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! 🙂

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. 🙂 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! 🙂

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

A summer flower arrangement

Hello there! We have enjoyed some absolutely beautiful summer days recently. I definitely get more accomplished on sunny days! (Is that the same for you, too?) I hope you have also had good weather, wherever you are in the world. As you may know, I love flowers. I always have in mind, when I’m planting flowers, if I can use them again – either in a live or dried flower arrangement. Last week I had a free morning on a beautiful sunny day and I decided to make a flower arrangement. I should add that just a few months ago I bought myself a book on flower arranging. It is called Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers, by Erin Benzakein. It is filled with 300 pages all about ‘designing gorgeous arrangements for every season’ and complemented with the most beautiful pictures. It is a fantastic resource for learning everything you need to know about flowers, foliage, containers, flower care and of course, design. The premise is to use as many local flowers as possible, incorporating items that might not have typically been considered for arrangements. Something else that I liked seeing and learning about was creating a loose and airy look. I found it to be the motivation I needed to try something different.

I did not have a visual of the arrangement in my head before I started. I walked through the garden with my clippers and just clipped anything that I thought might work. I noted that in the book, Erin had used clematis, which were lovely additions to arrangements. That is not a plant I would have thought would be usable for arrangements! It’s great to learn new things. 🙂

Post arrangement, I found that my Japanese anemone did not fare well. I possibly should have tried a special method for their hydration (which I would do next time). Also, an obvious note was that the roses that looked ‘perfect’ when picked, were fasted to drop. My David Austin roses tend to have short stems, so I was more concerned with finding flowers with longer stems than with their maturity. But other than that, the flowers all did really well for the week. I was super lazy and didn’t even add water to the container (O.K., so I probably shouldn’t admit that).

As for the container, I’ve had that little gem for nearly 20 years. It was a gifted flower arrangement (I save everything). I think this is definitely my favorite thing I’ve done with it, though! It just seemed to all fit together nicely.

I hope you like my arrangement! I’d love it if you would please leave me a comment below, telling me which is your favorite flower, or if you enjoy flower arranging, or just say hello!

Thanks so much!

In Peace,
Dana

Rose arrangement

The container has two frogs in the bottom, which I used to secure the roses in place. This probably isn’t recommended, but I also used glass marbles to help to hold the rest of the flowers in place – that’s called ‘making due with what I have’! Most of the roses are David Austin roses, although I still have one rose plant that is not a David Austin rose, and I did use one of those roses.

Rose arrangement collage 2

Above is a closer look at the ceramic container. Also, just a couple highlights of the flowers: the Leycesteria formosa – also known as Himalayan honeysuckle or pheasant berry, is a hanging burgundy color flower with berries and green leaves – it also sometimes has white flowers. The tall yellow flower is fennel. I used it to tie in the yellow centers from the pink Japanese anemone. The spiky purple flower is Russian sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’, which also dries really well.

Rose arrangement collage

The only other flower to highlight is the clematis, Purpurea Plena Elegans, which is also a burgundy color.

Rose arrangement close up
A close up of what I consider the front of the arrangement.
Rose arrangement full view 3
Full view of what I consider the back of the arrangement.
Rose arrangement full view 2
Full view of the front of the arrangement (with ornamental grass behind it).
Rose arrangement in kitchen
Well I had to bring it inside at some stage!

I loved every minute of creating this arrangement! I have to say that I was happy with my end result, even though at the back of my mind I know there were some techniques that might have been ignored. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! 🙂 Take care!

The story of a special floral frog

floral frog front view

front view of the floral frog

Hi there! I hope the weather is pleasant where you are, and that you are able to do what you enjoy. For me, I enjoy flower arranging, and I have planted several rose shrubs just to be able to bring flowers into the house to enjoy their beauty and fragrance. David Austin roses are so showy and can be incredibly fragrant, so I have several. The only problem I have found with these roses is that their stems are quite short! Putting them in a vase can be problematic, that is, unless you have a floral frog. 🙂

side view of floral frog

side view of floral frog

“A what?” you ask. A floral frog! It is a heavy metal object that is filled with what appears to be short nails, which are placed closely to one another. They are so handy to have!

