‘An abundance of summer’ flower arrangement

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I created another flower arrangement, and this one is filled with summer blooms! I was under some time pressure when I made it (flower arranging wasn’t on my ‘to-do’ list that day, but I squeezed it in), and it’s quite possible that the time pressure pushes me creatively. Because once I finished, that was it and I didn’t want to change it. πŸ™‚

The sunflowers are still blooming. They are one of my favorite annual flowers to have in a summer garden. A flower that I didn’t think I’d see this summer has proven me wrong. My clematis has bloomed. This poor plant gets way more wind that it would prefer. But I love the color and it is a fun addition to flower arrangements.

I’ll be joining the Propagator’s meme ‘Six on Saturday’, if you’d like to have a look at the other gardens.

Enjoy the tour!

a summer flower arrangement with hydrangeas, gladiolas, salvia, alstromeria, astilbe, Japanese anemone

1, 2 & 3 – Summer flower arrangement. The before picture took three handfuls to hold all of the flowers! Here’s a view of the front and back. The main star for me is the dahlia. I was impatient and didn’t wait for the other dahlia’s to bloom, which would have been nicer (next time!). This arrangement has: Hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ Paniculata ‘Renhy’, hydrangea incrediball, gladiolus ‘Pink Parrot’, astilbe, salvia, alstromeria, Japanese anemone, Russian sage, calla lily, dahlia ‘CafΓ© au Lait’ and a few sprigs of sweet pea. Again I used some chicken-wire and some floral frogs to keep the flowers in place (and again, probably because I was under time pressure, I forgot to tape it!). It was amazing to be able to go around the garden and collect all of these flowers. Is it a perfect design? Nope. But it works for me! πŸ™‚

sunflowers

4 – Sunflowers. The top two pictures are of the same plant, focusing on a different flower in each. That plant is in the Rainbow garden, and wasn’t planted by me. I presume it is from my compost. The other two pictures are from the sunflower bed.

clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans (Viticella Group)

5 – Clematis ‘Elegans’. Isn’t that a great color? This flower doesn’t look too beat-up by the wind. I’m sure my plants would prefer that I create a big sheltered area for them!

hydrangeas at sunset

6 – Incrediball hydrangea and hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ Paniculata ‘Renhy’ at sunset. These are the most blooms I have seen yet with these two hydrangeas. The difference this year is that I have been keeping them well hydrated. They are much happier that way.

And that’s my six (or there-about). Have I inspired you to create your own flower arrangement, yet? It’s easy and fun! I’d love to see what you create, too. πŸ™‚

In Peace,
Dana

An adventure to Huntington Castle and Gardens for a Cut Flower demonstration

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. You might have noticed that I’ve taken a liking to creating flower arrangements, especially if you follow my Instagram – you do follow my Instagram, right? πŸ™‚ So I jumped at the chance to go to a cut flower demonstration with my dear friend, Susan (my gardening adventure friend). The venue was the beautiful Huntington Castle and Gardens, which I’ve never been to before. It is in Clonegal, County Carlow, so of course we made a day trip out of it, stopping off at Avoca in County Wicklow on the way down, for some food and flowers (definitely worth a visit to Avoca).

The demonstration was by Fionnuala Fallon, who spoke about incorporating sustainability into the floral industry. Fionnuala and her husband run a sustainable cut-flower farm, and she gave great tips on plants to use, care, arranging, and helpful information on best resources to get started.

As it turns out, I made another flower arrangement this week! And I’d incorporated a number of the things Fionnuala talked about. Once you learn the tips and tricks, it makes life a little bit easier (like using chicken wire and floral frogs).

While I didn’t exactly make the ‘Saturday’, I’m none-the-less, joining the Propagator’s meme ‘Six on Saturday’.

Enjoy the tour!

At Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow
Fionnuala Fallon at flower demonstration

1 & 2 – Cut flower demonstration with Fionnuala Fallon at Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, County Carlow. This was such a wonderful day out! Fionnuala created this beautiful arrangement in no time flat, from two containers of flowers (that honestly, didn’t look like much on their own). The huge take away for me was to grow dahlias. I kind of knew I wanted to go in this direction, and now I *really* know! They are just spectacular. The main question we all had regarding this was if she dug them up for the winters, and the answer was ‘yes’. It just has to be done. Another favorite take away for me was to use the whole sweet pea vine, not just the stems of the flowers (which is what I would usually use). What a difference it makes to the arrangement! You can see in the arrangement above, the flowing light pink sweet pea, hanging down.

For those who don’t know already, she also mentioned how bad ‘floral foam’ (or oasis) is for the environment. *Really* bad. Chicken wire is an alternative, used with floral frogs (small, heavy circle with pins to stick the flower stems in), and taped in place.

She is a proponent of ‘some-dig’ gardening, as opposed to ‘no-dig’. I’m definitely with her on this one, too. You have to do whatever works for you.

