Flowers, Random

Hydrangea Love

Hydrangea_macrophylla_-_Hortensia_hydrangeaLike many of you, I’m crazy about hydrangeas, and here in Maine one variety or another blooms from spring until late fall.

IMG_1573 (1)The first to appear is the climbing variety.  It does tend to take over if  not groomed which makes my hubby crazy.  If I don’t keep a watchful eye, he will attack with a vengeance tearing them away from whatever they’ve attached themselves to.

A favorite is the lace cap which starts blooming in late June and is still lovely as it fades away in September.  These were almost lost as they were in the path of construction, but I dug them up hoping to save them until they could be relocated.  Now there is a bumper crop!

Summer abounds with blooms, and it is fascinating to observe all their colors.  Though I’m not sure of the variety from which these come, it could be Endless Summer though the colors on each of my bushes is quite different.

IMG_1999This full bodied bloom changes from white to lime as it matures. It reminds me of my great grandmother’s house where outside the window of her living room was a hydrangea with blooms as big as my head.  We called them snowballs and that is how I continue to think of this lovely.

IMG_2007Late August the hydrangea trees begin to show off cone shaped blooms that are first white and then turn to beautiful pink tones.    

IMG_2006When they have turned, it is a great time for gathering stems to dry for use in lovely arrangements.

IMG_2002How lucky am I to be surrounded by all this beauty right in my own yard!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Flowers

Peony Heaven

peoniesIn our family, when something is abundant we call it _________ heaven.  For the last couple of weeks, peony heaven describes the bounty that has existed in the garden.

peony bouquetThese beautiful blooms don’t last long especially if there is rain that weights them down, so I cannot resist cutting a few every day.

IMG_1497In a variety of containers, they are placed on every flat surface in the house

IMG_1509from the kitchen

IMG_1508to the bathrooms.

IMG_1446Their variations amaze me.  There are tree peonies the blooms of which remind me of a ballerina’s tutu.

Peonies come in  shades of pink ranging from bubblegum pink to luscious fuchsia.

white peonyThere are whites, some with layered petals reminding of ruffles,

IMG_1435others flat with yellow centers and tinges of pink.

IMG_1565What is sad is that these beauties last for such a short while, but even as they fade and petals drop I see them as works of art.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Flowers, Maine

A Look Around

For the next few months, the hubby and I have left Houston behind for Rockport, Maine. The two places are oh so different with a major difference being the plant life.

rhododendrons/flowersArriving in Maine, the first thing I do is walk around the yard where so many varieties of  blooming plants color the landscape. This year we missed the azaleas but were in time for the rhodendrons to be in full splendor.

lilacs/flowersAlongside them, the sweet smell of lilacs fills the air.

IMG_1365I was pleased to see the viburnum blooming more profusely than in recent years, but they also remind me how important it is to keep them trimmed or they can crowd out everything else.

peonyPeonies are staked thanks to advanced help and are filled with tight little buds that won’t pop for another week or two.  Just the thought of those beauties makes my heart race.

flowers/bachelor buttonTo my surprise, bachelor buttons had sprung up among the ferns.

flowersBeautiful alliums are hanging in there, but it will be only a matter of days before they are done and ready to dry for fall arrangements.

IMG_1355It is too late in the day to do more than look around, but that’s time enough to plan what needs to happen next.  And, with all this beauty, it’s impossible to resist cutting a few blooms to take inside where they add color and joy.  It doesn’t take much to make me feel right at home.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

Flowers, Gardening

Garden Bounty

While I may not be very experienced  when it comes to laying out a garden and choosing complementary plants, the garden does provide bountiful beauty from spring until fall.

Gardening is a learning process filled with errors and rewards.

The reward comes when the garden blooms making it possible to cut a few stems varied in color and texture.

flowers/rhdodendronThe rhododendrons are all but gone,

peony but coming in right behind them are peonies changing daily from tight little buds

peonyto partially open teasers

peonyto full blown beauties.

They don’t last long, especially if it rains, so I cut them and fill the house where they can be enjoyed.

