July 22, 2024

July 'Vases' of Plenty

mixed arrangement

At this time of year, the options seem endless for floral arrangements. It's such a dramatic contrast to midwinter; although the slim pickings of midwinter help me appreciate the plenty of July. The flowering annuals I started from seed are great companions to perennial offerings.

hosta flower 2

In the arrangement at the start of this post, I used Hosta flowers at the top and back to help frame the collection. I don't know the variety; all Hostas in the garden were here when we moved in more than two decades ago, and they weren't marked.


Also framing the arrangement are Glads (Gladiolus grandiflora hybrids). I planted the corms in the garden after the last frost in early May.

hosta and hydrangea foliage

Foliage from Hosta and Hydrangea (H. macrophylla) anchor the background of the arrangement.


Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) add beautiful structure. 


A couple of 'May Night' Sage sprouts (Salvia x sylvestris) dot the sides.

zinnias 1

Perhaps the stars of the grouping are the various Zinnias (Z. elegans) from the cutting garden, which I grew from seeds started in the sunroom in March.

zinnias 2

The Zinnias shown here are 'State Fair Mix,' although I also have 'Zowie Yellow Flame' and 'Giant Purple' in the garden.


The Cosmos (C. bipinnatus 'Sensation Mix') flowers are so very plentiful and delightful. Their seeds were planted directly in the garden in early May.

hosta flower 1

I also added some Hosta flowers and Cosmos foliage to this second vase.

tall glad

Finally, I've continuously placed single, tall Glads in this slender vase, which seems perfect for their regal stature.

I'm linking in with Cathy's In a Vase on Monday meme over at Rambling in the Garden. Head on over to see some amazing arrangements.

July 15, 2024

The Bright Blooms of July

Heliopsis & Echinacea

The blossoms are lush on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. We've had plentiful rain and warm temperatures, and the plants are happy.

Once again, I'm limiting coverage here to one area, since there are so many things blooming. Items in this post are found on the sunny side of the house, in and around the potager garden.


The Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are plentiful and bright.


False Sunflowers (Heliopsis helianthoides) are blooming, budding, and brightening their space along the front porch railing.

Meanwhile, other blooms are nearing their completion, but beautiful still...


These include the Drumstick Alliums (A. sphaerocephalon), here poking up out of foliage of Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum), which will bloom later this summer;


'May Night' Salvia (Salvia x sylvestris), which offers repeat blooms with deadheading; and


Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea), the current star of the mix. 

Asclepias tuberosa

Always brightening their spots and welcoming monarch butterflies are the milkweeds, including Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa); and

Asclepias incarnata

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), which has a lovely vanilla scent.


The Cosmos (C. bipinnatus 'Sensation Mix') I grew from seed will bloom until the first hard frost, providing plentiful cut flowers in the weeks ahead.


Joining them in vases and as repeat bloomers (with cutting) are the 'State Fair Mix' and 'Zowie Yellow Flame' Zinnias (Z. elegans). These are also hummingbird and bee favorites.


For some reason (too much rain?) the Lantanas (L. camara) dropped most of their blooms, but they're producing more buds. Shown here are Bandolero 'Pineapple' and Bandolero 'Guava' varieties.


Another bloom that will continue all summer (with cutting) is the Angelonia (A. angustifolia). This plant was mismarked, but I'm guessing it's Angeldance 'Fuchsia Bicolor.' I really love it and hope I'll be able to find it again next year.

Still other bloomers are just getting going...


Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) add even more golden tones to the potager. I enjoy them in full bloom and at this stage, as the flower petals begin to unfurl.


Blazing Star Liatris spikes (L. spicata) share such a beautiful complementary lavender-blue to the group.


Finally, the Gladioli (Gladiolus Grandiflora hybrids) are just beginning to add their drama to the garden and in vases.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! What's blooming in your garden?

July 01, 2024

Garden Miscellany in a Vase on Monday

vase 1

Here we are at the start of July, and the garden is full of choices for vases. Just on a whim, I toured around and grabbed elements that caught my eye. They're not necessarily elements I'd usually pot together, but they seem to work.

Lilium 2

The Lily hybrids (Lilium spp.) are beginning to bloom, including this magenta one that serves as an anchor for the arrangement.

Lilium 1

The ivory Lilies are great fillers, and oh so healthy.


I added several foliage items. The mixed Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia spp.) are finished blooming for now, but the foliage is great for framing potted arrangements.