It was a helpful and informative talk, which we really enjoyed, followed by a tour of the gardens. The place is just lovely and certainly worth a visit! Even better to bring along your bestie! πŸ™‚

Line of flowers: dahlia, sunflowers, butterfly bush flowers, Russian sage and sweet pea
Dahlia tam tam, sunflower mix, Buddleis BUZZ ‘Dark Pink’ Butterfly Bush, Russian sage, Sweet pea
sunflower flower arrangement with butterfly bush, Russian sage, sweet pea and dahlia.
Sunflower arrangement with purple butterfly bush flowers, sweet pea, Russian sage and dahlias.

3 & 4 – Sunflower arrangement. This one is definitely worth two slots! This is my first sunflower arrangement of the season! I made this the day before the talk. The sunflower stems are really short as there were lots of blooms still forming on the stems and I didn’t want to cut them off. It worked well with this container, too, to have them short. With all of the work my husband has been doing with building fruit cages, I had already taken and put aside some chicken wire for arranging. This container was perfect for experimenting with. I used two floral frogs to weigh it down (I hadn’t thought of taping it, which would be a helpful solution).

Adding colors to the garden that complement the colors of the sunflowers is what I’m now working on. The dahlia’s I’ve planted are exactly for this. The beautiful reddish colored one (called Tam Tam) is the first to bloom. Hopefully I’ll get to do more arranging with them as the season goes on.

And really, I don’t know why I don’t see more butterfly bush flowers in arrangements, they smell so sweet and are a lovely addition (dwarf varieties)!

Russian Sage

5 – Russian Sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia Little Spire. This guy is just showing off at this stage. Beautiful shape and color. I used a few stems for the above arrangement. The bright pink rose next to it is England’s Rose from David Austin.

coleus plants

6 – Coleus. These guys were planted from seed late and then when I transplanted them to these containers, they stopped growing – for weeks! They have finally started to look like decent sized (small) plants. Maybe by the end of the season they will fill the containers. But I love having them, and I love their different color combinations.

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Have a great week!

In Peace,
Dana

Strawberries and Roses galore!

Hi there! You’re very welcome to my blog. This week’s summer solstice coincided with what finally felt like the start of summer in Ireland. Not to get too excited, but we hit 23 degrees Celsius – which is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Not overly hot, but better than what we’d been having! πŸ™‚ This was great news for our strawberries. A little bit of warmth was exactly what they needed. We’ve had several great harvest and the strawberries are so sweet.

June is typically the month for my roses to start showing off, too. The rose shrubs have been covered in buds and now those buds are finally open flowers. The bed is a beautiful mass of pink! Although I was quite late in applying it, this year I have used Uncle Tom’s Rose Tonic to help keep them healthy. It is a nature-identical plant food. A few of the plants tend to suffer from black-spot, which I’d love to prevent. We’ll see how they do. (Just a note that the product is pricey.)

The peony are still hanging on! My Sarah Bernhardt and Bowl of Beauty are the last two varieties in bloom. I couldn’t resist, and I created a large arrangement with them this week. I was quite pleased with it, with the added bonus of it smelling lovely, too!

I am joining The Propagator’s meme Six on Saturday. Feel free to have a visit of the other contributors, too!

Enjoy the tour!

In Peace,
Dana

1 – Strawberries! Remember when I said I’d give this bed one year to prove itself? Well, it did. We’ve had more than these three hauls and the strawberries have been large, firm and delicious. The covers that my husband built were great to keep the birds out and light enough to easily take off. Strawberry plants do take work: the runners need to be kept in check, you need to keep a balance of old and new plants, and they need to be weeded – all of which is hard on the back. It is why I wanted to make sure the work would be worth it with LOTS of strawberries. I’m so glad this is the case. My back-up alternative plan is to have a bed full of peony plants, which isn’t too bad either.

2 – A peony, poppy & rose arrangement. This was fun to create! I love it when I am able to collect lots of flowers for an arrangement. The different shades of pink are fabulous, but what I think makes the arrangement are the coral colored poppies. The deep pink roses are Princess Anne, and there are some mid-pink The Ancient Mariner roses, both are David Austin varieties. In the center, there is one small Kansas peony (it’s a deep pink), along with Bowl of Beauty and Sarah Bernhardt peonies. And finally, I added some lychnis Coronaria rose campion, just to have some flowers that were a little smaller. The only thing I was missing was sun to photograph it! πŸ™‚

3 – Princess Anne, David Austin roses. This shrub is covered in deep pink flowers and is just show stopping! I’m glad I have it on the outer edge of the bed. It is also sweetly scented. This is one of the plants that suffers from black-spot, badly. We’ll see if this new treatment can perhaps help that over time. I have used the milk/water solution in the past, after the black-spot appears. It is quite a lot of work if you have many plants to do. Stay tuned!

