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! 🙂

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.

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,
Dana

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!
Dana

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!
Dana

 

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!
Dana

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!  🙂

Dana

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!
Dana

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!

Poppies!

Poppies.

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.

Hydrangea.

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.

Marigolds.

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.  🙂