August 03, 2015

In a Basket on Monday

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Have you checked out the meme "In a Vase on Monday" over at Rambling in the Garden? If not, it's well worth the visit. People share wonderfully creative ideas for arranging the plants and blooms in their gardens.

For this Monday, I'm cheating a bit and sharing a basket arrangement.

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Salvia 'May Night' in spring.

A thought came to me earlier in the summer for using the spent blooms of my Salvias. While they're a flower garden highlight in late spring, they need attention by early summer.

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Salvia 'May Night' by the end of June.

Many of you have noted that Salvias tend to get floppy. I agree. To deal with this issue, mine are planted in the corners of my cut flower/vegetable garden. As they get tall and start to take over, I stake them with metal supports. I deadhead the spent flowers several times during the summer for repeat blooms.

This year, I had an additional idea.

clipped

Instead of throwing the spent blooms in the compost pile, I decided to try saving them, drying them, and using them for potpourri.

bundles

I have two clumps of Salvias, so I created two bouquets of spent blooms. These were clipped in late June, and they still have a pleasant scent as they've dried during the past month. I placed one above my microwave--so the warm, moist air of cooking can release their scent.

lilies

Another recent "In a Vase" creation was very simple: I placed two 'Stargazer' Oriental Lilies and two white ones in a flat vase, with a complementary large Snapdragon in the center. The scent was wonderful, although the fishman said it was almost too overpowering.

cat

Oreo was interested, too. But I had to be careful and place these out of her reach after photographing them. Lilies of many types can be toxic and even deadly to cats!

Head on over to Rambling in the Garden for more plant arranging ideas.

63 comments:

  1. As always you certainly inspire Beth....love the spent blooms potpourri idea and the lilies vase....a fabulous collection of vases/arrangements to admire.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. Honestly, I don't know why I didn't think of saving the Salvia in the past. I've been growing it for many years. Seems like common sense in hindsight. ;-)

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  2. The lilies are so beautiful, and they must smell really wonderful. The snapdragons are a nice accent in the center. I haven't grown salvia so I didn't know they had a pleasant scent, but it makes sense since they are in the mint family.

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    1. Hi Hannah: Yes, the Lilies smelled wonderful. These photos were from a week ago, so they're gone now, but yowie! 'Stargazers' are super fragrant! The Salvias are quite pungent when you get close to them. From a distance, the scent is more subtle.

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    2. Hi Hannah: Yes, the Lilies smelled wonderful. These photos were from a week ago, so they're gone now, but yowie! 'Stargazers' are super fragrant! The Salvias are quite pungent when you get close to them. From a distance, the scent is more subtle.

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  3. Beth - I like how the dragon snaps the tricorn lily arrangement together. Nice idea for spent sage too - getting a bit more joy out of a plant than otherwise

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    1. Hi Laura: The Snapdragons are performing well this year, and that particular spire seemed to complement the Lilies. As I mentioned to Donna, I should have thought about saving the dried Salvia years ago. ;-)

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  4. Two very different - and lovely - ideas which seem to complement each other. The lushness of the lily is a counterpoint to the dried salvia. I bet they both smell good too!

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    1. Hi Jane: Yes, they both have pleasant scents. The 'Stargazer' can be a little overpowering in a small room, but I think it's lovely. Thank you.

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  5. So pretty! I love that you saved the blooms and they look fabulous in the basket. It reminds me of lavender wands.

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    1. Thanks, Karin. I always think some Salvias are reminiscent of Lavendar. I guess they serve similar purposes as spiked cut flowers and pollinator favorites in the garden. The Salvia doesn't seem to last very long on a vase (in my experience, anyway), but it dries well.

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  6. What a great idea, I never thought of drying the Salvia heads. I love your lilies. Your cat looks as if he is enjoying their scent too.

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    1. Yes, Oreo was right in there, ready to eat the Lilies -- which would have been tragic because of their toxicity to cats. She is a plant-eater and my other cat uses plants for unspeakable purposes. So all plants must be placed out of their reach. Argh. ;-)

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  7. Good idea to dry the spent flowers of the Salvias and I love the arrangement, the combination of the somewhat stiff flowers of the lilies and the snapdragon is unusual, but therefore just gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you. Oriental Lilies are so stunning and the scents are incredible. Actually, Snapdragons have a pleasant scent, too. :)

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  8. The pot pourri is indeed a great idea, something I shall try now I have added several salvias to the garden - and your teeny tiny vase with those individual flowerheads is another idea to borrow too! Thanks so much for sharing both!

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    1. You are welcome. :) As I was mentioning to the others, I'm surprised I didn't think about saving the Salvias in the past. It kind of feels like an embarrassment of riches to hold huge bunches of them clipped and gathered as a kind of harvest. Why not put them to use?