Their differing colors and textures make each bloom a special gift.  Salvia, which tries to take over my little garden, provides wonderful contrast, and the alium which is past its prime adds an interesting texture.

So grows my garden.  It may not be perfect, but the same is not true for the beauties that grow there. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Gardens Galore

 

Flowers, Gardening

Trials and Miscues

I’ve never been much of a gardener choosing to make a yard as low maintenance as possible.  In Maine, however, it’s impossible not to get a little excited about gardening as flowers are, in the words of one daughter, so brave and outspoken.

All you have to do to see that is visit a nursery

where the selection of growing things edible and decorative is overwhelming.

My attempts at gardening so far are mostly trials and even more miscues.  What I am striving for is a cutting garden  with blooms lasting through the summer and into the fall.  While that is possible, there’s lots to learn about what works.  Take delphiniums which are beautiful to look at, but they get so top heavy they topple over, especially after a rainfall.

And, that flower around them, which I think is a type of geranium, is the right height, but rather than stand up it spreads all over the place destroying other plants with their weight.

So what have I learned about gardening? A successful garden has a blend of annuals and perennials.  That means investing in new plants every year, but to get the right combination of color and texture, it’s worth it.  Thanks to a series of trials and miscues I realize that defining scale and developing a cohesive color scheme is a must to avoid chaos.

Flowers and herbsPerhaps the most important lesson is that successful gardening can be done in pots! It is ever so much easier to combine interesting plant materials in pots than to try to balance them in a garden.

 As I continue to learn to create the bigger picture, I’ll not abandon my successes!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Gardens Galore

Flowers, Spring

First Glimpses

As soon as we’ve pulled into the driveway, I’m out of the car to get a first glimpse of what is new in the yard.  

This time of year is still springlike in Maine, so first blooms are just visible.

Rarely are any of my tulips still in bloom, but thanks to a late spring arrival, they are still showing off.

The climbing hydrangea appears to be ready for a banner season

 and rhododendrons are just beginning to bloom.  A day or two of sunshine and they will be a mass of color.

peony budPeonies are still just tight little buds, but it won’t be long until they are in full bloom.  That i can never get enough of!

I can never remember the name of this bold beauty that stands tall and lifts its head to the sky.  When they are done, I dry a few to use in fall bouquets.

The discovery that always brings a smile is this one that stays hidden

jack in the pulpit 2keeping the jack in the pulpit that lives inside a secret.

At the same time I see beauty and the promise of what is to come, I notice all the work that needs to be done in the yard.  That’s always the case, but there is plenty of time to get it done.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

Art, Flowers

Art As Inspiration

After introducing you to Florescence, I cannot resist showing you more of the incredible floral arrangements interpreting the show’s challenges.  Before going on I should tell you that Florescence is one of the largest competitive national flower shows sanctioned by the Garden Club of America in the U.S.  

It is impossible not to be awed by these creations

and seeing them displayed with the art that inspired them makes them even more dramatic.

I was blown away by creations inspired by  couture dresses from the Museum of Fine Art’s collection.

As I look again at this photo, I notice that the arrangement mimics the flow of the dress…..absolutely stunning!

Here a styrofoam head wears an elaborate headdress made primarily of natural plant material.  What sea goddess wouldn’t love to be so adorned?

Many times I see wooden boxes used on tables as centerpieces. Unique here is the mix of succulents, roses, lilies and tropicals that demonstrate how anything can work together provided the choices are selected with a critical eye.

Particularly interesting were arrangements incorporating abstract qualities inspired by pieces in the Museum’s contemporary art collection.

The varied materials used with flowers and plant materials was wonderful,

and I will be keeping my eyes open for elements that add interest.

 Though I marveled over over the elaborate creations, I could not see such in my future.  I was attracted to the ikebana technique because it seems a little more doable,

 and I like the simplicity both of the containers and the flower design.

If I were to step a little out of my comfort zone, however, it would be to do something like this, so full of color and whimsey.

Oh, there is so much more I could show you, but hopefully, there is enough here to encourage your own creativity.  It would be wonderful to see the results.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind