July 03, 2014

Bouquets for my dear friends and gardeners

bucket

I'm on flower duty this weekend at church. A group of us take turns supplying flowers throughout the summer. I try to use flowers from my garden as much as possible.

Not all flowers are good cut flowers, and I wasn't sure I'd have enough workable ones for three floral arrangements this weekend. (Soon I'll have so many, I'll call people up to please take some!) The garden's in a bit of a transition now, between late spring to summer blooms.

Still, after checking the garden this morning, I found plenty to add to the mix of blooms I used last week.

Here are the flowers and fillers I found (all should last several days in a vase):

lily
An unknown Lily hybrid (Lilium spp.). Not perfect, and in my haste to clip off the pollen-laden anthers, I accidentally clipped the stamen, too. Oh well, it will still add color to the bouquet.

iris
Bearded Iris foliage that I needed to clip anyway. It's a great foundation element.

echinacea
Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), just starting to bloom.

hosta
Hosta flower buds. Yes, the stems with buds, and later the flowers work well in arrangements.

daylily
Ditch Lilies (Hemerocallis fulva). I know, I know, a lot of people don't like this one. But it works well in arrangements, even though each bloom only lasts for one to two days.

bugbane
A Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa) stem that got pummeled so much by the wind that it curled and contorted. Hmmmm ... could be interesting in the floral arrangement.

cosmos
One of my favorite annuals, Cosmos (C. bipinnatus), also just starting to bloom in my garden. They'll be prolific until the first hard frost in October.

aegopodium
Feathery flowers and seed heads from Snow-on-the-Mountain (Aegopodium podagraria). This ground cover is a little too prolific, but we're mostly keeping it under control. In the meantime, the flowers work well as filler in floral arrangements.

solomon
Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum), which I didn't end up using, but thought it might come in handy. I have way too many of these, and need to give some plants away next spring.

Not all of the blooms are perfect, but little tucks here and there make for pleasant combinations with the flowers from last week.

sides

The two side arrangements are made from mostly store-bought flowers.

main

The bigger arrangement incorporates mostly blooms and foliage from my garden.

Throughout the rest of the summer, I'll have plenty each week to fill bigger bouquets.


For more ideas on how to grow (and use) your own vegetables and flowers at home, visit this "dear friend and gardener" link.

Oh, and for all you mycologists out there, check out all these nifty fungi I found in the garden while gathering flowers. We've had a lot of rain lately, and I managed to snap some photos before the fishman mowed the lawn.

fungi1

fungi2

fungi5

fungi3

fungi4

That last one seems to be popular with the resident squirrels. I've seen them eating this mushroom. I don't feel confident to eat any mushrooms beyond morels, but I wonder if this one is edible for humans, too?

Happy Independence Day to my American friends! And to everyone else: Enjoy the World Cup!

50 comments:

  1. Beautiful flower arrangements! Collecting flowers from our own home garden and then arrange them in to a flower's arrangement is very interesting. I love it. Great idea, that the members of the community take turns supplying floral arrangements during the summer. Especially flowers from home garden. It must be more fresh and of course save the money.
    Enjoy your week, and have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Endah! Yes, taking turns supplying flowers makes sense and it's a lot of fun. I think it gives the arrangements as much joy as the parishioners. Enjoy your week, too!

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  2. I loved the flowers you picked for the church and the arrangements, especially the last one with your own flowers is beautiful. Amazing you found so many different fungi in your garden in summer season. Indeed, it must be very wet.

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    1. Thanks! When supplies are a little less plentiful, sometimes it's even more fun to be creative with what's available. Regarding the fungi, yes, it's kind of unusual for us to have this many fungi and the variety at this time of year. But we've had lots of rain lately, and then cooler summer temperatures than normal. Actually the weather has been great for plants and fungi.

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  3. Love seeing your flowers . . . fungi too!
    Happy Day of Independence to you!

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    1. Thanks, Lynne! I hope you had a happy 4th, as well!

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  4. Beautiful arrangements. It's nice to be able to use your own flowers.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, most of the plants in the potager garden were/are selected because they're good cut flowers. Some--like Cosmos, Snapdragons, and Liatris--have quite impressive vase life.

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  5. Haven't done church flowers since we moved to Porterville. This church is bigger and needs a more daunting arrangement. But I used to love combining a bunch of bought with what my garden offered, especially the greenery and interesting bits that move it away from a too stiff and formal arrangement to a celebration of the beauty and bounty of nature ...

