‘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. 🙂

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 ‘Café 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! 🙂


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. 🙂

In Peace,

Summer has arrived!

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! Summer has finally arrived to Ireland and I must say, not a minute too soon! We had cold and windy weather with gray skies for part of this week, making every picture that I took look rather ‘blah’. Thankfully, towards the end of the week the weather not only warmed up (we hit 23 degrees C / 74 degrees F), but the sun even came out every now and again. What a treat! Long may it last. 🙂

What’s happening in the garden? The hydrangeas are starting to fill out, poppies continue to bloom everywhere and some lilies have begun their show. The roses had an amazing first flush of blooms and I can’t seem to keep up with deadheading them. New buds are already forming, so more beautiful blooms should be following soon.

There’s news on the squash and pumpkin front, too. The plants are growing! We’ll have to wait and see if they flower and then if they actually form pumpkins. But at least there is a chance that they will. The sunflowers are doing well. They aren’t very tall, but they all have multiple buds on their stems. While it was definitely tough going, with multiple plantings, I’m very happy to see that we will definitely have sunflowers! (You can see them in the feature image above on the far right.)

I will be joining The Propagator’s meme Six on Saturday. Feel free to join in, or have a visit of some of the other gardens!

Enjoy the tour!

dark and light pink lilies and coral poppies
light pink lilies
sunny collage of lilies and hydrangea

1 & 2 – Lilies and Hydrangea. These are the first of my lilies to bloom. The light pink ones are very pretty and delicate looking. The darker pink ones are more, dare I say ‘basic’ looking? The bugs really enjoyed eating them before they bloomed, so they aren’t doing quite as well. The mophead hydrangea is just ‘wow’ this year! I’ve been feeding it, and keeping it watered, which pays off with these guys. I will cut many of those blooms in the fall, to dry for wreaths, so I’m happy to have the multi-colors. I’m afraid I don’t know any of the names of these three plants.

Incrediball hydrangea red poppies and Dutch Iris
collage of Incrediball (strong Annabelle hydrangea), Dutch iris and red poppies.

3 & 4 – Incrediball / Strong Annabelle Hydrangea and Dutch Iris. I started with one Incrediball, but it turned brown mid-season every year. So last year I moved it and it’s baby off-shoot to under the cherry tree where it would get morning sun and filtered afternoon sun. Whereas before I’m sure it was getting too much sun, I’m not sure it is getting enough now! I added a new plant to the mix this spring, so there are three under the tree. It’s the one with the most well developed flowers – possibly because it is getting the most sun in that position. I have been watering and feeding them and they seem to appreciate it. While our weather has been cool, we have not had great amounts of rain.

These are the very last of my iris to bloom. That was a very long season of iris! There were six different iris varieties and these Dutch ones are the finale. I like the red, white and blue of this bed.

collage of pink and coral poppies

5 – Poppies! Again 🙂 The pink one on the left is the ‘hybrid’ which showed up this season. It is in every bed, too, which is kind of fun. I love having the different colors! The hybrid is a mix of the frilly, double coral one on the right, and the single lavender one which you can see in the top of the left picture. I’ve had those two varieties for many years, so it is interesting that the hybrid showed up this year.

teasing Georgia David Austin roses cluster early July

6 – Teasing Georgia, David Austin rose. I wasn’t even a fan of yellow, but thought it would look nice next to our red playhouse. I have since become a huge fan of this lovely yellow rose! The buds are so pretty with their dark orange-red coloring. There are always clusters of flowers, too. I have to say that using Uncle Tom’s Rose Tonic seems to have really given them a boost. (Thanks to The Propagator for that tip!) I hate to mention black spot, but it would normally be rampant at this stage and that is not the case so far this year. The rose tonic isn’t cheap, but if this all natural method works to keep them healthy, I’m in.

And that’s what happened in the garden this week! I hope you are able to enjoy your weather, no matter where in the world you are. Thanks so much for stopping by!

In Peace,

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,

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! 🙂

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,

Our playhouse in the morning sunlight.

A Simple Garden Wreath

Garden Wreath collage updated

everything you need!

I love wreaths.  I love using plants from the garden.  I love making things with my hands. (that’s a whole lotta love!)  What a great start to my day to be able to make this wreath!  I dried all the flowers this season and it was so easy to put it together.

My video is not a “how to” but more of a summary.  I wasn’t sure how the wreath would come out so I didn’t video me making it.  Next time I will!

Super easy to make!

Super easy to make!

We’ve had some much needed rain, but now the sun is out and it is just glorious.

Enjoy the video, and enjoy your weekend!


In peace,

In a Vase on Monday (night): Allium

Allium, rye, hydrangea, globe artichokes

Allium, rye, hydrangea, globe artichokes

It is still Monday!  Talk about leaving things till the eleventh hour.  My blog post yesterday took me ages to put together, which left me no time for my ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme!  But now I have a moment to breathe and I can share with you an arrangement I put together this summer.  I’m using it today because I really think it is quite a fall looking arrangement.

A rather dry arrangement with the barley fields in the background.

A rather dry arrangement with the barley fields in the background.

