A grand arrangement with eucalyptus, hydrangea & artichokes

Kitty playing with eucalyptus leaves and hydrangea leaves

Kitty playing with eucalyptus leaves and hydrangea leaves

I have had four great big branches of eucalyptus hanging in my utility room (laundry room/bathroom/cat room/where coats, boots, shoes live room) for the past month.  I know, that is really shameful.  Truthfully, there wasn’t even enough room for it there.  My husband is quite the patient man when it comes to some of my projects!  I think the kids were starting to get annoyed with the branches and having to maneuver around them.  Kitty, on the other hand, rather enjoyed them.  It was great fun to jump on them and see how many leaves could fall to the floor during the night!  I knew that I wanted to use those lovely smelling leaves, I just wasn’t sure exactly what to do with them.

Finally, inspiration struck.  I stepped away from my inclination to make a wreath, and I went for using quite a large vase to create an arrangement.

Starting out

Starting out

Hmm, I wonder if I should comment on the state of my kitchen? 🙂   Nah.  It was a busy day…  I started out with red tissue paper because Valentine’s Day is coming up.  My friend Louise mentioned that it was also a good color to help celebrate Chinese New Year!  Perfect timing!  After filling the bottom with the tissue paper, I then cut the branches to fit the vase and fill it out. It should be noted that I’m one to save just about everything. So I still had some dried Annabelle hydrangea, and three dried artichoke plants left from this past summer, as well as two branches of contorted hazel.  I was going to find a way to put it all in!

Close up of artichoke plant inside the vase

Close up of artichoke plant inside the vase

close up of two artichokes with their purple color

close up of artichoke

close up of two artichokes with their purple color

close up of two artichokes with their purple color

I didn’t want just eucalyptus. I wanted another element to the arrangement, that is why I put the flowers down inside the vase.  The poor Annabelles didn’t fare well while being squished and squashed into the vase… after the eucalyptus was in of course!  But I think it wasn’t too detrimental to their beauty.

Kitty. Posing.

Kitty. Posing.

You would seriously think my cat loves the camera.  He doesn’t. He just really wanted to play with all of the “stuff” I was working with!  He is a lovely cat, though.

A lovely blueish color!

A lovely blue-ish color!

I tried the vase in a couple of different places.  My hallways are bright and airy and I just wanted to fill that space.

Kitty not leaving the arrangement alone...

Kitty not leaving the arrangement alone…

I’ve finally decided on where to leave it, and the hallway really does smell lovely now.

I think I just might work best under pressure:  I made this in 20 minutes.  Because that is how much time I had before I had to go and collect my daughter from school.  Done. Finished. Everything cleaned up and put away.

Boy is there a lot of extra room in our utility room now!  Time to set up my seeds 🙂

This arrangement was brought to you by the generosity of my neighbors Margaret & James who gave me all of the lovely eucalyptus and contorted hazel, and by my friend Susan who’s  hydrangea gave the finishing touches.  Thank you my friends!

Happy Chinese New Year!
Dana

Fall flowers from a pink & purple palette!

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, erysimum (bowles' mauve), and pink roses

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, Erysimum (bowles’ mauve), and pink roses.

These pictures of the flowers in the vase were taken on November 9th, 2013.  I had to write that as it seems crazy to have such pretty flowers in November!  Granted, only the roses look nice on their own in the garden now, but when I put them all together they really did look nice!

My roses at the front gate.

My roses at the front gate in November.

My roses are doing O.K., despite having had black spot this summer.

My favorite color: pink.

My favorite color: pink.

The artichokes and anemone don’t look quite as pretty today.

Globe artichoke flowers in November.

Globe artichoke flowers in November.

Mr. Fokker anemone in November.

Mr. Fokker anemone in November. These guys get beaten by the wind in our yard!

But just a few weeks ago in October, they were stunning!

Globe artichoke in October.

Globe artichoke in October.

Globe artichoke with erysimum in October.

Globe artichoke with Erysimum bowles’ mauve in the background  in October.

A globe artichoke plant in full bloom.

A globe artichoke plant in full bloom in October.

Erysimum bowles' mauve in October.

Erysimum bowles’ mauve in October.

Pink Japanese anemone with dahlia and Erysimum bowles' mauve in background.

Pink Japanese anemone with dahlia and Erysimum bowles’ mauve in background. These anemone have been terribly beaten by the wind at this stage! So they didn’t make it into my bouquet.

It seems that I had lots of pretty pictures of these lovely plants and I just had to share them with you!  But back to November:

A vase of flowers in November.

A vase of flowers in November (before I added roses). Our beech hedging is changing color.

We had company this weekend, and I wanted to have something pretty on the table.  I went into the garden to see what I could put together and was delighted with my little bouquet!

Fall bouquet albeit pink & purples...

Fall bouquet albeit pink & purples…

Taking pictures of flowers works best outside.  I was really pushing my luck as it was very late in the afternoon when I finally got around to my fun “work” of getting flowers!  I had the very last bit of sunlight to take the pictures!

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, Erysimum (bowles' mauve), and pink roses

Artichokes, Mr. Fokker anemone, Erysimum (bowles’ mauve), and pink roses.

The bouquet indoors.

The bouquet indoors.

But maybe it doesn’t look that much different inside.

The table is set for company.

The table is set for company.

A little bit of the garden brought inside.

A little bit of the garden brought inside.

It was nice having friends over to visit.  I made Guinness stew, per request.  I was able to use our own onions, and potatoes.   My 13 year old daughter was very kind and made brown bread (which was delicious) to go with dinner.  While the bread was baking, she also made us flour-less chocolate cake!  It, too, was fabulous!  I should really do a post about the brown bread. It is an easy recipe, and authentic as it is my mother-in-law’s recipe!  I will post about it the next time we make it.

And that, my dear people, is my 100th Mom in the Garden post!  I’ve also hit the big “10,000 views” for my wee little blog!  I am chuffed to have had so many visitors, likes, and wonderful comments to my blog!  Thank you!  I realize this pace isn’t going to break any records, but blogging is something I truly enjoy and I do it for that enjoyment.

Thank you for joining me on my blogging journey!

Happy fall!
Dana