I was in Italy for a good part of September and as always, on the lookout for flower shops, flowers and gardens. People always seemed to have room for something, even if it was just a pot of geraniums, and even in the smallest towns. I did find florists of course, and flowers for sale at the markets. What charmed me though was a flower cart, using the ubiquitous (for Italy) Ape three wheeled vehicles. I so want one of these!
At the market
Florence Flower Shop
Two small handties
My ‘dream’ vehicle.
I don’t even like coleus but these looked perfect in the large urn
The small hand ties seen at the florist shop reminded me that it doesn’t take much to have a floral impact. I put together these three arrangements for small vases (in this case champagne glasses) when I got home as a memento of that.
A month’s hiatus means that the incredible lushness of the garden has gone undocumented. The rush of August weddings and events, and September travel, means I have come back to a slightly desiccated although still verdant garden where the dahlias and abutilon are going wild, the vegetables reaching the end of their life, and trees and shrubs showing the colors of autumn. In this setting I’ve found a large handful of flowers, a round bunch of blooms to showcase. Dahlias again take the stage, they are a useful flower in that their bloom period stretches from late June til frost and they come in an abundance of colors. Growing in my garden this year are purples, pinks, deep burgundies, oranges, and yellows. In the hunt for things to complement the dahlias, I have found a variety of greenery and flowers gone to seed.
I will showcase two: one highlighting the purples and the other the orange and sunset tones. Both arrangements in plain vases to showcase the beauty of the flowers.
The purple poke is typically a weed (and somewhat invasive). This cultivated variety was ‘guaranteed’ not to reseed. I love the complementary colors of this arrangement.
I’m finding the Chinese lanterns to be an indiscriminate spreader…but I do love it’s autumnal look. This is more of a monochromatic look.
Wedding work and the hot weather are wreaking a little bit of havoc with my fine tuned plan for one arrangement per week. There is still plenty blooming in the garden chiefly dahlias but some scattered annuals and perennials like loosestrife (captured in a pot), clematis, snapdragons, Alstromeria, agastache, abutilon, fuschia and the like, many of these rather dainty especially against the blowsy dahlias. So this week features a finely textured arrangement with some of the other flowers blooming right now.
The vase is extra special too with a lovely blue color and embossed looking swirls. It’s vintage art pottery.
I never tire of dahlias – their endless color and bloom shape. This year I went overboard on a certain color, positive the summer brides would want it. Well, I guessed wrong! But there’s a silver lining in that I get the dahlias in my garden and my house bouquets.
Here they are in a simple colored canning jar.
The key to getting a good vase life out of dahlias is to cut them early (or very late in the day), put the cut stems in 2-3″ of near boiling water and let call. Cut them to the length you want.
These dahlias were ready for their close-up.
I see that my last post was quite awhile ago, which is too bad as much has been going on in the garden. And much has been going on in the world of weddings and events.
It was necessary for me to do a mock up of a table arrangement with what I had in the garden at the time. This actually dates from a week or so after my last post. The container is a simple green plastic rectangle that you can’t see much of which of course is the point!
hydrangeas, hostas, dahlias, ferns and a few odds and ends.
When I went out in the cool of the evening tonight, I didn’t know what I would pick. I started with hosta leaves and a white hydrangea and ended up with all manner of pinks and purples. I’m arranging a wedding this weekend and wanted to save the reds and oranges for when I need them.
Featured flowers in the garden besides all manner of hydrangeas include lilies and alstromeria. Different lilies have been blooming throughout the month scenting the air with their deep fragrance.
The white vase is a vintage wide mouth vessel I have had for years and years.
Although the garden is in full on bloom (complete with 7′ stalks of lilies!) I thought I would highlight what you can do with seedpods and a bit of Lady’s Mantle. The container is a repurposed copper mug that lost its handle.
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. A square tank vase with a touch of rose quartz and hydrangeas just coming in punctuated by blue clematis.
I have some volunteer poppies in the garden, so poppies at various stages in a cherry bark vase form this week’s arrangement.
Detail day 3
June’s exuberance in a simple glass ginger-style vase. A riot of color in flowers such as roses, alstromeria, hosta leaves, hydrangea, penstemons.
Dicentra scandens (vining dicentra)
Orlaya grandiflower, white lace flower
and a few others!