4 – The Ancient Mariner, David Austin roses. This beautifully scented shrub just seems to be a tiny bit ahead of the others with the amount of flowers it has. It is spectacular! But because it has other rose shrubs around it, I can’t fully get a perfect picture of it. But this one isn’t bad. πŸ˜‰

5 – Bowl of Beauty peony. This peony, like a bunch of my other ones, had to be moved last year. We ended up dividing it into two plants. Not surprising, it only had a few blooms this year. Like all the rest of my moved peonies, I’m hoping with feed and time they will settle in and increase the number of those flowers.

6 – Boxwood. A rather unglamorous picture! But I wanted to try and capture the work that went in to tidying up the boxwood plants. I did a lot of weeding of the boxwood, and then gave it a good feed. These plants were all grown from our cuttings a few years ago and they are really doing great! I also weeded the rose bed, although I’m still debating about pulling those poppies out. We’ll see.

And that is my Six on Saturday! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the tour. See you next time.

Springtime bouquets for Six on Saturday

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. For those who are new here, I like to create things with my hands – things like flower arrangements, wreaths, lavender wands (not to mention crocheting). I have had so much fun creating bouquets from what is growing in the garden, especially as my garden matures and there is more to play with. My kitchen table has had a bunch of different arrangements this spring, and hopefully there will be more as the season continues. It definitely motivates me to have plants that work together, color wise. Today I’ll be joining The Propagator for his Six on Saturday meme. You can click the link and see some other participating, and beautiful, gardens, if you like.

I so appreciate you stopping by! I hope you enjoy your visit. πŸ™‚

In Peace,
Dana

Bartzella Itoh peony arrangement with allium and Siberian iris
yellow peony arrangement inside

1 – Sunshine bouquet (yellow peony flower arrangement). It was somewhat difficult to really capture the look of this arrangement, as the huge Bartzella peony grabs all of the attention. This is an Itoh peony, which is a hybrid between a tree peony and an herbaceous one. This particular shrub had lots of buds on it, so I was happy to use five flowers for this arrangement. The big open one actually opened up a couple days before, so it had a ‘head start’ on the others. It is quite big (bigger than my open hand). To the arrangement I added allium, Siberian iris, some forget me nots, lamb’s ear, and a couple of pieces of ornamental grass. I was really happy with it, especially since I made it on a whim, during my morning walk-about the garden!

vase of flowers with roses, allium, anemone and forget me nots

2 – Small jug of flowers. This small arrangement was made for the kitchen table for a special dinner with family. I especially liked that it was fragrant from the Eustacia Vye David Austin roses and branches from a lilac shrub (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’). I also added allium, forget me nots, and anemone. It was super easy and quick to throw together, and wasn’t too distracting to have on the dinner table.

bouquet of Dutch iris, peony, roses and a single white calla lily

3 – Tabletop Dutch iris work bouquet. I had this on my desk because the scent from the peony and roses was so lovely! Also included is a single white calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica Arum Lily). This is the first time this plant is flowering for me since I planted it in 2018. This is the third time I’ve moved it, and I think this time it is finally happy.

Purple Sensation allium

4 – Allium. These next three flowers go together, and you can see them in these pictures. I’ll start with the Purple Sensation Allium. Now I have to say that the coloring is definitely Purple Sensation, but the very large heads, with the stems spread far apart, are not. At least none of the other Purple Sensation allium that I’ve purchased over the years are like this. I still like them, they just aren’t what I was expecting. This color matches the bearded iris in the background, and also the other allium across the yard. I like the big impact they give with the mass planting. This bed will continue to have flowers after the allium are finished. There are poppies coming up all around them, and I have agapanthus that will hopefully flower later in the summer (new to this bed). Also newly planted here our some Helenium plants. Under the cherry tree you’ll find three strong Annabelle hydrangeas, which should bloom later in the summer.

lupin and bearded iris

5 – Lupine / lupin. The color on these spires sure isn’t dull! It is quite a happy, bright pink color and a large, sturdy, and easy to care for plant. It is a stand alone show stopper, if you ask me. The bearded iris used to be in this bed and I had to move them because I didn’t like the clash in colors. I think there is enough distance between them now, though, that they look nice as neighbors. This bed also has a couple of small peony plants, a paniculata hydrangea, lavender, bergenia and pittosporum (Tom thumb).

bearded iris Benton Storrington

6 – Bearded iris Benton Storrington. These are the happiest flowers in my garden. They have multiplied many times over! They are a plum color, which is very similar to the Purple Sensation allium. This bed is only a couple of years old, and has something for every season. Hellebores start off the year, then hyacinth in early spring, followed by bearded iris, and then black eyed Susans with Persicaria blackfield (red spire flowers) for summer / fall. I love the white birch no matter what is growing around them.

