November 09, 2015
I'm amazed I still have tropical flowers blooming in my USDA zone 5 garden. It appears predictions for this year's El Niño weather pattern are coming true for us here in the northern Midwest--a much warmer than normal autumn, a trend that could spill over into the winter.
We've flirted with frost again for the past few days, so before it happened, I clipped some flowers and foliage for a bouquet.
I tried something a little different for the vase this time.
I used potpourri that mirrors the colors of the flowers. The combination is a little bright and loud for an indoor arrangement, but I like the way it looks out on the porch.
Of course, I didn't want the potpourri to get wet, so I inserted a narrower glass inside an octagonal candy jar.
You can't see the glass pattern in the finished arrangement because it's mostly covered with potpourri and flowers. (Any glass, would do, this is just one I had available.)
I used wet floral foam at the bottom to help the flowers stand up a little more reliably. After filling the space between the glass and the jar with potpourri, and adding water to the glass, I added the cut flowers and foliage.
And then I simply used flowers and foliage still standing in my garden.
Zinnia elegans 'Cut and Come Again'
Various Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) that complement the Zinnias
Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy'
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Versailles Mix'
and Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).
I also included some elements I'd never used for cut arrangements in the past.
Lantana camara 'Blaze'
and a few stems from the remaining 'Better Boy' Tomatoes, which are much too small to eat and don't stand a chance of ripening. All three new elements seem to be holding up pretty well.
This image is a little harsh, with shadows. I snapped it right after preparing the arrangement, whereas the outdoor image (at the top) shows it a day later. Not much difference. The back porch this time of year is like a refrigerator--the perfect temperatures to keep flowers bright and fresh.
Today, I noticed a few more plants in the garden succumbed to the cold and the birdbath finally had a layer of ice on top. It appears the growing season in my garden is at an end. But this killing frost came about a month later than "normal."
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting the "In a Vase on Monday" meme. Check it out for more floral arranging inspiration.