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  9. Such a delightful way to extend the joy of 'May Night' and the basket makes a perfect container for the bouquet. Your salvia looks much taller than mine, which stays low in front of the border. My garden is zone 7b. The Stargazers are beautiful with that special snapdragon.

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    1. I would estimate the Salvias, when blooming, reach to about 3 feet tall. When clipped, more like 1.5 to 2 feet. Thanks--the Stargazers were nice and full this year, and Snapdragons keep coming as I deadhead them. :)

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  10. Oh those lilies....they have taken over the Minnesota landscape and have thrilled out senses! LOVE THEM! Never have I seen such beautiful displays until this year. Must be all the rain we've had! But these pink and the yellow varieties have won my heart! Thank you so much for coming to visit me! Yep, school starts at the tail end of August and I am not ready, mentally. I've had too much fun taking photos, visiting Hudson WI, going antiquing and enjoying the local gardens.

    Enjoy your weekends and as our cooler weather approaches, I know that both of us will celebrate all that the changing seasons have to offer! XOXOX

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    1. Hi Anita: Yes, I will celebrate the changing season, but not yet! ;-) We still have many weeks of summer weather to enjoy, so there's no rush! There are so many beautiful genera, species, and cultivars of "lilies" around. I honestly can't keep track. But I do know I enjoy the Oriental Lilium 'Stargazer.'

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  11. What a great idea to dry the salvia! At first I thought these were lavender stems; I would never have thought about salvia being a potpourri choice, too. My 'May Nights' have re-seeded all over one garden bed, and I have plenty of spent stalks. Instead of adding them to the compost pile, I will have to try this!

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    1. Hi Rose: Yes, the Salvias do resemble Lavendar, don't they? Interestingly my 'May Nights' don't re-seed much -- probably because I continuously cut them back for repeat blooms all summer. We're on our third round now. ;-)

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  12. What a wonderful idea, Beth! I always enjoy deadheading my salvia plants. It's lovely to spend time close to them, inhaling the lovely scent as the bees buzz about. Today I will be sure to collect the spent blossoms in tiny bundles of garden magic! I love to visit, Beth. There is always inspiration here! ♡Dawn

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    1. I totally agree! I think of it as a pleasant garden activity, too--something to look forward to. Thank you for your kind comments, Dawn. :)

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  13. Oh, those lilies!! Just gorgeous. I'm enjoying the beautiful blooms from more northern climes as we're settled in to our hot and dry. Thank you!!

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    1. Thank you. I must admit, we've had a fabulous summer so far. Exquisite, actually. We're starting to get just a bit dry again, as the most recent storms missed us to the south. But there is rain in the forecast, so the plants will be happy.

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  14. Very creative. I grow Salvia mostly along the sidewalk with 18" wire fencing (if that's the word). The Salvia grows through the wires so they are pretty much invisible. The scent of the dried flower stalks is very appealing so this is an excellent idea.

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    1. Great idea with the wire fencing! Wow, thanks--you've given me an idea for a similar garden project I'm thinking about. Cheers!

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  15. So lovely--at first I glanced and thought it was lavender! You've had a brilliant notion of putting the bunches where their fragrance can be slowly released. I do have a question though: if you cut them all the way back, I think they would give you a second full and lovely bloom. Have others experienced that? This is what I do with my salvias. I now have a whole new crop of deep purple spikes coming. Yet, the potpourri....wonderful-:) Love the angle of Oreo with the lily...

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    1. LOL: regarding your question...yes, that is exactly what I do. I cut them all the way back, to the base of the flower stalk and sometimes beyond. And I get repeat blooms several times during the growing season. We're working on our third set of blooms now. Maybe I wasn't clear on that? ;-) But this year I saved some of the cuttings for the potpourri, so I think we're saying the same thing? Yes, the Salvias do resemble Lavendar, especially from a distance.

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  16. I love lilies!
    A great idea with the salvia. I gave my mom a salvia plant for Mother's Day a few years ago. She loves it.

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    1. What a wonderful gift for your mom! There are so many varieties of Salvias. I can't really pick a favorite, but this is the one I chose for my garden many years ago, and it keeps on delivering. The pollinators love it!

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  17. I didn't know about lilies and cats, so thanks for that. I can't resist cutting a stem or two of lilies every year. Still hoping for them to multiply so I can be more generous with myself. The anthers that are always cut off by florists are one of the best design elements...just don't get the pollen on clothing or linens.

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    1. Yes, I learned that trick of cutting off the anthers from another flower-arranger years ago. It makes transporting and arranging so much easier and neater. Lilies are such great cut flowers, but yes--very dangerous to cats.