David Austin 'Boscobel' roses

David Austin ‘Boscobel’ roses

Now, if you happen to have one of these in your carry-on bag going through the airport security, I can attest that you will be stopped and checked. I bought one on our last trip to the States and inadvertently packed it in my carry-on – these things happen, right? The thing is, the timing was everything in this story. Let me back up to when I first learned about floral frogs. My neighbor in Manlius, New York, was a dear friend and also a master gardener and floral arranger. She, and her husband, had a huge, positive influence on me (and my family) over the course of the 10 years we were neighbors. A while back I wrote a “Wordless Wednesday” post (that was quite full of words, actually) about Betty. Sadly, Betty just passed away during my trip to the States. I can’t accurately convey in words how this affected me. I was heartbroken. She will be sorely missed by her friends and family.  She was a very special woman, as was her husband Harold who sadly passed away 2 years prior.

Betty is the one who introduced me to floral frogs. I have not seen one in many years (I moved away from Betty & Harold almost 11 years ago) and I don’t have one. Well, I came across one at a gift shop on our trip shortly after Betty passed. Absolutely no coincidence. It didn’t even belong in this shop, in my opinion. But I scooped it up, bought it and couldn’t wait to use it when we arrived back home. Except that at the airport I was convinced it would be taken from me… Somehow, I was allowed to wrap it back up, put it back in my bag and resume with our travels. Betty was definitely looking over me 🙂

David Austin 'Boscobel' roses

David Austin ‘Boscobel’ roses

Those small stemmed roses can now be displayed in just about any container I want to place them in. I chose a small pottery bowl that would fit 4 open roses. The flowers fit in perfectly and stood upright. Whereas tiny vases won’t fit multiple stems due to how wide the blooms are with such short stems, the floral frog can fit at least 4 open blooms, which is a perfect small bouquet. Just a note that even though the floral frog is small, it can be used for tall stemmed flowers as well.

Boscobel Rose single

David Austin ‘Boscobel’ Rose single

So many wonderful things already remind me of Betty, and my new floral frog is one more special reminder.

Dana, Betty & Harold

Dana, Betty & Harold

Thank you Betty and Harold for being the special neighbors you were, especially encouraging my love of gardening. You will forever be in my heart.

In peace,
Dana

It all comes down to Personality!

Morning sunshine gives a warm hue to the hydrangea wreath

Everything we do, and how we choose to do what we do, comes down to our individual personalities. For me, my personality is such that I like to find second uses for things. I don’t like to waste, or get rid of something if it can possibly have a second life. What better way to give a second life to flowers than arranging them in a wreath or a floral arrangement? None, I say! 🙂

This is how I dry my flowers 🙂

Hydrangea are great for drying. It is best to use “mature” blooms, which have a more substantial (papery) feel to them. If they aren’t mature, then the leaves tend to curl. There isn’t anything wrong with curled leaves, I just don’t think they are quite as pretty (although my wreath has some of them, too!)

It all starts with a straw wreath frame and some floral “u” pins.

Wreaths are so easy to make!  In my book, it is essential to have a straw wreath frame, floral “u” pins, and some Spanish moss.  Anything goes for the rest! My hydrangea didn’t flourish this year, due to the drought this summer I presume. So I did get some lovely deep cherry colored blooms from a friend. I traded her zucchini bread for hydrangea blooms, that’s fair isn’t it?

These green colored blooms are hydrangea Incrediball.

I have all of my colors on the table, or hanging on my Flower Tree, and I just dive in.  The hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ had very small, beautiful blooms this year, but their stems weren’t very strong and most of them broke while pinning them. That was a bummer, as they were really pretty!

Piece by piece the wreath comes together.

I made this one night after work this week. I felt the need to create something! Since I don’t have anything on my crochet hooks, it had to be with dried flowers. I still have loads of lavender around my house, too! (See what I did with that further down the post.) I really enjoy working with my hands, and I’m glad to have such beautiful materials around me to create with.