And that is the end of today’s tour! What was your favorite part? Mine is the Sunshine bouquet! πŸ™‚

A floral arrangement for ‘Six on Saturday’

Hello, and welcome to my blog! The garden is really hitting its stride now, with just a ton of growth everywhere. It is fun to watch the changes happen, seemingly overnight! If you follow me on Instagram (you do, right?), you’ll know that I capture a lot of the garden in my stories. I like to take a walk around the garden first thing in the morning – well, right after I feed the chickens. It is a peaceful time to listen to the birds and see what’s happened in the garden, and of course to note what needs to be done. Before I get into more details about what is happening in the garden, let me just say that I’ll be joining The Propagator again this week for his ‘Six on Saturday’ meme. If you click the link, you can find lots of other bloggers joining in, too! O.K., so here are my six:

Arch update 9 July 2021
Pumpkin arch

1 My pumpkin arch. This is probably my favorite item in the garden. My husband ‘made’ it for me this year (the arches were bought, but he added fencing material over it and staked it all, in order for it to be able to support pumpkins). A lot of work went into it! The pumpkin plants on either side of it are flowering and there are a bunch of fruit, too. I have been weaving the ends through the fencing, working it up towards the top. Just watching its progress is fun! This entire area had a complete makeover this year. Here is what it looked like in July 2018:

Pumpkin beds July 2018
Pumpkin patch July 2018

The pear tree on the right is the same that is on the left in the first picture. You’ll notice that I grew pumpkins and sunflowers then, too! I think the garden looks much nicer now πŸ™‚

Strawberry Hill roses with Iris in background

2 Strawberry Hill rose, a David Austin variety. I have it on my front gate, and to me the color is just so delicate and pretty. Thankfully, blackspot hasn’t taken over this one (yet?). The fuzzy purple in the background is my late blooming iris.

Strawberry Hill rose single flower
Strawberry Hill, a David Austin Rose

3 Blueberries! We love eating blueberries, and I have to say that it is lovely growing them, too. Many years the birds enjoy them before us, but we’ll usually get some, too. I moved these this year as part of the big garden makeover, and they seem to be happier. Fingers crossed we get to eat the blueberries before the birds get them!

Blueberry shrub July 2021
Blueberries upclose July

4 Lavender poppies. This variety came to my garden through a friend. She shared a few with me as she thought I’d like them, which of course I do! That was a bunch of years ago. These current ones, and most of them in my yard now, were not planted, but came via my compost. I always throw the spent poppies into my compost. If there was any doubt as to how the poppies end up all over my yard, I have two brand new beds this year, that I didn’t have any poppies in last year (so no chance for self seeding). But both beds were given a ton of my compost. And now I have a ton of poppies! Good thing I like them!

Lavender Poppies in Birch tree bed

5 Coral poppies. This variety was given to me about 5 years ago. At one point I thought they wouldn’t return, as I had so few one year! But I had nothing to fear. While the lavender ones are predominant this year, the coral were predominant last year. It’s only fair to take turns, right? πŸ™‚

coral poppies in rose bed

6 Floral arrangement. Today I was supposed to weed (haha! every day could be a weeding day!) but I found myself walking around the garden gathering flowers to make an arrangement. It is fun when the mood strikes, to create something from the garden!

Flower arrangement with lady's mantle

I started with poppy seeds, I think that they are so neat! It’s nice to have that unusual shape. Then I added lady’s mantle. I don’t usually like lady’s mantle, and I often pull it out of the garden (it grows and spreads like a weed). But I really liked the color here, and the texture.

Flower arrangement close up peony

I was surprised to see that I still have a few Sarah Bernhardt peony left in the garden. The smaller blooms were perfect. I also used the late blooming iris. Here I’ve used 3 that aren’t open yet.

flower arrangement cream roses and peony

And finally, I used Lichfield angel roses, another David Austin variety. They are a lovely cream color, although they have a peach tint before they bloom. Some of the flowers were quite heavy. The one in the picture above is actually resting on the peony bloom.

Flower arrangement side view

This is more of a side view. The vase is an antique, one of a set, that my mother gave to me a number of years ago. It is one of my favorite gifts from her and I love to fill it with flowers.

And that is my Six for Saturday! I hope you’ve enjoyed them. I know I am enjoying being a part of this meme. See you next week!

In Peace,
Dana

A peony, bluebell and hawthorn floral arrangement

Hello, and welcome to my blog! May has been quite a funny month this year. Usually, May is a dependable month for sunny and warm weather in Ireland. This year, though, the weather has been cold and windy, although thankfully we haven’t had any frost and we still have had some sunny days. The other thing that went cold was my blogging. Sometimes, I just need to step away for a little bit. But I’m back now, and I have a ‘little’ flower arrangement to show you!