I think the barley in the field had just been harvested when I took these pictures. The hydrangea blooms from my father-in-law were freshly cut, but I didn’t put them in water.  I used them in my birthday flower arrangement, too.  (I’m sure you were already thinking that, weren’t you?)

Hydrangea & globe artichokes

Hydrangea & globe artichokes

The pottery vase is a real keeper. I bought that from my gardening club when I lived in  Syracuse, NY.  It has a great height, and the blue and green are lovely colours to work with.  I hadn’t realised until just now that I didn’t get a very good picture of the vase.

that's not allium

that’s not allium

I think I was more interested in my props than my allium when I was taking these pictures.  The globe artichokes are still holding on to their colour.

Holding everything in place

Holding everything in place

Sometimes I pretend that I’m just so clever.  Look how I held everything in place?  Pieces of dried allium stems held together with elastic bands to form a triangle.  Totally high tech.  🙂

Sitting high in my kitchen

Sitting up high in my kitchen

The above picture looks fuzzy!  I hate that.  But I just wanted to show you where my arrangement lives; in my kitchen above my microwave. It is a great space to fill! Some of the allium are still purple while some are definitely yellowed.  There aren’t  so many hydrangeas since I stole them for my birthday arrangement. That lives in my front hall.

I’ll end with one of my favourite pictures of allium that I took (probably around the time of these pictures).

If you’d like to see some other arrangements from the meme In a Vase on Monday, stop by Cathy’s Rambling in the garden’s blog: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/in-a-vase-on-monday-the-joys-of-autumn/ 

Happy Monday!

Dried Allium

Dried Allium

In Vase on Monday: Happy Birthday to me with Orange & Purple Fall fun-ness

Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) with purple (painted) eucalyptus

Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) with purple (painted) eucalyptus

Well how about that, it is my birthday today!  As a little treat to myself I picked up a few things that I don’t currently grow in my garden (but I do hope to one day!).  I put them together for some fall colour in the house.  I thought I’d add it to my “In a Vase on Monday” collection, so here we go!

A little snippet of a view...

A little snippet of a view…

This past week while running errands I passed a florist shop that just looked so inviting.  It really doesn’t take much for me to want to go into a florist shop,  I even love the smell of them!  The purple painted eucalyptus really caught my eye.  The pictures don’t give it justice, it is beautiful!


Hydrangea from my father-in-law's garden along with gypsophila paniculata (baby's breath)

Hydrangea from my father-in-law’s garden along with gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath)

So, I was standing in the shop with some of the lovely eucalyptus wondering what I was going to do with it!  I thought of a picture I posted the other day of my California poppies with cornflower and that sealed the colour combination I wanted;  Purple and Orange!


full view

full view

I came home and had fun putting it together.  I love doing that; fitting everything in its perfect place. Unfortunately,  it was really windy when I made it, so I couldn’t take it outside for pictures.  It is sitting in my front hall with so much natural light I thought for sure I could get a good picture…

I changed position to try and get more light from the window

I changed position to try and get more light from the window

not exactly…  But you more or less get the gist of the arrangement and colours 🙂  The hydrangea are from my father-in-law’s garden. He gave them to me about a month ago and this time they dried really well. I liked how the lighter shade looked here.

I love those windows, but they stink for taking pictures!

I love those windows, but they stink for taking pictures!

I was told by another blogger that the Chinese Lantern plant will run wild in the garden, so my intention is to grow it in a pot.  That is on my “eventually will get to”  list. I planted some of the gypsophila paniculata (O.K., I just call this baby’s breath because it is MUCH faster to say!) this spring.  One tiny little sprig came up, but with no flowers.  I’m hoping next year will be better.

Our Stickley corner piece.  A perfect display place.

Our Stickley corner piece. A perfect display place.

The large window looks out to part of our front yard.  There is beautiful brightness in the afternoon.  I love the arrangement sitting right there.  And now the front hall smells like lovely eucalyptus!

I’m looking forward to seeing what Cathy at Rambling in the Garden has put together for her meme “In a Vase on Monday”.  You can visit her at: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com and see other lovely arrangements too.

Have a good week!


My “flowers from the garden” Wreath

Flowers from the garden Wreath

Flowers from the garden Wreath

It has become rather popular on Thursdays to post pictures from the past on facebook and refer to “Throw back Thursday” on the post.  Sure, when isn’t it fun to look through old photos?  I found myself doing that today, and decided to join the Throw back Thursday movement and post about a wreath I made last summer.

My lavender

My lavender

I have to say that I am a rather practical gal most of the time.  If it is possible to recycle or reuse something I will try to do so.  That includes what I grow in the garden!  I like growing flowers which can be dried.  I love my lavender for this reason!  I’ve learned how to make lavender wands, and last year I made a lavender wreath for the first time.  (of course I posted about it! https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/lavender-wands-my-first-lavender-wreath/ ).

Roses & hydrangea

Roses & hydrangea

Roses and Lavender from the garden

Roses and Lavender from the garden

I have some lovely old fashioned roses that are beautifully scented.  I dry them in my clothes closet and it smells so lovely every time I open the door!

