In a Vase on Monday: Sweet Pea, Hosta & Perovskia (Russian Sage)

Without any sun it is quite drab

Without any sun it is somewhat drab

Today is Monday. It is a wet, cold, and miserable day!  What a yucky end to the summer.  The bright aspect of today, though, is the start of my joining in on “In a Vase on Monday”.  Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden, hosts this lovely blogging theme.  Here is my first “go” at joining in.  To see some other lovely vases of flowers, please do visit Cathy’s blog: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/in-a-vase-on-monday-reddy-or-not/

Add a touch of sun and Voila! magic.

Add a touch of sun and Voila! magic. The vase is from our Irish pottery collection from when we married 18 years ago (Suzanne May).

I know my crazy schedule, so I cut these flowers on Saturday evening.  My sweet pea are white and different shades of pink and purple. They smell amazing in the wide open garden.  The fragrance in the house when I have a vase of sweet pea inside is heavenly!

Perovskia 'Atriplicifolia' (Russian Sage)

Perovskia ‘Atriplicifolia’ (Russian Sage)

I planted Perovskia ‘Atriplicifolia’ (Russian Sage) last year.  I missed it from my previous garden.  I’m so glad to have it again.  It is such a delicate plant.  I’ve added just a few strands to the arrangement to give it a bit of extended form.

The Russian Sage gives it some reach.

The Russian Sage gives it some reach.

I also used some hosta at the base to kind of keep some form to the arrangement. I tried to not have it look like a collar, but I did like the contrast of the sweet pea on the green at the base.

Up close

Up close

The vase of flowers is sitting in front of me this morning as I am writing this post. It is still smelling fragrant and looking well.  I’m glad I took those pictures on Saturday, though, as the weather is horrendous today! Even on Saturday the weather was changeable.  You can see how it was cloudy and sunny while I was taking photos!  The difference in photos is like night and day.

In a Vase: Sweet Pea, Hosta & Perovskia (Russian Sage)

In a Vase: Sweet Pea, Hosta & Perovskia (Russian Sage)

I love flower arranging, so this was pure pleasure in putting together.  The hardest part for me is cutting the flowers in the garden!  I love seeing them in the yard.  Incentive for me to plant enough to have in the yard, and in a  vase!

I hope your Monday is lovely and bright.

Dana

Family, Friends, and Flowers.

A "heart" for family & friends!

A “heart” for family & friends!

There’s really nothing like going home.  Little things bring back fond memories: could be a special smile from your brother, a hug from your parents, or simply seeing your old home.  I thoroughly enjoyed a lovely visit back home this spring.  I have my original home where I grew up, and where my parents still live.  But I also have my adopted second home where I lived for ten years after getting married.   I was able to visit both homes this trip, which was just wonderful!

My brother and I were home for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.

My brother and I were home for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

The people in my life are simply amazing.  I had so much fun being with my family.  It is logistically difficult for all of us to get together, so the fact that we were all together was awesome.   Given that we were celebrating my parents’ 50th Wedding anniversary made the time together that much more special.

The six grandkids were so good.  As always, my brother was their favorite Uncle, deservedly so as he is incredibly silly with them!  Everyone had a good time.  And then, too quickly, it was time to leave…

Two very special people in my life!  At 92 Monsignor still has a wonderful sense of humor, and incredible words of wisdom.

Two very special people in my life! At 92 Monsignor still has a wonderful sense of humor, and incredible words of wisdom.  And Lisa, well, she’s one of those really good friends who always knows what I need to hear!

But I left the family to move on to seeing my friends.  Most of these friends I met through play groups when my kids were small, or through our church’s women’s group.  And all these years later we are still as close as ever.  Well, except for the fact that I live across the ocean!  There is something incredibly special about friends who really care about you, and who’ve been with you through the ups and downs of life.  I’m blessed to have met and befriended so many wonderful, unique, and talented women.    And most of them have beautiful gardens, too! 🙂

At 85 years, both Betty and Harold are doing great!  You should see their garden (you will, pictures further in the post)!  We miss our former neighbors for the gems they are.

At 85 years, both Betty and Harold are doing great! You should see their garden (you will, pictures further in the post)! We miss our former neighbors for the gems they are.

"Home".

My childhood home.

There’s no wonder that I have a love of flowers.  My parents always had flowers in the yard, lots of annuals, but even more of pachysandra!  I can remember my mom planting the morning glories and marigolds along the pool fence every year.  She would save the seeds from the marigolds, too.   Mom has a very natural looking garden, where things even grow in nooks and crannies along paths.   She is still adding to the garden every year, which is fun to watch!

The morning glories have been replaced with lovely Clematis.

The morning glories have been replaced with lovely Clematis.

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But some things  are nice to stay the same.

But some things are nice to stay the same.