Matteuccia struthiopteris

I inserted an Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) branch, but it didn't last long--I guess they aren't the best for cut arrangements. It worked for a few hours.

Hypoestes phyllostachya

Also, a pot of Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) needed thinning and complimented the Calla Lily foliage, so the cut branches were perfect for the arrangement.

Hosta buds

Hosta flowers are budding and beginning to bloom: I think this might just be my favorite stage with this genus.

Allium sphaerocephalon

Drumstick Alliums (A. sphaerocephalon) are dotting the potager garden, and I picked one for a quick focal point in the arrangement. Maybe I'll add a couple more on the sides.

Heliopsis helianthoides

False Sunflowers (Heliopsis helianthoides) add a golden touch and tie in some of the brighter elements.

Echinacea purpurea

Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), a pollinator favorite, are just starting their months-long display.

Zinnia 'zowie'

And, finally, 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' Zinnias (Z. elegans) carry over the bright gold and reddish highlights from some of the other blooms.

vase 2

In different light and minus the fern frond...I expect this little composite will last a few days and brighten its little corner.

I'm linking in with Cathy's In a Vase on Monday meme over at Rambling in the Garden. Head on over to see some amazing arrangements.

June 25, 2024

A Climbing Rose That's Captured My Heart

rose 1

I wish I'd known more about this Rose years ago. It's Rosa setigera, with the nicknames Climbing Prairie Rose, Illinois Rose, Climbing Wild Rose, and several others. While it's not technically native in my county, it's native two counties to the south and east, and it's now found often in S. Wisconsin. Its native range stretches from New York state in the northeast, west to Iowa and south to Texas.

I purchased the Rose three years ago to climb on the backyard arbor. It wasn't happy with the drought last summer, but it continued to grow and is really coming into its own this year.

shifting shade

Climbing Prairie Rose grows well in open, sunny prairies, but it also thrives in partial shade. So the spot on the arbor is perfect for it. This summer, the buds and blooms are plentiful. The flowers are gorgeous, 2-3 inches across, and they have a slight, pleasant scent.

arbor entrance

Here you can see the plant on the arbor (which the fishman constructed in 2009), leading into the backyard. I've grown many things on this arbor--mostly annuals like Hyacinth Bean Vine (Lablab purpureus) and the perennial Kentucky Wisteria (W. macrostachya), which was here when we moved in more than 20 years ago. I now grow the Hyacinth Bean Vine in another garden location. The Wisteria is still on one side of the arbor, but...long story for another post.

bud 1

I'm in love with this nearly native Rose, as a perfect climber for the arbor, and because of its hardiness, easy care, and beauty. The day I took these photos, the buds I saw in the morning were open a couple of hours later. It was fun to observe their unfurling, like a time-lapse movie.

couple 1
9:57 a.m.

couple 2
12:02 p.m.

Same "couple," in the morning and at midday.

rose 2

What can I say? I'm in love, and I'm thrilled that Rosa setigera is settling in on the arbor.

I'm linking in to Wildflower Wednesday over at Clay and Limestone. Check it out!

June 17, 2024

Roses in a 'Vase' on Monday

bowl 1

Many of the Roses are blooming at the same time this year! They do tend to begin blooming in early to mid-June most years, but generally on a more staggered schedule. I'm loving the deluge and the bounty, probably due to various weather factors.

So, I put several in a bowl all together for happy viewing.

at last 2

The star in the middle is the hybrid tea Rose 'At Last,' which is so stunning, fragrant, and disease-resistant.

double pink

The outer ring includes the prolific and beautiful Oso Easy Double Pink.

sweet mary 1

Also, I included Fred's 'Sweet Mary,' my great-grandfather's hybrid. This Rose is particularly lovely as a full, lush bud.

sweet mary 2

But beautiful, also, when fully in bloom. I don't spray/treat my Roses, so some years the outer petals are a little brown on this one. But, oh my, the scent of 'Sweet Mary' is unequaled!

shrub rose

I didn't include this lovely shrub Rose in the bowl, because the color didn't seem to work, but it's a beauty, too. It was here when we moved in, so I'm not sure of its identity.

bowl 2

I have a limited collection of Roses in my garden, because of the shade conditions. Two others are not quite blooming yet, but I'll share their beauty in the coming weeks.

Rose blooms signify summer to me, and pleasant thoughts. I'm linking in to Cathy's In a Vase on Monday meme. Join in with your vase creations!