Roses from my garden

Roses from my garden

lavender, roses, and hydrangea

lavender, roses, and hydrangea

The wreath is easy to make.  I use Spanish Moss as filler between the smaller flowers.  The hydrangea comes from my friend Susan’s garden. I have planted some hydrangea plants though, so I am hoping I’ll be able to use them (eventually)!

Susan's blue hydrangea

Susan’s blue hydrangea

Look at that blue!  I know in my yard they grow pink, and I’m happy enough with that.  I just might visit Susan around July though, and see how her blooms are doing! 🙂

My pink hydrangea

My pink hydrangea

Annabelle hydrangea

Annabelle hydrangea

The Annabelle hydrangea is the next plant I’m going to try growing.  It is simply majestic!

Flowers from the garden Wreath

Flowers from the garden Wreath

At the top-right of the wreath is some dried allium. I’ve used allium before, but only after spray painting it silver for a Christmas arrangement.  So using it plain was something new for me.  I like the different texture it gives the wreath.

Allium from my garden

Allium from my garden

I’ve had the wreath hanging in my kitchen throughout most of the year.  It is getting time to replace some of the flowers, though, as they’ve lost their vibrant colors.  That is O.K. as I like to keep things looking fresh!

Throw back Thursdays – I think I like that theme!

Happy Thursday!

From sharing flowers … to growing a Hydrangea from a cutting.

Having friends who like to share their flowers is such a great thing.   A lot of my garden (flowers and fruits) are from friends and family.  My friend Susan has such a beautiful and well loved garden.  After one visit to her last year, I left  with a gorgeous bouquet of blue hydrangea.  I had the arrangement up high in my kitchen, and well,  just left it there.  Some of the blooms actually dried,  which I think is also very pretty.  One bloom had just enough water to grow roots.   Roots!  O.K., for those with Green Thumbs this would be no big deal, but for me it was huge!  I put the cutting in a small pot, out of the sun, in our laundry room.  I watched it die down, and then miraculously start to grow again.  I waited until I had transplanted it into a bigger pot before even telling Susan. I didn’t want to take any chances that it might not make it!  Now it is in a bigger pot, with a big flower and seeming to be very happy.  The color has changed; it’s now pink.  I only have it in a peat/compost mixture though.  I’ll have to wait until I plant it in the soil to see what color it will be in my garden.

Are you sharing your flowers with a friend?  Or if not,  I hope you have a friend who likes to share with you!  🙂


A beautiful blue hydrangea. from Susan’s garden.

Cut flowers of  hydrangea, sitting up high in my kitchen.

“Susan’s hydrangea” growing bigger.

Side view of more growth.

Buds appearing!

A flower! It’s not blue, but it’s only in a pot of compost/peat. We’ll see what color it turns after it’s eventually planted in my garden.

Still growing and getting more pink in color.

Even more pink!

Just a pretty view.

This is officially known at my house as “Susan’s Hydrangea”!

Some fabulous scents are in the garden now, which is perfect timing since the lavender is finished.

This is my flower of the moment! I love how it smells just walking past the garden!

The lilies are in among my lavender plants. We get so much wind that I have to stake them (ok, it’s not very pretty – I’ll have to seek out a prettier system next year!). You can see in the front I’ve trimmed the lavender plant, and I still have to trim the one in the left background.

Poppies and other flowers from the garden.

My poppies have bloomed!  Just like a child, I’ve been checking on them every day, wondering when they’d finally bloom.  The wonders of gardening for me is not knowing if the seeds you planted will take!  They are planted by my ditch rock wall.  I planted way too many seeds!  The upside of that is it crowded out weeds.  The area right next to the poppies is in need of some serious work.  The weeds are super strong. It’s going to be quite the battle!  But for now I can enjoy the bright blooms of the poppies, and worry about the weeds another day.

I hope your garden is full of wonderful blooms!

Early morning fog in Sheepwalk.

I woke up very early one morning and couldn’t sleep.  A peek out the window enticed me to take a walk around our garden.  It was so beautiful! These four pictures were taken around 4:00 A.M.

Early morning pre-bloom poppies.

And here come the blooms!



Some other plants have been flowering too.  This Bergenia is so pretty!  The leaves are somewhat large and hardy, and turn a burgundy color after their green start.

Bergenia flowers.

Bergenia plant & flower.

This hydrangea was given to me at the end of last season. It’s so pretty in with my lavender.


We’ve had some really windy days recently. The poor roses!  I’ve been cutting some to save them from being battered!

Hybrid Tea Rose Pink Peace.

Hybrid Tea Rose Silver Anniversary with lavender.

This climbing rose is at our front gate and seems to be quite happy.

These are some pictures I took of blooms in the garden.  My camera is broken (two cameras, actually!) so I’m using a  zoom lens that I wouldn’t normally use.  It was challenging, but I think I captured some color, which was my goal!

Summer flowers with lavender.

Summer flowers.

Summer flowers.


I love Marigolds. They are so bright and cheerful! They remind me of my childhood when my mom would save their seeds and use them the following year.  I did that with these, too.  🙂