Our front yard has something rather unusual: a flower Ferris wheel!  More than 50 years ago, my grandfather (on my mom’s side of the family) made this flower Ferris wheel for my grandmother for Mother’s Day.  It is made from large old wagon wheels, and piping, with wooden flower boxes.   Years later, my grandmother gave it to my mother, and it has been in their front yard ever since.  The boxes have been replaced, and it has been painted, but everything else is exactly how my grandfather made it.  I love seeing it freshly painted and filled with flowers when I come home!

My mother's flower Ferris Wheel.

My mother’s flower Ferris Wheel.

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The flower Ferris Wheel and maple tree.  The last of the old trees in the yard.

The flower Ferris Wheel and maple tree. The last of the old trees in the yard.

The bird bath has always been a part of the garden.

The bird bath has always been a part of the garden.

We had some rain, too.

We had some rain, too.

I clicked away during all of my visits with friends and family.  I tried to capture as much as I could with my camera.  I love looking at the pictures of friends.  I’m bummed that I didn’t get pictures of everyone!

Gorgeous Iris in Robin B's garden!

Gorgeous Iris in Robyn’s garden!

Betty and Harold's beautiful back garden.

Betty and Harold’s beautiful back garden.

The sailboat that Harold made (garage Blacksmith!) for one of Betty's flower show competitions!  It is beautiful in the garden.

The sailboat that Harold made (garage Blacksmith!) for one of Betty’s flower show competitions! It is beautiful in the garden.

Hellebores & Hostas.

Hellebores & Hostas.

Betty's ruffled pansies.

Betty’s ruffled pansies.

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Peonies!

Peonies!

I did get quite a few pictures of flowers and gardens!  There are so many different varieties of Hostas!  I need to create some shade in my garden to plant these beauties.

Ellen's figurines were too cute!

Ellen’s figurines were too cute!

I have to say I really liked Elaine's garden ornament, too!

I have to say I really liked Elaine’s garden ornament, too!

I love Ellen's beautiful front walk.

I love Ellen’s beautiful front walk.

A collection of hosta.

A collection of hosta.

A beautiful weeping birch and welcoming bench at Lisa's!

A beautiful weeping birch and welcoming bench at Lisa’s!

A lovely collection of hosta among the rocks.

A lovely collection of hosta among the rocks.

Judi and Lennie have created something so peaceful and beautiful in their back yard!

Judi and Lennie have created something so peaceful and beautiful in their back yard!

More of Judi and Lennie's garden.

More of Judi and Lennie’s garden.

A bird's eye view!

A bird’s eye view!

What I enjoy is seeing gardens which are created and tended to by someone who really cares about bringing beauty to all of us.  That is what it is all about, right?  Creating something beautiful, and sharing it.    Just like our friendships.

Robyn's beautiful front garden.

Robyn’s beautiful front garden.

Here’s to all of the beautiful flowers in your life!  Both the human kind and the botanical kind!

Dana

Matching Stone Walls at the Front Gate.

I have a plan for our  garden.  A few of them, actually.  Implementing them is trickier than thinking them up though!  Then of course, there are changes that have to be made after the original plans don’t work out.  I’m experiencing it all while creating our garden!  Take our front gate, for example.  I planted two lovely hostas there that the slugs completely demolished last year.  Completely.  So this year, I’ve been on serious slug alert.  Every night I go out at 9:30 (it’s light here until past 10) and pick off about a half a dozen slugs from the two hostas.  Every night.  But it’s working and the hostas are surviving! I had also planted some prim roses opposite the hostas, but decided that they were too much work to try and save from slugs.  So today I dug them up and cleaned up that little garden.  I’m going to wait until the fall to plant something in the prim roses’ place, unless the perfect plant presents itself to me!   The climbing roses which I planted earlier this season on both sides of the gates are doing well.   Just as the rain came, I was finishing up a second stone wall, which I think closes off the garden (nicely if I can say so myself?).  I really like the stones and the fact that they are from the neighboring fields.  It was only after I was sorting through the pictures that I remembered that only one side of the gate fence is painted.  It’s been a busy time in our family and we’re looking at the fence painting be a summer long project!  Good things come to those who wait, right?

I hope you don’t have to wait too long for your projects this summer!

Dana

Here is a look at the painted side of the fence and the new stone wall.  There is a  small climbing rose plant on this side of the fence, while the peony plant is peeking through from the other side of the fence.  (The stone in the middle is covering our water pump cover.)

Looking at the new stone wall from our driveway.

You can see the raindrops on the stones.

The hosta & climbing rose plant (and unpainted fence!).

The second hosta and climbing rose plant (and unpainted fence!).  The little teeny guy below kept me company while I worked, despite our cat trying to play with him.

A look at the entrance.  I sure like the painted fence better than the unpainted!

The winds proved too much for my purple sensation allium.  So rather than leave them bent to the ground, I cut them and put them in my favorite vase.  I’m glad I still get to enjoy them for a wee while longer!