September 07, 2014

A September bucket of plenty

bucket

The colors of September are vibrant and full of life. I feel blessed at this time of year as I harvest buckets of plenty--flowers from the garden for fresh floral bouquets.

I was on flower duty at church this weekend, which gave me an opportunity to share some of the bounty with others. I collected Hosta flowers and foliage, Zinnias, Cosmos, Black-Eyed Susans, Coleus flowers and foliage, Hydrangea foliage, and Sedums.

But I still needed a statement bloom with a little more drama.

sunflowers

Voila! I noticed Sunflowers at my local grocer: At $5 per five-pack, I couldn't resist!

We're fortunate at our church to have a workroom in the back for decorations and floral arranging. It's not the best staging environment for photography, but it's certainly bright enough to show you how everything came together.

vases

First, I picked a large vase for the center statement bouquet, and two smaller complimentary vases.

pair

The flowers from my garden came together in two accent bouquets. Simple, but colorful and graceful.

center

I thought it would be fun and whimsical to combine the sun-loving, drought-tolerant Sunflowers with a large branch of moisture-craving Hydrangea foliage. But something was still missing...

center fluff

Fortunately, fellow floral arrangers had saved some dried accent elements in the workroom. I added some to the Sunflower bouquet, which gave it a fuller, transitional, summer-to-fall kind of look.

Again, very simple, but it worked for this purpose. Frankly, the flowers--in all their beauty--do most of the work for me. All it takes is a little imagination.

Arranging flowers and other garden elements is one of my favorite things to do during the fall. I'm linking this post to three memes: In a Vase on Monday, Seasonal Celebrations, and Dear Friend and Gardener. Check out these great memes for September garden inspiration!

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Coming soon: The Garden Lessons Learned and Seasonal Celebrations wrap-ups. Donna and I would be pleased to have you join us! Please share a post, or your thoughts, about lessons from the past season and how you enjoy celebrating the next season. Many people cover both in the same post. To join in, click here to leave a comment with a link to your post. We'll share the wrap-ups at the equinox. Cheers!

61 comments:

  1. I love the last of the Zinnias at this time of year, they seem to be larger and more colorful than earlier in summer. I was just looking at my 'Cut and Cut Again' zinnias in our cutting garden earlier today.

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    1. Yes! That always seems to be the case--especially with the larger Zinnias during a warm summer. Some years, the 'State Fair Mix' Zinnias are huge! This year, they're large, and definitely healthier than they were at the beginning of the summer.

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  2. lovely and creative flower arranging. The flowers don't do all the work, I think it's an example of a team effort.

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    1. Thanks, Sue! Yes, team effort is a good way to put it. It's a joy to have the time and the resources to play with flowers. I wish everyone who wanted to do so, could do it.

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  3. Oh Beth this is wonderful...so glad you joined in with vases and blending in to celebrating the seasons is brilliant. Love all the vases and those sunflowers are gorgeous. Your church is indeed blessed to have your arrangements.

    I'll have my Lessons Learned either this week or next Monday for sure.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. Floral arranging is a great joy at any time of year, but feels more rewarding (to me, anyway) when I pick the flowers from my own garden. :)

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    2. yes indeed, there's more love in flowers from your own garden. 'Flowers leave some of their perfume on the hands that give them'

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  4. Those rudbeckia nicely tie it all together and the vase colors really make those bouquets pop. I am really enjoying this meme as I make bouquets constantly, eps. tiny ones for the bathrooms. I need to get my act together and post with the group!

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    1. Thank you! I usually have little bud vases and small bouquets in bathrooms and here and there, too. I have to keep them away from my cats, though, because they eat them. ;-) So, they're generally behind closed doors or up high on the shelves. I have a soft spot for the simple (sometimes a single stem) displays.

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  5. Beautiful arrangements! So perfect for September-into-autumn.

