October 28, 2018

Pleasant Views for Botanical Healing


Sooner or later, it happens: Repeated frosts and freezes take the life out of plants, and the growing season ends. Some plants go to seed, like Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum), while others remain nearly evergreen, like variegated English Ivy* (Hedera helix). But they all slow down when the weather is cold and the days are short.

I happened to have some strands of both remaining from some floral arrangements, and gazing on them caught me in a reflective mood. I tend to have a bit of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) this time of year, which is normal and manageable if it doesn't get too severe. During my adult life, it never has; I just tend to "nest" more--staying inside, reading good books, eating comfort food, crocheting, and finding fun indoor activities to get me through the shorter days.

Anyway, beyond the fact that these two plants are pretty together...my point is that the fluffy seedheads of the Conoclinium cheer me up. Just looking at them brightens my mood. I think it's a combination of factors: they're attractive seedheads, I enjoy the colors, they are signs of hope for the next growing season, and most of all...they're so soft, cuddly, fluffy, and perfect. Like a warm blanket or a cuddly stuffed animal.




See what I mean? How about you? Are there particular plants, seeds, or flowers that cheer you, calm you, or help improve your mood...just by looking at them?

[PlantPostings is celebrating eight years of blogging this month. Cheers!]

(*Note: I also love English Ivy, but only in pots, since it can become invasive where it's not native, even in cold climates.)

October 15, 2018

Colorful October Vases

arrangement 1

I've been on flower duty at church for the past few weeks, and the garden has been good to me. These photos were snapped quickly with my iPhone (I didn't have any set-up time) but I was pleased with the drama of the garden's plenty.


cosmos, mistflower

Zinnias, Blue Mistflower, and Cosmos provided the colorful blooms, and various greens and Fountain Grass from the church garden rounded out this display from earlier in the month.

arrangement 2

We had light frost this past weekend (still no hard freeze at my house!), so this week I cut all the remaining garden flowers and recombined them with others that were still fresh...added some Hosta leaves, English Ivy, and Northern Sea Oats. The flower committee is lucky to have a refrigerator for storing cuttings and bouquets. It saves us money and a little time for the following week. I may have a few 'Zowie!' Zinnias left for next week. They certainly have been prolific this year--all grown from seed.

I'm linking this post to Cathy's "In a Vase on Monday" meme over at Rambling in the Garden. Cheers!

October 03, 2018

Wednesday Vignette: Still Bright and Blooming

dahlias and tithonia

My vignette for today is a "planned" happy accident. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am new to growing Dahlias (and new to success with Tithonias!). In my continuing quest to make use of tiny spots of sunshine in my "Oak opening/Oak forest" garden, I placed this particular Tithonia (I grew many this year) between two bright, south-facing windows on the back of the house. I planted the 'Explosion' Dahlia tubers in a pot just in front of the Tithonia. I really didn't expect the colors of 'Explosion' to be so bright (it was hard to tell from the package). I'm sure they'll fade, but at this point they're perfect warm companions for the Tithonia.

As always, I'm finding the buds and nearly open blooms as beautiful and interesting (maybe more so) than the fully open flowers; the latter fade so fast. No frost yet, and none in the 10-day forecast. Yay.

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.