I say ‘little’ because it is actually rather tall. It reminds me of a rocket ship, actually. The great thing about flower arranging for yourself is that you can create anything you want and you don’t have to obey any rules. It’s sometimes good to use rules as a guide, but then again it is ok to just create what you want to create. And that is exactly what I did!

I only had three peony that were near enough to blooming, so that was my starting point. These peony actually grow near bluebells and I love the colors together. I discovered something new about my bluebells this year. I have two varieties! My early blooming ones were actually Spanish bluebells. They stand upright and have conical bell-shaped flowers with open tips, and although I didn’t notice, they would have blue pollen. The currently blooming bluebells have a distinctive ‘droop’ to their stem, narrow bell-shaped flowers with rolled back tips, and creamy white pollen. Apparently, the Spanish bluebells tend to overtake the native flowers, so I’m glad my natives are still doing well. I will try and separate them out at some stage.

So I had my three peony stems and a huge handful of bluebells to start things off. This actually changed my choice of vase as my original choice was now too small. Moving up a size in vase then pushed me to find something a bit bigger for the arrangement. We are fortunate enough to have a row of hawthorn trees lining one side of our property. They are in full bloom right now and they look spectacular! I decided to try working it into my arrangement. But hawthorn have *big* thorns, and aren’t that easy to work with, as it turns out. So while I think I would have preferred more lines in my arrangement, I simply had to work with what I had (a rocket ship type structure). πŸ™‚

Never mind the rocket ship structure, it was created to fill an open space, placed high in my kitchen. I think the sizing was perfect for the location, providing that bit of color and freshness while being out of the way. I have to say that I enjoyed creating it and I was happy with the finished look. (And bonus: my husband complimented me on it, too.)

I do hope that our weather warms up and soon! I have squash, sunflowers and strawberries that are in desperate need of a whole lotta sunshine and warmth! Send your warm vibes this way, please!

In Peace,
Dana

Hawthorn Peony blue bells floral arrangement

A backdrop of hawthorn trees for the peony, native bluebells and hawthorn floral arrangement.

Peony Hawthorn bluebells up close floral arrangement

The peonies were at three different stages of opening, which is perfect for arrangements.

Close up peony hawthorn bluebell floral arrangement

This is my favorite picture of all! A close up of the beautiful blooms!

Spanish bluebells

I hadn’t realized what a good shot I had of the Spanish bluebells. You can see clearly how they stand tall, with open flowers.

Native Bluebell hand bouquet

While I like this picture, it is a little harder to see the droopy stems of the native bluebells. The rolled back tips of the open flowers are easy to see, though.

Peony and native bluebells

This is my peony in the garden with bluebells in the background. I love this combination.

Hawthorn tree blue sky

Look at those hawthorn blooms with a perfect blue sky backdrop! I was actually looking up into this tree when I took the pictures, as below the tree is our compost heap and it isn’t very pretty!

floral arrangement in kitchen

And this is where the arrangement sits now. Although I didn’t manage to get a well lit picture from afar, you get the idea of the space and height. I think it fits in perfectly.

Thank you for stopping by!

A garden to be thankful for

Hello there! Welcome to my blog, where today I’m all about gratitude. Don’t get me wrong, I practice being grateful on a regular basis. But today, I went out to the garden not too hopeful that I’d find much to make an arrangement with. Boy was I mistaken! It just made me appreciate all of the weird and quirky stuff that I have – that might not look all that neat and tidy in the garden – but is lovely to have all the same.

My family and I moved to Ireland 12 years ago, and we usually celebrate Thanksgiving on either the weekend before or after the actual American Thanksgiving. This year, with my daughter having exams the week of Thanksgiving, we celebrated this weekend. I’m lucky as my husband is a very good cook, and enjoys cooking special dinners like this. So that leaves cleaning to me (with help from the kids). It’s not a bad deal. πŸ™‚ It’s even better still, when I start my ‘cleaning’ by making a flower arrangement!

I can critically say that this is not my best arrangement. There was too much going on. But I really wanted to use everything I’d gathered, so I decided to leave it. Here’s my critique: The ornamental grass has neat curls at the ends, which I love, but I’m not sure if it comes across well. The striking, black stemmed bamboo is somewhat lost in the middle, and perhaps too tall. The Rosemary is a bit too ‘out-there’, while the lovely red dogwood branches can’t fully be seen (but they do tie in nicely with the hesperanthus, when you can see them). Lot’s of ‘imperfection’!

Now for the positives: The amount of red hesperanthus (also known as schizostylis, or kaffir lily) is fantastic! I never would have imagined that I had that much in the garden, when I’d taken cuttings a few times already. The purple Mr. Fokker anemone were completely closed up when I cut them in the garden – the perfect time to use them. It was lucky to have so many that are at just the right stage. I have lots and lots of invasive ivy, but it sure is pretty! I find it to be an excellent filler plant. There were 3 daisies in the garden, so I figured why not bring them in, too? The back of the arrangement has two small stems of golden yarrow. Lastly, there are pink David Austin roses, which thankfully had long stems.