Ta-dah! This is where my wreath will reside in our kitchen.

Purple, cherry, green, blue, pink: it’s all in there.

Inside lighting doesn’t give the exact coloring.

Nothing beats natural lighting, but then of course there is morning sunshine and evening sunlight, both of which slightly change the coloring again!  You can see for yourself in the following photos.

Bright daylight, but no direct sunlight: This coloring is probably the closest to reality!

This picture has the tiny pink hydrangea paniculata Vanille Fraise.

The dried hyrdrangea is mostly hardy to work with. The green stems are actually doubled-up stems that I have smushed together after taking off brown markings on them. You can really do anything with them (as long as their stems are strong!).

My go-to photo place for wreaths is our playhouse door! This is just for photos as I wouldn’t leave this outside…

Morning sunshine gives a warm hue to the hydrangea wreath

Like I mentioned, I still have loads of lavender “drying” around the house (that I really need to put away!).  I decided to create a simple arrangement, using a magenta colored vase which happens to perfectly match some of my dried roses.  Yes, these little things just get me all excited! First of all, I was able to use a lot of lavender to fill this vase, and secondly, that magenta color is *gorgeous*!

Dried Lavender + Roses = beauty

magenta colored roses and vase

And here is where they will live:

Home sweet home for my vase of lavender + roses.

It’s the little things! I’m glad to give a second life to my flowers, and the lavender and roses really do have a beautiful fragrance.  This is me, this is who I am, and this is my personality.  🙂

What’s your personality like?

In peace,
Dana

Our playhouse in the morning sunlight.

Wordless Wednesday: Gladiolas & a flower arranging trick

This is how we start

This is how we start: Gladiolus ‘Dark Knights’

Hello Wordless Wednesday friends! A quick little post (with very few words) about using plant material to help keep flowers in place when arranging them.

neat little thing

neat little thing

Materials: strong plant stems, rubber bands, scissors, some patience.

so easy and so helpful

so easy and so helpful

The “guard” sits right on top of the vase and helps to keep the tall stems upright.

Gladiolas

Gladiolas

Perfect!

Gladiolus 'dark knights'

Gladiolus ‘dark knights’ in the garden

The end! 🙂

In peace,
Dana

Brighten your day with cheerful colors

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

I love flower arranging.  My husband knows this and he very kindly bought bunches of bright cheerful colored roses for me to “play” with.  Isn’t he sweet? 🙂

Adding colors one by one

Adding colors one by one

I started with the orange roses.  I trimmed a bit off of the bottom and then took most of the leaves off (just my personal preference).   The orange color is really pretty.

Natural lighting in our front hall

Natural lighting in our front hall

The yellow roses were the largest roses and I really like them. I only trimmed the tiniest amount off of the stems to keep them nice and tall.

Full view

Full view

I prefer not to have all of the flowers the same height in order to give the arrangement some depth. So I cut some pink roses quite short and have them throughout the middle and the outside of the vase.

Outside lighting

Outside lighting

The colors all went so well together.  To me, it is quite cheerful!

Cheerful colors for everyday

Cheerful colors for everyday

What a lovely “pick me up”!  And so easy to do.  The vase is a very plain large opening glass vase, which was perfect for the amount of roses.

lighting just not working for this picture...

lighting just not working for this picture…

It might be St. Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but really, why not have flowers in our lives everyday?

Happy “Flowers Every Day”  to you!

In peace,
Dana

In a Vase on Monday: Sweet Pea Sweetness on a Pot

Sweet pea in a vase sitting on my antique potty chair

Sweet pea in a vase sitting on my antique potty chair

I’ve missed a few “In a Vase on Monday” memes, so even though it is 11:40 P.M.  I am sneaking in with my post!  You can join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and all those who have linked to her blog,  to see what everyone has gathered from her garden this week.  Here’s the link: https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/in-a-vase-on-monday-xtravaganza/

in our front hall

in our front hall

I was having a little bit of fun with this.  You know, sweet smelling flowers on a potty chair! 🙂

sweetness on the potty chair ;-)

sweetness on the potty chair 😉

I love the evening sunlight coming into our front hallway.

