rescued from frost as I can’t get enough of it!) , heuchera leaves from ‘Magnum’ and calicarpa berries, and cardoon leaves which look fresh as ever despite the cold.DSC_0016 DSC_0013 DSC_0018

Using the same foliage, and mums, I added ilex ‘Winterberry Gold’ berries, rose hips and a branch of red twig dogwood for this little traveler that will go with us to a friends house tonight.DSC_0002

..and just as a reminder to myself to stop sulking that the season is over and to focus on the fact that it is time to  get moving  a  little throwback if you will to Halloween 2011 when we were hit by a heavy wet snow storm making clean-up a nightmare.,


plant profile: sedum ‘october daphne’ (hylotelephium sieboldii)

sometimes I   have a hard time coming up with the right words to make a plant come to life in a profile the way  it does in the garden.
sedum ‘october daphne’ is like that , really it should just leap off he screen and grab you by the shoulders , look you square in the eye and say “PLANT ME”

It is a beauty season long with nicely scalloped leaves that emerge  toward the bluish side of green with a graceful arching habit.  It tolerated the dry conditions here both in the ground and in the two un-watered containers I had it in like a champ. DSC_0002 DSC_0006

When it started to bloom I found the bright two-toned  pink flowers just divine and a delightful change from the more salmony -pink of some of its family members.

but boy oh boy as the temperatures cooled around here was I ever smitten with this plant.

The edges of the leaves took on a distinct reddish hue, the flower color intensified x 1000DSC_0012

then, as night time temps dropped even lower, the leaves  seemed to glow, an electric orange pink at  a time when the garden can look quite dull and muted.

the glow on this plant in october is eye catching to say the least!

the glow on this plant in october is eye catching to say the least!

I have this  planted in the pink border at the very edge , as well as in two previously mentioned containers, ( a  cement basket. and   an old wheelbarrow) .

I grow over 40 different sedum ( or in their new genera;hylotelephium,petrosedum and phedimus) and I love them all. Most thrive in the dry hot sun here, though there are many that will tolerate shadier and much wetter conditions making them all super easy to grow. I have been experimenting with different combinations of them  in containers so I can ease up on the watering during the height of summer.  A number of my favorites  have  smaller leaved and are very  interesting close up, and I place those together in flat hypertufa or metal troughs , some are quite large and serve as filler or color contrast with other plants. But ‘october daphne’ is so stunning it can stand on its own ,  a true plant of merit for any New Egland garden.

as an aside I just felt the need to point out this curiosity .There is a series of monographs (books written on a single plant genus) put out by Timber Press  called The Plant Lover’s Guides. I have most of them, so when writing this of course went to the one called “The Plant Lover’s Guide to Sedums” to see what it had to say. The description is ok, although not as enthusiastic as I would expect,  but the accompanying photo ( just one) is this.DSC_0001

hmmmmm, would you buy this plant based on that ? I certainly would have skimmed right over that entry . I wish they had included one like thisDSC_0014

gbbd oct 2015

we have been very lucky weather wise not to have suffered a hard frost…don’t worry it is coming , and soon, but for now the garden just keeps carrying on. I have read the phrase “pockets of beauty” ad nauseam for some reason these past few weeks  in reference to what is left to see our gardens…BAH! …Fall is glorious with color!

there are so very many late blooming plants that can bring us from the end of the summer  all the way into December here in New England and they should be a part of every garden in a place where we have snow cover for months.  Paired with the turning foliage of peonies,geraniums, many shrubs and of course our deciduous trees ,the garden is so vibrant now , add in the low light and great weather and it is paradise! DSC_0033

there are late season mums and asters

pink centerpiece mum

pink centerpiece mum


mums and callicarpa

mums and callicarpa

rose blush mum

rose blush mum

ater latifolius 'lady in black'

ater latifolius ‘lady in black’

sedum and  mellow moon mum

sedum and mellow moon mum


loads of shrubs and trees that have beautiful berries and fruit

Mrs. robinson crab apple

Mrs. robinson crab apple



winterberry holly

winterberry holly

winter gold holly

winter gold holly


rose hips and reblooming roses

drift rose 'sweet'

drift rose ‘sweet’