Despite my strong critique, I do really like it! It’s very visible in our hallway, where everyone can enjoy it. Mostly, I’m thankful to be able to go out into the yard and gather up something that can be arranged for decoration! I find it really relaxing and enjoyable. After this, I had no problem with getting all of my cleaning done!

We had a lovely, and delicious, Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for! And on that list is most definitely my garden, and those who like to read my blog about it! Thank you!!!

In Peace,
Dana

finished arrangement November 29 inside pic
The finished arrangement.
Flower arrangement
The finished arrangement, outside (in sunlight).
Mr Fokker anemone, Hesperanthus and David Austin Roses
A close up of the Hesperanthus (Schizostylis), Mr. Fokker Anemone, David Austin roses and ivy.
The back of the arrangement
This is the back of the arrangement. I believe this is Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’, with Daisies and Hesperanthus.

Tapping the top of container for flower arranging
It isn’t very pretty, how I tape up the container, but it does work to help to hold stems in place. I also had some marbles in the bottom of the container.
bunches of flowers before beginning arrangement
This is what I started with!
Irish Robin
This little Robin followed me around the garden as I cut flowers!
Anemone Nov 29th arrangement
I love the little details of the ivy and the anemone.
November flower arrangement
This is the best picture for seeing the red branches of the dogwood.
Flower arrangement
The ivy on the left, in front, had a natural curve in it that I think is wonderful!
flower arrangement
This is my favorite part of the arrangement – this burst of color.
flower arrangement outside
Outside view
inside flower arrangement
Home.

What do you think? A bit too wild? It’s fun to play and learn! Take care, and stay safe! πŸ™‚

‘Little moments’ from the Garden

Hello there! You are very welcome to my blog. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve managed to take some ‘blue sky’ pictures. When you live in Ireland, you learn to really appreciate those blue sky days! I think that it is true, that a blue sky really does lift your spirits. You can see below that I have also thrown in some ‘gray sky’ pictures, so you can see for yourself the difference a blue sky makes.

Most mornings I start my day with a walk – after the chickens are fed and their house is cleaned! I love walking, especially first thing in the morning. It really wakes me up, and gets me going. Walking in the country provides beautiful scenery (and also a lot of mud on my shoes). I then take a walk around the garden (this helps to clean my shoes!) – making mental notes of what needs to be done. But I also get to enjoy seeing and listening to the birds in the garden. I don’t spend a lot of time doing this, because I have to ‘get to work’, but just enough time to appreciate all that nature has to offer us in our little ‘neck of the woods’. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I usually post a view of my garden and my chickens on my morning stories. πŸ™‚

As for the garden, I did a very late transplanting of some bearded Iris. Iris Benton Storrington have done amazingly well in my yard, and this is the second time that I have divided and transplanted them. The first time was two years ago in September (as it should be done then) and they did great. We’ll see how they do this time as I’ve not only transplanted them late, I have added them under the birch trees in a newly formed bed. It’ll just be a case of wait and see.

The garden is definitely shifting to its winter mode. The leaves are slowly falling off of the trees, and most of the plants are nearly finished blooming. I surprised myself with being able to make an arrangement of flowers from the garden this weekend, though! That is probably my favorite activity to do – creating arrangements with flowers from the garden. This is why I am always adding new and interesting plants.

The last of our apples were picked this week. I’m not sure how we will get through all of those apples, but we’re going to try! My daughter made (a few times this fall, actually) some delicious apple turnovers, which were such a treat. I’m always on the lookout for apple recipes that call for LOTS of apples! Do you have any?

I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to get out into the garden to get our fall jobs done. Even just ‘being’ in the garden is lovely, especially with all of the birds that have come to visit us now. I love seeing our birch trees standing so majestically as the sun shines on them first thing in the morning. And I love seeing my chickens seemingly so happy. Haha! This makes me think of the song ‘My favorite things’ by Julie Andrews!

I hope you are keeping well, and having lots of blue sky days! Please stay safe and healthy.

In Peace,
Dana

Heaven Scent Magnolia last leaf
The very last leaf on our Heaven Scent Magnolia tree
Last cooking apple
The very last apple on our ‘cooking apple’ tree
Cherry Tree last of the leaves
Our Cherry tree with a blue sky!
Cherry tree gray sky
Same Cherry tree, but with a gray sky!
birch trees with bearded iris
This was a big job of digging up two sites of bearded iris, dividing them and then transplanting them. My husband was a HUGE help and did most of the work!
Iris Benton Storrington single flower
Iris Benton Storrington

But look at that bearded iris! Isn’t it beautiful? I can’t wait to see them in the summer!