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    1. I agree, Diana--the unique bits here and there, like the twisted Bugbane, add whimsy and natural elements to the mix. I often pick flowers for my house, too, but I have to keep them on the back porch or up on a high shelf because one of my cats eats them.

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  6. Beth, what a beautiful bouquet you made using your own flowers! Lovely, lovely, lovely! Florist is your moonshine job, isn't it, ha-ha!

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    1. Thanks, Tatyana! I enjoy arranging flowers. I've never done it for pay, but it's fun as a hobby. :)

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  7. Very beautiful, Beth. It is so rewarding picking then arranging.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. It's like a jigsaw puzzle, isn't it? That's part of the fun--making something interesting with what's available.

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  8. Dear Beth, wow, these are incredible bouquets that you have created! I am most impressed with the biggest one that contains mainly flowers from your garden. That is truly inspirational! Looks like you studied the art of flower arranging quite successfully :-). I am off to check out the link. I could definitively need some help in how to grow my own cut flowers and how to arrange them. Wishing you a lovely rest of 4th of July weekend. Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Thanks, Christina! Since it's simply a hobby and not a livelihood, flower arranging is a joy for me. I'm partial to unique combinations and unexpected elements.

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  9. Beautiful flowers and arrangements! I've never been good at flower arranging and almost never cut them from the garden and bring them in. I really should so that we can enjoy them indoors as well.

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    1. Thank you, Karin. Actually, I rarely bring them inside because of the cats, but I usually have arrangements on the back screened porch and right outside the door. And I love to give them away.

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  10. I prefer the homegrown arrangement over the store bought one. It seems more homey and personal. :o) A mushroom that makes a ball? Very weird but cool, too!

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    1. I'm a big fan of most flower arrangements--but the home-grown flowers are a more meaningful gift. Regarding the mushrooms: Yes, I'm not a mushroom expert, but I find all of them fascinating. Some years we have more than others.

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  11. My mother had a bouquet delivered a couple of weeks ago which included a couple of which I now think are Cimicifuga racemosa stems although I didn't realise it until I saw your post, and I actually grow it! The other possibility is that there is something very similar which is used by commercial florists.

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    1. Hi Rick: Nice! Yes, I think there are several plants that have similar growth patterns/forms/color to Bugbane. I actually think the best time to use it is in the bud stage, because it tends to be quite pungent after it blooms.

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  12. Lovely arrangements. And I think ditch lilies are beautiful. We just need to call them something else.

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    1. Thank you, Jason. I guess it's all subjective. I'm not a big fan of Stella d'Oro Lilies--mainly because they're often planted in rows in sterile monoculture-like suburban parking lots. I guess my naturalist tendencies make me prefer the willy nilly Ditch Lilies, even if (like the Stella d'Oros) they aren't native.

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  13. I learn so much from you about arranging and picking the right foliage and flowers...these are amazing Beth.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I can't claim to be a professional florist, but I've been arranging for years and learned about vase life and structure through trial and error. I'm still learning, that's for sure. :)

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  14. What a beautiful arrangement! I'm strictly an amateur when it comes to flower arranging, so I only do simple bouquets for my own enjoyment. I never would have thought to use iris leaves or hosta flowerstems--thanks for the ideas!

    Cool fungi.

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    1. Oh, believe me, I'm an amateur, too! Just a lot of trial and error and experiments over the years. Plus, lessons from others before me who've given me great tips. It's a fabulous hobby that a person can continue for a lifetime!

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  15. I take my hat of to anyone who can arrange flowers and foliage for a display like this. They are lovely and as for using foliage from Iris, I'd never have thought! Well done and I'm sure the congregation appreciated your efforts.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the Iris foliage is great. It lasts for a couple weeks, if not more. The fillers are critical to the arrangement, so I'm always thrilled to find more ideas for filler. If you have a few "wow" focal flowers and lots of filler, you can make a fabulous arrangement. The flowers really do all the work.

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  16. Beautiful bouquets! I too have noticed a lot of fungi growing in grassy areas lately.