DSC_0017 (2)

seafoam rose

seafoam rose

rugosa rose hips

rugosa rose hips


sedums and hydrangeas

sedum octoberdapne

sedum octoberdapne

endless summer hydrangea

endless summer hydrangea

long and  late season annuals, many of which you can see below in the vases I put together for a presentation today

pink petunias

pink petunias



daucus carrota

daucus carrota







cosmos picotee

cosmos picotee

the late blooming montauk daisy, gentian  and the long blooming garden phloxes

nora leigh phlox

nora leigh phlox

gentian andrewsii

gentian andrewsii

montauk daisy

montauk daisy

fall anenomes

fall anemone

fall anemone

apples and pears on the trees and on the groundDSC_0030 (2)




persicaria and alluim thungbergii ‘ozawa’ ( with sedum and gentians)

persicara 'firetail'

persicara ‘firetail’

allium ozawa and sedun

allium ozawa and sedun

and then there are those plants like geranium ‘rozanne’, verbenna ‘annie’ and every agastache on the market, as well as the honeysuckle ‘major wheeler’ that bloom for such a long time that I can almost ( but not quite yet) say i am sick of them!

major wheeler honeysuckle

major wheeler honeysuckle

Still yet to come are a half dozen more perennial mums that are still in bud and won’t be harmed by frost at alll!

sheffield mum

sheffield mum

below is a look at everything I cut today for a presentation on shrubs …the flowers are just a bonus in addition to the beauty of the branches that are the base of the arrangements

.The last one was made  just for me though ( i really really really like pink)

twist and shout hydrangea, pink cnterpiece mums, dahilas, cosmos, symphoricarpos coral berries,

twist and shout hydrangea, pink cnterpiece mums, dahilas, cosmos, symphoricarpos coral berries,

wintergold holly, summersweet leaves, matchstick mums, zinnias and nasturtiums

wintergold holly, summersweet leaves, matchstick mums, zinnias and nasturtiums

gallardias, zinniasm chamaecyparis, euonymous leaves, ruby mound mums, wieglia foliage, and the awesome foliage of lilac'Miss kim'

gallardias, zinniasm chamaecyparis, euonymous leaves, ruby mound mums, wieglia foliage, and the awesome foliage of lilac’Miss kim’

wintergold holly calicarpa berries, montauk daisy, peach centerpiece mum. peony and red shield hibiscus leaves

wintergold holly calicarpa berries, montauk daisy, peach centerpiece mum. peony and red shield hibiscus leaves

DSC_0010How does your late garden look? I’ll bet there is more color  to it than you  other people think!DSC_0004

head on over to see what is going on elsewhere and for tons of inspiration at May dreams gardens


bradbury’s monarda

Did you ever stumble upon a plant for one reason or another and add it to the garden only to realize later what a gem you actually have?  Well ,that is precisely how I feel about the plant in today’s profile; monarda bradburiana , also called  Bradbury’s monarda., or Eastern bee-balm.

I have many bee balms planted her in the garden. They are great for pollinators and I dig the flowers. Many of them, though, can get scraggly after bloom and a few are prone to powdery mildew on their leaves. Some can also be quite aggressive and can take over  smothering and out competing other plants I count on them as bee food and  sometimes for arrangements but  I consider none of them to be good foliage plants and am careful where I plant them.

A couple of years ago I was placing an order from Prairie Moon, a native plant nursery that sells plug plants i by the tray in the spring for a relatively  cheap price. After  adding what I wanted to my plug list I was in need of a few more selections to round the number out to fill a tray and . I figured adding another bee balm here would be alright , so into the virtual cart went some plugs of Bradbury’s monarda.I planted them in random places throughout the gardens to see how they played with others and what they brought to the table.

The answer is …a lot!  They grew well in both the sunnier and shadier locations I picked and did not need any extra water or soil amendments. This monarda is the  earliest of all to bloom, and although it is no great stunner in the flower department, they are bee magnets.  As the season progressed I left the seedheads which were kind of cool for a while, then deadheaded it and forgot about it.seed head

The other bee balms came into bloom in succession, then they did the scraggly leggy thing they are prone to here, and the ones who typically get mildew did, and  many got cut back to the ground to hopefully throw out new clean foliage.

A few weeks ago when transplanting some stuff, I realized that the Bradbury’s monarda foliage that happened to be next to the shrub I was moving was still beautiful and was actually taking on a reddish hue as a bonus. I checked out the other locations , and across the board every plant had clean beautiful bushy foliage that was coloring up for Fall. DSC_0007Without haste i dug the ones in more hidden areas up, divided them, and replanted them to edge several beds. They make a beautiful ground cover and the late color change is a big plus. As a clump former , opposed to a runner like others , I am not worried about competition and actually hope they increase in size enough to give away a few and add some to other borders here.DSC_0003 clump of Bradbury's Bee balm

This also serves as a reminder that sometimes”improvement” through cultivation in plants is not always needed. or desired. Many of my  bee balms that were bred for a certain color flower, or longer bloom time , or shorter height don’t even come close to the beauty of this unchanged native. That may not always be the case and I LOVE that plant breeders are continually working to provide us with interesting  and disease resistant  plants that fill our garden needs, but in this case what Mother Nature gave us really can’y be improved upon.