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  18. you remind me - I used to gather fragrant leaves and flowers in a pot pourri basket. Will have to wait for some of my plantlings to get big enough to harvest, but the inherited pelargonium shrubs are generous and delicious!

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    1. That sounds fabulous. I'm imagining the scent of the Pelargoniums (Geraniums in the U.S.) in your basket. I used to grow them in my sunny garden, but they wouldn't perform well here in the shade. But I remember the scent! Enjoy!

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  19. Excellent idea with the Salvia Beth, and you have made it so attractive.

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    1. Thank you, Alain! The branches are so plentiful and lush, it seemed a waste to simply discard them. I think this will now be an annual tradition. :)

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  20. I love your idea of using the spent salvias; they look lovely in the basket, simply elegant! The lily arrangement is also very charming.

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    1. Thank you, Deb. Summer is generous with her lovely gifts. If I didn't have cats, I'd have fresh cut flowers all around the house. But I make do by keeping a few on the back porch and on tall shelves.

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  21. A plant I know.... Salvia... I have 4 of them and I am going to try that.... Wonderful idea

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    1. Great! They are wonderful, reliable plants, aren't they? And we might as well make use of the spent blooms, too. :)

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  22. I just love lilies and I can imagine the scent from your photos as I have Stargazer myself. I haven’t been good at making vases this year, too much to do with moving house and making a new garden, will have to get back into making more vases soon. The salvias look nice and refreshing, do the flower heads drizzle off when they are dry or do they stay on?
    Have a good week in the garden!

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    1. I remember seeing your Stargazers among your amazing Lily collection, Helene. Yes, moving a house and a garden, and handling it all with grace and enthusiasm as you have, is enough of a challenge! To answer your question, I just checked the branches and they seem to be very sturdy--not breaking off at all. And they still smell fabulous--kind of like dried tea leaves.

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  23. Hi Beth, it would have never occurred to me to dry salvias, but it looks like it has worked pretty well for you. By the way, I like that you have staked them with a half hoop.
    That Stargazer Lily is sooo... beautiful! The combination with the white lilies and the snapdragon makes for a very lovely arrangement!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Hi Christina: I'm trying to figure out why it took me so long to think of this idea. It worked well, and the dried Salvias still smell great. Sadly, the Lilies are long-gone for the season, but they were wonderful to have around while they lasted. Thanks!

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  24. Beautiful arrangement - I love flower arrangements & was able to make quite a few (although not very artistically) last year. I especially love dried flowers & am sure I have some salvia somewhere in the flower borders. Did you have to hang them upside down when you dried them or did you simply bundle them up and are letting them dry out in the basket?

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. To answer your question: I simply split the harvest into two bunches and tied them with ribbon. One bunch I placed in a cloth liner in a basket, which is resting above my microwave. The other bunch is wrapped in cloth in a vase. I think I'll remove the cloth, though, now that the branches are fully dried. I didn't have to hang them upside down.

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  25. I have never thought to tie up those spent salvia stalks. What a great idea. So nice to learn from each other. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Layanee, and you're welcome. I know--now that I know about it, I wonder why I didn't do it before. I always feel like the spent blooms are a blessing of abundance, but the lightbulb went on that I could save them for a pleasant potpourri. :)

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  26. Love the first and last two photos!

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    1. Thank you, Heather. I didn't even realize the kitty was in the photo until I looked at the photo card later. She was dangerously close to eating that Lily!

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  27. What a great idea. I like their scent a lot. Keep on trugging ;)

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    1. Thanks! Yes, trugging, foraging, and harvesting are so much fun!

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  28. I love this meme! However, I am always forgetting to photograph my bouquets until they are going downhill. I like the look of salvia but never liked the smell. Does it dissipate when dried?

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    1. I know, me too. I arrange flowers for church occasionally, but I'm always in a rush to complete the process and get everything on display that I forget to take photos. The scent of the dried Salvias is definitely more subtle, and different--more like a pleasant dried tea.

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  29. I never cut the salvia, but do cut the lavender like that to make nosegays similar to your display. I have plenty of Salvia 'May Night' and will see if it lasts cut like that. I never tried it. Good thought.

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    1. Hi Donna: Yes, I've prepared Lavendar similarly in the past, too. I don't have Lavendar here in this garden, but I enjoy it. The Salvia is holding together amazingly well.

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  30. Beautiful! I have never known if lily is toxic for cat. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Hi Endah: Yes, and if you have a crazy cat like mine that wants to eat everything, it's even more dangerous! ;-)

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  31. Good ideas do paid off! This year I cut the lavenders in my friend's garden and now I have a good amount for my closet for winter. The second vase is so beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Lula! Lavender is such a calming scent. I have some in a sachet that helps me to relax before sleep. Both of these plants look beautiful in bunches.

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