In a Vase on Monday: Shifting Focus

Today’s flower arrangement for In a Vase on Monday came together beautifully…in my head.  My plan was to arrange Hydrangea in my artsy glass vase. The Hydrangea are fading, turning from pink to pale green to a creamy white. Their blooms are magnificent, even when dried. Yes, I thought, they’d be perfect.

fading hydrangeas

Pink and fading hydrangeas

I just couldn’t get it to work. The glass vase is long and quite narrow so a bit of a challenge. It’s beautiful though, so I really wanted to use it. After several attempts, I knew my mojo was off. Time to reach for my standby: a pitcher/vase from my friends Doug and Laura.

Since the stems were originally cut on the shorter side to accommodate the glass vase I had to improvise. I put a small, square jar on its side in the bottom of the pitcher, then added a second jar on top. Now I had the height needed,and could use less water to fill the jar.

hydrangeas in a vase with book

In a Vase on Monday and The Sweet Life

A few sprigs of fern added volume and softened the edges. At last it all came together. The vase is on the deck, resting on my tie-dyed tablecloth, a project from a couple of summers ago.

Hydrangeas and Asparagus Plumosus

Hydrangea and Asparagus Plumosus

I added a ‘prop’ as Cathy often does, a special volume of quotes and charming illustrations called The Sweet Life: Reflections on Home and Garden by Laura Stoddart. This charming book makes me smile whenever I open it.  Thank you, Nichole.

pink hydrangeas

Here’s the quote from a randomly opened page:

GWENDOLEN  Quite a well-kept garden this is, Miss Cardew.

CECILY So glad you like it, Miss Fairfax.

GWENDOLEN I had no idea there were any flowers in the country.

CECILY Oh, flowers are as common here, Miss Fairfax, as people are in London.

Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) The Importance of Being Earnest

I constructed costumes for The Importance of Being Earnest many years ago, so lots of Serendipity here.

Special thanks to the Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for creating In a Blog on Monday. Thanks as well to Cathy at Words and Herbs for introducing me to the idea.

In a Vase on Monday creativity from around the world:

If I missed your vase, please post your link in the comments below.

Blooming Thursday: Blue and Gold

Entry way pots: Snapdragons and ‘Lucia Dark Blue’ lobelia

The garden is awash in cool blues and warm yellows today.  I bought a few annuals to spruce up the entry way, then realized how much blue and gold we already have.

I found some cobalt blue beer bottles in the garage, left over from my husband’s home-brewing days.  If the stars align, the yellow lilies will still bloom.  The bottles will make beautiful bud vases and the yellows will look gorgeous in contrast to the rich blue.  To hedge my bets, I planted Impatiens in one of my recycled soy candle jars.  It’s pretty…but pink.

No worries. Blue and gold remain center stage.  Here’s what’s blooming:

Snapdragons

Blue and Gold

‘Moonchimes’ Chinese Lantern

Wildflowers, Re-seeded from Last Summer

Hydrangea: It’s Blue *and* Gold!

Blooming Thursday: Hydrangeas Pink and Blue

First Hydrangea Bloom of the Season

I love the coordinating schedules of our hydrangeas.  Sweet synchronicity from both sides of the garden.  Our potted hydrangea has a soft, pink bloom, while the three sisters are showing a light dusting of blue.

The blue hydrangeas hang out under a pine tree, so will likely keep their hue.  I’ve read that you can change a pink hydrangea to blue and vice versa, but the white ones will always be white.

Here is what the Gardener’s Supply Company* has to say about changing the color of the bloom.

“Hydrangeas with bloom colors that range from pink through blue and purple usually belong to the hydrangea cultivars known as mopheads and lacecaps. These types of hydrangeas have the interesting ability to change the color of their blooms based on the chemistry of the soil. When grown in alkaline soil, the bloom colors are pinker. When grown in acidic soil, the bloom colors are bluer.

Because it’s the soil chemistry that determines the bloom color, the variety names given to these types of hydrangeas means very little when it comes to bloom color. For instance, Nikko Blue, Pretty in Pink, Forever Pink and Blue Deckle, all have an almost equal chance of blooming pink or blue, depending on the soil they are planted in.

To manipulate the color of a hydrangea’s blooms, you need to manipulate your soil’s pH level and mineral content. This is not something you do just once. In order to maintain growing conditions that result in a specific bloom color, you may need to apply special soil amendments several times during the growing season.”

Too much work for this gardener!  I’m just happy they’re blooming.

Blushing Blue

I’ve got my eye on you!

*One of my favorite catalogs!