Bradbury’s monarda will grow 1- 2 ft tall in a bushy mounded form , and is hardy in zones 4-8. Bloom time is May, and September with its cooler nights will bring on the color change in the leaves.



another october

as we stretch onto yet another October, I  find it a good exercise to head out and see what is holding court in the garden and make note of it so I can tweak spaces if necessary for next year.tickseed, mums,aartemesia phlox

This year was a little unusual in that it was so dry for so long that some of my September stars are actually fashionably late to the party and will now, if the first hard frost holds off,  take the stage this month.

Roses and clematis are two divas that held off, and now there are many in full bud and bloom, and curiously some stalwarts that never quit in most years are sleepy this one.

except the Sweet Autumn which is so loud with the buzzing of bees I steer pretty clearDSC_0018

The Drift roses are all popping into flower as is ‘All the Rage’ . Seafoam has been carrying on since late August  and the red Knockouts are sporadically showing off.drift pinkdrfit coralseafoam

On the other hand,  ’The Fairy’ , a polyantha which almost always blooms without rest has been all leaves since July, as have the red un-named climber and the white ‘Magic Carpet’

Similarly, most of the September re-blooming clematis were no shows, and now Pope John Paul II is in full bud again.

Th annual vines can be counted on to brighten the place up until frost.

Black eyed susan vineblack eyed susan vine

Morning glories and still in vigorous growth and flowerDSC_0050 DSC_0001


the delicate cypress vine looks so sweet growing into a birdcageDSC_0059

and the perennial  Major Wheeler honeysuckle typically blooms until DecemberDSC_0013

the moonflower/ cobea scandens/ sweet pea  combination in front of the garage has been a favorite of mine all season long with the monnflowers being the dramatic scene stealers currently.DSC_0011

Of course it is time for the late chrysanthemums

Red Daisy will soon open  DSC_0026

the montauk daisy or nipponanthemum nipponicum, has been here for years and never bloomed well at all, but this year it looks fantastic.DSC_0024

Matchstick is  a very cool mum, called a spoon type because of the shape on the edge of the petals DSC_0006

and Mellow Moon has been going on for some time now with no signs of stoppingDSC_0018 (4)

many more including the very late Sheffield and Copper Penny mums are in full bud waiting in the wings to carry the show late into the year.

Also bringing loads of color and interest to the stage are the berries and rose hips.

the beautyberry ,callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’  is a standout for late season interestDSC_0003 (2)

the two snowberries, symphoricarpos albus , and.s. doorenbosii ‘Amethyst’ get many inquiries , they should be planted more given their tough as nails constitution, bee friendly flowers and unusual berriesDSC_0014 (2) DSC_0016 (2)

rarely do the berries on the  cranberry bush viburnum hang around for too long, the birds scoop them right upDSC_0027

the deciduous hollies are all  decked out

ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’DSC_0033 (2)

‘Berry Heavy’DSC_0010

and I think this one is ‘Sparkleberry’DSC_0008 (2)

the rose hips of Rosa glauca never fail to disappoint . hard to believe they are the result of flowers that bloomed so long ago in early June

the  hips on all the rosa rugosas tend to get taken by birds almost immediately so they don’t get to add much to the Fall show.DSC_0029rugsa hips

There are a few other perennials and shrubs rounding  out the cast of characters keeping it real here……..