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    1. Thanks! It sure is a transition time, isn't it? And it sounds like we'll be plunging headlong into fall in a couple of days. I'm not quite readyf or that!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I try to pick flowers for the potager that are good cut flowers, as well as beneficial for pollinators and birds. :)

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  7. Wow. You have a gift for flower arranging. I'm sure all the worshippers enjoyed the beauty from your garden (and the grocery store) ;-)

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    1. Thank you, Aaron. Yes, the grocery store find was fabulous. I often "cheat" that way, during the weeks when I just don't quite have what I want to use from my garden. If I had more sun here, I'd have a huge flower (and veg) garden. ;-)

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  8. You are right that the flowers will almost always speak for themselves without much input from us. A real summer mixture of flowers here - very pretty! I like Ms Wis's idea of tiny arrangements for bathrooms, don't you?

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    1. Yes, and thanks! I love to add tiny arrangements in the bathrooms. The mini-arrangements and bud vase bouquets are so graceful and exquisite!

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    1. I know--they really helped. Glad someone had saved some dried grasses. :)

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  10. Very pretty! They must have looked lovely in the church.

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    1. Thanks! I felt funny taking a photo in church, but I think they looked pretty nice. The Sunflowers really popped. :)

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  11. Flower arranging is one of my hobbies too. You made some lovely bouquets.

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    1. Thanks. Isn't it fun? I like to try unique combinations and containers sometimes, too, but for church I wanted to keep it simple.

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  12. Beautiful! You are right in that often we don't have to do much other than let the beauty of the flower speak for itself. Just add some filler or complementary blooms. You did that perfectly.

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    1. Thanks, Deb. Sometimes they practically arrange themselves. Other times, it takes a little rearranging and creativity. ;-)

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  13. Beautiful arrangements. Fun to build in the joke of juxtaposing hydrangea with sunflower as well.

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    1. Thank you. Yeah, it hit me how different those two plants are--really opposites when it comes to water needs. But they look nice together in a vase.

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  14. You have a talent for flower arranging, to be sure! Your arrangements look very artistic. Fillers do seem to add a lot. I like my striped Phalaris grass, Yellow variegated Elaeagnus, and Lady's Mantle flowers when they are still blooming.

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    1. Thanks, Hannah. :) That striped grass is fabulous. I'll look forward to seeing more of your arrangements. I'll bet the Lady's Mantle is lovely in a bouquet!

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  15. Pretty images of Sept bouquets! In he Mediterranean summer leaves everything burnt, and vegetation has to wait until the first rain to start blooming. i am glad I am back in northern climates! Thanks for the flowers!

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    1. Thanks, Lula! I suppose the Mediterranean is a great place to find flowers for bouquets in the other seasons, though. It's great that you've had a chance to live in both places. :)

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  16. Lovely! You are so talented at floral arranging! Looking at these photos, I realize I have many of the same blooms in my garden, but my bouquets never turn out as artistic as yours.

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    1. Thanks, Rose. :) With your eye for garden design, I'm sure you could whip up some pretty impressive bouquets if you set your mind to it!

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  17. I love the Miscanthus in all your arrangements, the ones with your flowers are really pretty.

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    1. Thanks--yes the grasses really helped, and I'm so glad someone had saved them from before. It's a good reminder to keep dried elements on hand for these situations.

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  18. I used to enjoy arranging flowers. But the way things are in my current house the only places I can put them are in the way between people when talking to each other - or I knock them over. It's very satisfying to start with apparently random elements and bring them together as a whole.

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    1. I have to keep any arrangements here at home away from my cats--either up on high shelves, behind closed doors, or out on the porch. My cats tend to eat them, which is bad for their health and disappointing to me. ;-)

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  19. They are very very lovely arrangements, and the colors so vivid. It is nice that they have longer vase life in colder climates, because here they will not last for 2 hrs. I am also smiling that probably you took longer time to finish, because you are shooting the steps of the process. haha.

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    1. Thanks! I suppose that would be true in a very hot climate. Fortunately, these are in an air-conditioned building, too, which helps a lot. You are correct about the time for staging. Tee hee.