Viburnum opulus Roseum November
Some very pretty coloring on our Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’!
Mushrooms in the yard November
There’s always some interesting mushrooms in the yard. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing!
Flowers from the Garden in hand November 14
A handful of flowers from the garden! Shasta Daisy, bergenia leaves, pink and red hesperanthus (or schizostylis / kaffir lily), Erysimum ‘Super Bowl’ Mauve, Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’, Fountain Grass Pennisetum Advena Rubrum, Pittosporum Tom Thumb, and one snapdragon.
Flowers from the garden November 14 in hand
Flowers from the Garden November 14
And here’s what I created!
Mr Fokker aubrieta frosty morn November
This was taken on a frost morning. The Mr Fokker anemone are still blooming, and the Aubrieta have started blooming again. Glad to know that they weren’t killed off with the very dry spring which we had.
apple turnover
Emer’s apple turnovers were super delicious, especially hot out of the oven. We are so thankful that our kids enjoy cooking and baking!
David Austin Roses dark pink NOVEMBER
There are still some blooms on our roses, although the wind has been working extra hard to knock them off…
sunny foggy morning birch trees
I took this picture on what had been a foggy morning.
mystic sky November garden
I like this photo for the fall feel and the mystic looking sky
4 chickens November
‘The Girls’ also known as Iris, Sweet Pea, Daisy and Rose.

Thanks for stopping by! Take care!

Blue sky play house with back hills
The latest fall view of our playhouse and the surrounding fields (and one of my favorite pictures).

A blue hydrangea arrangement

Hello! Welcome to my blog, where recently I have been on a roll of crafting and creating with florals from the garden. Today was one of those gray, dreary, and very wet days. It was relentless. My chickens spent most of the day hanging out underneath their house, which protected them from the rain. This was a bit unusual as they don’t mind getting wet. But I’m glad they decided that staying dry was a better idea today! For me, it was the perfect opportunity to make something with the last batch of hydrangea flowers I dried. Given that I don’t have any floral U pins to make a wreath, I figured I’d try making an arrangement for a change.

For this project, I had an idea in my head of what I was working towards. I picked a pottery bowl instead of a vase because I wanted a large opening and a short base, and also I wanted to hide the green oasis that I’d be using. I filled the bowl with the oasis, and then simply started adding stems. The great thing about dried flowers is that they don’t need water – just stick them in and they are good to go. Some of the flowers have a pretty burgundy coloring which I thought was perfect for fall. I mixed up the blues, greens and burgundy colors. Most of the stems were the perfect length for the height I wanted, which was very handy.

I was surprised by how quickly it all came together! I have it displayed on top of our refrigerator, hiding all of the wires from our WiFi router (well, mostly hiding them). Of course I had fun making it! No better way to spend some time than working with flowers!

It was nice to have a low-key day today. Everyone needs a day to recharge. I hope you were able to do something that was fun, too!

Take care and stay safe.

In Peace,
Dana

Blue hydrangeas on drying racks
This is how I dry most of my flowers.
Oasis in the pottery
Not a pretty picture, but just a look at the reused floral foam / oasis which I used today.
Hydrangea arrangement in progress 2
I started with the tallest stem in the middle and worked around it by turning the container after each flower I added.
hydrangea arrangement in progress
There’s a little more progress with this picture.
Hydrangea arrangement full view
And before I knew it, it was complete!
hydrangea arrangement back view
This is the back (only based on the pattern of the pottery). The back just might be nicer than the front!
hydrangea arrangement side view on fridge
And here is where it now lives – on top of the refrigerator and mostly hiding all of those wires! You can see the flowers of the Fountain grass Pennisetum Advena Rubrum in the corner.
hydrangea arrangement side view on fridge 2
A side view of the arrangement (and some of the wires…).
hydrangea arrangement full view of cabinets
I think it is a nice addition to the kitchen!
hydrangea arrangement with pumpkins
There were even a few flowers left over for a tiny bouquet!
Iris the chicken up close
This is one of my girls on a lovely and sunny day!

As always, thank you for visiting! See you next time! πŸ™‚

Creative Floral Fun

Hello there! You are very welcome to my blog. Today I was working with my 16 year old daughter, making face masks together. It was her first real sewing project, and she was deservedly proud of herself. I was glad we did it together, and even more glad that she had initiated it. But confession time: sewing is something I am not comfortable with. I just never fell in love with it. I’m hoping that she will learn how to sew and learn to really enjoy it, too. Now – working with flowers – THAT is something I love to do!

I had a bunch of chores to do around the house yesterday. As a ‘treat’ to myself for doing all of that, I decided to make another flower arrangement. πŸ™‚ All work and no play makes for a very dull day. Just like I did for my last arrangement a few weeks ago, I walked around the garden with my secateurs and snipped whatever I fancied. The tricky part was finding something ‘lofty and light’, which honestly I couldn’t find. But let me walk you through what I did use, and why:

Leycesteria formosa – also known as Himalayan honeysuckle or pheasant berry. This is great for creating structure. I love how the berries hang – giving a curve to the ends of the branch. The deep burgundy color of the berries and flowers is very pretty, too.

