This week I had the good fortune of speaking to the Norwood Garden Club. This delightful group is made up of very dedicated and educated gardeners ( 9 Master Gardeners are in their ranks) and they are also very committed both to the success and mission of their club as well as serving the town they live in.
The topic they chose was “Shrubs For Year Round Color and Interest” ,and as I like to do whenever I can,I brought along some colorful arrangements to raffle off to the members. Given the topic, the arrangements were made using all materials from the garden with a focus on the shrubs that were outlined in my presentation. I grow so many different shrubs and when choosing them follow a carefully laid out selection process based on their ultimate size, site and maintenance requirements ( I prefer minimal pruning and flexibility in moisture and soil needs)and their usefulness in making indoor arrangements . I like to have as much “stuff” as possible year round to cut and bring in and with careful planning you too can have your own year round cutting garden too. On February 8 ,2015 at 1pm I will be giving a talk at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on growing, cutting and arranging .If you are interested, details will be in their next education brochure and on their website for registration closer to then. I will post a link when it is available.
For now you can look at the three arrangements I brought with me.
This first one is a sweet little side table decoration composed of the reddish bracts from a Heptacodium minconoides tree, red dogwood stems from Cornus alba (dogwood) ‘Ivory Halo’, the delightful pink berries of symphoricarpos (coral berry) ’Amethyst”, foliage from a spirea called ‘Firemound”, rosa glauca and physocarpus opulifolius(ninebark) ‘Coppertina’ and the only flowers are those of a Chrysanthemum called Sheffield Pink.
The second one is done in traditional centerpiece format, and has foliage from Euonymous fortuneii ‘Gold Splash’, greens from several different chamaecyparis ,more red twig dogwood, crab apples, little red peppers ( from the japanese four color pepper) and again the only flowers are a Chrysanthemum , this one called ‘Red Mammoth’.
The last one is a kitschy piece of fun I duplicate in some format every October for my Halloween dessert table. this year I used a plastic tumbler from the dollar store that I spray painted it with chalkboard paint so I could write on it (BOO!) The berries are from the calliarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’, and Ilex verticellata ( a deciduous holly) ’Winter Gold’, the pods are from baptisia australis or false indigo, toward the back there is a scary-spiny stem of solanum quitoense ( from seed I got from Nan Ondra at hayefield.com) in the center is a stem of yellow twig dogwood and the flowers are yet another Korean chrysanthemum called’Copper Penny’. I added some fluffy seed heads from clematis tanguitica ‘Bill McKenzie’ right when I was leaving to look ghost- like, but forgot to snap another photo.
After my talk, the club raffled off these three as well as 5 shrubs the club’s president and VP brought in , including my #1 favorite hydrangea “Twist and Shout” Congrats to all the winners!
One more photo before I go and a reminder that if you have any annual vine seeds leftover from this season to pop a few in a container and get them in a sunny window pronto…here is morning glory ‘Sunrise Serenade’ blooming in my picture window today.