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  20. Wonderful bouquets . . . . my very favorite thing to do too!
    Hunting for whimsical containers, vases, jars and jugs at the various resale places is great fun too!
    Happy September . . .

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    1. Happy September to you, too, Lynne! I know--I've seen some of your excellent arrangements featured on your blog! You're so creative!

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  21. sensational. The perfect colors for fall

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    1. Thanks! The colors of this season are so glorious!

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  22. I'm so glad you are joining in with Cathy's meme Beth, I love your combinations, your own flowers are beautiful, and clever to match the vases so well. But those sunflowers! Wonderful, and the grass flowers are the perfect foil.

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    1. Thanks, Janet. It's nice to have the supplies at church. And then it's just a matter of playing around with flowers. Such a fun activity! :)

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  23. Just beautiful! Tomorrow I will be posting my bouquet of weeds that I made for church - inspired by last week's prayer. I'm not much of a flower arranger but I think I am learning to trust the flowers.

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    1. I will stop by your blog! Good point about trusting the flowers! They really lead the activity and do most of the work!

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  24. This is SO gorgeous! Perfect Fall arrangement. Thanks for the tip on using the cosmos foliage for filler too. That is a great idea. You may end up on permanent floral duty at your church!!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! Oh, it's so fun to take turns at church. The other arrangers are very talented and it's fun to see everyone's creativity! Yes, the Cosmos foliage is great filler--I love its funky form!

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  25. Lovely! I love to play with flowers while arranging them into a bouquet. I think our inner artist wakes up then!

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    1. Yes, so true, Tatyana! During the winter, I occasionally buy flowers to play with, but it's not the same as picking them fresh from the garden!

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  26. Very pretty! I have a raised bed which holds plants that would be great for a cutting garden, but I can't bring myself to cut any flowers! I'm just strange like that. I guess it also makes a difference that I can't really bring bouquets in the house, since one of my cats will eat them..

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    1. Oh, I know--sometimes it's hard for me, too. I had to leave some of the flowers for the pollinators! I know what you mean about the cats--mine eat them, too. So I have to keep flowers up high on the shelf or behind closed doors ... or out on the porch.

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  27. They look great! Here's another lesson I learned this summer: go with your gut in the fall and make the garden changes required. Don't second guess yourself over the winter.

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! Ah, good lesson! I'm learning that one, too. ;-)

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  28. They are all so pretty Beth, loved the sunflowers but even more all the other flowers because they came from your garden :-) I always have a vase with flowers on the table in my garden, but I rarely take any indoors, I am too afraid of bringing pests and diseases into the house and on to my houseplants. The only exception is the earliest daffodils, there are seldom any pests around in February so I can safely bring some inside.

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    1. Thanks, Helene! I make sure to shake off the plants before I bring them inside, but I can understand what you mean. Your arrangements outside in your garden seating area are always so beautiful! Most of the arrangements I make have to stay outside or up on shelves, anyway, because the cats eat them. ;-)

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  29. Good morning, neighbor! YES, we are headed in the same direction, aren't we! Our oranges and browns, then eventually, that WHITE that covers our lives for so long. But underneath it all, we know it's not forever.

    I was never one for yellows or oranges, as far as décor colors. But just recently have I fallen in love with SUNFLOWERS and your arrangements here are stunning! Celebrate with every petal of beauty! Thank you for coming to visit. Anita

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    1. Hi Anita: I don't want to think of the "w" or the "s" words yet. ;-) Oranges, yellows, and browns are OK--outside anyway, not so much for decor. I've always loved Sunflowers, although I don't have enough space in the sun to grow them in my own garden. Yes, let's enjoy the colorful beauty while it lasts!

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  30. What beautiful arrangements, they must have looked wonderful indoors. Those sunflowers are especially stunning, such great Autumnal colours.

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    1. Thanks, Paula! The Sunflowers were a lucky find. The arrangements worked well. Understated, but fine for this transition time of year. :)

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