I add gallardia , or blanket flower into just about any bed I can fit a few in. It is exceptionally long blooming, easy to grow , and I love the bright color play off the late season purples and blues of the asters and gentians. I have had bad  luck with some of the newer introductions like ‘Oranges and Lemons’ or ‘ Fanfare’, overwintering  , and ‘Mesa Yellow is not a very  vigorous  grower here, although the dwarf ‘Goblin has performed well .DSC_0026 DSC_0041 DSC_0037

because I cut back my garden phlox randomly right up until the 4th of July they will continue to bloom until frost. ‘David’ is the white, ;Nora Leigh’ the bi-color .DSC_0022 DSC_0007


something about the weather has caused the hydrangea paniculatas to take on a very dark color as they fade and the various tall sedums , too , are turning  deep russett red  which looks fantasticDSC_0043 DSC_0028 DSC_0010

the peony foliage is turning into it’s dramatic fall colorsDSC_0046

chocolate Joe Pye Weed fills in nicely in back of the annualsDSC_0049

geranium ‘Rozanne’  , verbena ‘Annie” and hydrangea ‘Twist and Shout’  all just never seems to stopDSC_0031twist and shout geranium rozanne

the foliage on the hydrangea serrata cultivars  is always a show stopper..DSC_0052 DSC_0018

and the best part for me of this years late garden are the asters.  As I have  complained  about before , rabbits think of asters as crack around here, Plant them and they WILL get eaten to the ground. The only exception thus far has been this very bushy light purple variety that was a gift division from a friend with no name attached . I have been trying to name it all summer, ( am currently reading the book “Asters” by Paul and Helen Picton) and have a few guesses. I started and will continue to divide it so I will have a few in each Fall border hopefullywith in a few years.mystery aster

This teeny eeny sprig of bright pink  Aster  somehow got overlooked by the evil critters. I must go through the HUGE ziploc bag of plant labels from  those who have gone to meet their maker  and figure out it’s name.DSC_0019

the blue woods aster is grown here in containers for safety , where it overwinters just finewoods aster

This year i added Aster lateriflorus  ’Lady in Black’ as an experiment. It has dark burgundy leaves, which usually get left alone by the bunnies, and so far, so good. It was planted in  very early spring and is now a large, beautiful bee buzzing plant.DSC_0005

Of course many annuals are still part of the show. Cosmos ,DSC_0040 DSC_0044


the new to me this year Daucus carrotaDSC_0058



celosiasDSC_0018 (6)

DSC_0014the amazingly tall and odd looking leonitis leonurusleonitisDSC_0020 (3)

and it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t whining so….here goes


out of the 10 new varieties I added and the several I overwintered, I have ONE that has been blooming steadily called Ted’s ChoiceDSC_0002 (2), three  that bloomed sporadically  like this one which is Enchantress ,DSC_0033 (2) and the rest have yet t do a blessed thing.

Good thing there are other things to look at!DSC_0003 (2)DSC_0057







lest you think I have stopped arranging

this is probably the second busiest time of year for me in the garden. To keep it looking fresh requires lots of cutting back and dead heading, this year in particular has required triage watering on a daily basis as it has been so dry,  and there is perennial dividing and planting, bulb planting, indoor bulb ordering  and usualy a big project on the baord too. That leaves little time for other pursuits, but I have still been managing to throw together some arrangements form the garden and snap some quick photos .

here a simple pitcher with a few late upright sedums( I may have posted before?)sedum

this next one is a favorite , it is one large hydrangea bloom ( faded), persian shield stobilanthes dyerianus, verbena bonairiensis , and a twig of snowberry symphoricarpos . Simple and just my style. Both the Persian shield and hydrangea will last a very long time in a vase, the Persian shield often grows roots and can be potted up to overwinter indoors. The snowberry is a crap shoot, sometimes they last forever , sometimes they brown up quick. I always pick off any that are showing signs of rotting to prevent it spreading and this twig has held up already well over week in water.DSC_0034 DSC_0042

The last  one is a red /dark pink color study. I was so excited to do a red filled vase and was going to make it a loose blousy affair with lots of stems of daucus carrota which is a carrot relative I FINALLY got seed for , but when I went out to pick them the GD rabbits had eaten the plant  to the ground. I sulked for the rest of the day, but put together this little vase anyway to cheer me up. It has a coleus, a very large dahlia, purple fountain grass, a single zinnia,   the burnished leaves of a mountain hydrangea, celosia, sedum ,and the foliage of Red Shield Hibiscus, another newbie to me for cutting.  red shield hibiscusThe hibiscus was slow to get going, and now has enough foliage that I don’t mind cutting, what I did notice though was that the older and bigger leaves wilt promptly when cut ,and so far despite all my tricks I have yet to figure out how to re-hydrate them. the smaller leaves are just fine .It is a cool plant I may grow again.DSC_0016 DSC_0015 DSC_0013 DSC_0012

As to the reddish carrot flowers I adore, luckily I had sown seed in a container of other annuals and I have some about to bloom there. The container got lifted up onto a pedestal and out of reach of the mangy marauders for further insurance. As soon as I see flowers I will try again.