November 10, 2014
Are you familiar with the movie, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" or the play, "Spamalot"? If so, you're aware of the scenes that include "Not Dead Fred." This is definitely black humor: A supposed plague victim in England during the Middle Ages is carried out to be carted away for burial, but declares, "I'm not dead," and later--as the scene continues--"I'm getting better."
I kept imagining that scene on Sunday as I put the potager garden to bed for the winter. Most of the plants were indeed "dormant" or, in the case of the annuals, "dead." But the Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus 'Rocket Mix') seemed to be screaming at me, "We're not dead yet!" I could have clipped them off and thrown them into the compost pile or left them standing. Instead I clipped off the very healthy flowerless stems, thinking I could use them for an arrangement.
That's what I started with when I contemplated an arrangement for today's "In a Vase on Monday" meme. It's hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.
Next, I searched the bleak landscape for other elements for my arrangement. I have to tell you I'm happier with the idea for this one than the eventual result--mainly because I ran out of time at the end of the day to perfect it. But the elements--in greater quantities--could have made a lovely bouquet.
Foliage from the Highbush Cranberry (Virburnum trilobum);
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) fruit and stems;
Seed heads and stems from Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium);
A nearly dried Hydrangea (H. macrophylla) flower head; and
Spore fronds from Fiddlehead Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris).
In the end, those Snapdragon stems were screaming to stay together, alone, in their own vase. They just didn't fit with the dried, autumn arrangement.
So I kept them in the vase and plopped them on the front porch with the pumpkins. Who knows how long they'll last with the deep freeze on the way, but this way they have the display they deserve.
The dried arrangement would have looked decent by the fireplace, but I had to put it on the back porch so the cat wouldn't eat it. I need to shorten the outer stems a bit, but this is close.
I didn't include these Cosmos (C. bipinnatus 'Versailles Mix') in the dried arrangement either. I cut them on Oct. 30, and they're still blooming. Impressive vase life!
Head on over to Cathy's blog for other inspirational bouquets and arrangements.