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Yes, definitely a bumper crop of fungi this year. Probably because we're cooler and wetter than normal this summer. No complaints here--the days are warm and we've had plenty of precipitation so the plants are happy. :)

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  17. I enjoyed seeing the individual flowers as you picked them, and then how you used them in a bouquet. Stunning! I also love the variety of fungi you showed. They are so interesting, though I would not be able to name any of them.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. One of my favorite things to do. The fungi are so fascinating! Maybe someday I'll try to find out their names and memorize them. :)

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  18. Lovely flower arrangements Beth, and so nice to have enough cut flowers to make some bouquets. I often make some and put at my seating area, but I usually don’t take them inside the house – I am too afraid of bringing pest and disease to my houseplants, especially the orchids, so I prefer to keep the outdoor plants outside.

    Loved your funghi photos, I sometimes find things like that in my flowerbeds too. Not the last 2 months though, over here we are having a very good summer with not much rain at all. I think we got all we were supposed to have last winter!

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    1. Thanks, Helene. I generally don't bring the arrangements inside either--mainly because one of my cats eats flowers (and everything else). So, I either have to keep them up high or out on the porch. But then they greet people when they enter or leave the house. For the ones I give away or do for church, I make sure to shake them out before bringing them inside.

      No complaints here about the rain. :) Actually, the days have been warm and sunny and the rain has mostly happened at night. Plus, I don't have to lug around a hose or water pitchers to water the garden. But I'm with you--warm, sunny summer days are the best! :) Plus, the extra rain and fungi add extra fun! My only complaint is the severe weather and tornadoes--but that isn't out of the realm of "normal" around here, so it's something we expect this time of year. Horrible, but not exactly unexpected. But the rain is good. :)

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  19. Hi Beth, your garden can supply better arrangements, they are very beautiful. The one thing lovelier in colder climes is the length of vaselife, as here they will only last half of the vaselife there. And oh photographing mushrooms is also envied. We have them too but not as colorful as in cold climates.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. Yes, the vase life is a lot longer here when our weather is cooler. Of course, picking the flowers in the morning (or late evening) and bringing them into an air-conditioned building helps. But during really hot summers (when we have days on end with temps above 85F/30C), the vase life is a little shorter. This particular summer is cooler and wetter, which is great for vase life and fungi. :)

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  20. You have such a gorgeous assortment of colors, and textures in your cut flowers...they are all beautiful. Have you ever seen Floret? Her blog is stunning, they are a small flower farm in Washington? Her arrangements are made up of flowers that they grow themselves...the ones with pea stems are some of my favorites.

    Jen

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    1. Thanks, Jen!I need to check out Floret's blog! Sounds like one I would really enjoy. Thanks for the tip!

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  21. Your garden is so generous with flowers, you are doing a great job. I love your arrangements too, you have quite a talent.
    P.S. I wouldn't try any mushrooms without making absolutely sure they are safe...

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    1. Thanks, Masha! I don't trust mushrooms--so don't worry. It took me forever to trust myself with morels, and that's a relatively easy one. I'll never eat mushrooms I find--unless they're morels, or a definite expert tells me they're OK.

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  22. Wonderful job arranging your garden blooms/foliage. I don't know why I don't cut more flowers to bring inside. At least this year I've started bringing in a rose to put in a bud vase.
    I wanted to thank you too for all your nice comments. You are so good about leaving them & I so appreciate them. It seems to take me forever to blog visit with all the therapy, etc., still going on here but eventually I'll get here! Thanks again.

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! Sometimes this time of year I think I take the flowers for granted, and then autumn comes and they're all gone so fast. :( I love a single Rose in a bud vase--such a graceful statement! I enjoy visiting your blog, so it's my pleasure. I hope your daughter is feeling much better, and that your family has a fabulous summer.

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  23. Such a gorgeous bouquet. I had to giggle about cutting off the stamens too. I've done that many times. Thanks for being part of the Dear Friend and Gardener Club. So much fun to see what everyone is growing.~~Dee

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    1. Thanks, Dee. Someone long ago taught me the trick of cutting off the Lily anthers so the pollen doesn't get all over everything. But sometimes I rush too much! ;-) Thanks for hosting--it's a great idea, and fun to compare!

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  24. Fabulous fungi Bath, and I love your vases of flowers, you have reminded me that I have iris leaves I could use too.

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    1. Thanks, Janet. Aren't the fungi fun?! Thanks for letting me know about the "in a vase" meme. I'll have to join in one of these days. :)

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  25. Your church is very lucky. I occasional arrangements I make are never so elegant.

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    1. Thank you, that's sweet. All the people who help do a great job. It's a wonderful way to share the bounty of our gardens. :)

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