Sweet Peas in front of the sweet peas

Sweet Peas in front of the sweet peas (you can just make them out in the background)

My Father-in-law started these from seeds he’d collected from my plants last year.  Phew, did you get that?  He gave them to me in cute little pots that were supposed to be planted right away… Eventually we got to planting them in the ground!  So my plants are very late.  I’ve been cutting them now in the hopes of bringing on more flowers.  We’ll see!

last week's sweet peas

last week’s sweet peas blending in with the garden

My vase of Sweet Peas was even more full last week!  I loved how they kind of flopped all around in the vase, so I used the same vase this week.

blending well in the garden

blending well in the garden

 

up close

up close

 

adding a lovely scent to our   back room

adding a lovely scent to our back room

Last week I had the vase in our back room.  The scent really does fill the room!

What’s growing in your garden this week that you can throw into a vase? I’d love to see it!

Happy Monday!
Dana

In a Vase on Monday: Pink, White & Blue

Delphinium, shasta daisy, Dusty Miller Lychnis Coronaria

Delphinium ‘cobalt dreams’, shasta daisy, Dusty Miller Lychnis Coronaria

Just recently I found myself looking through my past blog posts.  My husband and I had a discussion and he felt I’d strayed away from my original ‘blogging about the garden’ plan since this past year I mainly posted on Mondays for the meme  ‘In a Vase on Monday’. I saw his point in that I certainly need to blog more about what is going on in the garden.  But I loved looking through what flowers I was able to create arrangements with during the different months.

close-up of that pretty blue!

close-up of that pretty blue!

So I will continue to join Cathy on Mondays at Rambling in the Garden https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/in-a-vase-on-monday-baby-face/   for her ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme, and I will set a goal of having at least one other post per week. Start out small and go from there! 🙂

our pewter water goblet

Our pewter water goblet. Can you see the picture of the ‘stamping of the grapes’?

This week my delphinium ‘cobalt dreams’ had one stem that was broken.  I bought three of these plants just this past month and they are doing so well.  They are quite showy! I think the blue and white are lovely. So I was happy enough to use the broken stem.

dusty miller

Dusty Miller Lychnis Coronaria

The dusty miller Lychnis Coronaria is just going crazy in my garden this year! It has taken over half its bed.  All of this is from one small plant two years ago! I will have to move some (a lot?) of it to another location where it an spread without getting in the way of other plants.

Daisies and Delphinium

Daisies and Delphinium

The above picture shows my blue delphiniums and my not yet blooming shasta daisies (to the right of the delphiniums)!  That was taken late last week and they only started to bloom yesterday! They were divided early this spring, so they’ll be in two places along the ditch-wall garden.

a very 'red, white and blue' look

a very ‘red, white and blue’ look

A rather simple arrangement, with an almost red, white & blue hue!  Maybe you’ll join the meme?  Or at least visit to have a look-see at what others have created? I hope you will.

Happy summer!
Dana

In a Vase on Monday: Peony Pause

Peony and Bluebells

Peony and Bluebells

Peony are such lovely flowers.  It is a shame how short their lives are!  I have to be sure to pause and take a moment to really enjoy them because all too soon they will be gone.  My plants have finally established themselves enough for me to cut a bouquet to enjoy in the house.

Peony in vase

I had a couple of monkshood stems left from a bouquet I had made last week (which I never posted about!).  I like the purple and red together, although the two stems seem to me like antenna.  This is the first year that I have been able to fully see that hosta on the left.  Normally the slugs eat it completely!   I rather like it.

Peony in a Vase3

Up close and personal.

among the plants

among the plants

The vase is among the plants due to the high winds we’ve been experiencing!  I do really hope that warm weather comes soon.  I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling in the garden  https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/in-a-vase-on-monday-pink-and-proud-of-it/ for her “In a vase on Monday” meme.  Won’t you visit and join us?

Happy start of summer!  May the warm weather find us soon!

Peace,
Dana