Pittosporum Tom Thumb – this deep, dark (purple/burgundy?) colored shrub with curly edged leaves is so easy to work with. I used it as filler to help hold things in place and to hide the white tape (see below for why I used white tape).

Rosemary – I liked the different texture of this plant. These are straight spikes and given I couldn’t really maneuver them in my container (I’ll explain below) I only used a few sprigs.

Erysimum ‘Super Bowl’ Mauve – I added these light purple stems to break up the strong tones of burgundy in the arrangement. Each stem only had a couple of small flowers on the very end of them, so I added two stems for each place that I added them. They more or less stayed together.

Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans – this flower worked so well last time, I couldn’t pass it up. I was able to bring some of the flowers quite high, which is what I was hoping for. They are also a burgundy color.

Poppy pods – you know me, I have HUNDREDS of poppies in my garden! I collected small pods (the pod is what is left after the flower finishes blooming, and which holds the seeds) with long stems. In the center of the arrangement I have a group of them which I cut to all the same height. The rest of the pods I fanned out high above everything else.

Ornamental grass. I have one stem of this grass fanned out just on one side of the arrangement – to flow with the poppy pods and the sideways leaning Leycesteria formosa.

David Austin Roses – Eustacia Vye (an apricot-pink color), Lichfield Angel (cream), Boscobel (salmon), Scepter’d Isle (light pink) and possibly one more light pink variety but I can’t recall which one! There were too many beautiful roses in the garden to not put them in an arrangement.

The container I used is part of our pottery collection from when we were married 24 years ago (Suzanne May Irish pottery). I still love it! I used two frogs to hold the roses, but that wasn’t nearly enough for the rest of the plant materials. So I used white tape along the rim to create a bit of a grid to support the stems. Honestly, it worked well enough! You can see the white tape around the rim of the container in some of the pictures.

I gathered some flowers, started the arrangement, and then went out and gathered some more. I was delighted to have so many different plants to use!

For me, the moral of the story is, do what you love to do! I’m so glad to have planted materials that I can use for flower arranging – and I can’t wait to add some more!

I hope you are enjoying the last little bit of summer! Stay safe and healthy.

In Peace,
Dana

Plant materials
I started with some roses, Pittosporum Tom Thumb, Leycesteria formosa, and some short stems of ornamental grass which I later traded for one full, very long stem with several strands of grass, and some Rosemary. In this picture is also a single dahlia (a deep fuchsia color) which didn’t make the cut.
arrangement in progress
This is how we roll! The container on the table is filled with apples from a branch that broke from our tree. They are patiently waiting to be made into pie, or crumble or apple sauce! But back to the arrangement: I used 4 strips of tape to create a grid which more or less worked to support the stems.
Leycesteria formosa flower closeup
A close up view of the Leycesteria formosa flower.
Full arrangement close up sun day 2
I made the arrangement yesterday, but the weather was rather dull. So these pictures were taken today when it was lovely and sunny, because everything looks nicer with blue skies! Some of the roses are more open today, day 2.
Full arrangement day 1
See, isn’t there a very dull feeling to this picture, which was taken yesterday?
Close up Eustacia Vye day 1
The center rose, Eustacia Vye, is such a lovely mix of colors (apricot and pink). Here it is slightly open on day 1.
Center of arrangement full sun day 2
The center rose, Eustacia Vye, has really opened up on day 2!
Lichfield angel tall cream rose
The buds of the Lichfield angel rose are a peachy pink, before blooming into a lovely cream color. In this picture there is also a small green poppy pod, some Rosemary, and some Erysimum ‘super bowl’ mauve. I thought the mauve color brought some nice change to the strong burgundy theme.
Lichfield angel above
A view of Lichfield angel from above.
back of arrangement close up full sun day 2
This is a close up of the back of the arrangement, with a focus on the Boscobel rose. I knew there was going to be a front and back and I’m going to blame my inability to anchor items properly for the poor design of the back. The two roses are just lost in space here. Nevertheless, I still love the front, and will take note of changes for the back for next time!
Back of arrangement full sun day 2
Full view of the back – there is room for improvement!
Eustacia Vye center sunlight day2
Eustacia Vye, center rose on day 2, with Clematis and Pittosporum Tom Thumb.
Eustacia Vye center day 1
Eustacia Vye, the center rose on day 1.
Full view arrangement in sun
It was a fun floral project, and I think that perhaps my Poppy pods, although not light and lofty, had a similar effect.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Mom in the Garden! I am very happy to say that my daughter was quite happy with her sewing project and made several very nice masks. I’m so happy for her! Take care! πŸ™‚

my daughter using the sewing machine
My daughter did a great job learning how to sew and how to use the sewing machine!